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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


June 2016

āter: length in related terms[edit]

Is it correct that some of these related terms have a short first vowel? Even if atrōx shortened for some reason, shouldn't this then apply to ātrōcitās?

--Hiztegilari (talk) 12:24, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

I'd have to double-check to be 100% sure, but I suspect that the vowel is long in all these words, and that the words that don't show a long vowel were taken from dictionaries where vowel length isn't shown before consonant clusters. Some Latin lexicographers care only about vowel length with respect to poetry scansion, so they don't bother marking vowels before clusters since all vowels are "long by position" there. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:34, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
An annoying habit for sure. —CodeCat 13:20, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Lewis & Short mark atrox, atrocitas, and atrociter with ā̆, suggesting that it sometimes scans long and sometimes short. That's only expected for inherently short vowels before "muta cum liquida" clusters, suggesting that these are actually ătrox etc., which in turn suggests either that atrox and āter are unrelated or that atrox comes from a different ablaut grade (e.g. āter could be from full grade *h₂eh₁tro- and atrox from zero grade *h₂h₁tro-). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:47, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
De Vaan says the vowel of atrōx is short, though he does try to connect it to āter by looking for an explanation for the short vowel. The hypothesis he gives (by Schrijver) he calls "somewhat cumbersome". —CodeCat 13:53, 1 June 2016 (UTC)


Is there anything more modern than Pokorny to confirm that all these terms do, in fact, come from this adverb? —CodeCat 13:55, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *alīnō/alinō[edit]

Was wondering about this when I was about to create a reconstructed entry for this, which would be the lemma - with a short or long i? Don't currently have access to my uni library so I cannot validate this with external sources. Given the diphthong in 𐌰𐌻𐌴𐌹𐌽𐌰 ‎(aleina) I would think that it ought to be *alīnō, but other editors seem to have favoured alinō in the past, so I added both as possibilities on the Gothic entry when I created it. And I am still figuring out how all these sound changes work so I cannot be entirely sure of which it ought to be from my own knowledge. Which is the right one? (Or perhaps there were two forms in P.Gmc.?) What do you think? — Kleio (t · c) 16:36, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

*alinō would certainly be the parent for North-west Germanic. Only Gothic seems to have the long vowel (doesn't ei = ī in Gothic ?). As far as I can tell, The Gothic is the unexplained radical Leasnam (talk) 20:50, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes; as far as I know, Gothic ei corresponds to iː and reflects P.Gmc. ī -- thence my confusion. — Kleio (t · c) 21:07, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Since it's reconstructed as both *alinō and *alīnō, you could create 2 separate entries, OR (--what I would do...) you could create the former and list the latter as an alternative form Leasnam (talk) 22:52, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
That seems like the best course and I added *alīnō as an alternative form of *alinō. — Kleio (t · c) 20:08, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Ringe's The Development of Old English has *alinō and says "the long vowel in Goth. aleina is puzzling".
  • Boutkan says the PGmc was "probably" *alīnō. Boutkan and Lehmann both reject the suggestion of some authors that aleina is a writing error for *alina, citing Feist.
  • George T. Rikov, Hittite haliya- 'to kneel, genuflect' [...] 'elbow'..., in Балканско езикознание, volume 45, page 335, says:
    OIcel. ǫln, aln, OE eln, OFris. elne and OHG elina point to PGmc. *alinō which can correspond to Lat. ulna, if it continues PIt. *olenā (cf. Krahe-Meid I: 65). Yet the alternative explanation as *h2olineh2 (cf. Pokorny 1959: 307-308, Lehmann 1986: 26) is also possible. However[,] the Gothic hapax aleina 'ell' (only acc. sg., M. 6.27) points to PGmc. *alīnō (cf. for instance Krahe-Meid III: 107) which might correspond to OIr. uilen and W., OCorn. elin, Bret. elin, ilin, if these Celtic forms reflect *h2olīneh2-.

- -sche (discuss) 00:40, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Twice-borrowed term or term derived from an older stage of the same language?[edit]

Modern Hebrew פסחא is "[l]ikely a reborrowing from Aramaic פַּסְחָא ‎(pasḥā) or Ancient Greek πάσχα ‎(páskha, Passover), ultimately from Biblical Hebrew פֶּסַח ‎(pésaḥ, Passover)." Normally when a term in language X is a loanword from language Y, which in turn borrowed from language X, we call it a "twice-borrowed term". But in this case, the word was borrowed from language Y, which in turn borrowed it from an older stage—an etymology-only language stage—of language X. So do we want to put this in Category:Hebrew twice-borrowed terms, or in Category:Hebrew terms derived from Biblical Hebrew? I would be prefer the former, but in order to achieve that we have to write "from Biblical {{der|he|he|פֶּסַח||Passover|tr=pésaḥ}}", rather than what we usually do in such cases, "from {{der|he|hbo|פֶּסַח||Passover|tr=pésaḥ}}". When I wrote the former, Wikitiki89 changed it to the latter, which also changed the category to Category:Hebrew terms derived from Biblical Hebrew. So how do we want to proceed? Ideally, it would be great if the modules recognized terms borrowed from an etymology-only language into the corresponding primary language as twice-borrowed terms, so that we could write {{der|he|hbo}} and still get the twice-borrowed term category. Is it possible to edit them to do that? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:07, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Honestly, I think etymology-only languages should be handled as if they were their parent language, and only in addition to that should they be added to a "derived from etymology-only language" category. --WikiTiki89 14:26, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
Exactly. We treat Biblical Hebrew as a kind of Hebrew, so it's similar to having a term for "English terms derived from US English". They were already Hebrew/English before, so how can they be derived from anything? —CodeCat 14:31, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
So we agree that Category:Hebrew twice-borrowed terms is the appropriate category, rather than Category:Hebrew terms derived from Biblical Hebrew? How do we implement that? Currently, the only way is the cumbersome "from Biblical {{der|he|he}}". @CodeCat, can you edit the relevant modules so that "from {{der|he|hbo}}" will categorize in the desired way? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:38, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
How is this? —CodeCat 14:46, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
Looks good, CodeCat, thanks! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:45, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
(e/c) What I mean is, {{der|en|hbo}} should place the entry in Category:English terms derived from Hebrew and secondarily also in Category:English terms derived from Biblical Hebrew. Similarly {{der|he|hbo}} should place the entry in Category:Hebrew twice-borrowed terms, but should probably make an exception and not place it in Category:Hebrew terms derived from Biblical Hebrew. --WikiTiki89 14:49, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
Category:English terms derived from Biblical Hebrew is already a subcategory of Category:English terms derived from Hebrew. —CodeCat 14:54, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
So what? Category:English nouns is a subcategory of Category:English lemmas, but we still put entries in both. --WikiTiki89 14:56, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
But we don't duplicate entries in Category:English terms derived from French into Category:English terms derived from Romance languages, which is more pertinent a comparison. —CodeCat 16:25, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
Well maybe we should? --WikiTiki89 16:55, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
Here are the category breadcrumbs from Category:English terms derived from French:
  • All languages » English language » Terms by etymology » Terms derived from other languages » Indo-European languages » Italic languages » Romance languages »
If we're going to include some of these in the entry, how many? Chuck Entz (talk) 17:22, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
That's a good point, we don't need to include families. --WikiTiki89 17:24, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Calques Taking Place In Other Languages[edit]

Currently gogravius, Gaugraf, and добродушный are showing module errors because they're attempting to use a non-existent |nocat= parameter. These are etymologies where a term was calqued into another language before being borrowed or inherited into the current one. I wasn't sure about the best way to fix these, since I'm not sure how much information about the calque we want to show in the etymology and in the categorization. Currently, the template shows:

  1. Calque of <source language> <source term> or
  2. <target language term> + <target language term>, calque of <source language> <source term>

It also has parameters for translations, transliterations, glosses, parts of speech, etc. It categorizes into [[Category:<target language> calques]] and [[Category:<target language> terms borrowed from <source language> <]], and [[Category:<target language term> compounds]] for the second configuration

Do we want to show the usual display of the template and:

  1. suppress all categorization? That would mean implementing the missing |nocat= parameter
  2. add only the calques category?
  3. add [[Category:<target language> terms derived from <source language>? This would require a new parameter.
  4. as previous, but add the calques category?
  5. replace {{calque}} with some combination of {{etyl}} and {{m}} with various parameters?
  6. something else I haven't thought of?

Chuck Entz (talk) 19:14, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

The {{calque}} template doesn't have much purpose besides categorization, so I would just say not to use it. Just like we don't use {{bor}} when a term was borrowed into another language. The {{calque}} template needs to be reworked anyway, it's really bad. --WikiTiki89 19:22, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I marked some of the parameters as deprecated in the documentation, and without them it's basically like {{bor}} plus the extra "calques" category (a calque is a borrowing after all). So we should presumably treat it similarly. {{bor}}, {{inh}} and {{der}} all lack a nocat= parameter because the category is the main purpose of the template (that and adding extra meaning into our wikicode). Without the categories, {{inh}} and {{der}} would basically become like {{cog}}. —CodeCat 19:28, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I've tidied up the three entries mentioned above and removed the {{calque}} template, since these words are not calques within Latin, German, and Russian respectively. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:54, 3 June 2016 (UTC)


I think this etymology is mistaken. We reconstruct a Proto-Germanic form, but the German and Dutch standard sources agree that their respective words are of Romance origin ([1][2]). The word is first attested in German in 1361 and in Dutch in 1477, that is significantly younger than the Old French (1270). Moreover, the widespread Upper German form Schrauf instead of Schraube (cf. Yiddish שרויף ‎(shroyf)) also hints at its being a borrowing. The Romance etymology makes good sense. And, finally, the word means only "screw" in all Germanic languages although the Germanics did not have screws. So, a Proto-Germanic form is very speculative at best and shouldn't be treated like a fact. But actually there seems to be little justification at all for such a reconstruction. Kolmiel (talk)


From αναχωρώ(v.pre.)/αναχώρησα(v.ps.)/αναχώρηση(n.) or from ανα- + χωρώ? Sobreira (talk) 10:45, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

French future/conditional stem of être, ser-[edit]

If *essere led to être, I wonder what the sound changes to result in the future stem ser- were. Hillcrest98 (talk) 13:36, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

The difference is probably due to stress placement: *éssere > être but *esserā́t > sera. The original final stress is shown by the modern forms in Italian sarà, Spanish será, Portuguese será, etc.; these also suggest that loss of the initial e happened already in VL. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
I was thinking that as well. Hillcrest98 (talk) 16:35, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

dims derived in Latin or PIE, paxillus, vexillum, from palus, velum[edit]

Can paxillus and vexillum be diminutives of palus and velum? As they do not conserve -l- of the root but -x- from Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/weǵʰ-, should they be from a suffixed diminutive form in PIE? (the only PIE diminutive suffix/infix I found is the one supposedly used for mægden). Then palus doesn't actually come from GRC... Sobreira (talk) 12:17, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

This situation is actually somewhat well attested.
  • āla < *akslā < *h₂eḱs-leh₂ vs. axilla < *aksi- (whence axis) + secondary Italic diminutive *-lā < *h₂eḱs-is
  • māla < *maxlā < *méh₂ǵ-s-leh₂ vs. maxilla < *makso- + secondary Italic diminutive *-lā.
I think a similar situation is occurring in these words. —JohnC5 15:07, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

PIE for flan[edit]

This are the origins in English Etymology 1:

Borrowing from French flan ‎(cheesecake, custard tart, flan),
from Old French flaon,
from Late Latin fladō ‎(flat cake),
from Frankish *flado, *flatho ‎(flat cake),
from Proto-Germanic *flaþô ‎(flat cake),
from Proto-Indo-European *pl̥h₂t- ‎(broad, flat),
from Proto-Indo-European *pelh₂- ‎(to spread out, be broad, be flat)....

and below in French:

From Old French flaon,
from Late Latin fladonem,
accusative of flado ‎(flat cake),
from Frankish *flado ‎(flat cake),
from Proto-Germanic *flaþô ‎(flat, broad),
from Proto-Indo-European *plat-, *pla- ‎(flat, broad),
from Proto-Indo-European *pele- ‎(to spread out, broad, flat)...

Apart from skipping the "fladonem, accusative of" and the Frankish "flatho", why are the PIE different? So different in fact. Exactly for this I don't care about the shape, but the same Proto-Germanic should come from exactly the same PIE.

And now the shape. I've been searching the etymologies of What links here of *pele-, *plat-, pla-, and others (even with and without hyphen) and most of them make sense (EN place, flatter, LA (a)placo ("please", "appease"), LA plaga ("beach"), GR pélagos, LA later ("brick")), but there is a messy lot of them and I don't know how to relate them (supposed derivatives like here? different grades? modified by H?).

Without hyphen:

I didn't check them all, but so far I found only "plat" as extension of "pelh2" in place and this plºh2t<pelh2 and plat<pele of flan. Any idea or suggestion of help? Sobreira (talk) 13:24, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Germanic *flaþô can only come from something like *plót-, a form like *pl̥h₂t- would become *fuld- in Germanic. Unlike languages like Greek or Latin, Germanic shows no distinction in the outcome of syllabic sonorants whether a laryngeal follows or not. —CodeCat 13:51, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Lots of editors seem to be in a bad habit of uncritically listing a zillion "competing" or morphologically related PIE forms in etymology sections, which often simply amount to transcription variants (perhaps outdated) and may not be warranted by the word being treated. For example, piac refer to "*plat-, *pla-", when a closer look at πλατύς ‎(platús) (listed as an intermediate) shows that the modern reconstruction for the ancestor of this form in particular is *plh₂tus. Even without taking any stance on the PIE reconstruction issue per se, it is clear that a Hungarian word deriving from a Greek word should not state a different proto-form from the Greek word itself.
Or, flatter in the first etymology referred to "*plewd-, *plew-, *plōw-" although the Germanic word is a descendant of the first stem specifically. Listing the other two in the entry does not seem to provide anything else but confusion (I've removed them). Similarly a variant "*plet-" seemed to make an appearence here for no purpose whatsoever.
This might be too obvious to mention, but in terms of establishing a "lemma" reconstruction, we should always refer to (modern) sources on PIE over tertiary sources like etymological dictionaries of individual (and possibly non-IE!) modern languages. --Tropylium (talk) 21:51, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer, I understand it a bit better. Oh, a lot of topics arise boiling into my mind. First of all, my ignorance still about derivation within PIE, how and why they relate to each other, and yet from late PIE to proto-families. And about the validity/correspondence of variants. Second, the sources: I guess Pokorny is authoritative but outdated on laryngals and the variants can be outdated too. Also the recentness of the reconstruction, considering new data available. And the difficulty of finding references, at least for me, with scarce biblio (the web is not very plenty of PIE however, I found only ). My library has the IEED for Celtic, Baltic, Iranian and Frisian, but not Latin, which is outrageous absurd. And also, the absence of references stated by the editor. Third, what I don't know is whether the PIE studies are advanced enough for having consensus, as I read about different theories over and over again and on different topics (Urheimat, phon laws, exceptions, s-mobile....). Forth, some of the conflating proto-forms given when the intermediate derivative doesn't match the one given for the original (this would very simply be fixed with transclusions, like taxonavs in wikispecies!). Sobreira (talk) 22:50, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
To keep it simple and start somewhere: can that Á of Special:WhatLinksHere/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/plÁt- be even right? Second, do we have a list of special characters for PIE? Sobreira (talk) 22:57, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, it's completely incompatible with our notation, so, in that sense, it's wrong. You would have to know what notation is being used in order to figure out what it actually represents, after which it can be restated in our notation. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:04, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
As to your second question, see WT:AINE. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:06, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
After looking through your list above, I would say most are consistent with *pleh₂- . First of all, w:Indo-European ablaut means that the same root can exist with *e, *o or without a vowel in a given slot, so *ple-, *plo- and *pl̥- are all what we would call *ple-. Secondly, almost all instances of alleged PIE *a can be easily explained as the result of a laryngeal or other syllabic consonant/semivowel, whether directly, or as the result of a vowel being colored by the neighboring sound (generally h₂). Third, when sounds are lost by phonological processes, neighboring sounds are often lengthened, and laryngeals were lost just about everywhere they didn't become a vowel. That means that a PIE long vowel is often just another way of indicating a PIE vowel + laryngeal combination. Finally, roots can have various consonants tacked onto them, so *plat- and *plak- are probably best analyzed as *pleh₂-t- and *pleh₂-k-. I'm not sure where that puts *pele-, which perhaps is treating the laryngeal as just another consonant to be tacked onto the root instead of part of the root, or perhaps is just pretending it isn't there. I wonder where etymonline got it. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:16, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The problem starts from the fact that most of the information available on the web is from pre-1922 (read: ancient) sources and from general works like dictionaries. The latter are especially a problem because they use their own transliterations, and they use different forms than the dictionaries in those languages (e.g.infinitive rather than first-person singular for Ancient Greek).
The people using these sources don't understand them, so they just regurgitate what they think applies into the etymologies next to what others have regurgitated from other sources. As far as most editors are concerned, one source is as good as any, so they all should have equal space.
The real problem, though, is that not enough of those who edit etymologies have both the knowledge and the time to reconcile the conflicting systems represented and distill everything into a concise and internally-consistent statement that gets to the point and avoids padding. Data is easy to find, but understanding is rare. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:59, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Danke böth! Sobreira (talk) 11:02, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
I have been thinking all day about this topics (9-10 forms and variants for one concept!) and I have ended up realising that due to 1) my lack of knowledge on PIE evolutions 2) the lack of consensus on PIE as I understand (I have just read about the Leiden vs. Beekes conjugation, not to mention the glottalic theory) and 3) the lack of material at my disposal (not to mention Pokorny is not legitimate any more); then I have to give up on doing anything systematic about Appendix:List of Proto-Indo-European roots, and even less about nominals/verbs. Unless you all feel I could be entitled to protract all the conflicting variants and intermediate etyms to the ultimate root, I have to desist. I am quite unsure and picky on this topic, and meticulous, systematic and think very theorically in general, so if I don't do it that way then I don't feel comfortable. I will indeed try to state the etymologies for the GL words I meet following the simple pattern GL<LA<PIE (starting from PIE, not from GL), so I will probably go through all of them, or at least try a few of them. I will rely only on the few modern available materials I found or could find that I think worth it (if you know any other, please let me know):
  • GENERIC for LA>PIE on the net: dictionary.com, AmHeritage, utexas updating Pokorny, etymonline, wikipedia articles on PIE, roots at ielex and -maybe- the etimologiasdechile aforementioned when izquierda which I don't like and wouldn't trust so much;
  • GENERIC for LA>PIE on book: unless (until) I buy or get the Roberts-Pastor specific for ES or I make my library buy the IEED Leiden-Brill for Latin by de Vaan;
  • SPECIFIC for GL>LA on book: 4 Galician (Ir Indo/Estraviz/SéculoXXI/GDXeraisL) and 1 Portuguese Houaiss general dictionaries stating etymology) and try to source my edits.
Of course I will try to leave track of my search on User:Sobreira/*pele- and so on (including all of them in upcoming User:Sobreira/PIE), to save time and work in case anyone with knowledge enough engage in the task of uniformizing the chaos. In that case, I would appreciate the courtesy of being warned. Thanks all for the recommendations, knowledge shared, respectful and patient treatment and time.
  • And because all of this, I think we should consider seriously the proposal of transclusion I said above, or some other way of solving this problem. Sobreira (talk) 17:49, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
I've digitized for my own research use a list of all roots in {{R:ine:LIV}} some time ago; I'd still need to verify it against Kümmel's online repository of Addenda und Corrigenda, but once that's done, it should make a fairly new and fairly consistent working list. (Individual entries, when we get around to writing them, may still need more detailed consideration though.) --Tropylium (talk) 20:32, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh, thanks for the link. If I can help anyhow, just tell me. Do you contrast them online? If I have time and it doesn't take me too long, maybe tomorrow I send you something that could ease your job.
By the way, about sourcing the etyms, I think we should specify what part is sourced (with ref superindex), as simply saying LSJ of AmH is too generic for some elaborated etyms given and there is no way of knowing which part is refererenced. Sobreira (talk) 12:22, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
For the current discussion (PIE transcription/reconstruction standardization), just digging thru the Addenda und Corrigenda for any new roots / disproven older roots would suffice; and I could similarly already dump the root list by itself. What will take more work is updating for the corrections about reflexes in the IE languages, if we wanted to do something similar to our current List of PIE roots.
(Also, what's "LSJ of AmH"?) --Tropylium (talk) 17:24, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
My guess is that of is a typo for or, LSJ refers to A Greek–English Lexicon, and "AmH" refers to either the American Heritage Dictionary as a whole or specifically to its Appendix of Indo-European Roots. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:35, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
Good three guesses, Angr. Sorry, I am sometimes too cryptic by shortening and lack of time. Tropylium, do you mean a list of reflexes/derivs from one post-PIE to the next languages? I would have never thought of that if you didn't mention! Good idea. Ambitious and huge, but it would be wonderful. I'll see what I can do while working on GL, mainly in the ones heritage from Latin and French/Provençal, maybe also Old Greek. Sobreira (talk) 19:54, 12 June 2016 (UTC)


Per WT:REF, the etymology for "ZOMG" requires sources. The listed etymology, that ZOMG is "presumably" a typo of OMG caused by a missed shift key, is unsourced. I've provided this sourced edit, whose sources verifiably date to 2003 and 1999 respectively. The sources support the etymology that the word is either an excited typo or a deliberate parody of chatspeak, or plausibly both, and the popular use of the word can be traced directly back to communities which Curbo, Milan and myself were members of in 2003. 22:26, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

This Stack Exchange thread does some useful research into the word, although it comes to no agreement: What is the origin of ZOMG? 22:32, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

The only thing that the references prove is that Curbo and Millan claimed in 2003 to have originated it. We quite often get posts here by people who say that they and/or acquaintances invented a term. Invariably someone comes up with examples of usage predating the alleged invention, which blows their claims out of the water. You're different only in introducing the prior quotes yourself so you can say they don't matter. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:12, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
The edits and citations reflect information other than Curbo/Milan's relatively unimportant credit:
  • This word is a strong candidate to require citations, as per Wiktionary guidelines regarding words of uncertain etymology
  • An alternative etymology is that ZOMG is an intentional parody of late 1990s/early 2000s chatspeak; compare OMFG and OMGWTF for the addition of letters signifying swear words as intensifiers, OMGWTFBBQ for the addition of nonsensical letters as a joke (attested 2001, popularised at least as far back as 2003 as the username of Something Awful contributor Ryan Adams), and LOLZ for the use of Z in leetspeak or chatspeak (attested 1999). The highly mutable nature of leetspeak and hackerspeak of this period makes this at least an equally plausible etymology.
  • Milan's FAQ, as a contemporary source, documents that the word was at least used in 2003, and that he describes it arising from a conversation involving the use of leetspeak. The initial use appears to have been lowercase, "zomg", which is consistent with someone missing the shift key. The uppercase version "ZOMG" and later construction "zOMG" would require someone to hit both shift and Z, which is harder to do without noticing before you hit enter.
  • The word "ZOMG" has humour and is easily transmitted, explaining its viral propensity and popularity in large internet communities. The user expects each letter in an acronym to stand for a word, but is unexpectedly given the uncommon letter Z which is highly unlikely to stand for anything. This occasionally flummoxes users who ask what the Z stands for, as a result there are several folk etymologies which were derived independently by guesswork or what made sense (e.g. Zerg OMG, Zombies OMG, missed shift). However, the answer that the Z means nothing is unsatisfying and therefore unlikely to be put forward or supported; people want answers that make sense. Therefore, over time, the "intentional joke" etymology would have become less popular, and the missed shift etymology more popular, regardless of which is true.
  • The later spelling "zOMG", suggestive of a missed shift etymology, does not appear in the early sources, which supports the hypothesis that the missed shift etymology became more popular over time without necessarily being accurate. Later users (2006 onward) were no longer exposed to the 1990s hacker culture and would be increasingly unaware of the fad of inventing ridiculous acronyms (e.g. NIFOC) and would be less likely to accept it as an explanation.
Hence, while the missed-shift etymology is widely believed, it is not necessarily definitive. The idea that it was invented deliberately as a joke is plausible and equally worthy of inclusion. 03:12, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

List of PIE verb roots[edit]

As mentioned above, you can now find all headwords of {{R:ine:LIV}} (for now with German glosses only) listed at User:Tropylium/Proto-Indo-European/Verbs. New and adjusted and reconstructions are next in line to be also added. --Tropylium (talk) 19:33, 13 June 2016 (UTC)


Is it just me or could *kirikǭ not possibly have existed in Proto-Germanic? As far as I know Proto-Germanic was not a thing anymore by the time the idea of a 'church' could have made its way to Germanic-speaking regions. Nor does Kroonen have it. Not sure if I'm missing something here. — Kleio (t · c) 19:58, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't know, Germanic speakers surely encountered churches and may have needed a word for them even before they themselves were christianized. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:21, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
But surely Proto- Germanic speakers would not? The earliest I can realistically imagine Germanic speakers needing a word for a church would be after the Goths started raiding the Roman province of Dacia and across the Danube in the Balkans from roughly the mid-3th century AD. The entry itself even notes that it would've spread via the Goths, but again, that means the time is way off for it to be Proto-Germanic, no? Seeing as Gothic is a descendant of Proto-Germanic. — Kleio (t · c) 20:31, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
D.H. Green in Language and History in the Early Germanic World (1998, p. 297) claims kyriakon was first used in Greek during the third century, and was in use through the fourth century, dying out in favour of ekklesia in the fifth. So it is likely to have been borrowed via the Goths sometime between 250-400. Considering Christianity only became the official religion of the Empire in the early 4th century, I think we would have to place the borrowing sometime in the 4th century. (Curiously, Wulfila, translating in the second half of the 4th century, has aikklesjo (from ekklesia), and no equivalent of kyriakon even once) — Kleio (t · c) 20:55, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
I too agree that the timing is off--this word is too late to be considered even latest Proto-Germanic :( Shame too, it's a very informative entry. Can we not move it to West-Germanic or something ? Leasnam (talk) 21:01, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
Idk, afaik there isn't a precedent for west-Germanic entries, but this could then be a first? Not sure honestly. Do agree it's a nice entry besides the chronological issues of calling it Pgmc. — Kleio (t · c) 21:06, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
We don't have a code for Proto-West-Germanic, and many linguists believe there never was such a thing. It is labeled "West Germanic" as a kind of dialect of Proto-Germanic. At any rate, it seems unlikely to have been borrowed more than once, since there's such a small window in which κυριακόν ‎(kuriakón) rather than ἐκκλησία ‎(ekklēsía) (the only term used in the New Testament) was the usual word. BTW, why do we assume the word was borrowed via the Goths when the word isn't attested in Gothic? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:09, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
For lack of better candidates, I guess; the Goths after all were at the relevant border of the empire, where Greek was spoken. The source I cited above does not mention the Goths. Someone he appears to have debated does.Kleio (t · c) 21:19, 14 June 2016 (UTC)


Are nem- and νόμος the origin? See æ#Noun. Lysdexia (talk) 00:39, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

That would require explaining the υ, which doesn't come from regular PIE vowels. If you're suggesting a compound with *h₂ékʷeh₂ (the source of the second etymology of ǣ), that might be able to explain the φ, but then you would have to explain what happened to the vowels both before and after the φ (η/ᾱ wouldn't cause the labiovelar to end up as φ, and one would expect a vowel from *h₂e regardless of the ablaut grade). Chuck Entz (talk) 13:57, 20 June 2016 (UTC)


Where did the "group of crows" sense come from? Should probably be noted in the etymology. —CodeCat 17:40, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

It's attested since at least the 1470s; William Caxton's 1477 edition of The horse the ghoos & the sheep has "an Herde of hertes a Murther of crowes" among its list of collective nouns, and a 1475 version supposedly has "a morther of crowys". But Grammarphobia quotes the OED as saying it is "one of many alleged group names found in late Middle English glossarial sources", i.e. it may have been made up by people writing lists of terms, rather than being in common use like flock; and the usage "apparently died out after the 1400s, [but] was revived in the 20th century". Most sources connect it to the traditional association of crows with death. - -sche (discuss) 17:58, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

EN derivates from PIE *h₂egʷnos[edit]

The verbs to (y)ean, do they come from PGmc *aunōną or *gaaunōną? Because it's given in both. Sobreira (talk) 09:39, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

ean comes from *aunōną; yean comes from *gaaunōną, which itself comes from *aunōną Leasnam (talk) 19:29, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Why is *gaaunōną reconstructed for PGmc, if it only has descendants in Old English? Incomplete list of reflexes? --Tropylium (talk) 20:56, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I can't answer that question ; it probably doesn't need to exist, since it's apparent descendants (if this did exist in pgmc) are already at *aunōną Leasnam (talk) 21:32, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Don't we create reconstructs when there are descendants in only one language? Do we write it "yean (< *gaaunōną)" in descendants of *aunōną then ? And delete *gaaunōną?? Sobreira (talk) 07:30, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
We can create pages for words with only descendants in only one language, although entries with a multitude of descendants in multiple languages are often seen as more solid. PGmc for only Gothic or Old Norse, and PItal for only Latin are examples. Leasnam (talk) 17:21, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Considering the y- variant isn't even attested in Middle English or Old English, let alone outside the English branch of Germanic, it seems overly optimistic to reconstruct *gaaunōną for Proto-Germanic. "Yean" probably doesn't have the ge- prefix it all; it's probably just a sporadic variant of "ean", perhaps by hypercorrection in a dialect that says "east" for "yeast". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:18, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I believe the ga- form likely existed. Wycliffe has ȝene, ȝeene, yeene beside ene, eene ‎(sheep with lambs). There is also the Old English ġeēane ‎(yeaning), possibly an inflected form for *ġeēan, but in any event suggesting a prefixed form. The Saterland Frisian word bejääne also hints at one (be- + je- + ääne?), though I am not 100% sure. Is all this enough to warrant a page in my opinion ? No. Since most of the descendants are prefixless, I would use that, putting the other forms on the same page. Leasnam (talk) 21:47, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

from lamb to placenta[edit]

From the PIE aforementioned gives GRC ἀμνός, which gives diminutive ἀμνίον. But how can it change its meaning into "bowl in which the blood of victims was caught" (in amnion/amnios and also mentioned as derivate by template:R:ine:RobertsPastor)? Was it made of lamb leather/skull or the lamb taken as a stereotypical sacrifice animal? Any source? Sorry for the disgusting topic. Sobreira (talk) 11:15, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Probably from the shape and bloodiness of the placenta. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:28, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Order of sections in PIE: place for syns[edit]

Where do we want the synonyms section?:

  • At the beginning, before Derivs/Descend:
between Root+Usage notes and Derived terms: krewh₂-
between Root and Derived terms: leǵ-, les-, pelth₂-, perd-, pesd-, pleh₂-, h₁ésh₂r̥
between Inflection and Coordinate+Descendants: ph₂tḗr
between Root+Inflection/Declension and Descendants: átta, bʰardʰeh₂, dáḱru, ǵómbʰos, h₁éḱwos, h₁er- (why a noun with "-"?), h₁n̥gʷnis,h₂ébōl, h₂eḱru, h₂éngʷʰis, márkos, médʰu, mélit, péh₂wr̥
between Inflection and Usage notes+Descendants: h₁ógʷʰis Yes check.svg Done (FIXED)
  • Later or end, after Derivs:
between Derived terms and Descendants: dʰéǵʰōm Yes check.svg Done (MOVED)
between Derived terms and References: kʷer- Yes check.svg Done (MOVED)

Nothing at Wiktionary:About_Proto-Indo-European. Sobreira (talk) 13:48, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Per Wiktionary:Entry layout#Headings after the definitions, synonyms come after Inflection, before Coordinate terms, Derived terms, and Descendants. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:29, 21 June 2016 (UTC)


Could someone conversant with Hindi and Sanskrit update hoon (etymology 4)? Thanks. — SMUconlaw (talk) 22:12, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Eirikr has already added the Sanskrit etymon; I assume the Hindi is written the same way. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:24, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Isn't Hindi script slightly different from Sanskrit? — SMUconlaw (talk) 07:09, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
The script is exactly the same; individual words may be spelled differently in Hindi and Sanskrit, though. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:45, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, there is no Sanskrit script, just Devanagari as used for Sanskrit. There are some extra consonants in Hindi made by adding a diacritic or two, but they don't seem to be used as much in the inherited core vocabulary, and Sanskrit borrowings tend to be spelled as Sanskrit. More often than not the spelling is the same, but Hindi deletes some of the unwritten vowels in the pronunciation. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:43, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. — SMUconlaw (talk) 21:11, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

բուն Armenian "tree trunk"[edit]

RFV of the etymology: book gives Armenian as cognate from PIE *bʰeh₂ǵos ‎(tree). The meaning matches much better than PIE *bʰudʰmḗn ‎(bottom). Sobreira (talk) 10:29, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

I added the standard references. The etymology from *bʰudʰmḗn ‎(bottom) through Iranian is universally accepted. And you are wrong that *bʰeh₂ǵos matches better. It means “beech”, not “tree”. The sense development “beech” → “tree trunk” is unimaginable, whereas “bottom, foundation” → “tree trunk” is easy, seen also in the Greek cognate πυθμήν ‎(puthmḗn, bottom; tree trunk). --Vahag (talk) 19:29, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, I guess it's a quite sujective matter. I wouldn't assert so sure what matches more. For me, relating the part to the total is easier than the part to the generic part. Didn't PIE for "oak" (*dóru or *perkʷu-?) give tree in a bunch of PIE? I'm only certain that we have to follow the opinion of the primary sources (and data: that's why I RFV), but they are opinions too and can be wrong too. Sobreira (talk) 14:33, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

PIE for oak[edit]

Is *eiḱ a noun form from the root *eiǵ-? Or should oak and aesculus point to Special:WhatLinksHere/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/eiǵ-? Sobreira (talk) 10:39, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

I feel that both *eiḱ and *eiǵ- should be changed to *h₂eyǵ-. That is incidentally the form it's given at Appendix:List of Proto-Indo-European roots/h₂. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:07, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Which I guess it's sourced from Appendix:List of Proto-Indo-European roots#References, innit? Sobreira (talk) 14:57, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Probably. Buck and Pokorny won't have written *h₂, but the others may have. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:22, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Pokorny 2.aig-, page 13. Russians have *h₂eiǵ-. Didn't find in AmH or EtymOnLine, UTexas follows Pokorny. The <y> for being diphthong? Sobreira (talk) 15:56, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, "ei" and "ey" are exactly the same thing, just two different transcription conventions. Wiktionary follows the "ey" convention. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:16, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that it seems to be another root h2ei´g with the meaning of "goat" (ožys, αἴξ, एड). Subs? I'll check abouit later. Sobreira (talk) 14:17, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Kroonen and de Vaan's etym. dictionaries seem to be hesitant to reconstruct this further back than the "Common IE" stage *aiǵ- (without *h₂); they suggest that this may be a substrate word. --Tropylium (talk) 18:40, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
I've been bold and unified the situation of eiḱ- and eiǵ- for PIE "oak" into *h₂eyǵ- (still to create the entry and the categories [ [osx/ang/... term from PIE root xxx] ]). I left provisionally PIE "goat" as *h₂eiǵ-. I also changed some of this *eiǵ- (eckle and ickle) into *h₁eyH- just because it made some better sense for me (h1 ~ e; transcript (ei) = transcript (ey)) and it was the only created PIE root that I found with that meaning (notice as well that uncreated *yeg- ‎(ice) is mentioned in Appendix:List of Proto-Indo-European roots/y and Appendix:List of Proto-Indo-European nouns#Atmosphere). Correct me and please forgive me if I'm wrong. Sobreira (talk) 11:14, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

mugger and mug[edit]

Currently, the verb meanings of mug ‎(to strike, to rob) are listed under the same etymology as the noun mug ‎(cup). Mugger has its etymology listed as mug + -er, which looks reasonable enough until one notices the lack of explanation for the verb. I could certainly believe that the verb came from the "face" sense of mug, as Etymonline and the OED suggest, though the current entry mentions nothing of this.

w:Makara (Hindu mythology) suggests that mugger comes from मगर ‎(magar, crocodile), which implies that the verb mug is backformed from mugger. I find this etymology and sense development just as plausible as the other, but the Wikipedia article cites a blog post where the "mugger" connection is mentioned only as a side note with no listed sources, it doesn't look reliable.

Does anyone have any resources on this word? If not, can we at least split mug (verb) into its own etymology, with the note that it could be from mug (noun), but is uncertain? Listing the two under the same etymology with such distinct meanings doesn't seem right. Eishiya (talk) 14:36, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Yep: the source for the Wikipedia article appears to be only talking about the crocodilian sense of mugger, and the claim that "This animal's name is descriptive of it's behavior" seems to be original research, as well as implausible anyway (it would seem to require that "mugger" can be parsed as "one who mugs" also in Hindi, not just in English). I'm removing it. --Tropylium (talk) 18:56, 24 June 2016 (UTC)


Is this a cursive caoshu, vulgar varient, etc? Johnny Shiz (talk) 18:37, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Latvian from Middle Dutch.[edit]

Middle Dutch is often mentioned as a source for Germanic loans, e.g. sīpols. How likely is that, given the Low German settlements in the region? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 07:20, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't know how likely Dutch would be as a source. I suppose not too unlikely since they were densely populated, rich, and had a lot of trade. Some of their merchands probably sailed to Latvia. — But the point is there's little reason to say that a word well attested in MLG should be exclusively from Dutch. So just add MLG as a source whenever that (i.e. good attestation) is the case. I think. Kolmiel (talk) 20:41, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
I have often noticed a lot of Russian words that originated from Middle Dutch, but they didn't enter Russian directly, but were rather borrowed first into German, then into Polish, and then into Russian. Perhaps something similar is going on with Latvian, although I would not know the exact path of the chain of borrowings. --WikiTiki89 20:48, 28 June 2016 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Yes, but Russian was a bit farther off maybe, receiving the words second-hand (or else by seafarers). But Korn is right that there were Low German-speaking areas very nearby Latvia (or even in it, I don't know), and Low German (later replaced by High German) was a major culture language of the area. Kolmiel (talk) 16:01, 6 July 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. ばかFumikotalk 09:53, 24 June 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Needs specific reliable source that says it was "Coined in Japan from Sinitic elements". ばかFumikotalk 09:54, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

Since this is a concept specific to Christianity, and since we know that Christianity came to Japan mainly via the Spanish and Portuguese, we can safely say that this did not come directly from Chinese, but instead from contact with the west.
If it's the specific format you object to, the template {{calque}} would probably be a better fit, strictly speaking.
You're welcome to do this research yourself, and edit the entry accordingly. It's quite easy to do when these online resources have entries for the term you're researching. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:00, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
It's just "safely say", not "definitely say", so I have reasons to be dubious right? ばかFumikotalk 03:14, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

work and wyrcan[edit]

The Old English verb had palatalisation, so why do we not have "worch" today? Is it analogy with the noun? —CodeCat 15:59, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

ME seemed to use spellings implying both pronunciations interchangeably, even in the same edition of Chaucer. If it was after that, perhaps the OED will tell you how late the -ch pronunciation lasted. Edited: I deleted a conjecture which made no sense whatsoever, suggesting the de-palatalisation was to disambiguate a confusion which it in fact caused itself. Isomorphyc (talk) 18:38, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
From the OED: The normal representative of OE wyrcan would be *worch (for the vocalism cf. worm, worse, wort); the substitution of k for ch, producing the modern standard form... is shown in North Midland areas c 1200 and is due mainly to Work (sb.), though Scandinavian influence (see various forms above) is possible. Isomorphyc (talk) 18:45, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Also a lot of verbs had alternations between /tʃ/ before a vowel and /k/ before a consonant which were then leveled out differently, e.g. sēċan ‎(to seek) ~ sēcþ ‎((he) seeks) generalized the /k/ in Modern English, but besēċan ‎(to beseech) ~ besēcþ ‎((he) beseeches) generalized the /tʃ/ in Modern English. So between the /k/ of the noun, Scandinavian influence, and preconsonantal position, there were probably lots of paths for wyrċan to generalize /k/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:00, 25 June 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Originally, this character was written by mistake. is the original etymology. Source it please. Johnny Shiz (talk) 17:14, 25 June 2016 (UTC)


From Arabic. See Deborah

saur ‎(filth)[edit]

Is the etymology as being from Irish through contraction reliable? Further down the page we find Icelandic saur < Old Norse saurr, so loaning from Norse would look much more straightforward. --Tropylium (talk) 22:15, 26 June 2016 (UTC)


Köbler points in his etymology to High German tocken, from tocke, from *dukkō- (doll, bundle), which to me implies a split etymology: One for 'to pull' from *tukkōną (to pull) via Old Saxon and one for 'to bait' from German. Can anyone shed some light? @Leasnam Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:17, 29 June 2016 (UTC)


‎Wähnen has no etymology given. One of the meanings listed is, fortuitously, ween, and one of those is referred to *wēnijaną. However, *gawahwaną has also laid claim to it, or rather to er‎wähnen, 'with a different prefix'. I don't know why this should be thought to apply to er‎wähnen but not ‎wähnen. Er‎wähnen itself of course just refers back to ‎wähnen. Do we need a sword to divide the baby, or have we got DNA to assign it to one or the other pleading parent? --Hiztegilari (talk) 11:28, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

Despite the similarity, I don't believe erwähnen is a derivative of wähnen. I think they are wholly separate words, and that erwähnen should be removed from that page. Leasnam (talk) 23:27, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Na, ja -- Duden's entry gives wähnen as deriving from MHG wænen, OHG wān(n)en, related to modern Wahn ‎(illusion; delusion).
Meanwhile, their entry for erwähnen gives a derivation from MHG gewähenen, OHG giwahan(en) with a meaning of “to say, to tell”.
I suppose the OHG terms might be cognate? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:14, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't look like they are. In light of the above, I have removed erwähnen, replacing Derived Terms with Related term: Wahn Leasnam (talk) 08:26, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
They aren't cognates. Correct. -- And generally: The etymologies at Duden.de are curt and not without flaw. Preferably use Pfeifer at dwds.de (along with Kluge if you have access to that). In this case Pfeifer says the same thing though. Kolmiel (talk) 14:07, 6 July 2016 (UTC)


An earlier etymology, sourced from some crank's personal essay, claimed an improbable derivation from Uralic *pićlä ‎(rowanberry). Is the Albanian comparison reliable, however? --Tropylium (talk) 14:31, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

July 2016


Etymology says coined as a translation of republic / res publica with the rise of Pan-Arabism during World War I, however this may be wrong. According to Nişanyan, Ottomans used to call the government style of Switzerland and the Netherlands جمهور ‎(jumhūr), however as early as 1876, the term جمهوريت ‎(jumhūriyyet, republic) appears in Ottoman dictionaries. I dont speak Arabic but according to Nişanyan this derivation is also irregular and fits the Neo Ottoman coinage style. The entry can be found in Nişanyan, Sevan (2002–), “cumhuriyet”, in Nişanyan Sözlük, however I believe you need a membership to read all the details. --Anylai (talk) 08:51, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

While we're at it, it's not clear to me when, how, and from which language Swahili jamhuri was borrowed, considering that this is after the influx of Arabic loanwords. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:23, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
I am not sure how Arabic loans were rendered in Swahili. Basically the Arabic ية ‎(-iyya) is most of the time "-iyyet" in Ottoman Turkish. Plus as I said, originally in the 1800s, the word for this western government style was already called جمهور ‎(jumhūr) in Ottoman. I don't know if the Arabic entry is lacking this sense or even had it in the past at all. First we must know if this derivation fits the rules in Arabic, plus if it was coined in WW1, Turkish form can not be borrowed from Arabic, it was coined a lot before than that in Ottoman. --Anylai (talk) 23:06, 5 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. Kopf itself says it is probably from cuppa, and that in turn lists it as a descendant. And cup also claims Kopf as a cognate: or, rather, says 'compare' with a list. So these branches all refer it to PIE *kewp-.
  2. Under cup, by the way, Kopf is glossed as "cup; bowl", a sense that's not mentioned under Kopf itself.
  3. But cop also claims it as a cognate, and takes them back to Gmc *kuppaz, which of course should go back to a PIE beginning with */g/. That Gmc entry displays an impressive array of descendants, which might well trump the 'probably' in the first point. Could the Gmc have been late enough, and the Latin variant cuppa early enough, for this to be in fact a borrowing?

I realize that these have been confused for a good 2000 years, and are not easy to unravel now, and we have some merging, but is one side of this less plausible than the other in modern thinking? --Hiztegilari (talk) 15:19, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

German Kopf now means only "head". The sense "cup" still existed in early modern German, while the sense "head" is as old as the 13th century. (Both senses still coexist in Dutch kop.) -- The predominant opinion throughout the German and Dutch etymological standard literature is that all the relevant continental Germanic words are borrowed from Latin cuppa. None of these sources considers the Germanic words to be inherited from PIE, though some of the Dutch sources say that, alternatively, the Germanic and Latin words could be borrowings from the same unknown substrate language. So the point is simply that our Gmc *kuppaz (< PIE) is a very doubtful reconstruction that shouldn't be treated like a fact. (We do that all the time.) Kolmiel (talk) 14:32, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
If the word was indeed borrowed from Latin, it looks like the forms with o are older (early West Germanic or Late PGmc). The ones with u are more recent re-borrowings (probably in Mediaeval times with the spread of Christianity). Late Latin cuppa may have even been borrowed from a Germanic tongue then borrowed back into Latin (i.e. cūpa > Gmc/(Frk) *kuppa > Latin cuppa; alongside older Latin cūpa). Leasnam (talk) 15:41, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
The older Gmc words also deviate further from anything resembling a "tub": e.g. Old English and Dutch words meaning "spider". This makes it doubtful that it could have been a borrowing, since the semantic distance covered is too great for so short a time Leasnam (talk) 15:51, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

chantre, chanteur[edit]

I'm looking for a name to a new category that would gather pairs of French words such as: pâtre-pasteur; chantre-chanteur; moindre-mineur; on-homme. These are not really doublets, for which we already have a category. Rather, one word comes from the Latin nominative, while the other comes from the accusative. Any idea? --Fsojic (talk) 09:30, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

I'd say they are really doublets. Why wouldn't they be? They're just a very specific kind of doublet. Parallels in English are mead²/meadow and shade/shadow, which come from different cases of the same Old English word. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:33, 3 July 2016 (UTC)


French gestion and Spanish gestión have etymologies just mentioning Latin gestio. But we only have this as a verb, with no obvious relation of meaning; there would presumably have been an abstract noun gestio, gestionem as intermediate, at some stage of Latin. --Hiztegilari (talk) 15:24, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Added the noun. It's attested from the classical period. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:20, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

clubs (in cards)[edit]

Wondering if anyone had any insight as to why we call the suit in cards "clubs", when in fact it isn't a club at all...it's a clover. Is there some reason for this ? Is it a horrific corruption of clovers...just comparing the Dutch klaveren ‎(clubs, literally clovers), Swedish klöver ‎(clubs, literally clover) Leasnam (talk) 00:32, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

In earlier times, each language had its own name and symbol for the four suits. French trèfles (clovers, which is why our modern club suit looks like clovers), Italian bastoni (clubs, walking sticks), Spanish bastos (clubs, truncheons, with a drawing of a walking stick), German Eichel (acorn). In recent times, a single set of symbols (basically the French set) for the four suits has been adopted by all languages, even though the old name for the symbols has been maintained by each language (hence a clover called a club in English, or Eichel in German). —Stephen (Talk) 01:15, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Wow, ok. So in the past, in England the cards had images of literal clubs ("cudgels/bats/sticks") on them ? Leasnam (talk) 01:22, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
England used the Italian name (translated), but applied it to French cards. ref., eg., http://www.wopc.co.uk/uk/index2 --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:30, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
I see. Ok - Thank you, all ! Leasnam (talk) 01:31, 6 July 2016 (UTC)


Old Norse descendant is ørr, the ø a result of u-mutation + i-mutation. *arwaz yields u-mutation only. What is the reason - levelling from the plural? -- 17:05, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

According to Kroonen's Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic, the Nordic (and Finnish) forms are from a variant *arwiz-. KarikaSlayer (talk) 03:55, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
It's an *e-stem in Finnic though (*arpe-); these are probably more often from *a-stems etc. than from *i-stems. --Tropylium (talk) 17:00, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Is this suffix possible with neuter gender? -- 17:02, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Greek βούρτσα, Turkish fırça[edit]

The Turkish word is claimed to be from the Greek, which in turn is claimed to be from German Bürste. The former part is confirmed by Turkish wiktionary, the latter seems perfectly impossible to me. Now, isn't rather the Greek from the Turkish and it from Arabic فرشة [furša]? The Arabic word belongs to a fully developed root (whose original meaning may be “to spread”, but need not, since these meanings could be denominal from فرش [farš], carpet). Kolmiel (talk) 00:40, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

PS: Greek wiktionary also mentions a lot of strange things, considering Old High German, Italian, Turkish, and Albanian origin. Pretty much everything but Arabic. (I google-translated it.) Kolmiel (talk) 00:46, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
The Turkish etymological dictionaries unanimously derive fırça from Greek. The origin of the Greek itself is disputed. Your Arabic comparison seems interesting. Note also Persian فرچه ‎(ferče), Armenian ֆըռչա ‎(fəṙčʿa) (from Turkish). --Vahag (talk) 07:52, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
The Turkish word looks to me like a conflation of the Greek and Arabic words. If it's just from Greek, why isn't it *vırça? I think /v/ is a perfectly ordinary consonant in Turkish. And if it's just from Arabic, why isn't it *fırşa? Again, /ʃ/ is a perfectly ordinary consonant in Turkish. Instead it looks like speakers took advantage of the overall similarity of the two words, but got the /f/ from Arabic and the /tʃ/ from Greek /ts/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:41, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

More cognates which may help determining the real source: Middle Armenian վրձին ‎(vrjin), Bulgarian ву́рца ‎(vúrca), Romanian vîrță, Albanian vurcë. --Vahag (talk) 10:01, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Okay. So it's a bit more complicated than I'd thought :) But German Bürste has nothing to do with this, right? Kolmiel (talk) 13:50, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
I have been looking at Nişanyan's dictionary and the oldest attestation is from 1501 فرچه ‎(furça) and claims it is from Greek "vrútsa" which in turn is borrowed from Vulgar Latin "*bruscia" (see brosse). Maybe it would be good to know since when the Greek form is attested. Plus Greek entry shows the origin as Bürste. According to Nişanyan "*bruscia" is derived from Latin bruscus and it is also a borrowing from Celtic. But the French entry "brosse" says *bruscia is from Proto-Germanic. So everything is messed up. I have looked at the entries starting with /f/, there are indeed 3 or 4 Greek words starting with /v/ or /b/ rendered as /f/ but it may not directly be from Greek. Although f is not native to Turkish (except onomatopoeia), Greek f = Turkish f. I went through all of the entries starting with /f/ in his disctionary, the result was: apart from fırça; fesleğen ‎(basil) (attested since the 1600s, from βασιλικόν ‎(vasilikón)) and fıçı ‎(barrel) (attested since the 1500s, cognate to Latin buttis) and fiğ (attested at the 1300s, apparently from βικίον ‎(vikíon)) were the only words rendered with /f/ that had either /b/ or /v/ in their Greek counterparts. I went through all of the entries starting with /v/ too, Greek /v/ is equal to Turkish /v/, interestingly they all correspond to /v/ at any language. Apart from Turkic ones like (ver- ‎(to give), from *bēr-).
Plus, could the Arabic word فرشة ‎(furša, brush) be also a borrowing from the same source but wrongly connected to فرش ‎(faraša, to spread)? Perhaps from Ottoman? I can see that Ottoman /ch/ sometimes was rendered /sh/ in Arabic in borrowed words. For example شيشكلي ‎(shishekli) equivalent to Turkish çiçekli and شاويش ‎(shawush, sergeant), equivalent to Turkish çavuş. Have they been always like that or just later assimilations? --Anylai (talk) 13:53, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
The Turkish "v" is more of an approximant /ʋ/ isn't it? So Greek /v/ -> Turkish /f/ would not be extremely surpsrising maybe. — Now, Latin bruscus ~ bruscia is a much better candidate than the German word. It's probably Germanic, see the details at brush. (It's also remotely related to Bürste actually.) — The Arabic word could indeed be unrelated to the root. But note that Steingass also mentions a sense “to have dense and extended branches”, which seems much to closer to “brush”. Kolmiel (talk)
PS: Yes, Turkish /tʃ/ generally becomes Arabic /ʃ/. — To me personally the most probable path would now seem to be Germanic > Latin > Greek > Ottoman > other "Islamic" languages. Kolmiel (talk) 14:33, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
PPS: Other sources say that Latin bruscus is a conflation of ruscum ("thorny shrub") with brucus ("heather"), which latter would indeed be from Gallic (cf. brusque). At any rate, bruscus meant a shrub, and this also the original meaning of French "brosse". (Incidentally, the notion that βουρτσα is from German seems to be from the idea that "brosse" is from Old High German burst ("bristle"), also found on French wiktionary, but this is contrary to the original meaning of the Romance word.) Kolmiel (talk) 15:59, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
So the Arabic word might be showing signs of folk etymology? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:01, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Maybe, although furša alongside firša is as close as you can get to Turkish fırça in Arabic (provided Arabic got it from Turkish). Kolmiel (talk) 16:41, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
How old is the *b- > v- shift in Turkish? It seems possible at first glance that Greek β had already turned to labiodental [v] while Turkish initial v was still bilabial [β] (and understood by speakers as an allophone of /b/) (phonetic vs. orthographic notation are getting confusing here, but bear with me), which might have left labiodental [f] a better substitution. --Tropylium (talk) 16:36, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
According to w:Turkish phonology vu- is still pronounced /βu-/, /β/ here being a stop. So [f] may indeed be closer or just as close. Kolmiel (talk) 16:41, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
The examples of *b- > v- shift are few actually: ver- ‎(to give), var- ‎(to arrive), var ‎(there is) and vur- ‎(to hit) (which is actually expressive). In the dictionary of Clauson I can see they have already shifted to v- in the earliest Turkish texts (from 14th century). Some suffixes also followed *-b > *-v > ∅. Some verbs like ol- ‎(to become) (from *bōl-) were interestingly never attested as *vol- too, but this loss is very rare in such stems. I wish I knew about quality of the consonants, I am inadequate at these topics but I can give some examples of -v- > -f- examples, since these were not tolerated word initially. For example yufka ‎(thin), küf ‎(mold), ufal- ‎(to get small, to shrink), ufak ‎(little) comes to my mind. They ultimately all go back to *v < *b. --Anylai (talk) 17:41, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
I wonder if it's related to French bruyère and the second etymology of briar (briarwood pipes are made from roots of w:Erica arborea, a species of heather). Chuck Entz (talk) 03:00, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

The Greek word comes from the Byzantine period. It is attested in the forms βούρτζα ‎(boúrtza), βούρτσα ‎(boúrtsa), βρούτζα ‎(broútza), βρούτσα ‎(broútsa), βρουτσίν ‎(broutsín) (hence directly վրձին ‎(vrjin)). The earliest datable attestation I could find was from the 12th century, but this one, 7th row from the bottom is probably even earlier. Apart from the Romance–Germanic explanation discussed above, a native origin from βύρσα ‎(búrsa) has also been proposed. --Vahag (talk) 17:19, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Hebrew transliteration[edit]

Tweaks to the Hebrew word ילם appearing in the etymology section of ylem so that an automatic Roman alphabet transliteration appears would be much appreciated. — SMUconlaw (talk) 20:07, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Two things: One, Hebrew does not have automatic transliterations. Two, there is no word ילם meaning "blind"; the closest word I can find is אילם \ אִלֵּם ‎(ʾillēm, mute), the word for "blind" being עיוור \ עִוֵּר ‎(ʿiwwēr). Also, according to w:Ylem, Ganow said I mean this is the old Hebrew word meaning something like "space between heaven and earth". I can't think off the top of my head what word that could be with that meaning, but I will try to find it, but for now it seems that אילם \ אִלֵּם ‎(ʾillēm, mute) would be the best guess. --WikiTiki89 20:58, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Another possibility is something from the root ע־ל־ם ‎(ʿ-l-m) (נֶעֱלַם ‎(to disappear), הֶעֱלִים ‎(to conceal), עוֹלָם ‎(word, eternity)). --WikiTiki89 21:11, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
However, in all likelihood, this guy had no idea what he was talking about and there never was a Hebrew word. --WikiTiki89 21:14, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I noted from the source that Gamow did not actually identify the Hebrew word in question. I don't know which editor added the Hebrew bit. Do you think we should just omit it, or add a "best guess"? — SMUconlaw (talk) 21:43, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, remove the Hebrew. I'm sure that Gamow, who was a mild antisemite, had no clue. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:54, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Really, I had no idea. Don't know much about the chap, apart from having read one of his books about the Big Bang. I've removed the information. — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:37, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

What's the source of these Russian terms - Modern or Ancient Greek?[edit]

I'd like to ask why Russian derivatives from Greek where Ancient Greek [b] is now [v] in Modern Greek are considered to be borrowings from Ancient, not Modern Greek.

Examples: Вениами́н ‎(Veniamín) - ancient Βενιᾱμῑ́ν ‎(Beniāmī́n), modern Βενιαμίν ‎(Veniamín).

Same with алфави́т ‎(alfavít, alphabet), Вавило́н ‎(Vavilón, Babylon), etc. The etymologies might be right and they are usually sourced but aren't the spellings and pronunciations adjusted to the Modern Greek where letter β is now pronounced [v]? @Vahagn Petrosyan (edited Вениамин), @Wikitiki89 (edited алфавит). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 08:28, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Those words are attested already in Old East Slavic and are borrowed from Byzantine Greek, which we treat under Ancient Greek. See the 10th and 15th century pronunciations in Βενιαμίν ‎(Beniamín) and ἀλφάβητος ‎(alphábētos). No one ever borrowed anything from the useless Modern Greek. We should probably generate a script error when people use {{etyl|el|xx}}. --Vahag (talk) 09:16, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
(E/C) @Vahagn Petrosyan Thanks. Did Byzantine Greek have "v" pronunciation of "β"? I just want to know how "v" came about in Russian in Greek derivations. Perhaps the use of "в" (v) vs "б" (b) in Russian is of interest for words where English or other European cognates have "b". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:31, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I would just mention that the sound changes that affected β began in one region in about 300 BC (beginning of the Koine Greek period), and gradually moved across the entire Greek language area until the sound shift was completed by about 300 AD. Most Greeks were already pronouncing β as v by 100 AD. Here in the West, we like to pronounce Ancient Greek beta with a b because that was the pronunciation during the Classical period, which ran from 510 BC to 323 BC. In the Koine period, beta changed to veta, but we still assign the sound of b to the beta of this time. I think we generally consider Koine Greek to be Ancient Greek for the purposes of etymologies (but I could be wrong about this). —Stephen (Talk) 09:27, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
@Stephen G. Brown Thanks, Stephen. It seems Russian has borrowed from later forms of Greek but directly from Greek not via other languages. алфави́т ‎(alfavít, alphabet) is especially good example (it's "-vit", not "-bet"), since letter βῆτα ‎(bêta) in Ancient Greek changed to βήτα ‎(víta) in later forms of Greek, which is also reflected in the Russian borrowing. The letter "β" itself is called бе́та ‎(bɛ́ta) in Russian, which is apparently from Ancient Greek, possibly via another language. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:31, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
The Cyrillic alphabet itself has some obvious clues as well. В being pronounced /v/ or /ʋ/ is one of them, but also И is based on Greek Η, yet pronounced /i/. Х was /x/, no longer an aspirated plosive. Oddly, Г kept its plosive pronunciation, as did Д, so they weren't entirely consistent with it. —CodeCat 13:04, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
That's true, of course, and I had this in mind when asking the question. Old East Slavic and Russian were definitely influenced by the late forms of Greek. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:12, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I wonder if the reason that Г and Д kept their pronunciation as stop sounds is simply that the corresponding fricatives didn't exist in late Proto-Slavic (or rather in Old Bulgarian as of 850 AD or so). Benwing2 (talk) 16:12, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Г was a fricative in some Slavic dialects, but not anywhere in South Slavic. —CodeCat 16:48, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that you're right about "not anywhere in South Slavic". --WikiTiki89 14:23, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't matter, though. The important thing is that no Slavic variety contrasted /ɡ/ and /ɣ/ phonemically, so the Greek letter gamma could be borrowed for any Slavic language's reflex of PSl. *g, regardless of its phonetic realization. And no Slavic language ever had /ð/, so the Greek letter delta could be borrowed for stop /d/, even if it wasn't a stop in Greek. But since /b/ and /v/ did contrast in Slavic, they needed separate letters, so they took Greek beta for /v/ (as it was also pronounced in Greek at the time), and modified it for /b/ (which existed in Greek only as an allophone of /p/). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:04, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

skrattuz & butmaz[edit]

In looking at the declension (inflection) tables of these two: *skrattuz, *butmaz, are they correct? I mean, should they show a different consonant due to Verner's alternation: *skratt- vs *skrad- and *butm- vs *budm- ? Comparing the descendants, it's obvious they should (?) Or perhaps, was the distribution unknown ? Leasnam (talk) 00:51, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

*krattijô--this too. Old High German suggests *krad- Leasnam (talk) 01:19, 11 July 2016 (UTC)


Recent edits to the etymology of this term have instigated a conversation where I have been accused of committing "cuntery", because I reverted the etymology to its original form which, according to an anon, is "mad". I started this discussion here to come to a community consensus – several words in related and unrelated languages have the same source, so it sure would be nice to have an official and consistent source. All input is welcome! --Robbie SWE (talk) 18:55, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

As rude as the anon was, he's right. This word comes simply from Proto-Slavic *volxъ. See also Włoch. --WikiTiki89 19:03, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Great! Thanks @Wikitiki89, still a bit pissed about being called a cunt though, but I'll get over it :-) --Robbie SWE (talk) 19:21, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Just think what a sucky life he must have that his only comfort is calling people cunts on the internet. That should make you feel better. --WikiTiki89 19:34, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Reconstruction:Proto-Celtic/ɸēskos et al.[edit]

Why exactly do we include the ɸ- in words like this? AFAIK ɸ is deleted word-initially in all Celtic languages so why is it reconstructed at all? I know that PIE *p in some positions ends up as a consonant rather than nothing, e.g. in Old Irish secht < *septṃ, but in this case the Proto-Celtic word is already written with /x/, i.e. Reconstruction:Proto-Celtic/sextam not Reconstruction:Proto-Celtic/seɸtam. Why don't we include the resolution of ɸ to either nothing or x or whatever, rather than inconsistently including ɸ itself? Benwing2 (talk) 05:04, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Your assumption seems to be wrong (although I had thought this, too). But even the shift p > ɸ is only reconstrued for late Proto-Celtic according to wikipedia. I think PIE p- was definitely lost in Insular Celtic so that none of the living or well-attested Celtic languages have it. Maybe also in other branches, but Proto-Celtic seems to have retained it. Kolmiel (talk) 17:14, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
ɸ is lost word-initially in all attested unambiguously Celtic languages, but it leaves traces in other positions (e.g. sɸ- is distinct from both s- and sw-; intervocalic -ɸr-/-ɸl- becomes -br-/-bl-). And then there are ambiguous cases that might indicate a word-initial consonant in Proto-Celtic, but not necessarily. The Latin place names Hercynia and Hibernia seem to show /h/ in words that would be reconstructed with word-initial ɸ, but (1) word-initial /h/ was lost early on in Latin anyway, so these spellings may not actually indicate a true /h/, and (2) the etymology of Hercynia isn't entirely certain. Then there are Lusitanian words spelled with p that come from PIE p (e.g. porcom ‎(pig)), but Lusitanian might not be descended from PC. If it is, however, then it's possible that Lusitanians used the letter p to stand for /ɸ/, meaning that porcom would be pronounced /ɸorkom/ and be descended from *ɸorkom. Since word-internal ɸ is definitely needed for PC reconstructions, and since word-initial ɸ might be needed for them, it seems safest to reconstruct it everywhere it's expected. All modern Celticists I'm aware of regularly use ɸ (or f to stand for the same thing) in their PC reconstructions. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:43, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
I prefer using the letter "f" to be honest. We use it for the same sound already in Proto-Germanic and Proto-Italic. —CodeCat 21:51, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Germanic and Italic eventually did shift *[ɸ] > [f], though; the latter also *[θ] > [f], which most likely never involved an *[ɸ] stage. Celtic didn't, which would seem to make using *‹f› a bit odd. --Tropylium (talk) 23:40, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Not odder than using ⟨ö⟩ for [ø] rather than [ö]. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 00:12, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Tropylium. I also think it's not bad to have the somewhat "obscure" letter <ɸ> for a sound that may not even have been there anymore, rather than the straightforward <f>. Kolmiel (talk) 00:19, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
OK, makes sense, but it still doesn't answer the question of why we have Reconstruction:Proto-Celtic/sextam instead of Reconstruction:Proto-Celtic/seɸtam. Benwing2 (talk) 00:27, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Partly because that's what the sources do (all Celticists I'm familiar with would reconstruct it as *sextam and not *seɸtam~*seftam) and partly because you can't tell from a [xt] or [xs] cluster in PC whether it goes back to PIE [pt]/[ps] or [kt]/[ks], so if there was a word with an unknown etymology you wouldn't be able to decide between them. As for which symbol we use, I have no particular objection to using "f" instead, and some sources (e.g. Matasović 2009) do use "f", but I think "ɸ" is a little more common. Maybe "ɸ" is good because of its visual similarity to "∅", thus reminding us that in most contexts it disappeared (became zero). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:15, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
OK, the same argument about not knowing whether ɸ was present in words of unknown etymology applies even more to word-initial ɸ, so I'm still confused as to why the sources are inconsistent in sometimes including ɸ and sometimes its resolution. Benwing2 (talk) 16:31, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Modern sources consistently show word-initial ɸ/f, though sources from a hundred years ago, like {{R:MacBain}} and Pedersen's Vergleichende Grammatik der keltischen Sprachen didn't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:35, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, what I meant was, is it really the case that the sources consistently include initial ɸ e.g. in ɸēskos (rather than omitting it) but don't include ɸ in seɸtam (instead including x)? This still seems strange to me, since it both cases you can only know that the ɸ was present (rather than something else like k, or nothing at all word-initially) using PIE etymologies. Benwing2 (talk) 21:45, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it's really the case that they do so. As to why, maybe it's because in sextam there's still something holding the place of ɸ, while in ēskos there wouldn't be. Or because, as Hibernia, Hercynia, and porcom show, there is still a chance that Proto-Celtic had a genuine ɸ in ɸēskos before it broke up, but there's not the slightest indication that it ever had anything but /x/ in sextam. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:48, 15 July 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

This entry has not one but three numbered etymologies in one etymology section, and they sort of overlap. Could someone sort through these and merge them into one accurate one? Chuck Entz (talk) 13:55, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Looks like each is built upon the previous: Etym 3 from Etym 2 from Etym 1 Leasnam (talk) 15:35, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

I did some research - and these all look like unsupported guesses, not supportable by available evidence. Re-did etym accordingly...for the interim. What I did find is that "stogie" = cigar dates back to 1869. And "stogie" = boots to at least 1855. Seems that stogies = boots is from earlier "stoga boots" - though, don't know the etym of this, and perhaps unrelated to the cigar meaning. Although there are plenty of essentially contemporaneous citations for Conestoga Wagon, there are none to support that either the boots or the cigars were in any way associated with these wagon; similarly, nothing I could find supported that the cigars were associated (back in 1869) with the township of Conestoga or any cigar manufactory or brand there. I think we need to delete def 1, which is a back-formed def based on the supposed etymology. Sonofcawdrey (talk) 01:20, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

OED says that the word was originally stoga, from Conestoga, Pennsylvania, and then notes: "It is alleged that stoga boots and stoga cigars were so called because they were used by the ‘stoga drivers’, i.e. the drivers of the Conestoga wagons plying between Wheeling and Pittsburgh." — SMUconlaw (talk) 09:28, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, alleged, though doesn't seem to be proved. Cannot find any citations for "stoga drivers". Though, there are citations for "stoga cigars" from 1870-1890s. So, could amend to "probably". Will attend to it. - 02:07, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Luxembourgish Minn (etymology 3) and English minnow[edit]

Are these two related? BigDom 18:48, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Yes. The Luxmbourgish / Central Franconian word is from Middle High German *müne, which is in line with Dutch meun, Middle Low German mȫne, Old English myne. Alongside there's a variant with -w- in English minnow, Old High German muniwa. Both are seemingly from Proto-Germanic *muniwō. Kolmiel (talk) 19:38, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
I've written the etymology. Kolmiel (talk) 20:03, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt response! I'd guessed it was, but wasn't sure about the in-between MHG word. BigDom 04:58, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

German Schmand vs. Czech smetana vs. Hebrew שמנת (shamenet)[edit]

The Slavic word is clear, also that regional German Schmetten derives from it. German Schmand is a matter of faith: both the Germanic and the Slavic derivations are plausible. But now I've come across the Hebrew word additionally. Apparently it's modern and derived from an older word for "fat". — What's the deal here? I suppose that the "fat"-word is unrelated. (Is it?) But was the derivation for "cream" formed under the influence of the Slavic and/or Germanic words? Or is that coincidental, too? Anyone know anything? Kolmiel (talk) 20:48, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

The Hebrew looks like an example of phono-semantic matching, meaning it was coined using existing roots and morphemes but intentionally (or perhaps subconsciously) in a way to sound similar to Yiddish שמאַנט ‎(shmant) or German Schmand. --WikiTiki89 20:55, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes. That's was I was going for, too. Didn't know the technical term, though :) Kolmiel (talk) 21:45, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Just to be more specific, this word was formed from the root שׁ־מ־ן (see category) in the pattern קַטֶּלֶת. --WikiTiki89 00:21, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
I made a little note in the etymology of the Hebrew word. Kolmiel (talk) 18:29, 16 July 2016 (UTC)


This says it's derived from Medieval Latin, which is in turn from New Latin. Something fishy... —CodeCat 01:00, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

@CodeCat: Fixed. I believe both terms are early-modern coinages. Isomorphyc (talk) 01:33, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Dan Polansky added it in 2009, but noted that he got it from the 1911 Century Dictionary ([3]). I agree that there's no way ML can come from NL. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:37, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Appendix:List of Proto-Indo-European nouns[edit]

I was checking errors for further automatisation: double spaces and spaces after comma, rendering of Albanian. When arriving into full stops, which where used in some transcriptions (!?), I left two final: in Avestan būza. and Old Church Slavonic zrĭno.; please check whether the result is correct. Sobreira (talk) 10:06, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

The full stop in both of those forms is an error, not part of the transliteration. The only language I'm aware of in which we use a full stop as part of the transliteration is Burmese. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:16, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Also Kashmiri, Kamviri, Hittite and Kashubian? Sobreira (talk) 12:20, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I guess as well that all the </> and <;> are separators, sometimes even not used as it (I mean the separated part is missing). Sobreira (talk) 12:32, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the slash is used in these PIE lists to separate stages of the same language, e.g. Old English/Modern English, Old Persian/Modern Persian, Old High German/Modern German, etc. The semicolon is used to separate words in the same language. I strongly suspect Kashmiri and Kamviri should not have full stops in transliteration. Hittite definitely shouldn't: the "Tarx.u" given on the page should probably be "Tarḫu". And Kashubian is written in the Latin alphabet and so shouldn't be using transliteration at all. According to Kashubian alphabet the diacriticked forms of "o" are ò, ó, and ô. I have no idea which one "taro.n" is supposed to have. These PIE lists are an almighty mess anyway. I've half-heartedly tried to clean some of them up in the past, but I don't have the patience. All the words really ought to be cited in the original script and linked to with {{l}} or {{m}} (with automatically generated transliterations where possible), rather than the way they are now. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:39, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

'blate' is a cognate of 'éblouir'.[edit]

Will someone please add https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/blate#English as a cognate to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%A9blouir ?

blate is not really a true/full cognate. In form it descends from a different root, but the Scottish word picked up some of the meaning from Old English blēaþ Leasnam (talk) 15:41, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


Really from Old English? The quotation with what appears to be the original usage appears to be from the Netherlands. DTLHS (talk) 03:12, 25 July 2016 (UTC)