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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

September 2017


The etymology currently says that this was formed, within Middle Low German, using Latin elements. This seems very implausible to me. More likely, it existed in Latin already and was borrowed in one piece. —Rua (mew) 21:18, 1 September 2017 (UTC)


If this derives from Ancient Greek αὐθέντης, does that mean that some limited th-fronting went on in Greece? Tharthan (talk) 00:16, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

I had suspected that Turkish had mediated it from Byzantine to Modern, but {{R:DSMG}} sees it as being pure inheritance. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:22, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
No idea if it's regular, but it would be pretty trivial to simplify -αφθ- (< -αυθ-) to -αφ(φ)-. KarikaSlayer (talk) 15:49, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
@KarikaSlayer That's a really good point. I didn't even think of that. Tharthan (talk) 17:10, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
Don't know if it's 'pure' inheritance; DSMG seems to say it's analogical (I'm not sure how to interpret κατά) with αφεντεύω, which would be the real inheritance from (*?)αὐθεντεύω (unattested? LSJ only has αὐθεντέω). Note the syllable is stressed in one case, not in the other; that might make a difference. But that would only shift the question from here to there. --Barytonesis (talk) 17:36, 3 September 2017 (UTC)


Even if it's from Uralic, would we be able to say that Proto-Uralic *muďa passed through a Proto-Germanic *moda-/*modda- on its way to Middle Low German modde and Dutch modder? Tharthan (talk) 18:53, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

I believe the Proto-germanic forms would have looked like *mud-, *muþ-, with the suffixal forms *mudra-, *muþra- also appearing. Leasnam (talk) 19:26, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I've edited the etymology Leasnam (talk) 19:44, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! However, I have to ask: where would the forms with the thorn have come from, if it were derived from Proto-Uralic? Tharthan (talk) 19:54, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Precisely. I don't know much of Proto-Uralic borrowings into Proto-Germanic, so I wouldn't know how to reconcile the th sounds Leasnam (talk) 00:56, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
No one knows "much" about the topic (there are only a few loans in this direction to begin with), but loaning pre-Grimm's Law from a form like Finnic *muta is a possibility. What evidence for a *muþ- variant is there, though? Everything seems to come from *mud-. --Tropylium (talk) 01:11, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Swiss German mûderig (moldy) and Middle High German moder (bodily decay; swampland; marsh) would need to bend back to a PGM *muþra-. A reconstructed PGmc with variant þ also appears to tie possibly with Sanskrit मूत्र (mūtra, urine), Avestan 𐬨𐬏𐬚𐬭𐬀 (mūθra, excrement; filth; dirt; grime; mud) Leasnam (talk) 14:19, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Where (if anywhere) would English smut, German Schmutz fit in ? Is it from the same PIE root with a different attachment ? Leasnam (talk) 15:15, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
If the word group is instead a loan in origin (and maybe even if not), perhaps the High German forms are simply loans from Low German.
Mayrhofer in {{R:ine:EWAia}} suggests as the primary possibility that the Indo-Iranian 'urine' words are rather formed with PIE *-tlom (not *-trom), and semi-compareable to Slavic *mydlo. (He also gives just 'urine' as the meaning of the Avestan word.) The root would be *mewH- (to wash) (not in LIV); the semantics are due to cow urine being used for washing clothes. 'Mud' in Germanic does not seem semantically very close to any of this.
The only word in this range that Kroonen reconstructs in {{R:gem:Kroonen 2013}}, FWIW, is *mudena- (moldy), compared with Latvian mudēt (to decay). I wonder if the Swiss German word could or should be also assumed to be a part of this root instead. --Tropylium (talk) 17:00, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
How can PGmc *mudena- answer to Latvian mudēt where the d is concerned ? Are each separate extensions of *mu- ? Also, if the Swiss word is from *mudena-, wouldn't it be mûterig instead ? What other support is there for the Uralic borrowing ? Leasnam (talk) 03:12, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Germanic *d ~ Latvian d would be regular from *dʰ, no? We would expect SwG -t- though, yes. I won't speculate on how that could be fixed (for starters I'd like to know if this particular form has cognates anywhere else in Germanic, even just in the High German dialects). I can note however that I'm not especially sold on Kroonen's etymology: a Germanic word that has a cognate only in Latvian sounds more like a loan into the latter than anything coming from PIE.
I'm not sure what you mean by "other support". --Tropylium (talk) 17:26, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
"other support", read as support Leasnam (talk) 03:37, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

meaning of trenkʷ[edit]

According to Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/þrinhwaną, the meaning of trenkʷ is beat, hew, press, but its lemma says it means push, press. --Espoo (talk) 19:53, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Chicken or egg on the Bay of Naples[edit]

Βαΐαι (Baḯai) says it's a borrowing from Latin Baiae, which in turn says it's a borrowing from Βαΐαι (Baḯai). They can't both be right. Which is? (Wikipedia says it was named after Odysseus's helmsman Baius, but that could be folk etymology.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:39, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Saturnus/σάτυρος connection?[edit]

A while ago I was wondering if it's possible there could be a connection between the Latin word Saturnus, which is variously believed to either derive from the Latin word satus or from Etruscan, and the Greek word σάτυρος (sáturos), which is of unknown etymology. My speculative reasoning for this connection is that in Greek mythology, satyrs were the followers of the god Dionysus. Dionysus, under his epithet Liknites, was depicted with a winnowing fan to separate the chaff from the grain. This connects him with the Roman deity Saturnus, who was often depicted with a sickle or scythe to cut grain. I'm no expert, and this is all speculation on my part, but what I'm wondering is if any linguists have hypothesized a connection between these two words before. -- 17:55, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Georgian ნიკრისი (niḳrisi), Persian نقرس (neqres)[edit]

There's a reference to the Georgian word here, page 71 (I don't know the script). Are these cognates, and if so what is their specific relationship? DTLHS (talk) 05:36, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

@Dixtosa, Simboyd, Vahagn Petrosyan (although the latter two are unlikely to respond). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:51, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Arabic also has نقرس. DTLHS (talk) 06:13, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
The languages are all in different families, so cognate would not be correct, but there's lots of borrowing in that part of the world- some of it extremely ancient. Other than the foregoing statement of the obvious, though, I'm out of my depth here. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:22, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Why wouldn't I respond? I'm not dead. I added نِقْرِس (niqris) with references. --Vahag (talk) 15:08, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. One more question, is this also related to the place name Nekresi? DTLHS (talk) 15:12, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
I don't have any information on the place name. --Vahag (talk) 15:40, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks for reporting on your life status, Vahag. I may have misinterpreted your melodramatic statements on your talkpage. xD —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:35, 7 September 2017 (UTC)


Found a garbage etymology from this very productive IP: [1].

I'm puzzled a little bit by some of the derivations, although I'm certain that this guy is good-faith.

  • [2] (Etymology one is the problem. Etymology 2 clicks to me.) I'm puzzled at how the rendaku could have resolved to /n/ over here...
  • [3] He replaces an okay derivation of his with one with even more phonetic issues.
  • [4] The IP himself asked for verification on this one and a few others.

Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 21:13, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

  • Wow, that's a whole lot of rubbish. Verifiably awful rubbish.
I've already made some fixes to the entry. I'll get to the others as I'm able. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:07, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Maori te, Hawaiian ke[edit]

Are these two terms related? Can a proto-form be reconstructed? —Rua (mew) 22:18, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Seems so, especially since Hawaiian had the change t > k and Maori didn't. And Hawaiian also had the change ng > n, and the plural definite article in Hawaiian is , while in Maori it's ngā. What are the forms in other Polynesian languages? --WikiTiki89 22:42, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Tongan and Niuean, outliers in the Polynesian group, have e and e. Samoan, which is Nuclear, has le, and Rapa Nui, which is Eastern, has te. We have an entry te for Tongan, but Wikipedia disagrees.
Neither Tongan nor Samoan have a plural article it seems, while Rapa Nui has ŋā, a clear cognate. One source says that it was originally a determiner, and mentions that it behaves differently from the singular article in Rapa Nui. —Rua (mew) 23:55, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Anecdotally, I've heard that Māori and Hawaiʻian are close enough still that large chunks can be mutually intelligible, even in terms of some of the social protocol (formalized speech by both hosts and guests at the beginning and end of meetings). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:17, 14 September 2017 (UTC)


rfe: "vernish, resin" from Βερενίκη "bringer of victory"? What's the relation? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:08, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

@Sobreira: see the wikipedia article on varnish: "The word "varnish" comes from Latin vernix, meaning odorous resin, the etymology of which comes from the Greek Berenice, the ancient name of modern Benghazi in Libya, where the first varnishes in the Mediterranean area were used and where resins from the trees of now-vanished forests were sold. Berenice comes from the Greek words phero (to bring) + nike (victory)." A similar case would be parchment. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:15, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Japanese personal names[edit]

@Eirikr So let's take some Japanese given name, like まさと (Masato) or けんじ (Kenji) or てつや (Tetsuya). Is it generally possible to pin down a single etymology of given names like these? Or do they incorporate conflations? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 21:39, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

  • @Hillcrest98: In some cases, there are clear roots: さとし is the classical terminal form of modern adjective 聡い (satoi, clever, sharp-witted). めぐみ is the continuative or stem form of verb 恵む (megumu, to bless someone with something, to do someone a favor or kindness). In other cases, there are too many possibilities to determine a clear derivation, such as まさと or けんじ. If you have the kanji spelling, there's more to work with: 正人 for Masato would clearly mean “correct, proper + person”, for instance.
Does that answer your question? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:06, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
More than answered. But with the various kanji spellings of a name, would one search for the etymology by checking against the non-nanori readings of the kanji in the spellings? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 22:10, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
@Hillcrest98: Hmm, that depends. Some names with known etymologies may still have very inventive kanji spellings. Have a look here at the ENAMDICT entry for めぐみ. Apparently there are 100+ spellings listed.
Even readings can be a mess to figure out, and sometimes you just have to ask the person themselves how they pronounce their names. Have a look at the 20 known possible readings for 純. Oofda.
I'd start by seeing if there are any regular words or obvious conjugation forms with the same readings (like for Satoshi or Megumi). Next, I'd try breaking the name up into likely-looking chunks and seeing if any probable etyma present themselves, with an eye to one- or two-mora chunks (like, say, for Takamasa - 98 spellings listed in ENAMDIC, but we can guess pretty well here that taka is from (taka, height, in compounds, with connotations of “high” and “lofty”), and masa is from (masa, right, correct, proper)).
The nutshell version is that names are tricky.  :-P Good luck! ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:59, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Latin *sānitōsus[edit]

Obviously this is some derivative of sānus with the suffix -ōsus, but what's the source of the -it- infix? My first thought was sānitās, but then I'd expect **sānitatōsus. KarikaSlayer (talk) 21:46, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

ax to grind[edit]

The etymology of this idiom refers to a tale by Benjamin Franklin about a guy who wanted to grind his ax but he ended up grinding it himself. The other etymology is about a person who wanted to sharpen his ax to kill someone. -- 08:57, 16 September 2017 (UTC)


If from *dʰer-mo-s, why would it have a long vowel? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 00:45, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

I can find no evidence for the long vowel. Especially since Osthoff's Law precludes it. —JohnC5 01:12, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Rubber = eavesdrop[edit]

Surely a contraction of "rubber-necking"

Celtic plural endings[edit]

For Irish, -acha, -aí, -ta/-tha, -anna. For Welsh, the -dd plurals.

Any ideas on where they come from? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 16:28, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

-acha is from the Old Irish vocative/accusative plural ending of the k-stems, e.g. cathir (city), voc./acc.pl. cathracha; -aí, earlier -aidhe, is from the same thing of the d-stems, e.g. arae (poet), voc./acc.pl. arada (not sure where the palatalization of the dh comes from though); -t(h)a from the same thing when the medial syllable underwent syncope, e.g. cin (fault), voc./acc.pl. cinta and traig (foot), voc./acc.pl. traigthea; -anna is from the same thing of the n-stems, e.g. imbliu (navel), voc./acc.pl. imblenna. During Middle and Early Modern Irish these endings were reinterpreted as general plural endings and spread to other words, especially ones in which sound change would have made the plural homophonous with the singular, e.g. guide (prayer), nom./voc./acc.pl. guidi, which would have become singular guí, plural guí by normal sound change, so the -anna ending was added to it to make it unambiguously plural guíonna.
Welsh -edd is from the Proto-Celtic nom./acc.pl. of feminine yā- and ī-stems, *-iyās, and the same form of neuter yo-stems, *-iyā; -ydd is from the nom.pl. of i-stems, which was *-iyes in Proto-Insular Celtic, from Proto-Celtic *-eyes (though our {{cel-decl-noun-i-mf}} gives the form as *-īs in PC, but I don't think that can be right). According to Peter Schrijver, -oedd comes from an *-es-ī that arose when certain neuter s-stems (whose original plural was in *-esa) became masculines; but the older explanation of John Morris-Jones is that -oedd is from any of *-iyoi, *-iyās, *-iya or *-iyes when the stress was on the antepenult. Frankly, neither of them sounds very convincing to me; I'd say the jury is still out. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:07, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
What I do find convincing is the argument, going all the way back to Pedersen, that -oedd is from *-esa, the nom./acc.pl. of the neuter s-stems; it's paralleled by the verb form oedd (was) < *esāt (cf. Latin erat). Schrijver, however, is unconvinced by both -oedd < *-esa and oedd < *esāt. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:52, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

modality in devil-may-care[edit]

What modality does the verb 'may' show in the adjective devil-may-care? --Backinstadiums (talk) 22:26, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

IMO: possibility, a kind of epistemic modality. DCDuring (talk) 02:45, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Thanx for replying. Coincidentally, are you a native speaker, and of what dialect? --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:04, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
I explain it all on my user page. DCDuring (talk) 12:25, 20 September 2017 (UTC)


Is there a pun with cumwhore? --Canonicalization (talk) 22:20, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Almost certainly not. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:55, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
I don't know if you're being ironic. --Canonicalization (talk) 23:21, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
I don't think so. And I don't think Metaknowledge was being ironic. --WikiTiki89 17:05, 25 September 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Seems to have been taken from the Japanese Wikipedia section which hasn't been sourced either. ばかFumikotalk 13:37, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

(@TAKASUGI Shinjisuzukaze (tc) 13:49, 23 September 2017 (UTC))
Which part do you not believe? — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 14:01, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
I fail to believe that an amphibian could be named after a caterpillar, in the first place. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 02:21, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Several sites say it is from super- + looper, but that is not written in the entry and is irrelevant to this RFV. The date (1985) and source (TV commercial) are clear if you search the TV commercial on YouTube (日清やきそばUFO 1985). — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 08:39, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Was it first ever used in that very commercial? Could "uupaa" be a cutesy corruption of "super" + "UFO"? Or is it just baby talk like "papa" or "mama"? ばかFumikotalk 05:37, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
It was the first usage of the word, because they named it so. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:17, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
A looper, of course. My own take on all of this is that it might be inspired by super-duper, but that it's basically a string of nonsense syllables intended to be vaguely reminiscent of the quasi-taboo original. Come to think of it, h and p are phonemically related, so it might be a fanciful reworking of the original, with the second half supplied by reduplication. It's all guesswork, anyway. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:54, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, many webpages say they first meant to name it スーパールーパー but they figured it would take longer to trademark スーパールーパー because of the abundance of other trademarks with "スーパー" so changed it to ウーパールーパー. This book confirms it, but it's by no means a scholarly work and has no citation so I'm not sure if it counts as a reliable source (at least it's better than no source though). Nardog (talk) 09:31, 2 October 2017 (UTC)


Literally, "one who runs through the dust" after his master, as per w:Holy_orders_in_the_Catholic_Church_and_women#Women_deacons. Sure? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 08:23, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

No, that's bullshit. I removed it from Wikipedia. Someone has misunderstood διᾱ́κονος (diā́konos) as being related to κονῑ́ω (konī́ō, make dusty), which it isn't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:12, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: btw, would you know why the alpha is long? --Barytonesis (talk) 17:53, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
No, I don't. Maybe the PIE root was *Hken-? Or maybe there's an alpha intensivum or alpha copulativum between the δια- and the root? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:27, 30 September 2017 (UTC)


vesicant (causing blistering) has an "rfe" tag. Is there any reason not to follow the etymology of vesicle (a blister)? -Stelio (talk) 13:37, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

Pinging @Daniel Carrero, who put that notice there. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 14:24, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
Could be straight from vesica? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 17:42, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Done, present participle of the verb vesico, indeed related to vesicle. --Barytonesis (talk) 17:47, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Super; thank you very much! That's this request resolved. :-) -Stelio (talk) 18:29, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

not the sharpest knife in the drawer[edit]

The suggested source, not the sharpest knife in the draw, is not an English idiom I've ever heard of. Cnilep (talk) 01:31, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

I know @Equinox was using a semi-automated method on these English etymologies, so I suspect this is probably one that went astray. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:16, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
I've removed it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:30, 30 September 2017 (UTC)


Is this etymology saying that Medieval Latin borrowed the term from Italian? (please don't use this "via" syntax, ever). DTLHS (talk) 05:53, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

The only way I understand it with my non-native English is MoHG zed(d)el < MiHG zedel(e) < IT cedola < MedLat cedula Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 17:40, 29 September 2017 (UTC)


So the infinitive and future forms of this verb are false cognates? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 21:14, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

@Hillcrest98 Yes, the future is a Vulgar Latin creation from *essere habeō based on the other forms with initial s-. It's much more widespread in Romance than the suppletive infinitive that's used in Spanish.KarikaSlayer (talk) 15:37, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

What is the preferred way of adding archaic spellings to a page…?[edit]

I want to add a line about surde on the page surd. It is part of the title of the 1557 mathematics book famous for first introducing the equals sign, The whetstone of witte, whiche is the seconde parte of Arithmetike: containyng thextraction of Rootes: The Coßike practise, with the rule of Equation: and the woorkes of Surde Nombers. Its modern English counterpart is surd. I also want to make an §English entry on the page surde. I don't want to do these things improperly because I really don't want to rub anyone else the wrong way. Warmest Regards, :)—thecurran Speak your mind my past 03:32, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

On surde you can add an English entry in the normal way with {{obsolete spelling of}} as the definition. You can also put the quote there. DTLHS (talk) 03:35, 30 September 2017 (UTC)


Initial voicing is unbelievable. A borrowing? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 16:40, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Not to mention the "i". I've removed the whole etymology as completely incorrect. I'm sure there are plenty of better explanations out there, but if not, a blatantly wrong one is worse than nothing. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:11, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

October 2017

The Central Asian words for “lion”[edit]

Middle Persian šgl (šagr, šēr) ~ Middle Persian sgl (sagr, sēr) is the Middle Persian source for many modern words for “lion”, such as Persian شیر (šir), سیر (sir), Hindi शेर (śer), Turkish şir, and Chinese (OC *sri). According to the entry, it is derived from Old Persian *šagra-.

What is the further etymology of this word? Is this related to Khotanese sarau (lion)? Bailey's Dictionary of Khotan Saka (1979) has:

Sogdian of the Buddhist texts šrγω, gen. sing. šrγωy. Sogdian of the Manichean texts šrωγ, Middle Parthian of Turfan šgr, šgr-z‘dg (“cub of lion”). Middle Persian šgr ... Here sarau is from *sarāva- but, since -g- is absent in mura- 'bird' < mr̥ga-, it would be possible to trace sarau to *sargāva- and so to base sar-g-, as for Sogdian and M.Parthian.

Asking since this is related to the etymology of Chinese 狻猊 (“lion; a mythical animal”). @ZxxZxxZ, Vahagn Petrosyan, Aryamanarora, माधवपंडित, please help. Wyang (talk) 05:59, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

@Wyang:Hmm, *sar-gāva... Something to do with a cow. The initial *sar- could have a meaning "to hurt, kill, injure", cognate with the Sanskrit verb root √शृ (√śṛ, to hurt, injure, kill). So the word could have a meaning "cow-killing"; a lion. This may be fanciful though, as this is complete conjecture. -- mādhavpaṇḍit (talk) 06:39, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang: It's an Indo-Iranian word (Mayrhofer gives *s¹engʰa-, but I have never seen superscripts on *s like that in modern Indo-Iranian reconstructions; it's definitely Indo-Iranian though) that was borrowed from some Central Asian substrate (maybe BMAC, like other substrate borrowings). I could find the following cognates:

Sanskrit सिंह (siṃha) / सिंहा (siṃhā), Pali sīha, Prakrit sīha ~ siṁ(g)ha; in Iranian Chorasmian sarɣ, Parthian šarg, Khotanese sarau, Old Persian *šagra-; non-Indo-Iranian there are Chinese (OC *sri), Tibetan [script needed] (seṅ-ge), Tocharian A śiśäk, Tocharian B ṣecake, Old Armenian ինձ (inj, leopard) (from an expected Proto-Iranian *hinzu-; the retention of *s in Iranian is confusing me).

See also Witzel's paper. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 17:43, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
I've made Proto-Indo-Iranian *sinĵʰás. It appears to have cognates in Caucasian languages and possibly in Akkadian as well. Martirosyan's paper covers it quite well. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 22:39, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
@Aryamanarora Thank you, Aryaman, for creating the entry and the useful links! Wyang (talk) 04:20, 3 October 2017 (UTC)


Dictionaries say its origin is unknown, obscure, or imitative, but what squib actually makes "squib"? I think it comes from skip, from scoff, from scop, from shove. A few squ- and sk- words traded spellings between England and the Continent. Lysdexia (talk) 05:27, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

That sounds wrong to me. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 17:44, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

Latin Aesculapius[edit]

It obviously ultimately comes from Ancient Greek Ἀσκληπιός (Asklēpiós), but has it passed through Etruscan? Compare it to Asclepius. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:52, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

I wouldn't know, but there are lots of dialects without ᾱ→η (early borrowings are from non-Attic dialects), and the u might be epenthesis due to the length of the vowel cluster. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:01, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and the Greek dialect spoken in Magna Graecia would indeed have kept the ᾱ. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:24, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

Japanese days of the week[edit]

The given etymology for 火曜日 is "Compound of 火曜 (kayō, “Mars”) +‎ (hi, “day”). A calque of Latin dies Martis and its descendants, reinterpreting the day as having been named after the planet Mars (instead of the Roman god)." Except according to w:Names of the days of the week, it sounds like the Greek name, ἡμέρᾱ Ἄρεως, was older, or at the very least, that the Hellenic astronomers named the days after the planets, which in turn were named after gods. Thus, it was the interpretatio germanica mentioned in the English etymology for Monday which solidified days of the week as being named after deities, while the system's borrowing by Chinese and Japanese scholars solidified it as planetary references. Not the current implication that they were originally named, whether first in Greek or Latin, after the gods directly, and that this was only later reinterpreted by Chinese and Japanese scholars as referring to the planets.

This applies to all seven days of the week, although it's most notable with Tuesday through Saturday, being named after planets, as opposed to the Sun and Moon.

--RoseOfVarda (talk) 14:33, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

It doesn't make sense to me. How can a Classical Chinese word be a calque of Latin? I think the Japanese etymology needs a look over then, since the word existed in Han script before contact with the West. @Wyang? —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 19:39, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
  • FWIW, the JA WP article on days of the week (w:ja:曜日) states that the terminology was imported by Buddhist scholars returning from China in the early Heian period (circa late 700s / early 800s CE), with the days of the week explicitly laid out in the diaries of Fujiwara no Michinaga, written in the late 900s / early 1000s CE. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:02, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
As Eirikr said, the naming system is directly inherited from the nomenclature for days in a week in Chinese Buddhist texts, which are in turn renderings of terms in Indian astrology/astronomy. Wyang (talk) 08:46, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I trust the origin of the system, in that the Sino-Japanese astronomers learned the naming system from Indian astronomers, who in turn learned it from Greco-Roman astronomers. My first issue is that I suspect the Indian scholars would have heard about ἡμέρᾱ Ἄρεως, not dies Martis, making it a calque of Greek, not Latin. And my second issue is that it sounds like the Greek days were named primarily after the planets, which shared names with gods, and that it was only solidified into theophoric names through interpretario germanica, while the current etymology suggests the opposite, that the Greek days were named primarily after the gods, which shared names with *planets*, and that it was only solidified into planetary names when adopted into Chinese. --RoseOfVarda (talk) 13:14, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@RoseOfVarda: Yeah, that seems right. Pre-Alexander Sanskrit texts doesn't have words like मङ्गलवार (maṅgalavāra) / मङ्गलवासर (maṅgalavāsara, Tuesday, literally Mars day). Hindu Calendar#Weekday/Vāsara agrees. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 14:31, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@Aryamanarora: So should I go ahead, then, and update the etymologies? I propose something like "Compound of 火曜 (kayō, “Mars”) +‎ (hi, “day”). A calque of Greek ἡμέρᾱ Ἄρεως and its descendants, focusing on the day as having been named after the planet Mars, as opposed to the Roman god. More at Tuesday and w:Names of the days of the week" --RoseOfVarda (talk) 15:08, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@RoseOfVarda: I think the intermediate Chinese and Sanskrit मङ्गलवार (maṅgalavāra) / मङ्गलवासर (maṅgalavāsara, Tuesday, literally Mars day) should be mentioned. I know little about Japanese so I can't say how to correctly format the etymology. @Eirikr? —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 15:14, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@Aryaman, a couple quick thoughts --
  • Mentioning the calque origins as RoseOfVarda has it worded above makes it sound like the Japanese term was a deliberate calque of the Greek, which would require awareness of Greek by the coiners. I can find no such evidence; it might exist and I just haven't found it yet, but the addition of 日 on the end of a term referencing a day is a normal word-formation process in Japanese.
  • That wording also incorrectly brings in the Greek gods. From my research so far, it seems the concept around was always about the planets, never the gods. The underlying ideas were brought to Japan by Kūkai and other traveling monks, in works focused on divination based on observations of planetary movements -- astrology, I guess you could call it. So 火曜 originally referred to “Mars (the planet)”, never “Mars (the god)”.
  • Given the provenance of the order of days (Greece → India → China), it would be incorrect to point users to the English Tuesday entry for more information, as that page (appropriately) discusses only the interpretario germanica for the origins -- which is wholly irrelevant for any transmission route that did not go through any of the Germanic cultures. When referring users to the WP page on days of the week, it would be best to link specifically to the section on East Asian tradition.
All that said, I've had a go at reworking the etymology at 火曜日. I think any mention of the Indian terms should go in the 火曜 entry instead. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:50, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I guess we now need Chinese entries, starting from 火曜 (huǒyào). Interesting that I remember speaking with Chinese people (not very linguistic type) about the origin of Japanese days of the week, they laughed at me when I said they are derived from Chinese. In modern Chinese, they are only perceived as Japanese words (or Korean hanja). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:31, 4 October 2017 (UTC)


According to this paper, some scholars have related this to Tocharian, but this paper itself seems to be of the position that it isn't. I'm not understanding some parts of it because it cites some Czech sources, which I cannot understand at all. @Wyang, any thoughts? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:27, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

The Czech paper looks interesting, but its formatting and the in-text mixing of Czech and English make it a bit difficult to read. The Tocharian (or Indo-European) theory for this word definitely has a long history, possibly first proposed by Lin Meicun. Some references on this topic are:
  • Li Meicun (1998), “Qilian and Kunlun – The Earliest Tokharian Loan-words in Ancient Chinese”, in: Victor Mair (ed.), The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Peoples of Eastern Central Asia.
  • Ruth Chang (2000), “Understanding Di and Tian: Deity and Heaven from Shang to Tang Dynasties”, Sino-Platonic Papers, 108.
  • Zhou Jixu (2005), “Old Chinese *tees and Proto-Indo-European *deus : similarity in religious ideas and a common source in linguistics”, Sino-Platonic Papers, 167: 1–17.

  • 林梅村.《祁连与昆仑》.《敦煌研究》.1994年第4期.
  • 刘建华.《论山海经所说的赤水、黑水和昆仑》.《中国历史地理论丛》.1994年第4期.
  • 贾雯鹤.《昆仑原型为岷山考》.《四川大学学报(哲学社会科学版)》.2009年第2期.
  • 赵宗福.《论昆仑神话与昆仑文化》.《青海社会科学》.2010年第4期.
  • 王建磊.《“昆仑”释义诸说》.《黑龙江史志》.2015年13期.
etc. Wyang (talk) 08:11, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

rfe: DE Pfund (< PG punda'?) < LA pondus[edit]

Shouldn't Pfund come from Latin pondus through (via) Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/pundą like NL pond & SV pund? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 08:09, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

The OHG word displays typical sound changes indicating a PGMc step, but it is possible that such a step could have been omitted and the word was borrowed directly from Latin. The word also appears, however, in Gothic and Old Norse, which makes it plausible that there was indeed a Pgmc word from which OHG inherited it from. They're all invariably neuter. Leasnam (talk) 17:37, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I've updated the etymology at Pfund Leasnam (talk) 17:48, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Isn’t it confusing however to write “early borrowing” in this matter? Early to what? As I think it, the borrowing can only be late, in so far as it can only have been borrowed after the First Germanic Sound Shift (maybe to the already separated individual Germanic languages, maybe not, but independent of this I do not see what “early” is supposed to mean). Palaestrator verborum (talk) 19:00, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I generally use the word "early borrowing" when borrowings from that language were rather common in a later period, but this one predates that period. --WikiTiki89 19:05, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89, Yes, that is what I see "early borrowing" here to mean as well (i.e. it refers to the German language, and not to PGmc). But is it necessary to have ? If it's confusing, we can simply remove it Leasnam (talk) 21:03, 5 October 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. From 脧. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 07:51, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

here is a discussion of this word.--2001:DA8:201:3516:657E:889E:6EF:BCE9 08:48, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
It doesn't look convincing. I agree with the third response, which has pointed out that 脧 is unlikely. It's a two-fold problem:
  • It is phonologically implausible. (肉夋, meaning 赤子陰) is given the fanqie 子回切/祖回切, which would not give ceon1 in Cantonese or chhûn in Hakka. The zeon1 reading comes from the unrelated (月夋).
  • It is semantically implausible. 膥/春 refers to "egg" in all dialects that have this morpheme, and has extended its meaning to "testicle" (shaped like an egg) in Cantonese. This is parallel to 卵 (egg > testicle). This means that 脧 would not be its 本字, since its original meaning is "child's genitalia". (Whether 膥 is related to 卵 is debatable. We need some more evidence.) — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:07, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

"denki" from Chinese[edit]

Is 電気 really from the English translation of Chinese 電氣 (diànqì), as this blog entry explains? POKéTalker (talk) 09:01, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

English has nothing to do with it, as the blog says. The etymology is confirmed: [5]. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:20, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
WTF is the English translation of Chinese 電氣 (diànqì)? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:29, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Pardon my wrong choice of words. It's actually "from Chinese diànqì with the meaning of electricty". Appears that the word is imported to Japan. POKéTalker (talk) 10:26, 9 October 2017 (UTC)


Webster's says fist use 1705, origin unknown. I wonder if there has been some further investigation of this. Such a common bird, and word, strange that it should still lack an etymology.-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 00:15, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

sora is believed to have come from a Native American language. The identity of the language is not known. —Stephen (Talk) 14:32, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, for that. But I was wondering if or hoping that there might be some suggestion as to which language - presumably an eastern one, given the date the word enters English. But, I'm pretty ignorant about Native American languages, perhaps some of the eastern languages were never well recorded (similar to the paucity of information about the Sydney Language, or the Tasmanian Indigenous languages).-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 11:10, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
It certainly doesn't sound like a typical Eastern Algonquian loanword, as they tend to be longer and full of velar consonants (compare Appendix:English terms of Native North American origin#from Algonquian languages). But of course there are exceptions to any generalization. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:10, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Correcting anonymous edits, mostly RFV[edit]

If anyone has time, you can guide/help me correct some etymology entries that were done before my registration:

Tall order, but that's the extent of my past edits. You can reply directly below the entry for simplicity. POKéTalker (talk) 22:12, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

  • Thank you POKéTalker for compiling this list, this is very helpful. If it's all right with you, I'll strike out the listings above as I rework them (such as for (atama) above). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:53, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

translations of tax haven[edit]

I wonder why so many languages use the word "paradise". Have they all mistaken "haven" for "heaven"? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:17, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

I asked this very same question over a year ago. No answer that explains the apparent calquing. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 02:50, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
→ See the etymology section of fr:paradis fiscal with references. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 07:50, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Far from all translations have "paradise" or similar. There are also other variants, even if "paradise" exists and some are neutral or follow the English usage. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:53, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
It is wrong in the first place to presume that the designations in other languages are calques. Have the English been the first in tax evasion? Of course not, tax evasion is natural to man and non-English states have also levied higher taxes than the Anglo-Saxon speaking ones. Thus, the English term is the one which goes aloof. One may assume that the English have chosen the concept of a haven because they are a people which has dominated by seafaring more than any other. While other peoples have chosen an opposite direction by calling the the tax haven a tax oasis, like the largely land-bound Russians and Germans. Conversely, nations for whom an oasis is something mundane, as the Arabs and Hebrews, have called the place without any slanted metaphor “refuge”. Palaestrator verborum (talk) 11:38, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I think you're reading too much into this... —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 21:07, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Nobody is saying the English have been the first to practise tax evasion; they still might have been the first to coin a word for it. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:10, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
If we rely on Google Ngram, the Germans have started to use the word “Steueroase” in about 1920, while the Anglo-Saxons in about the 1940s. A Google Books search confirms this: From 1920 the word “Steueroase” appears, while earlier matches are misreadings for “Steuerkasse” written in Fraktur. The word “Steuerparadies” appears from 1929. English matches for “tax haven” start to appear in the later 1930s (earlier matches are for misdated volumes). So, the coinages are independent. Palaestrator verborum (talk) 12:56, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

I can't see any evidence that "tax paradise" is a calque on English "tax haven" mistook as "tax heaven". Both metaphor word, it is a "haven" in that it is a safe place to keep money from the taxman; and it is a "paradise" because it is like a heavenly place where everything is great (tax-wise, that is). I imagine they are independent. The mistaken calque theory cannot survive the cutting edge of Occam's Razor, IMHO.-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 11:07, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

A decade ago there were quite a few Japanese who were talking about “tax heaven” and I suppose this kind of misunderstanding must have been common also in any other non-English-speaking countries, considering the frequency difference between heaven and haven in English. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 12:52, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Very interesting. In that case the Japanese English tax heaven is mostly likely to indeed be a mistaken calque; but the same doesn't hold true for the term 'tax paradise' in a non-English language, that involves yet a further step.-Sonofcawdrey (talk) 09:53, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
In this case, the French paradis is rather a translation of heaven than paradise. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 03:20, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
I just found a cite for belasting-paradijs (old form of belastingparadijs) from December 1920: "De fiscus vraagt ons méer-dan-zes-maal-zooveel als in dat lang-vervlogen voorjaar van 1914, toen we óok al allemaal klaagden over de hooge belastingen... zonder te begrijpen, dat wij in een belasting-paradijs leerden! (sic)" I have yet to find an instance of tax haven that predates it. So it is apparently not a calque from English, even though the article is from an English correspondent. Also see what Palaestrator verborum wrote above for German. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:17, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
Did it mean a tax haven then? — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 12:46, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
@TAKASUGI Shinji It is a little hard to tell because the text is hyperbolic, but it does mean something like "low-tax utopia" and the similarity in meaning is clear when it is translated as "tax haven". The translation is: "The tax service asks from us more than six times as much as in that long bygone spring of 1914, when we all complained about the high taxes as well... without understanding that we lived in a tax haven!" It was also used for municipalities with low taxes in the 1930s and 1940s. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:37, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

The German Word Pol[edit]

According to the entry itself, the German word Pol is derived from Greek through Latin, but according to Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/pullaz, it's derived from Proto-Germanic. Is there an additional sense that isn't listed of the word, or is something just wrong there? Esszet (talk) 15:14, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

It's unlikely to be from Proto-Germanic. First of all, the semantics are wonky. Second, even accepting it as a dialect borrowing from Low German (to explain the lack of p > pf), the long vowel is hard to explain away. Surely if Low German Polle had been borrowed into German, it would be Polle or Poll, not Pol. (de-wikt does list a Polle (piece of pollen), but it's a back-formation from Pollen and has nothing to do with this word.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:20, 10 October 2017 (UTC)


Was this borrowed straight from Latin into modern English, or did it exist in older English already? How far back was it inherited? —Rua (mew) 18:07, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Without doing any research whatsoever, I assume English got it from French in about 1066. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:54, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
The name was rare in England until German-born George I, but had been around since the time of the Crusades...so it actually is from French Leasnam (talk) 19:40, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Was it? Wikipedia says "By the 14th century, [Saint George] had been declared both the patron saint [of England] and the protector of the royal family", so you'd think people would be naming their sons after him. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:17, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
You'd think, but somehow they must not have liked the name all that much Leasnam (talk) 15:46, 11 October 2017 (UTC)


Would an Italian speaker clarify where the -delle part of the word comes from? Is it from Italian delle, della? Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 10:16, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

@Sgconlaw: I don't think it comes from these contractions. Treccani says it's "der. di pappare, di formazione non ben chiarita" [derived from pappare, of unclear formation]. --Barytonesis (talk) 17:17, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
OK, in that case I'll leave the etymology as it currently stands. Thanks! — SGconlaw (talk) 01:56, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

Suikerfeest (Dutch for Eid al-Fitr)[edit]

Does anybody have any ideas why the Dutch is apparently a mistranslated calque (if it is a calque at all; Jacob Israël de Haan instead states that it refers to a custom of giving sweet treats)? The word first appears in newspapers around 1910. There is also an alternative explanation that it derives from Turkish. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:08, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

It's probably a calque of one of the other names, like Turkish Şeker Bayramı (literally sugar festival). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:20, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
That's what it says on Dutch Wikipedia, which I'm surprised nobody thought to check. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:15, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
I had checked it, but it was unsourced and the Trouw article contained the same information with a source. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:21, 16 October 2017 (UTC)


In your opinion, which of the two etymologies is more likely: χάος or native to Dutch? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 21:29, 11 October 2017 (UTC)


Seems somewhat excessive. DTLHS (talk) 06:22, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Chackoony was rather given to that. If you feel like cleaning up his etymologies, I reckon the right way to go about it would be to put his cognates for comparison in autocollapsed tables. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:10, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
I removed most of the cognates from that entry, since it's a compound and the cognates really belong at the pages of components. It appears Chackoony just took the cognates from Burrow's A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 21:05, 13 October 2017 (UTC)


Etymology? --Barytonesis (talk) 20:52, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

Template:PIE word[edit]

I understand the point of {{PIE root}} (they connect the derivation networks between various PIE and post-PIE terms), but this seems unnecessary. It seems to be just duplicating the work that Descendant sections already do. It's also unnecessarily privileging PIE; it's not as of we have "Category:LANG terms derived from Latin word XYZIUM" or anything of the sort. --Tropylium (talk) 13:12, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

, (náng)[edit]

The etymology section for , (náng) derives the term from Uyghur and Persian. I wonder if the sound change is regular, because there are also such forms as Sogdian nγn- (naγn, bread) and Manichaean Parthian ngn (naγn) in older Iranian languages. @Wyang --Z 15:57, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

@ZxxZxxZ Sorry I missed this ping for some reason.
The use of the character 饢 for this sense is fairly recent; it was not in the comprehensive Kangxi Dictionary or other traditional Chinese dictionaries. It is likely no earlier than 1-2 centuries ago- I couldn't find any attestations in this sense prior to that, so the current etymology is probably correct in saying that it was borrowed from contact with the Uyghur people.
饢 is pronounced /nɑŋ˥˩/ in the modern Ürümqi dialect of Mandarin, but there is confusion of the /-n/ and /-ŋ/ codas in the Xinjiang dialect of Chinese in general (ref), which may explain the náng - naan match.
P.S. I accidentally found this discussion on the etymology of naan and other Central Asian 'bread' terms on Language Log, which I find rather interesting. Wyang (talk) 09:19, 17 October 2017 (UTC)


According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, panchayat is "[f]rom Hindi (originally denoting a council consisting of five members), from Sanskrit panca ‘five’ + āyatta ‘depending upon’". I figured out the first element is Hindi पंच (pañc), a variant of पाँच (pā̃c, five), from Sanskrit पञ्चन् (páñcan, five), but what are the Hindi and Sanskrit words for the second element? Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 18:23, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Sanskrit आयत्त (āyatta, adhering, resting on, depending on). But the compound appears not to be Sanskrit; at least, Monier-Williams has no entry for a पञ्चायत्त (pañcāyatta) that I can find. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:08, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Is there a Hindi word corresponding to Sanskrit आयत्त (āyatta), do you know? — SGconlaw (talk) 01:57, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: Why did no one ping a native Hindi speaker lol? It's one Hindi word, पंचायत (pañcāyat). See Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary for more. -आयत (-āyat) is a now seemingly unproductive Hindi suffix, but a possibly Sanskrit source is Sanskrit पञ्चायतन (pañcāyatana, name of a ceremony) (but I doubt it). It's definitely not a compound, it's a post-Sanskrit creation. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 02:09, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. So you're saying it is not a good idea to indicate that the second element is "from Hindi -आयत (-āyat, [meaning?]), from Sanskrit आयत्त (āyatta, adhering; depending on; resting on)", and that we should just say it is directly from the latter Sanskrit word? — SGconlaw (talk) 02:38, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: That Sanskrit word has no relation to the Hindi morpheme. The expected outcome of the Sanskrit would be *आयात (*āyāt) (compensatory lengthening), and AFAIK no such term exists. The morpheme cannot be reliably traced to Sanskrit. IMO something like "Borrowing from Hindi पंचायत (pañcāyat), a derivative of Sanskrit पञ्चन् (pañcan, five)" would be sufficient. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 19:17, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
OK, thanks! — SGconlaw (talk) 22:32, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

vegetable (brain-dead person)[edit]

Any semantic connection to vegetative? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 14:23, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

vegetable, n.
2. fig. A person likened to a plant, spec. (a) one who leads an uneventful or monotonous life, without intellectual or social activity; (b) (in later use) one who is incapable of normal mental or physical activity, esp. as a result of brain damage. Cf. vegetable adj. 5.
1641 Naunton's Fragmenta Regalia sig. D4v He was a meere vegetable of the Court that sprung up at night and sunke againe at his noone.
1980 B. Castle Castle Diaries 242 I hope and pray she will die with dignity and not be reduced by a stroke into a vegetable.
vegetative, adj. and n.
A. adj.
a. In certain philosophical and theological systems: designating the soul, or that part of the soul, which is associated with the most basic functions of life (growth, development, reproduction) as distinguished from sensation and reason; having such a soul. Cf. vegetable adj. 1. Now chiefly hist.
The vegetative soul was considered by Aristotle to be present in all living things and was distinguished from the sensitive soul, present in animals, including humans, and the intellective soul, present in humans alone.
b. That grows and develops; living and growing as a plant; = vegetable adj. 2a. Obs.
2. Promoting or inducing the growth of plants.
3. Designating one of the several varieties of the philosophers' stone; cf. vegetable stone n. at vegetable adj. Special uses 2. Obs.
a. Of, relating to, connected with, or characterized by the process of growth. In early use esp. of a power, faculty, or principle.
b. Designating the most basic type of life, associated with the vegetative soul or (esp. in later use) with plants. Also: comprising vegetation (vegetation n. 7).
5. Consisting of or derived from vegetables or plants.
6. Designating the division of the natural world to which plants (and in early use all non-animal living organisms) belong; = vegetable adj. 3.
a. fig. Monotonous, dull; inactive, unchallenging.
b. Chiefly Med. Characterized by visceral functions only; having autonomic nervous function only; esp. lacking consciousness, cognitive function, and voluntary movement.
persistent vegetative state: see the first element.
1803 R. Kerrison tr. A. Richerand Elements Physiol. 40 If the great sympathetic nerves exist in all animals that have a distinct nervous system, do they not peculiarly contain the principle of this vegetative life [Fr. le principe de cette vie végétative], essential to the existence of every organized being, and to which belong the phenomena of digestion, absorption, the circulation, secretions, and of nutrition?
1836 Boston Med. & Surg. Jrnl. 6 July 346 The fœtus appears to be in a vegetative state.
1893 Daily News 25 Apr. 5/4 He is in what his doctor calls a vegetative state, and incapable of connecting two ideas together.
1986 Washington Post 31 Dec. a6/3 I had one patient who became vegetative during the study. Absolutely a vegetable, a mute.
a. Chiefly Bot. Relating to or concerned with growth and development, rather than sexual reproduction. Cf. somatic adj. 1c.
See also vegetative cell n.
b. Chiefly Bot. Designating reproduction or propagation achieved by asexual means, which in plants may occur naturally (by rhizomes, runners, bulbs, etc.) or artificially (by grafting, layering, or taking cuttings).
c. Biol. Designating a stage in the replication of a virus at which non-infective viral components are synthesized and assembled within the host cell; of or relating to this stage.
B. n.
1. An organism capable of growth and development but devoid of sensation and thought; spec. a plant (esp. as contrasted with an animal or human being). Now rare.
1668 Earl of Clarendon Ess. in Tracts (1727) 93 We live rather the Life of Vegetatives or Sensitives..than the lives of reasonable men.
1712 E. Cooke Voy. S. Sea 210 Having run over the living Creatures and Vegetatives.
1764 in 10th Rep. Royal Comm. Hist. MSS (1885) App. i. 372 We are vegetatives formed by education.
2. In pl. The faculties or powers associated with the vegetable soul. Obs. rare.
.... Lysdexia (talk) 20:11, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

cook < fire < fa[ther][edit]

or pekʷ- < péh₂wr̥ < peh₂- Lysdexia (talk) 19:22, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

Homophonous roots exist, you know? Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 23:23, 16 October 2017 (UTC)


From the personal name of Serbian philologist and linguist Vuk Karadžić + -o- +‎ -ian, but where does the -v- come from? Can anyone improve the etymology? — SGconlaw (talk) 03:54, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

Probably the same place as the v’s of Shavian and Peruvian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:40, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
I made a guess that it is "[p]robably an anglicization of Serbo-Croatian vukovci (Vukovian) by the addition of the suffix -ian". Does that sound plausible? — SGconlaw (talk) 10:13, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes. After I wrote the above it occurred to me that even if the v is the same as in Shavian and Peruvian, why should the o be there? I'd expect simply "Vukian". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:53, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
OK, great. — SGconlaw (talk) 16:15, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
Presumably it should be vukovac (singular) rather than vukovci (plural); I’ll change the entry correspondingly. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 05:25, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! — SGconlaw (talk) 06:56, 19 October 2017 (UTC)


Probably a calque from international. Can someone confirm or infirm my hunch? --Barytonesis (talk) 08:33, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

The ARj says the equivalent Serbo-Croatian word međunarodni is calqued from Latin internationalis; it would be reasonable to suppose the same is true of the Russian as well. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 17:39, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

What's your problem about calques ? Languages evolve through calques and other tricks !!!

苛政猛於虎苛政猛于虎 (kēzhèng měng yú hǔ)”[edit]

From a Confucius story in the Book of Rites.

孔子泰山婦人夫子使子路:「。」:「。」夫子:「何為?」:「苛政。」夫子:「苛政猛於虎。」 [Classical Chinese, trad.][▼ expand/hide]
孔子泰山妇人夫子使子路:“。”:“。”夫子:“何为?”:“苛政。”夫子:“苛政猛于虎。” [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: The Book of Rites, circa 4th – 2nd century BCE
Kǒngzǐ guò tàishān cè, yǒu fùrén kū yú mù zhě ér āi, fūzǐ shì ér tīng zhī, shǐ zǐlù wèn zhī, yuē: “Zǐ zhī kū yě, yī sì zhòng yǒu yōu zhě.” Ér yuē: “Rán. Xī zhě wú jiù sǐ yú hǔ, wú fū yòu sǐ yān, jīn wú zǐ yòu sǐ yān.” Fūzǐ yuē: “Héwèi bù qù yě?” Yuē: “Wú kēzhèng.” Fūzǐ yuē: “Xiǎo zǐ shí zhī: kēzhèngměngyúhǔ yě.” [Pinyin]
(please add an English translation of this example)

-- 04:42, 19 October 2017 (UTC)


Date of coinage, anyone? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:21, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

The earliest uses recorded in the OED (2nd edition) are from 1788, referring to a high-standing racehorse; the OED also notes that ‘a horse named Skyscraper, sired by Highflyer, won the Epsom Derby in 1789’. Shortly thereafter, other uses start appearing: a triangular skysail in 1794, a tall hat in 1800, a tall tale in 1841, a tall person in 1857, a ball hit high in baseball in 1866, and finally a tall building in 1883. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 17:56, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! Didn't know it had such a history. --Barytonesis (talk) 15:51, 21 October 2017 (UTC)


Is it a back-formation from mansplaining? --Barytonesis (talk) 15:34, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

MENTEL Breton substantive meaning BALANCE[edit]

I really don't understand why my etymology is not accepted at least as a beginning of explanation. I gave the explainations you need for the evolution of the meaning. Check Breton, Welsh and Irish for being convinced.