User talk:Leasnam

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Hello and welcome to Wiktioary. Thanks for your edits to Old English. Personally I find them very interesting. May I ask for the sources of your work? We have another user here gifted in Old English - User:Widsith - I think you and him could help each other. Below is the standard Welcome notice for Wiktionary. --Jackofclubs 00:03, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


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Please watch your formatting. Several entries you've created have definition lines that begin with an asterisk, and this is never correct. Definition lines should always begin with a hash (#). --EncycloPetey 01:50, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


You're welcome. There is actually some reasonable amount of evidence for this form on Google Books, so it may well exist, but it seems to be dated or non-standard. Equinox 23:56, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


I usually consider things like this to be hinder as a word component in a compound, rather than a prefix with a separate meaning from the word. --EncycloPetey 16:50, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

EncycloPetey, I left you a reply on your discussion page. I didn't know where else it might go Leasnam 16:58, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I saw it, thanks. Here is my question:
Why should a preposition be considered a "prefix" when attached to another word, if a noun is not so considered? If you have a good rationale, I'm eager to hear it. This is a huge issue with Latin, which I regularly edit. I tend to consider the addition of a preposition to the front as a regular feature that doesn't warrant a separate Prefix entry. In other words, in Latin ad + word is not the addition of a prefix, because ad is a Latin preposition. However, an English word formed this way (not from a Latin source word) would be considered to have a prefix ad-, because ad is not a preposition in English. --EncycloPetey 17:01, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Category:Old English affixes[edit]


Please don't add individual affixes to this category. Affixes should go in the specific category they belong to (e.g., Category:Old English suffixes).

RuakhTALK 22:38, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Also, please don't use {{etyl|ang}} in etymologies of Old English words; that's for etymologies of Modern English words that come from Old English words. Thanks again. —RuakhTALK 23:08, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


In modern Dutch the f is gone: niezen or niezen. I'm not quite sure when that happened, I think I saw the f-form in Weiland's dictionary (1811 or so) but I'm not sure. Jcwf 04:25, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Apparently it was still used in 1840 or so and today it is still used in the Dutch dialects we call Westfries (not: the language of Friesland) vid.

Latin dialect templates[edit]

Per WT:RFDO#Dialect etymology templates, the separate dialect templates ({{VL.}}, {{ML.}}, {{LL.}}) will be deleted. Please use the more functional and standard {{etyl}} approach ({{etyl|VL.}}, {{etyl|ML.}}, {{etyl|LL.}}). The template parameters work just the same. Thanks. --Bequw¢τ 15:16, 14 December 2009 (UTC)


Where on earth did you get this etymology from? The origin of docga is one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in etymology: I've seen many theories (though not this one), but I'm pretty sure there is no consensus. Ƿidsiþ 22:54, 30 December 2009 (UTC)


Whenever you add romanised Gothic (or Sanskrit) cognates to the etymology of (Old) English entries, please add {{rfscript|Gothic}} or {{rfscript|Devanagari}}, so that other editors capable of rendering them in the due script, may notice it. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 17:58, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

crier#Old French[edit]

A small thing, instead of {{etyl|la}} you need to put {{etyl|la|fro}} for the correct categorization, otherwise it's listed as an English word derived from Latin. Still, all help appreciated, thanks! Mglovesfun (talk) 18:21, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Linking to unattested terms[edit]

Thanks for all the Etymology work. A note, we never link to unattested terms. For instance instead of *''[[bunni#Frankish|bunni]]'' "that which is bound" one should write *{{term||bunni|that which is bound}}. Let me know if you have questions. --Bequwτ 06:13, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


You've done some great work here, but it needs a bit of cleaning up. The Noun/Verb sections should be nested inside the Etymology sections (you can always have another etymology section for "unknown etymology" if you need). Thanks for your time, you can read WT:ELE for the detailed policy. Conrad.Irwin 13:22, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:About Middle English[edit]

Would seem to me like a good idea. See also Wiktionary:About Old English. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:36, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Me too. Let me kick it around in my head and see if we can't get something of quality put out there :) Leasnam 15:40, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

æ, ä[edit]

Hello. Whenever you use sources lacking proper Danish letters and diacritical signs such as æ, ø and replacing them with Ersatz-symbols such as ä, ö, please render the proper letters. Do not transmit the incorrect symbol as in this edit. Your collaboration on etymologies is appreciated. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 20:38, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry about that. The source I was using actually had it wrong; I should have caught it :\ Leasnam 20:55, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

A few minor things[edit]

Regarding etymologies, please use primary codes like {{de}} and {{nl}} instead of {{deu}} and {{nld}}. Also, when you copy etymologies from one entry to another (which is fine, I do it very often) please remember to change to language codes, from example from fr to it. It's not a major problems, but we end up with Italian words in [[Category:fr:Latin derivations]], which clearly, is to be avoided. PS see my talk page for hadir. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:52, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Appendix:ISO 639-1 Leasnam 21:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Also, please don't use IE for Indo-European as most users won't know what it means. Most of them will think of Internet Explorer. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


Where does guèder come from? It looks very suspect - French verbs don't have -èder at the end --Rising Sun talk? contributions 22:58, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I found it on French Wiktionnaire ( as an obsolete/archaic spelling of guéder Leasnam 23:00, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, I can see a few on Google Books. Looking closely, it seems there was a big spelling change in the 1800s, moving away from è-er to é-er. Good to know --Rising Sun talk? contributions 23:05, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Etymology - formatting[edit]

In this series of edits, you have moved etymology glosses out of the {{term}} template.

An example of previous formatting:

  • {{term|bewrayen||to betray|lang=enm}}

An example of your formatting:

  • {{term|bewrayen|lang=enm}} "to betray, reveal, disclose"

The common practice in English Wiktionary is to enter glosses as parameters of {{term}} instead of moving them out. --Dan Polansky 12:41, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Ok. I have picked up this habit (maybe a bad one) from other users' edits, but I haven't been told hitherto that the practise was necessarily incorrect for the gloss. I kept it because I oftentimes add the earliest cognate with its modern equivalent beside it in this fashion--eg. Old High German ruogen "to accuse" (German rügen "to reprimand"), which looks really odd when both definitions are also in parentheses. But I can stop. Leasnam 14:58, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
(To be honest, I wish you wouldn't do that. By preference, English words should show modern cognates; OHG is better off as a cognate in the Old English entries. Otherwise it just gets overcrowded. Ƿidsiþ 15:05, 11 May 2010 (UTC))
Ok. Makes sense. Leasnam 15:16, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Not only can I stop, but I will remediate them. I don't necessarily like the look, but I'll get over it :) Leasnam 15:06, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. --Dan Polansky 16:16, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
No problem. As far as the OHG with modern words, I think I may still need them in a few instances, especially when forms are unattested, as in the case with Frankish, otherwise I will forlet the practise. Leasnam 16:54, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Babel box[edit]

Hello, would you would put a babel box on your page? See {{Babel}}. --Dan Polansky 08:07, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

More etymology[edit]

Hi again Lesnam. Thanks for the continued work you;re doing with OE. Two minor points, can you try and say "cognate with" rather than "akin to". "Akin to" is very old-fashioned phrasing and not used in modern writing. Secondly, can you try and limit cognates to the same forms – for example on flitan just give the relevant verbs in other languages, not the related nouns or adjectives (see how I edited the page). Ƿidsiþ 05:23, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Sure thing. Leasnam 14:21, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks dude. Ƿidsiþ 14:43, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

sceon#Etymology 2[edit]

What part of speech is this, also a Verb? Conrad.Irwin 14:07, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Correct. Leasnam 15:06, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for fixing it! Conrad.Irwin 15:10, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/2010-04/Voting policy[edit]

Just letting you know of this surprisingly contentious vote. Input from more Wiktionarians such as yourself would be much appreciated. Thanks. – Krun 09:35, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Old English etymologies[edit]

Question: where do you get all the Old English etymologies from? Is there a specific book or books you use? I'm just curious for myself. 21:43, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I use a variety of online sources, the great majority of which bear back to Bosworth & Toller's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, which I find it to be a very trustworthy source. Leasnam 20:11, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
But for the Proto-Germanic origins of Old English? 20:38, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Why not just move it?[edit]

Why not just move the entry you just marked for deletion to one without the dotted g? Razorflame 17:36, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

You can do that? Usually, when this happens, I copy the contents of it, then paste them into a new page. I have opened one up already, but if moving it is easier...let me try that. I have never "moved" anything before. I'm still new. :) Leasnam 17:39, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
O My Gawd. that was awesome! Thank you for sharing that with me. You just saved me tons of time. Leasnam 17:41, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
No problems. Cheers, Razorflame 17:51, 4 June 2010 (UTC)


I think you already know this, but dictionary citations don't qualify for CFI, only actual "uses". Mglovesfun (talk) 22:04, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

ISO templates[edit]

Please do not insert ISO templates (like {{da}}) into etymologies. These templates should never be used unless they are subst'ed. --EncycloPetey 21:49, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

What is the workaround, just type out the language name the long way (i.e. "Danish")? Leasnam 21:58, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
It depends on what you want to do. Usually, a language name is part of the etymology, and is placed in an {{etyl}} template. --EncycloPetey 22:01, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay, but I have been using the code sans etyl template just to render the name as a short-cut method, usually only for cognates. I mean, this isn't a problem. It will take some getting used to, but if I must that's cool. Leasnam 22:03, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
That shouldn't be done. Use the {{etyl}} template for that. --EncycloPetey 22:06, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, okay, so the etyl|da|- is still fine to use Leasnam 22:07, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the hyphen turns off the etymological categorization. --EncycloPetey 22:08, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
K, done :) Leasnam 22:09, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Length of etymologies[edit]

This is not 'policy' or anything, but I sometimes find your etymologies a bit long. Cognates are interesting, sure, but listing a dozen or so IMO is excessive. And FWIW we're trying to cut back on dictionary-style abbreviations like voc. (vocative) neut. (neuter) et al. I'm not accusing you of using them, just letting you know so you replace them with the full English words when you find them. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:23, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

k. I will continue to scale back. And I will spell out any abbreviations as I come across them. Leasnam 15:38, 15 July 2010 (UTC)


I'm assuming this isn't really from Modern English en- +‎ wrap. Do you have more to offer? Mglovesfun (talk) 20:13, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

It comes from Middle English enwrappen, first attest c. 1382, formed as above (en + wrappen) Leasnam 20:20, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
it also means "to envelop", and "to be absorbed or engrossed in (something)" Leasnam 20:22, 22 July 2010 (UTC)


If bisen is attestable as an alternative form of bysen, it should have a full entry. You created it as a redirect, and we don't do redirects for spelling variants. This was probably when you knew less about Wiktionary policy, don't worry about it. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:58, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Ah, it might have happened when I moved the page just recently. The original entry was created as bisen, but bysen is actually the more conservative form. Anyway, I will keep this in mind. Leasnam 16:18, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

moss cognates[edit]

I have slightly edited this change of yours. We don't generally consider Old English words to be "cognate" with modern English when the Old English is etymologically ancestral. --EncycloPetey 23:02, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Old English templates[edit]

I moved your question to User talk:Mglovesfun as it wasn't a bot-related question. Cheers, Mglovesfun (talk) 08:53, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

noun forms[edit]

While there are no clearcut rules, we don't usually use 'noun forms' for languages with few inflection such as English, Middle English and Scots. For languages where there are a lot of inflections like Latin, Russian (etc.) we do. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:56, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

k. use the triple tick (e.g. word) instead? Leasnam 17:58, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
ok, I see infl|en|plural. Leasnam 18:04, 2 August 2010 (UTC)


I've started this template as Middle English conjugation is a bit too complex to have all in {{enm-verb}}. My Middle English isn't all that good, and Wikipedia (surprisingly) has no help at all. I'll need to add some clever isvalidpagename stuff once we have the initial parameters right. Cheers for your help. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:22, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

It looks good. I like how you added the alts. to the 2nd and 3rd singular present. The only things more I would add are the other moods: imperative, subjunctive; and some further elaboration on the past tense. || For the imperative singular we should use the first person singular (this will help when the stem ends in -v); imperative plural can use stem + -eth/-eþ || Subjunctive singular is same as first person singular for all persons (1, 2, 3); plural is same as indicative (all end in -en) || In the simple past it's probably best to show like this: I talkede / thou talkedest / he talkede / we, ye, thei talkeden; for past subjunctive it is: I talkede / thou talkede / he talkede / we, ye, thei talkeden. Leasnam 21:47, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes, take me back to A-Level English lessons in 2001 and 2002, that. These shouldn't be difficult changes to make, just I'm moving house and I don't know when I will have stable Internet again. I have the local library at worst. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:53, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Only entry that uses it right now is serven. Play around with the template; if you make a mistake, no biggie. Just don't do the same thing with a template used on 10 000 pages. I've learnt how to use templates purely by copying from other templates, and guessing/experimenting. Trick is to never try anything if you can't fix it easily. And since only one entry uses this template, that's the case. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:19, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
k. this is kewl. Leasnam 22:30, 13 August 2010 (UTC)


Hi, I've created this to replace the old enm-noun which was simply a copy-and-paste job from {{en-noun}}. The new version allows a gender, up to two plurals and up to two gentives, as well as an uncountable option. Is the word 'genitive' correct in this circumstances? For example goddes is used in Chaucer as the 'genitive' of god. I'm not sure {{Latinx}} is really necessary, as Middle English uses fewer characters of the Latin extended range than Old English does. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:38, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, genitive is the case involving what we today know as possessive and most contstructions involving the proposition of. Since we are having genitive, I would suggest also adding a dative. As in the case with the verbs, very little change happened between the Old English and Middle English noun declension. So, the headword would be the Nominative and Accusative, then there would be a Genitive, and a Dative; for singular and plural. If this is too involved, that is ok. Just a Genitive is fine. Leasnam 19:32, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Hmm not really, that would go in a 'declension table' just like for Old English nouns. The only change I want to make now is to have a default -s plural rather than only having a plural when specified. At some point I'll need to study some Early Middle English, as Chaucer is Late Middle English. I don't know if there's anything other than nominative and genitive in Chaucer, excluding pronouns. Anyway, check enm-noun/new in about 30 minutes when I've finished, hopefully without screwing up what's already there. I'll make the switch over from enm-noun to enm-noun/new whenever I have the Internet at home - as early as Weds. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:20, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Middle English verbs[edit]

Hi, do they all end in -en apart from the few that end in -n (like seyn). Browsing Category:Middle English verbs, some of these seem to be verb forms, not verbs. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:10, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

The thing with Middle English is that there is so much variation, due to date and dialect. There are ME infinitives in the North that do not end in -en (NDialect to sing). In the North the infinitives typically have no ending, in the Midlands they typically end in -en, and in the South it is -e (or no ending, e.g. to do). -en is the one "officially" cited as the ending, and is used in most ME dictionaries. Leasnam 17:39, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
So if I'm reading Chaucer and it says thou lokest, can I safely enter the infinitive as loken, or what? Mglovesfun (talk) 17:41, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Correct. loken (or variant lokien) should be used. Looking at them I see some that should be verb forms (like chave). Others like enforme should be normalised to enformen. Leasnam 17:43, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
That's what I mean. For account, I have some doubts. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:45, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
There was a ME accounten "to reckon, value", more often accompten, but the former does exist. Leasnam 17:49, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh yes, as a verb account should be moved. Leasnam 17:50, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I think they're all done. Leasnam 19:09, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic edits[edit]

I've undone some of the edits you've done to Proto-Germanic entries, so I think I should explain why here.

The subjunctive in -au is not a Gothic innovation. Why would you innovate on a more irregular form? That goes against common sense as well as common linguistic developments. In any case, the earlier outcome of the reconstructed PIE ending -oyh₁m̥ should in first instance have been -ajun. However, there was a sound change that eliminates -j- between vowels unless -i- precedes. So -ajun > -aun.

You added 'biranan' as alternative form of 'beranan', but what is that based on? PIE has -e-, all Germanic languages have -e-, even Gothic has -ai- before r. There is no language with -i- in that word, anywhere.

You changed all the endings for strong verbs into the weak voiceless alternants. While that works fine for West Germanic, North and East Germanic have generalised the voiced alternants (Old Norse z > r in the second person, Norse word-final þ and d merge into ð). Gothic appears not to, but there are a few instances where -uh has been attached to a verb, and the ending -iþ changes to -iduh (so the þ is just underlying d being devoiced word-finally, as is normal in Gothic). D. Ringe argues that unsuffixed presents have the voiced alternants (regular sound change outcome from PIE), and suffixed (j-presents, weak verbs) have the voiceless ones (also regular sound change outcome due to PIE suffixal accent). So that's what I've followed, and it also seems plausible because how else would West Germanic and North/East Germanic have a plausibly common source to generalise one or the other variety?

The source of Gothic -ts is a merger of Germanic -diz and -þiz, both becoming -ts by Gothic devoicing. Other sources of apparently retained -þs are due to analogical restoration within a paradigm: godaz > godz > gots > goþs (þ restored because of other forms with d [ð]).

The source of the additional suffix -a on some Gothic verbs is unknown to Ringe, but he does state that it is clear that it is a Gothic innovation, as no other Germanic language has it, anywhere. And in any case, a Germanic word-final -a would've disappeared altogether in Gothic, just like -an (a-stem accusative singular) has. So even if it did exist in Germanic, it can't be -a. —CodeCat 10:31, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

For the -au subjunctive I refer to Lehmann; it depends on who you're citing, as there are certainly to be variations that will differ. Consistency with one is more important. biranan is usually the correct form of PGmc "bear" as PIE e > PGmc i, and then becomes e again in all daughter languages (Gothic ɛ). It is the same verb class as sitanan (sit), itanan (eat), displaying the ablaut sequence i;a/ē;e (sitanan; sat/sēt-; setan-). This is a good example to use, as it shows how we have maintained the original i in "sit", but have changed to e in "eat"; "bear" as well. I am really alright with the reverts, however, there are a few that I would like to get clarification on if I may. Third person singular -idi; and third person plural in -andi - are we certain that the endings are not -iþi, -anþi (I see -nd only in sind), as the Old English -eþ, -aþ could not have come from -idi, -andi. Also, present participle -andz, OE -ende would require -anþj-. Are these all due to the strong vs weak conjugation mentioned above, or to West Gmc developments? This makes sense though and I should have considered this. My bad. Also, do you differentiate in PGmc between biranan (to bear offspring) vs biranan (to carry)? Leasnam 17:13, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
One more question, the past subjunctives using -ī-, I have also seen these represented as -ē- (procluding i-mutation). In Old English, the past subjunctives do not show i-mutation, as also in Old High German. In OHG these later become -i- and produce i-mutation in Modern German (ich wäre). What are your thoughts? Leasnam 17:23, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
PIE e only becomes PGmc i in three specific cases: 1. In an unstressed (i.e. non-initial) syllable, 2. Before a following i or j (aka umlaut or i-mutation), 3. Before syllable-final n (as in 'bindanan'). 'sitanan' is actually 'sitjanan', and the -j- is responsible for umlauting the e there. compare ON sitja, and also OE sittan where the characteristic West Germanic gemination of the -t- gives the former presence of a -j- away. The Gothic form is a regularisation, to bring it in line with other strong verbs which also have no -j-, same happened in Gothic 'ligan'.
Now about the endings. Through Verner's law, þ became d, s became z etc. when preceded by an unstressed (in PIE) syllable. After that, stress shifted to the first syllable. Since the stress patterns of the different verbs was rather variable, this would've given some verbs with voided consonants in the endings, and some with voiceless ones. Etymologically speaking, the vast majority of strong verbs would have had the voiced ones, and most weak verbs except about half of weak class 1 would've had the voiceless ones; there were exceptions in both groups though. It's not really surprising that people couldn't remember all that and will tend to regularise things by following the patterns they know: strong is voiced, weak is voiceless. So after a while those patterns were generalised. The situation you see in the various daughters of Germanic is the next step of generalisation: either the voiceless ones or the voiced ones were generalised to ALL verbs. West Germanic generalised the voiceless ones, North and East Germanic generalised the voiced ones. So it's just a matter of random chance in this case. And as for the participles, that seems to have been an exception, since there are no known examples with voiceless -þ- in a participle, except for 'kunnanan'. The ending -aþ in OE is likely to be from the original voiceless ending -anþi becoming -āþi because of the Anglo-Frisian nasal-spirant law (the same that turned tanþ- into tōþ-).
'beranan' meaning to bear offspring is really just the sense of 'carry' (a child) being extended to 'giving birth' after having carried a child. Not really a long shot if you ask me.
Past subjunctives in OHG always have -i- as far as I know, and they do in Old Norse and Gothic as well. In MHG and ON they also have umlaut; the apparent absence of umlaut in OHG is just a matter of lacking a fitting spelling system to indicate it. Why Old English lacks umlaut in past subjunctives I'm not sure, but it might just be a matter of generalising non-umlauted stems throughout the entire past. It's not really that surprising, as similar things happened in German as well (modern German only has a few umlauted past subjunctives). —CodeCat 17:50, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok. One of the sources I use shows PGmc biranan (to bear young) from PIE bherə- (id.) and biranan (to carry) from PIE bhere-, bhrē- (to carry). But undoubtedly, one is obviously a derivative of the other (probably bherə-). For the particple, I meant to say present particple. Otherwise, I'm good. Thank you for the explanation. Leasnam 19:19, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
One other thing, I have been using PGmc forms with i as opposed to more traditional e (e.g. biuzán rather than beuzán "beer"). Is this going to be a problem? Could we extend the template to use a linking form separate from the display form, as with other templates (like {{term}} )? Leasnam 19:23, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Was PGmc sitjanan a strong verb even though it shows a j (the j being part of the stem and not an ending)? I had seen both as sitanan and sitjanan, but assumed the latter was the weak form, somehow coalescing in OE sittan by gemminating the t from one and preserving the strong conj. from the other. Interesting. Leasnam 19:35, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
(going back to level 1 cause we're moving rather far to the right here :P ) {{proto}} doesn't support something like that I'm afraid, but I think it's best to link to the form as it would appear in the appendix anyway. So if in doubt you should link to a form with e, though beware of words where e appears from older a through umlaut in North and West Germanic.
I guess the main issue is that people have different conceptions on what Proto-Germanic is, and not everyone knows all the details about the chronology. A form like biuzán for example implies that the stress in on the last syllable. And while it originally was, Proto-Germanic is generally assumed to have the stress on the first syllable in all words. A form like that would be considered 'Pre-Proto-Germanic', which would be an unattested and unreconstructable stage of the language sometime before the Proto-Germanic stage. Proto-Germanic is by definition the latest stage common to all Germanic languages.
As for sitjanan, yes there were a few strong verbs with -j-. Those are called j-presents, and they retained that suffix from PIE. PIE distinguished mostly between basic (underived) and derived verbs, but there were certainly plenty of basic verbs with suffixes of various kinds. It seems that a few of them became class 1 weak verbs some time in the history of Proto-Germanic, but those can be recognised because the past tense lacks the linking vowel -i- that is otherwise common to class 1 weak verbs.
In any case, you should remember that every language has its oddities and irregularities; just because Proto-Germanic is reconstructed doesn't mean it wasn't a living language much like our own. Each language has innovations that set it aside from older stages, but each language also has archaic traits that have been retained as small irregular 'relics'. It is no surprise that it's usually those odd relics that disappear fairly quickly, but that's not an iron law. Just look at the verb 'to be' which kept its anomalous past tense 'were' for over a thousand years. And there is of course the fact that they disappear only in some Germanic languages, or leave traces behind, which allows us to recognise their previous existence. —CodeCat 19:57, 30 August 2010 (UTC)


Please provide proper edit summaries for actions like this in future, so as to prevent things like this from happening. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 20:49, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Oh, yes. Sorry. I was rushing and didn't think. Leasnam 21:00, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
'S OK. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 21:25, 30 August 2010 (UTC)


Hi Leasnam. Firstly, please see User talk:Mglovesfun#Middle English spay. Regarding spayen:

  1. Are you sure that the conjugation line for that Middle English verb is as it should be? I.e., is it both sufficiently accurate and complete?
  2. Is there a more exhaustive conjugation table that can be added to the entry?
  3. Do those quotations you've given support that spelling, or one of its alternative forms (both lack a y)?
  4. Citations:spay lists three Middle English quotations which feature this term; should they be moved to Citations:spayen or elsewhither?
  5. Please provide more accurate referencing information for those quotations (as the ones at Citations:spay have).

Thanks. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 14:37, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Hello. The quotations I have provided at spayen are secondary--they were obtained from a Middle English dictionary's citing of the usage found here [[1]]. I see that they are the selfsame quotes (give or take the spellings). The conj line doesn't look complete. I will add to it. There is a new conj table that can be applied. Let me see if it is ready to use. I think we can merge/move the citations from spay to spayen. Leasnam 15:17, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I've moved the Citations: page. Do you reckon we should substitute or supplement the quotations you added to the entry for spayen with the ones I added to Citations:spay? — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 19:25, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
We could. I have no problem doing that. Leasnam 19:26, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
OK. I think substitution would be better; the quotations seem to come from different manuscripts, so it would be incorrect to try to merge them somehow. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 19:31, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Done. Leasnam 19:29, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Good job. :-)  — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 19:36, 7 September 2010 (UTC)


Um, Category:fr:Germanic derivations is "meant for French borrowings from Germanic languages that cannot be precisely sourced to individual Germanic languages". But in this case the source is very clear. It's already in categories for OE and Proto-Germanic derivations, so this seems unnecessary. Ƿidsiþ 05:54, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Ok. I took liberty from the "generally" part of that statement. I suppose I can use the Proto-category if I need to view them all at once. This is the only purpose for me using the {{etyl|gem-pro}}/[[Category:fr:Germanic derivations]] template (i.e. to see them). Leasnam 13:25, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
In a recent Beer Parlour discussion, there was a pretty strong consensus (among those who commented) to categorize things like Category:Old High German derivations in Category:Germanic derivations, instead of directly in Category:Etymology. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:10, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I can see the reasoning behind this. Regardless if it is a known or unknown Germanic form, there should be a place where all are grouped together. Some may not derive from Proto-Germanic (like those that are borrowed from Latin, Greek, Celtic, etc.) Leasnam 16:13, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Alternative spellings[edit]

We no longer used the header Alternative spellings, only Alternative forms. If you use it, a bot will replace it eventually, but it's better just to not use it at all, ever. Apart from appendices, user pages (etc). Mglovesfun (talk) 16:07, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

k. I changed it besides, as I added a couple more that were certainly more than simple spelling variations. And, Good to see you back! Did u get moved in alright? Leasnam 16:09, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I quite like it here, I'm nearer to town. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:11, 21 September 2010 (UTC)


Just to let you know that Proto-Romance has been merged into [[Category:Vulgar Latin derivations]]. Cheers, Mglovesfun (talk) 20:28, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

awesome! Thanks for the heads-up. Leasnam 20:29, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

tr= in {{term}}[edit]

This should only be used for transliterations. Nadando 22:46, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

(sigh), okay...I do like the flexibility it gives when needing to add a notation at that very there something else that is available for such a use? Leasnam 22:52, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
If not, I would suggest us adding one. I can certainly understand not using the tr= though. Leasnam 22:53, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
That's a good idea- I'll see about adding a note parameter. Nadando 22:57, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you!!!:) Leasnam 23:00, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
gloss= is ok. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:36, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Eel is not attested as IE[edit]

Err, since Indo-European is wholly unattested, what's the point of this edit summary? Mglovesfun (talk) 21:26, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps "attested" is not the correct word. It is not cited, or sourced as being a word of IE derivation. In fact, concensus is that it is an isolated term, uniquely occurring in Germanic. Leasnam 21:29, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually, attest is the right word, in the sense of "certified or held to be valid", but not in it's linguistic sense of "being evidenced". I'm a bit feverish today, so I'm a little slower than normal. Leasnam 21:39, 15 October 2010 (UTC)


This is no longer a formative prefix in English. Your entries should be marked as (obsolete) or similar, or else included only in Middle English or Old English, when the prefix was still in use. The examples you've given for its use all predate Modern English. --EncycloPetey 00:16, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

I placed both the (obsolete) and non-productive qualifiers...oh, but maybe only for the first Etymology. I will add to the other. Leasnam 00:19, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Even though it is officially dead, the prefix does still have some vitality in quirky constructions seen from tim to time like toweek (= this week), tomonth, and toyear. These are non-standard of course, and I am not citing these as reasons why the prefix should remain. Leasnam 00:25, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

ambassade, etc.[edit]

This is an interesting one. A couple of things, Old French doesn't (or does not seem to) use the x apart from plurals. For example, erm 'example' is spelt essample (etc.). Also Old Occitan is the same as Old Provençal, which is {{pro}}. We should have a template for Old Italian, if we don't we should probably make one. PS these aren't criticisms, I'm just discussing things. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:35, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

I thought it odd too about the x, but that's what the source says (1352-1356 ambaxade « mission auprès d'un personnage éminent, d'un souverain » (Jean Le Bel, Chronique, I, 122 ds Chronique de Jean Le Bel, éd. J. Viard et E. Déprez, Paris, [1904-1905]). I wasn't aware of {{pro}} and Old italian (though I have been desiring those for quite some time). I will add them :) Leasnam 18:39, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
yeah, I still don't see one for Old Italian Leasnam 18:43, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the Old French is spelt both ways: ambassade as well as ambaxade. I think the former is better to use, as it is probably the more direct word from which it drew. Leasnam 18:46, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I deleted Template:oit as I created {{etyl:roa-oit}}, where roa stands for Romance and oit for Old Italian. When a template is prefixed with etyl: it means it can only be used in combination with {{etyl}}. Unless we (someone?) considers Old Italian to be a language separate to Latin or Italian, it's not valid as a language, but it can be valid as an etymological category (see Category:Old Northern French derivations, where the same is true). So just use {{etyl|roa-oit}}. Thanks. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:56, 2 November 2010 (UTC)


The point of sort= is that French dictionaries treat e, é, ê, è as the same letter with respect to alphabetical order. If I ever figure out how to do it by bot, I'd do it for every French word. Open a French dictionary if you don't believe me. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:50, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

lol, I believe you! I thought it was a bads Leasnam 00:52, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Reflexives in Old English/Frisian[edit]

I was always under the impression that the Ingvaeonic languages completely lost all reflexive pronouns and adjectives. Did Old English really retain the reflexive possessive as sin? —CodeCat 22:23, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes. It was in dialectal use, and later replaced by the normal forms: his, hiere, hiera, etc. The true reflexive *sik ("oneself") was completely absent from Ingvaeonic, but the possessive form *sīn was present (cf. West Frisian syn "his"). Leasnam 22:27, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Allright, thanks, makes sense. Just keep in mind that West Frisian might have borrowed it from modern Dutch. Would you mind if I put a {{dialectal}} stamp on the Old English word? —CodeCat 22:30, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's perhaps true, however there is the Old Frisian sīn ("his") as well. Not cited as being a loan from another tongue. Leasnam 22:37, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Not at all. It might also need a Usage note stating it was rarely used in prose. Leasnam 22:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I have added this. Leasnam 22:49, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not clear on the details myself, but it's not uncommon for languages that lost a word to re-borrow it from a related language at a later stage. Dutch for example borrowed zich (the reflexive!) and treffen from High German after it had lost its own cognates (which would have been *zij and *drepen today, had they survived). Modern Frisian in particular is known to have been heavily influenced by its neighbours, and has re-gained several features that were missing in Old Frisian. The infinitive in -n being a prominent example. —CodeCat 22:42, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I understand. Leasnam 22:44, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


I'm a bit confused about the various descendants of this term. The genders and declensions don't seem to match up. It is neuter in modern Dutch and German, but masculine in Old English and Old Frisian. In OHG and OS the declensions seem to have been variable, either masculine a- or i-stem, or neuter a-stem. In Gothic it's a feminine i-stem. Can you make any sense of this? —CodeCat 11:18, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I was aware that Old High German was masculine and/or neuter, figuring that the Modern form was a confluence of the twain. This would seem to connect at least part of the word. In Old English the declension was variable, being an i-stem (pl. dǣle) or -a stem due to levelling (dǣlas). Not certain at this point about Old Frisian, but I wager that the same process affecting Old English levelling may have also affected Old Frisian, Old Frisian being attested somewhat later than OE in most respects (i.e. we may have lost the original OFs i-stem forms). The Gothic form is feminine, and this is why I labelled *dailiz as masculine or feminine (g=m, g2=f). I knew there was no way to correctly include Norse. Perhaps we might end up splitting this entry into 3: one for English/Frisian/and OHG teil (m.); one for Dutch and Old English dāl and German Teil (n.); and one for Old Norse. I am certainly open to thoughts from you in this regard, as I know you have substantial knowledge in this field. I was only attempting to consolidate as much as could be to limit endless entries for each variant form. Leasnam 17:11, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a clue on what the gender of Old Dutch deil is? Leasnam 19:34, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Nevermind. Got it. It was masculine (Koebler). Leasnam 20:29, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Back to the Gothic feminine, Koebler seems to link this to the PGmc masculine, as if stating the Gothic was an alteration in gender from the original Masc type. If so, then we should remove the g2=f and leave it as masc. Leasnam 20:42, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
The strange thing about this situation is really that the word theoretically has three genders and there are three distinct stem formations. But they don't match up, and I'm not really sure how to reconcile that with the attested forms. It seems we have dailiz which can be masculine or feminine, dailǭ which is feminine, and dailą which is neuter. I don't think it's that hard to join the second one with the Old Norse form. But how to fit in the other two is harder. And I can't help but wonder why a language would have three words derived from the same stem, for the same thing... —CodeCat 21:09, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you on that. It is superfluous, not to mention other closely related forms like Icelandic deild "division" (<PGmc *dailiþō) and deila (deverbal < PGmc *dailjanan). I would like to keep this as onefold as possible. But how does the current layout strike you? It is satisfactory? Leasnam 21:18, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Maybe they had different meanings, like in modern German? 19:34, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Lemma forms versus article names[edit]

Currently, we have adapted most of the conventions listed in Wiktionary:About Proto-Germanic when it comes to spelling and notation. However, there is one point where there is still a difference and that is in article names. We use ogoneks in the articles themselves, but the articles are still named with final -n. Do you think we should change that, and use ogoneks in the article names? —CodeCat 12:27, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I like the idea of a consistency between the article name and the lemma form. Is there any good reason why we can't or shouldn't use ogoneks in the titles? Leasnam 16:52, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Mostly because the use of ogoneks is rare in literature, only Ringe has ever used them from what I can tell. Most etymologies on Wiktionary link to the final-n form, and other sources usually do the same. So those are likely the forms people will be looking for on Wiktionary. And as for consistency, it's not really that much of an issue if you compare it to the use of macrons in words that weren't originally written that way, like in many old Germanic languages or in Latin. I think if we decide to use ogoneks, we should have redirects from all final-n names just to make sure. —CodeCat 20:14, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. I agree, more people are familiar with the -n form. I personally have never seen them used for PGmc, and they certainly don't bother me. Leasnam 20:22, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Gothic script[edit]

Here is a nice little website I found that can convert what you type into Gothic script. I think it might be useful! :) 09:13, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

𐌰𐌱𐌸𐌳𐌴𐍆𐌲𐌷𐌹𐌾𐌺𐌻𐌼𐌽𐍉𐍀𐌵𐍂𐍃𐍄𐌿𐍈𐍅𐍇𐍅𐌶𐍁𐍊 ‎(abþdēfghijklmnōpqrstuƕwxwz??)

{{I added another class VII verb. Can you please advise on the 2nd person past *bebautt? Should it rather be *bebautat? Leasnam 07:43, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

*bebaust would be the proper form. bt, pt, ft > ft; dt, tt, þt > st; gt, kt, ht > ht. —CodeCat 09:57, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay thanks. That makes sense. It's seen in words like mōtan, witan, etc. It's all becoming clear to me! :) Leasnam 17:31, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, in those words there is actually an older change tt > ss. The st found in the 2nd person past of strong verbs had its t restored by analogy with other verbs. —CodeCat 00:14, 23 December 2010 (UTC)}}

A few PG grammar tips[edit]

Because of the w:Germanic spirant law, the 2nd person singular past of strong verbs often has a consonant change. In Template:termx for example the form is ōht, because the cluster kt is not allowed in Germanic. You can specify this with the past2sg= parameter.

Secondly, there is also the difference between -j- and -ij- in many words. This difference is purely based on the length of the preceding syllable(s) and is completely predictable through a rule called w:Sievers' law. The rule says that a stem is short if it has a short vowel followed by one consonant at most (Template:termx). If it contains a long vowel (Template:termx), diphthong (Template:termx) or two or more consonants after the vowel (Template:termx) then it is long. Short stems get -j-, or -i- in cases where -ji- > -i-. Long stems get -ij-, or -ī- where -iji- > -ī-. This behaviour has actually been attested in some early runic inscriptions, and is also shown in Gothic where short stems have -ji- (regularised from earlier -i-) and long stems have -ei- (-ī-) in some forms (-ij- is consistently spelled -j- however). In the West Germanic the evidence is indirect, though the w:West Germanic gemination which geminated consonants preceding -j- but not -ij-. —CodeCat 10:27, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Okay. Good to know. Yeah, I totally missed the *ōkt, but I will watch out for it in future verbs with -k, -g, etc. Leasnam 15:43, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
As far as the long syllable, I was not aware of that. I had seen both forms (-janan vs. -ijanan), but only took it for the stem addition. Now I know why. Thank you! Leasnam 18:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


Are you sure this existed in Middle English? The OED's first citation is late-16th century. Ƿidsiþ 23:51, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I only have Webster and Century on this. I did a light search for queken but wasn't able to turn up anything as yet. Leasnam 23:52, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

OK, I'm away from my references right now, but if it's not better sourced I may end up just replacing the recent edits with something uncontroversial like "Imitative.", with just a note of similar forms in other Germanic languages. Ƿidsiþ 23:57, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

ok. I'll keep looking too. Leasnam 23:59, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

There is a ME queken, but that is a form of "quick/quicken". According to Koebler, PGmc *kwak- is attested only for Old Norse, Middle Dutch (quacken & queken), and New High German. Bosworth includes English "quack" among these relations, but shows no evidence of origin or borrowing. I believe the previous Etymology had "imitative". Leasnam 00:15, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I have found something concrete. It is here [2]. It shows ME queken v., partly from ME quek, queke, quack, ke(c)k(e), whec- intj. (an interjection which is imitative) and partly from MD quacken "to croak or quack". I trust this source. It is heavily supported by actual attested excerpts from a variety of sources. Leasnam 06:30, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I have been looking into this too. It seems that the OED distinguishes between queck (going back to ME) and quack (a later variant, or new imitative formation). Since they very recently revised these entries, I am inclined to follow them on this. Ƿidsiþ 13:05, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
That's fine. "Immitative" (the original etymology, I believe), and leave the earlier ME form, along with others, for comparison? Somehow, I am inclined to believe that the existence of the earlier forms paved the way for the new variation to take root--i.e. people assuming it was just a variation of the existing word...Leasnam 18:09, 6 January 2011 (UTC)


That's quite interesting, I wasn't aware of that etymology. But it seems very plausible. Do you think it's going too far to post a suppletive athematic verb *beunan, with forms *biumi, *biusi, *biuþi, *beumaz, *beuþ, *biunþi and so on? —CodeCat 00:02, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Not at all. Based on the forms that do remain, including those of Old English, which fully utilised the word, I think it would be acceptable. Since we believe beunan existed, it had to be conjugated at some point. And if so, we could show it. Leasnam 00:05, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
One question remains though--what to do about the past tense? We could show what it would have been according to the verb class, even though it may have used suppletive forms. I just do not know when those suppletive forms would have been adopted, in PGmc or in PIE. Leasnam 00:17, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

A really good source I consult, especially for Dutch etymologies, is the Nederlands etymologisch woordenboek By Jan de Vries, F. De Tollenaere. It's available online (in partial view) here [3] Leasnam 00:22, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

I've created the page and supplied the verbal paradigm for as far as I could figure it out: Template:termx. I have taken the past tense from Template:termx since Old English does the same. This root is part of a suppletive paradigm in many IE languages, so it's not unlikely that it lacked a proper past tense (that is, a PIE perfect) at all. And since we have no more evidence, I think this is the best we can do. —CodeCat 00:35, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
SWEEEET. It looks real good. I would also like to create/incorporate the *sī- forms too (I have been pondering this for some time now). Descendats are OE sēon ("to be"), Dutch zijn and German sein. I have OHG sīn, but I have been unable to find anything referencing PGmc *sī(u)nan (?). Gothic has sijum/sijuþ...Leasnam 00:44, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think any verb like that existed in Proto-Germanic. They are probably back-formations from the present subjunctive forms of Template:termx, just as the Old Norse infinitive vera was taken from a combination of the older vesa and the past plural *vár-. —CodeCat 10:56, 16 December 2010 (UTC)


Please use this template only in etymologies. If you need to link between Proto-Germanic words or from another page to a Proto-Germanic word when it's not an etymological derivation, use {{lx}} or {{termx}} please. :) —CodeCat 21:20, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Appendix:Proto-Germanic *breustam[edit]

Another user added this, but there are multiple issues with the entry from what I can see. I do know that 'breustam' isn't correct in any case. If it were a neuter a-stem it should be 'breustą'. Etymologies seem to differ on the word, some say it's an i-stem, some have o-stem or a-stem, some languages like OHG also have a consonant stem. And the word is represented in all three genders. The fact that OE and ON reflect -eu- while Gothic and southern WG have -u- also leads me to believe these are two distinct words that got mixed up later on. I just can't make sense of all the data. —CodeCat 20:24, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Okay, I'll take a look at it. Leasnam 20:28, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
You are correct. This should be at least two entries: one *breustan (<*breustam; Norse, OE, Ofrs, Osax) and *brustiz (Goth, Norse, OFrs, Osax, OHG). Leasnam 20:33, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Wright's OHG primer [4] says this about feminine consonant stems in OHG: buoch, book, was mostly neut. in the sg.,as gen. buoches, dat. buoche; in the pl. it was fem. and declined like naht. burg, borough, city, and brust, breast, were sometimes declined like naht, and sometimes like anst. So it seems that most likely the stem brust- was a feminine consonant stem Template:termx. It fits the pattern of other nouns that we know for sure were feminine consonant stems, in that they are both neuter and feminine in OHG and are sometimes declined as i-stems. A feminine consonant stem would also agree with the Gothic form as far as I can tell. So that solves at least one half of the puzzle. —CodeCat 20:34, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
And it's also possible that since breasts generally occur in pairs, that the PG plural *brustiz became more common and was reanalysed as a new singular. —CodeCat 20:36, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
k. I have moved the page to *breustan and will proceed to clear out the forms which do not belong. we can then proceed to creating a page *brustiz for the lave. Leasnam 20:38, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Order of citations.[edit]

Hi Leasnam,

This edit was exactly backward: citations should appear in chronological order, not reverse-chronological order.

RuakhTALK 16:22, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Oh, my bad. I thought most recent was nearer the top, closer to the definition. ok. Leasnam 16:33, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

PG prefixes, prepositions and adverbs[edit]

One thing that has always puzzled me is how so many Gothic adverbs and prepositions end with -a. The only sources for unstressed -a in Gothic that I know of are PG -ō and -ai. But the PIE etymologies of most of these words have final -o, which would imply that the PG forms had -a already. Since word-final -a was lost in all attested daughters this clearly can't be true, I thought. But just now it dawned on me... since these words were commonly used as prefixes, they would have been combined with the next word, and therefore the -a would no longer have been final. And in that case, after -a had been lost, the later languages would have been faced with prefixed forms with -a and stand-alone forms without it. It seems reasonable that many cases of lost final -a could have been restored by analogy in that case. What do you think, does that seem plausible? —CodeCat 16:25, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

That seems very plausible to me. What prefixes are affected ( *missa- ?) Leasnam 16:43, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Any of those that end in -a in any of the Germanic languages, more or less. That includes Gothic afta, aftana, aftra, ana, anda, faura, hindana, inna, innana, missa, waila, wiþra, ufta, unþa. I'm not quite sure on the PIE etymology of each one, though. —CodeCat 17:12, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay I see what you mean. Yes, I think you are right above. I can find those PIE's if you need. Leasnam 17:18, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


σϕαλλω[5] Fallo is usually translated as "mistake" but the right translation is "to fall in an error" (maybe on english this last sentence has not meaning)and it inherited from greek also the other meanings "bring down, destroy, cause to stumble,to fall" ,although the main meanings of Fallo are mistake deceive and so on, it also can mean "bring down, destroy, cause to stumble,to fall"....from Old English feallan (“to fall, fail, decay, die, attack”),...maybe it is only a randomness...or maybe not.--LupusInFabula 17:15, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I believe the words Eng fall and Latin fallo show merely a coincidental similarity, and no true link between the two words exists. They derive from separate PIE roots. The Eng and Grk words are PIE cognates, however. Leasnam 17:33, 1 February 2011 (UTC)


You are now an Admin. —Stephen (Talk) 00:48, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Congratulations! —CodeCat 00:53, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Thank you! Leasnam 15:23, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Hi there. I forgot to send you this (my standard) message to new sysops. You have already done the first thing.

Welcome to sysophood. Please add an entry at Wiktionary:Administrators.

May I ask that you always have a second session open on Recent Changes whenever you are editing Wiktionary. You may mark good edits as "patrolled", revert vandalism and stupidity by either deleting new entries or by using the "rollback" function. You may block vandals at your own discretion.

Note: As there are times when no sysop is active, it would be useful if you start your patrolling from the time you last left the system. Cheers. SemperBlotto 15:39, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

The Germanic words for 'sun'[edit]

I noticed you added two words, one for North Germanic and one for Old English and Gothic. They only seem to differ in gender, though. So I was thinking and wondered, since this is a common word, and the Indo-European ancestor was neuter, isn't it possible that the Germanic word itself was a neuter consonant stem Template:termx? It might have become feminine in Old Norse because of Template:termx.

And I've always wondered why Germanic had so few consonant stems left, especially neuter ones. But it makes sense if you think about it... most of those would have become identical with neuter a-stems once those lost their nominative ending -ą. So, that probably means that Germanic might have had a lot more neuter consonant stems than history shows. 'sun' could just be one of them. —CodeCat 18:51, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I came to the same conclusion regarding the Old Norse feminine being attracted by *sunnōn, but all of the sources (except one) I've seen list the PG form as feminine (*sōwulō/*sōwilō). Otherwise, I would have put them on the same entry, but I couldn't explain the Gothic neuter, so I concluded that must have been 2 forms. Leasnam 18:54, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Gothic writes long o as au, and long e as ai, when another vowel follows it. You can see the same in saian, waian and such. I think there are actually just two forms here, *sō(wu)l and *sō(w)il, that must have existed side by side. The first is what led to OE and ON sol, the latter is what gave Gothic sauil and Old English sigel. You have to remember that g in OE often represents /j/, so sigel/segel is probably pronounced sijl or sejl. And I think the e might be long, so then it could be simply the old long o after umlaut had taken place: sōil > sēil > sējil.
Perhaps they even formed a single paradigm. If the words for 'fire' and 'water' are any indication, the alternation of the consonant may have been levelled out but the ablaut was not. In that case, the nominative would have been *sō(wu)l but the other forms would have been sō(w)il. I think that reconstruction is the pretty likely, given the different forms in the later languages. What do you think? —CodeCat 19:14, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking about OE sigel too, that it was from an earlier *sīegil < sauwil/sowil, but I saw that someone had postulated a PG *suglaz--but of course this may have been backtracking. Your way above makes the most sense though. Still one other form remains--OE swegl ("sun, sky"). Leasnam 19:18, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
The Indo-European stems were *sóh₂wl̥ and *sh₂uén, and the Germanic descendants of those forms would have been *sōwul and *swen/swel. So I think Old English swegl has to come from the second one, there isn't really any other way. But how that fits in with the rest is a mystery to me. —CodeCat 19:34, 2 February 2011 (UTC)


This was initially speedy-deleted by SemperBlotto. You have now wikified it, does that mean you're pretty confident it's attestable per CFI? Mglovesfun (talk) 16:59, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I found three attests on Google Books: one from 2001, and two from 2010. Two others (one from 2001 and another from 2008) show no preview. Leasnam 17:19, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Couldn't tell what the month s in 2010 were though...Leasnam 17:20, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Well since you're an admin now, I'll let you deal with it [wink]. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:25, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
K ;) Leasnam 17:28, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Etymology of paltry[edit]

You seem to be interested in Germanic etymology. Would you per chance feel like entering the etymology of paltry? --Dan Polansky 12:35, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Sure! Leasnam 14:13, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Wow, cool! --Dan Polansky 14:41, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Also "rot" and "rotten" would benefit from Germanic etymology, in case you would be interested in adding it. --Dan Polansky 15:35, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! Would you expand the etymology of "foul"? --Dan Polansky 15:22, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


Verb form with no corresponding verb. Any input? Mglovesfun (talk) 18:42, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

The entry should probably show 2 definitions, as a verb form (past participle of forþgewīten ("to go forth, pass, proceed, go by; depart, die"), and as an adjective meaning ("departed"), as in forþgewiten tīd ("past tense"), an OE grammatical term. Leasnam 19:09, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


Hi, could you becreate the page belick, I bebeg thee. You seem to belike becreating verbs besuffixed by be-. I have not the skill berequired to betackle such a thing, bethanks. --We9fud 16:21, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

lol, sure Leasnam 16:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


What color is "party"? Nadando 21:43, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Hmm, I don't believe it's a colour per se. to be party-coloured is to be variegated/coloured with different colours. Leasnam 21:46, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh. Could you add that sense to party? Nadando 21:47, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Sure thing. Leasnam 21:49, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Etymology of stifle[edit]

Would you be interested in adding Germanic etymology to "stifle", "choke", "throttle", and "smother"? (Maybe not all of the listed words have a Germanic etymology.) These words seem rather common and thus worth prioritizing: I have searched for them in Google Ngram, adding "mammoth" to calibrate them against something else. --Dan Polansky 12:12, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

No problem Leasnam 16:39, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

קרעפל etymology[edit]

Hi. Could I trouble you, please, to add the etymology of קרעפלעך‎/קרעפלאך (or its singular)?​—msh210 (talk) 06:14, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Please see now. Leasnam 07:33, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you!​—msh210 (talk) 15:52, 7 March 2011 (UTC)


Hi, Leasnam. A while ago you modified the etymology of lead (lɛd, the element), arguing that plumbum had nothing to do. However, your version significantly departs from that of the OED. Care to mention your source? Cheers, Λεξικόφιλος

Hello. I used Database Query to Germanic Etymology and A Handbook of Germanic Etymology by Vladimir Orel. The relationship to Celtic is only a theory, but is worth noting. I often show alternative etymologies where credible sources disagree. Leasnam 05:30, 9 March 2011 (UTC)


Would you please expand the ety in supple? Would be very nice. Here is ngram of supple vs mammoth, so supple seems fairly common. --Dan Polansky 15:35, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

There is another way of determining the frequency: it can be gleaned from Special:WhatLinksHere/supple: supple is in these lists:

  • Wiktionary:Frequency lists/Project Gutenberg 10001-20000
  • Wiktionary:Frequency lists/PG/2005/10/1-10000
  • Wiktionary:Frequency lists/PG/2005/10/8001-9000
  • Wiktionary:Frequency lists/TV/2006/22001-24000

--Dan Polansky

My bad, supple does not have a Germanic etymology. I should pay more attention to what I am doing. --Dan Polansky 17:01, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

It's okay. Although I specialise in Germanic etymologies, I am not solely limited to them. I can still add it :). Leasnam 13:48, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Cool, thank you :). --Dan Polansky 14:05, 15 March 2011 (UTC)


"Hunt" has a poor etymology in WT, is Germanic, and is in Wiktionary:Frequency_lists/TV/2006/2001-3000, so really common. Any interest in exapnding it? (Of course, feel free to reject any of the numerous requests from me. Goes without saying, I know. ) --Dan Polansky 09:02, 16 March 2011 (UTC)


Hi Leasnam. It's completely unnecessary to include "of Germanic origin" and the like if you are already including a specific Germanic source language. I used to use "Germanic" in the few cases where the source language was not known. But if you are already putting templates for Frankish and (especially) Proto-Germanic, then the "Germanic" template is totally redundant. Ƿidsiþ 07:50, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Okay. I can abandon the practise (as I think I do it unconsciously now), even though Old Frankish is a likely candidate, for a few words it is still a best guess (between Frankish/Gothic/Old Dutch/OHG). Leasnam 16:22, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
or perhaps another option could be "of Proto-Germanic origin, probably from Old Frankish ..." ? but in any event, I agree, that if Proto-Germanic is present, then it is redundant. I'll stop and revert where I see it. Leasnam 16:27, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


I'm not sure that this is a prefix, but rather heafod ‎(head) used as the first part of some compound words. Thoughts? --Mglovesfun (talk) 14:42, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

A lot of OE prefixes/suffixes have their origin as combining forms taken from other parts of speech, like nouns in this case (compare -hād ‎(-hood) and -lāc ‎(-lock), which are also stand-alone words). In sense 1 it can be thought of as a compound; yet in sense 2 in takes on opaque meanings. It is here where it is more like a prefix, especially in words like hēafodbotl ‎(ancestral seat), hēafodcwide ‎(important saying), where there is no apparent reference to a "head". But what do we consider prefixes? Affixes which have no function when they stand alone? Leasnam 14:52, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I think a noun that can't stand alone would be an affix, yes. An example would be the development of Template:termx. —CodeCat 14:59, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, yet hād ‎(condition, state) is a selfstanding word in OE, as is lāc ‎(action, play). Yet we consider these affixes, true? Leasnam 15:03, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
It's kind of a grey area really... haiduz was already used a lot for compounding in Germanic, while "head" wasn't until Old English. —CodeCat 15:48, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, no sure way to tell. --Mglovesfun (talk) 15:52, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, there is the frequency with which new compounds are formed with it. If heafod were present in only a few words, with clear reference to a head, then maybe it shouldn't be qualified as a prefix; however, we see it employed manifold times; which, at least to my reasoning, indicates to me that in the minds of its speakers it was treated (behaved itself) as a prefix. Hence the old adage: if it quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, is it therefore a duck? Leasnam 17:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm contemplating starting a Help:Affixes or perhaps WT:Affixes. FWIW I think the 'relating' to the head sense isn't a prefix while the other one may be. Compare headache, is this ache prefixed with head- or head + ache? Mglovesfun (talk) 11:42, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
If headache meant "the most important/chief ache", then I'd say it was a prefix; but in its current meaning, I would say it was a compound. Leasnam 04:39, 13 June 2011 (UTC)


Just so you know, this template now calls on {{isValidPageName}} to make links. {{ang-decl-noun/doc}} ought to explain what this means, if it doesn't, please let me know and I will try and explain it better. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:41, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Protection of an entry?[edit]

I was curious if there is a way to protect a definition entry. I have just updated the 'santorum' definition. This is a very contentious article currently in Wikipedia, and is potentially subject to vandalism or POV pushing. Not sure how to go about it here. Thanks in advance for any assistance. -- Avanu 16:25, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Protection can be placed on a page against new and unregistered users, or all non-Admin users. I take it that you would prefer the first level of protection? Leasnam 04:27, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not certain. I haven't seen any of the drama follow from over at Wikipedia yet. It may not in fact be necessary. But I was nervous it might. -- Avanu 04:29, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Let's see if we encounter any. If we do, we can protect it. Leasnam 04:31, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Hi Avanu and Leasnam. Avanu, because of the lack of sourcing for your new definition, I have changed the page back to how it was before, except with the improvements made in the meantime unrelated to the new definition. Gacurr 07:31, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
This is an example of what I mean. Gacurr knows there is a source, I just don't know how to cite things here in Wiktionary. The example sentence I gave in the entry is a direct quotation from a source. -- Avanu 13:34, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I am not aware of the existence of a source for the definition you have provided. Your example sentence is different from your new sense. Please place your sourcing on the talk page, where it has been requested. Gacurr 15:52, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Gacurr, Having participated extensively in the Santorum Talk page on Wikipedia (Talk:Santorum_(neologism)#Remove_original_research_from_article), you know exactly what the source is that I'm referring to, it is [67] in the article itself. I understand that a cite isn't how its done here, so rather than being tenditious about this, if you know how to add the source, feel free. -- Avanu 16:02, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Please read my comment again. Your example sentence is different from your new sense. Gacurr 16:13, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/2011-04/Derivations categories[edit]

This vote ends today, and hasn't really received much attention. Since you often work on etymologies, I thought you might be interested. —CodeCat 19:06, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Does "today" end at GMT? Leasnam 19:50, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
The time on the vote says so, yes. —CodeCat 20:21, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Dinkj (Low German descendant)[edit]

On "thingan" you wrote "Dinkj" as a descendant of Old Saxon thing. I'm trying to bring order and system into the Low German forms on wiktionary within the next two months. So could you offer a source, so we can assign it to a dialect? Gracious.Dakhart 20:12, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

That comes from a Mennonite dictionary of Plautdietsch by Herman Rempel. Leasnam 22:35, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

winsome and winning#Adjective sense 3[edit]

I have occasionally wondered whether the "attractive" sense of "winning" is "really" solely a sense evolution from win. In looking at winsome today, I finally noticed an alternative path to that sense. Does the OED or any other source provide any support for such an influence? DCDuring TALK 22:54, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

That is a very interesting observation, especially in light of other similar words like winly. I don't know of any reference which might suggest an influence, but it is certainly not outside the realm of possibility. You've piqued my curiosity now...will let you know if I find something. Leasnam 00:18, 14 July 2011 (UTC)


Hi Leasnam,

A question about the Old Dutch reconstruction: *egithassa. Both modern Dutch and modern Frisian have hagedis, retaining(?) the original a or did Dutch go back to 'a' afterwards? Jcwf 20:23, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Hello! The form haghetisse shows up in Middle Dutch, alongside of eghedisse, and may be an alteration of the latter. I believe I read somewhere that the form(s) with ha- arose due to influence from the word haghe (Modern haag) "hedge", but I cannot for the life of me remember where I read this. Leasnam 20:24, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Quite the same topic[edit]

Under stifle you gave Low German "stipel" in the etymology. May I take it all your L.G. entries come from the Plautdietsch dictionary?Dakhart 17:44, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

No, not necessarily. In fact, I do not use the Plautdietsch dictionary all that much. Usually, my LG terms are second hand (i.e. quoted or cited from other dictionaries/works) Leasnam 20:36, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Robert Louis Stevenson[edit]

Just curious: what's the nature of your ancestral relationship to RLS? I read Treasure Island as a kid and Jekyll & Hyde and Kidnapped more recently. You've reminded me I'll have to find some more! Equinox 22:59, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

You know, I am not absolutely sure. My grandmother, I'm sure, knew, but she has since departed. According to my father, my Grandmother's mother's maiden name was Stevenson, and she was a descendant. Beyond that I cannot say. I do not even know what her name was. :| Leasnam 23:07, 22 November 2011 (UTC)


Do you know anything about the etymology of Old French bran/branc/brant? It looks a lot like a Germanic borrowing, which I consider to be one of your specialties. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:49, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Mglovesfun! Yes, branc is an alteration of the more "proper" brant ("sword, sword-blade"), from OHG (i.e. Frankish) brant ("fire-brand, burning iron, sword"), cf. ON brandr ("firebrand, flaming sword"). Would you like me to add a full etymology? Leasnam 23:43, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Wiktionary talk:About Proto-Germanic[edit]

I started a discussion there, please comment? —CodeCat 20:44, 29 January 2012 (UTC)


What is that the ancestor of? o.o —CodeCat 21:01, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Per some sources ( and Bosworth & Toller (, it's the forerunner of ON metja, at least in part?. I'm actually not quite sure what to make of it. Leasnam 21:07, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Why can metja not descend from *matjanan? —CodeCat 21:08, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
My bad, metja can descend from *matjanan. *Matitjanan existed to supply ON *metta, which produced the derivative mettr "sated, full". So it is a relative. Leasnam 21:17, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
It's possible... but a little shaky to be honest. —CodeCat 21:23, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I believe OE mettian(--the more original form?)/metian is also amongst the descendants. Anywho, I leave to your discretion :) Leasnam 21:25, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
As you probably already know, that -itjan- is a suffix, similar to -atjan- (> OE -ettan) Leasnam 21:27, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I didn't know that actually... —CodeCat 21:29, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Its use seems very similar to the modern English -ate, which oddly enough has a similar form. Hence, to "food-ate"/"meat-ate" Leasnam 21:32, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Do you have other examples of -itjan? In Old English, -itjan and -atjan would have both become -ettan so that's not much use... —CodeCat 21:54, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Offhand I do not. It is however found in Gothic leikitjan and OHG lîhhizzen. There is a third form of it as well: *-utjan-. I will look around for it. It's supposedly analogous/cognate with Greek -izein/-azein (English -ise/-ize) Leasnam 22:06, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Found one: Template:termx, Template:termx Leasnam 22:11, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh that's interesting, I never realised Germanic had a cognate to that Greek suffix! The phonetics do match as far as I can tell, -tj- would go back to -dj-, and that becomes -z- in Greek if I'm not mistaken (just like in Template:termx > Ζεύς ‎(Zeús)) —CodeCat 23:04, 2 February 2012 (UTC)


hi Leasnam, can you block this account please. I believe it is being used for relentless vandalism --Itkilledthecat (talk) 21:14, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Done. Leasnam (talk) 21:40, 24 February 2012 (UTC)


I'm not quite sure about this form, as Grimm's law normally prohibits the sequence -ks-, just as it prohibits -kt-. As a rule, in a sequence of two or more obstruents, the last one is not affected by Grimm's law but the others are. So -sk- would have remained as such. However, if you look at the situation before Grimm, then -ksk- presupposes -gsk-. And that's difficult to reconcile, because the -g- would have been devoiced next to -s- already before Grimm operated, giving -ksk- already before Grimm. Grimm would have then turned it into -hsk- (this is why Template:termx gave Template:termx as a derived noun, the pre-Grimm sequence -gʰt- was devoiced to -kt-, then changed to -ht- by Grimm). In other words, the same rule that turns voiced and voiceless plosives into voiceless fricatives before -t- (the Germanic spirant law) would also apply when -s- follows rather than -t-! —CodeCat 23:25, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

ok, it has an alternate: *maiskō. Leasnam (talk) 23:36, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
ok, all fixed. I had just assumed the -ska- was a suffix appended to the base, which would have been *maik-, resembling the construction of *flaht-skō ("flask") Leasnam (talk) 23:50, 19 March 2012 (UTC)


In expanding some unnecessary abbreviations ("ppl.", "refl."), I noticed that the headword line of this entry gives its participles as wharvinge and warfte, but its definitions give its participles as hwerefinde and wharrfedd... do you know which are right? - -sche (discuss) 19:22, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

As this is Middle English, and a wide berth of variation in forms exists for such, I would say that the forms indicated as wharvinge and warfte are among the more "normalised", although you could find just about any other possible byforms for these. Leasnam (talk) 14:58, 2 April 2012 (UTC)


Hi Leasnam. I see no justification for splitting this into two etymologies, what's your source? The etymologies as currently given make no sense to me at all! The OED, Ayto's Dictionary of Word Origins, Chamber's....basically every source I can find agrees that this is all the same word. Ƿidsiþ 15:40, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

No contest. I will undo. I agree; there is little support for ease +‎ -y, although I found one obscure source (can't even remember it now it's been so long) Leasnam (talk) 15:55, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


Hi, the TLFi isn't too clear on when gâcher replaced gascher. It means 1844 for gâchée as a noun. So I tried tête] which gives 1686 as the first attestation for tête instead of teste. This specifically related to your edit saying that gâcher is from Middle French gâcher, which it isn't as circumflexes weren't used until after that, and probably not widespread use before 1800. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:59, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

thank you! Leasnam (talk) 13:32, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
So, I decided to quickly test my statement. This looks like a legitimate 1556 usage of fâcher, which I previously said didn't exist yet. I've checked the Wikipedia page w:fr:Accent circonflexe en français and it says the first record usage of circumflexes in French is 1531, but not in these sort of situations. The TLFi also isn't particularly helpful on the matter. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC)


I wonder where this word came from and whether there are other words with a similar formation. But I wonder even more about the cluster -þg-. One of the consonants is voiceless and the other is voiced, so I imagine that there would have been some kind of voicing assimilation. The result was apparently not -þk- because that doesn't explain the voicing in Old English, so I am guessing it was -dg- instead. What do you think? —CodeCat 15:50, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

I just moved the page to the weak form. My mistake. The -gô is a suffix, found in many Old English words (stagga, wicga, docga) used to identify pet-names for cetain animals. Leasnam (talk) 15:52, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I believe the -gô suffix was also used to a lesser extent in Old Norse, where it appears in the cognate to stagga...but I haven't researched thoroughly. Leasnam (talk) 15:53, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I have seen the stem also as frud-, fraud- as well. I defer to you on this though, as you are more the expert than I :) Leasnam (talk) 15:58, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I noticed but I am still curious. Are there any other examples of -dg- turning into -gg-? I know that -bd- turned into -dd- in English and Dutch had, and I even recall one part of the movie 'Men in Black' where someone pronounces Edgar as Eggar, so this change does seem plausible and natural. But it was rare in Germanic for two voiced consonants to come together like that, because in most cases the spirant law intervened and made them both voiceless, or some consonants were dropped out (like in *waskaną < *watskaną). In the case for had and the other class 3 weak verbs, there was a laryngeal between the two consonants which presumably remained in vowel form at least until after Grimm's law took effect (like Ringe says). I wonder if that could have happened to this suffix as well, but it's hard to tell with only Old English words. Do you know of any words in any other Germanic languages that share this formation? —CodeCat 16:02, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Just read your answer... þ alternating with d is because of Verner's law and it's very common as you probably know by now. Do you know what the Old Norse cognate is? And also... can we be sure it wasn't borrowed from Old English? —CodeCat 16:02, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Other PGmc uses of this suffix are to be found in *sneg-gô (> Ger Schnecke "snail") < PGmc *sneg-, and it's close relative *snēg-gô ("gnat") from the same PIE root (*snek-). It seems probable that -gô is a suffix due to other forms, like PGmc *sneg-laz (> Eng snail, ON snigill, etc.). The Old Norse word was steggi (< *staggijô) which uses the alt form of *-gô, -gijô. I am searching further. Leasnam (talk) 16:10, 8 June 2012 (UTC)


I have my doubts about whether this word is really Proto-Germanic in origin. Firstly there is the umlaut which would have turned e into i, so the two possible forms would have been either *dirkinōnan or *darkinōnan. The OHG word must descend from the second, but Middle English evidently reflects the first. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. —CodeCat 19:02, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Okay. I wanted to attempt to place all the descendants under the same entry, but if you think it needs to be split into separate *dirkinōnan and *darkinōnan entries I can do that. Just let me know. I definitely do see your point. Leasnam (talk) 15:11, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I am actually wondering if there is enough evidence to say that these terms existed in Proto-Germanic. The English term is attested relatively late, the Old English term is usually deorcian. And because the suffix itself was still productive in OE and OHG, it's quite likely that the verbs are new formations rather than inherited. —CodeCat 15:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it could go either way. We simply do not know. I leave it at your discretion, as you are the PG Guru :) Leasnam (talk) 15:20, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
The OHG tarchanjan though, looks like an early form, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything... Leasnam (talk) 15:21, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Koebler's dictionary doesn't list that form but it does list tarkenen as a class 1 weak verb. So perhaps tarchanjan is really a mistake and is meant to be a theoretical ancestor of that OHG word. —CodeCat 15:30, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
tarchanjan came from Bosworth & Toller. Leasnam (talk) 16:32, 18 June 2012 (UTC)


I'm wondering about this term. It's known that nw > nn in Germanic, based on the examples that Ringe gives (such as *þunnuz). So that would imply that this word can't have had nw in it, there must have been an intervening vowel. But which vowel? There are only three possibilities:

  • i < PIE e - This would account for the i-mutation in the root, but there are no attestations of that vowel aside from Old Frisian.
  • a < PIE o - This reflects the vowel in Old Saxon and OHG, but I'm not sure about OE. On the other hand, this vowel would allow for the lack of i-mutation seen in some of the languages.
  • u - This one seems unlikely based on comparison with Template:termx, where OS and OHG kept the -u- without shifting it to -a-.

Old Norse (and I believe Old English) regularly lost unstressed medial syllables, so it's not surprising there is no trace of it here either. Both -i- and -a- have some evidence going for them but nothing particularly conclusive. The appearance of i-mutation in only some of the descendants is particularly puzzling. So there seem to be several reconstructable forms: *siniwō, *sinawō, *senawō. Which of them is/are correct, I wonder? —CodeCat 11:42, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Funny you should mention this, as I was battling the same in my mind. Initially I had it as *seniwō and *senawō. Naturally, *seniwō would be mutated to *siniwō, leaving the two endly forms *siniwō and senawō, which explains the variations inthe descendant forms. I was unsure about the medial -i- in *siniwō, whether it had collapsed or not. Should this be the entry form? Should it be split into two entries?Leasnam (talk) 14:37, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm wondering now if there wasn't some kind of grammatical alternation between *senaw- and *siniw-. There is a similar alternation in Template:termx, but of course that is a z-stem whereas this is an ō-stem. I don't know what kind of etymological basis there is for such an alternation in an ō-stem; were there athematic ō-stems in PIE? —CodeCat 14:40, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
I do not know. But I do understand what you are referring to. It seems very plausible that it may have, bc rarely does one encounter a single sinew rather sinews, so the sing and plur forms may have become confused. Also, I wonder if the -a- in OHG was not added, like foraha from forha (fir), just to add a syllable (?). There are at least a half dozen ur-forms out there for this word, so we are not the only ones facing this dilema, but what you suggest seems to be the best solution to the problem I've seen thus far. Leasnam (talk) 14:50, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
It may have been added yes, but in this case it must have been original because of the problem with nw > nn. But I don't think it would have been a confusion of singular and plural. Let me explain a bit about the alternations found in Germanic nouns.
  • The first is the athematic vowel-and-accent alternation found in most original PIE athematic nouns to some degree. If we assume that all a-stems and some of the ō-stems were thematic, it follows that all the others were athematic, including i-, u-, n-, z-, r- and other consonant stems. ō-stems are divided: some where thematic, others were athematic, but the two types merged in Germanic. Thematic nouns always have fixed accent placement and have no ablaut vowel alternations. Athematic nouns alternate between strong cases (nominative, accusative, vocative) and weak cases (the others): the accent shifts rightward in the weak cases, and so does the e-grade syllable usually. The accent shift naturally causes Verner alternation in those nouns, and the shift in the ablaut grade also causes vowel alternations. However, there are almost no examples (that I know of) of Germanic nouns in which the root syllable alternates in this way, the alternation was usually levelled out in favour of the weak-case stem, such as in Template:termx and all the other PIE nouns in -tis and -tus. On the other hand, alternations in the endings tended to be preserved, and this is the alternation that can be seen quite clearly in the z-, r- and n-stems. Alternations in the endings between a and i (from PIE o and e) in turn tended to lead to secondary alternations in the root syllable through i-mutation (e.g. Template:termx) and those were preserved.
  • The second alternation is much rarer, and appears mostly in neuter nouns between the singular and plural. This alternation is caused by the fact that many (if not all) neuter nouns originally had no true plural, but instead formed 'collective' nouns, which were actually distinct nouns and behaved grammatically as singular despite being plural in meaning. The collectives had a different placement of the accent compared to the base noun, so this in turn caused Verner alternation between the singular and plural. This alternation is preserved in Germanic in several nouns such as Template:termx, Template:termx, Template:termx and perhaps Template:termx.
It is doubtful that *sinwō was of the second type, as it is not a neuter, and as far as I know vowel alternation is not a characteristic of the second type of alternation. It could be a neuter plural that was converted into an ō-stem singular (there are other nouns like that in Germanic, and also some outside Germanic) but that would not explain how the accent alternation was preserved if the original singular was lost. So that leaves the first alternation type and this implies that the PIE ancestor of *sinwō was athematic. The most likely direct ancestor of the noun was something nom. sg. *senoweh₂ ~ gen. sg. *seneweh₂(e)s. However, that alternation is unlikely to be a direct continuation of a PIE pattern because PIE nouns generally didn't ablaut in that way (in particular, multiple e-grades are unusual, although not unheard of). It seems almost as if in Germanic times, ō-stem endings have been pasted straight onto to an older, shorter noun with the alternation *senow- ~ *s(e)new-. This word is turning out to be quite a puzzle... @.@ —CodeCat 16:41, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Shall I move this to *siniwō/senawō; split into two (see forecoming); or keep as is? Leasnam (talk) 19:17, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I think *senawō might be better as there are more descendants with e. Old English and Old Frisian seem to have a regular sound change to change e to i before a single nasal, like niman, so they may count for e as well. —CodeCat 19:26, 5 July 2012 (UTC)


Weak class 4? Where did that come from? Is there any evidence preventing this from being reconstructed as class 1 *graljanan? —CodeCat 15:24, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Process of elimination (using available templates we have). The lemma is *grell- (> *grellaz "angry"). I have never seen anything which would lead me to think it would ever be *gralj-. Leasnam (talk) 14:33, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Semantics are also important. Class 4 weak verbs are inchoative, meaning they denote becoming or changing into a state of being, and therefore are intransitive and have no passive forms or a past participle. So, if this is indeed a class 4 verb, it should have those characteristics, and it doesn't seem like it does. What class did it belong to in the descendants? I know that German tended to convert class 4 verbs to class 3, while the other West Germanic languages turned them into class 2 (perhaps via class 3, but class 3 itself was lost to class 2). As for the relationship between this verb and *grellaz, I don't know, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to say that originally a strong verb *grellanan existed from which a weak causative *graljanan or *grallijanan was formed, and that the two merged again in West Germanic under the influence of i-mutation and gemination. In fact, out of the two senses you listed, the second seems like a causative of the first (to anger someone = to get them to shout at you). The adjective *grellaz could perhaps be an old participle (< *gʰrel-nos?) formed directly to the verb root, for which there are countless other examples both inside and outside Germanic. —CodeCat 17:22, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I Old English, grillan is a weak 1a verb. But perusing through the inventory of weak verbs we have for PGmc, I saw that all of them have -janan. The PGmc form really only indicates the first sense of "to cry loud and sharp; shout". I obtained the second from the daughters as extended senses. Again, I picked class 4 based on what was available. I cannot find any attested examples of the verb in OE outside of the infinitive...which is frustrating me :| Leasnam (talk) 18:04, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, OE has no classes 3 or 4, and class 2 verbs end in -ian, so the infinitive grillan has to be either strong, or weak class 1. We would need other conjugated forms to be sure. What about the other languages? —CodeCat 18:09, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, OE is the only "Old" language we have attesation for. The others appear in Middle versions, and there seems to be some confusion as to which relations it belongs with (e.g. MD grillen/MHG grellen "be angry"; or Dutch grillen "to shudder", etc.). Leasnam (talk) 18:25, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Then I think there isn't really enough evidence to reconstruct this verb with confidence. We have a reasonable idea of what it was, but we can't be sure. Do you think it should be deleted or renamed? —CodeCat 18:38, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I think we should just remove the Conjugation section, along with any information (if any) relating to verb class or type, as this is unknown. We can still deduce the basic sense of the verb in sense 1; but perhaps sense 2 should be removed. ? Leasnam (talk) 19:15, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
That would also include moving it though, because the infinitive ending also depends on verb class. I'm not sure what to move it to, maybe just *grel- for now? We can use the head= parameter in the headword line to list the different possible reconstructions *grellanan, *graljanan, *grallijanan. —CodeCat 19:28, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Ok, sounds good. Have you by chance found any support for a *gral- base? Leasnam (talk) 19:31, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

There is some indication from Koebler that *grellanan and *grellaz do not descend from the same PIE form (gher- vs. ghel- respectively; but I do not see how *grellaz might have picked up an 'r' unless altered by the other, which he doesn't mention); not even related. AND, Bosworth does tiw the two, BUT indicates a stem *gral making *graljanan possible... Leasnam (talk) 19:37, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

We don't specifically have support for either one, *gral- or *grel-. But since PIE roots are commonly cited in the e-grade, I figure we should do the same here. We can at least be sure that *grel- is the root and not *grell-, because PIE roots never end in double consonants (or even two sonorants, that I am aware). If *grellaz is an adjective and it was actually *graljaz or *grallijaz, then we'd expect the West Germanic descendants to end in -i (or -e for OE/OF), giving *grelli or *grelle. I don't know what attestations there are for that, but if the descendants show an a-stem, then that's what it ought to have been in PG too. —CodeCat 19:43, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
It must have been -a then. Moving... Leasnam (talk) 19:49, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
BTW, I did find some early ME preterite forms for OE griellan, in the form of grulde (i.e. = grülde), which suggests that the ur-form might have been *graljanan or *gruljanan. I know it's not much, but it's something... Leasnam (talk) 01:38, 8 July 2012 (UTC)


I don't know what the true etymology is, but right now periwinkle and *winkilaz contradict each other. Would you be able to fix that? —CodeCat 01:27, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Sure, but I fail to see a contradiction. I assume you mean Periwinkle @ Etymology_2, correct? Leasnam (talk) 01:29, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't see there were two etymologies. Sorry, never mind! —CodeCat 01:34, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
No problem ;)


Although this did become a separate suffix in the daughters, are you sure it was separate already in Proto-Germanic? Or was it still just -il-ingaz (and then wouldn't it be -ilingaz?) —CodeCat 20:05, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Well, since it's in Gothic in the endly form -liggs (-lings), I lean toward it at least already having existed in PGmc--the coincidental occurence that it developed independently, though in no way impossible, seems unlikely given the opaque connection it has to at least the first element *-ilaz. I have seen it as *-lingaz only, but perhaps it should be *-ilingaz. Leasnam (talk) 00:34, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Would you happen to know any Gothic words with that suffix? I can't remember seeing any. —CodeCat 01:11, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
skilliggs (< *skild(u)liggs "small shield"); gadiliggs ("kinsman, cousin"); gadiliggs ("gadfly") Leasnam (talk) 19:43, 16 July 2012 (UTC)


Just wondering where you found this, presumably in an etymological dictionary. The Godefroy Dictionary here doesn't have an entry for it. But the Godefroy is by no means comprehensive, so it might be used in some text or another. Also is there a link between grab and grapple? As we don't seem to make one, but they're visually and phonologically similar. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:06, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

That etymology I obtained from Century for 'grapple': a Google book search for "grappil" will turn up several hits for the Old French word as well... Although they look similar and have similar meanings, the two words are not thought to be relateed. Grapple is akin to words such as grape, which ultimately meant "hook, something bent" (PIE root *gremb- "crooked"); whilst grab is related to grope, grip, grasp, and gripe (PIE root **gʰreyb- "to grasp"). Leasnam (talk) 00:21, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *skattaz[edit]

Hi Leasnam! According to Proto-Germanic *skattaz, the Proto-Germanic skat- stems from a Proto-Indo-European root skat-. But as far as I know, PIE -t- evolves to PGmc -þ- or something similar. Why not here? A typo?

My edition of Kluge ({{R:EWddS}}) says "etymology unknown, maybe borrowed". Do you have some other sources? Greetings --MaEr (talk) 16:48, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

It is not a typo. I have often wondered why some gemminate consonants in PGmc do not seem to undergo what we would normally expect. One theory I have (which I have not tested yet) is that the PGMc root was originally *skaþ-, and the addition of an affix -t caused the change to undergo alteration back to t (þt => tt). this is only my theory though (so far as I know). Leasnam (talk) 16:52, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
My aplogies, the source I used for this is Gerhard Koebler's Proto-Germanic dictionary. Leasnam (talk) 16:54, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The combination -þt- would not have become -tt-, but rather -ss- or -st-. That is actually an Indo-European sound law (the same happens in Greek and Latin) and remained productive in Germanic. But as far as I know, none of the geminate consonants were affected by Grimm's law. There is also another, still controversial sound law called w:Kluge's law, which explains how PIE stops followed by -n- became geminated voiceless stops in Germanic. —CodeCat 17:00, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
So the PGmc form may have descended from *skat-no-...that makes more sense. Thanks :)! Leasnam (talk) 17:02, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Not just *skat-no-, but also *skad-no- or *skadʰ-no- (and of course possibly with -o- or a laryngeal instead of -a-). Kluge's law apparently makes no distinction in voicing or aspiration, all three give the same result. —CodeCat 17:05, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Nice. I think we have one like this already: *puttaz "pot" (< budnos "vessel"). Very intersting. I am still learning about PGMc. PIE is definitely next. :p Leasnam (talk) 17:09, 1 August 2012 (UTC)


Hi Leasnam ...

  1. I'm a bit befuddle'd here about the etym. I don't see how Proto-Germanic can come from LATE Latin. This is way out of my knowledge, but the timeline ... as I understand it ... doesn't match up. If anything, it looks more like the Late Latin clusa would hav been a blend of the P-GMC and Latin. Any chance of chasing this back to the PIE? I know the further up the timeline the murkier it gets but I'd like to see the guesses at the PIE and then what came from that on the Germanic side if they can be found.
  2. Are there any good online sources for Frankish? There are a lot of French words that I think are, at least, a blend with a Frankish root rather than only a Latin root.
  3. I'll likely ask this in the tearoom but I'll throw it out to you ... In the past few weeks I'v come by OE words noted in "modern" fiction. I was taken aback a bit when I saw cniht in a 1903 novel and then eoten in a 2010 novel. Of course, one can find both words in historical context, meaning talking about them, but the novels are noting them rightly by their meanings ... So, is it kosher then to put them under an ENGLISH heading and tag them mainly historical or historical?

Thanks --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 11:18, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Hello AnWulf! You are precisely correct, Proto-Germanic (the language as it was before East and North broke off) probably did not have *klūsijanan; the language should be re-labelled Germanic (or West Germanic), as it was not yet Old English either. I have rewritten the etymology. Some sources (Gerhard Koebler's germanisches Wörterbuch for instance) do not adequately differentiate between true PGmc and the interim phase immediately following, so during the time when I was adding a lot of these etymologies, I was just calling everything Proto-Germanic for simplicity's sake. Were I to write it today, I would have called it Germanic. Leasnam (talk) 17:12, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I am not familiar offhand with any Old Frankish dictionary resources, I usually stumble across Frankish loanwords into Old French through French etymological dictionaries.
If a modern work written in modern English revives an Old English term (mathom and errand-ghost come to mind), and you can find at least 3 independent citations, and these cites are usages, not mentions, then an English entry can be created for it. I would expect that cniht and eoten (modern knight; ettin, eaton, etc.) would be labelled "historical", based on how they are spelt. Leasnam (talk) 17:33, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
"Germanic" isn't really a good etymology either, though. After the end of the true PG period, what was left was a set of five dialects: Gothic (East), Norse (Scandinavia), Invaeonic (North Sea), Istvaeonic/Frankish (Rhine/Weser) and Irminonic/High German (Elbe, Bavaria). The latter three formed the West Germanic dialect continuum that allowed some innovations to spread between them, the three names only indicate the three extremes of the continuum. So there was never a Proto-West-Germanic like there was a Proto-Norse language (and this is why the West Germanic languages differ much more at any given time than the North Germanic ones do at that same time). It's likely that a word such as clysan spread throughout that continuum. So at that point, there probably was something you could call Proto-Anglic or Proto-English: it was already differentiated from the rest. In particular, it was the more northern half of Ingvaeonic (spoken throughout Jutland), with Frisian further southwest and the Saxons southeast. But it wasn't yet Old English as we know it and was still spoken on the continent. —CodeCat 18:00, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
True. I have amended my statement above. Leasnam (talk) 18:31, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks ... my knowledge of what comes before Old English is murky ... I hav an overall feel (I think) ... but I only put in what others hav put in before me from other sources.
As for Frankish, I too find them as I trip over them from others. I was hoping for something I could go look at online. Oh well.
I think I'll wimp out for now and put the nowadays quotes of cniht and eoten on the Citations page for now and maybe put a note on the main page to see the Citations. They might look a little out of place under the OE heading.
Thanks again. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 19:51, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

/tʷ/ in PIE[edit]

I found this edit changing a PIE etymology from twak- to tʷak-. Is it commonly spelt with the superscript ʷ and is this said to be an actual labialized consonant, distinct from /tw/ as a sequence? I have never seen PIE with phonemic /tʷ/. I also can't find that etymology in a list of 3000 PIE roots which I assume is pretty fairly comprehensive ... is there a known source for it somewhere? Soap (talk) 17:42, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Honestly I too have never seen the superscript used with this word, and I am unsure whether it is distinct. This *twak- is actually *twak2- and may be reconstructed only for Germanic *þwah-; whereas the other, I believe, means "skin". Leasnam (talk) 18:52, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
WT:AINE shows how we transcribe PIE and what phonemes it has in the standard reconstruction. Neither tʷ nor k₂ is one of them... —CodeCat 22:00, 30 August 2012 (UTC)


In Old High German, girīman is class 1 strong, while rīmen is class 1 weak. So if that can happen in OHG, it probably could have happened in OE too. But it's equally possible that there is just a gap in the attestation, and that rīmen was used by a later writer for who it was a weak verb, while girīman is older. —CodeCat 19:57, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Ok. I have not seen OHG rīmen till now. Had I, it would have been crystal clear Leasnam (talk) 20:05, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Etymology of *kalwaz[edit]

There's no such thing as lʷ in PIE, so what is that meant to be? —CodeCat 20:07, 17 September 2012 (UTC) Oh right. It's kalw-. My bad. I will fix. Leasnam (talk) 20:10, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

"g"-Replacement in Middle English[edit]


do you know if there is a form of "go" which is "yo", samely as "give" and "yive"?

Greetings HeliosX (talk) 07:26, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

No, that only happened when the g was before a front vowel in (Pre-)Old English. In that case it's usually written ġ. —CodeCat 11:19, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

There was Old English "ġietan", is it possible to reconstruct a form "yet, yot, yotten" in English? And also, in English, is it possible to understand by the phrase "Pick up your things for the trip" also "Pack your things for the trip"?

What CodeCat states above regarding the palatisation of g before front vowels is absolutely true; normally, this would not occur. Do you see an example of yo = "go"? This seems vaguely familiar to me, and the only way I can possible think this might have happened is that it is a backformation from the past tense form of yode = "went" where the -de would have been easily interpreted as a normal -ed(e) ending. I will check for you... Leasnam (talk) 15:07, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Sanskrit usra or uṣṭra?[edit]

Hello. Here you added some Sanskrit usrá, biffalo. In Monier-Williams dictionary there is उष्ट्र ‎(uṣṭra, buffalo). Did you have this word in mind back then? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 06:48, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

Hello. Yes, that must be a misprint. I will update it. Thanks. Leasnam (talk) 12:55, 1 October 2012 (UTC)


FYI. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:52, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks! Leasnam (talk) 15:41, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Extra characters[edit]

If you need to type extra characters a lot then you could try using a different keyboard layout. In Linux, the US international layouts (there are several) include things like macrons, acute accents and ogoneks. The Windows one includes acute accents but not the rarer characters, but there is a keyboard layout editor that you can use to make your own keyboard layout if necessary. It's very helpful! —CodeCat 13:28, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Ok Thanks! But what has happened to the control which is governed by the dropdown selection when one edits (Templates, Headers, Latin/Roman, etc...)? When I make a selection, it no longer updates, so I can only access Templates (the one loaded when the page refreshes completely). Leasnam (talk) 13:42, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't know, it works for me. You could ask at GP? —CodeCat 14:18, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

PG pronunciation[edit]

The prefixes of verbs were probably not stressed, the stress fell on the root syllable instead. You can still see this in the modern languages. —CodeCat 18:35, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Ok, wasn't sure. I believe that in OE the stress had not yet shifted to the second element and was still ', but htis happened during ME ... I am not 100% sure though Leasnam (talk) 18:39, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it probably was already stressed on the second syllable. After all, the prefix had already weakened to a: hadn't it? Besides, to explain it as a parallel evolution shared by all Germanic languages after 1066 seems very unlikely. —CodeCat 18:41, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm ok with the change. My thought is that the stress moved after *uz was lost altogether in OE and OHG leading to a meaningless-sort of affix...wheras in PGMc it still had meaning, similar to Modern English out-, but this is only speculation. I think the unstressed idea is just as equally justifiable, especially in light of the descendants. I am good with it : ) Leasnam (talk) 18:48, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
well, I shouldnt say it was meaningless, but rather that it wasnt clearly taggable to a known preposition, like some other prefixes were...
I think in origin, all verbal prefixes were unstressed, because they behaved somewhat like separate words still. In Gothic, the prefix could be separated from the verb by certain words and particles. It's curious that Dutch and German eventually re-developed separable prefixes all over again through a very similar mechanism. The original Germanic/Gothic prefixes are actually the non-separable ones in Dutch and German, and in Old English too (at least insofar as they prevent ge- from being added to the participle). —CodeCat 18:59, 7 November 2012 (UTC)


I noticed you changed the etymology section of the word abide. I am not sure I understand why that was done, at least why it was changed to what it was changed to. The 2 points I have are first you totally erased the from aby section that dealt with the last sense of the definition. Second, you changed what I had researched and backed up with a recent source to a similar but different sourceless version. I never mean to step on toes, but I am curious. Note, I did re-add the aby section because I can't see that as being bad. The other portion maybe you have a more recent source or better info that substantiates what you have written. Thanks for your time. Speednat (talk) 01:02, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi! I was in process of creating the Appendix page for the Proto-Germanic reconstruction, and I thought that the etymology format of abide might benefit from a rewrite. The listing of 2 OE terms ābīdan and abīdan, one meaning "to remain" and another meaning "earlier" (???) was a bit confusing... I think the mention of a conflation of sense with aby is noteworthy and should be included. Otherwise the basic information is still there. Leasnam (talk) 14:01, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Category:Proto-Germanic words suffixed with -ijanan‎[edit]

Wouldn't this just contain the same as Category:Proto-Germanic class 1 weak verbs? —CodeCat 17:27, 30 November 2012 (UTC)


In this edit, you say that Latin cinis is related to Russian зола. Are you sure of that? It is difficult to imagine that they could be genetically related. How did PIE *ken- turn into Russian зола? I would guess that зола is probably related to coal, or to Sanskrit ज्वलति ‎(jvalati, to burn, glow), both of which are unrelated to PIE *ken- or Latin cinis. —Stephen (Talk) 02:26, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Yep, you're right. Russian зола is related to English coal. I think I connected them when I saw the etymology at зола without thinking. There, derivation from PIE *ken- is incorrect. Leasnam (talk) 16:48, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Old English Entry[edit]

I'm asking for your help because I see that you are experienced in Old English. I had created an entry a while ago on this word leorningcild. Is the declension of it correct? I based it off this website here. Any help would be appreciated.

I'm pretty certain that is an error on their part. In Germanic languages, including Old English, compound words invariably take the gender and therefore the case/plural markings of the final element (in this case cild). Looking it up in other resources confirms that the plural (nominative) should be leorningcildru. Leasnam (talk) 16:36, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Additionally, I could not find any other verified citations for leoru, leorua, leorum in the sense of "disciples". Leasnam (talk) 16:40, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Would you like me to go ahead and modify the declension for you? Leasnam (talk) 16:47, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Done. Leasnam (talk) 16:57, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Much appreciated! Timotheus1 (talk) 19:38, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Linking to unattested terms[edit]

There's a new template {{lr}} which is meant to replace {{lx}} for linking to reconstructed terms. It works the same as {{recons}}; it always links to the appendix, so you can use it to link to reconstructed terms in attested languages like Old Dutch too. —CodeCat 03:45, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! Leasnam (talk) 03:47, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

For you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png Barnstar
For your work on Proto-Germanic entries. It's really helpful! —CodeCat 19:03, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! Leasnam (talk) 19:04, 22 January 2013 (UTC)


I took the etymology out, and replaced it with something a lot simpler. It seemed to be mostly about strive rather than gainstrive. Also I can't find any evidence of "Middle English gainstriven". But feel free to add some of it back in if it bothers you. Ƿidsiþ 17:20, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

WT:RFM#Proto-Germanic forms with final nasal vowels to their ogonek-spelled forms[edit]

I thought that might interest you... —CodeCat 02:22, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes thank you Leasnam (talk) 02:32, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
It looks like this move is supported enough, so I would like to start the move. Would you like to help out? When moving, be sure to check all the pages that link to it as well, and update them too. And also remove the head= parameter of the page you're moving, since it wouldn't be needed anymore. —CodeCat 13:17, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes! I can help Leasnam (talk) 15:18, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
For the time being, I will leave a redirect until all the linkages are updated--I dont wish to interrupt service to users. Leasnam (talk) 15:23, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
If you fix the links of one page at a time, there wouldn't be any interruption. That's what I've been doing. —CodeCat 16:02, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I do hope you will be orphaning and deleting those redirects soon? —CodeCat 17:31, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I will go back and clear them out :) Leasnam (talk) 17:32, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
You're still leaving a lot of links to the entries you move. Could you please fix all links to an entry before you move the next? That way we can be sure that we don't miss any. —CodeCat 00:47, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes. of course. Leasnam (talk) 15:22, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Etymology of try[edit]

You added the current etymology to this quite a while ago, but I can't find any sources for the metathetic alteration bit. OED lists further than Medieval Latin as 'unknown'. Can you remember where you got this from? --Hyarmendacil (talk) 01:37, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

I can't recall exactly where I first saw that, it may have come from various (French) sources citing Frisch/Girart de Rossillonin such as Dictionnaire de la langue française by Emile Littré, L. Marcel Devic. See also [[6]]. Leasnam (talk) 15:55, 4 April 2013 (UTC)


Hi Leasnam in Appendix:Proto-Germanic/malskaz I can see the relationship between the description soft etc and the Dutch word mals, that is mostly used for grass that is soft and juicy, easy to eat for cows. But the description haughty puzzles me. Am I missing something? Jcwf (talk) 04:09, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Well, the Middle Dutch malsch meant "headstrong, zealous". I am not sure if mals "soft" is a descendant of this same word. The Old English word malscrung meant "charm, enchantment"; Gothic malsks meant "foolish", so the original sense of "haughty" seems to hold true. Leasnam (talk) 16:55, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
I looked up the PGmc form again and found that one of the senses (given in German) is "soft" (weich). I have added it to the entry. Leasnam (talk) 19:14, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Norwegian infinitives[edit]

Hello Leasnam. I noticed that in some Proto-Germanic appendices the Norwegian verbs end in -a. This is rather peculiar to Swedish, so I corrected the endings. Whenever you have doubts about the ending of Norwegian infinitives, you may find the Bokmålsordboka of the Universitetet i Oslo a reliable source pertinent to their dissipation. The above link shows the infinitive trygle (*trukōną) and its synonym tigge (*þigjaną) is also given in the definition. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 08:00, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. The various sources show the -a forms, and usually cite them as being dialectal, so based on this I reasoned it away. Leasnam (talk) 13:39, 6 May 2013 (UTC)


Could you have a look at the descendent list of *wardōn? In these cases, I always have trouble figuring out which absorbed the Frankish term first, Old French or Late Latin, and did Old French absorb it independently or via Latin. --Victar (talk) 16:28, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

can you please provide a link to the specific entry you are referring to? Leasnam (talk) 16:42, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
*wardōn. Thanks.
I would say that it was Old French who took the word in first. Usually, Latin preserves initial w- (cf. wambasium), whereas the Romance languages convert this to gu-. Leasnam (talk) 16:51, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Are you sure? I would expect that Latin would borrow w as v instead. Seeing w in Latin looks to me like a much more recent development. Old High German began to be written only in the 7th century, and they used w for their own language (uu actually but that's the same), and it seems unlikely that Latin would have already copied that practice earlier. —CodeCat 16:55, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, perhaps not "w" per se, "w" might just be a modern rendering of the sound (= "v", maybe "u"). What's important though is that it was not g- Leasnam (talk) 16:58, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
The thing with Old Frankish borrowings is that we really can't be sure into which language (Old French or Latin) it was borrpwed first. Even if it appears written in Latin first, that is really no guarantee. I have read that the majority generally found their way into Vulgar Latin and Old French, then from there into Mediaeval Latin. Leasnam (talk) 17:02, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I just created *warduz! I can't believe we didn't already have this! Leasnam (talk) 17:14, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your insight! Do you think the scenario above is the case with *wardōn? --Victar (talk) 17:23, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I just left a msg on MGLovesFun's page. I would say it went into Vulgar Latin first, then was inherited by Old French. Middle Latin then picked it up from there. I'm not sure about Late Latin, but I would imagin it got it from OFr or one of its siblings (Italian). Leasnam (talk) 17:33, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I've restructured the descendents list of *wardōn. Let me know if it's in line to what you were thinking. Thanks. --Victar (talk) 17:42, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
That is how I would have done it. Leasnam (talk) 17:46, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again for your help! --Victar (talk) 17:50, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
What should be done in cases like *raubōn. Should we specify that the Old French rober and Late Latin raubare are descended from Vulgar Latin *raubare? --Victar (talk) 20:26, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
I would, yes. This word appears to have been borrowed very early, before au > ō, so an entry into Vulgar Latin would be expected. Leasnam (talk) 20:28, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I wonder if someone should create a lat-vul template for reconstructions. --Victar (talk) 20:32, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
*raubare <= Leasnam (talk) 20:33, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Ah, VL. What an awful language code. --Victar (talk) 21:19, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
There are also ML. & LL. (Middle Latin/Late Latin). They seem to work only with reconstructions; or in etyl's. Otherwise, la for Latin should be used. Leasnam (talk) 21:21, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Somehow I thought they all were defunct and merged into la. --Victar (talk) 21:28, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

waybread and bread[edit]

I think it's missing the sense that you added in the etymology. It would derive from Germanic *braidį̄ but I don't know what it means in English today. —CodeCat 02:23, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

I think it is possibly associated with the verb (in OE, brǣdan ‎(to spread)), apparently so called from spreading along roads (ways). Leasnam (talk) 02:27, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Added. It's obsolete today, having been supplanted by closely related breadth. Verb still survives dialectally though. Leasnam (talk) 02:41, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Frankish edits[edit]

Leasnam, I'm in the middle of cleaning up the Frankish entries. If you wouldn't mind, could you hold off on editing them so we don't cross-edit? Thanks. --Victar (talk) 00:22, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I completely understand. :) Leasnam (talk) 00:24, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Leasnam, you're welcome to have at them now. I ask though if you think some of the reconstructions are erroneous, i.e. if don't think Frankish maintained Sievers' law, please start a thread on in at Wiktionary_talk:About_Frankish so we can all be on the same page. Thanks! --Victar (talk) 00:22, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

You stealing my fun? ;-) --Victar (talk) 06:13, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Maybe :p Leasnam (talk) 16:17, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Why the reversion at med?[edit]

Hi. Why did you undo this edit? [7] Equinox 13:45, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Oh, I was unaware. I was on my mobile, and I must have done something I didn't intend to...I apologise. It was an accident. Leasnam (talk) 16:41, 20 June 2013 (UTC)


You created this entry a little while ago. It's showing a script error now, because one of the links to Frankish is not marked as reconstructed. Is it a reconstructed term, and if not, is it still Frankish? —CodeCat 01:02, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't see a script error when I look at it today (was it corrected?). Is it the personal name Sinigus? I think the name may be attested. Leasnam (talk) 15:55, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

gain- and with- terms[edit]

Just so you're aware, I've RFVed a number of gain- and with- terms because they seem to be used only by Richard Rolle. If you happen to know where to find other citations, that'd be great. - -sche (discuss) 05:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Many of these were taken from dictionaries, so finding Google hits is going to be difficult if possible. Quite sad, as these terms are not fabricated, just old, rare, and hard to find :( Leasnam (talk) 13:40, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Gothic script requests[edit]

{{l}} now automatically adds a request for the script if you leave out the word but provide a transliteration, just like {{term}}. So you don't need to add {{rfscript}} anymore for Gothic or any other language. —CodeCat 11:17, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Cool! Thanks Leasnam (talk) 16:19, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

hearra#Old English[edit]

Hey, is this word really from Old Saxon, and is the Old Saxon word really from Old High German? Or are the three just cognate with each other? —Angr 16:49, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

I believe the Old English is a borrowing of the Old Saxon word (Sievers), and likewise Old Saxon from Old High German. It may have been a calque of the Latin or a use based on analogy (cf. senior), so it looks right. It was not very common in OE, used only poetically, appearing 23 times in Genesis, but only four times elsewhere, and was obsolete by the Middle English period. Leasnam (talk) 16:59, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Borrowing may also be supported by the vowel in the OE word, ea which had it been inherited from PGmc, it would be ā instead. Leasnam (talk) 17:04, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Not necessarrily, I think. -ai- is normally converted to -ā-, yes, but this word also has an umlauting factor. And umlaut of ā gives ǣ, which then breaks into ēa? I'm not sure if breaking would affect it here but it's worth considering. —CodeCat 17:08, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
That's true, but (--and I realise that OE didnt use macrons) the vowel is usually rendered short. Alternative forms of OE hearra are herra and hierra, possibly indicating an original e (e breaking to ie?). But to compare, there is also the ON harri, herra, which are also believed to be borrowings from OS. Leasnam (talk) 17:11, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Old English -ie- definitely indicates umlaut, so the term cannot have been borrowed wholesale from Old Saxon, unless it was borrowed at a time when the Old Saxon form was still the unsyncopated *?hēriro. The shortening of the vowel probably happened in Old English i much the same way that it happened in German (which today has a short vowel). Long vowel followed by long consonant usually causes the vowel to shorten. This isn't a regular process across languages (Dutch shortened the consonant instead), but it is likely that it happened at some point. The Old Norse word seems to have developed the same way: *hairizô > *hārizō (ai > ā before r is regular) > *hārzo (syncope) > *hárri (replacement of n-stem -o with -i, z > r) > harri (shortening of vowel before long consonant). I think that this may in fact be an early calque rather than direct borrowing, similar to how the day names were calqued into the cognate forms of each individual language. I would estimate a date of about the 5th-6th century, a time when the Northwest Germanic dialects were still similar enough to make such calque-borrowing possible. —CodeCat 17:25, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, then from start to finish it was a calque in OHG, then analogised elsewhere among the other Gmc languages? But still, no PGmc use in the sense of "lord" ? Leasnam (talk) 17:34, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
It seems so. I don't know if it was strictly OHG because it was likely Frankish in origin, which probably means it entered Dutch and OHG at more or less the same time. But it's doubtless that some calquing did happen, because there doesn't seem to be any other way to explain the -a- in Old Norse. But some forms were also borrowed, like Old Norse herra which can hardly be original because of its irregular -a, which is a feminine ending in Old Norse. So it's likely that the word was calqued or borrowed by different people and the different forms existed as alternative forms of the same word for some time. —CodeCat 17:42, 21 August 2013 (UTC)


There are some pretty nifty gadgets here you may want to take advantage of, especially the accelerated creation of inflected forms, if you don't know about them already. Thanks! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:37, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Okay. Thanks! Leasnam (talk) 19:56, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Middle Dutch descendant at *bērō[edit]

I noticed you used a macron to indicate length, but Middle Dutch has two different types of vowel length. Macrons are used to indicate originally short vowels that were lengthened. See WT:ADUM. —CodeCat 23:33, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Oh, should it then be baere? Leasnam (talk) 01:43, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
ae is used (at least in normalised spelling) only in a closed syllable. What I meant is that bāre would have a lengthened a, which is not the case here. It was long to begin with, so if you want to add diacritics at all you use the circumflex for this word, bâre. —CodeCat 01:50, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I see. No, I didn't realise we were using circumflexes. Does this extend also to Middle Low German and Old/Middle High German as well? Is this a policy change? (granted I was aware of the use outside of Wiktionary for stressed, long syllables. But I thought we were to forgo such here.) Leasnam (talk) 01:55, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
There wasn't any policy before, we originally didn't indicate the type of vowel at all. So I adopted the practice that I had seen in some of the phonological descriptions of Middle Dutch. These marks are only there to distinguish types of long vowel, not to indicate length in the first place. So we still should write just bliven and not blîven, because i in open syllable must always be originally-long in Middle Dutch, it can't be short nor lengthened. The same applies to u, so the difference is only relevant for a, o and e.
We might want to apply it to MLG too, because I believe the difference was significant in that language too (at least if WT:ANDS is an inducation). MLG didn't usually write double vowels for long vowels in closed syllables, as far as I know. So it needs length marks in all cases. For Middle High German it's different altogether, w:Middle High German says that lengthening didn't occur until much later there (it seems like it spread from north to south). Middle High German also has its own normalisation conventions for writing long vowels. —CodeCat 02:21, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh, apparently we already have some conventions like this for MLG. WT:AGML. —CodeCat 02:25, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Old French morphology[edit]

I'm writing a VL to OFr morphology script. Do you know of any good resources, other than the Wikipedia entry? Shoot me your email if you're interested in checking out what I have so far. --Victar (talk) 06:31, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Etymology of snide[edit]

FYI, I have replaced the etymology of snide with "Origin unknown", following sources. If you can source the etymology you have entered in diff, it can be returned back. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:05, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Oh, and I should notify you of WT:RFV#snide, so you can provide attestation if you have one. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:26, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Century Dictionary says that snide is probably a dialectal variant of snithe (adj.). Leasnam (talk) 22:34, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
But Century 1911 is an old dictionary, much older than the new sources (Merriam-Webster Online, Online Etymology Dictionary) that say that the origin is unknown. --Dan Polansky (talk) 00:08, 28 December 2013 (UTC)


May I know, why you deleted the Low German word Roh on this page: Appendix:Proto-Germanic/rōwō? --Stardsen (talk) 15:01, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

I didn't...lemme check...
its still there. I was on my phone and I accidentally reverted your edit, but then I rolled my edit to add it back. Leasnam (talk) 17:26, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikisaurus and heroin[edit]

From WS:heroin, I have removed Ron and shit (diff), since none of the two are entered into Wiktionary mainspace as meaning "heroin", and since I cannot easily attest them to mean so. The primary place of entry of new terms and senses is the mainspace, not Wikisaurus. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

OK thank you for the heads-up. I will search for attests (I know them only from verbal use), and add senses as appropriate. Leasnam (talk) 15:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


May I ask what you used to generate that entry? It's using rather outdated formatting. —CodeCat 21:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

i typed "shrithes" into the Search engine, then selected 3rd Person button Leasnam (talk) 21:35, 14 September 2014 (UTC)


Old French word hakebot which I found while looking up escluse. Do you have any thoughts on what the hake bit means? And specifically which language the bot bit comes from? Thanks for anything you can add. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:08, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

That word is also in Middle English, supposedly from Flemish related to Middle Low German hegbōt; Middle Dutch hoecboot. Apparently "hook-boat" with the first element influenced by hāke ‎(hook). Leasnam (talk) 06:22, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


For my own enlightenment, not for the sake of citation: Can you tell me what the Gothic word is that you listed ant- as prefixing in the Old English entry for ent, or else what the source of the information was? Thanks. 21:14, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

I got it from Gerhard Koebler's Germanisches Wörterbuch located here Leasnam (talk) 06:13, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! 06:16, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

-ier, -iest[edit]

Hi. Over the years I've noticed a lot of entries that have theoretically valid -ier, -iest forms that don't occur at all in attestable texts. Just now I saw "blastworthy" (ier, iest) and "stormworthy" (ier, iest). Could I ask that you avoid using the "ier, iest" template unless the word is common enough to have these forms in real-world use? Thanks. Equinox 03:27, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Sure. I added those quite a while ago, and I actually have quit that template. Leasnam (talk) 03:31, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Extraneous characters in forum edits[edit]

Could you be more careful not to do things like this (diff) and this (diff)? Chuck Entz (talk) 21:18, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

I will try. I only have a smartphone, and when i edit i notice it skips around...i was honestly unaware that i was adding additional characters in areas i was not directly adding comments. I will diff each time from now on Leasnam (talk) 00:58, 27 September 2014 (UTC)


Regarding [8]: I added to the entry, over the past couple of days, every citation of the word that I could find. I didn't see any that had the sense you just added. Are you sure it's actually attested?
Incidentally, I saw a couple of reference-works which argued that the Bartholomew Fayre citation, although traditionally regarded as a use of the "afternoon meal" sense, is actually a use of the "afternoon" sense.
- -sche (discuss) 06:19, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

That is the one, yes. I took this out of Century, not aware that you had been working on it. And Cent. uses it for the meal. I dont know yet what to make of the purely "afternoon" sense, as though 'undermeal' were formed using -meal. Traditionally and historically it meant the former: undern ("morning", later "afternoon") repast. Yet it all hinges on citability :] Leasnam (talk) 06:44, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I would say that the last sense catches this meaning (and allows for others as well); which, ironically was at one time the original meaning of the word, but no longer apparently. It just appears , from an evolutionary perspective, that it has broadened to include "repast" although in origin that is what it originally was. That is a little bothersome...but this might only irk me, and if only me, i'll be fine to remove the addition. Leasnam (talk) 07:05, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I'm not sure I follow; which sense are you saying was the original, "meal eaten in the afternoon" or "the afternoon"? (The entry implies it had both meanings even in Old English.)
FWIW, a couple of old dictionaries I looked at (to see if they had pointers to places the word had been used) argued that the plain "afternoon" sense was the original, and the "meal eaten in the afternoon" sense arose from misunderstanding of the "-meal" component of the word (but I don't know if those old dictionaries are right or not).
Which sense do you think the Bartholomew Fayre citation is using? I could see it as either, really.
- -sche (discuss) 07:16, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
You know, you've got me thinking. At first i would have seen it as meal=repast, but thats not even the original sense of meal: it was "time". "set time to eat" was a later development. So its very possibly (or really more probably) that it means "undern-time"=(early) afternoon. As far as Bartholomew Fayre, it can be either, but in absence of other attestations with this meaning i would say its safest to default it to the better known, surer sense. Leasnam (talk) 03:54, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


Hi. Has anyone used this word? The Google Books results have two scannos, for "raggedness" and "jaggedness". I don't mean to offend, but you seem to have a long history of adding words that don't exist, or are vanishingly rare, and you don't add any "rare" or "obsolete" glosses to them. This is a disservice to foreign learners, who shouldn't be picking up what are basically non-words. Could I ask you to be more careful in checking the words that you add? If you're on an Anglo-Saxon kick, fine, but you still need sources. Equinox 03:14, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

No offense taken : ) You are right...only one hit is legit, which isnt enough for inclusion. I came across what I thought was this word while looking for another , so I could have checked it more thoroughly. I will be more careful in future Leasnam (talk) 03:40, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


Did you really mean to say that there is an English suffix -ther, and that further should be categorized in Category:English words suffixed with -ther? Chuck Entz (talk) 05:57, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Actually, not a suffix, but an ancient relic (a suffix in PIE) found in words like other" and "after", but I woundn't consider it a suffix now. Leasnam (talk) 12:45, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I've changed it Leasnam (talk) 14:47, 14 March 2015 (UTC)


Your edit seems a bit pointless as it doesn't actually change anything. I wonder why you did it? —CodeCat 02:28, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

I only did it to make the definitions appear. Was there a glitch causing them not to display? I can see them now, you must have fixed it, yes ? Leasnam (talk) 02:39, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, there was a bug in a module I'm testing. I fixed it now. —CodeCat 02:42, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *gailō[edit]

Hi, an American I.P. address added Appendix:Proto-Germanic/gailō in a fatuous manner, so I gave it some proper editing protocols. Now I'm leaving it to you. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 23:27, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Okay! I'm on it ;) Cheers! Leasnam (talk) 01:17, 5 May 2015 (UTC)


I don't know where you checked, but the German form is definitely from *bōkō. Kluge's dictionary, the main authority in German etymology says so. This [[9]], the main authority in Dutch etymology says so, too. Moreover, you can explain it to yourself, because *bōkijō would have trigged an umlaut in German: Büche, a form that does exist dialectally (< OHG buohhia). I'll revert your reverting me. Kolmiel (talk) 18:36, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't believe we have an entry for *bōkō. Customarily, when a word is a derivative of another (in this case, *bōkijǭ from *bōkō, in the absence of the other we place them all together (sometimes we use ( )'s to indicate indirect descent). I checked Koebler, and he derives OHG buohha from *bōkijǭ. Are you certain that PGMc -jǭ leaves -ia in OHG? And I didn't revert you. I edited your change because you asked. Leasnam (talk) 18:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
German is not the only form needing a move. Old Saxon might too. Kolmiel, are you certain that both forms didn't give OHG buohha (without umlaut) and buohha (with umlaut)? and the two later coalesced in MHG-NHG? Leasnam (talk) 19:04, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

@kolmiel What do you make of this then:

beuk 1 znw. m. ‘boomnaam’, mnl. boeke, bōke v., mnd. oostfri. bȫke v., os. bōka v., ohd. buohha v. (nhd. buche), oe. bēce v. (ne. beech) wijzen terug op een grondvorm *bōkiōn, een afleiding van *bōka: mnl. boec m., oe. bōctreow o., ‘beukeboom’, on. bōk v., vgl. got. bōka ‘letter’ (waarvoor zie: boek). — lat. fagus (met dezelfde bet. als het germ.!), gr. phēgós dor. phagós ‘eik’, gall. bagos in plaatsnamen zoals Bacenis silva ‘Harz’.

The German Buche cannot be from *bōkō, the German word is a weak noun. OHG buohha had a strong and weak form. MHG buoche was weak. Leasnam (talk) 19:08, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Ok, I checked a few other PGmc words ending in -jǭ, and they all invariably give rise to OHG -a, never -ia, so the form *buohhia would not be a reliable reconstruction. The descendant form (if valid) of PGmc *bōkijǭ would actually be buohha (weak noun), which coincidentally is identical to the precursor of MHG buoche, and German Buche. So the original is still correct despite the absence of Umlaut. Leasnam (talk) 20:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

PLEASE. You never let me answer :-) Stop adding new stuff. I'm answering. I'm answering! :-) Kolmiel (talk) 20:14, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

From back to top now:

1.) Well. The distinction between jo-stems and o-stems is still, on principle, valid in OHG. And *buohhia is a valid form. It is true, however, that these stems tended to collapse. I don't know all the details, but you have for example sunta and suntia for the cognate of sin. So you're right that buohha could have been a variant of buohhia. Compare also *lindō, where it says that *lindijō led to the Old Saxon variant lindia. I would assume that the forms in -ia are the older ones and that they later became -a, but that's a guess. You do see, however, that -ia is not something I made up.

2.) If the dictionaries say that buohha is from *bōkō, then I think that they checked the declension. What declension did buohha have? Was it an n-stem? That would of course make it's being derived from *bōkō unlikely. But I assume it was an o-stem. It's becoming weak in MHG is completely regular. Kolmiel (talk) 20:46, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry. I wrote jo-stems. But the same is also true of jon-stems. Compare for example Mücke, which was mucka or muckea in OHG. And there's a winia ("female friend"). Kolmiel (talk) 20:55, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, if we look at it like this: There is certainly a reconstruction for *bōkō (> Gothic bōka, Norse bók, Old Saxon bōka, Old English bōc, OHG buohha (st F)) and the 2 -j-stem forms: *bōkiją ( > Norse bæki/beyki) and *bōkijǭ (> OE bēce, OS bōkia, OHG buohha (wk n F). I consider the MHG buoche (wk n F) to be the descendant of the latter rather than the former. But as you say, it may have shifted, and inherited certain aspects of both OHG forms, leaving a mix of forms still present today, like Buche beside Büche. In any event, I would consider Buche to be from *bōkijǭ, but *bōkijǭ itself is ultimately from *bōkō (so one can think of all these forms as descending from *bōkō). This is why I wouldn't mind placing all of them at *bōkō. When you say above that the dictionaries say buohha is from *bōkō, that is true but which buohha do they mean? The one that led to buoche or the one that died out? Leasnam (talk) 21:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
The distinction between strong and weak nouns ending in -e collapsed in Middle High German. Therefore I don't think your declension argument is valid. Compare for example Linde from *lindō, which is weak in MHG. (Compare Walther's famous: Under der linden an der heide...) To me, MHG "buoche" (weak) is from OHG "buohha" (strong).
The dictionaries mean that the modern German Buche stems from *bōkō, because it's the modern word that they explain. You have, admittedly, convinced me that OHG buohha may also be a spelling that represent the other form. Therefore I would say: put OHG buohha back on, and maybe add in brackets (*buohhia). But I wouldn't put the Middle High German and German continuations under it. Kolmiel (talk) 21:33, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I did. Please take a look and make additional changes as needed :) Leasnam (talk) 21:37, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Looks very good. Thanks a lot! Kolmiel (talk) 21:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


In this etymology Old English is supposedly derived from Middle English- can you fix it? DTLHS (talk) 06:10, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Done. Leasnam (talk) 14:12, 30 July 2015 (UTC)


I just noticed that if hlagol had survived into modern English, it would have ended up as lawl. History is funny. —CodeCat 23:15, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Yes it is! :) Leasnam (talk) 23:17, 9 September 2015 (UTC)


Thank you for your contribution. Any Germanic cognates with this word are welcome. Perhaps you might have time to scrutinise my rules on my user page, that may bear upon the need for a search for the most recent cognates. Normally, I believe that there is not much point presenting an unattested root unless other cognates that derive from this root are manifest. Should Germanic cognates be found for NEAP, then no one should criticise these and the unattested Germanic root that you have seen, being transferred to the Entry Etymology 2. I have to state that on the whole the Oxford Etymological dictionary is safer than Websters, who are not always right. I am still only an amateur etymologist, but have had considerable experience in dictionary comparisons. I notice that in the first syllable of most of the unattested PIE roots that the vowel 'Ā', or even 'A' is avoided; this makes me sceptical. Obviously all the vowels would have been used in ancient languages, but have been taught that initially roots were most likely to have the 'Ā' as initial vowel. I now realise that the Greek Ōmega or rather, Ēta is formed from the Attic 'A', but not older than the Sanskrit. I have very recently fabricated two or three Proto-Indo-European roots, that I should never have done without considering the Slavonic word that is likely to be the closest to the root. It also amazes me that no one has so far presented the Celtic cognates for brass. Andrew H. Gray 18:29, 15 September 2015 (UTC)Andrew

There's been considerable debate over the years about whether "a" can be reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European at all. At the very least, it's very rare. Almost all the vowels are an alternation between no vowel, e and o. Germanic strong verbs show the same alternation, once you adjust for sound changes: sing (PIE *e), sang (PIE *o) and sung (PIE no vowel). What looks like "a" and other such vowels in the daughter languages is mostly syllabic consonants like *l,*r,*n,*w,*y and the laryngeals. As for omega and eta: they're not really older. It's just that the Indo-Iranian languages have changed both *e and *o to a, so they don't reflect the original vowels anymore. Greek eta is actually what happens to most long "a"s in just the Attic dialect, which makes it more recent than the development of the dialects. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:17, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Chuck Entz Thank you so much for this; your information answers my questions and fully confirms what I have heard - only presents far more detail of it, that is essential for me to bear in mind. I also should have borne in mind that Hebrew (that is conjectured to have come from Canaanite -itself likely to be an ancient form of Hebrew!) has only HĒ, WAU and ĪODh as letters for vowels - nothing for 'A'. I am intrigued by the references to Semetic about 3,500 BCE: Semetic is from Shem, over 1,000 years later! Andrew H. Gray 07:21, 16 September 2015 (UTC)Andrew


Hi. Thanks for your edit. I suppose you'd read my note on WordDewd's page. Where have you found the earlier attestations for cravette, crabette? They're of course another good possibility, actually making borrowing from Dutch an unnecessary supposition. (At any rate, we all seem to agree that derivation from chèvre or a cognate thereof can hardly be original.) Kolmiel (talk) 22:40, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I did, yes :) Leasnam (talk) 01:02, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
PS: Should we still mention the chèvre-etymology? It's the only sourced etymology at my disposal, but if you have other sources, it could go unmentioned as far as I'm concerned.Kolmiel (talk) 22:42, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Not sure. Semantically, I dont think it makes any sense, but presenting everything and letting the User decide for themselvrs never hurts ;) Leasnam (talk) 01:02, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Yeah... I've now rewritten the etymology a bit. Have a look at it. You may also revert it altogether. I just realized that since French has also écrevisse it is possible that the Frankish word did indeed influence crevette, but not necessarily via Dutch, possibly via a regional form within northern French. -- But what about the earlier forms you mentioned (cravette, crabette). When are they attested? Kolmiel (talk) 17:11, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm running across a lot of mentions, none making use of asterisks, which point to Saintongeais crabette (petit crabe). Cravette, however, may be merely a hypothical intermediary form, but I am not positive. I like what you've done with the Etymology ! Very nice :) Leasnam (talk) 17:26, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Fine. Thanks again :) Kolmiel (talk) 18:52, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

hod as "Hebrew"[edit]

Please don't fix up edits that will have to be removed because they're in the wrong script- that just makes it more complicated to revert or undo them. Thanks! Chuck Entz (talk) 04:46, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

k Leasnam (talk) 15:11, 10 November 2015 (UTC)


If sufficient Celtic words can be found with analogous spellings, related to 'fire', it will confirm yours and Professor Skeat's analogy. It may not relate to 'harden by fire'; but it may be connected with 'flame coloured', but NOT at the Germanic level. The lexemes in the Germanic tongues are so diverse in meaning, that they clearly manifest a pre-Germanic origin - either Celtic or Iberian, whence Spanish BRASA (live coal). Comparison here may well be made with braise from French braise ‎(live coals), from Old French brese ‎(embers), from Old Low Franconian; akin to Norwegian/Swedish braseld ‎(sparkling fire), Norwegian/Swedish dialectal brasa ‎(to roast), Danish dialectal brase ‎(to flambé, enflame). Compare also Gaelic BREO[4] (flame, fire) and BRAS in 'bras-ghabhail'[5] (to burn quickly). It really needs a genuine Breton word for BRASS to confirm this - and their word for 'flame'! There is also BRŌS in Cornish, meaning 'very hot'. Although unconnected, I find it intriguing that the Basque term BURDINORO for 'brass' literally means 'yellow iron': its word for BRONZE is obviously borrowed; but its term for 'copper' is translated as 'red iron'; which is very curious, because you would have thought that BRASS, meaning 'bronze', would have been the extant metal then used. Also, distastefully to me, there is no connection or evidence of it anyway between the Celtic BRAS <BRASSŌ with BRASS, as there is no evidence that 'greatness' assumes 'strength'. If proved, then it rules out a connection with a stock root 'to transfix', and I would have to adjust my talk page accordingly! Andrew H. Gray 20:02, 2 December 2015 (UTC)Andrew

"so diverse in meaning, that they clearly manifest a pre-Germanic origin"--I thought it was the other way around: diversity in meanings usually signifies that the word is older (in this case, native or borrowed at an early common date) and has had time to diverge...Why would Old French not be a candidate as the origin of the Spanish word? Leasnam (talk) 17:53, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Dear Leasnam Your first sentence confirms what I meant; because of their diversity in meaning they were more likely to have come through Germanic native languages, from an earlier native source. There was, of course, Germanic infiltration in France, and possibly Spain; but certainly the Celtic invasion affected both, but more significantly in France; where pre-Iberian or pre-Punic races moved up towards Lapland, in comparison to the more static races in Spain. So if Spanish BRASA (live coal) were not borrowed from Old French it would have to have represented a very early origin, which is very dubious. However, compare BRASCA (coal powder with clay to line furnaces) - I cannot see any valid connection between that lexeme and French BRÈCHE > BRASH. Andrew H. Gray 18:35, 10 December 2015 (UTC)Andrew


In this diff] you added "fuligula glacialis" as a taxon for a kind of duck. I have not yet found the name in any book written since 1900 and can't be certain about what bird was intended. What is the source for the information? DCDuring TALK 13:36, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

The modern taxonomic name is Clangula hyemalis Chuck Entz (talk) 14:27, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
oh gosh, that was in 2011...I honestly do not even remember making that so I couldn't tell you. I would just update it with the modern taxonomy, or get rid of it altogether if it doesn't really add any benefit to the etymology Leasnam (talk) 15:24, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz Thanks. I was not familiar with that site (NBN). Though the site's performance seems slow its coverage seems excellent.
@Leasnam If I could have found the modern name with some certainty, I would have made that the primary taxon and retained the other as a synonym. But I was unaware of Chuck's source. I remain somewhat suspicious of alla as an etymon of auk. Alle (and Alca) have also bothered me etymologically. That said, I don't think we should remove anything because the information given seems to be the best available. DCDuring TALK 18:09, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the typo fixes on *wéh₁itis[edit]

Those typos have been sitting there for a while without my noticing them. —JohnC5 20:48, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

 :) Leasnam (talk) 21:29, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of French 'acheter'[edit]

Hello, you deleted my edit concerning the pronunciation shown for the French verb 'achter' indicating a so-called Parisian pronunciation, and an 'other pronunciation'; the notes on these pronunciations are completely wrong. The pronunciation containing a schwa is used in careful speech (or in a Southern French pronunciation), otherwise, the schwa never appears.

Would a qualifier such as "Used in careful speech, Parisian, southern France" be appropriate ? Leasnam (talk) 00:40, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
I think it originally may have referred to European vs. Canadian, but I might be mistaken Leasnam (talk) 00:41, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Hello again. Yes, it would. However, the first pronunciation is not typical in Paris. Except in the southern part of France, no French speaker would pronounce the schwa of 'acheter' in a daily conversation / 'normal' speech. Regarding Canadian French, the schwa in 'acheter' would always be skipped, but as I said, it would be the same for the big majority of European French speakers. 16:29, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
I see. Okay Leasnam (talk) 17:42, 25 January 2016 (UTC) 00:34, 25 January 2016 (UTC)


@Leasnam It is vital to see that just because one cognate is found in a constitutionally Germanic language, does not mean that the lexeme is necessarily Germanic. I cannot over-emphasise that a number of words, for example pour were not assimilated into Anglo-Saxon, because they were just used amongst servants et cetera. So, your overall derivation from Celtic is vital here. A number of words are certainly borrowed from Celtic, but brock, down, dun and coomb (with others) were handed down from Celtic. Kind Regards. Andrew H. Gray 16:24, 25 January 2016 (UTC)Andrew

@Werdna Yrneh Yarg Hello Andrew, I've been following your user page for a while now. I believe I am right in saying that you wish to demonstrate the Celtic words that appear in English. It seems that, in the above statement, you are claiming there are words in English inherited from Celtic as opposed to borrowed from Celtic. This is not the case. English is a Germanic language, and any non-Germanic word (and some Germanic ones, for that matter) must have been borrowed into the language at some point. —JohnC5 17:31, 25 January 2016 (UTC)