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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

July 2018


Editors of Latin etymologies may wish to add to the discussion on the talk page. - -sche (discuss) 16:34, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Reconstructed Old Median, Middle Median, and its descendents[edit]

@-sche, JohnC5, Metaknowledge, could I get one of your to either comment on Wiktionary talk:About Median or make the changes I'm recommending? Thanks. --Victar (talk) 21:02, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

I already expressed my doubts on the reliability of Median reconstructions, but let me quote Encyclopaedia Iranica:

"The confusion described above is compounded by additional factors. Thus, the Parthians came into close contact with the Armenians only after having spread over Northwest Iran in the second half of the second century B.C. They thus contributed much to the extinction of the old “Median” or “Atropatenian” dialect spoken there, a dialect apparently closely related to their own language. This “Middle Median” dialect (see above), whose country bordered on that of Armenian, is virtually unknown. Périkhanian (1966, especially pp. 21f. n. 7; 1968, especially pp. 25-29) thought she had found the key to its characterization in older Aramaic inscriptions from the region, particularly in that of King Artašês/Artaxias (189-160 B.C.) from Zangezowr. Her main shibboleths “Mid. Med.” hr from Proto-Ir. *θr and “Mid. Med.” prothetic vowel before initial sp- and - (whence Arm. šx) rested chiefly upon one single piece of evidence, namely the proper name Axšahrsart (written as Aram. ʿḥštrsrt) containing “Mid. Med.” *axšahr as first element (by contrast with Parth. xšahr “country, empire”). Moreover, Périkhanian considered that many of the Northwest-Ir. loanwords in Armenian that are usually regarded as being from Parthian, are to be attributed in fact to an older stratum, a “Middle Median,” layer, although these words presented none of those peculiarly Med. characteristics of which a limited number can be established for the Old Iranian period (see Périkhanian herself, 1966, p. 21 n. 7). This line of approach had been anticipated by W. B. Henning, who in 1963 had assigned those words containing the group nj instead of Parth. (like Arm. brinj “rice” beside NPers. berenǰ or Arm. ganj' “treasure” as Man. Mid. Pers. ganz beside Man. Parth. gazn, NPers. ganǰ) to Median. This approach appears to be correct in principle but it is difficult to work out the details because of the scanty evidence available for the older Iranian dialects."

--Vahag (talk) 21:35, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
Yep, you did, giving your Armenian perspective, and you and others can find my reply there, along with my sources. --Victar (talk) 21:50, 4 July 2018 (UTC)


I was surprised to find we haven't got the etymology for this common Chinese term yet. Could any of our brilliant Chinese editors take a stab? Pinging @Wyang @Justinrleung @Suzukaze-c @Atitarev et al. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:18, 6 July 2018 (UTC)


Our Germanic/PIE experts may want to review this. - -sche (discuss) 20:43, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

tribalis, tribal issues[edit]

From [1], "As the OED explains, “tribal” is an English formation (first attested 1632). French “tribal” is a recent borrowing from English (1872). Latin “tribulis” is not an adjective, but a noun, meaning “fellow tribesman”. DTLHS (talk) 23:19, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Good catch. I've changed the etymology of tribal. As to the question of whether or not tribalis has ever been used in Latin, there are at least a few instances in modern Latin. - -sche (discuss) 02:49, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Turkish kahvaltı (breakfast)[edit]

I would think this would have to be derived from kahve, wouldn't it? You drink coffee in the morning, you eat breakfast in the morning. I'm not sure what the derivation would be, though, since I'm still no expert in Turkish. Finsternish (talk) 21:48, 7 July 2018 (UTC) slight edit Finsternish (talk) 21:49, 7 July 2018 (UTC)


auto#Etymology_2 says "Clipping of autorickshaw, from Hindi ऑटो रिक्शा (oṭo rikśā)." But autorickshaw says auto- +‎ rickshaw, with auto from the Greek and rickshaw from the Japanese. I'm guessing that Hindi doesn't really play a part in this, or if it does that it's autorickshaw -> ऑटो रिक्शा -> ऑटो -> auto.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:52, 8 July 2018 (UTC)


It looks like the first part is Hebrew שרף in the sense "venomous serpent", which is in the title of the Hebrew Wikipedia article about the snake. PierreAbbat (talk) 16:08, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

The snake species that produces the toxin has a range that seems more or less centered in Jordan, including Lebanon and Syria. A Hebrew/Aramaic origin seems more than likely. DCDuring (talk) 17:20, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
Georg Haas (paleontologist), who described the species in 1950, was an Austrian-born Israeli who joined the Hebrew University of Jerusalen in 1931. I'd go with the Hebrew origin. DCDuring (talk) 17:26, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

hẹp hòi[edit]

RFV of the etymology. ばかFumikotalk 14:27, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Cited. Wyang (talk) 23:23, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Finnish kappa[edit]

Is the current etymology a homespun complete fabrication, or is https://www.saob.se/artikel/?unik=K_0439-0070.1cgi&pz=3# wrong in claiming the exact opposite derivation? --Espoo (talk) 08:18, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, we have etym 1 backwards: the word is from Germanic, but Swedish kappe is a back-loan, and the real source is a word-family reconstructed as *skappa- instead (mostly obsolete in modern Germanic I gather). --Tropylium (talk) 12:14, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
Fixed for now, I hope. --Tropylium (talk) 12:45, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

oligodendrocyte, polydendrocyte, dendrocyte[edit]

The dates of the citations suggest to me that "oligodendrocyte" entered English first (from French?), and that "dendrocyte" is a derivative. Any other ideas or evidence? DTLHS (talk) 07:16, 15 July 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:25, 17 July 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

@Eric Kvaalen "fixed" this by adding Ancient Greek at the beginning, which makes it a bit of a two-headed monster. Granted, the modern form probably couldn't have arisen by regular changes from Middle English sisamie, but it seems to me that the most likely explanation is learned alteration of the spelling after the Greek, rather than direct borrowing of the whole word from the Greek. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:02, 21 July 2018 (UTC)

@Chuck Entz:: Yes, I think you're right. Somehow the "native" word got replaced by a form borrowed directly from Greek. Actually, I wonder whether that Middle English form is correct -- why would they add an "i" to the Middle French word after the "m"? The modern pronunciation is exactly how we pronounce similar words borrowed from Greek, like "apocope" or "Terpsichore". If you have a better idea how to present this in the Wiktionary entry, please do. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 05:25, 22 July 2018 (UTC)


Is the Buddhist "fiery chariot" sense an original concept from Chinese Buddhism or translated from the original Sanskrit (term)? ~ POKéTalker) 08:48, 24 July 2018 (UTC)


I'm pretty sure it means "ossicle-bladder", referring to the Weberian apparatus. Οστάριο is a diminutive of οστό; I don't know the Greek word for "bladder", but it's probably related to φυσώ. PierreAbbat (talk) 12:01, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

Ancient Greek φυσαλλίς (phusallís) is the only one I can find easily, but there are lots of words related to blowing and swelling that start with φυσ- such as φυσόομαι (phusóomai), and φυσοειδής (phusoeidḗs) suggests that φυσο- is the combining form of a word for bladder. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:48, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
φῦσα (phûsa) means bladder as well as bellows etc. DCDuring (talk) 17:35, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
So can we put ὀστάριον (ostárion)+φῦσα (phûsa)+-i (Latin masculine plural)? PierreAbbat (talk) 20:51, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
I would. I usually put New Latin at the beginning to excuse departures from classical inflections or other taxonomic naming outrages. DCDuring (talk) 03:37, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

German etymology[edit]

A transcription of Kluge's Etymological Dictionary of the German Language is available on Wikisource. I proofread about a third of the dictionary so far (that's about 1700 lemmas). The source material is quite dated, but there are no other freely available German etymological dictionaries in English, so perhaps it will be useful to integrate some Wiktionary entries. Cheers,--Underlying lk (talk) 19:03, 25 July 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology, said to be from Dutch, but a native compound sneki + fisi makes infinitely more sense. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:17, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

...and Dutch seems to use paling and aal for "eel", and slang for "snake", with snaak having no relevant meaning anymore, so I can't even reconstruct what the supposed Dutch etymon might have been to check for references to it (*snaakvis gets no hits). I would just replace the etymology with your theory. - -sche (discuss) 17:17, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
@-sche Yes, that is true on all counts; I had never heard of any "slangvis" before. Now "slangvisch" does give some results, but most of it is from Suriname so the direction could just as well be the reverse. It seems to denote fish from the genus Ophidion. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:39, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Latvian niere[edit]

Should it be added to *negʷʰrós, or is it a loanword from Germanic languages? RubixLang (talk) 01:04, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

tie as in "draw"[edit]

Where does sense 4 of tie come from? ("The situation in which two or more participants in a competition are placed equally.") I can't figure out a semantic connection with any of the knot/fastening-related senses. —Granger (talk · contribs) 08:37, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

I thought that the derivation was from the past participle of the verb, the idea being that two competitors were bound together, linked. Apparently the meaning is attested only in the late 19th century, so transitional usage might be discoverable if the hypothesis were true. DCDuring (talk) 10:06, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
The earliest use i found of tie/tied near score is from 1859 in the context of archery in a book of rules for archery contests. DCDuring (talk) 10:18, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
See “tie” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018., citing 17th century use. DCDuring (talk) 10:37, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
There's a common metaphor between untying/loosening and solving/determining. Compare Serbo-Croatian riješiti (to solve, to decide), neriješeno (tie, draw), odriješiti (to loosen, to untie). Crom daba (talk) 13:55, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
See also Unentschieden (tie, draw) < entschieden (decided, resolved) < scheiden (separate (archaic)). DCDuring (talk) 18:06, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, that explanation seems plausible to me. It would be interesting to look at early citations of this sense (or the related verb senses). —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:51, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

August 2018


Might the existence of another "letter"-bone, T-bone, have reinforced this rebracketing? Or does the bone resemble an H from any angle, which could have caused or reinforced the rebracketing? Or is it just chance? - -sche (discuss) 20:58, 2 August 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.


Our entry claims that internecine is borrowed from Latin internecīvus, despite the different ending, and without even remarking on it.

Merriam-Webster and Etymonline.com, instead, derive the English word from a more obvious Latin source internecinus "fought to the death; very deadly, murderous, destructive". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 12:01, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Changed by EncycloPetey over ten years ago, I dunno why. It's true that internecinus doesn't seem to be attested in classical dictionaries. Per utramque cavernam 12:05, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that edit. From the citations given here, internecīnus is attested in Late Latin, though. I don't see why post-classical Latin should be excluded or ignored. Interestingly, according to Georges, the alternative form internicīvus is attested in Cicero.
The definition given here, namely "nur mit dem Unterliegen der einen Partei od. beider Parteien endigend, v. pr. vom Krieg", i. e. "(of a conflict) only ending when one or both parties are defeated", is more precise than "destructive" or "murderous", more like "fought to the death". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:45, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
@Florian Blaschke: "I don't see why post-classical Latin should be excluded or ignored." Sorry if it looked like I was implying that; I wasn't. Per utramque cavernam 16:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


The Dutch etymology section has had an excessively long essay for over a decade. Could somebody with expertise in older Germanic languages cut down the second paragraph? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:33, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

It seems that verbiage would be better placed at the Proto-Germanic entry rather than Dutch Leasnam (talk) 16:38, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I've simply removed it, as it really doesn't pertain to the Dutch entry specifically at all Leasnam (talk) 16:41, 4 August 2018 (UTC)


The English and Ancient Greek entries disagree slightly on whether this is from Hebrew or Aramaic. - -sche (discuss) 17:09, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

I find it also confusing that the Aramaic גולגלתא‎ the Hebrew entry גולגולת links to isn’t the Aramaic גּלגּלת the English Golgotha links to, and that the English link turns out to be another Hebrew word.
I think that the Hebrew is from Aramaic is from Akkadian is from Egyptian, because it means in Akkadian and in Egyptian “a kind of vessel” (not the kind of word that tends to be cognate over so long a time, and compare German Kopf from Latin cuppa to see how languages adopt their name for “head” from vessel names). Don’t know what that Arabic جلجلة has to do in the comparison which is some onomatopoeia and else the placename. @Vorziblix. Fay Freak (talk) 20:27, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
The Egyptian word seems to have gone in the other direction; based on attested usage, it basically meant ‘head’, with the ‘vessel’ sense derived from that. In the Old Kingdom, ḏꜣḏꜣ is only found with the meaning of ‘head’ and can be written with head determinatives as
; since the Middle Kingdom, it starts replacing tp as the basic word for ‘head’. The word meaning a kind of vessel, meanwhile, is commonly written with a final semivowel or feminine ending (ḏꜣḏꜣw, ḏꜣḏꜣt, later also ḏꜣḏꜣj), evidently a derivation, and is not attested at all in the Old Kingdom (and only rarely in the Middle Kingdom).
There are problems with assuming an Akkadian borrowing from Egyptian. Egyptian generally doesn’t correspond to Semitic g in loanwords, but only in cognates. The palatalization of Afro-Asiatic g into Egyptian in certain environments is usually considered to have happened shortly before the start of the historical era. In historical-era loanwords, Egyptian is only found rendered by Semitic or z, and rarely ḏ̣ or . If this was a loanword into Akkadian, it would have to be a prehistoric one.
I can’t speak to the Hebrew/Aramaic issues, unfortunately, as I don’t know enough in that field. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 09:01, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
According to Brown-Driver-Briggs, Hebrew גֻּלְגֹּלֶת gulgolet "skull" is Aramaic גּוּלְגַּלְתָּא gulgalta, similar to Hebrew גַּלְגַּל galgal "wheel". The whole word group containing "gimel lamed" denotes round objects, (stone) circles, heaps, skulls, piles, rolls, cylinders, scrolls, wheels, even bowls and basins. That assyrianlanguages.org site looks fishy. Gesenius says that in Arabic, the second lamed is cast away, so it's ﺟَﻠَﺠَﺔ (Freytag: cranium, et ipsum caput). If there is any Ancient Egyptian cognate, I guess it is 𓎼𓃀𓎼𓃀 gebgeb Coptic ϭⲓⲃϭⲓⲃ, to slay. -- 01:49, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
An older Germanic word for head is gebal, preserved in German Giebel, akin to Russian golova (Kluge). cf. also Latin gabalus "crux, patibulum" (DuCange). -- 03:23, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
Giebel is a gable- it has nothing to do with heads. Russian голова (golova) is from Proto-Indo-European *kalw-, and is unrelated to anything in Germanic (if it were, one would expect the Germanic form to start with an "h"). While it's tempting to bring in Latin calvus from that Indo-European root, the fact that this is a term that comes from Aramaic-speakers makes it easier to explain using the Aramaic etymology mentioned above. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:08, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

-ish (etymology 2)[edit]

I'd appreciate an etymology for -ish in Romance words such as publish, relinquish, etc. I don't think it's the same as the adjectival ending that we have, or is it? Thank you in advance.

According to Webster's (1913), the ending -ish appears in certain verbs of French origin, and it corresponds to Latin -escere, an inchoative ending. There is also the adjectival suffix -ish in the sense of selfish, boyish, brutish, etc. -- 01:55, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
But the -ish ending on verbs like finish, diminish, etc. is not a suffix in English. Never has been. It carries absolutely no meaning in English. Leasnam (talk) 18:32, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

wail on, whale on, whale, wale[edit]

Which is the original form(s)? Presumably the others should use "alternative form of" or "synonym of" the like, rather than duplicating definitions in so many places. - -sche (discuss) 07:19, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

wail in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has it as a transitive verb, but directing users to wale#Verb. Among OneLook dictionaries only Wiktionary and UD have entries for wail on. whale in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 conjectures on the influences of various words referring to blows or beatings (whack, whap, whip) that begin with wh to account for whale, which they view as a variant of wale#Verb. DCDuring (talk) 15:36, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Interesting. I've centralized the w___ on entries at whale on, and directed readers from there to whale, where the etymology mentions the possible origin from wale. (Whale does seem to be the most common spelling, now that I look at Ngrams for "whale on him", etc.) - -sche (discuss) 22:22, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
My idiolect often falls prey to the etymological fallacy, silly when a popular term is involved. DCDuring (talk) 02:46, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
No other dictionary has an entry for w(h)a(i)l(e) on except UD (whale on). But I've heard it often enough to accept it at whatever the dominant spelling. We should have some cites. DCDuring (talk) 02:50, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree with making "whale on" the main entry. The phrasal verb with "on" seems to be from around 1960. DTLHS (talk) 03:23, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
The "strike to produce welts" sense of wale goes back to at least the 1400s (the Middle English Dictionary has citations of "a wykkyd wownde that hath me walt" and "tyl he be quaylled"), whereas a couple dictionaries I checked think the "thrash" sense of whale only goes back to the 1780s, supporting the idea that the ultimate origin may be wale, although whale on is most common now. Wheal also has a striking-related verb sense, and wheal on may be attestable as yet another alt form / synonym of whale on. - -sche (discuss) 04:47, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
American Heritage Synonyms has all of the following nouns as synonyms: wheal, wale, weal, welt, whelk. Most of these have similar related verb senses. DCDuring (talk) 05:27, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Khatun خاتون[edit]

I think that this necessitates a Common Turkic hub, I'm on it. Crom daba (talk) 12:26, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: Uh, say what? Proto-Turkic is from 500 BCE and thus could not have been borrowed from Sogdian, but rather it was borrowed into Old Turkic from Sogdian, itself probably a borrowing ultimately from Saka, and disseminated from there. --Victar (talk) 21:20, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
@Victar Proto-Turkic could be as recent as 1st century AD (maybe even slightly more recent), but this is a "Common Turkic" reconstruction, which is analogous to "Old Turkic" in a wider sense.
We use Old Turkic ("Old Turkish" is an obsolete term) here to mean only the attested varieties of pre-13th century Turkic (excluding Uyghur and Karakhanid), which are empathically not direct ancestors to mo.dern Turkic languages.
Tell me more about the Saka connection. Crom daba (talk) 21:48, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: And Sogdian at its very earliest is from about 300 CE, so again, not matching up with PT. The height of Sogdian words into Turkic languages was during the Late Sogdian Period, from about 600 CE – 1050 CE, and most, if not all, loanwords were through Old Turkic. Any way you cut it, Sogdian words into PT doesn't work from a historical standpoint. The native Sogdian form is 𐼶𐼴𐽂𐼷𐼻 (hwtyn /xutēn/), and the non-native form is 𐼶𐼰𐽂𐼴𐼻 (hʾtwn /xātūn/), which may point to a reborrowing from Saka *hvatujn, from PIr. *hwatáHuniH.[6] Also note Xiongnu 閼氐 (ʔɑt̚-tei), likely from Saka as well, unless you subscribe to the theory Xiongnu was an East Iranian language. --Victar (talk) 23:52, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
@Victar, and again, we're talking about Common Turkic (the ancestor of all Turkic languages except Bulgar/Chuvash), not Proto-Turkic, which could allow for an older date of breakup, especially if we allow for some early dialectal variance with continuing common innovation.
In any case western Turkic languages do not derive from the dialect of 8th century Orkhon inscriptions (so called Old Turkic or Türkü), and borrowing among them is not usually assumed.
I would like a source for the claim that most Sogdian words were borrowed during the late period, from what we know of history, Kangju were already in contact with the Xiongnu.
It is also not obvious to me that there must be a Saka word involved here. Umlaut is found in both Sogdian and Saka, Saka should change the medial alveolar into /y/. The loss of /w/ in hʾtwn is odd, but we might as well explain it as reborrowing from Turkic.
The Xiongnu word is interesting, but doesn't really speak for Saka origin either. Xiongnu containing East Iranic elements is possible considering recent genetic evidence, although my own suspicion is that some of these groups were Turkic speaking since the Iron age. Crom daba (talk) 12:24, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: Haha, I see you're one of those that claims the Western Xiongnu were Turks. That's a dangerous premises to lean on -- they could have just as easily been Iranians. Did you see my source above about xātūn being a borrowing? The reason Saka is being suggested is because, unlike Sogdian, Saka exhibits *aw > . I think a more feasible hypothesis is that the word was borrowed into Old Turkic, and then itself borrowed into other Common Turkic languages which would also be consistent with its sporadicness in Common Turkic. Also claiming that the Persian and Armenian words are direct Turkish borrowing is, I'm afraid, just plain crazy. --Victar (talk) 16:06, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
@Victar Perhaps, but other ancient Turkic genomes in the given paper are more similar to Western than to Eastern Xiongnu, in any case I'm not married to the theory.
I've read Dybo's paper, yes, but it is not incontrovertible. The point about *aw > is good, but what if it took place in Turkic, what if hʾtwn represents /xātōn/ which was raised in Turkic (this is a real change, but an attestation in Turkic Brahmi could belie this theory)?
We can of course think up any story of interdialectal borrowing among closely related and sometimes poorly attested languages (why not Sogdian -> Saka -> Turkic, or why not Sogdian -> *Western Turkic -> Old Turkic) to satisfy our ever changing ideas about history, but this is premature optimization, we only know for certain that the word is distributed and behaves in Turkic as if it was inherited and that it was attested in Sogdian with a plausible internal etymology. Adding additional hidden actors to gain slightly more accuracy can only make the model less accurate as its complexity makes it trip over unknown unknowns.
Turkic reflexes of this words are not sporadic in any sense, they are found in all branches except Chuvash and Khalaj, and perhaps even in Khazar if the Armenian word belongs to this period.
I don't see anything crazy about Turkic borrowings in Persian or Armenian, would you care to elaborate? Crom daba (talk) 17:52, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: I've created a {{rfd}} tag for your *xātun entry. Here is a recap of why:
  1. Iranian *xatun/*xātūn would not have been borrowing into PCT as **xatun/**xātūn, but instead as *qatun/*qātūn.
  2. Sogdian 𐼶𐼰𐽂𐼴𐼻 (hʾtwn /xātūn/) is a borrowing, as indicated by non-Sogdian vowel changes.
  3. The native Sogdian 𐼶𐼴𐽂𐼷𐼻 (hwtyn /xutēn/) would not have been borrowed into Proto-Common Turkic (PCT) as *qatun/*qātūn
  4. Persian خاتون (xātūn) could not have been borrowed from Ottoman Turkish قادين (qadin), but rather points to a borrowing from the aforementioned Sogdian xātūn. @Vahagn Petrosyan would have to speak to the feasibility of խաթուն (xatʿun).
@JohnC5 --Victar (talk) 20:10, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
  1. Proto-Turkic had no *x, but Common Turkic did, Clauson Studies in Turkic and Mongolic Linguistics:

    Initial x- occurs in a few words listed by Kashgari, the first authority in which this sound can be read with certainty. In most cases it is specifically said to be a secondary form of k-; some of the other words concerned are loan words. The one word in which it certainly occurred as an original initial is xa:n “king” (III, 157). This is the kind of word which might have survived from an earlier period; and taking this with the fact that the Chinese and other foreign authorities consistently spelt the tribal name Hun with an initial x- (sometimes represented by h-), it seems reasonably clear that an initial x- existed in pre-eighth century Turkish, probably as a rare sound which had almost always evolved into k- by the eighth century.

  2. Irregular changes happen, and Sogdian possesses many words derived from *hwat- related to authority while Saka has none. You also provided no arguments against reborrowing from Turkic.
  3. Maybe, but an earlier *xwatōnʲ might.
  4. Ottoman Turkish is only the most recent layer of Turkic loanwords in Persian, you might wanna consult Doerfer's Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen
Crom daba (talk) 23:48, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
1. I'll look into Clauson claim, but I'm still not convinced.
2-3. "Irregular changes happen"? Sorry, but no, let's stick to linguistic realities instead of linguistic fantasies. The truth is this is not a native word to Sogdian, which is clearly demonstrated by that fact that there is a whole other actual native word. Actually, the very word Khotan is derived from this same root, as hvatana originally mean "men, kings".
4. Pray tell then, where would the Persian form be coming from in your theory?
--Victar (talk) 04:43, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Attestation is the prime linguistic reality, and Saka has no kingship related words built from this root (the closest is hauta 'to have power, be able'). Bailey makes no mention of hvatana 'men' meaning 'kings' and also shows that etymologies for you give this word and Khotan are not the only valid ones. If you have a source on Saka you believe makes this one obsolete, please share it.
There are medieval manuscripts from Khorasan written in a literary register somewhere between Karakhanid and Chagatai, and Khwarezmid empire was also influental in the region and even conquered Persia by 1217 which is consistent with numerous non-Oghuz borrowings in Persian which are meticulously investigated in the above mentioned source. Sadly the expenses of your ignorance on this matter are not covered by the snark.
Crom daba (talk) 10:42, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: when I say Saka, I'm referring to the common ancestor of Khotanese and Tumshuqese, which started to diverge around the same time Proto-Turkic did, not specifically to Khotanese. Here are a few more sources that echo the original one I posted.[7][8][9]
I see we're to personal insults now. I'm asking you for an etymology of the Persian word. Obviously we can't say what the word is straight from PCT. What language are you proposing this was specifically borrowed from?
--Victar (talk) 14:25, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Old Armenian խաթուն (xatʿun) refers specifically to the title of the Khazar queen or even to her given name. Armenian sources usually derive it from one or several of the Turkic cognates discussed above, without going into detail or providing anything helpful for your debate. --Vahag (talk) 11:43, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

How old is the word? Crom daba (talk) 11:50, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
The oldest attestation is in Ashkharatsuyts, the dating of which has long been debated, but the 7th century is most likely. --Vahag (talk) 12:19, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Which would then predate Old Turkic (8th - 13th century), making it at least Common Turkic. Crom daba (talk) 12:27, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Old Turkic stretches back to the 7th c., and Common Turkic languages were most certainly all divergent by then. 7th c. also does not preclude my original argument, that it is a Late Sogdian (600 CE – 1050 CE) borrowing. --Victar (talk) 14:25, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
How about Sogdian → Khazar (as perhaps in לאַפּסערדאַק (lapserdak)) → Armenian? Also, note that Ashkharatsuyts contains interpolations from the 8th century. The ascription of Barsil ethnicity to the Khazar queen in the quoted passage is considered such an interpolation. --Vahag (talk) 15:02, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
Okay, so can I get an attestation in Tumshuqese? How do we know it was Proto-Saka language even, and not some other (equally) unattested East Iranian language? How do we know where and when Proto-Saka was spoken? If you have an answer could you cite two other Iranists who agree with your assessment?
All of the given sources go back directly to Dybo's claim. Dybo is a good Turkologist, but she is not free of controversy [10] [11].
What you're asking for is false precision, medieval Turkic langauges have only subtle differences and we cannot ascertain which dialect could have borrowed the word or even if even if it was a dialect we have any exact knowledge of. I don't even claim that the word is necessarily borrowed from Turkic, this is merely a distinct possibility.
Attested Old Turkic starts with the 8th century and this is a natural cut-off point, supported by for example Clauson's work and Rachewiltz and Rybatzki's Introduction to Altaic philology, there are different usages of the term "Old Turkic", but this one is valid and it's what us active editors working on Turkic prefer (no inheriting from Old Turkic).
There is of course some language diversity in any given language, even before the end of the period of commmon innovation. Common Turkic (not "Proto-Common-Turkic") should here be understood as a period, not as a singular point in which the unity first broke up (this point might have been older than Proto-Turkic itself as diversity has a way of waxing in actual spoken languages).
We find it useful to reconstruct PIE terms even when we don't have an Anatolian cognate, or to use the usual instead of Holzer's convention for Proto-Slavic, or PIE reconstruction which might be only Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic, or reconstruct "Sanskrit" terms or merge Serbian and Montenegrin or American and British under one language.
In the same way, we (Turkic editors) find it useful to reconstruct terms which are at least old as the 8th century, that have regular reflexes in many languages, that have entries in etymological dictionaries of Turkic, but which cannot safely be projected to Proto-Turkic as "Common Turkic" and this convention is not in any way an affront to the use of the term elsewhere. Crom daba (talk) 16:52, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Greek Παλαιστίνη[edit]

Do we know for a fact that this was a borrowing of Hebrew פְּלֶשֶׁת‎? It apparently first appears in the works of Herodotus, who says it is between Phoenicia and Egypt. I would think it would be far more likely to have been borrowed from Phoenician. פֿינצטערניש (talk) 12:28, 17 August 2018 (UTC)