Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium

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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 +/-

March 2015


This has "Sense 1 is from Old French (see ciclatoun)." Fair enough, but I'd like to know what the Old French derivation actually is, and I can't see how ciclatoun is at all linked (we have it as coming direct from Persian, not Old French). This, that and the other (talk) 08:25, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

  • The semantics certainly don't fit very well. User:Dbfirs added the mention of Old French in this edit. @Dbfirs: can you shed any light on this? How does an Old French term for expensive cloth wind up meaning “the only card of its suit in a hand”? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:39, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I have to apologise for messing this up. I was thinking of adding the obsolete sense of a coverlet of cloth, but that would have been a separate etymology, and very rare anyway. Something must have distracted me and I never got back to tidy up the entry. The word has indeed been used for a person on their own since 1937, but the usage for a person without a romantic partner is more recent (since Bridget Jones?). We probably can't separate out the gradual change of meaning. Sorry for leaving my error in the entry. Dbfirs 19:40, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

get the message[edit]

When was the expression "gets the message" first used?--Christie the puppy lover (talk) 12:37, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

To get the message (meaning "understand") is from 1960. —Stephen (Talk) 13:46, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Is this an equivalent etymology?[edit]

Is this public domain etymology (found here):

[= F. théosophe = Sp. teósofo, < ML. theosophus, a theologian, < LGr. (eccl.) θεόσοφος, wise in things concerning God, < θεός, god, + σοφός, wise. Cf. theosophy.]

correctly written by me as:

From Medieval Latin theosophus (a theologian, noun),
from Byzantine Greek θεόσοφος (theósophos, wise in things concerning god),
from Ancient Greek θεός (theós, god) +‎ σοφός (sophós, wise).

particularly, is "< LGr. (eccl.)" the same as "from Byzantine Greek" and how do I, or should I, integrate "[= F. théosophe = Sp. teósofo, < " into an etymology? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 23:19, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I would say you have got it right. And yes Byzantine Greek=Mediaeval Greek=Late Greek=Ecclesiastical Greek. You could add that the French and Spanish forms are comparative forms (e.g. "Compare French théosophe, Spanish teósofo), or cite them alternatively as cognate terms...Leasnam (talk) 04:35, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Koine Greek, {{etyl|grc-koi|en}}, is more appropriate for Ecclesiastical Greek. θεόσοφος (theósophos) is attested in Porphyry, 3rd century AD, not yet Byzantine Greek. --Vahag (talk) 08:37, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:18, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Folk etymology[edit]

Anyone not yet excessively jaded by the topic might like to check on Talk:tinker's_damn JonRichfield (talk) 16:12, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

I've rewritten the etymology based on the references I could find. - -sche (discuss) 19:22, 6 March 2015 (UTC)


This paper can be used to improve the etymology. In particular, the Proto-Eskimo reconstruction *qyaq is wrong. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:01, 6 March 2015 (UTC)


Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup/archive/2010/Unresolved requests.

I find the given etymology rather suspect, as the earliest publications on the topic were in Latin. see e.g.. Please don't tell me that the Dutch republic did not have enough scientists able to read Latin in the later 17th century.... Jcwf 23:05, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Those publication use "phosphorus". According to http://etymologie.nl/ (subscription site; probably also in ISBN 978 90 5356 746 3) Dutch "phosphor-" is only attested in 1814, "fosfor" in 1846, to quote "De vernederlandste vorm zonder -us is pas jong, en wellicht ontstaan onder invloed van Duits Phosphor.". 19th century Dutch scientists could read German. --Erik Warmelink 00:09, 10 March 2011 (UTC)


Am I right in my suspicion that the expression attaboy/attagirl is (proto-/stereo-)typically used to praise and encourage young children, and only secondary older people? In that case, an origin in baby talk suggests itself. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:26, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

I can see that. It does have a patronising tone to it, for instance I would not use it with one of my parents; certainly not with a grandparent; only in an encouraging way to a ..."subordinate", if you will, for lack of a better term Leasnam (talk) 06:22, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
That's interesting. Apparently it is also used by bosses to their employees, which agrees with your assessment. Isn't it also said to dogs by their owners? This would fit very well with a baby-talk origin.
Curiously, attagirl seems to have acquired a "girl power!" connotation. I recently saw it used in an interview with Canadian opera singer Barbara Hannigan. The interviewer, hornist Sarah Willis, born in America but sounding very British, certainly did not intend to come across as anything but respectful, nor did she want to sound patronising, I am sure. She treated Hannigan as an equal, not as superior, but certainly never as inferior. Both have Wikipedia articles so are clearly notable in their own right, which probably explains why she was comfortable enough around her for such an informal approach. A less known musician, or a musician outside the classical scene, might have felt it to be inappropriate in the same situation. So adult women using it among themselves must have a different "feel" compared to adult men (although among equals it may well sound humorous, playful but not patronising); still slang but not too impolite to say even to a celebrated opera singer in a relaxed but public situation. I was already familiar with the expression Attagirl! before (probably more than Attaboy!) but this example piqued my interest. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:46, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, when/if not patronising, it is very informal, like sister to sister, or brother to brother Leasnam (talk) 21:12, 12 March 2015 (UTC)


The page, and respective entries, says that the Scandinavian forms of /tɛnk-/ come from Middle Low German /dɛnkən/. As initial obstruent devoicing isn't a feature of Old Norse and the Low German word had a fully voiced consonant from the 13th century onward, this seems off. Has anyone enough knowledge in that field to confirm this etymology? It seems more like an Old East Norse relic to me, cf. sjunka/synke. Korn (talk) 13:45, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

According to Alf Torp, Nynorsk Etymologisk Ordbok (1919), Norwegian tenkja and late Old Norwegian þenkja are in form and meaning influenced by Low German.
So one could place them under Norse and add a note like "under influence of Low German denken". --MaEr (talk) 15:23, 21 March 2015 (UTC)


Where does this come from? Tharthan (talk) 22:04, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Slavic če/czy/чи[edit]

Anyone happen to know more about the etymology of če, czy and чи (čy)? Urotnik (talk) 20:03, 23 March 2015 (UTC)


Anyone know what the etymology of this word is? - -sche (discuss) 18:55, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Coined by Prof. A. R. Forsyth, F.R.S.: seems to be im- + mānō + -ant (as in determinant). Wyang (talk) 02:20, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Nice work finding that information! Thank you! - -sche (discuss) 05:08, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
But how does it connect to the meaning? DCDuring TALK 12:02, 28 March 2015 (UTC)


Some questionable material in the etymology there. Should we just remove it? This, that and the other (talk) 00:38, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

The early use as a nickname is interesting, though a link to the New Zealand paper is possible and desirable. It is a little hard to believe that the US usage (c. 1932) was influenced by the NZ usage (c. 1901), but it is conceivable. If removed from the ety section, it should go on the talk page. DCDuring TALK 11:51, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
This search shows that there was a person known in NZ as "Snazzy", but that there is a long hiatus (30 years) between the last use of Snazzy and the first use of snazzy in New Zealand in its modern sense. DCDuring TALK 12:01, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

rada (Polish and Czech)[edit]

Our entry rada suggests that Polish rada is from Germanic. It seems cognate to Czech rada. George Thomas' Linguistic purism says "Jan Hus, saddened by the Germanised Czech of his parishioners, attempted to coin easily decipherable native words [such as] radnice ‘town-hall’ from rada ‘council, counsel’ — [itself] ironically considered by some a German loanword" (as if to suggest it actually isn't a Germanic loanword). So, what is the origin of these words? - -sche (discuss) 01:14, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Somebody already asked about this word a few months ago. My own speculation was the only answer we got. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:45, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
And here I was eying the thread hoping someone with Slavic knowledge would answer. Here's my two cents instead then: Loans from Germanic into Slavic appear very early and are not too rare. (chleb, ratusz) If this is a Germanic loan, it's post PGM as it has /aː/. My partially educated guess, lacking any knowledge of Proto-Slavic roots, is that if this is a Germanic word, it was borrowed into Polish from this form and then spread south. According to Wenker, Bohemia and the greater part of Poland were settled with High Germans who probably pronounced the word something like /rɒːt-/. Mainly the coastal Polish areas were settled by Low Germans, with a High German enclave in eastern Poland. So Low German isn't as spread. There are records of this word having a final vowel in nominative singular in Low German: /rɒːdə/. This form was also the one preferred in compounds and the dative case and hence probably the ones Poles encountered more than the standard LG form /rɒːt/. The Czechs, who knew the Germanic word as /rɒːt(ə)/, and had not even a border on Low German settlement, would not have interpreted it as a Germanic borrowing but rather as a West Slavic word since "it also exists in Polish". Korn (talk) 17:41, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Many towns in the Kingdom of Poland were granted charters based on the Magdeburg law within the Holy Roman Empire, which was based on Flemish law. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 02:03, 6 April 2015 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

April 2015


I'd say this has been borrowed from Spanish, which was borrowed from English. Is there a category for terms borrowed from their own language via another language? --Recónditos (talk) 10:04, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

I believe it would be Category:English twice-borrowed terms, which is what you get from {{etyl|en|en}}. Many of the things that end up there are bogus, caused by people misusing {{etyl}} for internal borrowings- but there are rare genuine cases such as this. The name seems odd, but I suppose it refers to terms being borrowed by other languages and then borrowed back into English. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:40, 11 April 2015 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

This has been a bit of a word salad since an IP edited it back in 2009. It derives dialectical French chagraigner (to be gloomy, distress), from chat (cat) + Old French graim (sorrow, gloom; sorrowful, gloomy), which it says is a loan translation from German Katzenjammer (drunken hang-over), though one has to make allowances for bad sentence construction to get that far. Even though it's part of only one of several alternative etymologies that are all labeled as speculation, this seems particularly far-fetched. To start with, it compounds modern French with Old French, then says it's a loan translation of a modern German term that doesn't match quite match semantically (though it's close). I would have removed it, but it's been there for nearly seven years, and a few presumably-competent editors have worked on it. Could someone make some sense out of this? Chuck Entz (talk) 21:26, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

It's the editors being aimless. Perhaps veiled vandalism. Century Dictionary indicates a figurative use of a different French word. Dictionary.com also gives an alternate etymology as well as the OED et al. one. Hillcrest98 (talk) 14:59, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Cleaned up etymology myself, inserted source, removed rfv-e template. 15:19, 12 April 2015 (UTC)


There is an RFE template on that page asking for verification of if it comes from transliterating English orchestra or not. Probably some sources needed to settle. Hillcrest98 (talk) 20:15, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

I think it's pretty uncontroversial that it is from English orchestra. If it were from any other European language, it would almost certainly be オルケストラ (orukesutora) instead of オーケストラ (ōkesutora). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:40, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Tharthan (talk) 14:42, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Etymology clean-up on aisle twelve...[edit]

For mummer.

I tried the best I could with it, but it is such a complicated etymology that it is hard to both present it and yet also make it at least somewhat concise (or, rather, more concise than it is presently).

If someone has the time to, it would be good if that etymology could get cleaned up at least slightly... somehow. Tharthan (talk) 14:41, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

I can create momon which is sufficiently attested, and you could move the discussion of the etymology of momon there. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:15, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. I appreciate your help. I will do so. Tharthan (talk) 13:58, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Created. Tell me what you think. Tharthan (talk) 14:13, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Wait for the other shoe to drop[edit]

"Wait for the other shoe to drop" derives from the punch line of a joke that was current in the late 1950's or early 1960's. I do not remember exactly when, but I do remember it made the rounds very quickly. It went roughly like this:

A road-weary traveling salesmen walks into a rooming house. Another man is checking in. The other man is given a room on the ground floor near the stairs. The salesman is given an upstairs room, in which he begins to disrobe. He removes and drops his left shoe, THUD. He then pauses to think. He realizes that the other man's room is directly below. Not wishing to disturb him, the salesman carefully lowers his right shoe to the floor. He goes to bed and nods off. About an hour later he is awakened by a knock at the door. It is the man from downstairs, now in crumpled pajamas, eyes red, hair disheveled, and looking terrible. The man says, "For the love of God man, drop the other shoe!"

Everyone thought it was hilarious. Jive Dadson (talk) 10:55, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

But where does that joke come from? I seem to think wait for the other shoe to drop is significantly older than that. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:03, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

The joke "made the rounds," i.e. was repeated orally. That was before the internet, so there might be no surviving written records of it at all. I remember it very well. "Drop the other shoe" could not have been a well known figure of speech at the time. If it had been, the joke would not have been funny. Jive Dadson (talk) 11:08, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

If Wiktionary has the same rules as Wikipedia, this etymology is stranded in the talk section. I assume my recollection constitutes "original research." Wikipedia demands primary and secondary sources. My fact is valid only if someone can show that someone else says someone else said it is so. Hearsay of hearsay of hearsay. Jive Dadson (talk) 11:23, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

American Heritage Dictionary says 'early 1900s' Renard Migrant (talk) 11:47, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Oldest I can see on Google Books is 1942. But of course, not every book in the world is on Google Books. Also, the joke isn't funny. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:08, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Wikiquote has it used (in the form "drop the other shoe") in the short bits of narration in the animated film Fantasia (1940). From its use there it was obviously widely known, but perhaps not a cliche then. DCDuring TALK 00:58, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
It appears in the form "waiting for the other shoe to fall" in a college alumni magazine in 1918 [1] DCDuring TALK 01:04, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

So the joke was already ancient when I heard it. Hey, I was a kid. I was wrong when I speculated that the joke might not exist anymore in written form. I found it in a few places on the web, often not constructed very well, IMO. E.g. http://www.bestcleanfunnyjokes.info/index.php/site/comments/waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop/#sthash.GTokeAHh.dpbs As for the joke not being funny, yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man. Jive Dadson (talk) 15:06, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I found a 1908: "Scott showered imprecations on the head of the unsuspecting offender, and lay wide awake waiting for the other boot to fall, after which he hoped to resume his broken sleep." The source is a business humor collection. DCDuring TALK 20:36, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
A 1904 version. BTW my search has been for "for the other|second boot|shoe to fall|drop". There may be other alternatives that would unearth older versions. DCDuring TALK 20:41, 20 April 2015 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Earlier Proto-Germanic *bōkastabaz apparently comes from *bōks +‎ *stabaz, with *bōks deriving not from PIE *bʰagós for book, as currently stated at Buchstabe#Etymology, but rather from PIE *bʰeh₂ǵos for beech, as in the tree. Could someone confirm and clean up this and the related etymologies on other pages? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:49, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

For that matter, did books even exist during the time when PIE was spoken? Is *bʰagós a cromulent reconstruction for a PIE term meaning book? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:01, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I removed the nonsense about a PIE word for book, but an actual source for the etymology would be good anyway. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:14, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

On the origin of languages[edit]

I apologize for my poor organization and presentation. Firstly, Latin has evolved into 20+ languages, which serves as an example to show that the number of languages increases through time. This can serve as an evidence that, when traced back, there could possibly be a first language, which is termed Proto-Human. However, languages also become less complicated through time. Therefore, the first language must be very complicated. How can such a complicated language without precessor exist? --kc_kennylau (talk) 11:40, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

The answers in this Quora thread may be of interest. Key points:
  • "As a general rule, languages do not become simpler over time. For the most part, all fully developed languages (i.e. not creoles or pidgins) are equally complex. So, if a language is simple in one area (e.g., its grammar), it is generally more complex in another (e.g., in pronunciation)." (Later, as an illustration of this:) "Estonian has lost some case markers and begun using quantity alternation instead. This makes phonology more complex. For example, taevas means 'sky/heaven' but 'in the sky/heaven' when the first syllable is overlong." (Whereas, other languages have switched in the opposite direction, from tone- and length-based markers to using different, more dissimilar suffixes to mark case.)
  • "If we observe Indo-European languages, for example Latin evolving into Romance languages, the tendency seems to be simplification concerning morphology. But, this is not true for every language family. The morphology of Uralic languages has been getting more complex. The Proto-Uralic has been reconstructed to have had five or six cases. Many of its modern descendants have a lot more: Finnish has 15 and Hungarian over 30."
- -sche (discuss) 13:05, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The only certainty is that all languages change. There's a certain level of complexity in all languages, but different languages have the complexity in different areas, and the complexity may be shifted from one area to another. English has lost most of its inflectional morphology: Old English had 5 grammatical cases and a more complex set of verbal endings. We also have lost grammatical gender, except in pronouns. We now express the same information with word order and vocabulary- a highly-inflected language is usually much simpler in its rules on word order. Other languages are converting independent particles into affixes- Chinese plural pronouns are just one example of that process. In the Indo-European languages, the change from a highly mobile pitch accent to a much more fixed stress accent has meant that unaccented sounds tend to be lost. Since the accent tends to stay on the root, endings tend to disappear. Since most of the inflectional morphology in Indo-European languages is in the endings, the tendency is for that morphology to disappear. Phonological processes such as these tend to simplify morphology within words, while compounding tends to increase it. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:24, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, languages do not inherently increase in number over time. Latin supplanted and put to extinction languages like Etruscan, Venetic, Gaulish, etc; supplanting them with just one language, itself. Then later, oro-Latin diverged into a myriad of regional lects, many of which are now being ousted by National Standards, like French. Leasnam (talk) 17:05, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
I seem to think Steven Pinker in The Language Instinct refers to Proto-World at one point. If you say that all human societies have language, even if not written language, then surely it comes down to whether all humans ultimately come from the same source. Unless they all came from the same source and group got isolated and some how came up with its own language unrelated to the language the rest of the humans were talking at that time. Also, I see no reason why Proto-World would necessarily have to be extremely complex. New innovations can occur without initial complexity. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:39, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Other points to consider:
  • We know that not all of the world's languages have a single genetic parent, because we know that at least one language developed spontaneously without genetic parents: Nicaraguan Sign Language. (Similarly, not all of the world's writing systems have a single parent: writing arose spontaneously in ≥2 places: the Middle East and China, Mesoamerica, and possibly elsewhere.)
  • It is thought that language per se (a relatively complex phenomenon) developed from relatively simpler forms of vocalization and/or communication. Hence, regardless of whether the world's languages have one ancestor or many, and regardless of whether the living languages are simpler or more complex than that ancestor, that ancestor developed from ur-ancestors that were simpler than it. (That answers your final question, I think.)
- -sche (discuss) 18:45, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
However, as a Chinese, I can tell you that Chinese definitely obeys the two observations stated, which is reproduction and simplification. Old Chinese has been constructed to include many consonants in one syllable. In Taiwanese Mandarin, zh/z, ch/c, sh/s are merging, whereas in Hong Kong Cantonese they have completely merged. In Hong Kong Cantonese, n/l are also merging. Please correct me if I am wrong. --kc_kennylau (talk) 14:31, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Those are some ways Chinese has become phonologically simpler, but it may have become more complex in other areas of the language. Also, according to Wikipedia, "Most scholars now believe that Old Chinese lacked the tones found in later stages of the language", which means that even within the phonology, while the language has gotten simpler in terms of consonants, it's gotten more complex in terms of tones. I think it's pretty clear that loss of complexity in one area must be compensated for with increased complexity in some other area, otherwise after 50,000 years of using language, we'd all be saying nothing but ta ta ta ta nowadays. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:46, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
But Chinese has tones as well as many diphthongs, which are more complex. While in Slavic, the complexity of syllables has increased by quite a bit through the loss of vowels, and the number of vowels has gone down by a lot. So there may be trends in a certain direction, but there is no such thing as simplification. If you look at it from an information theory point of view, language can't be simplified too much or it no longer has the capacity to clearly convey all meanings it needs to. But if there is redundancy, then that tends to be eliminated eventually. Then there is the need to not require too much effort to speak it. These three things are in a balance. If the balance shifts too far into one direction, then simplicity in one area is just traded off for complexity in another, and language change happens as a result of a constant tug of war. For example, a language that has a simple syllable structure or a small phoneme inventory will need to have long words in order to have words for all things. If the words are short too, then the syntax and idiom will be complex because many words will be needed to convey a given meaning. —CodeCat 14:51, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I think you're taking it a bit too far with there is no such thing as simplification. The merger of Frisian/Saxon plural endings wasn't made up for with anything, nor was the loss of the instrumental case, nor the merger of *þ and /d, t/. The languages just got a little simpler. It might be better said: There is a baseline of complexity below which a functional language cannot drop. _Korn (talk) 15:33, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
The loss of distinct endings is the elimination of redundancy, which does get eliminated as I said. But the instrumental case was lost in favour of a preposition, so there was no change in total complexity. The merger of *þ is interesting; it caused a drop in phonological complexity, but it increased the number of homonyms, which can be considered a kind of complexity too. If such homonyms are bothersome, then they are often replaced by another word with a similar meaning or they are qualified. Which then increases complexity again. So there is still a balance. —CodeCat 15:39, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Quaint how different views can be. I would consider homonyms the very opposite of complexity, as it is less language, albeit that less language has to carry the same amount of meaning. Slight off topic: Wasn't the instrumental replaced with the dative, which was already used with these prepositions and hence leads to the same state of less language carrying the same information? Korn (talk) 22:11, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
But having homonyms that are also semantically roughly similar leads to ambiguity, with the result that the situation is unstable. People tend to avoid homonyms if they could be confusing. In places in the U.S. where pin and pen are homophones, for example, the terms sewing pin and writing pen are gaining prominence. It isn't the homonymy itself that adds to complexity, it's they way people avoid it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:21, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

хозяин, خواجه[edit]

What comes first?

The entry for خواجه (xâje) says it's a possible cognate of the Russian хозя́ин (xozjáin). Yes, it is but the ultimate source is probably Turkic languages. M. Vasmer said it's from Chuvash (a Turkic language in Russia) хуçа (huça) via Old Russian (I have normalised the Chuvash spelling to modern, the source only gives a romanisation). Both Persian and Russian terms are possibly both derived from Turkic, cf. Turkish hoca, Azeri xoca. I doubt the Persian term has come from Russian. Russian has also a newer borrowing ходжа́ (xodžá) (=hodja) from Turkish or Persian.

@ZxxZxxZ, Vahagn Petrosyan, Dijan, Useigor, Wikitiki89:.

See also English hodja derived from Turkish or Persian. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:35, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

According to Černyx (2, 346) fountainhead for Russian word is Persian. He compares meaning with Turkic languages and says /z/ is possible in some dialects. So i think it should be something like this: Russian < Old East Slavic < Turkic < Persian. —Игорь Тълкачь 09:40, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
@Useigor: I don't understand this notation. Do you mean that the original term is Persian? خواجه (xâje) also needs attention. It mentions the Russian cognate but that's misleading. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:47, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that it's of Persian origin, possibly from Avestan, related to or possibly even a variant of خدا (xodâ, God, lord, master, owner).


I am a complete novice to providing input to Wikipedia, so I don't know the proper protocols. Please excuse any unintended breaches of etiquette or protocol.

The current page https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/charity references the Latin origin: "caritas", but does not mention the fact that the Latin "caritas" means "dear" or "costly". There is, however, a reference to that definition in a discussion page. I think that should go to the main page.

I see a lot of confusion/debate in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charity_(virtue). Perhaps by starting at the beginning, with the best definition of "charity" possible, downstream confusion can be eliminated. At least we can get the (multiple) definitions of the word out of the way in wiktionary, and allow the wikipedia articles to focus each of the individual concepts themselves and leave the disambiguation discussion to it's proper place out side of the article itself. By way of explanation, and probably more than you need to know here, I got here in my analysis of the famous I Corinthians 13:13 verse: "And now there remain faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (or, depending on the particular Bible translation, "but the greatest of these is love"). It wasn't until I found that the Latin "caritas" means "dear" or "costly"( https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/caritas) that I could understand how "charity" can mean both "giving to those less fortunate" (as the word is most commonly used today) and "love", as it is used in this context. Furthermore, the key to this was to understand the origination from the Latin "cara" or "dear. —This unsigned comment was added by Desert snowflake (talkcontribs) at 16:41, 24 April 2015.

I don't see where you're getting these definitions from. cāritās is a noun and its meanings are therefore noun-like, as shown in the entry. It's derived from the adjective cārus through the suffix -itās, which means "-ness" and is the origin of the English suffix -ity. —CodeCat 15:58, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
The etymology doesn't determine the meaning (see nice for a textbook example). The origin of the Latin ancestor of the term has no bearing on the meaning of its descendant unless it can be shown that the association was known to speakers of the later languages when the new meaning developed. At any rate, it's not necessary to explain the origin of that sense: the use of charity to refer to giving money to aid the poor or unfortunate goes back to the idea that Christian love is unselfish (charity was often used in older bibles to refer to refer specifically to Christian love). I'm sure it was originally used to frame giving positively as an expression of Christian virtue and to underplay the financial aspects. By the way: the association of affection and expense is quite common, as can be seen in the history of dear. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:46, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Albanian urtë[edit]

This is listed under 'word' as cognate with it, verbum, and Lithuanian vardas; but under its own entry it has an apparently different etymology - at least, that mentions no connexion with the PIE word cluster. 14:32, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

The part about urtë being related to word was added to both entries by a contributor who has a history of deciding that Albanian terms are cognates based on superficial resemblances. Later on, they thought better of it and changed the etymology at urtë, but not the one at word. I've now removed the reference at word, which was unnecessary for that entry, anyway. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:35, 28 April 2015 (UTC)


Is this cognate to null (and related Indo-European words)? Hillcrest98 (talk) 02:59, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Not cognate- that would mean that Georgian and Latin would be related, and they aren't. It's no doubt a borrowing in Georgian. Zero is a relatively new concept, compared to most basic numeric terms, so it goes back to a borrowing in the history of most languages (zero itself comes from Arabic). Chuck Entz (talk) 03:12, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I guess I messed the terminology up. I meant the terms were "related". Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:39, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure Georgian ნული (nuli) and ნოლი (noli) are from a European language, probably Italian, via Russian нуль (nulʹ) and ноль (nolʹ). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:17, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

May 2015

Regarding the etymology of Kibosh[edit]

A source was asked for a Hebrew word Kbsh. It is found in Genesis 1:28, where God tells Mankind to "fill the earth and subdue it" Kbsh is translated there "subdue it."

We are not looking for a source for the Hebrew word כָּבַשׁ (kavásh, kāḇaš) itself, since we already know it exists. We need a source for the connection between this Hebrew word and the English word kibosh. --WikiTiki89 20:01, 4 May 2015 (UTC)


Since these are among the most important words in Kartvelian languages (i.e.: huge number of derivatives, etc.), a Proto-entry seems necessary here. Strangely, there are five main reconstructions of the Proto-Kartvelian stem and none of them are in agreement:

  • *ɣarmat- by Marr in 1911 ("Еще о слове «Челеби»", p. 110)
  • *ɣermat- by Klimov in 1964 (see here)
  • *ɣrmat- by Klimov in 1998 (see here)
  • *ɣmart- by Fähnrich and Sarjveladze in 2000 (see here)
  • *ɣamort- by Fähnrich in 2007 (see here)

As you can see, this seems to be an area of contention for these guys. Sometimes they don't even trust their own reconstructions (Klimov & Fahnrich). Which one of these do you think is more credible? Simboyd (talk) 19:36, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

We don't know. Just pick one randomly and list the others under Alternative reconstructions with redirects, as in Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/h₂eHs- or Appendix:Proto-Turkic/Kāŕ. --Vahag (talk) 20:36, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Alright. I'll just go with the newest one then. Simboyd (talk) 20:52, 4 May 2015 (UTC)


Is this word, if broken into pieces, equivalent to "plaque" + "-ard" (the nounal suffix)? Tharthan (talk) 20:22, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Looks like it, but it was put together in Middle French, not in English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:31, 5 May 2015 (UTC)