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Etymology scriptorium

Welcome to the Etymology scriptorium. This is the place to cogitate on etymological aspects of the Wiktionary entries.

Etymology scriptorium archives edit


October 2017

The Central Asian words for “lion”[edit]

Middle Persian šgl (šagr, šēr) ~ Middle Persian sgl (sagr, sēr) is the Middle Persian source for many modern words for “lion”, such as Persian شیر (šir), سیر (sir), Hindi शेर (śer), Turkish şir, and Chinese (OC *sri). According to the entry, it is derived from Old Persian *šagra-.

What is the further etymology of this word? Is this related to Khotanese sarau (lion)? Bailey's Dictionary of Khotan Saka (1979) has:

Sogdian of the Buddhist texts šrγω, gen. sing. šrγωy. Sogdian of the Manichean texts šrωγ, Middle Parthian of Turfan šgr, šgr-z‘dg (“cub of lion”). Middle Persian šgr ... Here sarau is from *sarāva- but, since -g- is absent in mura- 'bird' < mr̥ga-, it would be possible to trace sarau to *sargāva- and so to base sar-g-, as for Sogdian and M.Parthian.

Asking since this is related to the etymology of Chinese 狻猊 (OC *swar ŋe, “lion; a mythical animal”). @ZxxZxxZ, Vahagn Petrosyan, Aryamanarora, माधवपंडित, please help. Wyang (talk) 05:59, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

@Wyang:Hmm, *sar-gāva... Something to do with a cow. The initial *sar- could have a meaning "to hurt, kill, injure", cognate with the Sanskrit verb root √शृ (√śṛ, to hurt, injure, kill). So the word could have a meaning "cow-killing"; a lion. This may be fanciful though, as this is complete conjecture. -- mādhavpaṇḍit (talk) 06:39, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang: It's an Indo-Iranian word (Mayrhofer gives *s¹engʰa-, but I have never seen superscripts on *s like that in modern Indo-Iranian reconstructions; it's definitely Indo-Iranian though) that was borrowed from some Central Asian substrate (maybe BMAC, like other substrate borrowings). I could find the following cognates:

Sanskrit सिंह (siṃha) / सिंहा (siṃhā), Pali sīha, Prakrit sīha ~ siṁ(g)ha; in Iranian Chorasmian sarɣ, Parthian šarg, Khotanese sarau, Old Persian *šagra-; non-Indo-Iranian there are Chinese (OC *sri), Tibetan སེང་གེ (seng ge), Tocharian A śiśäk, Tocharian B ṣecake, Old Armenian ինձ (inj, leopard) (from an expected Proto-Iranian *hinzu-; the retention of *s in Iranian is confusing me).

See also Witzel's paper. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 17:43, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
I've made Proto-Indo-Iranian *sinĵʰás. It appears to have cognates in Caucasian languages and possibly in Akkadian as well. Martirosyan's paper covers it quite well. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 22:39, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
@Aryamanarora Thank you, Aryaman, for creating the entry and the useful links! Wyang (talk) 04:20, 3 October 2017 (UTC)


Dictionaries say its origin is unknown, obscure, or imitative, but what squib actually makes "squib"? I think it comes from skip, from scoff, from scop, from shove. A few squ- and sk- words traded spellings between England and the Continent. Lysdexia (talk) 05:27, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

That sounds wrong to me. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 17:44, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

Latin Aesculapius[edit]

It obviously ultimately comes from Ancient Greek Ἀσκληπιός (Asklēpiós), but has it passed through Etruscan? Compare it to Asclepius. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:52, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

I wouldn't know, but there are lots of dialects without ᾱ→η (early borrowings are from non-Attic dialects), and the u might be epenthesis due to the length of the vowel cluster. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:01, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and the Greek dialect spoken in Magna Graecia would indeed have kept the ᾱ. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:24, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

Japanese days of the week[edit]

The given etymology for 火曜日 is "Compound of 火曜 (kayō, “Mars”) +‎ (hi, “day”). A calque of Latin dies Martis and its descendants, reinterpreting the day as having been named after the planet Mars (instead of the Roman god)." Except according to w:Names of the days of the week, it sounds like the Greek name, ἡμέρᾱ Ἄρεως, was older, or at the very least, that the Hellenic astronomers named the days after the planets, which in turn were named after gods. Thus, it was the interpretatio germanica mentioned in the English etymology for Monday which solidified days of the week as being named after deities, while the system's borrowing by Chinese and Japanese scholars solidified it as planetary references. Not the current implication that they were originally named, whether first in Greek or Latin, after the gods directly, and that this was only later reinterpreted by Chinese and Japanese scholars as referring to the planets.

This applies to all seven days of the week, although it's most notable with Tuesday through Saturday, being named after planets, as opposed to the Sun and Moon.

--RoseOfVarda (talk) 14:33, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

It doesn't make sense to me. How can a Classical Chinese word be a calque of Latin? I think the Japanese etymology needs a look over then, since the word existed in Han script before contact with the West. @Wyang? —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 19:39, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
  • FWIW, the JA WP article on days of the week (w:ja:曜日) states that the terminology was imported by Buddhist scholars returning from China in the early Heian period (circa late 700s / early 800s CE), with the days of the week explicitly laid out in the diaries of Fujiwara no Michinaga, written in the late 900s / early 1000s CE. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:02, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
As Eirikr said, the naming system is directly inherited from the nomenclature for days in a week in Chinese Buddhist texts, which are in turn renderings of terms in Indian astrology/astronomy. Wyang (talk) 08:46, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I trust the origin of the system, in that the Sino-Japanese astronomers learned the naming system from Indian astronomers, who in turn learned it from Greco-Roman astronomers. My first issue is that I suspect the Indian scholars would have heard about ἡμέρᾱ Ἄρεως, not dies Martis, making it a calque of Greek, not Latin. And my second issue is that it sounds like the Greek days were named primarily after the planets, which shared names with gods, and that it was only solidified into theophoric names through interpretario germanica, while the current etymology suggests the opposite, that the Greek days were named primarily after the gods, which shared names with *planets*, and that it was only solidified into planetary names when adopted into Chinese. --RoseOfVarda (talk) 13:14, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@RoseOfVarda: Yeah, that seems right. Pre-Alexander Sanskrit texts doesn't have words like मङ्गलवार (maṅgalavāra) / मङ्गलवासर (maṅgalavāsara, Tuesday, literally Mars day). Hindu Calendar#Weekday/Vāsara agrees. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 14:31, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@Aryamanarora: So should I go ahead, then, and update the etymologies? I propose something like "Compound of 火曜 (kayō, “Mars”) +‎ (hi, “day”). A calque of Greek ἡμέρᾱ Ἄρεως and its descendants, focusing on the day as having been named after the planet Mars, as opposed to the Roman god. More at Tuesday and w:Names of the days of the week" --RoseOfVarda (talk) 15:08, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@RoseOfVarda: I think the intermediate Chinese and Sanskrit मङ्गलवार (maṅgalavāra) / मङ्गलवासर (maṅgalavāsara, Tuesday, literally Mars day) should be mentioned. I know little about Japanese so I can't say how to correctly format the etymology. @Eirikr? —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 15:14, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@Aryaman, a couple quick thoughts --
  • Mentioning the calque origins as RoseOfVarda has it worded above makes it sound like the Japanese term was a deliberate calque of the Greek, which would require awareness of Greek by the coiners. I can find no such evidence; it might exist and I just haven't found it yet, but the addition of 日 on the end of a term referencing a day is a normal word-formation process in Japanese.
  • That wording also incorrectly brings in the Greek gods. From my research so far, it seems the concept around was always about the planets, never the gods. The underlying ideas were brought to Japan by Kūkai and other traveling monks, in works focused on divination based on observations of planetary movements -- astrology, I guess you could call it. So 火曜 originally referred to “Mars (the planet)”, never “Mars (the god)”.
  • Given the provenance of the order of days (Greece → India → China), it would be incorrect to point users to the English Tuesday entry for more information, as that page (appropriately) discusses only the interpretario germanica for the origins -- which is wholly irrelevant for any transmission route that did not go through any of the Germanic cultures. When referring users to the WP page on days of the week, it would be best to link specifically to the section on East Asian tradition.
All that said, I've had a go at reworking the etymology at 火曜日. I think any mention of the Indian terms should go in the 火曜 entry instead. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:50, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I guess we now need Chinese entries, starting from 火曜 (huǒyào). Interesting that I remember speaking with Chinese people (not very linguistic type) about the origin of Japanese days of the week, they laughed at me when I said they are derived from Chinese. In modern Chinese, they are only perceived as Japanese words (or Korean hanja). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:31, 4 October 2017 (UTC)


According to this paper, some scholars have related this to Tocharian, but this paper itself seems to be of the position that it isn't. I'm not understanding some parts of it because it cites some Czech sources, which I cannot understand at all. @Wyang, any thoughts? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:27, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

The Czech paper looks interesting, but its formatting and the in-text mixing of Czech and English make it a bit difficult to read. The Tocharian (or Indo-European) theory for this word definitely has a long history, possibly first proposed by Lin Meicun. Some references on this topic are:
  • Li Meicun (1998), “Qilian and Kunlun – The Earliest Tokharian Loan-words in Ancient Chinese”, in: Victor Mair (ed.), The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Peoples of Eastern Central Asia.
  • Ruth Chang (2000), “Understanding Di and Tian: Deity and Heaven from Shang to Tang Dynasties”, Sino-Platonic Papers, 108.
  • Zhou Jixu (2005), “Old Chinese *tees and Proto-Indo-European *deus : similarity in religious ideas and a common source in linguistics”, Sino-Platonic Papers, 167: 1–17.

  • 林梅村.《祁连与昆仑》.《敦煌研究》.1994年第4期.
  • 刘建华.《论山海经所说的赤水、黑水和昆仑》.《中国历史地理论丛》.1994年第4期.
  • 贾雯鹤.《昆仑原型为岷山考》.《四川大学学报(哲学社会科学版)》.2009年第2期.
  • 赵宗福.《论昆仑神话与昆仑文化》.《青海社会科学》.2010年第4期.
  • 王建磊.《“昆仑”释义诸说》.《黑龙江史志》.2015年13期.
etc. Wyang (talk) 08:11, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

rfe: DE Pfund (< PG punda'?) < LA pondus[edit]

Shouldn't Pfund come from Latin pondus through (via) Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/pundą like NL pond & SV pund? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 08:09, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

The OHG word displays typical sound changes indicating a PGMc step, but it is possible that such a step could have been omitted and the word was borrowed directly from Latin. The word also appears, however, in Gothic and Old Norse, which makes it plausible that there was indeed a Pgmc word from which OHG inherited it from. They're all invariably neuter. Leasnam (talk) 17:37, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I've updated the etymology at Pfund Leasnam (talk) 17:48, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Isn’t it confusing however to write “early borrowing” in this matter? Early to what? As I think it, the borrowing can only be late, in so far as it can only have been borrowed after the First Germanic Sound Shift (maybe to the already separated individual Germanic languages, maybe not, but independent of this I do not see what “early” is supposed to mean). Palaestrator verborum (talk) 19:00, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I generally use the word "early borrowing" when borrowings from that language were rather common in a later period, but this one predates that period. --WikiTiki89 19:05, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89, Yes, that is what I see "early borrowing" here to mean as well (i.e. it refers to the German language, and not to PGmc). But is it necessary to have ? If it's confusing, we can simply remove it Leasnam (talk) 21:03, 5 October 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. From 脧. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 07:51, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

here is a discussion of this word.--2001:DA8:201:3516:657E:889E:6EF:BCE9 08:48, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
It doesn't look convincing. I agree with the third response, which has pointed out that 脧 is unlikely. It's a two-fold problem:
  • It is phonologically implausible. (肉夋, meaning 赤子陰) is given the fanqie 子回切/祖回切, which would not give ceon1 in Cantonese or chhûn in Hakka. The zeon1 reading comes from the unrelated (月夋).
  • It is semantically implausible. 膥/春 refers to "egg" in all dialects that have this morpheme, and has extended its meaning to "testicle" (shaped like an egg) in Cantonese. This is parallel to 卵 (egg > testicle). This means that 脧 would not be its 本字, since its original meaning is "child's genitalia". (Whether 膥 is related to 卵 is debatable. We need some more evidence.) — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:07, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

"denki" from Chinese[edit]

Is 電気 really from the English translation of Chinese 電氣 (diànqì), as this blog entry explains? POKéTalker (talk) 09:01, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

English has nothing to do with it, as the blog says. The etymology is confirmed: [1]. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:20, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
WTF is the English translation of Chinese 電氣 (diànqì)? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:29, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Pardon my wrong choice of words. It's actually "from Chinese diànqì with the meaning of electricty". Appears that the word is imported to Japan. POKéTalker (talk) 10:26, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
 Here is another source. This one. BTW, talking of Wasei-Kango, 『汉语外来词词典』is useful.--Yoshiciv (talk) 13:58, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Interesting link, thank you @Yoshiciv.
The linked paper is by one Yutaka Fujita (ja:藤田豊), published May 14, 1967 by the Historical Society of English Studies in Japan. Fujita's research suggests that the first mention in Japanese of the term 電気 was in a work published in 1851 by Kawamoto Kōmin (ja:川本幸民), wherein Kawamoto mentions that he was following the Chinese translation convention of rendering English electricity as 電気. Fujita had no information on precisely what Chinese sources Kawamoto may have been reading, but he does note that there was a lot of Chinese reference material being imported into Japan during the period from 1800 through 1850.
My skills at bibliographical citation formatting are rather shaky, so I will forgo adding this to the Japanese 電気 entry at the present. If anyone else has the skills and desire, please have a go at it. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:36, 27 October 2017 (UTC)


Webster's says fist use 1705, origin unknown. I wonder if there has been some further investigation of this. Such a common bird, and word, strange that it should still lack an etymology.-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 00:15, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

sora is believed to have come from a Native American language. The identity of the language is not known. —Stephen (Talk) 14:32, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, for that. But I was wondering if or hoping that there might be some suggestion as to which language - presumably an eastern one, given the date the word enters English. But, I'm pretty ignorant about Native American languages, perhaps some of the eastern languages were never well recorded (similar to the paucity of information about the Sydney Language, or the Tasmanian Indigenous languages).-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 11:10, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
It certainly doesn't sound like a typical Eastern Algonquian loanword, as they tend to be longer and full of velar consonants (compare Appendix:English terms of Native North American origin#from Algonquian languages). But of course there are exceptions to any generalization. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:10, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Correcting anonymous edits, mostly RFV[edit]

If anyone has time, you can guide/help me correct some etymology entries that were done before my registration:

Tall order, but that's the extent of my past edits. You can reply directly below the entry for simplicity. POKéTalker (talk) 22:12, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

  • Thank you POKéTalker for compiling this list, this is very helpful. If it's all right with you, I'll strike out the listings above as I rework them (such as for (atama) above). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:53, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

translations of tax haven[edit]

I wonder why so many languages use the word "paradise". Have they all mistaken "haven" for "heaven"? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:17, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

I asked this very same question over a year ago. No answer that explains the apparent calquing. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 02:50, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
→ See the etymology section of fr:paradis fiscal with references. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 07:50, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Far from all translations have "paradise" or similar. There are also other variants, even if "paradise" exists and some are neutral or follow the English usage. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:53, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
It is wrong in the first place to presume that the designations in other languages are calques. Have the English been the first in tax evasion? Of course not, tax evasion is natural to man and non-English states have also levied higher taxes than the Anglo-Saxon speaking ones. Thus, the English term is the one which goes aloof. One may assume that the English have chosen the concept of a haven because they are a people which has dominated by seafaring more than any other. While other peoples have chosen an opposite direction by calling the the tax haven a tax oasis, like the largely land-bound Russians and Germans. Conversely, nations for whom an oasis is something mundane, as the Arabs and Hebrews, have called the place without any slanted metaphor “refuge”. Palaestrator verborum (talk) 11:38, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I think you're reading too much into this... —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 21:07, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Nobody is saying the English have been the first to practise tax evasion; they still might have been the first to coin a word for it. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:10, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
If we rely on Google Ngram, the Germans have started to use the word “Steueroase” in about 1920, while the Anglo-Saxons in about the 1940s. A Google Books search confirms this: From 1920 the word “Steueroase” appears, while earlier matches are misreadings for “Steuerkasse” written in Fraktur. The word “Steuerparadies” appears from 1929. English matches for “tax haven” start to appear in the later 1930s (earlier matches are for misdated volumes). So, the coinages are independent. Palaestrator verborum (talk) 12:56, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

I can't see any evidence that "tax paradise" is a calque on English "tax haven" mistook as "tax heaven". Both metaphor word, it is a "haven" in that it is a safe place to keep money from the taxman; and it is a "paradise" because it is like a heavenly place where everything is great (tax-wise, that is). I imagine they are independent. The mistaken calque theory cannot survive the cutting edge of Occam's Razor, IMHO.-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 11:07, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

A decade ago there were quite a few Japanese who were talking about “tax heaven” and I suppose this kind of misunderstanding must have been common also in any other non-English-speaking countries, considering the frequency difference between heaven and haven in English. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 12:52, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Very interesting. In that case the Japanese English tax heaven is mostly likely to indeed be a mistaken calque; but the same doesn't hold true for the term 'tax paradise' in a non-English language, that involves yet a further step.-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 09:53, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
In this case, the French paradis is rather a translation of heaven than paradise. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 03:20, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
I just found a cite for belasting-paradijs (old form of belastingparadijs) from December 1920: "De fiscus vraagt ons méer-dan-zes-maal-zooveel als in dat lang-vervlogen voorjaar van 1914, toen we óok al allemaal klaagden over de hooge belastingen... zonder te begrijpen, dat wij in een belasting-paradijs leerden! (sic)" I have yet to find an instance of tax haven that predates it. So it is apparently not a calque from English, even though the article is from an English correspondent. Also see what Palaestrator verborum wrote above for German. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:17, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
Did it mean a tax haven then? — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 12:46, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji It is a little hard to tell because the text is hyperbolic, but it does mean something like "low-tax utopia" and the similarity in meaning is clear when it is translated as "tax haven". The translation is: "The tax service asks from us more than six times as much as in that long bygone spring of 1914, when we all complained about the high taxes as well... without understanding that we lived in a tax haven!" It was also used for municipalities with low taxes in the 1930s and 1940s. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:37, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

The German Word Pol[edit]

According to the entry itself, the German word Pol is derived from Greek through Latin, but according to Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/pullaz, it's derived from Proto-Germanic. Is there an additional sense that isn't listed of the word, or is something just wrong there? Esszet (talk) 15:14, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

It's unlikely to be from Proto-Germanic. First of all, the semantics are wonky. Second, even accepting it as a dialect borrowing from Low German (to explain the lack of p > pf), the long vowel is hard to explain away. Surely if Low German Polle had been borrowed into German, it would be Polle or Poll, not Pol. (de-wikt does list a Polle (piece of pollen), but it's a back-formation from Pollen and has nothing to do with this word.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:20, 10 October 2017 (UTC)


Was this borrowed straight from Latin into modern English, or did it exist in older English already? How far back was it inherited? —Rua (mew) 18:07, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Without doing any research whatsoever, I assume English got it from French in about 1066. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:54, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
The name was rare in England until German-born George I, but had been around since the time of the Crusades...so it actually is from French Leasnam (talk) 19:40, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Was it? Wikipedia says "By the 14th century, [Saint George] had been declared both the patron saint [of England] and the protector of the royal family", so you'd think people would be naming their sons after him. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:17, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
You'd think, but somehow they must not have liked the name all that much Leasnam (talk) 15:46, 11 October 2017 (UTC)


Would an Italian speaker clarify where the -delle part of the word comes from? Is it from Italian delle, della? Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 10:16, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

@Sgconlaw: I don't think it comes from these contractions. Treccani says it's "der. di pappare, di formazione non ben chiarita" [derived from pappare, of unclear formation]. --Barytonesis (talk) 17:17, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
OK, in that case I'll leave the etymology as it currently stands. Thanks! — SGconlaw (talk) 01:56, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

Suikerfeest (Dutch for Eid al-Fitr)[edit]

Does anybody have any ideas why the Dutch is apparently a mistranslated calque (if it is a calque at all; Jacob Israël de Haan instead states that it refers to a custom of giving sweet treats)? The word first appears in newspapers around 1910. There is also an alternative explanation that it derives from Turkish. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:08, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

It's probably a calque of one of the other names, like Turkish Şeker Bayramı (literally sugar festival). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:20, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
That's what it says on Dutch Wikipedia, which I'm surprised nobody thought to check. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:15, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
I had checked it, but it was unsourced and the Trouw article contained the same information with a source. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:21, 16 October 2017 (UTC)


In your opinion, which of the two etymologies is more likely: χάος or native to Dutch? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 21:29, 11 October 2017 (UTC)


Seems somewhat excessive. DTLHS (talk) 06:22, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Chackoony was rather given to that. If you feel like cleaning up his etymologies, I reckon the right way to go about it would be to put his cognates for comparison in autocollapsed tables. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:10, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
I removed most of the cognates from that entry, since it's a compound and the cognates really belong at the pages of components. It appears Chackoony just took the cognates from Burrow's A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 21:05, 13 October 2017 (UTC)


Etymology? --Barytonesis (talk) 20:52, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

Template:PIE word[edit]

I understand the point of {{PIE root}} (they connect the derivation networks between various PIE and post-PIE terms), but this seems unnecessary. It seems to be just duplicating the work that Descendant sections already do. It's also unnecessarily privileging PIE; it's not as of we have "Category:LANG terms derived from Latin word XYZIUM" or anything of the sort. --Tropylium (talk) 13:12, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

, (náng)[edit]

The etymology section for , (náng) derives the term from Uyghur and Persian. I wonder if the sound change is regular, because there are also such forms as Sogdian nγn- (naγn, bread) and Manichaean Parthian ngn (naγn) in older Iranian languages. @Wyang --Z 15:57, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

@ZxxZxxZ Sorry I missed this ping for some reason.
The use of the character 饢 for this sense is fairly recent; it was not in the comprehensive Kangxi Dictionary or other traditional Chinese dictionaries. It is likely no earlier than 1-2 centuries ago- I couldn't find any attestations in this sense prior to that, so the current etymology is probably correct in saying that it was borrowed from contact with the Uyghur people.
饢 is pronounced /nɑŋ˥˩/ in the modern Ürümqi dialect of Mandarin, but there is confusion of the /-n/ and /-ŋ/ codas in the Xinjiang dialect of Chinese in general (ref), which may explain the náng - naan match.
P.S. I accidentally found this discussion on the etymology of naan and other Central Asian 'bread' terms on Language Log, which I find rather interesting. Wyang (talk) 09:19, 17 October 2017 (UTC)


According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, panchayat is "[f]rom Hindi (originally denoting a council consisting of five members), from Sanskrit panca ‘five’ + āyatta ‘depending upon’". I figured out the first element is Hindi पंच (pañc), a variant of पाँच (pā̃c, five), from Sanskrit पञ्चन् (páñcan, five), but what are the Hindi and Sanskrit words for the second element? Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 18:23, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Sanskrit आयत्त (āyatta, adhering, resting on, depending on). But the compound appears not to be Sanskrit; at least, Monier-Williams has no entry for a पञ्चायत्त (pañcāyatta) that I can find. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:08, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Is there a Hindi word corresponding to Sanskrit आयत्त (āyatta), do you know? — SGconlaw (talk) 01:57, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: Why did no one ping a native Hindi speaker lol? It's one Hindi word, पंचायत (pañcāyat). See Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary for more. -आयत (-āyat) is a now seemingly unproductive Hindi suffix, but a possibly Sanskrit source is Sanskrit पञ्चायतन (pañcāyatana, name of a ceremony) (but I doubt it). It's definitely not a compound, it's a post-Sanskrit creation. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 02:09, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. So you're saying it is not a good idea to indicate that the second element is "from Hindi -आयत (-āyat, [meaning?]), from Sanskrit आयत्त (āyatta, adhering; depending on; resting on)", and that we should just say it is directly from the latter Sanskrit word? — SGconlaw (talk) 02:38, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: That Sanskrit word has no relation to the Hindi morpheme. The expected outcome of the Sanskrit would be *आयात (*āyāt) (compensatory lengthening), and AFAIK no such term exists. The morpheme cannot be reliably traced to Sanskrit. IMO something like "Borrowing from Hindi पंचायत (pañcāyat), a derivative of Sanskrit पञ्चन् (pañcan, five)" would be sufficient. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 19:17, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
OK, thanks! — SGconlaw (talk) 22:32, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

vegetable (brain-dead person)[edit]

Any semantic connection to vegetative? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 14:23, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

vegetable, n.
2. fig. A person likened to a plant, spec. (a) one who leads an uneventful or monotonous life, without intellectual or social activity; (b) (in later use) one who is incapable of normal mental or physical activity, esp. as a result of brain damage. Cf. vegetable adj. 5.
1641 Naunton's Fragmenta Regalia sig. D4v He was a meere vegetable of the Court that sprung up at night and sunke againe at his noone.
1980 B. Castle Castle Diaries 242 I hope and pray she will die with dignity and not be reduced by a stroke into a vegetable.
vegetative, adj. and n.
A. adj.
a. In certain philosophical and theological systems: designating the soul, or that part of the soul, which is associated with the most basic functions of life (growth, development, reproduction) as distinguished from sensation and reason; having such a soul. Cf. vegetable adj. 1. Now chiefly hist.
The vegetative soul was considered by Aristotle to be present in all living things and was distinguished from the sensitive soul, present in animals, including humans, and the intellective soul, present in humans alone.
b. That grows and develops; living and growing as a plant; = vegetable adj. 2a. Obs.
2. Promoting or inducing the growth of plants.
3. Designating one of the several varieties of the philosophers' stone; cf. vegetable stone n. at vegetable adj. Special uses 2. Obs.
a. Of, relating to, connected with, or characterized by the process of growth. In early use esp. of a power, faculty, or principle.
b. Designating the most basic type of life, associated with the vegetative soul or (esp. in later use) with plants. Also: comprising vegetation (vegetation n. 7).
5. Consisting of or derived from vegetables or plants.
6. Designating the division of the natural world to which plants (and in early use all non-animal living organisms) belong; = vegetable adj. 3.
a. fig. Monotonous, dull; inactive, unchallenging.
b. Chiefly Med. Characterized by visceral functions only; having autonomic nervous function only; esp. lacking consciousness, cognitive function, and voluntary movement.
persistent vegetative state: see the first element.
1803 R. Kerrison tr. A. Richerand Elements Physiol. 40 If the great sympathetic nerves exist in all animals that have a distinct nervous system, do they not peculiarly contain the principle of this vegetative life [Fr. le principe de cette vie végétative], essential to the existence of every organized being, and to which belong the phenomena of digestion, absorption, the circulation, secretions, and of nutrition?
1836 Boston Med. & Surg. Jrnl. 6 July 346 The fœtus appears to be in a vegetative state.
1893 Daily News 25 Apr. 5/4 He is in what his doctor calls a vegetative state, and incapable of connecting two ideas together.
1986 Washington Post 31 Dec. a6/3 I had one patient who became vegetative during the study. Absolutely a vegetable, a mute.
a. Chiefly Bot. Relating to or concerned with growth and development, rather than sexual reproduction. Cf. somatic adj. 1c.
See also vegetative cell n.
b. Chiefly Bot. Designating reproduction or propagation achieved by asexual means, which in plants may occur naturally (by rhizomes, runners, bulbs, etc.) or artificially (by grafting, layering, or taking cuttings).
c. Biol. Designating a stage in the replication of a virus at which non-infective viral components are synthesized and assembled within the host cell; of or relating to this stage.
B. n.
1. An organism capable of growth and development but devoid of sensation and thought; spec. a plant (esp. as contrasted with an animal or human being). Now rare.
1668 Earl of Clarendon Ess. in Tracts (1727) 93 We live rather the Life of Vegetatives or Sensitives..than the lives of reasonable men.
1712 E. Cooke Voy. S. Sea 210 Having run over the living Creatures and Vegetatives.
1764 in 10th Rep. Royal Comm. Hist. MSS (1885) App. i. 372 We are vegetatives formed by education.
2. In pl. The faculties or powers associated with the vegetable soul. Obs. rare.
.... Lysdexia (talk) 20:11, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

cook < fire < fa[ther][edit]

or pekʷ- < péh₂wr̥ < peh₂- Lysdexia (talk) 19:22, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

Homophonous roots exist, you know? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 23:23, 16 October 2017 (UTC)


From the personal name of Serbian philologist and linguist Vuk Karadžić + -o- +‎ -ian, but where does the -v- come from? Can anyone improve the etymology? — SGconlaw (talk) 03:54, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

Probably the same place as the v’s of Shavian and Peruvian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:40, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
I made a guess that it is "[p]robably an anglicization of Serbo-Croatian vukovci (Vukovian) by the addition of the suffix -ian". Does that sound plausible? — SGconlaw (talk) 10:13, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes. After I wrote the above it occurred to me that even if the v is the same as in Shavian and Peruvian, why should the o be there? I'd expect simply "Vukian". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:53, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
OK, great. — SGconlaw (talk) 16:15, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
Presumably it should be vukovac (singular) rather than vukovci (plural); I’ll change the entry correspondingly. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 05:25, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! — SGconlaw (talk) 06:56, 19 October 2017 (UTC)


Probably a calque from international. Can someone confirm or infirm my hunch? --Barytonesis (talk) 08:33, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

The ARj says the equivalent Serbo-Croatian word međunarodni is calqued from Latin internationalis; it would be reasonable to suppose the same is true of the Russian as well. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 17:39, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Most likely the calque is of Latin origin, not English. English loanwords are mostly relatively new in Russian. Having a hinch is not always great, though without a source. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:36, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
@Atitarev: in this specific case though, Latin internationalis is itself a calque, a Neo-Latin term not found in Ancient texts; the first language to have coined it is English, apparently. With a Wanderwort like this it will probably be difficult to find the exact route. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:56, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

What's your problem about calques ? Languages evolve through calques and other tricks !!! —This unsigned comment was added by Dictionaric (talkcontribs).

@Dictionaric: I don't have a problem with calques. I like them very much, in fact. --Barytonesis (talk) 10:58, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

苛政猛於虎苛政猛于虎 (kēzhèng měng yú hǔ)”[edit]

From a Confucius story in the Book of Rites.

孔子泰山婦人夫子使子路:「。」:「。」夫子:「何為?」:「苛政。」夫子:「苛政猛於虎。」 [Classical Chinese, trad.][▼ expand/hide]
孔子泰山妇人夫子使子路:“。”:“。”夫子:“何为?”:“苛政。”夫子:“苛政猛于虎。” [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: The Book of Rites, circa 4th – 2nd century BCE
Kǒngzǐ guò tàishān cè, yǒu fùrén kū yú mù zhě ér āi, fūzǐ shì ér tīng zhī, shǐ zǐlù wèn zhī, yuē: “Zǐ zhī kū yě, yī sì zhòng yǒu yōu zhě.” Ér yuē: “Rán. Xī zhě wú jiù sǐ yú hǔ, wú fū yòu sǐ yān, jīn wú zǐ yòu sǐ yān.” Fūzǐ yuē: “Héwèi bù qù yě?” Yuē: “Wú kēzhèng.” Fūzǐ yuē: “Xiǎo zǐ shí zhī: kēzhèngměngyúhǔ yě.” [Pinyin]
(please add an English translation of this example)

-- 04:42, 19 October 2017 (UTC)


Date of coinage, anyone? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:21, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

The earliest uses recorded in the OED (2nd edition) are from 1788, referring to a high-standing racehorse; the OED also notes that ‘a horse named Skyscraper, sired by Highflyer, won the Epsom Derby in 1789’. Shortly thereafter, other uses start appearing: a triangular skysail in 1794, a tall hat in 1800, a tall tale in 1841, a tall person in 1857, a ball hit high in baseball in 1866, and finally a tall building in 1883. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 17:56, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Didn't know it had such a history. --Barytonesis (talk) 15:51, 21 October 2017 (UTC)


Is it a back-formation from mansplaining? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:34, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

MENTEL Breton substantive meaning BALANCE[edit]

I really don't understand why my etymology is not accepted at least as a beginning of explanation. I gave the explainations you need for the evolution of the meaning. Check Breton, Welsh and Irish for being convinced.

@Dictionaric It's formatted horribly. First of all, etyma are never writtten with all caps in Wiktionary. Two, "Gaulic" is not a name we use here + there were several spelling mistakes, and most importantly, your explanation's wild assumptions do not align with any sources. Also I cannot find your supposed Irish cognate, while for the Welsh cognate (???) mantol the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru has no idea where it comes from. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 21:18, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Germanic words for "to go"[edit]

Got a few questions.

  • Is the Old Norse intermediary of the North Germanic descendants of *gāną attested at all? The verb listed there seems to mean "heed"...
  • The ijj-stem is only attested in Old English and Gothic, where they are taped to different verbs entirely: OE to *gāną, and Gothic to *ganganą. For what rationale would the ijj-stem be considered to be the past of *gāną in the proto-language proper instead of the daughter suppletions doing it independently?

Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 02:12, 23 October 2017 (UTC)


The entries veganic#Etymology (veganic = blend of vegan + organic) and -ic#Usage notes (veganic = vegan + -ic) are contradicting. Which etymology is correct? - 09:58, 22 October 2017 (UTC)


Hi, could a Hebrew speaker provide the Hebrew word for genizot (and perhaps add it to גניזה as well)? Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 09:50, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Yes check.svg DoneAɴɢʀ (talk) 10:54, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! Genizah will be Word of the Day on 25 October 2017. — SGconlaw (talk) 11:10, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

vicious circle[edit]

Would anyone know which language this expression came from? The Russian entry says it's a calque from Latin circulus vitiosus, but I'm not entirely convinced. --Barytonesis (talk) 16:15, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

There is virtuous cycle to ponder as well. What's not convincing about the Latin? —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 12:36, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

Italian città[edit]

Could someone tell me why {{inh|it|roa-oit|cittade}} is giving out a module error? --Barytonesis (talk) 18:22, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Old Italian was merged into Italian in the past, so it essentially says that it inherited the term from itself. —Rua (mew) 18:27, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
I see, but why does {{der|it|roa-oit}} work then? --Barytonesis (talk) 18:33, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Good question. —Rua (mew) 18:38, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

lvalue and rvalue[edit]

These entries currently say these programming terms come from "left" and "right", referring to the left and right side of an assignment (for instance, int x = 1;, where x is a lvalue and 1 is an rvalue), but there are a fair number of Google results mentioning "location value" and "register value" as the origin. (Search lvalue "location value" or rvalue "register value", or see this article for an example.) That sounds plausible to me, but I wouldn't know how to verify it. — Eru·tuon 08:03, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

Finnish valtameri[edit]

It says compound from valta+meri, which is plausible, but I wonder if it's a modern re-analysis, and originally is just a German loan from Weltmeer (i.e. world sea)?--Flammie (talk) 11:19, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

Is it a {{calque}}? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:30, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
The semantics are the least plausible part of the existing derivation. At any rate, I would think it probably wouldn't be (Modern High) German, but older Low German. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:02, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
A phono-semantic matching rather than a calque? --Barytonesis (talk) 18:54, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *deupaz[edit]

PGmc *deupaz hints at PIE *dʰewbos, which would be a regular thematic adjective, and not *dʰéwbus, which is a Caland adjective (with the expected parallel formations *dʰubrós and *dʰubnós in other daughter languages). What is the reason for assuming *deupaz came from a u-stem? --EstendorLin (talk) 22:11, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

Wackernagel's law? --2A02:2788:A4:F44:1D0A:BECC:8CAD:7152 22:22, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
That's a law about clitics. I see no clitic. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 03:06, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
Stuck an RFD to the PIE entry. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 17:38, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, Balto-Slavic languages do attest the u-stem, so it should not be deleted. *dʰéubus seems to fit perfectly into the Caland system of the root *dʰeub-. All I'm trying to say is, Germanic seems to attest an o-stem adjective that is not currently listed anywhere, but since I'm not an expert, I wanted to consult other users before making any modifications. --EstendorLin (talk) 20:54, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

Spanish bacán[edit]

Is this etymology plausible? This is apparently the only Spanish term derived from Ligurian. DTLHS (talk) 07:07, 25 October 2017 (UTC)


Doesn't it need cleanup? Only the South Slavic descendants seem to be a direct match, or the -ен (-en) of a Russian short form like го́лоден (góloden). --Barytonesis (talk) 10:54, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

It looks fine to me. —Rua (mew) 11:12, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
To me too. The East and West Slavic descendants are from the definite declension, but they're still descendants. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:32, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
Well, I'd prefer we give the short forms endings for all the daughter languages, even if we don't lemmatise at the short forms for East Slavic and West Slavic. It's slightly confusing otherwise. --Barytonesis (talk) 18:13, 31 October 2017 (UTC)


Cited in the entry as O-grade, but its examples are zero-grade... Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 12:45, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

English "blackball"[edit]

I found a reference to "blackball" relating to trolley/streetcar/tram service from 1949, though it apparently was used in the 1910s, referring to cars that permitted African-Americans, who were banned from all other cars: https://web.archive.org/web/20070107050327/http://www.ewh.ieee.org/r3/richmond/railway.htm This fits with the standard definition. Am I justified in adding it?

November 2017


Seems that this Chinese lemma has 2 different etymologies, and they may be out of Sinitic. It must be interesting. Dokurrat (talk) 12:51, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

What in the Sam Hill, expression.[edit]

I'm thinking that the expression may come from the Celtic name for Halloween, which is Samhain. To Whit: What in the Samhain.

I think you're mispronouncing that word. It doesn't actually sound like "Sam Hill" and there's no /h/ sound. Listen to our audio clip in the entry. Equinox 20:32, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

आड़ू, آڑو, ਆੜੂ, and آڙو[edit]

These four words all mean peach and are all pronounced āṛū. Obviously, there is most likely a relation between these words, but I can't find any reliable sources on their etymology, or any sources at all, for that matter. Does anyone have more information on the subject? Aamri2 (talk) 19:16, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

@Aamri2: A hypothetical Proto-Indo-Aryan *āḍu- has been reconstructed by the Indologist Ralph Lilley Turner. See Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages for more cognates. Apparently, it may be an Iranian borrowing. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 19:29, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
@Aryamanarora: Thank you. That dictionary will come in handy, once I can make more sense of it. As well, thank you for making the edits to the pages. Aamri2 (talk) 23:08, 4 November 2017 (UTC)


Right now it's missing an etymology. I'm 99% sure it's just taken from ἀλλότριος (allótrios, foreign) + -morph. Can I add it? --2601:246:C602:67B3:F520:5E6A:3B4B:E98E 21:41, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Yes, go ahead. --Barytonesis (talk) 21:43, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Polish suka[edit]

The etymology section says this is inherited from Proto-Slavic *sǫka, but it can't be, can it? Wouldn't the inherited term have to be *sęka or *sąka? If so, then suka must be borrowed from some other Slavic language (almost any other Slavic language besides Slovene), right? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:38, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

That's well spotted, you're probably right. —Rua (mew) 14:39, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I had forgotten that I had already asked this at Reconstruction talk:Proto-Slavic/sǫka almost 2 years ago. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:41, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Kashubian and Polabian; can sëka and sauko be inherited? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:44, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

German Ausdruck[edit]

could it be a calque from expression/espressione in a romance language . thank you. --2A02:2788:A4:F44:401C:A4FB:C091:D24A 18:14, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

I've always assumed it is, yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:10, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Albanian ashkë[edit]

Not to open up another one of these topics again, but how reliable is the work of Vladimir Orel in general, since he's used as a citation for many etymologies in Albanian entries, many of which other users and I believe are dubious? From what I've read, a fair amount of his work is controversial; he was prolific and apparently did work on quite a wide variety of languages, even attempting to write on the topic of Nostratic, but his main interest was Balto-Slavic languages and some other IE families.

Anyway, my main question was about this specific entry for now. Most other sources, including etymological dictionaries for Romance languages themselves, have this as a descendant of Latin esca. It undergoes the appropriate sound shifts into Albanian and corresponds exactly to the meaning found in all other Romance derivatives.. i.e. that of tinder/touchwood; eshkë actually means mushroom used as tinder, which is found in Romanian iască as well. And we can see the likely semantic shift from what in Latin was originally "food" or "bait" to this meaning. The coincidence is too much for it to be separately derived from a completely different root in Indo-European, in this case allegedly the root of 'axis'. I feel like this linguist was a little too determined to find direct Indo-European roots for many Albanian terms, often putting out erroneous etymologies. But I think that as soon as I modify that etymology, some Albanian nationalist will come and revert it or add more spurious sources. Word dewd544 (talk) 18:27, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

@Vahagn Petrosyan? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:08, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I have cleaned up ashkë, eshkë and eshke. --Vahag (talk) 19:14, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
Ah, that makes more sense. I had a suspicion that the two words may have actually been different as well. I meant to mainly talk about eshkë then (which certainly does correspond to Lat. esca and is the form most of the dictionaries I saw referred to), but ashkë had a slightly inaccurate or misleading definition on here, which threw me off. Thanks. Word dewd544 (talk) 23:49, 16 November 2017 (UTC)


I can't seem to semantically derive Sense 3 from senses 1 and 2. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 03:11, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

I've read somewhere that the Medieval Latin word was influenced by German and this is where the meanings "thick, great", etc. come from. Not sure how true that is, but it seems to make sense. Leasnam (talk) 15:05, 9 November 2017 (UTC)


The etymology conflicts with the example given on Template:compound. The one on the page is bar + tender, but the one on the template page is bar + tend + -er and specifically says that it's not bar + tender. Globins (talk) 05:12, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

@Nbarth added that line to the template documentation back in 2014: [2]. Personally, I prefer bar + tender. BigDom 14:20, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Sorry about this, and thanks for contacting me; fixed!
This was due to a too-strict reading of https://www.etymonline.com/word/bartender "from bar (n.2) + agent noun of tend (v.2)", which implies no intermediate form. As one can see from https://www.etymonline.com/word/tender the agent noun tender was in use, and thus it should be bar + tender. This affected 3 pages (also tender), all fixed now:
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 14:28, 20 November 2017 (UTC)


The entry gives a theory that this Vietnamese word comes form Chinese . Is that possible? I see various Chu Nom forms given; does this imply that “bạc” may be attested quite early? As for 鉑 as platinum in Chinese, can it be attested in pre-modern times? @Wyang. Dokurrat (talk) 13:40, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

@Wyang, do you have anything to add here? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:23, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
@Dokurrat, Eirikr I don't think VN bạc is from Chinese 鉑 as the time frames do not match. This is quite complicated. There are a number of words:
  1. (“metal foil”) < (MC bwɑk̚, “metal foil”) < (MC bwɑk̚, “thin”);
  2. (, “platinum”) < (bái, “white”);
  3. Proto-Vietic *baːk (white) < (OC *braːɡ, “white”); and
  4. General MK *prak ("silver") ~ (OC *braːɡ, “white”).
Vietnamese bạc is unlikely to be from #1 and #2. IMO #4 is the most likely. Mark Alves is of the opinion that Vietnamese bạc (silver) is from (MC bˠæk̚, “white”), paralleling Vietnamese vàng (gold) (OC *ɡʷaːŋ, “yellow”). Wyang (talk) 23:26, 10 November 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology (glyph origin). Dokurrat (talk) 14:01, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

"Lua error: French is not an ancestor of Haitian Creole"[edit]

I tried to use {{inh}} at adaptasyon and I got this error. Is this an oversight or intentional? I wouldn't consider it borrowed. Ultimateria (talk) 18:01, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

The way that creoles, pidgins, and mixed languages form is not conducive to our current system. Haitian Creole is not exactly a descendant of French, because if you just let French evolve, you wouldn't get a creole. But by no means is it a borrowing, either. This is one of many cases where there is no template more appropriate to use than {{der}}. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:07, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Pidgins and creoles neither exactly borrow nor exactly inherit vocabulary from their lexifier languages, so {{der}} is really the only template appropriate in most cases. That said, however, it is possible for a creole to borrow words from other languages, including their lexifier language, for example technical terms and other learnèd vocabulary. In fact, I suspect that Haitian Creole adaptasyon is a loanword from French (i.e. it was deliberately taken from French rather than belonging to the everyday vocabulary of the first Haitian Creole speakers), just as French adaptation itself is indeed a loanword from Medieval Latin adaptātiō, and not an inheritance. I suppose it's also possible for a creole to inherit words from the pidgin that it evolved from, but I don't know whether we have separate codes for any pidgin/creole pairs in a mother/daughter relationship. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:36, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I would consider all terms in a pidgin borrowed. They do come from another language, after all. The difference is that the borrowing is what creates this new language. The speakers of the pidgin fall back to their native languages for terms, which are then used by others and thus enter the pidgin. —Rua (mew) 19:52, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

Proto-Slavic/sъcati vs. Proto-Slavic/sьcati[edit]

Should Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/sъcati be deleted or redirected to Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/sьcati? I find the latter in multiple sources but not the former. --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:01, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like reasonable grounds for deleting, esp. when the entry was created by a drive-by anon. --Tropylium (talk) 21:12, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
And the reason itself why the entry is wrong is particularly that only with ь the progressive palatalization rule can have the effect of making a ⟨с⟩ out of a ⟨k­⟩, not with ъ. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 00:22, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I've made the redirect and used {{attention}} to draw attention to differences between the two pages' descendants lists. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:14, 18 November 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Dokurrat (talk) 05:54, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

TLFi etymologies[edit]

I've run into a few entries on the mostly authoritative Tresor de la Langue Francaise Informatisee dictionary that had some puzzling information in the etymology sections. Like for bailli, where it lists it as a borrowing from Latin bajulivum (we have it as Vulgar Latin *baiulivus here)... whereas the related bailler is not indicated as a borrowing. There were about a dozen or so other entries among the hundreds I've been through that also had some confusing information in the etymologies, mostly concerning seemingly popular words that they described as borrowed, like how atteindre was supposedly borrowed (empr.) from Vulgar Latin *attangere, and they don't really delve into more of an explanation why they think it's a borrowing exactly. And borrowing from an unattested Vulgar Latin term is a bit odd in of itself. Does anyone know why they may be listed as such?

I can't remember the other examples off the top of my head right now, but in those cases I ended up mentioning in the etymology sections here that they may have been borrowed (according to the TLFi)... even though otherwise they seem to be inherited as far as phonetics go. Not sure if it's the date that's the issue (but for most of them they were still attested by 1100 or the 11th century, if not earlier).

A resource I found on Old French on the other hand, along with a few linguistic essays I browsed through, seemed to accept several of the terms seen as borrowed by the French academy's dictionary as inherited (not necessarily the specific ones I was talking about above). I noticed there was also a case where the TLFi failed to mention an obviously borrowed word like hypnotique was a borrowing, but so far that's the only one I found. Overall it's still pretty much the most reliable resource we have on French etymologies, but I just wanted to see if anyone had any ideas about this. I'm not enough of an expert to contradict them, but on occasion even sources like this may not be totally accurate or may just be missing some info... I know the Spanish RAE has actually made many inaccuracies, but the TLFi seems to hold their work to a higher or more rigorous standard. Word dewd544 (talk) 00:44, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Edit- to add to that, I recently noticed bave is also listed as being borrowed from a Vulgar Latin *baba in that dictionary. Not sure if that means it's because it was altered from the Old French form beve, because afterward it says the modern form is a result of being influenced by the derived verb baver... Word dewd544 (talk) 02:22, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of the Navajo word níłtsą́ (rain)[edit]

In the etymology section of the entry níłtsą́ a derivation from the root -TSʼĄʼ ("to trickle, accumulate in a trickle") is proposed. This root is also attested in other Athabaskan languages, e.g. Hupa -tsʼaʼ (leak out (of water)), Carrier -tsʼaʼ (to be viscous) and Chipewyan -tθʼał (to be watery). However YM (1992) lists níłtsą́ under a different root, namely -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ ("to rain, raindrops fall"). In my opinion the latter etymology makes more sense. Apart from the semantic association, there are two basic considerations that make me think the word níłtsą́ should be related to the root -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ rather than -TSʼĄʼ:

  1. The root -TSʼĄʼ has an ejective alveolar affricate, while níłtsą́ displays its aspirated counterpart. I don't know of any phonological or morphophonemic rule in Navajo according to which an ejective consonant could lose its glottalic exponent, i.e. Cʔ → C. It is true that stem variations in Navajo are for the most part unpredictable, however these changes generally involve quality, quantity, nasality or tone of the radical vowel and/or alterations of the syllabic coda of the root, but not initial consonants. Sometimes classifiers -ł-, -l and -d- can alter the first consonant of the stem, nevertheless this alteration only affects the [+/- voiced] feature, in the case of -l- and -ł-, or triggers the D-effect, in the case of -d-, but it doesn't affect the [+/- ejective] feature.
  2. Formally, níłtsą́ is a noun derived from an homophone verb form meaning "there is rain, it's rainy", hence "rain". Nominal forms like this one normally come from a verb conjugated in the Neuter aspect, see e.g. names of colors: łichííʼ ((it is) red, Neuter Imperfective), dootłʼizh ((it is) blue-green, Neuter Perfective), etc., and atmospheric terms like níłchʼi (wind, wind blows, Neuter Perfective). Interestingly, the last example I've given shows a close resemblance to níłtsą́ in the structure: both have the modal/adjectival ni- prefix, the classifier -ł- (here thematic) and a Neuter Perfective stem. In YM's Analytical Lexicon of Navajo, the root -TSʼĄʼ (to trickle) has the following stem set:
TRANS -tsʼąąh -tsʼąʼ -tsʼąął -tsʼąʼ -tsʼąąh
NEUT -tsʼąʼ
So, as one can see, the Neuter Perfective stem of this root is -tsʼąʼ instead of -tsą́. However, if we assume níłtsą́ derives from the root -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ (rain falls), we get the right form, the Neuter Perfective stem of this root is in fact -tsą́.

For these reasons I reckon the correct etymology of níłtsą́ (rain) relates to the root -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ. What do you think? Should we change what's written in the etymology section for this word? — Sorjam (talk) 15:13, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 03:13, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
@Eirikr, Stephen G. Brown Chuck Entz (talk) 03:24, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
níłtsą́ is from -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ. Pre-Proto-Athabaskan *kan, Proto-Athabaskan *kʸan. -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ is cognate with -TSĄĄD (belly, become pregnant). —Stephen (Talk) 04:27, 21 November 2017 (UTC)


What's the etymology of this? Are there cognates in other Germanic languages? Teepok (talk) 05:41, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

It appears that all the "magic" words derive from the verb tsjoene, which itself derived from Old Frisian tiōna, tiūna (to use, damage, injure), related to the archaic English word teen (harm, injury). Leasnam (talk) 00:02, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
As far as cognates, yes. In addition to English teen, there is Icelandic tjón (damage, loss) Leasnam (talk) 00:22, 22 November 2017 (UTC)