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Bogorm, Serbo-Croatian vatra is one of those Paleo-Balkanic substratum words (cf. Albanian vatër, Romanian vatră), of very doubtful IE ancestry, which has spread in Serbo-Croatian only during the second wave of Štokavians speakers (Slavicized Vlachs) ousting the native Slavic word oganj (which is of PIE ancestry, with obvious cognates such as Latin ignis, Sanskrit agni etc.). So I'll remove it for now until we can get a thorough discussion on it (now I'm on a conversion spree so don't want to waste tome on it :). --Ivan Štambuk 14:09, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

If you are so convinced of this substratum theory, then how did Avestan, Sanskrit and Armenian all end up containing this word? I have some understanding for this theory in cases like μακεδνός (where the danger of politicising is considerable, though), but how can it possibly be tenable in cases when cognates in three other Asian (from another continent) IE languages are extant? I have based the section on Skok, what are your sources? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 20:18, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Citing from Skok V II, p. 569: Balkanska pastirska riječ, koju su i u hrv.-srp. mogli raširiti srednjovjekovni Vlasi (Joki). It is not reconstructible for Proto-Slavic. Sanskrit's átharvan- and Avestan aθrauuan- have the primary meaning of "primordial priest", the one who dealt with Soma/Haoma and sacred fire in the ceremony, whence the sense of "fire" is secondary. Connection with Armenian and Latin looks very obscure to me. At best, the word is a borrowing from some Paleo-Balkanic IE language (Illyrian, Dacian, Thracian or whatever), and that's its general treatment in all the literature AFAIK.. --Ivan Štambuk 20:51, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
See also: Atharvan, quoting: Attempts have been made to connect the term with Avestan atar- "fire" (not attested in Vedic); but these have been prompted by what is probably a mistaken assumption of the importance of fire in the ancient Indo-Iranian religion." (Boyce, 1982:16) --Ivan Štambuk 20:52, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

The word comes from vrtr = vrt + tr = vrteti + trljati = to spin + to rub = to make fire by rubbing one piece of wood against another. So it has full Serbian etymology. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 11:49, August 28, 2013‎.