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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

December 2020

舢板 (shānbǎn)[edit]

@Justinrleung There's a theory that suggests 舢板 was originally 三板 because a sampan consisted of only three planks. This looks like folk etymology to me as in standard Cantonese it's pronounced saan1 baan2. Any comments on this? RcAlex36 (talk) 05:15, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

With assimilation, the Cantonese would still be saam1 baan2 as expected. The bigger issue is whether this is actually 三板 or if it's Austronesian as pointed out in the English Wikipedia article. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:14, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

Origin of Word Magizh (மகிழ்)[edit]

This word Magizh (மகிழ் in Tamil) has been found in literatures. As Verb it means "be happy". The noun is மகிழ்ச்சி (Magizhchi). —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:52, 2 December 2020 (UTC).

The Tamil Lexicon of the University of Madras lists மகிழ் (makiḻ) also as two nouns, one glossed as “1. Joy, exhilaration; 2. Intoxication from liquor; 3. Toddy”, the other as “Pointed-leaved ape-flower, Mimusaps elangi (sic).”[3] There is a tree species Mimusops elengi, which according to Wikipedia is named “Magizhampoo” in Tamil Nadu; the latter seems to refer specifically to the flower, though, or to a type of sari.[4][5]  --Lambiam 16:19, 3 December 2020 (UTC)

Afalina for Black Sea dolphins[edit]

The countries around the Black Sea have a common word for the bottlenose dolphin that lives there: Bulgarian афала (afala), Russian афалина (afalina), Turkish afalina, and Ukrainian афаліна (afalina). A source also gives in Latin script the words afalina in Georgia and afalin in Romania. What is the original word and who borrowed from whom? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 22:16, 3 December 2020 (UTC)

They are from φάλλαινα (phállaina). This may be interesting to you. Of course the etymologies probably aren't that straightforward and there is probably more to say between the modern forms and Ancient Greek. DTLHS (talk) 16:25, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. Looks like the aspirated p from Ancient Greek evolved in two directions, into b in the baleen group of descendants and f in the afalina group of descendants. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 16:46, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
According to de Vaan, the Latin borrowing from Greek (with an unexplained ph- > b-), proposed by Leumann (Lateinische Laut- und Formenlehre), is uncertain, while a joint (substrate?) source of Ancient Greek φάλλαινα (phállaina) and Latin ballaena, hypothesized by the Etymologicum Magnum, is unknown. The change ph- > f occurred, as was to be expected, in the transition from Ancient Greek to Modern Greek φάλαινα (fálaina) – which, however, strictly means “whale”.  --Lambiam 17:15, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
But according to Russian dictionaries, from Ancient Greek ἄφαλος (áphalos, without crest). If one wants to derive from φάλλαινα (phállaina), then a- needs an explanation. Abkhaz can add it, but Abkhaz афалина (āfālinā) seems a scholarly Russian borrowing. --Vahag (talk) 16:54, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
I thought it could be an adaptation of the Greek article () or αἱ (hai). Arguments in favor of φάλλαινα are the meaning (dolphins are small whales) and presence of the -ina ending. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:09, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
These words seem literary inventions and borrowings. Such adaptations could happen in living dialects, but not in scholarly creations. --Vahag (talk) 17:22, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
I doubt that the Ancient Greeks grouped dolphins (Delphinidae) taxonomically together with the large whales such as the Mysticeti.  --Lambiam 17:29, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
I'll write about the Georgian word, since I like have 0 qualifications elsewhere. @Vox Sciurorum, so personally, I think in Georgian apalina is a scientific term for Black Sea dolphins borrowed from Russian. I doubt the word existed because Abuladze (Old Georgian dictionary) doesn't have an entry on it and neither does Sulkhan-Saba 17th century Middle Georgian dictionary. So I think it's safe to assume a Russian borrowing post 18th century. -Solarkoid (talk) 23:00, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Are these words known from before the 20th century? Possibly they all came from the Russian coinage mentioned above, spread in the Soviet era. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 10:42, 5 December 2020 (UTC)


The booing/jeering and middle-finger senses of "the bird" are covered under a separate etymology, Ety 3, though this is said to originate from the idea of “to hiss someone like a goose”, which is really the same word "bird" as Ety 1. Is it our policy to have a separate ety section here, or should they be merged? Mihia (talk) 21:49, 4 December 2020 (UTC)

If we did this with every word, every definition would always have its own etymology... They should definitely be merged. There's nothing wrong with explaining the origin of specific senses in the etymology. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:53, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
I do tend to agree, so I have merged them. Mihia (talk) 18:26, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

On that note, shouldn’t the ‘woman’ and ‘girlfriend’ senses have a separate etymology, from Middle English burde? (as in ‘Ichot a burde in boure bryht / That sully semly is on syht …’) – Our entry at burd claims so, at any rate. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 19:19, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

At [6] they say that this "bird" is "perhaps a variant of birth [...] confused with burd and bride (q.q.v.), but felt by later writers as a figurative use of bird (n.1)" and also that "Modern slang meaning 'young woman' is from 1915, and probably arose independently of the older word". Mihia (talk) 20:56, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

bird, yardbird[edit]

Ety 2 of bird, Cockney rhyming slang, shortened from bird-lime for "time", has the following definitions:

  1. (slang, uncountable) A prison sentence.
    He’s doing bird.
  2. A yardbird

However, yardbird makes no mention of any connection with Cockney rhyming slang. Clearly the "chicken" sense of yardbird has nothing to do with this, and I question whether the sense "A person who is imprisoned" does either, despite the coincidence of meaning. (If by any chance it does, then I suppose it should have a separate ety mention at yardbird.) Any ideas? Mihia (talk) 22:00, 4 December 2020 (UTC)

The term yardbird in the sense of a person doing prison time being US slang, I think the (imperfect) coincidence of meaning with a Cockney slang term is a coincidence. Rather than this sense of yardbird needing a separate etymology, this sense of bird as a shortening of yardbird – if properly attestable – would seem to need one. Is it also (chiefly} US slang? (Also, I think the sole lemma for the Cockney slang should be do bird – I doubt that the noun in the sense of “prison time” occurs in this sense without the verb.)  --Lambiam 10:20, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
Yes, if "bird = yardbird" has nothing to do with the Cockney rhyming slang, which we suspect it doesn't, then I suppose it should be moved to a separate ety section, "shortening of yardbird", or perhaps we could get away with listing it under the main sense with a label to that effect? I'm not completely certain which sense(s) of "yardbird" are supposed to be shortenable to "bird". I assume at least the sense "person who is imprisoned", possibly "soldier who is required to perform menial work on the grounds of a military base", but presumably not "chicken", as that seems a little pointless? (BTW, it's interesting that the "bird" idea also arises in the word jailbird.) On your second point, my feeling is that "bird" in the Cockney rhyming slang sense can exist outside the phrase "do bird". I haven't found any "proper" citations, but for example at [7] someone writes "W can have committed the attempted murder after he'd finished his bird for the GBH", which to me reads fine. Mihia (talk) 14:25, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
I have put it under the main ety on the basis that the "bird" of "yardbird" is just the ordinary word "bird", and a separate ety seems to me to be making slightly too much of a meal of it. Mihia (talk) 18:46, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Is burden or OE. "byrd" (see *burþī) found in any way used to mean penalty, guilt, something like that? Burden is a bit of an ambivalent term so I could imagine those examples were not from Rhyming Slang. 15:59, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
I know very little about etymology, but "burden" is said to be related to "bear", and I would imagine that it is completely unrelated to the ordinary word "bird" and definitely has nothing to do with the Cockney rhyming slang sense of the word. Mihia (talk) 23:30, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
Mihia: But *burþini and *burþī are different stems. It is of course unrelated to bird, though its origin is uncertain, but it appears possibly homophone, hence my wonderement if you can get "prison time" from OE byrd, in which case the Cockney rhyming slang could be secondary, perhaps after the word had largely disappeared. 14:02, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Romanian 'strai'[edit]

Could we please take Polish into consideration as the most likely candidate for the etymology of this word? It seems that the Polish word has been completely ignored with much more distant candidates being considered. Polish words in Romanian are rare, but they exist. These are some of them: 'pavăză' (Type of shield wielded by the Polish 'piechota'), 'radă' (council), 'șleahtă' (The elite members of society; the Polish bourgeoisie), 'pofidă' (Irony, trouble), 'șuștac' (Polish coin).

The Polish word 'strój' means 'garment, clothing, attire' and is a very common, frequently used word in daily language as well as literature.

Vxern (talk) 21:07, 5 December 2020 (UTC)

Portuguese -oco[edit]

Is there a connection between Portuguese -oco and Gothic *-𐌿𐌺𐍃 (*-uks) ? Leasnam (talk) 08:40, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Latin albedo[edit]

User:ClearCorrectCC added the following note: "The origin of the word ultimately comes from Arabic "الأبيض‎". I reverted it for now, since a native Latin etymology looks more likely, but is there any truth to this? — surjection??⟩ 10:49, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

What are the vowels of the Arabic? If it's "al-ʾabyaḍ" it seems very unlikely to be the source or even an influence since the /l/ and the /b/ aren't adjacent in Arabic. But if the Arabic source were claimed to be, say, الْبَيَاض(al-bayāḍ), then since the Latin word doesn't appear until Late Latin it is at least conceivable that albēdō started out as an Arabic loanword that got modified by folk etymology to appear to be albus + -ēdō. But I'd want to see some very convincing evidence of that, as it is a priori far more likely to be a native formation and the similarity to the Arabic pure coincidence. —Mahāgaja · talk 11:45, 6 December 2020 (UTC)
The Arabic Wikipedia uses الوضاءة (alwaḍāʾa) but gives الْبَيَاض(albayāḍ) as a synonym.  --Lambiam 18:03, 6 December 2020 (UTC)
I don't think that the proposed etymology is worth a discussion as long as serious research hasn't been presented. The arrogant edit summary would IMO justify a short term block. --Akletos (talk) 10:08, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
The proposed derivation from Arabic الأبيض(alʾabyaḍ) seems wrong. But is the phonetic similarity between albedo and albayāḍ really one of these curious coincidences, or does it stem from an etymological commonality (like borrowing in one direction or the other), made somewhat opaque by a remarkably apt folk-etymological adaptation? I for one think that the question is worth some consideration. There are accepted examples where the phonetic similarity is less convincing (e.g. German Hängematte from Spanish hamaca, or English eyelet from (Middle) French œillet).  --Lambiam 14:55, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Why should Latin borrow a term for whiteness? Why should Latin borrow a term for whiteness from Arabic? Why should Latin borrow a term for whiteness from Arabic and inflect it that way? I don't say it's impossible (Perhaps it described qualities of frankincense?), but it's so improbable a scenario that I don't think it's worth considering until we get more information from the person that brought it forth. --Akletos (talk) 17:42, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Late Latin, but still too early to be from Arabic. Arabic words, barring trade items like gossypium where we cannot exclude exotic paths, should only start with the sudden expansion of the Arabs with Islam, so masca is at the very edge with its Arabic suggestion and I was much inclined to remove it as uninformed. And Latin being purist, a borrowing from Arabic is unlikely at any time for such a basic meaning, since it means just “whiteness” and not something in astronomy, in which area we are used to Arabic borrowings, which is probably why the editor who added the Arabic origin was confused, having the English meanings in mind. Logical his derivation is not: as noticed the words are not all that similar either. Tip, @Lambiam: Words with ض() are never borrowed (short of one rare exception, more southern Semitic languages with equivalent phonemes); and it’s all a coincidence since what we have to compare is the Arabic root ب ي ض(b-y-ḍ) to the stem alb-. Fay Freak (talk) 15:33, 7 December 2020 (UTC)


Is there any proof that this is from Proto-Indo-Aryan? Because the lists here and here suggest otherwise. 14:10, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

There's a link in the entry to a reference that says it is. Proto-languages are theoretical constructs, so "proof" is probably not the best way to describe it.
I don't read Hindi, so I can't comment on the pages you linked to. I will say in general that PIA is the reconstructed ancestor of all the Indic languages. The language it represents would have been spoken at a specific time and place (or places), and it would have had both inherited and borrowed words, just like modern languages.
The process of adding words through borrowing has been going on from the beginning, so with borrowed vocabulary it's just a matter of at what stage of the history of the Indic languages the borrowing occurred- there's no difference of kind between words that were already borrowed by the PIA period and those that were borrowed later.
In English, we have words that were borrowed in modern times, we have words that were borrowed into Middle English, and we have words that were borrowed into Old English. We also know of words that were borrowed into Proto-West-Germanic and Proto-Germanic, and even a few that were probably borrowed into Proto-Indo-European.
In other words, something reconstructable to PIA can still be either a native or a non-native word, so there may be no contradiction in saying this might be of other origin and inherited from PIA. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:17, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
The proto-form *cūha- is explicitly given in {{R:CDIAL}} (#4899). --Tropylium (talk) 16:26, 7 December 2020 (UTC)


It seems likely that the three noun senses of fairing all have different etymologies, yet this entry doesn't even have one etymology section. 2001:8000:1588:B800:55BC:C459:7CAF:669A 03:54, 8 December 2020 (UTC)

Senses 2 and 3 share an origin; one of the quotations on sense 3 belongs to a sense that we don't have yet: "To get his fairing: to get his deserts" (quoting original OED). The food sense is because food was sold at fairs. I don't know the origin of the first sense. Compare fair (free from obstacles or hindrances). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 14:33, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
No, it's more likely from the gerund of fair (To smoothen or even a surface). I will split etymologies. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 14:34, 8 December 2020 (UTC)

tusker, tushker[edit]

We have tusker as "(Britain, Orkney, Shetland) a tool used in peat cutting" from "Old Norse torfskeri, from torf (“turf”) + skera (“to cut”)", and then tushker as "(Scotland, Shetland) a type of spade, similar to a cascrom, used for cutting peat" from "Scottish Gaelic tairsgear, toirsgear". Both list tuskar as an alt form. Are we really dealing with two very similar words in the same dialect which refer to very similar things, or is this one single word, in which case which etymology is right? - -sche (discuss) 23:10, 8 December 2020 (UTC)

  • Original OED (reference added at tusker) gives the Norse origin and says "Hence also Sc. Gael. toirsgein (-sgian, assimilated to sgian knife), tairisgein, tairisgil (cf. Turskill)." Wright (EDD) says the implement is of Scandinavian origin. So the Gaelic word is not an ancestor but a cognate. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 23:45, 8 December 2020 (UTC)


The Guifan Cidian claims this term comes from Russian трактор (presumably not English tractor). Any thoughts? @Atitarev, @Justinrleung. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:13, 8 December 2020 (UTC)

@Tooironic: It's quite possible but I don't know. China may have interacted with the USSR much more than with the rest of the world in that period, so it makes sense. If you want to change, pls include the reference. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:16, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Yeah that's what I was thinking. Or we could add something to the effect of "from Russian or English". ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:18, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
@Tooironic: 汉语外来词词典 also claims it to be from Russian. I think we can just change it to Russian. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 23:45, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Changed to Russian. @Justinrleung, Tooironic, Suzukaze-c: I have added a number of descendants at тра́ктор (tráktor), which is also seen at tractor#Descendants. Pls fix if you see anything imperfect or incorrect. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:48, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
I can already see that Dungan is imperfect (it has two different paths for туәлаҗи (tuəlaži) (from Mandarin) and трактор (traktor) (directly from Russian). It appears twice тра́ктор (tráktor) but only once at tractor#Descendants. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:51, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
@Atitarev: It seems really confusing that we have arrows for each variety of Chinese. I also don't think it's necessary to have the other Dungan word трактор (traktor) be wrapped under Chinese. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 01:04, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
@Justinrleung: Thanks for fixing. Formatting nested descendants is confusing and I don't have 100% understanding how something works when you also have to include various levels languages and scripts. For example, заповѣдь#Descendants shows Cyrillic and Latin automatically (although we normally use "Roman", not "Latin") when nesting Serbo-Croatian translations.
Is туәлаҗи (tuəlaži) now OK? It's apparently borrowed from Mandarin and is nested deeper than other Chinese varieties? I wasn't sure about this. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:43, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
@Atitarev: The current structure would show that the Dungan word is borrowed from Chinese without specifying that it's from Mandarin. I don't think there's a way around this unless we say the other Chinese varieties borrowed independently of Mandarin (so no nesting under Chinese). Another way to do it is to assume that the other Chinese varieties got the word from Mandarin as well (which is probably likely, but I'm not sure if we have any proof of it). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 01:48, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
@Justinrleung: Thanks. I've rearranged the Sinitic Dungan borrowing and made equal with other varieties.
I've also made Uyghurjin the canonical name for the Mongolian script, "Mongolian" being the alias. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:03, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Looks good, thanks! — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:07, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Hey, your renaming of Mongolian script (Mong) to Uyghurjin is causing an error message in Category:Mongolian language, Category:Mongolian script languages, and Category:Mongolian script characters. Renamings of scripts should probably be discussed in WT:BEER or WT:RFM, but I have no strong opinion about this script in particular. I undid your renaming of Latin script (Latn) to "Roman" because I disagree with that change and more pages are involved that would have to be renamed. — Eru·tuon 06:22, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
@Erutuon: I took the liberty in doing this. Uyghurjin nesting for translations is proposed here: Wiktionary:Beer_parlour#New_automated_nesting_proposal_for_translations. I have already moved some categories. The reason for Latin->Roman was the common (standard?) Serbo-Croatian translation nesting. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:25, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
@Atitarev: I guess using "Roman" instead of "Latin" under "Serbo-Croatian" in translations is just to avoid ambiguity with Latin the language. In general we still want the script to be called Latin. — Eru·tuon 20:48, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

Antichrist and antichrist[edit]

Just pointing this out, the etymology on both entries is suspect.

The antichrist (small 'a') entry is clearly wrong, as this word is not an English coining but is attested in the bible itself (cf. 1 John 2:18).

The Antichrist (capital 'A') entry is correct except that it derives the name from the lowercase Latin and Greek forms rather than their uppercase forms. (Granted, I do not believe that the upper/lowercase distinction always existed in Latin and Greek, historically speaking. But check out the Middle English Antecrist entry: the Latin and Greek are capitalized there, which I think makes sense.) 2601:49:C301:D810:70E8:32B1:EDB1:1BD5 14:41, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

The term attested in 1 John 2:18 is ἀντίχριστος (antíkhristos), not antichrist. But indeed, this is a borrowing, via the antichristus of the Vulgate, from the Koine Greek, and modified analogously with Christ < Christus. It is not clear from the original Greek text that the term is meant to be a proper noun; the singular form has no definite article, which suggests indefiniteness, as in “an antichrist is coming”, and the rest of the sentence speaks of “many antichrists”, which also clearly suggests a common noun. Wycliffe’s translation and the KJV have a lowercase a. In the original Greek, Christ is not a proper noun, and neither is the original Hebrew for Satan, but in modern English they are generally construed as proper nouns.  --Lambiam 16:53, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
With regard to capitalization, I was just thinking that it's probably more of an issue with orthography rather than meaning. Maybe I'm mixed up, but I thought ancient Greek (and biblical Greek in the manuscripts) was basically just written in all caps (e.g. you'd just see "ΑΝΤΙΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ"). Each noun has just a single orthographical form (all caps), which can be taken either as a common noun or a proper noun depending on context (unlike modern English, where we generally have a capital form for proper nouns and a lowercase form for common nouns). Not sure when the modern orthographical conventions were introduced into Latin and Greek, but I'm thinking it wasn't until the middle ages. (And even then, I see that in languages such as Middle English the orthography wasn't always consistent. Sometimes the proper noun "Antichrist" is lowercase, and other times the common noun "antichrist" is capitalized. See examples here: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/middle-english-dictionary/dictionary/MED1746 )
Anyway, I'm not entirely sure what Wiktionary's rules are... but I see that for modern English and for all kinds of Greek and Latin, it appears that Wiktionary follows the more modern conventions (i.e. the (lowercase) common noun gets an entry, and the (uppercase) proper noun gets a separate entry), whereas for Middle English this doesn't seem to hold. So I personally would list the etymologies as follows:
antichrist entry - From Middle English Antecrist, ultimately from Latin antichrīstus, from Koine Greek ἀντίχριστος (antíkhristos). Analysable as anti- +‎ Christ.
Antichrist entry - From Middle English Antecrist, ultimately from Latin Antichrīstus, from Koine Greek Ἀντίχριστος (Antíkhristos). Analysable as anti- +‎ Christ.
2601:49:C301:D810:8159:83F3:D77C:C8FE 13:42, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
What about presenting Antichrist as an alternative spelling of antichrist, capitalized because it is being construed as a proper noun?  --Lambiam 22:07, 11 December 2020 (UTC)


RFV of etymology 1. I see no semantic relation between these two words, and don't know of any historical process in Swedish where b's changed to k's. Glades12 (talk) 11:15, 10 December 2020 (UTC)

Svensk etymologisk ordbok also doesn't support this etymology. Glades12 (talk) 11:20, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
Sense 2, as coming from Low German or Dutch, is supported here [[8]] Leasnam (talk) 01:02, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
According to the same source, Etymology 1 is actually the same word. I've merged the 2 etymologies. Leasnam (talk) 16:58, 11 December 2020 (UTC)


It looks like the "Old English" referenced in the etymology section is actually Middle English. Tharthan (talk) 21:19, 10 December 2020 (UTC)

I would tend to agree, yet I can find no ME word matching this. I do, however, find some support here [[9]] (which admits the existence of the English word in the etymology at the bottom) and here [[10]]. Leasnam (talk) 00:38, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
...and here [[11]]. 1620 is EME. Leasnam (talk) 01:12, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
I've updated the etymology at auf. Leasnam (talk) 01:20, 11 December 2020 (UTC)


Is this tree + ent, as one would expect given that the concept of the ent came first, and treant appears at first glance to be an attempt to avoid potential copyright issues (whether or not there actually would be one with ent), given that halfling was opted for for Dungeons & Dragons over hobbit for that very reason.

Or would we argue that this is tree + giant, on the grounds of spelling, in spite of the history surrounding the creature in the fantasy genre?

Incidentally, what is the pronunciation of this word?

/tɹɛnt/? /tɹiːɛnt/? /tɹiːənt/?

Tharthan (talk) 18:28, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

To me, your first theory seems most plausible (tree + ent, with spelling modification to avoid treent or treeent). As for tree + giant, in my mind, a resultant triant would seem more appropriate than treant as it incorporates the /ˈaɪ.ənt/ sound of giant thus making a connection to that term. Leasnam (talk) 21:00, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
As to the pronunciation, I found this online [[12]], but note, I have not always found these to be correct... Leasnam (talk) 21:02, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
There seems to be a variety of pronunciations out there; see this forum thread. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 11:53, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
A user in that forum thread said that TSR, the company that published Dungeons & Dragons and that was co-founded by Gary Gygax (co-creator of D&D, and the person who wrote the text in the very citation in our entry), had indicated that the pronunciation was /tɹiːɛnt/. Incidentally, that is what the majority of forum users in that thread indicate is the pronunciation that they use. I think that /tɹiːɛnt/ ought to be given as the primary pronunciation for our entry.
I personally have always pronounced the monster's name as /tɹɛnt/, though, and I see that plenty of others do as well. If no one objects, might I suggest that we give a few different pronunciations in our treant entry (though with /tɹiːɛnt/ as the primary one)? Tharthan (talk) 19:19, 12 December 2020 (UTC)


The etymology of this word appears to be quite under debate.

My 1990s Concise Oxford Dictionary gives the etymology as "Middle English: apparently imitative".

Lexico says that it is a variant of jag, pointing to the "stab, pierce" meaning as the core sense.

The Online Etymology Dictionary claims the "to shake" meaning to be the original sense, and suggests that it could possibly be from shog, though it states that that word (shog) is of uncertain origin.

The Century Dictionary claims that the word was derived during Middle English from Welsh gogi, though also suggests that there appears to be an "ultimate connection" with shake, shock and shog.

1913 Webster's simply points to Middle English joggen, and then says that it ought to be compared with Welsh gogi ("to shake") and English shog.

Merriam-Webster considers there to be two distinct "jog"s in English. The former centres around movement and shaking, whilst the latter focuses on something jutting out, or an abrupt shift in direction. It suggests that the former probably originated as an alteration of shog, whereas the latter probably originated as an alteration of jag.

Dictionary.com also claims that English has two distinct "jog"s. It says that the first jog is a blend of the supposed dialectal word "jot" (which it claims to mean "to jolt, jog", though it doesn't have a proper entry for the word) and shog, whilst it suggests that the latter is probably an alteration of jag.

Tharthan (talk) 19:43, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

"under debate" is such a strong term...I would say it is...uncertain. I've added an alternative etymology citing ME joggen, though I don't see how this word could originate from the ME jugge "jug". Perhaps a jugge2 is absent from the MED (?) Leasnam (talk) 20:27, 11 December 2020 (UTC)


Does this have an etymology beyond simply in- + debt + -ed? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:10, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

OED suggests Old French endette (involved in debt) and that the spelling change was influenced by Medieval Latin indebitare (to burden with debts). DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 06:24, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
That's interesting. Any chance anyone could add the etymology? ---> Tooironic (talk) 20:37, 16 December 2020 (UTC)

commie block[edit]

According to this edit, it was coined on a forum in 2004. A comment on Talk:Commieblock left in 2006 says "several years ago", but refers to the same forum. This is certainly not impossible, but finding any sources for this might be tricky. — surjection??⟩ 10:16, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

Etymology of America[edit]

Our entry says it comes from "New Latin America, feminine latinized form of the Italian forename of Amerigo Vespucci", but it sounds bogus.

A semantically and phonologically much more convincing etymon would be Polabian emerikă; as we know, Protestant settlers of North America, such as Puritans, were hoping to create a kind of heaven on earth. 2A02:2788:A6:935:E034:216A:5CFC:8351 15:14, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

First of all, the name was already in existence long before the Puritans entered the picture, and Polabian seems like a very unlikely source for historical reasons. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:37, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas in The Hiram Key (1996, edition →ISBN), page 77 and 291 seq. found the common explanation “easy to disprove” and argue for an another origin. According to them, the printer of the first attestation from 1507 mentioned at the page, Martin Waldseemüller, when compiling his work like he compiled his name, wondered about the etymology of the already existing name and erroneously etymologized it as from Amerigo Vespucci because he happened to have unutilized information about him.
Their theory is that the name of the continents is rebracketed from “La Merika” meaning an esoteric star in the west toward which the Templar Knights had to flee. They continue with alleged archaeological evidence of the prohibited Order having abidden some decades before in America already. Sadly, their claimed etymon is either esoteric or mendacious. But for their reproof of the old etymology, which haunted me ever since having read that conspiracy book – is such a learned origin likely and have lexicographers just failed to find the actual origin because of myriads of other etymologies easier to work out? –, thanks to IP we now have the complement. 🤣 👍🏻 Anon of course means that sectarians similar to the Puritans sensu stricto from Prussia must have sought to extend her colonial empire that early already and at that occasion spoke Polabian. Thanks, I’ll keep that etymology in mind to impose on prospective Panslavist congresses should I ever attend one, this will bare impress the ladies. Fay Freak (talk) 16:48, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
Semantically and phonologically equally convincing is Spanish el Ama-rica – ”the Rich Lady”.[13] :)  --Lambiam 15:49, 16 December 2020 (UTC)

Relationship between seitan and セイタン[edit]

I recently expanded the etymology at for seitan and find it quite curious. The etymology as I currently understand it is that a term for the food was originally coined in Japanese and then brought into English, though the coined Japanese term that seitan is derived from remains unclear. Does this mean that セイタン itself is likely borrowed from seitan and is therefore a reborrowing? Another's thoughts on the subject would be appreciated. Best. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 06:34, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

If the memory of Mr. Mokutani as reported here is correct, the term arose in conversations between Japanese speakers, so it was coined in Japanese. As described there, Ohsawa himself spelled it usually in katakana, but occasionally wrote "". Thus, seitan is merely a Rōmaji transcription.  --Lambiam 18:09, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
Nice find. I don't think there is any reason to doubt the information reported at the current moment so I'll go ahead and update the entries accordingly. Best. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 18:51, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

Supposed PII *mákš[edit]

This came up earlier this year in a discussion that was for some reason in the Tea Room rather than here: the relationship of various Indo-European and also Uralic *maT-word for insects. I got busy with other work at the time, but I'd like to point out / reiterate a few problems that Victar's attempt at reworking these ended up with:

  • Zero actual references support this analysis;
  • The supposed derivation of *makáćas and *makátas from *mákš makes no sense. An *s-stem should give instead **makšá-ćas, **makšá-tas. At minimum they should be moved one step back to being derived from a root √mak-.
  • The Pashto words remain misplaced: they cannot continue Iranian *makácaH (should be *makácah anyway) and should be rather from either *masyaka or *maxšyah. The former should probably be preferred, since (as, again, sources already state) it can be compared with Sanskrit and Baltic, which both reflect *mAḱ-.
  • This also suggests that the Sanskrit word is not metathetic and is instead probably just formed with the common suffix *-kas.
  • Even deriving *makáćas as suffixed with *-āčs is ad hoc, given that the suffix has a consistent long vowel. It also seems to derive mainly names of vertebrates, mostly medium-size: 'fox', 'eagle', 'lizard', 'peacock' (see de Vaan's article cited). Actually a better etymology might be Victar's footnote of a PIE *menk- (to pester), whose zero grade *mn̥k- could be used as a base for *maka-ća- 'pestering', with the adjective suffix *-ćás. This could mean that these are unrelated entirely to the words with *-ć-. This verb root, on the other hand, does not quite seem to have been established before. Per LIV, *menk- instead means 'to knead' (as in *mangijaną, *mękъkъ), which per Derksen is also the source of *mǫka.

So clearly there are a lot of problems here still. I do not think the current analysis should be given as if it were unproblematic and straightforward. Actually I would state this one step more strongly still: this kind of uncited winging-it analyses should not be added in the first place among Wiktionary's reconstructions, without at least accompanying discussion of the details (either in the entry itself or in some discussion page like this). --Tropylium (talk) 14:29, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

Hungarian orosz[edit]

Hungarian orosz is certainly of Mongolic origin - Mongolian doesn't allow initial r, as discussed at the entry for 俄羅斯.

This was discussed on Talk:orosz, brought up by @Dragonman9001, but @Panda10 insists that sources from established linguists be used. Such a source surely exists, and I'm wondering if anyone might have a good one readily available. I don't, but can search. פֿינצטערניש (Fintsternish), she/her (talk) 12:23, 16 December 2020 (UTC)


It's an animal that lives in rocks or dry places —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 20:11, 16 December 2020 (UTC).

We already have this (as imbila) for Swazi, Xhosa and Zulu.  --Lambiam 15:04, 17 December 2020 (UTC)
If anon is asking about the etymology rather than for the entry, at least names in various other Bantu languages like Chichewa and Shona mbira appear to be cognate too (many others listed on Wikispecies, e.g. Swahili pimbe). Given the range of the species, it's probably not from Proto-Bantu though but from one of the presumable earlier substrate languages. --Tropylium (talk) 21:30, 3 January 2021 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology, which @Djkcel added. Do you have source for it? It seems unlikely, as Irish words don't tend to go around losing t’s (unlike f’s, which are notoriously ephemeral in word-initial position). —Mahāgaja · talk 07:31, 17 December 2020 (UTC)

Ah, right. From MacBain:
aice, proximity, Ir. aice; see taic.
He then lists taic itself as a word meaning proximity, support, which I see we have as Scottish Gaelic taic. - DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 07:54, 17 December 2020 (UTC)
@Djkcel: Well, MacBain is really unreliable, though. It isn't just that his dictionary is outdated; even at the time he was writing, some of his etymologies were quite fanciful. Zimmer's connection (which MacBain mentions) of aicce with ocus and oc (Scottish Gaelic agus and aig) is far more likely. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:55, 17 December 2020 (UTC)
Roger that, I've adjusted it. Thanks. - DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 19:50, 17 December 2020 (UTC)


Ety 3:

Unknown. The most prosaic theory derives it from muller1 (to grind into powder). One theory derives the term from the surname of the murderer Franz Müller, while another theory derives it from the surname of German footballer Gerd Müller; both are phonologically improbable. The Oxford Guide to Etymology →ISBN, 2009) asserts that it is "very probably of Romani origin, from a verb ultimately related to Sanskrit mṛ-' 'to die')."

I am not claiming that either "Müller" theory is correct -- really I have no idea -- but can anyone explain why "both are phonologically improbable"? In British English (and this is about a British slang word), the word "muller" and the German surname "Müller" would normally be pronounced identically. Mihia (talk) 00:05, 20 December 2020 (UTC)

  • Sorry, on reflection actually that may not be correct. "mullered" may usually be /ʌ/, and "Müller" may be /ʊ/. If so, just ignore this. Mihia (talk) 01:57, 20 December 2020 (UTC)
Are these implausible folk etymologies notable enough to even mention them? Does the OED give an earliest attestation date for this sense? (For deriving from Franz, this should be pretty soon after 1864; for Gerd, after 1970 or so, but not much later than 1981.)  --Lambiam 15:22, 20 December 2020 (UTC)
I don't know if these are notable enough to mention, but generally speaking I suppose some event or circumstance or association could trigger such a coinage after the heyday of the relevant person, even long after? Mihia (talk) 17:36, 20 December 2020 (UTC)
@Lambiam: OED just says "1990s: of unknown origin." DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 21:39, 20 December 2020 (UTC)
By that time, an unexplained reference to Franz Müller should have engendered the response, “Franz who?”. Association football afficionados might have recognized the name Gerd Müller in the 1990s, but he had then not been active for a decade, so his was certainly not a household name. I think we can simply discard these fanciful theories.  --Lambiam 23:06, 20 December 2020 (UTC)

Moving the Proto-Germanic weekdays to Proto-West Germanic[edit]

@Victar, Rua, Mårtensås (Pinging possibly interested editors.) So it seems the current reconstruction of Proto-Germanic weekdays doesn't really make sense. Points below are a selection of arguments based on Dennis Green, Language and History in the Early Germanic World (Cambridge 1998) pp. 243-253 especially, and Philip Shaw, 'The origins of the theophoric week in the Germanic languages', Early Medieval Europe 15.4 (2007), pp. 386-401. The latter in particular is recommended reading, and can be found through various means online (mail if you need help).

Main reasoning for moving away from PG to PWG: 1) the planetary system with seven days (as opposed to the earlier 8-day nundinal cycle) was adopted during the 1st century AD in Italy and did not fully spread in the Western Roman Empire until the 3rd or 4th century AD, and remember that Gothic split off from Proto-Germanic sometime between the first and late second century AD by most accounts. 2) Gothic evidence for weekday names (and borrowings of weekday names from Gothic into Bavarian and Alemannic) corroborates this: it shows no trace of the theophoric/planetary weekday names known from West-Germanic.

There's a lot of debate on the exact date, but most views place the calques into West Germanic sometime between the 4th and 7th century, with the traditional view leaning towards a late Western Roman Empire date but Shaw arguing for a later, early medieval date (with the calquing happening not on the Roman frontier but perhaps in scholarly contexts). Whatever the case, this would mean we need to move the weekdays to Proto-West Germanic and away from Proto-Germanic.

My question to you guys, Victar and Rua particularly, is: how to reconstruct the PWG forms of these theophoric and planetary weekday names? I don't feel confident in moving them myself, I am not sure what the correct forms would be. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 12:56, 21 December 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for pinging me. I want to note that the Old Norse terms appear to be calques of the west Germanic ones, probably done sometime in the 900s from Old English or OldSaxon. The reason for this is due to the nature of the compounds; they use the genitive of the first word, thus "Týsdagr" (gen. of Týr), "laugardagr" (gen. of laug) etc. This form of compounding is in Old Norse a younger one; if these were really Proto-Germanic compounds we'd expect something more like *Týdagr (< *Tíwadagaz), *laugdagr (< laugōdagaz) etc., with the special compound form used.
Another good pointer towards it being a calque are the days sunnudagr and mánudagr; the word sunna is not a common Old Norse word, and mánu is not the genitive of Old Norse máni; mána is. But; the Old Saxon forms of these two days are sunnundag and *mānundag. To me these are too close to be natural cognates, especially since the Old Norse words are not regular Old Norse. And anyways, the nature of the compounds shows that they do not date back even to the Migration Period, let alone to whenever Proto-Germanic was spoken. Mårtensås (talk) 15:06, 21 December 2020 (UTC)
This is assuming of course that there are no names in it which continue older names for days of the eight day week, but since during nundinal times the Romans didn’t have names for the days there is no reason to assume the Germans had, and at least some are calqued from the late names, so Symbol support vote.svg Support. Fay Freak (talk) 15:24, 21 December 2020 (UTC)
However, laugardagr seems to be a North German coinage; West Germanic languages never call Saturday "washing day", do they? This is why I nominated Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/laugōz dagaz for deletion here last August. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:03, 21 December 2020 (UTC)
Yes, that one's not part of this discussion and is indeed best handled at RFD. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 20:47, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
Laugardagr and Saturday might be out of the question, not to mention that Lauge "ley" hardly even compares, and Läuterung ("cleansing") reflects a slightly different root. I think it is a fools errand anyway to reconstruct anything unless you can quote a reliable source for West-Germanic ("between the 4th and 7th century" we would have to speak of North-Sea Germanic already).
Waschtag (de.WT) serves to illustrate another point. It is not exactly Saturdays, but it may be on a fixed day or two requiring to lay-off work. German Wikipedia is rather wishy-washy about it. Similarly, Thing was held on a monthly basis or as needed (cf. Saxenspiegel). These and moon-day (cp. month) do not need any mythic Latin influence, to say the least. Finally, even if any such day were observed once in an eight or nine day turnus, you would not expect it to fall on a fixed day in a seven day week. You should consider day-names a problem of epic proportions, not the least because *dagaz is uncertain to begin with. By the way, Roman sources recount that Germanic folks counted the days starting at evening.
For what it's worth, despite a very different meaning of wash-day, it appears surprisingly compatible with Turkish pazar (Sunday, bazaar), which is from PIE *wes-. The etymology of *wa(t)skana (wash) is no less difficult to derive from *wed-, after all. Naturally, it might also compare to Wednesday, if this "rather continues Proto-Germanic *Wōdinaz, pre-Germanic *Wātenos" (cf. *Wōdanaz; the long vowel is hardly compatible with *wa(t)sk- though). Even in *lewH- a w-aorist may be supposed. *westraz from "sunset" is relevant as well, opposite to Easter, cp. Norse vatni ausa (cf. Jürgen Udolf, Ostern, 2011). The possibilities are endless. Therefore caution is advised.
It could, however unlikely, belong as well to *wihaz "sacred, holy", PIE *weyk- "to choose, separate out, set aside as holy, consecrate, sacrifice".
In that sense, I wish you all frohe Weihnachten!, Merry Christmas Eve, Happy Saturnalia. 13:27, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
@Mahagaja, Mårtensås See {{list:days_of_the_week/gmw-pro}}. Move should be all done, thoughts? We don't have an etymon for Saturday yet, by the way, might do that later (if it is indeed reconstructible). — Mnemosientje (t · c) 13:11, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Långtbortistan, Langtbortistan, Verweggistan, Langtvekkistan[edit]

The Swedish and Danish Wikipedias both trace this to English Faroffistan, first used by Carl Fallberg in a 1958 comic (the Dutch Wikipedia doesn't have the same date, but supports the basic facts). "Faroffistan" seems quite a rare beast both in uses and mentions though, even in the Disney universe. Could anybody verify that it was used in English-language Disney stories? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 19:30, 21 December 2020 (UTC)

It occurs on page 7 of the 1952 story “A Real Goat Getter” by Carl Barks: “Reward offered by the Sultan of Faroffistan for missing goat” (image).  --Lambiam 15:02, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
Strange, this gives a later date of 1962 and mentions Fallberg as a creator. But thanks for confirming its use in English. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 18:26, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
I copied "1952" and the name of the alleged writer from the web page where I found the story, but indeed, the title page of the issue has "1962". The 1958 story referred to is probably “Kidnapped”, which appeared in the Disneyland Birthday Party “giant comic” book,[14] but I cannot view the images unless I pay $$$.  --Lambiam 10:58, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

ogac - Eskimo-Aleut root[edit]

I'm back on Wiktionary from a long, long break. I'm looking at a question someone left on my talk page a while ago, and notice that even though I gave a sort of answer, the entry is still missing etymological information. It definitely has an Eskimo-Aleut root, but which branch it specifically came from I can't say. I just know that ogac either came directly from Inuktitut ᐆᒐᖅ (uugaq), "Arctic cod", or its derivation is cognate with it. Compare also the Greenlandic form uuaq or uugaq for the tomcod. I wouldn't know how to phrase this as an etymological entry! —JakeybeanTALK

  • Updated to
    From an {{der|en|esx-inu}} language.  Compare {{cog|iu|ᐆᒐᖅ}}.
    I did not find the Greenlandic words in the only dictionary I have virtually at hand (the 1804 Den Grønlandske Ordbog). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:59, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Found another dictionary of unknown quality with the Greenlandic words so I added them as cognates. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 21:08, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
    Thanks for that. The Language Secretariat of Greenland have this entry for "uugaq". Seems to be a very reliable source, as it is essentially a branch of the Parliament of Greenland and run by linguists from the University of Greenland. --—JakeybeanTALK


The name Podunk is derived from the Podunk Indians of Connecticut, and/or from the locale Podunk, referring to the region of East Hartford and South Windsor north of the Hockanum River in East Hartford.

See the article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Hartford%2C_Connecticut

However, the use of the name Podunk to refer to a small town is probably from a later source which I do not know. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by 2600:1700:67a0:30e0:a416:f2fc:89bd:9405 (talk).

  • I've driven through or near Podunk, Massachusetts, north of the end of I-84. I updated Podunk to note the Eastern Algonquian origin. Maybe we can be more specific but I'd rather not cite Wikipedia. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 11:54, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
  • I added what I could find. There were a number of similar words in Long Island and central Connecticut and Massachusetts. They may have been mangled or blended in the transfer to English. The region with the most likely original word is said by Wikipedia to have been dominated by the Loup A language at the time of European contact. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 14:26, 23 December 2020 (UTC)


I'm somewhat unsure of the details of the etymology of this word. It can be attested in more or less this meaning from the early 1930s (first in advertisements, so it is hard to tell whether the snacks were deep-fried at the time but they were certainly savoury). But I am not 100% of the meaning of bitter in this compound, I think the meaning "spirits" is the most likely because I see no evidence of the adjective having been used with a sense approximating "savoury" (also compare bitterbal, besides an adjective-noun compound of this type isn't particularly common in Dutch), and the use of garnituur ("ornamental set of items") is certainly perplexing for food. It would make this a very unusual exocentric compound. One interestering piece of information is that there is an advertisement from 1921 where the word means "ornamental dishware for cocktails", that in my opinion makes perfect sense as an endocentric compound. If that barely attested meaning was current in some circles before the current meaning became widespread, this could have developed as a transferred sense. Does anyone have any ideas on whether the etymology should be expanded and on what to include? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:18, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

The connection with the spirits seems rather obvious to me. In German, Garnitur can be used for sidedishes (someone should enter a def2 to the entry), perhaps garnituur was/is used the same way. (But this kind of humour reminds me of German "jocular" expressions such as Herrengedeck; I don't know which alternative would be more disturbing: that this German kind of humour exists also in the Netherlands or that it spreads from Germany to other countries...). --Akletos (talk) 13:18, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
French garniture too can refer to edible stuff that accompanies a menu item – usually served together with the main item on the same plate, such as the veggies (snow peas, carrot tops, onions, young potatoes) seen here accompanying a serving of veal chop.  --Lambiam 21:42, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Dutch garnituur also appears to have that sense.  --Lambiam 21:49, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
In this text from 1948 some hartige hapjes constituting a bittergarnituur are identified as an ondergrondje (basis – a piece of toast? a slice of bread?) covered with meat, fish, cheese. Obviously not deep-fried. The deluxe bittergarnituur snacks seen here on a page from this year are also not deep-fried.  --Lambiam 22:04, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
I think the ety as it stands sounds about right. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 13:48, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
I disagree. It does not sound alright as it stands in the entries. It can't, because garnituur has no entry yet and it is not glossed. It is conceivable with your additional information at least.
Leaning on multiple analogies, I want to suggest "serving of..." instead. This will be very superficial. Please see what you can add to it. The question is if garnituur could possibly have meant ensemble or something else.
nl.WT has the mentioned side-dish sense for garnituur, but it is at least ambiguous. Garnitur for "sidedishes" is rare in German. The verb garnieren is commonly known in this sense, equivalent to Dutch garneren "to garnish", in line with the suggested primary sense of garnituur. Garnitur in today's German means primarily an ensemble of furniture or clohing, all through French, cp. garnir. At this point preference should be given to the Dutch interpretation, of course, if any German comparison were too distant, also thanks to Lambi for confirming the side-dish sense in French. Garniture does however offer another tangential perspective.
garniture would parallel Gedeck in the sense of an assamblage, which is hardly funny except perhaps in the compound "Herrengedeck" if this implies a contrasting Women's Gedeck. The most common Gedeck is a tray for coffee in a can with cups and other assorted equipment which is ordered in a restaurant e.g. by the name Kaffegedeck. The name is a transparent construction, wherein Kaffee is equivalent to British tea. Deck- is incidently related to "bedekking".
For reference, a set of cutlery is eponymously called Service, in English as well as in German, where it is evidently taken directly from French on account of the pronunciation. A dish is just as ambiguous: food or cutlery. Gedeck translates more specifically: "place setting; cover (a person’s setting of cutlery etc. at a set table)."
In all those cases there is a corresponding verb: French garnir, English to serve, to set up, to cover, German eindecken. All are polysemous. Except, the verbs derived from garnir are oddly specific. Why?
To top it off, if the root is PIE *wer, there is the cognate Old Irish feraid (to grant, provide). The Old French intermediate is also glossed "approvision" amongst others.
Last but not least, if provisions in the army regularly involved clothing, it might be conceivable that somewhere in the bilingual communities between France and Germany, e.g. with the Flamish-French speakers, it might retain a sense that is very close to Dekk-. Compare perhaps Wärmedecke (warm blanket), noting that *warmaz (warm) has no certain etymology. Very heart-warming all that.
It is very telling however that nl.WT has exactly one meaning for French garniture, which is quite surprising in face of at least six definitions in fr.WT, none of which so specific as: "... bedekking van een boterham" (spread, topping on bread and butter).
Which is to say nothing about "bitter". 12:12, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
To complicate things, there also appears to be the German idiom erste Garnitur (of some field),[15][16] the French idiom premiére garniture and the Dutch idiom eerste garnituur;[17] the people (or works) belonging to it form the top-class in their field. If you don’t quite make the cut, not all hope is lost; you can still be of the second garniture.[18] The origin may be Garnitur in the sense of a (military) outfit, where the new “first” one was reserved for special occasions while the second was for daily use.[19]  --Lambiam 15:11, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Gender of saiwi[edit]

The switching from m>f is present in the English, Dutch and German branches of West Germanic; perhaps the instability can be projected back to gmw-pro. Many i-stems are feminine, therefore saiwi would be a natural starting point for this gender change. --Akletos (talk) 17:42, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

Why do many of those descendants in the list have gender parameters? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:52, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
@Lingo Bingo Dingo I've added them to get an overview. I hope there's no problem with that. --Akletos (talk) 19:30, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

Is bairn borrowed or inherited?[edit]

The etymology for English bairn (child) describes it as borrowed from Scots. How can this path be distinguished from inheritance in the North of the regional forms of Middle English barn, or a borrowing from the Scottish dialect of English rather than the ill-differentiated Scots language? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 18:25, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

@Vox Sciurorum: It is probably the graphocentrist view some Wiktionarians have and what is meant is this is a case of {{orthographic borrowing}}, which we can deploy to be safe. Fay Freak (talk) 22:28, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
{{orthographic borrowing}} is meant for situations where a word becomes a much different word with the same spelling, not for spelling influenced by a cognate (as often happened in English and French c. 17th to 19th centuries). Bairn appears to be a word that died out in the South and survived in the North. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:19, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
@Vox Sciurorum: What? What is a “situation where a word becomes a much different word with the same spelling”? {{orthographic borrowing}} is for spellings influenced by cognates. As it often happened in English and French it should be used more. Fay Freak (talk) 14:06, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
See the examples on the template page. The borrowings sound much different and the difference is discrete, in contrast to northern Britain where you have a dialect continuum with similar sounds at both ends. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 14:45, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
@Vox Sciurorum: The description of the examples tells me I used the template correctly. I do not understand the CJK examples given and I do not think you understand either. It must be something about the visual form of the characters or their choice, it’s not about the sounds, so it seems to me that your sentence “the borrowings sound much different and the difference is discrete” is incomprehensible nonsense. Also I see that you apply the examples as if case law which I disrecommend as a confusing method, in favour of “abstractions, general principles” under which one subsumes; which is also the method that is employed in comprehensive documentations of programming languages rather than “examples”; the latter here tell us little about Latin script languages. Fay Freak (talk) 16:05, 24 December 2020 (UTC)


Ety 2, for sense "Pornographic or profane":

"From the color of the envelopes used to contain missives of the censors and managers to vaudevillian performers on objectionable material from their acts that needed to be excised."

Tagged as needing sourcing. We present this etymology as a known fact, yet there seem to be various theories, and little certainty, about this etymology. Could be a candidate for qualification with "possibly", or to be listed amongst various theories, or for removal and replacement with "ety unknown/uncertain". Mihia (talk) 00:21, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

Furthermore, if this is the normal word "blue", just with some special connotation arising somehow, should it be in a separate ety section at all? Cf. bird, above. Mihia (talk) 01:21, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
Given that green is used in the Philippines in more or less the same way (see sense 14 at green) and Spanish uses verde in a somewhat similar way as well, I think that your supposition that this might not actually be the standard word blue is pretty baseless. Tharthan (talk) 01:32, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
Hu? I think you may have misread what I wrote. Mihia (talk) 01:37, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
I apologise if you were not intending to suggest that blue (etymology 2) might not in fact be a derivative usage of blue. But in the example that you gave above, bird, your last comment mentioned that there was a chance that it originally was a variant of burde, which later became conflated with and interpreted as bird. I had thought that it was possible that you might be attempting to suggest something of the sort happened with blue (etymology 2) as well, since you alluded to the discussion re: bird. Tharthan (talk) 03:49, 27 December 2020 (UTC)
I was referring to the mention above of the booing/jeering and middle-finger senses of "the bird" being ultimately the ordinary word "bird", only with a special connotation, and the probable desirability of those senses being listed under the main etymology, which has now been done. I was suggesting that this sense of "blue" is a similar case of "the same word with a special connotation", and therefore that we should similarly merge it to the main etymology rather than list it in a separate etymology section. Mihia (talk) 11:15, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

Is Welsh dolen descended from Proto-Celtic *doklos?[edit]

I was looking up the etymology of the name Gwendolen, which Wiktionary says is from gwen + dolen; while every source agrees the first part is from Proto-Celtic *windos, no source I can find lists an etymology for dolen. Some digging through Matasovic found me *doklos > Irish dual; is this also the origin of dolen? 2A02:C7F:6C58:7A00:D04B:FB41:EA4D:FD7 08:34, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

No, that wouldn't work phonologically. GPC says it's derived from dôl (valley; loop), which is from Proto-Celtic *dolā and is thus related to English dale and Russian дол (dol). —Mahāgaja · talk 10:53, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

blue (2)[edit]

Verb sense:

  1. (transitive, slang, dated) To spend (money) extravagantly; to blow.

Presently listed under the same ety as the normal word "blue", but possibly different. Mihia (talk) 01:46, 28 December 2020 (UTC)


Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Tea room/2020/December.

This article "THE ETYMOLOGY OF İSTANBUL: MAKING OPTIMAL USE OF THE EVIDENCE" gives it as coming from Middle Greek "στὴν­ πόλιν" (still meaning 'in the city', where Polis/City became a fixed phrase used to refer to Istanbul, so the article itself gives the direct translation as 'in Constantinope' rather than 'in the city') as the source phrase from which "Istanbul" comes, not the more commonly cited Classical Greek phrase "εἰς­ τὴν­ πόλιν". It's worth mentioning it I think, but I'm not familiar with wiki syntax, and can't think of how to properly summarise all that for the etymology section. (I know neither Turkish nor Greek, much less their ancestors, so can't comment on the veracity, but it seems solidly written). If you skip to section 7 you can see a summary of the argument:


(with a note that I speak none of the languages relevant to this article, so I can't attest to its correctness)

2A01:C22:AC16:8B00:D4B6:A68D:DF71:2055 14:00, 28 December 2020 (UTC)

Here is a bibliographic reference to the article:
Marek Stachowski; Robert Woodhouse (2015) , “The etymology of İstanbul: making optimal use of the evidence”, in Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia, volume 20, issue 4, DOI:10.4467/20843836SE.15.015.2801, pages 221–245.
The authors appear to have a beef in particular with (those who advance) the theory that stan in İstanbul can be traced to the stan of Kōnstantinoúpolis. I am not familiar with Byzantine Greek, but it seems to me that the question whether the etymon is the “puristic literary” εἰς­ τὴν­ Πόλιν or the colloquial στην Πόλι is, in comparison, a minor issue. The same Medieval Greek who wrote the former may well have said the latter. It seems plausible, though, to me, that the Turkish name came indeed from what was heard and not from any written form.  --Lambiam 23:24, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
I'm one of the ones who privately holds the theory that the stan is from Constantinopolis, because I just don't see how /(i)stinˈpoli(n)/ would have become İstanbul and not *İstinbül. I used to think it was also implausible that a city name would derive from the prepositional phrase "into the city" at all, until I learned about İznik from εἰς Νίκαιαν, which really can't be explained any other way. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:26, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
There are many more examples of city names derived from such prepositional phrases, such as İstanköy, İzmit, Samsun. The latter univerbation arose in a population speaking (Pontic) Greek. Even in contemporary Greek, the Medieval designation ἡ Πόλις (hē Pólis) for Constantinople/Istanbul survives in the proper noun η Πόλη (i Póli),[20] from which the adjective πολίτικος (polítikos), not to be confused with πολιτικός (politikós). While the vowel change in the penult of İstanbul is problematic – the article linked to makes a valiant effort to explain it away – it is much less dramatic than the contortions needed to move from /kons.tan.diˈnu.po.lis/ to /isˈtan.buɫ/. (Not only do the phonotactics of Turkish disallow word-initial /st/, but this combination is equally impossible as a syllabic onset, so /stan/ is not a preserved syllabic component.) The same vowel change is seen in İstanköy /isˈtan.kœj/ < (by folk etymology) /isˈtan.ko/ < στὴν Κῶ /stin ˈko/. I see no reason why, when harmonizing, /tin.bül/ should be preferred over /tan.buɫ/. Epenthetic vowels in Turkish often do not follow harmony (e.g. Turkish kulüp < French club), so the prothetic /i/ is not informative in this regard.  --Lambiam 11:10, 30 December 2020 (UTC)

Moving Proto-Turkic words on /*g-, *d-/ to /*k-, *t-/[edit]

Proto-Altaic was banned almost two years ago, yet there are some remnants of it in the reconstruction space, largely because the proto-forms are mostly taken from the Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages. There are as of now 10 lemmas with an initial /*d-/ and 5 lemmas with an initial /*g-/ in Category:Proto-Turkic lemmas. If the Altaic theory is disregarded, there is no room for voiced alveolar and velar stops in Proto-Turkic.

Take the reconstruction for eye, *göŕ[1], for instance: it is clear that the initial /*g-/ is only found in the Oghuz branch, which makes it plausible to assume that voicing is an Oghuz innovation. The Altaists, however, reconstruct a /*g-/ in order to reconcile it with the Proto-Altaic *gŏ̀re ('hope' (sic!)) and even "Nostratic" *gUrV 'to understand, see'. The situation is similar for /*t-/, compare *dǖp[2]. Outside of Oghuz, the voicing is chiefly found in Tuvan, where it is completely phonologically predictable and equally secondary. The Oghuz voicing was scrutinized by Doerfer [3], who found that the voicing started around the Xth century and was complete by 1450; a number of words in Turkish and Azerbaijani were re-devoiced since due to regressive assimilation and language contact, like in tutmak, keçmək. Kumyk voicing is likely due to contact with Oghuz languages, too.

Therefore, I propose moving all concerned lemmas to an initial voiced stop and updating etymology sections in the mainspace accordingly. @Borovi4ok предлагаю вики-курултай считать открытым Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 01:46, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

Note, however, that Nişanyan doesn't deal with Proto-Turkic (only Common Turkic) and obviously equals Old Turkic with Common Turkic, and views it as an ancestor of all modern Common Turkic languages, so that doesn't mean so much for us. He has also said in one of his streams (in a series of youtube-videos called Dilbilim ve etimoloji, if the memory serves) that "Old Turkic is the ancestor of all modern Turkic languages", a view that we of course cannot support. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 18:15, 29 December 2020 (UTC)
But if the Old Turkic etyma are unvoiced, the voicing seen in the Oğuz branch does not stem from Proto-Turkic, so this supports Doerfer’s findings.  --Lambiam 09:40, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
Only if you view Old Turkic as an ancestor of the Oghuz. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 19:18, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
Hi @Allahverdi Verdizade, thank you for raising this issue.
I couldn't agree more. Moreover, I could make a couple of more propositions along this vein.
There is only one problem I see with this. Questionable as it is, the Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages is an orderly system developed by acknowledged Turkologists that we at wiktionary can cite as some sort of solid external reference, albeit dated. Unfortunately, there is no convincing and reputable alternative to it that I am aware of. If we now decide we can tweak it, we (this community) tomorrow may want to continue in that direction, so the next question will be: how far are ready to stretch it? Some may want to go further, and some may not, and this discussion and finding the concensus may get increasingly difficult. This is just a concern. Borovi4ok (talk) 19:43, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
We aim to seek truth, not follow whatever is most orderly. We know that Altaic is more than questionable, and have therefore banned it from Wiktionary. I see no reason for our Proto-Turkic to follow this problematic path. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:46, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Actually, if one knows how to read it, EDAL can still be useful source to quickly check up cognates, a role that will hopefully be replaced by Wiktionary as the time progresses. But EDAL may not be used to blindly import proto-forms, as one sometimes sees being done.
The alternative source would be, I suppose, ESTJa[4]. It is hard to navigate around if you don't read Russian, especially the older volumes, and it often doesn't reconstruct Proto-Turkic, lemmatizing terms around the Common Turkic form, but all information needed to reconstruct the proto-lemma is often discussed in the article as well (vowel length, whether the proto-word ended in a consonant or vowel and of course a nearly complete sets of cognates.) It is the most serious work and it currently covers all onsets except for /*č-/.
How far are we ready to stretch it? Sometimes we will end up at reconstructed forms that one won't be able to find anywhere else. For example: if a term is has cognates in all branches of Turkic including Chuvash, but lacks external cognates. In such a case, the authors of EDAL probably never dealt with it, because it doesn't support Proto-Altaic, and they're not interested in it. But we can still reconstruct one or several alternative forms. The important thing is to give a complete роспись of cognates and provide a good motivation. And, of course, be open to criticism :)
Anyway, I don't see why we should end up in going where no-one has gone yet anytime soon. We have around 150 entries as of now and it will take a long time before we have built up the main stock of Turkic entries, and by that time we will be more confident to maybe push the boundaries of the the unknown :) Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 21:30, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge, I don't think "truth" is a concept applicable to the realm of language reconstructions. We need to remember that language reconstructions are only the result of linguists' lines of reasoning and inherent assumptions. For example, the 'Proto-Turkic' might simply have not differentiated between voiced and voiceless stops at start of word.
Even if one day human kind invents a working time machine we can use for our purposes, I'm not entirely convinced such reconstructions can be meaningfully proved\disproved. Reality may (and often does) prove to be more complex than the models of it that people have in their minds. Borovi4ok (talk) 17:31, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

Since I do not see any substantial opposition, I will start moving the lemmas and updating the etymology sections. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 19:55, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Everything is moved and updated. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 00:16, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Allahverdi Verdizade: Good. This brings us closer to the truth. And wards us off of further errors introduced from the Altaicists. “Good” is an understatement, actually, it’s great. I wouldn’t have had the guts to contend and execute the observation that the stops are precisely the opposite from the forms in which they are prominently shown, by many pages and the most available sources, and that what appeared as mainstream actually isn’t accepted or acceptable. The Moscow school barks very loud but you tamed the bear. Fay Freak (talk) 09:14, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

For future reference and completeness of references underpinning the decision:

"t-: WOT[=West Old Turkic] /t/ ocurred in word-intial position. It was preserved in H[ungarian] in 47 cases. We find a voiced /d/ in place of /t/ in the following words: dara, dél, dől, dug. [5]
d-: WOT There are very few and dubious examples in WOT. Hungarian has /d/ in place of WOT /ǰ/ before /i/: dió, disznó; problematic is daksi, even more ? dúl (see § 8.1). In place of EOT /t/ in initial position we find /d/ in dara, dél, dől, dug. dara has to be a relatively late, maybe Cum lw. The vocalism of dél (cf. EOT tüš) is possible but not certain; the labialization in dug- (cf. EOT tïk-) is possible, while the voiced final is not without problems [...] VBulg had /d/ only in a foreign word: dunya ‘world’. Chuv has only /t/ in initial position [...] (ibid. p. 1078) Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 13:20, 21 January 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Starostin, Sergei; Dybo, Anna; Mudrak, Oleg (2003) , “*göŕ”, in Etymological dictionary of the Altaic languages (Handbuch der Orientalistik; VIII.8), Leiden, New York, Köln: E.J. Brill
  2. ^ Starostin, Sergei; Dybo, Anna; Mudrak, Oleg (2003) , “*dǖp”, in Etymological dictionary of the Altaic languages (Handbuch der Orientalistik; VIII.8), Leiden, New York, Köln: E.J. Brill
  3. ^ Doerfer, Gerhard (1969) , “Ein Altosmanisches Lautgesetz Im Kurdischen [An Old Ottoman Sound Law in Kurdish]”, in Wiener Zeitschrift Für Die Kunde Des Morgenlandes[1], volume 62, pages 250–263
  4. ^ Etimologičeskij slovarʹ tjurkskix jazykov [Etymological Dictionary of Turkic Languages]‎[2] (in Russian), Moscow, 1974–
  5. ^ Róna-Tas, András; Berta, Árpád; Károly, László (2011) West Old Turkic: Turkic Loanwords in Hungarian (Turcologica; 84), volume II, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, page 1073
  0.  A. V. Dybo. (2005) Dentalʹnyje vzryvnyje v pratjurkskom - The Altaist view (in Russian)


Does someone have any information about the verb "skiff" meaning "pruning tea bushes"? My instincts lead me to believe it's related to Germanic words such as English skive, Old Norse skífa, Dutch schijf, German Scheibe meaning slice (n.), although I could be wrong on that part. Wakuran (talk) 22:51, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

  • Likely from the sense NED (OED first edition) defines: "Skiff, v.2 Sc. [Perhaps an alteration of Skift v.2 but cf. Scuff v.] 1. intr. To move lightly and quickly, esp. so as barely to touch a surface ... 2. trans. To touch lightly in passing over; to skim.". So it should be merged with the preceding sense. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 23:15, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

Latin ordinal numbers[edit]

Is there a suffix for forming Latin ordinal numbers? For example, septuāgēsimus (seventieth) from septuāgintā, centēsimus (hundredth) from centum, mīllēsimus (thousandth) from mīlle (all end in ēsimus). There is also New Latin milliōnēsimus (millionth) from milliō (and possibly larger ordinal numbers formed from cardinal numbers that have not been added yet). J3133 (talk) 15:48, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

(Pinging GuitarDudeness who added the etymology of vīcēsimus.) J3133 (talk) 12:44, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

@J3133: Did not quite understand what you want. Have you seen all Etymology sections for each word? From unus to decem suffixes are almost proper to each... Then multiples of ten are formed with "-c(g)esimus" with various corruptions... See Etymology of "centesimus"...instead of "ce(n)simus". And for example from "septuaginta" "septuagint-timus" > "septuagesimus"...and from "septingenti" (for "septem centi") "septingentesimus" (for "septem centesimus"). In Latin numbers happened this rare corruption of C to G... GuitarDudeness (talk) 21:43, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
@GuitarDudeness: What is the etymology of milliōnēsimus? It is, evidently, from milliō, however, why does it end in ēsimus? Does it use a suffix? J3133 (talk) 21:49, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
@J3133: Not understanding the etymology of much corrupted "-c/ge(n)simus" someone transferred its -c/g-less form (absurd...) to "mille" (i.e. "mill-e(n)simus")...and obviously to "millio" (i.e. "million-e(n)simus"). These could just be "millimus" and "millionimus". Noteworthy is the French making of "centime" (*cent-imus after dec-imus, which itself truly be decem-us...) beside "centesim" (centesimus)... GuitarDudeness (talk) 22:26, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

fall pregnant[edit]

I see that various people on the Internet are befuddled by this use of fall.

Some even object to it, and find it offensive, arguing that "The concept of "falling pregnant", as though it's something that occurs out of the blue, is intensely annoying". That's what our etymology section seems to be echoing, by saying that this expression is "now seen as turning pregnancy into an activity solely involving the woman and freeing the man from responsibility".

I don't think this belongs there, though. This looks clearly like a modern, folk-etymological reading of the expression (I think that's the stance of this newspaper article, which is mentioned in the etymology section but is hidden behind a paywall for me).

So, shouldn't that info be moved to a usage note instead? And maybe the definition line should get a label: "sometimes offensive/frowned upon"? @-sche, what do you think?

Now, setting this aside, I wonder what its etymology really is. In this reddit thread, someone wrote that "It's probably from the same family of meanings as "fall dead" (found in Chaucer and Shakespeare)[1], "fall ill", and "fall sick". (I would add "fall in love" to this list. Are there others?)

This person goes on to explain that "The Oxford English Dictionary sees this as an extension of the sense "to lose the erect position"."

I don't have access to the OED right now, but what I know is that several collocations have direct parallels in French: tomber enceinte (fall pregnant), tomber amoureux (fall in love), tomber malade (fall sick). (And see also Spanish caer enfermo (fall ill), Sassarese cadí maraddu (fall ill).) Might one of the two languages have calqued it from the other?

  1. ^ An archaic form of drop dead?

PUC – 18:01, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

  • Seems a straightforward use of one of several senses of fall, including one with "fallen ill" as a ux. The societal attitudes of early 21st century writers in the developed world belong to usage notes, not etymology. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 19:13, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
    It was originally a usage note, but @J3133 moved it because it started with a note about its origin, rather than just splitting off the etymological part. It was added 12 years ago by an IP that geolocates to Washington, DC. As for the sense of fall, it seems to imply a change of condition, though fall silent might be a counterexample. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:50, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
@DCDuring, what do you think? PUC – 16:21, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Much to my surprise Google NGrams shows this expression to have dramatically increased in relative frequency since about 1980, by which time it had fallen more frequent(?) than any time since 1800. I was hoping that any usage controversy could be pushed into the past and handled by a label like "dated".
CGEL puts fall into a class of verbs that take predicative complements ("PCs"): complex-intransitives with resultative PCs. Others are become and get, which take an open set of PCs; and others that take a limited number of PCs: grow, turn, come, fall, go. CGEL asserts that fall mainly takes asleep, ill, pregnant, prey (to), sick, silent, and victim as PCs. In my own personal Wiktionary each of these fall + [PC] collocations would redirect to a sense of fall. But its easy to argue that some or all these are lexical items that each merit an entry. If fall pregnant has sufficient controversy, that would force the issue. Is the controversy sufficient?
I do think that the wide range of meanings of fall do have an influence on the interpretation of the phrase. I wouldn't dismiss it a 'folk etymology'.
It would be useful if we could link fall in the headword template to a sense of fall#Verb. I note that the appropriate subsense falls under a sense that claims the subsenses involve negative resultant states. The occurrence of fall pregnant in books on fertility treatments makes me doubt that fall should be limited in this way. DCDuring (talk) 18:31, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
I think with a bit of persistence one can find attestation for other PCs with fall, eg, decrepit, casualty ("eleven Indians had fallen casualty on Reno Creek"), lame, crippled. (I am aware that many of the collocations could be subject to other interpretations, but some seem clear cases of PCs.) I think there may be no strict limit to PPs that can be complements of fall. DCDuring (talk) 18:43, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

January 2021


Northern Sami lumma (on the article pocket written as lubma) and Inari Sami lummo lack an etymology. Initially, without having looked it up, I'd find a North Germanic borrowing quite probable (Continental Scandinavian lomme, Faroese lummi). Apparently, the North Germanic terms themselves might be cognate to or borrowing from Gaelic. Wakuran (talk) 02:12, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

Hmm, although this source uses the outdated term "Lapp", I'd interpret it as it also claims a Scandinavian origin. [21] Wakuran (talk) 02:16, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

drom (Dutch)[edit]

RFV of the etymology, because this is quite more definite than anything at the Etymologiebank, where the Middle Dutch noun is only mentioned with serious qualifications. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:08, 1 January 2021 (UTC)


  • A river, see Dasibari .
  • http://micmap.org/dicfro/search/gaffiot/Dasibari says "river of Cyrenaica, Pliny 5,37". That is in a description of a long southwards Roman expedition into the Sahara. It may be the first European mention of the river Niger and represent Songhay 'Isa Ber' "great river", 'Da Isa Ber' "great river belonging to spirits called the Da". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 15:11, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
    A lot can change in a couple thousand years. I don't think we can reconstruct what the ancestor of the Songhai languages was like back then, or know where it was spoken. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:40, 1 January 2021 (UTC)


Iberic name possibly a short form of Menendo, which in turn, seems to be a Gothic word converted into Iberic romance —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:51, 1 January 2021 (UTC).


RFV of the etymology.

I tried to fix this etymology and the one at Gawain, but both had the fatal flaw of giving modern Welsh derivations for names attested in Middle English and probably Old French. I completely removed the one at Gawain and I no doubt should have gotten rid of this one, too, but I thought I'd see what you can do with it, first. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:13, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

English job and Norwegian Bokmål jobbe[edit]

How does the Norwegian word (which is only found in Bokmål, BTW) factor into the English etymology? The current etymology in the English just says "from the phrase jobbe of work (“piece of work”), of uncertain origin", and lists a few possibly related Middle English verbs (which, for the record, are gobbe, jobben, and choppe), before finishing off with a folk etymology about the biblical character Job, while the Norwegian lacks an etymology altogether. Was the Norwegian borrowed from the English? Are there any cognates in other Germanic languages? 01:39, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

Our entry for Norwegian jobb states that it is derived from English. Tharthan (talk) 09:37, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Although it isn't really used like that in English, I think similar verb forms have appeared in basically all other Germanic languages, from the borrowed English noun, such as Danish jobbe (possibly a bit rare), Swedish jobba and German and Dutch jobben. Språkrådets Nynorskordboka has an entry for "jobbe" in Nynorsk, by the way. [22] It seems also that the sense of stock market speculation has been borrowed separately. Wakuran (talk) 15:41, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
I'm personally unfamiliar with a Dutch verb jobben, though its existence wouldn't surprise me; the noun job is only standard in Belgium, in the Netherlands it's colloquial at best and heavily associated with yuppies and boardroom types. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 16:42, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Looking up "jobben" on the Dutch Wiktionary, it seems that the Dutch verb generally would mean "moonlighting", rather than working in general. Wakuran (talk) 21:14, 3 January 2021 (UTC)


earthberry, tagged but not listed Leasnam (talk) 17:31, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

I think the current etymology is justified. I cannot find anything older than 1850 on Google Books, so it seems safe to suppose that this originated in the nineteenth century, a time when many speakers of Germanic languages immigrated to the United States. Inheritance from Old English is quite implausible. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:53, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Note, too, that the first quotation also contains the unlisted noun goosh (which is currently listed only as a verb). Might this be a cognate of German Gosche, an informal and vulgar term for "mouth"? 19:13, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
The Duden entry for Gosche states "Herkunft ungeklärt", "Origin unknown". [23] Wakuran (talk) 21:10, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
The article that first quotation is taken from contains the phrases “winter wigwam or Gool’ucurh” and “summer wigwam or murana”, so it seems a reasonable guess that “goosh” is a name in one of the indigenous languages of Tierra del Fuego for a cranberry or similar berry.  --Lambiam 13:57, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
MED Online does not contain any similar word for strawberry; the natural Middle English form is strawbery (with various spellings, inherited from a similar Old English word). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 18:14, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
The def should be altered in my opinion. The usexs don't seem always to refer to strawberries. Looks as if earthberry can be used for various berries growing on the ground. --Akletos (talk) 14:26, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Leasnam (talk) 18:34, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
FWIW, the earliest books (the only three books from before 1899) I can find which contain the singular earthberry are two where it is mentioned as the German name for strawberry, and one where it does not mean strawberry:
  • an 1875 English-German vocabulary by Augusta Neuhofer, mentioning that the German word for strawberry literally means earthberry;
  • 1888, Arthur Charles Waghorne, A Summary Account of the Wild Berries:
    The Crowberry family [Empetraceae] has two genera.
    (a) The Crowberry or Empetrum genus which affords us our so-called "blackberry” or heathberry or earthberry, which is properly the common or black crowberry (E. nigrum).
  • an 1895 work by Arthur Alger Crozier on Crimson Clover and Other Topics (the relevant part of which is also quoted in an 1897 Annual Report of the Secretary of the Michigan State Board of Agriculture), saying that Strawberry Clover is also called "Strawberry-headed Trefoil, and in Germany, Earthberry (strawberry) Clover";
In the plural, I find the 1869 "goosh" cite mentioned above, and:
  • an 1864 book by Henry Mayhew on German Life and Manners as Seen in Saxony
  • the opaque 1870 Lectures on Art: Delivered Before the University of Oxford by John Ruskin, page 196, where "Dutch trickeries of base resemblance, and French and English fancies of insidious beauty, soon occupied the eyes of the populace of Europe, too restless and wretched now to care for the sweet earthberries and Madonna's ivy of Cima", whatever that means
  • New Outlook (1877, Alfred Emanuel Smith, ‎Francis Walton), volume 16, page 431, "baked “earthberries,” as the Germans call them";
  • and an 1882 translation(?) by Jeremiah Curtin of "The Round Stone (A Hungarian Folk-story)", in St. Nicholas, Conducted by M.M. Dodge, volume 9, page 273, where "the family lived on roots and stewed earthberries", possibly translating Hungarian földi eper
This suggests that it could have entered English as a calque from German etc, and the lack of a Middle English or Early Modern English form connecting the Old English and the modern words suggests it probably did. - -sche (discuss) 19:59, 8 January 2021 (UTC)


I can't find anything, but I think we can assume it's a Greek loan. An independently evolved Italic cognate would probably be something like "nobus" in Latin. --Antondimak (talk) 22:42, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

@Antondimak: Yes, of course. {{R:Gaffiot}} says so explicity. PUC – 13:06, 9 January 2021 (UTC)


Gives for the English verb one etymology - "From Middle English wagen (“to pledge”)" from old french/latin/etc., but the first two senses ("to wager/bet" and "to risk") seem really close to german "wagen" (to venture/dare). This isn't compatible with sound-change rules though (a friend says 'English coda /dʒ/ might be able to match German /k/, but I can't think of a way to get it to match German /g/') I don't know what to make of it, but thought I'd mention it here. I guess the 'gambley'/'risky' sense comes from how modern speakers would use 'wager'? 2A01:C22:AC38:7500:79F3:77D6:8CCD:EA4 20:34, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

Like the famous case of Mbabaram dog, this is a false cognate. English wage and German wagen are not related, but English wage and German wetten (to bet) are. —Mahāgaja · talk 21:58, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
And apparently German wetten and English wed is related, whereas German wagen and similar Germanic words are related to English weigh and the sens of guesstimating a weight before actually weighing it on a pair of scales. You learn something every day... Wakuran (talk) 00:16, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

PWG *s(k)ulan[edit]

Is there any explanation why many varieties of Continental West Germanic lost the k in this word, giving Dutch zullen, German sollen etc. rather than *schullen and *schollen? Did it start in one area and then spread to neighboring lects? —Mahāgaja · talk 12:40, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

Forms with /s/ are by no means limited to the continent; Scots has sal, soud (though these have mostly been replaced by forms in /ʃ/ due to English influence). However, the Scots forms are pretty easily explained, as the change of /ʃ/ to /s/ in unstressed environments is common in Scots (compare Inglis to English); sal and soud would of course frequently appear in unstressed positions. The Scots forms in s- are probably unconnected to those on the continent, though reduction under low stress is probably also the most satisfactory explanation for the continental forms. However, it would be unparalleled there, unlike in Scots. Whatever its origin, the change is clearly of a secondary nature, as you've right that it originated in one area. It first appears in Old Dutch and only later propagates to other Germanic languages; in Old High German it forms with s- are rare (in MHG forms with s- spread; forms with sch- fade away in the Early New High German period), and in Old Saxon they are unknown (and still rare in Middle Low German). Therefore the reconstruction of a by-form *sulan is inadvisable. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 13:42, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
This phenomenon is also found occasionally in North Germanic; in some North Germanic dialects, the entire initial cluster has been lopped off (as it was reanalysed as the mediopassive ending) so one is treated to forms such as al "I shall"! Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 14:00, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
After posting this question, I looked it up in {{R:EWddS}}, and they also say that sk > s happened as a result of the word being unstressed. Also, after I posted this question, I remembered the Scots "I sall rock ... I sall praise .... The knees of my heart sall I bow" in "Balulow" from A Ceremony of Carols. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:33, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

German Altweibersommer[edit]

Our current etymology, which was added by @Korn, says it's derived from "Weib, a regional variant of the word found in Spinnweben (spider's web), cognate to English web".

However, no semantic explanation has been provided, and I wonder how sound this etymology is.

Another analysis could be alt (old) +‎ Weib (woman) +‎ Sommer (summer); literally "old woman's summer". Though I don't get the semantics here either, this has parallels in other languages: Hungarian vénasszonyok nyara, Polish babie lato, Russian ба́бье ле́то (bábʹje léto).

But could those be, in fact, calques based on a mistaken interpretation of the German term? Might Korn's etymology be correct after all? But if yes, what does it mean? PUC – 11:07, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

There seems to be general consensus that Altweibersommer originally refers to loose webs and that the word referring to weather is a later phenomenon. Notice how the Polish word also means "loose spider silk". The usual etymology I see is that "Weiber" goes back to an OHG verb "weibon", meaning "fluttering". (Related to 'weaving', which is a back and forth movement, but the etymology is misleading as it is now.) What I'm actually less sure about is the -sommer part. While "the summer of fluttering webs" could refer to a warm period at a time when there are no leaves to hide/protect the spiderwebs, this doesn't make sense as a name for the webs themselves. I find it more likely that -sommer is the second element of gossamer and did not refer to the season when the word was created. Thus "Altweibersommer" would be "old fluttering spider silk", which is literally what the word originally meant, but I cannot provide any satisfying source here. Korn [kʰũæ̃n] (talk) 13:08, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
{{R:EWddS}} also suggests that the Sommer part is to be connected to gossamer and originally referred to something spider-webby, but does not connect the Weiber part to anything other than the word for "woman, wife". However, it also says that there is another, rare and chiefly dialectal meaning of Altweibersommer, which is "zweite Jugend bei Frauen", and that the "Indian summer" sense probably developed from that. That suggests to me that we probably have two originally distinct words, "old-woman-summer" and "old-fluttering-spider-silk", which came to be identical to each other through the magic of folk etymology. —Mahāgaja · talk 13:17, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
@Mahagaja, Korn: Thank you both. However, I don't get your point about the second element of gossamer: our entry says it's precisely a compound of somer / summer. Am I missing something? PUC – 18:14, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
Hmm, even gossamer seems to be etymologicaly related to "summer". Etymonline mentions several Germanic equivalents to gossamer derived from summer, rather than the other way around. Wakuran (talk) 18:23, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
This is a perennial topic, see e.g. [24] (German with French sub-titles), repeated for who knows how many centuries. Hence I thought I understood the "-weib-" element related to webs (I mean, obviously). By my humble estimate, the obsolete meaning "web" suggested before for gossamer may be an outflow of the very folk etymologies under discussion. The etymology for gossamer from "goose + summer" is glaring folk etymology, too, if written evidence is rarely definite proof.
To add to the confusion, remember that "Weib", "wife" etc. are uncertain and that spinsters are stereotypically female. The Polish parallel reinforces the equation. I do think it hardly had to do with either of these though. I don't have the slightest whiff of an idea. 19:05, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster states it comes from "goose summer". [25] Wakuran (talk) 19:44, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
I've expanded the etymology of gossamer with many references, which all take the second element to be summer (the word for the season). Some mention various Germanic cognates, including several meaning "summer threads", and Mädchensommer (using a different and un-web-like word for a female), which could be added if attested. - -sche (discuss) 22:21, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
I won't argue whether it is duck season, no rabbit season. But Etymonline ([26]) says about the cobwebs that "The reference might be to a fancied resemblance of the silk to goose down", which ticks several boxes on the model of *h2ew- "to dress", avis, ovis ("The one who dresses", after Pooth, cf. *h₂éwis). The following pairs are analogies, almost none related: gauze, goose, goat. Faden, Feder, Vieh, maybe Lamm, linum (and above lum'ma "pocket" if a flaxen bag sewen on, cp. burlap, burlap sack, Sachen, as well as cloth, clothes, cannabis, canvas). The "cognates" that you mentioned will be interesting.--2A00:20:604D:ED33:8C29:2290:94A3:9739 13:23, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Rather than "cognates", I guess they could be considered analogous equivalent coinages, similar to English toadstool, Dutch paddenstoel ("toad-chair", mushroom), Danish paddehat ("toad-hat", mushroom) and German Krötenschwamm ("toad-fungus", alternative word for the Panther cap.) Wakuran (talk) 18:47, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
I expanded the etymology a little, but it could still use more; in particular, can the connection of Weib to Webe be referenced, and what might Sommer be if not the season?
Grimm's Teutonic Mythology (Deutsche Mythologie) analyses "gossamer" as "God's train", taking the second word to be "samar, simar, train", but ... simar isn't even a Germanic word AFAICT, it's from Romance, and DWDS says German Sommer was first attested for webs in the 17th century (and compounds like Altweibersommer first in the 18th century), which seems late for an etymologically distinct word to start being attested. Furthermore, Grimm and some old dictionaries mention Czech babské léto, which seems to have the same polysemy as Polish (both the period of weather and webs), and as weird as I find it that multiple languages would transfer their word for an Indian summer to cobwebs or vice versa, is it really more plausible that multiple languages, including non-Germanic ones, had distinct words for "web" which merely resembled and got combined into their words for "summer", or that multiple non-Germanic languages calqued a fairly unusual German compound? The existence of Old Scots goesommer (from 1649), where the first element looks nothing like Scots forms of goose (and is of uncertain origin per the DSL), does make me question whether gossamer is really "goose summer", but even if the first element is unclear, what are the odds that German had a pair of words which both looked similar to Altweibersommer, where Sommer meant "summer" in one and something web-related in the other, and that Middle English (and its English and Scots descendants) had a different pair of words which were also similar to each other (gossomer, goesomer) and had the same pair of meanings? This is fascinating. - -sche (discuss) 17:15, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
I did manage to find a reference for the connection to (Spinn)webe / weben, although it's not the strongest of references. I also note that besides terms like Sommerfäden there is Herbstfäden, which provides some more small support to the idea that Sommer refers to the season. - -sche (discuss) 16:37, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
This is probably a long shot, but could the first element of gossamer be cognate with Old Norse gói 'late winter'? Of course that would imply that Proto-Germanic *gōīn- (from *ǵʰéyōm) still meant 'winter' more generally, not 'late winter' specifically. The original meaning of gossamer would then be 'the summer of winter'. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:28, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Hmm, there seems to be small evidence for the root *gōīn- being widespread outside of Scandinavia. I saw a theory that German folklore sorceress Frau Gauden might be related, although I guess the name might just as likely stem from another root. Wakuran (talk) 23:26, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Kroonen gives only North Germanic evidence, besides Old Low Franconian *-gima- (in Latinised words) as evidence for the genitive stem. While *gōīn- should be reconstructed for Proto-Germanic, we cannot exclude the possibility that it simply died out completely outside North Germanic. Again, I find it unlikely that a word that isn't even attested in Old English or anywhere else in West Germanic suddenly turns up in a Middle English compound in 1300, I just wanted to mention the possibility as it came to mind, inspired specifically by -sche's mention of Middle (not Old) Scots goesommer. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:19, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Unless, of course, Old Norse gói was borrowed into (at first only Northern?) Middle English, but is only attested as the first opaque member of a compound, which doesn't sound overly likely, either. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:29, 23 January 2021 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. @RcAlex36 Min Nan? Mandarin? Other/combo? I just assumed this was something like Tamsui. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 14:30, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

@Geographyinitiative: Min Nan is out of the question given how 基隆 is pronounced in Min Nan. Keelung looks like a romanization of 基隆 (Jīlóng) in the postal romanization format. RcAlex36 (talk) 14:33, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@RcAlex36 Fascinating insight- I never expected the word Keelung could be derived from Mandarin Chinese. If what you are saying is true, that ought to be made clearer on English Wikipedia at Keelung#Name. As that passage is written now, there is no source saying the word Keelung originates with Mandarin Chinese. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 14:39, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@RcAlex36 I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of situation, but I do think this situation must be similar to the so-called 上口字 (shàngkǒuzì) situation. There is an unsourced sentence on English Wikipedia that says "In Mandarin, probably the working language of Chinese government at the time, both the old and new names were likely pronounced Kīlóng (hence "Keelung")." [27] Kilong=ㄎㄧ ㄌㄨㄥˊ ??? --Geographyinitiative (talk) 15:19, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative: 上口字 (shàngkǒuzì) is Peking opera, although like Peking opera, postal romanization preserves the 尖團 distinction. Think Kiangsu, Kiukiang, Chinkiang, etc.. Keelung isn't unexpected. RcAlex36 (talk) 15:26, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@RcAlex36 I see what you are saying I think. Are you saying that the sentence "In Mandarin, probably the working language of Chinese government at the time, both the old and new names were likely pronounced Kīlóng (hence "Keelung")." is nonsense and that Keelung actually means to convey ㄐㄧ ㄌㄨㄥˊ? Wow. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 15:57, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Scratch that comment, I misunderstood. So wait a second, Keelung does mean Mandarin ㄎㄧ ㄌㄨㄥˊ , right? Once upon a time, I added ㄐㄧㄢˇ as an alternate pronunciation on the (liǎn) page. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 16:01, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative If the postal romanization system was indeed based on the Nanjing dialect at the time, then this explains the k in postal romanizations that corresponds to Hanyu Pinyin j in modern Standard Mandarin. When the postal romanization system was formalized, the 尖團 distinction still existed in Nanjing Mandarin, and we also know that palatalization of velar initials occurred later in Nanjing Mandarin than in Beijing Mandarin. I'm doubtful that the Qing court in Beijing used Nanjing Mandarin as its working language though. 臉 has nothing to do with the situation we have here because it is neither related to palatalization nor 尖團合流. RcAlex36 (talk) 16:18, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
I am very encouraged by this discussion. I will leave this open for further comment by other parties because of the unusualness of the etymology section on the Keelung page. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 16:26, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative Note even when palatalization was taking place when the postal romanization system was formalized, the palatalized k (probably resembling palatal stop [c]) was a distinct phoneme from /ts/ (aka the 尖團 distinction). That is probably the reason why we have that initial consonant romanized as k in postal romanization (hence Nanking, Kiukiang, Kiangsu, etc.). Beijing Mandarin, Standard Mandarin and Wade-Giles do not have the 尖團 distinction, so 京=精, 牽=千, etc.. We know k before high vowels in Nanjing Mandarin eventually became ʨ, which was still a distinct phoneme from /ts/. Of course, all this discussion assumes the postal romanization system was based on, or at least in part based on the Nanjing Mandarin pronunciation at the time. RcAlex36 (talk) 16:50, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Germanic rat words[edit]

The comments at English rat need to be reconciled with Proto-Germanic *rattaz and *rattō and Old English rætt. The discussion at rat says a Proto-Germanic ancestor must refer to a different animal and "Attestation of this family of words begins in the 12th century." The first part conflicts with the unqualified definition of the Proto-Germanic words as rat. The second part is contradicted by the existence of the Old English ancestor. If you believe Wikipedia, a 1st century arrival of black rats in the North Sea area means later speakers of Proto-Germanic would have known about rats. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:09, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

"raturus (in a list of animals)" (Bossworth-Toller: raet [28]; not sourced) is strictly speaking not a family of words. It's evidence, but we do not know what for it is. 05:30, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
We should probably mention Welsh rhathu (to grate, rasp), which presupposes an older *ratt- < Proto-Celtic *rasdeti and is cognate with Latin rādō. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:03, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

Peridia etymology[edit]

I am not an expert in etymology or linguistics but enjoy researching terms relating to mycology. I noticed on the page for entry "peridia", Wiktionary states the etymology is missing or incomplete. I would like to contribute some information I found in hopes that someone more knowledgeable than I will be able to look into it and possibly update the etymology, as I feel there is compelling evidence for it in the information below, as well as associated terms peridum and peridioles. These terms refer to important elements of "birds nest fungi", the common name for the five genera of fungi that make up the Nidulariaceae family. These structures (perida) appear like little packages of spores or "eggs" (peridioles), or refer to the fruiting body itself, which holds the "eggs".

From the piecemeal evidence below, I believe there is reason to give the etymology as coming from the Greek "peri-", or PIE root *per-, meaning "in front of, against, near" etc. It stands to reason that these structures were named for their "pouchlike" characteristics Please let me know your thoughts.

A Greek English Lexicon (Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott) states that Greek "pḗra" (πήρα , Ion. πήρη ( πάρη [α^] Heraclid. ap. Eust.29.3), ἡ,) means "A leather pouch for victuals, etc., wallet, Od.13.437, al., Ar.Pl.298, Fr.273, Ostr.Bodl. iii 264 (i A. D.), etc."

Peri-, according to Etymonline.com, is a Greek word forming element meaning "around, about, enclosing".

-ioles is a diminutive suffix, which would further explain the use of peridioles, or "little pouches".

-idium is a plural suffix used to form plant or fungus names, especially those involved in reproduction (this I believe stands as evidence for a combination of this suffix with Greek peri-, as peridium contain the peridioles, which contain the spores which are a mode of reproduction in fungi). -idia is the singular.

Therefore, in my amateur view, "peridia" derives from Greek peri- and -idia to mean 'reproductive pouch', based on these evidence examples. I appreciate your help and graciousness in any response.

@AnnaHenning —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:58, 11 January 2021 (UTC).

Dictionary.com states it's from pḗra (wallet, pouch) and the suffix -idium, corresponding to -idion. [29], [30] Wakuran (talk) 01:00, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Isn't it more likely that peridium is originally a scientific Latinization of πηρίδιον, (pērídion), a diminutive of πήρα (pḗra)?  --Lambiam 12:48, 12 January 2021 (UTC)


Not sure if this is the right place to ask. I couldn't find any information about this - when creating proto reconstructions, is it policy to reference proto languages which are not fully accepted by linguists? For example, see *acaɣ - it's a legit Proto-Eskimo entry, but I wasn't sure if mentioning Proto-Nostratic in the etymology is accepted or not? I've only referenced Proto-Nostratic in that one entry so far, so it's easily rectified if I was incorrect in doing so. —JakeybeanTALK 14:32, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

My impression is that a mention with a proper disclaimer (I think describing Nostratic as "not widely accepted among linguists" borders on euphemism. It's like saying that Donald Trump is "not widely accepted among liberal Democrats") is discouraged rather than prohibited. You would have to have a good reason to bring it up. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:18, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I think it's OK to mention it when it's properly sourced and referenced, as it is there, as long as we don't start creating Proto-Nostratic reconstruction entries. And "not widely accepted among linguists" sounds OK to me; it's a good NPOV way of putting it. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:21, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, both. And thanks for your edit, Mahagaja. I'll try not to flood entries with too many references to Proto-Nostratic, if I do, I shall reference in the way you have done so. —JakeybeanTALK 15:56, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
@Jakeybean: There is no consensus for linking to Proto-Nostratic reconstructions. If you want to mention relevant comparanda in other languages and explain that they could only be related through a controversial hypothesis, that is fine, but this is simply regurgitating Starostin's bullshit. His work is completely worthless and rejected by the vast majority of mainstream academic linguists. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:00, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Trust me, I'm not here to push his theories - I just wanted to clarify what is wanted here and what isn't. I definitely do not want to spread misinformation, so maybe it is enough to have the link to Starostin in the references for anyone who wants to look further into Proto-Eskimo and any theories surrounding its possible macrofamily. —JakeybeanTALK 19:22, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I also don't want there to be links to Nostratic reconstructions. We don't have a code for Proto-Nostratic as far as I know, so we can use {{m|und|*xyz}} (where und is for undetermined). No link is created when the language code is und and the term starts with an asterisk. —Mahāgaja · talk 21:54, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I should be clearer: there is no reason we should even be presenting his reconstructions. We are under no obligation to reflect all scholars' views when some of those scholars are not applying the comparative method in good faith. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:07, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I think mentioning the theory (in these appendix pages), with qualification, and without creating entries, is OK. Given that there are (by definition) no broadly accepted reconstructions, and that we're not linking to or creating reconstruction entries anyway, I think we can do without mentioning Starostin's or anyone else's reconstructions, though. I would only mention Nostratic in terms like "Within the controversial Nostratic theory, Proto-Foo foo has been compared to Proto-Bar bar", i.e. when mentioning comparanda, like Meta says. - -sche (discuss) 23:12, 12 January 2021 (UTC)


A winnet is a piece of dried faeces caught on anal hair. It is regional dialect. I believe it comes from Geordie dialect as in@It winnet come off.' Can aybody confirm or provide an alternative etymology?

Hmm, I figured there were rules against listing words such as winnet, not due to the subject matter, but since they seem to be both dialectal and slang words, and hence see rather limited usage. Initially, it sounds like a folk etymology, and I'd hazard a guess that the -et-ending is diminutive. But then, taint (perineum) is allegedly a relatively similar construction. Wakuran (talk) 23:31, 21 January 2021 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. @RcAlex36 Hey, do you (or anyone else) know why Yilan and Chiayi are written with a 'y'? I found a 1914 example of 'Yichang' too. [31] Thanks for any help. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 14:42, 14 January 2021 (UTC)


It's clear that the word originally means "with-woman". But is the usage note correct in claiming that the "woman"-part refers to the mother? It would make much more sense to me that she is a "with-woman" in the sense of an "attending woman", "assisting woman". Compare also the use of this prefix in other Germanic langauges. I'm sure every German or Dutch person here agrees that ?Mitfrau, ?medevrouw would mean "a woman who is with someone", not "one who is with a woman". (In fact, this word, if used, would probably be understood as either "one of several wives" or "one of a group of women", but it could never ever mean "husband" or "man who is with a group of women", as the note would imply). 21:28, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

Etymonline agrees.  --Lambiam 15:41, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
I disagree with the native speaker argument though.
I disagree as a native speaker because almost all German mit- words safe for fossils derive from a verbal base with an agentive -er, leading to the impression of a comitative prefix on nouns. I disagree as an English speaker, too, because there is no indication yet that these words were from the same strata as midwife.
Instead, I'm sure, almost every male person agrees that the precise meaning of the word is unknown. The meaning is about possession of certain knowledge, if French sage-femme and the Dutch analogues are taken into evidence.
This fact of life will be reflected in the common etymology brought about by the stork.
Translations show much variation and synonymy within and across closely related branches. At least Skandinavians concure with a common element -mor, -moder, maybe Greek too, as well as the analog Slavic looking babo, porodní bába, bebiakali, bába, babica, but the Greek μαῖα is also comparable to Hebrew meyalédet, which presents with a trilateral root comparable to Arab. *wallāda*.
For sake of compromise, the wife in midwife could be any mother. But this has to be uncertain if barely any of the translations has a proper etymology, (cf. accouocheuse f, please).2A00:20:6015:E80:D5FA:1337:2F8E:2F7D 22:32, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
In each of the German nouns Mitarbeiter, Mitbewohner, Mitbruder, Mitbürger, Mitesser, Mitglied, Mitgründer, Mitknecht, Mitläufer, Mitmensch, Mitschüler, Mitstudent, and Mittäter, the prefix mit- means co-. While Mitarbeiter can be analyzed as either mitarbeit(en) +‎ -er or mit- +‎ Arbeiter, only the latter is possible for several of the others; e.g., Mitbürger is not an agent noun of *mitbürgen.  --Lambiam 14:23, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Old English has midwist, from mid- +‎ wist, literally “co-being”; cf, German Mitwesen.[32]  --Lambiam 14:34, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
My understanding has been that Middle English midwif originates from the substantivised form of an Old English syntagma mid wīfe 'with the woman/wife'. However, Etymonline supports the other interpretation as "with-woman", a woman who is with (sc. the mother). I don't know how to decide with certainty which of these two possibilities is correct. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:23, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
I would agree that in modern Germanic languages, the cognate to mid- would generally mean co-. Not that it constitutes any evidence, though. Wakuran (talk) 23:56, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
It's certainly not proof, but I do think it's some kind of evidence. Anyway, thanks for the discussion. Apparently the etymology is not entirely clear. I'll edit accordingly. 18:31, 21 January 2021 (UTC)


"Possibly borrowed from a reduced Semitic form *aj,"

Huh? Where does the -p- come from, then?

"ultimately from Ancient Egyptian ꜥfj (“bee”)."

Is Ancient Egyptian f cognate with Proto-Semitic *p?

"Other theories speculate an Oscan-Umbrian loan from an original *akuis (“sharp, stinging”) (e.g. Latin aqui- (“sharp”) in aquifolius, aquilinus); however, even though the Osco-Umbrian reflex of Proto-Indo-European labiovelar */kʷ/ that gives Latin <qu> is regularly /p/, an Oscan akrid ‘sharply’ makes this doubtful."

I don't get the reasoning here. The hypothesis sounds workable. Oscan akrid has a completely different suffix, so what?

Also, to speculate is always intransitive, isn't it? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 06:54, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Used in the impersonal passive often seen in scientific articles ("It has been speculated that nutritional factors may also play a role."[33]), it feels grammatically OK – but as a Wikipedia editor I want to slap on a [by whom?].  --Lambiam 12:00, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Which lemma does this refer to? Might you have forgotten a headline, or am I misunderstanding something? Wakuran (talk) 12:18, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
It refers to FB's final question.  --Lambiam 12:53, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
@Lambiam: What I mean is you can speculate about something, but you can't "speculate something". That's just grammatically incorrect, AFAIK. And "Other theories speculate [a] loan" isn't passive. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:33, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Here are a few uses with a noun phrase as direct object: [34], [35], [36], [37], [38], [39], [40].  --Lambiam 23:40, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
You can also find a ton of occurrences of researches, that doesn't mean a lot. Outside of Indian English, where it may be accepted, researches is not considered standard, certainly not by first-language speakers. I for one would rather advise writers to avoid this construction, and our entry clearly describes the verb as intransitive. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:46, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
I agree that pulling Oscan akrid into the scene doesn’t make much sense; there is no labiovelar in its PIE etymon *h₂ḱró-, so it can’t be used to cast aspersions on the (unreferenced) claim that PIE */kʷ/ regularly develops to Oscan /p/.  --Lambiam 12:53, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
The claim is definitely correct. See Wikipedia. In fact, labiovelar stops turned into labial stops throughout Osco-Umbrian (and by all appearances already in Proto-Osco-Umbrian) – see here –, which is therefore also known as "P-Italic", literally after this very sound change. I've never seen a reference for such a famous (even eponymous!) and uncontroversial sound change on Wikipedia. It would be like adding a ref for Grimm's law. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:41, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Also, the argument is so unclear that neither of us both got it, but I suspect that akrid is not adduced to cast aspersions on the sound law, but on the assumption of a cognate of Latin aqui- in Osco-Umbrian. However, this argument is not compelling nor even particularly logical: just like Latin has both ācer and aqui-, so can Osco-Umbrian have had both formations. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:09, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
From a fringe macro-comparationist who also claimed Raetic is a Semitic language. Fittingly with this Linus Brunner we have cited Theo Vennemann. Without evidence for similar Semitic words, it should be removed. Fay Freak (talk) 13:08, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Ancient Egyptian f is indeed likely cognate with PSem *p. (I have no comment on the rest of this; it doesn’t make much sense to me either.) — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 20:50, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
@Fay Freak, Vorziblix: Thank you both! Yeah, Brunner and Vennemann are really not good sources on etymology; their suggestions are highly speculative at best. I merely tried to understand the reasoning first, but considering that there doesn't seem to be a lot to understand, I've decided to remove the part. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:00, 19 January 2021 (UTC)


Shouldn’t be a hard one. The shape ⟨GEORGI⟩ needs spread in a particular, discoverable fashion in European language. It is just that reference works ignore this term. @Hazarasp, Leasnam, for a start we should know the attestations of the country – although absurdly even the Oxford English Dictionary does not know Georgia except the vilayet of the United States and three terms derived from it (Georgia pine, Georgia buggy, Georgia skin. At least they do know the adjective Georgian for someone from the Kartvelian country, where (paywall) one finds an etymology for the country, which is claimed to be from 13th century Latin, which is claimed to be from Middle French georgien only attested in 1357 theoretically only, translated in a 1425 English quote they have. Then they mention 13th century Medieval Latin Georgianus, Italian only 14th century georgiano. But the real etymology for Georgia is barely visible; not at all from Wiktionary’s etymology section, but apparently in OED: they say the name of the country probably derives from Persian گرج(gurj, Georgia), now that’s a statement, but they write “13th cent.” in brackets behind it, which sounds kind of impossible as the earliest attestation of the Persian, probably they mean the century in which the name passed into Western European Medieval Latin. So through Italian trade, when Italians sailed beyond the Bosporus, they learned about the country of Georgia. Our derivation at the Italian georgiano, Georgio +‎ -iano, if the former is supposed to be the personal name, is of course bare nonsense, at best we have an {{orthographic borrowing}} because the name was etymologized by scribes who weren’t on board the ships as related to that Saint.

So I intend deletion of the digressions about Saint George and the personal name Γεώργιος (Geṓrgios), other than this sidenote, and Pliny and Pomponius Mela and vague “Later European accounts”, as well as the passage about the Russian word because it is not only “speculated” to be the same word but it is the same word owing to known Iranian sound correspondences (which are not to be told but at the Persian page either).

This leaves out however some other European languages where were aren’t as well equipped with references works: I browsed through various Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Bulgarian and Proto-Slavic etymological dictionaries and only discovered that the country or tribesman name is not mentioned. I can only assume that all the non-Eastern Slavic names (visible in the translation table of Georgia, Georgian) are borrowed from Russian instead of being inherited from a Late Proto-Slavic term, because German Grusien is too, and etymologists often omit, for brevity, words which aren’t old and we are supposed to derive by our own intellects, and it appears that in the Early Middle Ages nobody in Europe even knew the country, and especially because the shape is everywhere /gruz-/ as opposed to /gurz-/ which is here stated to be an Old East Slavic shape. Yet it sounds odd, due to geography and the Ottoman Empire, that Bulgarians only know about the country because Russians told them. Necessarily one can write a history of previous names in Bulgarian, if my supposition is true that the word is not inherited from Proto-Slavic but later borrowed from (Old) Russian. There might be now disused Turkish borrowings in South Slavic denoting the country and its people. I ping @Bezimenen, Gnosandes, Mladifilozof. Fay Freak (talk) 14:31, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

@Fay Freak: The name in Bulgarian (Грузия (Gruzija)) is adopted from Russian. In general, Bulgarian uses (transliterations of) the official Russian/Soviet exonyms for all former Soviet nations, not just for Georgia. Georgians as an ethnos, however, were known prior to 19-20 century, but I'm not sure under what name. One of the largest monasteries in Bulgaria, the Bachkovo monastery, was founded by Georgians, for example. Безименен (talk) 16:55, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
@Fay Freak: Georgia appears to be first attested in English in Marlowe's 1587 Tamburlaine the Great; in Middle English, the usual form is Georgie, which persists into the 16th century (and barely into the 17th) before sputtering out. Both of these seem to reflect a medieval Latin Geōrgia (Georgie is probably through a French intermediary). Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 08:19, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Etymology of waft[edit]

Our entry currently describes the origin as "uncertain", and -- quite implausibly, I think -- suggests a borrowing from Middle Dutch wachten (to guard).

I had assumed a similar pattern to other verb + noun pairs I was recently looking at, where the former is voiced and the latter unvoiced. Examples include:

With a slightly different pattern and addition of what might be past-tense marker -t, we also have pairs like:

It would appear that wave + waft would fit the latter pattern. This also seems to fit better semantically than Middle Dutch wachten (to guard).

Has anyone else encountered anything similar regarding the derivation of waft? Does our entry need updating? User:Eirikr

Hmm, I thought about the Swedish word vifta (to wave), seemingly derived from Proto-Germanic waibijaną. Etymonline also claims "wachten", though. [41] Wakuran (talk) 21:05, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
In the oldest quotation, from Shakespeare, the meaning is “to wave”.  --Lambiam 23:54, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
My impression was also that Dutch -cht being borrowed as -ft wasn't a common occurrence, in contrast to Dutch -cht corresponding to other Germanic cognates with -ft , such as in lucht and achter. Wakuran (talk) 00:02, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
FWIW, Merriam-Webster's etymology derives the verb as:

Middle English, perhaps from past participle of Middle English (northern dialect) waffen, by-form of Middle English waven to wave

‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 02:02, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
The OED gives a similar etymology: "Apparently an alteration of waff v.1, perhaps due to the past tense or participle waft." Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 23:14, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

/r/ in Jpn 算盤[edit]

We have two contradictory accounts at the moment of the correspondence Chinese /n/ : Japanese /r/ in 算盤. The etymologies listed there want the /r/ to be secondary from /n/, whereas at 算#Chinese we say that this is instead a pre-Sino-Japanese loan and the /r/ is a survival of an Old Chinese coda *-r > *-n in Chinese. Which is it?

To me, a priori and not knowing the history, the latter story is more believable: words of the Sino-Japanese stratum don't tend to get deformed like this, and why would this word have got routed through Ryukyuan? But I don't know what to make of the claim that "the abacus was imported to Japan from China during the Muromachi period". E.g. was this just the modern form of abacus and the Japanese knew an earlier form before that? 4pq1injbok (talk) 10:21, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

@4pq1injbok: I'm a little confused by the wording of your question, but here's what I can find regarding the Japanese term.
  • The device was first imported into Japan (in the historical record, anyway) some time during the w:Muromachi period (1336–1573). Some sources say late in the period, others say early (both in Japanese).
This is late enough that the Old Chinese coda is irrelevant -- unless there were some obscure dialectal variant of late Middle Chinese that still had coda /-r/ for , and that dialect were somehow the source of the Japanese term, with influence also on the Ryukyuan? That seems highly unlikely to me, but who knows. Then again, not all reconstructions of the Old Chinese for include any coda /-r/.
  • If this site is accurate, the Japanese term in 1570 was read as sōban, probably pronounced /soːban/, possibly /sɔːban/ considering the /a/ vowel in the etymon and the phonological realization of similarly-shaped borrowings.
  • The earliest I can pin down the soroban reading is to the 1603 w:Nippo Jisho Japanese-Portuguese dictionary, as listed here at Kotobank in the entry from the Kokugo Dai Jiten (KDJ), from publisher w:Shōgakukan. The Nippo Jisho entry can be seen here, two entries above the highlighted term. The edition available on Google Books is sadly missing the pages needed to check for any /soːban/ pronunciation.
  • There is also evidence of Japanese 算盤 read as sanban, the expected reading based on the original Chinese. However, the earliest I can date this reading to is 1688, as shown here in the KDJ entry.
  • Japanese sources that discuss the origin of the soroban reading describe it as a shift from swanpan. That seems extremely unlikely to me on phonological grounds -- so far as I know, we have zero other instances of late-Middle-Chinese swan shifting to soro. It's even more unlikely given the existence of the sanban reading, which demonstrates the expected phonological pattern whereby swa- flattened to sa-, and coda -n remained as coda -n.
  • A perhaps more likely source of the /r/ in Japanese そろばん (soroban) may be root soro-, as seen in adverb そろそろ (sorosoro, quietly and calmly), そろり (sorori) and そろっと (sorotto, quietly and smoothly; slidingly, glidingly), verb 揃う (sorou, to be in alignment; to be in order; to match, to go together).
  • The [here, two entries above the highlighted term. The edition available on Google Books is sadly missing the pages needed to check for any /soːban/ pronunciation. Gogen-Allguide entry] mentions some 50 alternative spellings used throughout history, including 三羅盤, likely read as saraban. Notably, root sara- -- and also root suru- -- also appear in various terms related to senses of smooth, gliding, sliding.
Coming back to your mention of the etymology at 算#Chinese, I must point out that it is very unlikely to be the case that "The Old Chinese coda was *-r, as preserved in Japanese 算盤 (soroban, “abacus”)." I believe that must be edited to remove the mention of the Japanese term, since this is far too young to have any direct connection to anything Old Chinese.
For that matter, the Japanese entry needs updating as well. I'll add that to my (growing) to-do list. :)
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:54, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Update -- I found an earlier cite for the soroban reading, the 1595 edition of a Latin - Portuguese - Japanese dictionary. See the Abáculus entry here, which lists the Japanese glosses san and soroban. The san gloss is also listed in Japanese monolingual dictionaries as a synonym for soroban, and is spelled simply (san) -- further indicating that the Chinese swan would have been rendered simply as san via normal phonological processes. I think this bolsters the case for soro- being some other morpheme unrelated to the Chinese. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:37, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

Source of Hindi क़ीमा[edit]

@AryamanA, Kutchkutch, Bhagadatta, wouldn't क़ीमा (qīmā) be much more likely to be from Persian قیمه(qime, hashed meat), which the latter entry says is from Turkic? The semantics seem very strange to me if it really is from Arabic.--Karaeng Matoaya (talk) 10:18, 22 January 2021 (UTC)

@Karaeng Matoaya: The preferred dictionary for Hindi, {{R:hi:McGregor|qīma}}, has [A. qīma], which must the source of the current etymology.
When AryamanA created the entry, the etymology was just {{bor|hi|ar}}, then Wyang added the Arabic word and I added the Arabic root to populate the category CAT:Hindi terms derived from the Arabic root ق و م.
{{R:NPED|قیمه}} and {{R:fa:Steingass|قيمه}} both have the definition Minced meat, so Persian قیمه(qime) being the immediate source of the Hindi/Urdu term makes sense. However, whether or not the Persian term is from Arabic is not entirely clear to me. The semantics do seem a bit strange strange, but such a change in meaning from Arabic to Persian doesn't seem entirely impossible. The spelling of the Arabic and Persian terms are very similar.
The Persian entry was created by User talk:Irman, and in this edit on the Persian entry User:Calak removed most of the etymology given by Irman, but left {{bor|fa|trk}} intact. Kutchkutch (talk) 13:58, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
The Turkish sense of the noun kıyma is fairly transparent; it is a verbal noun of the verb kıymak (to mince), composed from a root kıy- + the infinitive suffix -mak. Similarly formed Turkish nouns for foodstuff include dolma, dondurma, kavurma and sarma. The meaning in Turkish is perfectly mirrored in Persian. Given the senses of the terms in various candidate donor languages, Arabic appears extremely unlikely to have played a role.  --Lambiam 14:12, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
@Kutchkutch, another reason I'm a bit puzzled is that the expected Persian and Hindi borrowing of Arabic قِيمَة(qīma) (satisfying both phonetics and semantics) already exists as Persian قیمت(qimat) > Hindi क़ीमत (qīmat).--Karaeng Matoaya (talk) 15:15, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
I added the Ottoman Turkish version قمیه(kıyma) which is a plausible source of the Persian word, given that (1) it appears to be originally a Turkic word, (2) Ottoman Turkish is the most prolific borrower and lender of the Turkic languages with respect to Persian and Arabic. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 16:00, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
@Vox Sciurorum: You added the stem wrongly. Of course the sequence is قیمـ, not قمیـ. You misread the ligature in Redhouse. You should know that ى‎ with any dots likes to connect with م(m) in many fonts, making it hard to read for beginners. Fay Freak (talk) 17:15, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Fixed. Now at قیمق(kıymak), قیمه(kıyma). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:37, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
@AryamanA, Kutchkutch, Bhagadatta, Vox Sciurorum, Lambian, Fay Freak I have changed the etymology at क़ीमा (qīmā) to Turkic via Persian and added likely descendants at قیمه. Please check if anything is wrong.--Karaeng Matoaya (talk) 02:36, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
@Karaeng Matoaya: It is correct! —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 23:07, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

jitney (the numismonym)[edit]

Footnote 8 in the article in Wikipedia on the origin of the word jitney (the coin) mentions the chapter dealing with that subject in David L. Gold's Studies in Etymology and Etiology: With Emphasis on Germanic, Jewish, Romance and Slavic Languages (2009). What the article in Wiki says about that chapter needs to be updated.

It is true that in 2009 he tentatively espoused the etymology involving the word jetnée but in a 35-page analysis published in 2020 (see the full reference below) he concluded that either jetnée was coined in 1915 (in which case it could not be the etymon of a word attested for 8 August 1886) or jetnée derives from jitney.

Gold, David L. 2018-2020. “Pursuing the origin of the American English informalism gitney ~ jitney: On the alleged Louisiana French word *jetnée and the fallacy of omne ignotum pro magnifico in etymological research.” Leuvense Bijdragen: Leuven Contributions in Linguistics and Philology. Vol. 102. Pp. 383 - 417.S. Valkemirer (talk) 08:37, 23 January 2021 (UTC)


The genetics entry on Wiktionary says "coined by English biologist William Bateson in 1905" but this seems misleading - depending on how you view 'genetic' vs. 'genetics'

If this entry wants to refer to a strict definition of 'genetics' as a science discipline, it should clearly state so, otherwise refer to the 'genetic' antry or elsewhere.

Even Darwin's own text had the word 'genetic' in it, at least in 6th ed (1871) - source http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=text&itemID=F401&pageseq=1

Imre (Emmerich?) Festetics was the first (Die genetische Gesätze der Natur. Oekonomische Neuigkeiten und Verhandlungen, 1819) according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Festetics

"Genetic" isn't the same word as "genetics", nor is the German term. The etymology can mention that genetic came first, but all etymologies refer simply to the exact entry they appear in. DTLHS (talk) 17:41, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂leg-, ἄλγος, religio[edit]

The etymology of religio is disputed. I think we can agree that the ancient etymologies (relegare, religare) are not tenable. Connecting it with lego is semantically difficult. But I think somewhere I read the hyptothesis that religio could be connected with the Latin -lego-compounds that form the perfect stem with -s- (-lexi: neglego, intellego, diligo) and therefore be derived from the PIE root *h₂leg-. DeVaan thinks (as far as I can remember) that there's no need for a separate root apart from PIE *leǵ- > PIt *legō, arguing that the -e- in neg- and intellego renders an early formation of these compounds implausible and that diligo is difficult to connect with a verb with the meaning "to care". But as often, he doesn't really discuss the issue.

  1. *h₂leg- is reconstructed because of grc ἀλέγω. So if the root survived in grc why not use it to explain Latin words (as does LIV)?
  2. intellego and neglego could have been treated as two separate words each (*ìnter légo and *nèc légo) so that the stem vowel was stressed and therefore not weakened.
  3. With *h₂leg- we get an easy explanation for religio: PIt *lego ("to care") > Latin *religo ("to observe, to venerate" > religio ("reverence").
  4. diligo could be explained as a conflation of the two homophonous terms.

Apart from that: The etymology given at ἄλγος looks very, very, very implausible (PIE *-r- > grc -l-?? Why not ἅ- (with rough breathing)?). @Djkcel: Does Beekes really support this? --Akletos (talk) 11:57, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

Sup @Akletos:, yes, it appears that Beekes finds this conceivable; from page 62:
The word is often connected with ἄλγος (álgos). Although this has a different meaning 'to take care, mind, heed', a development to 'worry, grief' is conceivable (cf. MoDu. zorgen (to take care), beside Modern English sorrow.
However, I did that etymology when ἀλέγω (alégō) was a redlink lemma. Since you've created that entry, feel free to direct readers to that from ἄλγος (álgos), though Beekes does cite a few sources that support the connection to sorrow: (Seiler 1950: 85, Seiler Word 11(1955): 288, and Szemerenyi 1964: 148ff). DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 19:21, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
@Djkcel: Thanks for looking this up. The connection to ἀλέγω is not the point, this seems possible. But the swergh-thing was rather strange. I hope you don't mind that I've deleted it. --Akletos (talk) 20:19, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

Correction needed[edit]

Can you check Reconstruction:Proto-Turkic/öküŕ and Reconstruction:Proto-Tocharian/wəkʷsó, please, we need a correction, as Güntert, Anders H; Festschrift Fr. Panzer 10 describes a reverse loan direction, cf: Orel handbook, page 434 on top. --Altuunay (talk) 17:46, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

There seems to be various similar proto-language terms with unclear connections between them; Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/uksḗn, Reconstruction:Proto-Turkic/öküŕ, Reconstruction:Proto-Kartvelian/usx-. Wakuran (talk) 00:28, 25 January 2021 (UTC)