Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
(Redirected from Wiktionary:ES)
Jump to: navigation, search

Wiktionary > Discussion rooms > Etymology scriptorium

WT:ES redirects here. For help with edit summaries, see Help:Edit summary. For information about Spanish entries on Wiktionary, see Wiktionary:About Spanish.
Etymology scriptorium

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

Etymology scriptorium archives edit


March 2018

cannabis, ganja[edit]

Cannabis was discussed before, also on the big sister at w:Etymology_of_cannabis. So far inconclusive.

Could this be from or cognate with कान्हा (kānhā)? Rhyminreason (talk) 11:58, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

No. The superficial resemblance is restricted to modern Hindi, as you would know if you had looked at the etymologies of the words in question. Trying to determine the relationships of something that goes back thousands of years in multiple languages (and language families) based on such things is rather silly: the semantics are all wrong, कान्हा (kānhā) and गांजा (gāñjā) are quite different in modern Hindi, and they derive from even more different Sanskrit words (कृष्ण (kṛṣṇa) and गञ्जा (gañjā)}). You've got to stop posting everything here that pops into your head without thinking it through, let alone checking in the most obvious places such as the etymologies for the entries in question. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:24, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
What???? That's totally wrong. कान्हा (kānhā, Krishna) has nothing to do with that! —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 17:28, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

niskoitella, Finnish verb[edit]

This appears to be connected with the noun 'niska,' which means 'neck,' 'nape of the neck.'. The text containing the verb is a biblical one, so the reference to disobedience and stubbornness is likely colored by a Hebrew word picture of a draft animal resisting its training to the yoke or a mount avoiding or dulling the signal of a rider to its mouth by the reins to the bit. —This unsigned comment was added by Littleglassworld (talkcontribs).

I'm not sure if you meant to have a question in here somewhere? Yes, niska is the root for this; and also niskuroida, uppiniskainen. These are in entirely general use in Finnish though, not just in the Bible. --Tropylium (talk) 00:33, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
You don't mention which biblical context it occurs in, but there is a well-known Biblical Hebrew phrase: עֹרֶף (back of the neck) קְשֵׁה־ (hard(of)) עַם־ (people (of)), which is translated into English as "a stiff-necked people", and which is used to refer to the tribes of Israel as stubborn and disobedient. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:57, 4 March 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

Questioned on the talk page, though the requester was confused about the language of axis. The original etymology was added by an editor who has been rather careless about adding etymologies without knowing whether their sources were reliable or not. The hypothetical earlier form was added by an IP. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:53, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

It looks like the original source for this was the Online Etymology Dictionary, which, however, labels the word as merely related to axis, and not derived from it. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 08:03, 4 March 2018 (UTC)


I wish I knew my way around Arabic etymological works. This appears like it may have a semantic history similar to barbarian, which would be interesting, but I don't know where to look. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:31, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Arabic has no standard etymological reference. You have to look into the etymologies of the borrowings, in this case Turkish. --Vahag (talk) 14:15, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm, I'd like something better than that Turkish reference. It starts out on the wrong foot by giving a misspelling of the Arabic etymon, and proceeds to discuss Hebrew and Aramaic cognates that I cannot find in my dictionaries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:19, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
I remember there was some useful stuff in "ʿAdjam" in Encyclopaedia of Islam. --Z 19:26, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, that was excellent (and explained what I had thought to be a misspelling). Is there a reference template for the EoI? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:37, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Finnish pateettinen[edit]

It seems highly unlikely that pateettinen came from paatos, from which paatoksellinen is derived. Much more likely seems a direct loan from French pathétique, not even thru Swedish. --Espoo (talk) 19:03, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Finnish vasen[edit]

Can be related to vasta-, "against, counter, anti" as in a lot of other languages? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 21:49, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

They go back as distinct roots already to Proto-Uralic (*wasa (left) > Samoyedic *wåtV; *wasta (place across) > e.g. Erzya васта (vasta, place)), though I would not rule out that they're indeed linked at a pre-Proto-Uralic level. --Tropylium (talk) 01:50, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

cāseus into French[edit]

If French had inherited Latin cāseus, what would it be? Something like chèse? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:37, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

I suspect that -eus would dissappear completely. See melior, palatium, iunius (from Phonological_history_of_French), not sure what happens with s when palatalized, perhaps palatal metathesis? Maybe something like cheis? Crom daba (talk) 15:13, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking of bāsium > baise, but now I'm not sure but that the latter is deverbal from baiser rather than inherited from Latin. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:29, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the ending, the only other Latin word we seem to have with "-aseus", to compare that part to, is carbaseus. More broadly, searching the database dump, I don't find many Latin words with even just "-eus" and French descendants (that are listed in the entry), but if mail and coin are regular inheritances of of malleus and cuneus, they show loss of the "-eus", whereas puteus became pui(t)s and laqueus became lacs. (Aculeus seems to have developed nonstandardly, cierge outright says it developed nonstandardly, couille and chausse says they're via Vulgar Latin forms in "-ea", and auge says it's an early borrowing.) - -sche (discuss) 16:15, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I think generally -eus developed in VL the same as -ius, so we can assume the result would be the same as for a *cāsius (cf. Portuguese queijo and Spanish queso, where the vowels of both and the medial consonant of the former suggest VL *cāsius. And note that those forms both rhyme with their language's respective reflexes of bāsium: beijo and beso. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:30, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
OK, the only word I found that ends in "-sius" and has a French descendant listed is Gildasius, which became Gildas, and the only ones in "-sium" with one are tamisium which became tamis, and bāsium. - -sche (discuss) 17:01, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Is chasière a borrowing or an inheritance of cāseārius? - -sche (discuss) 20:56, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't know. It isn't in my Dictionnaire étymologique. But the c > ch change sure makes it look like an inheritance; borrowings don't usually undergo that change, do they? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:10, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the first part, there is:
Given that and chasière coming from cāseārius, I would guess maybe chas. - -sche (discuss) 03:09, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Gildas notwithstanding, I do think there would be diphthongization of a to ai in a stressed open syllable before -ius, so chais is probably more likely. (Actually, given amat > aime and carō > chair, the diphthongization probably would have happened even without the palatalizing influence of the -ius.) Anyway, I was just idly speculating what the word cheese would look like if it had gone into French and then been borrowed into English, rather than being borrowed into West Germanic and then inherited into English. The fact that both French and Anglo-Frisian change to /k/ to /tʃ/ before certain vowels means that the two paths could have looked more similar than one might have expected. (Sort of like choice and choose, where the former has /tʃ/ because of the French rule and the latter has it because of the Anglo-Frisian rule, and it's basically coincidence that these two rather distantly related words wound up looking so similar.) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:26, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
True, and I see there's sain from sānus. (But I also notice that chair seems to indicate that an alternate form char is older, if you're imagining a historical borrowing.) Well, here are all our Latin entries which end in -aseuC or asiuC, aside from the already-mentioned cāseus and bāsium and Gildasius, if anyone wants to check if they have French descendants we don't have listed:
- -sche (discuss) 15:55, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Hebrew אפשר / Arabic ممكن[edit]

These two terms -- אפשר and ممكن - seem to both similarly used to mean "can," although Hebrew has the verb יכול with this meaning. An example in Hebrew: "אפשר לעזור לך?" (lit. "possible to help you?", meaning "can I help you?") I'm wondering how far this use in Hebrew goes back, whether this is a recent calque from Arabic or something much older. My instinct says the former but I don't know. Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to shed some light on this. Finsternish (talk) 18:28, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

Pretty sure it's a Modern Hebrew usage. I don't know about it being a semantic loan from Arabic, though it's possible: I'd simply say the אפשר in your example sentence is just האם אפשר (ha'ím efshár, "is it possible") with the interrogative particle dropped for convenience. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 20:51, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Makes sense, thank you. Finsternish (talk) 14:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Well actually, there is absolutely no need to say that it's short for האם אפשר. The interrogative particle is always optional, and the default is in fact not to have it. Now as to whether אפשר is a semantic loan from Arabic ممكن, the best way to investigate this would be to see when exactly this construction becomes common. --WikiTiki89 15:14, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Polish ogół[edit]

Would someone know the etymology of this word? There's one here, but it's in Polish.

PL Aleksander Brückner-Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego 394.jpeg

--Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:46, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

pl.Wikt also has a nice-looking etymology which could be informative. Pinging recently-active Polish speaker @Tweenk, can you help us out? :) - -sche (discuss) 20:53, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Here's my translation of pl.Wikt:
From Old Polish oguł (the modern form is a result of a lowering of articulation u > o > ó before the consonant ł), from Northern Proto-Slavic *o(b)gulъ (probably that which is encircled, surrounded, entirety), perhaps a deverbal noun from Proto-Slavic *o(b)guljati (to encircle, surround in a dance), from Proto-Slavic *guljati (to play, dance, sing, have fun). Compare hulać, Belarusian агу́л (ahúl).
Some more cognates: Russian гуля́ть (guljátʹ), Serbo-Croatian guliti. The semantic diversity is a little suspicious and makes it harder for me to trust any reconstructed definitions for Proto-Slavic. --WikiTiki89 22:26, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks; I'll abstain from adding anything for now, because it's too obscure. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:31, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
I've added at least the immediate (Old Polish) ancestor, and that it comes from Proto-Slavic. - -sche (discuss) 21:24, 10 March 2018 (UTC)


I wasn't able to find a better etymology than our current account of the ancient folk etymology.

And would you agree to exchanging the current claims in Bosporus and Bosphorus about which is the more common spelling? As summarized on WP: The spelling Bosporus is listed first or exclusively in all major British and American dictionaries (e.g. Oxford Online Dictionaries, Collins, Longman, Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, and Random House) as well as the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Columbia Encyclopedia. The American Heritage Dictionary's online version has only this spelling and its search function doesn't even find anything for the spelling Bosphorus. --Espoo (talk) 10:13, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

In terms of actual usage, Bosphorus is still more common than Bosporus (also with the), and was historically been even more so. It's odd that Wikipedia claims it's "uncommon" in British English where it's maybe twice as common, and "rare" in American English where it's also more common. I see that it only makes that claim due to your own edits, which I've now modified. - -sche (discuss) 15:50, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

Seeking Etymology, Norman or otherwise, of the word ‘Tchad’[edit]

I would appreciate any information. —This comment was unsigned.

See Chad#Etymology_2. - -sche (discuss) 18:00, 11 March 2018 (UTC)


This is said to be from Arabic or Ethiopic. Can anyone figure out a specific likely etymon? Some references mention alternative spellings kobar and gobar, so the first consonant is not necessarily q. (Incidentally, we're missing an English entry as kobar for something else, see google books:"kobars".) - -sche (discuss) 18:00, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Here they link it to the root ق ب ر (q b r). DTLHS (talk) 18:02, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Using that, I also found the spelling of the immediate Ge'ez etymon in Leslau's Comparative Dictionary, where he says it is perhaps related to an Arabic word kifr "darkness of the night" which I also find mentioned in old Arabic dictionaries although not in the vaunted Wehr. (Wehr does mention a root ب خ ر (b ḵ r) meaning "turn into smoke or haze", but it's likely no more than chance similarity.) - -sche (discuss) 23:02, 11 March 2018 (UTC)


Can we decide which one of these is actually true?:

Waldemar is derived from a compound of Old High German waltan ("power") and māri ("famous") [or otherwise derived somehow from Proto-Germanic *waldą ("might, authority) + Proto-Germanic *mērijaz ("renowned, famous")]. Cognate (or equivalent to) Slavic Vladimir, which is ultimately derived from Proto-Slavic *Voldiměrъ, which is a calque of the Germanic.


Vladimir/Влади́мир is derived from Old Church Slavonic Владимѣръ, which is in turn derived from Proto-Slavic *Voldiměrъ, (but with the second part changed by folk etymology to миръ ["peace"]) which is a compound of *vold- ("rule") and *měrъ ("famous"). Derived from the Proto-Slavic are the Danish Valdemar and German Waldemar.

Tharthan (talk) 20:43, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Considering that living door to door with a decent amount of local Slavs (Polabians and Sorbs) well into recent times left virtually, or possibly literally, no impression at all on both speech and names in Germany, I find the notion that a German name be derived from Slavic very unbelievable. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 23:54, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Boris Paraschkewow, Wörter und Namen gleicher Herkunft und Struktur (2004, →ISBN), page 377, says:

Waldemar: The old Germanic personal name is made up of walt (from OHG waltan 'rule, reign', cf. Arnold) and mär (from Germanic *mӕ̄rja-, 'famous', [...]). To its pre-Old High German phonetic form *waldimӕ̄r- [the] Slavic *valdīmèr- can be traced, whose outcome in Old Czech had its sound modified to -mir and thus secondarily based on the Slavic word mirъ, 'peace; world'. With the characteristic for Czech (and the South Slavic languages) pre-consonantal change /al/ > /la/, the name spread in the still-current pronunciation Vladimir/Wladimir into the other Slavic languages, [...]. It is not [to be] ruled out that, independent of the described borrowing-process, the Germanic name, whose first component transparently had the same origin and meaning as Slavic valděti 'rule, reign', [but] whose second [component] prior to the reinterpretation remained unclear, through partial loan-translation [...] resulted in the Slavic name Wladislaw as a structural-semantic equivalent of Waldemar.

However, Vasmer says of Влади́мир:

The first part of which is connected with Church Slavonic владь 'rule/power' [...], while the second part is related to Gothic -mērs [...], OHG mâri [...], Greek ἐγχεσίμωρος [...], Irish mór, már [...], Welsh mawr; cf. Pedersen, Kelt. Gr. 1, 49. Thus, Vladimir "great in his power". The vocalization 'la' is Church Slavonic in origin. The ending '-mirъ' arose under the influence of 'мир', "peace, the world" by folk etymology [...]; otherwise, but hardly correct, cf. Kalima, [...]. See Володи́мер.

It seems that the German name is of Germanic origin, but the Slavic name might either be of Germanic origin reinforced by marked similarity in form and meaning to Slavic elements, or of native Slavic origin reinforced by the markedly similar Germanic name. - -sche (discuss) 01:08, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

If OHG Waldemar from waltan (verb?) / walt (noun) then questions:

  1. d ← t? is it regular?
  2. -e- between parts of name, is it regular?
  3. Is there similar OHG names? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 12:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
There is the Old High German (Alemanni) name Waldomer Leasnam (talk) 14:43, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Well, it seems there is no much information for "Alemanni"+"Waldomer" in Google search (mainly "[..] commander for King Meriadoc of Wales") —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Judging by Wikipedia, Scandinavian Valdemar is older than Waldemar, so maybe question should be "Valdemar/Vladimir"? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 12:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

See also German Walter.
Could it be that the names developed from a Latin or PIE name in parallel with the roots? For the PIE root also see Valentin. Rhyminreason (talk) 00:17, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Judging by Wiktionary, list of names derived from OHG waltan "rule": (Walfried, Waltraud, Walpurga/Walburg), (Berthold, Ewald, Witold; Danish Helmolt; French Romuald). And of course name Walter but it has slightly different etymology: in German entry it says "from OHG waltan", but in English "from Old Northern French Waltier, ..., from PG *waldą". Question: why Waldemar is Waldemar and not *Walmar? Or "Merged with Scandinavian Valdemar" = displaced by Scandinavian Valdemar? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Interestingly, name Walfried is from "rule" + "peace". Proto-Slavic *mirъ "peace; world" has variant *měrъ (Serbo-Criatian mijer?, Slovak mier?, Old Polish mier?, Sorbian měr?, ..?). But I didn't see a dictionary that say: *Voldiměrъ from imperative of *volsti "to rule" + *měrъ "peace", so maybe there is something incorrect. —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
de.Wikipedia, without clear sourcing, asserts "In der Onomastik gibt es unterschiedliche Ansichten, ob der slawische Name eigentlich aus dem Germanischen entlehnt ist oder der germanische aus dem slawischen oder ob beide aus einer älteren indoeuropäischen Sprachschicht stammen." "In onomastics, there are different views, about whether the Slavic name is actually borrowed from Germanic, or the Germanic from Slavic, or whether both derive from an older Indo-European stage." But I'm having a hard time finding reliable- (or even pop-culture-y-) looking references, at least in German, that give anything but a Germanic etymology for the Germanic name. - -sche (discuss) 18:34, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

Italian concepire[edit]

Would the presence of Italian ricevere (vis a vis its assumedly borrowed doublet recepire) indicate that words like concepire were borrowed or semi-learned? I thought it was inherited but now I'm not sure. Can't find good resources on it. The emergence of a 'v' from an intervocalic 'p' in Italian isn't uncommon and doesn't necessarily indicate Gallo-Romance influence. But maybe this is a matter of different dialects used in the formation of standard Italian? Most of the other Romance cognates seem to be inherited. Word dewd544 (talk) 19:54, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Sigh, why aren't there more experts on Latin and Romance here? There seems to be many who are into obscure Iranian languages, Turkic, and Polynesian, many of which deal with hypothetical reconstructions, but one of the most well attested families when it comes to linguistic evolution and transitions should have more experts right? I feel like Romance linguistics should be easier than others in some ways. Word dewd544 (talk) 21:36, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Maybe there are some Romance specialists on Wiktionnaire who could help you? @Noé, Lyokoï, Pamputt, ? – Jberkel 21:45, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Better call @Nemo bis or @Otourly, they know much more about Italian than me Face-smile.svg Noé 23:00, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
@Word dewd544 Well, I can’t answer like an italian could do. When I learned Italian in France, I just remember that we employed the past participle " ricevuto " but may be it just because "ricevere" is easier to be prononced/learned by french people. Also it could really depends of the region of Italy... Otourly (talk) 05:45, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
@Calthinus --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 08:34, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
An online source for Italian etymology is [4]. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:41, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Baltic, Eastern Baltic[edit]

Isn't Eastern Baltic (Latvian and Lithuanian) a monophyletic grouping? If by "Proto-Baltic" we meant "Proto-Eastern-Baltic", wouldn't it be a valid protolanguage? @Tropylium --2A02:2788:A4:F44:7039:DDF:54FD:3A3C 23:31, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Probably? This seems to be mostly uncontested. Eugen Hill's recent review paper on Proto-Baltic mentions *ai > *ei (though this seems rather trivial) and complex reworking of the personal pronouns' inflection. Just looking at standard Latvian and standard Lithuanian doesn't go very far though, since both languages have extensive dialect diversity. --Tropylium (talk) 11:43, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I think so too, but "Proto-Baltic" would generally be understood to mean the protolanguage of both Eastern Baltic and Western Baltic, which is why we avoid it, since the only protolanguage covering Eastern and Western Baltic also covers Slavic and so is called Proto-Balto-Slavic. If we mean Proto-Eastern Baltic, we should call it that. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 12:05, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your answers. Yes, probably better to speak of Proto-Eastern Baltic. @Florian Blaschke, what do you think? --2A02:2788:A4:F44:1D6C:8B9E:1BBB:8CAF 21:22, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, Lithuanian–Latvian or East Baltic is absolutely a coherent and quite close-knit group sharply distinct from Old Prussian and its closest (poorly attested) relatives (West Baltic). See w:Balto-Slavic languages: The minimal consensus is that West Baltic, East Baltic and Slavic are all valid subbranches. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:21, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

-ba, in LA[edit]

-bam, -bas & -bat exist, and as suffix, but -bamus, -batis and -bant were deleted in 2009 saying they're inflectional endings, not suffix. Is this true? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:19, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

It's true they're inflectional endings, but we generally treat those as kinds of affix. We certainly have plenty of entries for inflectional endings in other languages. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 12:54, 15 March 2018 (UTC)


The etymology currently just says “From Old French dauber (whitewash). However, the Old French dauber entry itself doesn't say anything about whitewashing.

Can anyone elucidate the origins of the English term? And possibly clean up / expand the etymologies of the etyma? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:39, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

絆#Japanese (kizuna, hodashi)[edit]

Please check my latest revision if you can. My researching gives me some conflict with the ultimate derivation:

Both kizuna and hodashi appear in the Wamyō Ruijushō (20-volume):

  • kizuna:  文選西京賦云韓盧噬於緤末[緤音思列反訓岐豆奈]薛綜曰緤攣也
  • hodashi:  釈名云絆[音半和名保太之]半也抱使半行不得自縦也

The more positive sense of "bond" for kizuna came later in The Tale of the Heike, around 300 years after the Wamyōshō.

Does the modern jiten verify the latter (iki + tsuna) or there are other theories aside from ones in my revision and here? --POKéTalker (talk) 21:24, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Re: kizuna, the later -zuna portion is rendered as -dzuna in pre-reform spellings, and is clearly the rendaku form of (tsuna, rope, line, binding). The initial ki- portion is highly unlikely to be (iki, breath); the semantics just don't fit at all. It's also unlikely to be 引き (hiki, pulling), as this element does not abbreviate that way -- I certainly cannot think of any examples (though that might just be because it's Friday). Gogen Allguide's entry suggests maybe (ki, knight, rider), but that also seems unlikely. In the absence of any clear candidates, I might list the theories and present the caveats, or just say "unclear".
I'll have to look into hodashi later.  :) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:56, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
After having a poke in my resources to see what they say about hodashi, this appears to be the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, continuative or stem form) of verb 絆す (hodasu, to tie something up, such as a horse, so that it cannot get away). The verb is attested in the Shinsen Jikyō, a kanji dictionary dating to around 901 in the early Heian period. A surface analysis might suggest a compound of (ho, bulbous thing on the end, possibly in reference to a knot on the end of a rope; cognate with (ho, ear (of grain))) + 出す (dasu, to make something manifest), but the verb form 出す (dasu) evolved from older 出だす (idasu) later than this -- the idasu reading is attested in The Tale of Genji, dated no later than 1021 -- more than a century after the Shinsen Jikyō.
At this point, from what I can find, I think it best if the (hodashi) etymology explains its derivation from verb 絆す (hodasu), with anything before that described as "uncertain". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:28, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
The online jiten implies to me that hodashi is definitely a shift from fumodashi (MYS 3886), meaning there is a hypothetical verb fumodasu somewhere. Any problematics on this one?
Will treat kizuna having uncertain etymology then. ~ POKéTalker (ŦC) 23:16, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
FWIW, KDJ states that fumodashi is a shift from fumi + hodashi, where fumi = 踏み (fumi, stepping, treading). This seems more likely phonetically, as the fumihodashifumodashi is pretty straightforward, while fumihodashihodashi doesn't really work.
Re: kizuna, it's only the ki- portion that's really unclear. KDJ notes a compound boundary as き-ずな, indicating that the editors viewed the ki- and the -zuna as derivable portions. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:07, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
Finished on my part; if you have time, please check on (kizuna, hodashi) for any corrections. Domo, ~ POKéTalker (ŦC) 02:20, 4 April 2018 (UTC)


I'm just curious, but would someone with a good knowledge of Old English tell me what this Old Norse borrowing supplanted? It doesn't say in the given etymology on the page. Tharthan (talk) 05:46, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

That's a good question and one I'm not have an easy time finding an answer to. This English–Anglo-Saxon vocabulary list gives filde (Bosworth-Toller gives it as fild), but it seems to apply only to land as it is derived from noun feld (field). The only word I can think of that could have been applied to a flat surface or a flat piece of paper is efen. Otherwise we'd expect a descendant of Proto-Germanic *flakaz (flat), but none seems to be attested (the flōc listed on that page is a noun meaning "flatfish, flounder"). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:42, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
sliht. I suppose smōþ/smēþe and brād could also be used Leasnam (talk) 20:11, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
@Leasnam I see. So am I right in presuming that it is likely that the introduction of flat to English vocabulary led to the "smooth, even, flat" meaning of slight to become less used, and eventually almost completely superseded by flat? Tharthan (talk) 21:07, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
That's a possibility, but it doesn't really answer the question of why Icelandic still has flatur and sléttur, which both still basically mean the same thing Leasnam (talk) 21:27, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

ḱw to π?[edit]

Other than ἵππος (híppos), is there any evidence that PIE *ḱw became π(π) in Greek? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:51, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

πέπαμαι (pépamai, to acquire), but it's problematic.
If you need any *Ḱw > *Kw like τίτανος (títanos, chalk) which is also problematic, and θηρίον (thēríon) which is a textbook example.
Generally check Schwyzer page 301 and references therein, I couldn't dig them up but you have some ties to academia IIRC so you might. Crom daba (talk) 00:01, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: Thanks for your help! In fact I don't have Schwyzer or access to it, but I do have Rix, whose only example besides ἵππος is in fact θήρ/θηρίον. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:37, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: A legend has it shady Russian sites might have it, I wouldn't know anything about it tho.
There are a few more proposed cases but Beekes rejects them, φθέγγομαι, φωνή (as cognate to zvono), πάσσω...
Schwyzer also claims that *Kw is reflected as K (this was new to me, I don't know if the theory still holds), which casts some additional doubt on this change IMO. Crom daba (talk) 21:10, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: Rix says that the perfect active participle ending -wō̆s- -wot- simply loses its w without changing the preceding consonant, but that's clearly due to paradigm levelling so that the perfect active participle has the same consonantism as the rest of the paradigm, e.g. *we-wik-wōs > εἰκώς (eikṓs) rather than *εἰππώς (*eippṓs). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:17, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Going the other way, are there other Greek words with geminate π? I can't think of any right now. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:57, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
(Aeolic ὄππα doesn't count) --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:59, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Here is a list of Ancient Greek lemmas containing ππ. Most of them look like compounds with ἵππος, contractions of other words, or loanwords. - -sche (discuss) 18:20, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Here's a list I made that includes words mentioned or linked to even if they don't have entries. I excluded anything obviously related to ἵππος (híppos):
  • Probably onomatopoeic.
--WikiTiki89 18:27, 19 March 2018 (UTC)


An IP tried to add Wikipedia's Template:Dubious to this etymology. They think the etymology is not accurate, and "called balderdash". Can we source this etymology, per their request? PseudoSkull (talk) 17:53, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

See also the recent comment at Talk:okay. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:55, 18 March 2018 (UTC)


I noticed that Fortson's Indo-European (section 2.17) book casually remarks that the word is "known" to be from Semitic. Beekes gives a number of possibilities ("the name probably comes from the East") but says that the connections to ἀφρός (aphrós) and the like aren't scholarly consensus anymore. It would be great if the Semitic theories were elaborated on by someone knowledgeable in Ancient Greek. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 00:25, 19 March 2018 (UTC)


Was not listed after tagging, it seems. Tag was added by the very person who added the questionable etymology, not really the best sign. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 20:52, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

I've learned that Poketalker adds that when entering an etymology s/he is uncertain about. I've just finished updating the entry to add in referenced information from my dictionaries to hand; I took the liberty of removing the rfv-etymology tag. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:22, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

A few Modern Greek surface analysis questions[edit]

Hello, I have a few "how-to" questions for Greek words:

  1.  For a verb like αναπαράγω, is the use of {{prefix|el|ανα|παρα|άγω}} correct? Or should it be {{prefix|el|ανα|παράγω}}?
  2.  For passive verbs that do have active forms, should a surface analysis be written? If yes, what should it be like? Can –ομαι be considered as a suffix?
  3.  What kind of surface analysis can be given for an adjective like δυτικός, which comes from δύση + (τ)ικός?
  4.  For the word έγκυος, can the surface analysis be {{prefix|el|εγ|κύω}}, knowing that κύω does not exists in Modern Greek (only Ancient).

Many thanks! — Orgyn (talk) 16:33, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

  1. Definitely {{prefix|el|ανα|παράγω}}.
  2. I don't know.
  3. {{suffix|el|δύω|-τικός}} is better, I'd say.
  4. If κύω doesn't exist at all in Modern Greek, no surface analysis can be given, since there's no way to analyse it. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:37, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

порта (porta)[edit]

The etymology (from Latin porta (gate)) and meaning ("board, plank") don't make sense. Bulgarian wiktionary gives meaning as expected ("gate"). Is порта actually two homonyms, one meaning "board" from Germanic, and one meaning "gate" from Latin? @BogormGormflaith (talk) 15:25, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

According to standard dictionaries, there is no "board, plank" sense. Bogorm probably made a copy-paste error. I changed the definition to "gate". --Vahag (talk) 18:08, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
Let's ask @Bogorm, was it a copy-paste error? Rhyminreason (talk) 04:23, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
It seems so. I cannot remember what uncircumspection befell me back in 2016, but the meaning of the word is gate. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 08:59, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Tangent: I noticed the entry lists an obsolete synonym of капия (kapija). Any chance that's related to Hungarian kapu? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:06, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr: They have the same ultimate source; Bulgarian капия (kapija), like Serbo-Croatian kapija, is presumably from Ottoman Turkish قاپی (= Turkish kapı) specifically. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 21:13, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

English etymologies[edit]

If anyone would like to do something useful - there are nearly 5,000 entries in Category:Requests for etymologies in English entries. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:29, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

There seem to be a lot of phrasal entries where we could link the components and add {{etystub}} instead, but I'm not sure if that actually answers much. --Tropylium (talk) 20:51, 25 March 2018 (UTC)


Is the etymology correct? It would seem to be evidence that ab- and maybe -tion might not be "non-productive" (although perhaps a single word is not enough to change the label on those entries, especially when the fraction part of this word can be analysed as fraction (act of breaking)). As an aside, I wonder if some instances of ab- "away" are from German, not Latin. - -sche (discuss) 12:51, 25 March 2018 (UTC)


In the older English-language references that include this (e.g. this one), the first part of the name is said to be Dutch for "little" or "small", but both Dutch and Afrikaans dictionaries say that's klein. I should note that there are hits on Google Books for kleinebok and kleinbok (the surname Kleenbok makes it harder to sift through the latter). Is there something to this, or do 19th-century English writers not know how to spell Dutch? Chuck Entz (talk) 15:15, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Do you mean there is no "kleen" with meaning "small" in those dictionaries? I wouldn't expect "kleen" to appear in a German dictionary either, but I can assure you that IPA(key): /kleːn/ is a dialectical regular variant of klein in Berliner Mundart (without a fixed spelling, it's not a written language) -- although we have kleen for Low German and Central Franconian, at least. Also ein#german versus een#dutch (indefinite article) doesn't leave much to guess.
However, the etymon could be a completely different word, e.g. from an African language, for all I know, while the given reference to webster1913 yields a 404 page not found. Rhyminreason (talk) 18:17, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Irish prátaí (‘potatoes’)[edit]

Could anyone help with the etymology of this modern Irish word? Scottish Gaelic isn't much help, its bun-tàta sounds like the understandable ‘bun’ plus something derived from English ‘taters’ perhaps? Could the Irish have come from English anyway by hearers analysing a form that they heard as something like *//prˈteitr// CecilWard (talk) 16:56, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

@CecilWard: I've never seen one; my personal hypothesis is that it comes from a rapid pronunciation of the English word as /ˈpteɪtə/, with the first /t/ becoming /r/ to comply with Irish constraints on well-formed onset consonant clusters. The fact that the word for tomato is tráta is also very tantalizing (from /ˈtmɑːtə/ with /tm-/ to /tr-/ for the same reason), but again I've never seen a published scholarly etymology. It's also difficult to know how to fit Connacht fata in here, though obviously one feels it must be related somehow. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 18:38, 25 March 2018 (UTC)


RFV of Etymology 2. ばかFumikotalk 11:03, 28 March 2018 (UTC)


Moved from the Tea room

The etymology "Back-formation from veterinarian" seems a little odd. I would have thought it would be the other way round, and veterinary came straight from Latin veterinarius, veterinae, veterinus - unfortunately there's no entries for any of those. I wouldn't think veterinary surgeon is derived from veterinarian. DonnanZ (talk) 17:02, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

It's probably copied from etymonline. I agree that it doesn't really make sense; veterinarian can't come directly from Latin veterinarius (which has one fewer suffix), while veterinary can. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:10, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
The OED would be definitive, if someone could look these words up. DTLHS (talk) 17:13, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
Oxford Online gives the source of veterinary as veterinarius. It doesn't explain the origin of veterinarian. DonnanZ (talk) 17:26, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
The OED 2nd Edition has, for veterinarian, ‘f. L. veterīnāri-us (see next) + -an’, and for veterinary ‘ad. L. veterīnāri-us, f. veterīn-us belonging or pertaining to cattle (veterīnæ fem. pl., veterīna neut. pl., cattle). So F. vétérinaire (16th cent.), It., Sp., Pg. veterinario’. Their oldest attestation of veterinarian is 1646; the oldest of veterinary, 1790. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 10:08, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
So if both words come from Latin veterinarius, veterinary is not necessarily a back-formation. It would be interesting to know whether veterinarian was first used in British English, it probably was in 1646, but it isn't used now and has been adopted in American English instead. French vétérinaire is both noun and adjective, the same occurs in Danish and Norwegian veterinær. DonnanZ (talk) 11:56, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
It was indeed first used in British English; the earliest quotes come from Thomas Browne, Robert Plot, and Thomas Blount. Based on Google Ngrams, American English usage of the word in published works overtook British English usage starting around 1870. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 19:48, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
I have taken the liberty of revising both veterinary and veterinarian, if anyone disagrees they can change them. DonnanZ (talk) 16:00, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

April 2018


From modern Greek? DTLHS (talk) 07:33, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

Unlikely, especially since it's cited in polytonic. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:51, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
More like confusion due to the use of "Greek" to also refer to Ancient Greek (as noted in Greek itself), while on Wiktionary we only define Greek as Modern Greek and Ancient Greek is treated separately. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 21:59, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes. As someone who studied classics, I'm one of the people who tends to contrast Greek with Modern Greek, and once I made some laugh out loud by (unintentionally) saying, "I've never been to Modern Greece." —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:05, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

Istriot and its place in the Romance family[edit]

Is anyone particularly knowledgeable about this obscure and almost extinct language? There are rather few good resources on it that I can find. Even though I've added a lot of words, now that we're doing inherited vs borrowed there are complications. I realize there's no way to know for sure which ones were inherited vs. borrowed from a nearby Romance language like Venetian. There isn't any actual scholarly agreement about where exactly Istriot fits among the Romance families. There seem to be three main possibilities and theories about it:

one, that it is closely related to or even an early offshoot of Venetian (even though there are tons of words that are very close or essentially the same as Venetian, this may be due to loans from it as it was an influential and powerful language in the Adriatic region, and there are some other problems with this though, with the existence of words and features that don't fit into this paradigm);

two, that it is closely related to Friulian/Ladin and is actually a Rhaeto-Romance language, and one strongly influenced arealy by nearby Venetian and a little Dalmatian; there are some aspects of the language that pull it toward Friulian rather than Venetian

three, that it is part of the same sub-family as the now-extinct Dalmatian language (there are a few cases of similar developments between the two, like certain diphthongs I believe, but this seems to be a relatively small set of words; however, it's not impossible that these words may represent the very base core vocabulary for Istriot, whereas most of the rest was loans/influence from other regional Romance languages)

Two of the above families are technically part of the larger Italo-Dalmatian one (though Venetian is occasionally put into Gallo-Romance). It seems like it could just be a mixture or hybrid language of several others. Anyone have any idea what the really basal/core vocab is for this language? Or is there no point in really trying, and we should just use the 'der' template for all of them to be safe? Word dewd544 (talk) 23:12, 1 April 2018 (UTC)


The second etymology suggested origin from either the pig in a poke trick or from suckener. I added reference to OED, which simply treats this a figurative usage of "one that sucks", and etymonline, which specifies either figurative reference to suckling animals or to fish. I didn't see either of the other etymologies in any of the published dictionaries I looked at, but I only looked at a few. Cnilep (talk) 04:32, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

I believe it is derived from a rather old slur that only happened to converge to the current form, but I have nothing to back this up (I frequently ignore these hunches of mine due to the disregard these are met with, thanks a lot). An explanation related to "to suck" could be found in blood sucker, leech. Rhyminreason (talk) 19:05, 2 April 2018 (UTC)


OK, let me try this again. I'd like to have Alanic xln renamed to Sarmato-Alanic and have entries use xln-pro. Alanic and Sarmatian (which has no language code otherwise) occupy a dialect continuum, and neither might be the direct ancestor of Ossetian or Jassic. Alanic would then be made into an etymology-only code, xln-ala. Alternatively, a new language code could be created, ira-sma-pro, and xln removed all together, but I think the former the better option. @-sche, Tropylium --Victar (talk) 20:30, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

There are a couple problems here that I see just from a brief reading of the discussion. You want us to change to a name that is very rarely used instead of a more common one, and also switch to considering it a protolanguage rather than an attested one, despite the fact that it is actually attested (yes, we do that for Proto-Norse, but it is not ideal and is in large part because, as is relevant here, we try to use the most commonly used names where possible). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:19, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, @Metaknowledge. 99% of the entries I'll be entering will be reconstructions, and most will be derived from Ossetian, not Alanic or Sarmatian borrowing. I think there is a ton of precedence for using alternative names for codes on wikt, but I'll concede that I can't think of any example of using the language code of a dialect to refer to a whole dialect family. I'm not opposed to using ira-sma-pro instead, but I do still think then the xln code should be discontinued, because Alanic, Sarmatian and Proto-Ossetic should all be under the same code. --Victar (talk) 04:13, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
To give an example of what I had in mind for formatting descendant trees:
* Sarmato-Alanic {{l|xln-pro}}
*: Alanic: {{l|xln-ala}}
*: Sarmatian: {{l|xln-sar}}
** Ossetian: {{l|os}}
--Victar (talk) 04:22, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
The proportion that are reconstructions is irrelevant unless it's 100%. When we have mainspace entries, we should avoid assigning them to protolanguages (which are technically hypotheses) wherever possible. We always try to use to the most common, unambiguous name possible, and if you know of any exceptions, we should see if they ought to be fixed. Basically, I think you're conflating the needs of descendant trees and the criteria for determining what ought to be a separate language. Bear in mind that regardless of what codes and names are, you can always structure descendant trees to show distinct dialects or sublects (Crom daba has done this quite fruitfully). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:48, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge, I think you're missing the point of my need. I want to create reconstructions of Proto-Ossetic and Sarmatian. Sarmatian and Alanic are well established as two separate dialects. --Victar (talk) 04:59, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
And if they're dialects, they shouldn't have separate codes. Remember, you can still give them separate lines and reconstructions, when and where those are supported by scholarly sources, regardless of the situation with codes. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:18, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Exactly, @Metaknowledge, which is why Alanic shouldn't have its own code. --Victar (talk) 07:37, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Then why did your example above have them with two different codes? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:22, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I tried to indicate xln-ala and xln-sar where etymology-only codes by the dash in them, but I guess that wasn't clear (though I did make that point in my opening statement). We also have oos for Old/Proto-Ossentic, which we could used instead for parent of Alanic/Sarmatian/Ossentic. We currently list it below xln, and I've always considered it a stage between, yet MultiTree seems to use it as their catch-all. Again though, I'm not opposed to using a new ira-sma-pro code. --Victar (talk) 17:34, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
We create etymology-only codes for etymology sections. If there's a language that derives terms from both Alanic and Sarmatian with a meaningful difference between the two, then those codes should exist, but we shouldn't create them just for descendant lists, which can be freely formatted. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:39, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Here's a different idea. Alanic and Sarmatian are both barely attested; from my brief reading of the literature, it seems to be unclear whether or not they represent dialects or fully separate speech communities, and whether they represent the ancestor of Ossetian or a close relative (and given the timescales over which they are attested, they cannot be the same thing as a protolanguage, which is a hypothesis of the most recent common ancestor). The resultant action would be to have separate codes for Alanic, Sarmatian, and Proto-Ossetic, with the former two only in mainspace (in original script, e.g. Greek) and the latter only in Reconstruction space (in normalised form). As always, you can format descendant lists however you like. Does that seem like it would make sense? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:39, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: No, I don't agree with that solution. Whether they exhibit the same exact timeframe is irrelevant and labeling Sarmatian and Ossetic as Alanic is inaccurate. What my sources are reconstructing is a common ancestor of all three of these dialectal branches. See https://ibb.co/jFEnSH. --Victar (talk) 19:01, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Your response is confusing; I did not suggest labelling Sarmatian and Ossetic as Alanic (in fact, I suggested separating all three), and I was under the impression that Proto-Ossetic is the unattested ancestor of all these languages. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:30, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Am I understanding this correctly that it is similar to the problem that he have had/are having with Sanskrit and the Prakrits, namely that there is a dialectal continuum between Sarmatian, Alanic, and the unattested ancestor of Ossetian? —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 19:24, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@JohnC5: Not exactly. Sarmatian, Alanic and Ossentic are all largely unattested dialects form a single language of the Middle Iranian period. So what I'm suggesting is that we unify them under a single code and name, and have the dialects differentiated only by etymology-only codes. I'm recommending the name Sarmato-Alanic, which is what I mostly see in literature when referring to them as a whole, but if I had to choose to unify them under one name out of the three, it would be Ossetic, being the only one with modern descendents. What code we use, be it a repurposed one, or a new one, doesn't matter to me. --Victar (talk) 20:26, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: Would you support the idea of unifying Sarmatian and Alanic under Old Ossetic oos (as per MultiTree) with both reconstructed and mainspain entries, and making xln an etymology only code? That should resolve your Proto-Norse argumentment. --Victar (talk) 22:37, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
I see that the name "Old Ossetic" is broadly attested (when spelt correctly), and many sources seem to equate it with Alanic, but that doesn't mean Sarmatian should necessarily be merged as well. If they are indeed dialects as you claimed, then that would be perfectly fine. WP cites EB for the following: "The languages of the Scytho-Sarmatian inscription may represent dialects of a language family of which Modern Ossetian is a continuation, but does not simply represent the same language at an earlier time." If that is true, then Sarmatian should be kept separate. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:29, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge, there is no code for Sarmatian. If we put Alanic under Old Ossetic as part of a dialectal continuum, Sarmatian, as a dialect thought to be very similar to Alanic, should unequivocally be included. Otherwise it defeats the point. --Victar (talk) 23:49, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
I would be in favor of Old Ossetic for the continuum of Alanic and Ossetic and, if it can be demonstrated as true, Sarmatian. In what way can we adjudicate this Sarmatian situation? As mentioned before, I'm getting a little bit frustrated at continuously running across this "continuum problem" (attested languages descending from unattested near neighbors). There's been a fair amount of research saying that the phylogeny of language change tends to be binary in nature, but that depends on how you look at language continua versus dialectally diverse super-languages. I'd be interested to think about the principled use of language continua in our language data (like "oss-cnt" or the like), not just the "substrata" we use in the etymology-only language data. The question is in the utility of such a demarcation, but the inherent assumption of our current n-ary (or perhaps my theoretically binary) branching system tends to omit this subtlety of language change because frequently these continua are not protolanguages and exist clearly in the data... I dunno. —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 00:07, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
Ignoring John's tangent... I know there is no code for Sarmatian. That's immaterial; we can make one if we deem it necessary. You claim that Sarmatian is very similar to Alanic, to the point of being a continuum; I know little about this, but found a scholarly source that claims otherwise. Can you respond to that with actual evidence? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:16, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
@JohnC5, Metaknowledge:
  1. "Sarmatian and Alanic represent a dialect continuum" and "it is difficult to draw the line between Sarmatian and Alanic".[S 1]
  2. "Ossetic [...] is the last remnant of the essentially unknown Middle Iranian dialect area that included Sarmatian, and is said to descend from Alanic."[S 2]
  3. "[Ossetic] is the sole surviving descendant of the Northeast Iranian dialects of the ancient Scythians and Sarmatians and medieval Alans".[S 3]
  4. "Deine klare linguistische Scheidung zwischen Sarmatisch und Alanisch aufgrund der Materiallage nicht möglich ist"[S 4]
Even if Alanic and Sarmatian were divergent enough to call separate languages, that distinction isn't apparent in the little material we have, so to reconstruct them separately at this time would be folly. --Victar (talk) 01:20, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, that seems like good evidence for merger. I am now satisfied with having "Old Ossetic" as an L2 header with categorising context labels for the dialects. I would like to wait a couple of days just in case anyone raises an objection, so please ping me with a reminder. Also, please clarify if there are any etymology sections that need to distinguish between the dialects; if not, we can dispense with etymology-only codes and simply remove xln. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:44, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Metaknowledge, if you have a moment, I would appreciate you making these changes. Thanks. --Victar (talk) 03:10, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

@Victar, could you please respond to the query in the last sentence of my last comment? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:39, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge, yes, need the etymology-only codes as well, not for the linguist distinction, really, but for the historical one, i.e. the names of Alanic kings. --Victar (talk) 04:44, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:33, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Changes look good. Thanks, @Metaknowledge! --Victar (talk) 05:35, 16 April 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Novák, Ľubomír (2013) Problem of Archaism and Innovation in the Eastern Iranian Languages (PhD dissertation)[1], Prague: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, filozofická fakulta
  2. ^ Fortson, Benjamin W. (2010) Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, second edition, Oxford: Blackwell
  3. ^ Kim, Ronald (2013), “On the Historical Phonology of Ossetic: The Origin of the Oblique Case Suffix”, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 123.1[2]
  4. ^ Schmitt, Rüdiger (1989) Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum[3], Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, →ISBN

Circular etymologies[edit]

bunny (in the sense of rabbit): "Probably from bun (“rabbit”) +‎ -y"
bun (in the sense of rabbit): "From bunny?"

Mihia (talk) 20:57, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

Etymonline says bunny is from bun, which is of obscure origin but may be from Scots bun (tail of a hare) or French bon (good) or a Scandinavian source. AHD also gives the "tail of a hare" hypothesis. Eric Partridge in Origins says that Scottish bun may be from Scottish Gaelic bun (bottom, butt, stub). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:06, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
Which sound laws are supposed at play in the change from the Proto-Indo-European root to Proto-Celtic to Old Irish, whence the Scottish?
Our etymologies don't typically mention sound laws, but this one currently doesn't name the Proto-Celtic form either and the linked reference is a dictionary without etymologic info (as far as I could decipher). Pinging @MDCorebear (a.k.a. @Reidca), who added the text. Rhyminreason (talk) 20:33, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

Are these buns the same as bonns? At least now they are doubling each other, except that the latter links the Proto-Celtic form, explains it and uses the right PIE notation. Guldrelokk (talk) 15:55, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Old Irish and thus Scottish Gaelic bun can't come from Proto-Celtic *bundos because of the lenis n (not nn), but maybe they can still come somehow from the same ultimate root. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:03, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Just looked it up in {{R:cel:Matasovic 2009}}; he reconstructs Proto-Celtic *bonus (foundation, base, butt) and offers no PIE etymology for it. So I guess he doesn't think it's related to *bundos and *bʰudʰmḗn and bottom. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:40, 16 April 2018 (UTC)


Are Ety 1 and Ety 2 really distinct enough to warrant separate headings? Mihia (talk) 13:35, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

This seems to be something like a doublet, two words (in this case, with the same orthographic form and just slightly different pronunciation) that were borrowed separately from more or less the same source. At least, the OED says that the adjective was borrowed from Latin in late Middle English, while the verb is "Of multiple origins. Partly a borrowing from Latin. Partly formed within English" with possible influence from Middle French. Both MW10 and Etymology Online likewise list two separate etymologies, but each is said to come from Latin to Middle English at around the same time. Random House, on the other hand, seems to have only one etymology. Cnilep (talk) 01:34, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

RFV: Middle English -s adverbial genitive > modern -ence[edit]

Can anyone correct me if I'm wrong or improve? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:48, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

It's certainly not the source of the suffix -ence that we have entry for. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:13, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
It seems like they meant the -ce in whence, hence, etc. --WikiTiki89 13:57, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Don't we normally just show the direct descendants, in this case thence, hence, and whence and not their derived terms, eg, henceforth? DCDuring (talk) 15:22, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Probably. --WikiTiki89 15:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:48, 18 April 2018 (UTC)


It says that this is derived from Middle English wraulen / wrawlen. Is the change/simplification wr → w regular? Wouldn't [wɹ]/[wr] → [ɹ̠ʷ] have been regular? Tharthan (talk) 23:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

It IS irregular. See the etymology of caterwaul, which I think (back-)influenced this word Leasnam (talk) 00:27, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Balto-Slavic *seš- to Proto-Slavic *šestь, confused.[edit]

How did the *š (maybe *ś?) and the *s switch places? Was it accidental? I'm no linguist, only amateurishly reading up on Proto-Slavic, but this confuses me. Dreigorich (talk) 22:02, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Maybe the stem is *śeś- in PBS, according to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/šestъ? Dreigorich (talk) 22:08, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

The PIE numeral seems to have had variant forms. *šestь, šešì, षष् (ṣaṣ) (the onset cluster is preserved in MIA forms, which have ch- < *kṣ-), شش‎ are all explainable as having effects of the RUKI law, they could all be regular developments were they from *kseḱs; 𐬑𐬴𐬎𐬎𐬀𐬱‎ (xṣ̌uuaš‎) points to both *k- and *-w- (seen in some other branches), so some reconstruct *ksweḱs as the original proto-term. PBS six is *(k)šeś then, and its outcomes are all normal. Others just assume a bunch of non-regular developments in a wide variety of languages (like *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s perhaps?). Whatever seems more reasonable to you. Guldrelokk (talk) 05:44, 16 April 2018 (UTC)


How is it a calque from ἐθνικός (ethnikós)? The Russian word means "tongue", the Greek word "tribe, country, nation". --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 12:32, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Added by User:Wanjuscha. In OCS ѩзꙑкъ (językŭ) also means "tribe". In Russian, it's only preserved in the fixed term при́тча во язы́цех (prítča vo jazýcex), which even follows OCS grammar. In modern Russian язы́к (jazýk) can only mean 1. "tongue", 2. "language". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:43, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Does Ancient Greek ἐθνικός (ethnikós) mean "pagan"? Otherwise it's still not a calque. --WikiTiki89 15:41, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
It does indeed. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 21:31, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Russian wiktionary usually notes the Greek word that the OCS word was used to translate, Wanjuscha probably took to mean it was a calque (it probably is in some similar cases). Crom daba (talk) 22:40, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
язы́чник (jazýčnik) is in Max Vasmer. It IS a calque of ἐθνικός (ethnikós). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:37, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes; Latin gentīlis has borrowed its "pagan" sense from it. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 09:09, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Though I wonder where the pagan sense of the Greek word comes from; could it be a calque from Hebrew? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 09:12, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
That's very likely. --WikiTiki89 13:57, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Incidentally, in all of these cases, if the word existed previously and took on a new meaning because of the influence of a different language, they are technically {{semantic loan}}s, not {{calque}}s (which are new coinages). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:26, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

無名指, безымянный палец[edit]

Both of these words for the ring finger refer to namelessness. Is there any connection here? DTLHS (talk) 21:34, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

Similar words appear in other languages, like Finnish nimetön and Sanskrit अनामिका (anāmikā). There's nameless finger as well. (I think @Equinox is right on Talk:nameless finger. See this article.) — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:31, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Equinox is definitely right on the talk page; even the source that was quoted in the entry, on which the misidentification with the middle finger was apparently based, goes on to say ‘The nameless finger is that which is next to the little finger’ a paragraph later. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 23:02, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Isolated talk-page comments always get attention eventually. Thanks chums. Equinox 00:21, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
This is extremely weird, does anyone have an explanation? Guldrelokk (talk) 06:05, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Interesting discussion here. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:38, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Chinese 無名指 is native. Attested in Mencius (c. 300 BC): 今有無名,屈而不信,非疾痛害事也,如有能信之者,則不遠秦楚之路,為指之不若人也。 (Here is a man whose nameless finger is bent and cannot be stretched out straight. It is not painful, nor does it incommode his business, and yet if there be any one who can make it straight, he will not think the way from Qin to Chu far to go to him; because his finger is not like the finger of other people.) Annotation of that same passage by Zhao Qi (108–201 AD): 無名,手之第四指也。蓋以其餘指,皆有名,無名指者,非手之用指也。 (The nameless finger is the fourth finger on the hand. Named as such since the remaining fingers all bear names, and the nameless finger is not a finger with much use on the hand.) The case described in Mencius above may be a variant of the ulnar claw hand in modern medicine. Wyang (talk) 06:39, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

etymology of nomen[edit]

I strongly disagree with the wording of the etymology section "From Proto-Indo-European *h₁nómn̥ (“name”). The long ō (and spurious g in compounds) is from false association with gnōscō (“know, recognize”)."

We have at least two sources which recognize that it is (g)nosco + men

  • Michel Bréal et Anatole Bailly, Dictionnaire étymologique latin, Hachette, Paris, 1885
  • Charlton T. Lewis et Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1879

They should be stated and put forth as a first etymology.

In my humble opinion, and given the compounds agnomen, cognomen, it MUST be (g)nosco + men and - maybe, secondarily - assimilation with INE-PIE *h₁nómn̥

What is interesting is the comment from Bréal & Bailly on the sense "people" (nomen Romanum, the Roman nation) and we have two semantic evolutions:

  • recognition, sign of recognition => name
  • known persons (French connaissance : knowledge & acquaintance), people we know
    C. Octavium in familiam nomenque adoptavit C. Octavius was "recognized as" family member
    Crispum C. Sallustius in nomen ascivit - id.

The Latin *(g)nomen is closer - IMHO - not to INE-PIE *h₁nómn̥ but to znamę (*(g)nosco <=> znati

we have the nearly exact semantic equivalents (here in Czech)

  • znamení, sign, something which allows recognition
  • známý, known, a know person, an acquaintance

--Diligent (talk) 21:16, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Unfortunately, you are relying on obsolete sources. As a general rule of thumb, don't trust Latin etymology claims made before the 20th century. The etymology as it stands is correct, and if you compare the evidence (cognates in other Italic languages) instead of relying on intuition, which can easily lead you astray, you will see this. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:22, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Would *gnosc-men > *gnōmen make sense within Latin at least? I think this is phonologically clear, not sure about the morphology. It would not be inconceivable that there were at some pre-Latin stage both *nō̆men 'name' and *gnōmen 'known', and that some of the less obvious usages of nōmen directly continue the second.
The long vowel, as an aside, is these days often derived also by reconstructing instead *Hnéh₃mn̥, which also helps with Germanic *namô. --Tropylium (talk) 21:32, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Not much, it doesn't, since the a of Germanic *namô can't go back to eh₃ but only to a short vowel like o or interconsonantal H. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:15, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

See Reconstruction talk:Proto-Indo-European/h₁nómn̥ --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:37, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


RFV of etymology 1. Wyang (talk) 00:26, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


Is there any more detail to be had as to why the Old English word for father was selected to refer to this? Were the birds called this in Old English? - -sche (discuss) 08:04, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

This is a modern coinage. The best I can figure out from the explanation in West Frisian Dutch in the original article (the relevant part is on p.7 of the pdf), they chose an old West Frisian word for ancestor or progenitor, and decided that the Old English word would be the closest equivalent for English. Possibly relevant: in the English article, it says that the faeder's plumage is probably the original male plumage from before the normal male ruff evolved the exaggerated ornamentation known today. Chuck Entz (talk) 09:31, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

himmel etc.[edit]

The recent anon may have been pretty uncivil about these, but they have a point: modern Scandinavian has loads of (Old) Low German loanwords, and this definitely appears to be one of them. This is sourcable for at least Swedish on a quick checkup. Would anyone have any factual objections to stating the same about the others, too? I think the claim that these "derive from Old Norse but are influenced by German" would at minimum need citations as well. --Tropylium (talk) 20:31, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Grim Reaper[edit]

It's a good thing I checked before just writing grim +‎ reaper, because I ended up having to do a lot of research about this, and it's definitely more than just a sum of its parts. The reaper part isn't that complicated, at least relative to grim. I'm pretty confident that "reaper" comes from a metaphor comparing collecting souls to reaping grain, since the Grim Reaper carries a scythe. This metaphor arose during the outbreak of the Black Plague, and was connected to the depiction of Father Time with a scythe, which came from a conflation of the Greek gods Chronos (time) and Cronus (the harvest, carried a scythe), but that's probably unnecessary extra detail. I can't figure out for sure where "grim" comes from, though. "Grim" as relating to death might come from Grímr or Grímnir, two of the names of Odin (a Norse god representing death) which meant "Masked/Hooded One." There's a word in Old English, grima (mask, helmet/visor, or ghost/apparition), that's related to this. Grim was also a word in Old English, and meant "fierce" or "terrible." "Grim Reaper" isn't attested before 1872 on Google books, but "grim Death" is used starting in the 1600s, and it seems "grim" was often used to refer to or describe the personification of death for quite some time before "reaper" was added. I can't really find many uses of "grim" connected to the personification of death that go back before the 1600s, except for this one Shakespeare quote from the poem "Venus and Adonis":

Look how the world's poor people are amaz'd
At apparitions, signs and prodigies,
Whereupon, with fearful eyes, they long have gaz'd,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies :
So she, at these sad signs, draws up her breath
And sighing it again, exclaims on death.
Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Hateful divorce of love (thus chides she death)
Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost thou (925-933)

(Notice that death is referred to as "grim" and also said to be a ghost. It also mentions apparitions, which is one of the Old English definitions of grima, but I don't think apparition is used in reference to death here, although I'm not sure.) Google books doesn't have much stuff from before the 1600s, though, so I'm not sure if "grim" actually wasn't used in association with Death before then or if it's just not on Google books. However, I did find one and only one website (of doubtful credibility) that said that "the Grim" was a common name for death going back to the 13th century, but the page didn't cite any sources, and I can't confirm it with Google books because searches for "the Grim" just turn up books with sentences like "the grim [noun]." Right now, I think that the "grim" in Grim Reaper is either an obsolete kind-of loanword from Old Norse "Grímr" or "Grímnir," the names for Odin meaning masked or hooded, or just a conversion of the meanings of the Old English noun grima to the adjective grim, but both of these would require a second sense of Old English grim meaning either "masked/hooded" or maybe "ghostly." Unless we can confirm that "grim" was related to death going back this far, all of this stuff is irrelevant. Can someone who knows more about Old or Middle English give me their opinion on whether this is a possibility? Also, is anyone able to verify whether "grim" or "the Grim" were at all related to the personification of death before the 1600s, or at least direct me to somewhere where I can find out? I have a bunch of links from Google Books I can put here if anyone wants to look, and if you want more etymology information for "grim" or related terms, see grim, grima, *grimmaz, *grīmô, grime, grimace, and grimoire (maybe). —Globins 02:20, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

The articles grime and grim give different roots, so for masked there is also "grimmr", grimace to compare. I would compare "grammar" (from graph, cf. scrape, scratch, carve, etc.), too. If graph is related to gram-, the perhaps scribe is a hint at grim- in a similar meaning? Thoth, an Egyptian diety of death, was pictured as a scribe along with the "book of death", after all. At least, Terry Prattchett picked that up in his stories with "Death", but I don't know whether that's in direct analogy to egyptian mystics (as with the "Ankh" lending it's name to a city) or just indirectly, mediated by Old or Middle English folklore. Rhyminreason (talk) 14:32, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
PS: Your quote seems to attribute Shakespear to the 10th centuty, confusingly.
PPS: G-Books won't be much help for "Old English", if you search with the "english" setting. also consider pseudo latin for mystic texts (as if to appear ancient, or international). Anyway, it only goes back to 1500. For such early dates, the database is highly likely severely incomplete, I guess. Rhyminreason (talk) 14:39, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
In the quote I was showing the line numbers of the poem, not the years. Also, I did some more research, and I found out that Shakespeare used the phrase "grim death" in The Taming of the Shrew ("Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image"), Edward III ("...Nor half a halfpenny to shun grim death"), and King Lear ("And pale grim death doth wait upon my steps"), which suggests that the expression probably already existed at the time. These probably use the "fierce/cruel" sense of "grim." I also found one source that claims that Shakespeare coined "grim death." I looked through the Old English text of Beowulf and found many uses of "grim" (as well as grima) but none of them mentioned death, so I think it's reasonable to assume that "grim death" wasn't used until Middle English at the earliest, but at the latest some time before Shakespeare. —Globins 02:47, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
I found a relevant quote from earlier than Shakespear:
  • "Grimmiger tilger aller lande, schedlicher echter aller werlte, freissamer morder aller guten leute, ir Tot, euch sei verfluchet!" (author unknown - Der Ackermann aus Böhmen. early 15th century)
Cf. grimmig, tilgen and Tod.
There's an english wikipedia article, the german one has the quote ([de], [en]).
Considering Beowulf, could gren- become grim in ME by sound laws? Following one theory on the etymology of w:Grendel, Grinning Death would be relevant considering the ambiguous nature of the vanitas symbolism.
Also ambiguous, an Ackermann (acres man) uses a scythe. Rhyminreason (talk) 17:39, 19 April 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:44, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

@Poketalker, Eirikr. —Suzukaze-c 05:38, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Looks like Carl Daniels entered the original incorrect etymology more than 11 years ago, likely based on a naive analysis of the spelling. A check of JA sources shows that the 足袋 spelling is wholly unrelated to the derivation.
I'll have a go at fixing the entry. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:42, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
By any chance, is there an early attestation of the "foot + bag" kanji spelling? ~ POKéTalker (ŦC) 21:42, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
If the Japanese Britannica is anything to go by, regulations arose during the late Ashikaga period (late 1200s, early 1300s) on when people could wear tabi, but it's not clear to me if that entry's mention of 足袋御免 (tabi gomen, literally tabi permission) is a spelling from that period.
Searching the online corpus provided by the University of Virginia, the earliest I found was in 好色五人女 (Kōshoku Gonin Onna, “Five Lustful Women”), apparently dating originally to 1686.
According to the JA WP article, the 足袋 spelling appears in the 11th century, but the text explains that the reading at that time is uncertain. There also aren't any sources listed, so I cannot evaluate the claim myself. I therefore chose to omit this from our entry. If you can find a source, feel free to add the information. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:48, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

米國, 米国[edit]

RFV of the etymology. It seems it is firstly used in Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms, see [5].--Zcreator alt (talk) 11:01, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Ugh. Our existing dubious derivation was added in June 2010 by Spencer.vdm (talkcontribs), who has a grand total of 45 Wikipedia edits, and three Wiktionary edits. Their last MediaWiki-site edit ever was the incorrect 米国 (Beikoku, USA) etymology.
@Zcreator alt, please update the relevant entries with the much-more-academic research you've found. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:59, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Old French miracle[edit]

The etymology used to say "borrowed from Latin". I removed the word "borrowed", because I'm not sure how we know that. What would the outcome have been of an inherited Latin mīrāculum? Would it not have been the same? --WikiTiki89 13:35, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Never mind. There was Old French mirail (see fr:mirail). --WikiTiki89 13:41, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Hawaiian and Maori ū, Proto-Polynesian derivations[edit]

An anon recently changed the etymon at Hawaiian ū and Maori ū from Proto-Polynesian *huhu to Proto-Polynesian *susu. The Hawaiian entry at Wehewehe specifically gives the source as the former, with /h/ rather than /s/. Does anyone have access to other references that could elucidate which is correct, Wehewehe or the anon? For reference, it's clear from the text of the print dictionary that they're using PPN to mean "Proto-Polynesian". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:46, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

Maybe @Metaknowledge might know something. --WikiTiki89 17:32, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr Thanks for the ping, Wikitiki. The anon is right, and Wehewehe is wrong. Never trust their PPn reconstructions; they reconstruct based solely on Hawaiian. In this case, *h and *s remain unmerged in Hawaiian, but because *h produces Ø, an exceptional deletion of either phoneme would make the Hawaiian evidence appear to support *h. There is no need to go down such a path, because we have other Polynesian languages that maintain them unmerged and do not undergo a deletion, like Samoan, which clearly points to *susu. That's just to show that internal evidence requires this — but the clincher is the outgroups (e.g. Malay susu), which then predict this from the higher-level reconstructions as well. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:51, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. "they reconstruct based solely on Hawaiian" -- oofda, that's quite a flaw in methodology.
So if I've understood this correctly, any *huhu form is, at oldest, an Eastern Polynesian innovation? Or if Rapa Nui has /s/, then Central Eastern Polynesian? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:53, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Rapa Nui does not have /s/ in this word. So yes, we could reconstruct an Eastern Polynesian *huhu, but I see it as being more parsimonious to posit an exceptional deletion in Eastern Polynesian. Either way, I suppose it deserves a mention in the entry. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:44, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Thank you again. I realize I was unclear -- I wasn't advocating for an additional step in the etymology so much as just trying to increase my own understanding. That said, /s//∅/ obsolete or nonstandard characters (∅), invalid IPA characters (∅) seems a bit odd as a one-step phonetic development, whereas /s//h//∅/ obsolete or nonstandard characters (∅), invalid IPA characters (∅) makes more sense (to me, anyway), so perhaps there's value in adding something about that. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:25, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
There clearly has to be a separate *huhu stage; the question seems to be if this was regular development from *susu and later irregular deletion of the resulting new *h, or if there was first irregular Eastern Polynesian lenition and later regular deletion of old *h. (Even regular explanations would be theoretically possible — e.g. dissimilation to something like *suhu, then assimilation from that to *huhu; but that would require supporting data.) --Tropylium (talk) 11:50, 21 April 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

This is an essay, not an etymology, and an IP just removed the Sumerian part of it with an edit comment say it wasn't true. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:00, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

I've removed that first paragraph which wasn't even about the word. For the rest, @Vahagn Petrosyan? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:29, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
See Asatrian, page 22ff for the scholarly etymology. I am not willing to summarize it here myself. --Vahag (talk) 19:36, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
So, the claim is that in 600 CE "kwrt" designated nomads, or other social status, not ethnicity, and that term likely derived from a name of the Kyrtian, a tribe as far as I can tell, not from the Karduch. And beyond that, reconstruction was impossible.
Without reading its sources, the reason against a relation of "Kurd" to the Karduchoi would be that the Cyrtii are simply preferred (now I mixed upthe English and Greek designations, like the author did). Whether the designations could have a common origin is illusive, there and, I guess, in the other sources as well. The mentioned source, "Cambridge History of Iran .." (see Asatrian p. 25), holding on to the idea, if that's still the case, is enough reason to ask for caution. There's the general problem, that nomadic nature complicates the search sufficiently.
It's not clear, to me, why e.g. "kwrt" from 600 CE (cf. p. 23), if designating nomads, should not at the same time have ethnic connotations; After all, ethnicity is pretty hard to define. While the Iranians might have arrived later, that alone doesn't rule out ancestry of "(Indo European)" descent to the "Kyrtians, as well as the Karduchs" (p. 27). According to footnote 33, the author doesn't actually know what language they spoke, so the apparently different origin of the Proto-Kurdish dialects is fairly irrelevant. And that "the ethnonyms of these two people escape any interpretation on Indo-Europan (Iranian) linguistic grounds" is a fair warning, but hypothetical. On the other hand, if their original language is not known, a common origin can't be ruled out, once more.
Overall, a name as Origin is not satisfying, because that name then is still unexplained. What was that about Sumerian clay tablets, as per the first IP edit, which a second IP edit removed? w:Kurds even sources such a claim, but mentions that the link to the Kurds is not secure. More importantly, I find the link that was removed from our etymology to Sumerian "kur" as Mountain interesting, which we don't actually have there. Rhyminreason (talk) 23:54, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *ulbanduz, *elpanduz (camel) and Gothic 𐌿𐌻𐌱𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐍃 (ulbandus)[edit]

So *ulbanduz is a good morphological match for Gothic ulbandus, but not a single published source seems to even mention this as a possible PGmc form. (Re: sources I've found and used, see the references at 𐌿𐌻𐌱𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐍃 (ulbandus) as well as Kroonen - who doesn't list any PGmc word for camel, it seems - and Köbler.) I've found the etymology of the Gothic word to be very uncertain and mired with problems (it isn't even claimed by all sources to be an inheritance from Proto-Germanic at all and literally every theory seems rather speculative in some way or another), so to keep the Proto-Germanic entry as it is (it seems so sure of itself! even without sources..!) may be a bit misleading. Should *ulbanduz be kept despite the lack of sources, and if so, should it be edited somehow to reflect its uncertain status? Beyond the Gothic word, I am not competent enough at historical linguistics to judge whether the other descendants listed at *ulbanduz might formally match that reconstruction.

The only PGmc reconstruction I've found is in Lehmann (and Köbler, who refers back to Lehmann), who claims *elpandus (= our *elpanduz, I guess?) as the Proto-Germanic etymon. Regrettably, that reconstruction doesn't really match the Gothic form at all (as others, e.g. Jaan Puhvel, have pointed out; see refs at the got. entry). It seems like *elpanduz could at most explain the West-Germanic forms. Should the entry have a {{lb|gem-pro|West-Germanic}} label? especially as we're claiming it derives from Late Latin!

Anyway, this has all been very confusing. What do y'all think? — Mnemosientje (t · c) 21:26, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

There’s some additional discussion that might be relevant on pages 13 and 20 in this paper, although I guess it mostly follows Puhvel. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 10:06, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Roots meaning bend, "shelter"[edit]

I was just reading camp, campus, and Swe. kur and have to ask whether those are related by their roots, and if someone can please fix those, while we are at it. Not to mention that I'd like to know whether those roots could be related to "Kurd". Rhyminreason (talk) 23:57, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

Is מאָנאַט a loanword from German?[edit]

@Metaknowledge, Sije, Wikitiki89 and anyone else who knows about Yiddish etymologies: Yiddish מאָנאַט (monat) looks and feels to me like a loanword from German rather than an inherited term from Old High German; can anyone confirm or deny? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:32, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to believe that it was borrowed. If it was borrowed, it was borrowed before the time that secular intellectual Yiddish became a thing (I find cites as far back as 1795). --WikiTiki89 16:05, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Are the vowels consistent with its being inherited? I would have expected something like *מוינעט (*moynet) from an inherited term. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:11, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Well the first vowel is. In fact it's in Standard German where the first vowel is suspicious for an inherited term. Perhaps the Standard German form was borrowed from a dialect? --WikiTiki89 16:13, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
The first vowel is normal in Standard German; OHG ā becomes /oː/ before n in Monat, Mond, Mohn, ohne, etc. Since the latter two are מאָן (mon) and אָן (on) in Yiddish, I guess the vowel of the first syllable of מאָנאַט (monat) is regular too. But what about the second syllable? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:23, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! That explains a lot. I have no idea what happened to the second syllable. It must have been reduced to schwa, but then it inexplicably changed to a? --WikiTiki89 17:41, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, that's evidence for its being a borrowing rather than an inheritance, isn't it? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:02, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
No, because it's just as puzzling in Standard German. Other languages also have an inexplicable (or seemingly inexplicable) short a: Old English mōnaþ, Old Frisian mōnath, Old Norse mánaðr. --WikiTiki89 19:11, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything inexplicable about an unstressed long vowel becoming short; that's just the weight-to-stress principle asserting itself. There are other German words with unstressed that do not get reduced to schwa, e.g. Heimat, but neither of my Yiddish dictionaries lists a cognate of that. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 20:17, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Well it's not just that it becomes short, that I don't have an issue with. It's why it becomes a (i.e. instead of o) that I don't understand. Anyway, Heimat would probably have been a good parallel if it only had a Yiddish equivalent. --WikiTiki89 20:53, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja, Metaknowledge: I found something on where the a comes from. For each of the words listed there, these are the ones for which I found a Yiddish equivalent:
German Yiddish Middle High German Note
Balsam באַלזאַם (balzam) balsam, balsem a in Yiddish
Brosam, Brosame ברויז (broyz) brōsem, brōsme not helpful
Eidam איידעם (eydem) eidem e in Yiddish
Monat מאָנאַט (monat) mānōt a in Yiddish
fruchtbar פֿרוכטבאַר (frukhtbar) vruhtbære not helpful (claimed to be a modern borrowing)
I would say it's inconclusive whether the a could be native Yiddish. One thing I'd like to know is how this word was spelled in its earliest attestations (like 1590 and 1660). --WikiTiki89 19:34, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
I wish @Kolmiel were around to help. This word is definitely a borrowing, and by sifting through Google Books, I even find some hypotheses surrounding its borrowing: Wexler's Slavic nonsense, a possible but as far as I know unsupported idea that it was borrowed to distinguish secular months from the Jewish ones, etc. As for the origin of the German word, I can't shed any light on that, but it seems irrelevant to the Yiddish word. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:29, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Based on what do you say it's definitely a borrowing? --WikiTiki89 16:46, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
The shape of the word is weird, and there is strong scholarly support. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:50, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
The "shape" of the word is just as weird in Standard German. Can you link to the strong scholarly support? --WikiTiki89 17:41, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Not now. Try looking for yourself. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:52, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
It's not urgent. I just won't believe it until I see it. (And I did try looking myself and it doesn't seem that anyone says anything conclusive.) Another thing to consider is that there is no clear distinction between so-called "inheritance" and "borrowing" in early Yiddish, and from what I found in the scholarly sources you seem to mention this word is attested as far back as 1590. And then even if it is a borrowing, it would have been from Standard Middle High German or very early Standard Modern German, and before ān merged with ōn (or from a dialect where that didn't happen). --WikiTiki89 18:04, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Is "Monade", monad, Lt. "monas", AGr. μονάς (monás) relevant at all? See w:Monad_(Gnosticism); means unit. 12:34, 25 April 2018 (UTC)(and because I can't contain myself: The greek is also distantly related to "mahnen" (remind, demand, reprimand, a form of corrective measure). Rhyminreason (talk) 12:36, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it's relevant, but who knows. --WikiTiki89 14:15, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
No, it's not relevant. Ancient Greek μονάς (monás) means "alone", and a monad is a single thing. mahnen is unrelated to either, but it's related to mind. The word in question is related to Latin mēnsis, though I'm not sure where the "þ" in Proto-Germanic *mēnōþs came from (I would guess it's some kind of suffix). To save you the trouble, it's also unrelated to mouth, money, mound, mint, mandrill, mined, mandate, and dozens of words in unrelated languages. I would also add maunder, but it's a good description of what I'm responding to. Why do you constantly feel compelled to redefine well-known words, ignore well-known and widely accepted etymologies, and burden us with having to explain to you in detail why water is wet and pigs don't fly? Chuck Entz (talk) 17:25, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: The reason it could in theory be relevant is simply due to the superficial similarity of the words Monade and Monat, the former could hypothetically have influenced the a vowel of the latter. I find it unlikely, but it's not a super crazy theory. --WikiTiki89 18:09, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

precover (etymology 2)[edit]

Is this pre- + discover? pre- + recover? Something else? DTLHS (talk) 23:32, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Precovery asserts the noun is from both, short for "pre-discovery recovery". - -sche (discuss) 17:44, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

this too shall pass[edit]

Requesting verification that this is from Persian. DTLHS (talk) 03:40, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

As best I can tell, an English translation of a Persian story containing the adage [is said to have] popularized it, although roughly the same sentiment can be found in English as far back as Old English. At best this would seem to be a calque. - -sche (discuss) 17:48, 25 April 2018 (UTC)