Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Wiktionary > Discussion rooms > Etymology scriptorium

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

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

Etymology scriptorium archives edit

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). --Unsigned message
Based on the initial /xʷa:/ (older /xʷa/ is often reflected as /xo/ in late loanwords from New Persian) I'm also pretty sure that it is a native Iranian word, and Turkic forms with o etc. are loanwords from (New) Persian. --Z 15:30, 10 May 2015 (UTC)


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)
I would add the qualification that one shouldn't use an older one by an author who has subsequently offered a newer one, but other than that — yeah, just pick one and create redirects. - -sche (discuss) 20:27, 6 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)


New user changing the etymology in their first edit; what do you think? This, that and the other (talk) 10:17, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Very weird. Removed some information, added other, didn't actually change the content. _Korn (talk) 12:33, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
The OED lists nig + -ard as a possibility. Etymonline lists both etymologies. I believe both should be listed as neither is certain. —JohnC5 23:43, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
The real problem is that the nig that niggard might have come from is a Middle English term for miser, not the offensive Modern English term. The new editor tried to solve this by using a gloss to distinguish the two. I've always found User:Leasnam's practice of saying "equivalent to X + Y" annoying, since it categorizes the entry as if the compounding/affixation happened in Modern English, rather than in another language centuries before. In this case, it's simply wrong, because the Modern English and Middle English nig are two completely different words. What's worse, this gives support to the idiots that want to ban niggard as a version of the racist n-word, when it's nothing of the sort. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:53, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, the current etymology is simply inaccurate in that it doesn't mention the Middle English word. The etymology as it stands now implies that the word was formed in Modern English. I see no improvement Leasnam (talk) 01:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I've had a go at combining the previous version's mention of the direct Middle English etyma with the new user's additions. Side note, the related term niggardise highlights an issue which we have discussed (without effect) from time to time, namely that the "words suffixed with -foo" categories sometimes conflate unrelated suffixes, like the Latinate suffix of niggardise (noun) and the Grecian suffix of realise (verb). - -sche (discuss) 00:55, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you ! It's perfect. Leasnam (talk) 21:38, 13 May 2015 (UTC)


Discussion moved from WT:RFV#elative.

Please verify the etymology. The masculine gender (in other languaes) implies that it comes from gradus elativus, elativus [substantivated participle; gender: sc. gradus] or elativus (-a, -um) [participle]. -08:36, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Surely the noun and the adjective are from the same source. The Gaffiot gives elativus. Is it really from elatus directly, not via elativus? Renard Migrant (talk) 14:10, 9 May 2015 (UTC)


Is vantage really from an unattested Old French (or seemingly unattested Old French) *vantage or just a Middle English (or modern English) clipping of avantage? Renard Migrant (talk) 21:22, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Apparently this said from Middle English vantage from 2008 to 2015 and was just changed in February to say from Anglo-Norman. Changed without a source and contradicting the evidence. Never mind, I will change back. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:28, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Is the Persian قاپیدن (qapidan) a cognate of the Latin capiō?[edit]

Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Tea room#Is the Persian قاپیدن (qapidan) a cognate of the Latin capiō?.

Is the purported Persian قاپیدن (qapidan, snap”, “snatch) a cognate of the Latin capiō (I seize), as claimed in this edit? Or, even less plausibly, is the same Persian verb the etymon of the Proto-Indo-European *keh₂p- as claimed in User talk:I'm so meta even this acronym#Capio - qapi? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 00:21, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

The answer to second question is obviously "no", but I'm not sure they actually meant that. I'm skeptical about the first, but I don't know enough about the history of the Persian word, or about the history of the Persian "q" consonant, to be sure about the answer to the first. At best, it's just another cognate to add to the list. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:32, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
The revision in question is: diff. Note that they misspelled "Persian". I don't know much about transformation of Arabic borrowings, but قَبَضَ (qabaḍa) looks like it possibly might be the source (though the Persian term with the same consonants argues against that), and it's from a Proto-Semitic root (see here. I suspect that Persian "q" is an Arabic borrowing, but what do I know?). The Germanic cognate *habjaną and Latin habeō are oddly similar to each other, in spite of being unrelated, so what's one more strange coincidence?... Chuck Entz (talk) 03:00, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: So that's a "no" on both counts, then. I figured as much. Thanks for the confirmation. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:57, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: Well in many Persian words, "g" or "k" consonants have turned to Arabic consonant "q" such as in قهرمان (qahramân, hero”, “champion) which was "kahramân" or چاقو (čâqu, knife”, “champion) which was "čaku" and earlier "čagug" or "čaguk", or also مرغ (morq, hen”, “chicken) which was "murg", so I bleive it is not odd to have "q" consonant in words with Persian origin. However, as I have read, it also relates to کف (kaf, hand palm”), which comes from the root "kap" itself, where the verb may actually come from. So if the PIE root has nothing to do with hand palm or hands at all, I believe it is indeed a coincidence and the book probably was mistaken, because I think both the meanings and the pronunciations are pretty close and I don't understand why it would not be plausible or "obviously" wrong. This would probably be the last thing I have to say, Thanks for the effort.
Ok, that was a mistake too. کف (kaf, hand palm”) comes from Arabic كَفّ (kaff, hand palm”, “floor). But there is a very small chance of an Arabic word changing while being used in Persian, and that with two changed consonants and one being changed to "p". Arabic loanwords in Persian doesn't usually change that much if barely at all (Even though because of the lack of consonants many of them are pronounced in another way, they are still written the same as Arabic.) Now even though I am sure that the verb has nothing to do with the Arabic word or hand palm, I still think there is a fair chance of it still being related to the PIE root (based on the argument before "kaf"). I must say, I'm fine with this not being on Wiktionary but I'm still interested in further information and research, to me, this still would be the best explanation. Thanks again.
Johnny Cheung's Etymological Dictionary of the Iranian Verb lists two roots with the shape √kap-, one glossed as 'to (be)fall, to strike (down)' (from PIE *kop- (to chop), cf. Albanian kep, Greek κόπτω (kóptō)); the other meaning 'to split, cut, scrape, dig' (from, oddly enough, PIE *skobʰ- (to scrape, shave), cf. shave etc.) Neither of these mentions Persian qapidan. --Tropylium (talk) 14:20, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

According to {{R:ira:ESIJa}}, vol. IV, page 237, Persian qap zadan, qapīdan, kapīdan is either inherited from PIE *keh₂p- and thus cognate with capio or it is borrowed. The dictionary does not say borrowed from what, but I assume from Turkic *qap- (to seize by teeth; to bite), whence Turkish kapmak and the Kurdish borrowing qap (bite). --Vahag (talk) 14:49, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

I think you have to be careful with PIE not to go to far. To say that قاپیدن and capio are cognates makes it sound like a fact. It isn't, it's a hypothesis. And one I'd argue is not provable to a very high standard. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:06, 13 May 2015 (UTC)


Ismael rex, sophy of Persia.

I've worked on the French wiktionary on the etymology of this word. It seems to me that Arabic sufyy ("man of wool") is not the "ultimate" etymology but it goes back to Farsi and Arabic is most probably a popular etymology. Sufist movement and Safavid dynasty were founded by Safi al-Din Ardabili and Sufi and Safavid have the same etymon. In French (now obsolete) we have sofi ("Safavid ruler") borrowed from Persian صفوی, safawi which would(?) have been pronounced safwi. --Diligent (talk) 15:06, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

@Diligent: see etymology 2 of Sophy (title of a Safavid dynasty shah), I looked at this relationship and think that Sophi is not related to Sufi. You can look to my older revision with detailed parsing into references. fr:sophy is listed also a variant in the French wiktionnaire of fr:sofi. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 12:35, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

@BoBoMisiu: Thank you very much! Great work. I'll update the French page accordingly.

ἀθάνατος alpha primativum length[edit]

I fully believe that the first alpha in ἀθάνατος is long based on the accounts of LSJ and DGE, but my question is why. Is there pretonic lengthening occurring here or some other chicanery? Or is this just unknown? —JohnC5 00:58, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

The LSG entry for the prefix ἀ- says that the alpha privativum is often long in adjectives starting with three short syllables, so presumably it's lengthened for metrical reasons (since most forms of Greek poetry don't allow three short syllables in a row) rather than for etymological reasons. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:20, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Thanks! —JohnC5 12:58, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

PS *melko and PG *meluks[edit]

The etymology section at *melko presents the problem of the lack of *-u-, and states "This would require an intermediary language that would drop the medial *-u- from Proto-Germanic". The etymology section at *meluks presents the problem of the *-u- that magically appeared. It seems to me that the solution is simple. Either PS borrowed the word from PG before the *-u- was added, or a form of the word without *-u- coexisted in PG for a while before it disappeared and that was the form borrowed by PS. Any thoughts? --WikiTiki89 20:24, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

@CodeCat Perhaps you have an opinion? --WikiTiki89 15:45, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Nothing that isn't already in the entries themselves. If it's Germanic in origin, then it must have been derived from the verb rather than the noun because of the lack of the -u-. What is the Slavic verb? —CodeCat 16:27, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure there is one from this source (there is *dojiti (to milk) instead). I can't really see a noun being borrowed from a verb. And if the Proto-Proto-Germanic[sic] noun had no -u-, why could the Slavic noun not have come from that form? --WikiTiki89 17:10, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
At first glance that seems possible, yes. But do we know that Slavs and Germans had contact that far back? We're talking at least 2000-2500 years ago here, long before Slavic was recognisably "Slavic". —CodeCat 17:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
But could the form with -u- and the one without not have coexisted for a while in PG? --WikiTiki89 18:08, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
In theory. But certainly the one without must have disappeared early enough for it to have left no traces, which is the time frame I gave. —CodeCat 18:42, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The Old Slavonic verb for the word in question would be *mlēsti, but that is for the most part unavailing. The *-u- is almost certainly, in my opinion, anaptyxis in conjunction with a velar umlaut attested in a handful of the Germanic languages. Consider also that the Germanic noun, being reclassified from a historical neuter to a feminine, is subject to become either a u-stem or an i-stem (and it has become the latter). While it is entirely possible that, as you say, two separate forms existed simultaneously in PG, I do not believe Proto-Slavic would have borrowed either one, whatever time period the two were in contact. --User:Colin Clout 4:30, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
In that case, where did the Proto-Slavic term come from? Also, it would be *melsti, which we even have an entry for apparently. --WikiTiki89 14:21, 11 June 2015 (UTC)


Can we just drop the first two paragraphs? --WikiTiki89 15:45, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

No. The purpose of the etymology sections is to discuss all scholarly opinions on the subject, highlighting their strong and weak sides. But you can rearrange the paragraphs. --Vahag (talk) 12:34, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
What about putting them in a collapsible box? --WikiTiki89 13:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
The purpose of the etymology section is to summarize the etymology of the term, not to discuss it. This is a dictionary, after all, not a journal. The part that's relevant to the etymology could be condensed into a single sentence, though I'm not sure if any of it is relevant: it could be summarized further as "Scholar A said blah blah blah, Scholar B said no, bla-bla-bla, but you just wasted your time reading these two paragraphs because they're both completely wrong". Chuck Entz (talk) 13:33, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
You are wrong. A lot of it was relevant. I have moved those parts to the main section. --Vahag (talk) 19:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
There is no such thing as "correct" or "wrong" in historical linguistics when dealing with prehistoric loanwords. It's all shades of grey since theories of origin are probabilistic and not reducible to a set of verifiable assertions. The only thing left to argue is whether the authors are fringe or not. Dunno about this Asatryan guy, but Ačaṙyan is a well-known figure. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 22:33, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Asatryan is the author of Leiden's Etymological Dictionary of Persian (work in progress) and the editor of Iran and the Caucasus. --Vahag (talk) 18:27, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the arrangement Wikitiki just implemented, with the two paragraphs moved to the end and collapsed, is satisfactory. - -sche (discuss) 17:55, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I find it satisfactory as well. --Vahag (talk) 19:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Finnish etymologies by User:[edit]

@Tropylium This user has been adding Germanic origins to a lot of words, but they often seem quite questionable or even downright impossible. I found one page, for example, where they claimed that a Proto-Germanic word was loaned into Proto-Uralic, even though Proto-Uralic is 2000+ years older than Proto-Germanic. —CodeCat 17:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

"even though Proto-Uralic is 2000+ years older than Proto-Germanic" … Has it ever occurred to anyone that the Germanic folks could have borrowed words from the Ugric folks? Why should a similarity between Uralic and German languages always be explained unidirectionally? The Ugric peoples have been the underdogs for at least 2000 years by now but that doesn't mean that it has always been so. --Hekaheka (talk) 21:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
On first glance it looks like the comparisons are mostly legit (in the sense of coming from released research), but the formatting and presentation seems to need cleanup. --Tropylium (talk) 19:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
User: seems to be doing this as well. Perhaps they're the same anon under two different IPs.
Here is a checklist of pages edited by the two of them (entries that I've cleaned up struck over)
ahdas, ahjo, aho, ankea, arina, arpa, asia, autio, hakea, halpa, hartia, hauta, heimo, heittää, helppo, hieman, hirvi, hoitaa, häiritä, into, juoda, kaarna, kaataa, kalpea, kari, karsia, katsoa, kelvata, kesä, kokea, kylmä, kypsä, kärsiä, käydä, laho, laita, lattia, mahtaa, myydä, nainen, nauttia, nukkua, nöyrä, osa, pilkka, pullea, puu, pyrkiä, raaja, rasia, ratsastaa, runko, ruoho, ruoste, räkä, saada, satama, sauna, sietää, sija, suku, suola, suoli, suoni, susi, syntyä, syödä, vara, vartoa, viedä, vitsa, väsyä
There's only some 2–3 words here that I do not recall seeing proposed to be loanwords, so clearly they know what they're doing. Almost all of them would need corresponding Proto-Finnic entries, though. --Tropylium (talk) 21:35, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I have proposed to this (or these) person that he should add references, but ha hasn't reacted. --Hekaheka (talk) 21:44, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Our new Finnish etymologist appears to have now registered as User:DeHanjas. --Tropylium (talk) 23:50, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


I seem to have gotten the etymology wrong here, can someone fix this? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:08, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Fixed (by JohnC5). - -sche (discuss) 14:52, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


No consensus about the etymology Hirabutor (talk) 16:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

This page shouldn't exist in the first place since the word is generally not believed to have existed in PIE, but rather to have arisen somehow (presumably a loanword) in Celtic and Germanic alone. (And if the page is kept, it should be called Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/marḱos or /markos or /márḱos or /markos in accordance with our naming conventions.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:52, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I read Mikhailova's article. I find her arguments weak and not convincing. Still, I am in favour of mentioning Hirubator's fringe theories in the etymologies as long as they are sourced, properly formatted and come with a warning that those are tentative speculations. I don't trust Hirubator to do that, so I am also in favour of reverting him. Mikhailova uses a much more cautious language in her speculations than Hirubator has presented. --Vahag (talk) 13:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
In order to avoid putting too much emphasis on them, I'd only put them in the etymology section of *marhaz (and *markos if and when that gets created) rather than in the etymology sections of the attested words. And I still see no reason to have an entry for a PIE word that apparently no one believes to have existed in PIE. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:45, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Two points:

  • Whether or not a reconstruction is generally considered to belong to "PIE proper" should not be a criteria for inclusion. The majority of reconstructed forms do not satisfy any stringent criteria for inclusion since they are based on reflexes of too few branches. (Similarly the shape of forms themselves is variable and dependent on subjective criteria not shared among authors.) Wikipedia has a criterion of notability not truth. The Wiktionary equivalent would be "Is this reconstruction sufficiently present in the literature". That the reconstruction itself is not strong enough and is disputed on various ground should be mentioned on its page. But its lack of wide acceptance is not a prerequisite for its dismissal.
  • EIEC:274 discusses various Altaic connections so it's obviously a mainstream opinion that should be mentioned in the entry. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 21:23, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
If reflexes come from geographically and phylogenetically widely separate branches, and alternative explanations such as borrowing can be excluded (regular reflexes, no foreign-appearing phonological, phonotactic or morphological structure), even two (primary) branches can be enough. For example, if a primary verb is only attested in Anatolian and Germanic, that probably suffices. Ultimately it's all a matter of probabilities and possibilities. If there is no reason to think that the etymon is not inherited and there are reasons to think that it is, even evidence from a single branch can be taken as pointing to a Proto-Indo-European form with a significant probability!
In this case, we only have reflexes in two neighbouring branches known to have borrowed lexical material like this among each other very early, even before the Germanic sound shift – usually from Celtic to Germanic –, so this isn't anything like Italic/Indo-Iranian or Balto-Slavic/Greek pairs. In fact, it appears extremely likely that Celtic *markos was borrowed into Germanic too (or perhaps the inverse, but the Celts are more likely to have had early contact with steppe peoples such as Scythians), and the presence of /a/ is indeed somewhat suggestive of a loanword (there being no obvious etymological derivation and *-arT- not even being a regular reflex of anything PIE in Proto-Celtic). This word would have reached Central Europe by the Iron Age – but the source remains completely obscure. East Asia is simply too far away and there are no known or plausible intermediates – which would have to account for the velar stop, too, which has, after all, no other explanation. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:32, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
If there are reliable sources that explicitly deny a PIE status for this root, that should be good enough to not have a PIE entry for it — unless someone has up their sleeves sources that on the contrary explicitly challenge the former sources and argue for PIE status. (On the other hand, mass lexical sources like Pokorny do not count as "explicit arguments" at all, if you ask me.) --Tropylium (talk) 13:24, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I was only commenting on the methodical point Ivan made. Ultimately it's the quality of the evidence that counts, not the quantity; there is no need for reflexes to appear throughout the Indo-European languages (as Ivan seemed to suggest) for a PIE reconstruction to be justified. Our picture of PIE would be very poor if our standards for inclusion were that high, as it is extraordinarily rare for cognates to be preserved in all or virtually all (primary) branches.
I was speaking for the science here. As for Wiktionary, Ivan seems to suggest that the old policy on OR, which was in former years pretty liberal compared to Wikipedia (as has been pointed out explicitly sometimes), should be made more stringent. In this case, it's not our judgment call to make anyway whether the evidence for a PIE reconstruction is solid enough. If the reliable sources do make PIE reconstructions, we should too, if they explicitly deny PIE status, I agree we should follow suit.
I also completely agree that Pokorny is a poor source – his compilation was outdated even when it appeared, and now the laryngeal theory has been fully accepted by almost everyone in the field, usually in the trilaryngeal form, the only remaining value is as a database or quarry for inspiration, for use by an experienced researcher, who knows better than to trust any of the interpretations and reconstructions; even the raw material profits from cross-checking with more specialised sources because it is not always correct in my experience and some of the cited forms appear to be spurious. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:55, 23 June 2015 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

If this actually existed in Ancient Greek (as far as I can tell, it didn't), the first ρ would surely have been the final consonant of the previous morpheme (generally -ς) assimilated to the initial ρ of (also non-existent) -ραφία.

It looks to me like this is from the application of Ancient Greek morphological rules to some kind of stem based on ῥάπτω (rháptō, I sew) (words such as ῥαφεύς (rhapheús, one who stitches) show the underlying form), and the suffix -y tacked on at the end. I'm not sure how to represent that in the etymologies for the terms in Category:English words suffixed with -rrhaphy, though.

Ideas? Chuck Entz (talk) 23:48, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

The only words on Perseus are:
For whatever that is worth. —JohnC5 00:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I did that very search and found nothing. I wonder what I did wrong? I just checked again, and got what you got.
That certainly complicates things. I still doubt that -ρραφία (-rrhaphía) is the best analysis- one could just as easily say it was -ορραφία (-orrhaphía)- but δικορραφία) (dikorrhaphía)) and γαστρορραφία (gastrorrhaphía) don't seem to have any final consonant on the first morpheme (one could argue that γαστρορραφία (gastrorrhaphía) is based on the genitive, but that would exclude δολορραφία (dolorrhaphía) and κακορραφία (kakorrhaphía). It sort of looks like there's an underlying -ος- (-os-) combining-form affix. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:32, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry I wasn't paying attention. The rough breathing on a rho (rh) is represented word medially as -ρρ- (-rrh-), thus the second rho merely represents the rough breathing (I believe). A similar situation occurs with διάρροια (diárrhoia) and ῥέω (rhéō). —JohnC5 02:06, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I thought medial -ρρ- was always represented as -ῤῥ-. Shouldn't all these words be spelled with -ῤῥαφία, and διάῤῥοια (diárrhoia) instead of διάρροια (diárrhoia)? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:14, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Since -ῤῥ- (-rrh-) is identical to -ρρ- (-rrh-), WT:AGRC says we don't use the breathing marks on double rhos. —JohnC5 18:08, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I've started a thread at Wiktionary talk:About Ancient Greek#Double rhos about the possibility of hard-redirecting such forms. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:41, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

From which language are Bavarian and Alemannic descended?[edit]

Most of the appendices that I looked at (e.g. Appendix:Proto-Germanic/manniskaz, Appendix:Proto-Germanic/mōraz) sort Bavarian below Middle High German, but Appendix:Proto-Germanic/walhaz sorts it alongside MHG below Old High German, and Appendix:Proto-Germanic/ek sorts it below German. In my opinion, sorting Bavarian and Alemannic (and for that matter Silesian and Cimbrian) below MHG makes the most sense, but WT:AGEM suggests sorting them below modern German. - -sche (discuss) 15:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

They were clearly distinct already in OHG times. But OHG and MHG are still generally treated as one language, albeit with significant dialectal differences. —CodeCat 16:07, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Also see w:Upper German. —Stephen (Talk) 16:11, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Nocke, nokedli[edit]

Are Nockerl/Nocke (dumpling) and nokedli (dumpling) related? - -sche (discuss) 16:48, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

{{R:Zaicz 2006}} and {{R:TotfalusiEty 2005}} say nokedli comes from German (Bavarian-Austrian) Nockerl (“dumpling”), the diminutive of Upper German Nock (“dense, rugged rock, reef”). Einstein2 (talk) 18:08, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I've updated the entry accordingly. - -sche (discuss) 21:32, 31 May 2015 (UTC)


For the general meaning of note, can someone find an Old English attestation of the word in the meaning of mark, symbol, sign or note (spelt as "not" or nōt?

I don't doubt that the word was attested in Old English, since there is silent attribution to it being used a little after 1000 AD. However, I cannot find any citations for this nor any other direct mention of Old English on any other site that is not mirroring Wiktionary.

Can anyone find attestations of Old English "not" or "nōt" in the meaning of mark, symbol, sign or note?

The note I refer to is listed under etymology three on our note page. Tharthan (talk) 17:14, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Köbler's (German) dictionary of Old English has nōt as strong masculine noun meaning "Note, Zeichen", without an asterisk, indicating that it is attested according to him. Bosworth and Toller's dictionary has not as a masucline noun meaning "a mark, sign" with this citation: Mē þingþ wynsumlīc ðæt ic ðæra preósta notas ðām bōcerum gekȳðe [...], Anglia viii. 333, 17-19. (Another edition of the cited text has me þingð wynsumlic þæt ic þæra preosta notas þam bocerum gekyðe.) - -sche (discuss) 17:54, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Semi-off topic: Is Köbler trustworthy? His outputs are incredibly rich, but I never could figure out what his qualifications or sources are. (Or what his annotational marks are supposed to mean.) Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 18:47, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Maybe see note, n.(3) in MED as "an abstract token or indication of essential form" and note, n.2 in OED as various senses. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 20:30, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Bosworth & Toller have it as well: Mé þingþ wynsumlíc ðæt is ðæra preósta notas ðám bócerum gekýðe ðé læs ðe hig witan ðæt ða rímcræftige weras sýn bútan cræftigum getácnungum, Anglia viii. 333, 17-19. I see that someone has already beaten me to it :-) Leasnam (talk) 22:29, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

June 2015

Proto-Slavic *tědьnъ[edit]

Maybe it should be *tъdьnь? Judging by descendants the word is probably made up of *tъ, *dьnь and *že. Unfortunately i didn't find etymology in Russian dictionaries so i had to guess. —Игорь Тълкачь 00:07, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it is unfortunate that this word does not exist in Russian and thus is not in Vasmer. Here is the entry in Aleksander Brückner's Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego, but it does not seem to say much other than ten + dzień. This Croatian dictionary says "prasl. *tědьnъ", but this may just be a naive interpretation of the Serbo-Croatian phonemes. --WikiTiki89 16:03, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Reconstructed as *ty(jь)žьdьnь by {{R:uk:ESUM}}, vol. 5, page 565a. No comment on the correctness, Slavic isn't my strong suit. --Vahag (talk) 16:25, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
It seems the *-žь- part was optional. But how did the South Slavic form develop? It seems clear that it was not from *tě-, because seemingly even Ekavian and optionally Slovene has -j-. --WikiTiki89 17:43, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps vowel assimilation as in редрый (ъдьръ > ьдьръ). I hope @Ivan Štambuk could clarify it. Anyway thanks for the links, now protoform is pretty clear. —Игорь Тълкачь 23:03, 6 June 2015 (UTC)


Any evidence that the etymology "Contraction of 'get you gone'" is correct? 01:58, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Regular sound changes suggest that get yougertcha is not entirely unreasonable: see gotcha for a similar related shift. The gone part is presumably elided in this contracted form, and just left implied. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:40, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Hawaiian Language[edit]

It would be good to treat _ha_, _ole_, and _haole_. I don't know offhand what references are good to consult on Hawaiian etymology. I understand (source amnesia) that _ha_ means 'without', and _ole_ means 'soul' (no doubt ignoring subtle differences between 'soul'-like concepts). Jack Waugh (talk) 05:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Not exactly. Before I get into details, there are a couple of things you need to understand: first of all, Hawaiian has a very small set of sounds, and very simple syllable structure. Syllables in native words can only start with h,k,l,m,n,p,w and ʻ, and end with a,ā,e,ē,i,ī,o,ō,u,ū, or a diphthong of those vowels. That means there are a lot of meanings squeezed into a fairly small number of words. Second, the writing system was devised fairly recently, so there hasn't been time for pronunciation to change much. Unlike English, where you can't really predict with certain what a letter will sound like, spelling is very accurate: there are no minor variations- if something is spelled differently, it almost always is different. Some older sources don't make distinctions between long and short vowels, or show the glottal stop/ʻokina (ʻ), but if a source has those features, it's very precise about their presence or absence in a given word.
There are quite a few meanings in the Combined Hawaiian Dictionary entries for hā: 'four', 'breathe', hoarse, leaf stalk, trough/ditch,a fruit tree (Syzygium sandwicense), an affirmative interjection, a sinker used in fishing, and the musical tone fa. None of them means anything remotely like 'without'
As for the second part, there are several similar words: 'ole means either 'fang/eyetooth' or 'twist/turn/fidget/etc'. ʻole means 'not/without' or 'certain nights of the month', ʻolē means 'conch/trumpet' or 'talk indistinctly or garrulously' or 'tapa beater', and ʻōlē mean (car or bicycle) horn. Again, nothing like 'soul'. The closest I can find is ola, which means 'life/health'- but the final vowel is wrong.
The only remotely-plausible way I can even come close to your derivation is if I assume you got things backwards: hā meaning 'breathe' and ʻole meaning 'without'. There again, though haole is definitely not the same as *hāʻole. I suppose vowel shortening and loss of a glottal stop aren't impossible, but there are plenty of examples where that doesn't happen in similar environments. 'Without breath' isn't that far, semantically speaking, from 'without a soul', but the Hawaiian term for soul is ʻuhane and the term for 'without a soul is ʻuhane ʻole. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:32, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

tangata tiriti[edit]

RFV of the etymology. A NZ IP changed the etymology from:

  • "The signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 can be said to have added this new class in New Zealand."
  • "A modern term used by revisionists. The term is thought to have first appeared in mainstream new Zealand around about 2006 as part of a human rights commission document that makes some extraordinary claims about treaty matters. It's unknown who invented the term exactly."

The first version isn't exactly an etymology, but the second is rather POV, and I was able to find more Google Books hits from before 2006 than after (though only the earliest, dating to 1963, actually used it in running Maori text). I don't doubt that it's had some usage as a politically-correct buzzword in recent times, but this is the etymology we're talking about, not a critique on its use in recent times. The Google Books hits leave a lot to be desired- the 1963 one may just be the chance juxtaposition of the two words in the same sentence. Does anyone have actual (non-political) references to clear this up? Chuck Entz (talk) 04:08, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

On page 228 of An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi, it says that tangata tiriti gained currency during the late 1980s. As for the comment about revisionists, tangata tiriti was used by Edward Taihakurei Durie, Justice of the High Court of New Zealand . —Stephen (Talk) 04:57, 12 June 2015 (UTC)


Runnel, shovel, chisel (etymology 1), cradle and the like contain a presumed diminutive suffix -el, but I have my doubts that this is from Old French.

Old English had something like this itself, but I can't recall the exact form it had.

Can anyone with more knowledge on the subject confirm that Old English had a similar or near-identical diminutive suffix itself?

If this is the case, then the page we have on -el should mention that the modern use might be due to (or influenced by) conflation with the native suffix. Tharthan (talk) 16:26, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

In all the words you've mention above, none of those suffixes come from Old French. They are native. Yet I am not positive that all mentioned are diminutives. It appears some may be agent suffixes (like shovel). The Old English diminutive you speak of is usually spelt -le (see Etymology_4), where a few forms in -el are alternative spellings. Leasnam (talk) 08:03, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough, but when a word in question says in its etymology that it is ____ + -el, it often does not specify (or cannot even specify) which -el is meant.
However, I don't think this is odd, as I am fairly certain that, when the suffix was still generally productive, both -els had been largely conflated. Now, with that said, there were still some who likelily differentiated the two, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. The fact that some words descended from Old English -el are spelt with -el and others are spelt with -le does not seem to be a preservation of the different Old English -el suffixes as much as it is different writers having different comprehension levels (and, perhaps more simply, different spelling styles). Look at grapple (the verb), guzzle, and scuttle#Etymology_2 for examples of why I think that these suffixes had been conflated.
Nowadays, the suffix isn't used much if even at all (I say that because it is possible that some Northern English or Scottish dialects still use it). So all we have to judge whether the two -els conflated or not are the relics of its use in the modern language. Tharthan (talk) 23:22, 20 June 2015 (UTC)


There was a claim that ti was derived from a Latin word (as other solfege names except Do were). It was originally si (abbreviation of Sancte Iohannes), then changed to ti in English later. Removed the claim and put how to describe the etymology into discussion. Hillcrest98 (talk) 21:21, 24 June 2015 (UTC)


Old English flǣsc cannot come directly from Proto-Germanic *flaiską, because that would have given ×flāsc. The Old English word has to come from something like *flaiskją (or maybe *flaiski, but neuter i-stems are very rare). What about the other old Germanic words? Do any of them prove it has to have been *flaiską and not *flaiskją, or are they ambiguous? The Old Norse byform fleski also looks suggestive. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:31, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

@Angr: The OED states:
“Common West Germanic and Scandinavian: Old English flǽsc strong neuter corresponds to Old Frisian flâsk, Old Saxon flêsk (Dutch vleesch), Old High German fleisc (Middle High German vleisch, modern German fleisch), of the same meaning, Old Norse flesk with shortened vowel (Swedish fläsk, Danish flesk), swine's flesh, pork, bacon < Old Germanic *flaiskoz-, -iz- (or possibly þl-).
No satisfactory cognates have been discovered either in Germanic or in the related languages. Some have supposed that the specific Scandinavian sense, which exists in some English dialects where Old Norse influence is out of the question (see, e.g., the West Cornwall Glossary), is the original meaning of the word, and that the occasional Old English form flǽc represents the primary word elsewhere replaced by a derivative with suffix -sk-. On this hypothesis the word might be related to Old English flicce, flitch n.1 But general analogy rather indicates the priority of the wider sense found in English and German; and it is most likely that the Old English flǽc is an inaccurate spelling, or at most a dialectal phonetic alteration, of the ordinary flǽsc. The shortening of the Old English long vowel before s followed by another cons. is normal.[1]
Philippa seems to agree with *flaiska- and *flaiski-; though my Dutch reading is mostly approximation.
Apparently Watkins proposed *flaiskjan; though in what work I know not. Hope these help?
    JohnC5 19:24, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
    Thanks, John. Maybe the entry should indicate the other possible reconstructions. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:08, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
    The Low German word has e² < *ai and thus is definitely not coming from an ending with either *j or *i-, which would lead to e³. Same is true for standard Dutch. Standard German merged *ai and its umlaut, so I can't help you out in that direction. Bavarian shows /aɪ/, which is not its reflex of *ai, but there are theories that the word is a loan from a non-regional standard due to usage in christian contexts. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 21:56, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
    Could Old English flǣsc really come from a ja-stem *flaiskiją? I know that Old English preserves the ending as -e but I don't know if it does so in all contexts. —CodeCat 22:07, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
    There is (a single) attestation of genitive flǣscea in Bosworth-Toller, which suggests the -j- suffix. At least in earlier Old English. Anglom (talk) 02:28, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
    Does the fact that Yiddish has פֿלייש (fleysh) rather than *פֿלײַש (*flaysh) say anything about the High German branch? --WikiTiki89 14:03, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
    I've no idea about Yiddish, but if you have the vocabulary, you can check yourself: If Yiddish has /ej/ where Dutch has /eː/ and /aj/ where Dutch has /ɛɪ/, that means that /flejʃ/ does not have an umlaut. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:01, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
    Do these help: שטיין (shteyn) - steen, צווײַג (tsvayg) - twijg, הייליק (heylik) - heilig? --WikiTiki89 14:53, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
    If it helps (either to reconstruct the Proto-Germanic word or just to expand our entry haaska), the 1991 Lexikon der älteren germanischen Lehnwörter in den ostseefinnischen Sprachen (ISBN 90-5183-300-8), volume 1, says Finnish haaska is ultimately a borrowing of Proto-Germanic flaiska-. Specifically, it says:
    HAASKA, haiska, hauska ‘Aas, Kadaver; Schurke; Sperrmüll’; karel. haiska; estn. (SKES) haiska ‘kindischer Mensch, Schwätzer, Gaukler’.
    [– urgerm. *flaiska-, urn. *flaiska; vgl. an. flesk n. ‘Speck’, aschwed. flæsk' n. ‘Fleisch, Fett, Speck’.]
    - -sche (discuss) 23:36, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
    That explanation seems very unlikely. IE word-initial clusters are normally simplified by removing all but the last consonant, so you would expect initial l-. Moreover, the replacement of f with š > h makes no sense either, the normal replacement is p. —CodeCat 00:11, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
    LÄGLOS indexes all proposed older Germanic loanwords in Finnic, whether plausible or not. You'd have to additionally check if the etymology is judged to be reasonable or not in it. At least Häkkinen in {{R:fi:NSES}} reports this one being considered improbable. (Normally haaska, haiska et co. are derived from earlier *hajaska, as derivatives based on haja.)
    FWIW the substitution f → h is attested in Germanic loanwords though, e.g. *fōdrąhuotra or offeruhri.--Tropylium (talk) 12:41, 29 June 2015 (UTC)


    RFV of the etymology.

    While going through Special:WantedCategories, I ran into this entry, which has Category:Abkhaz terms derived from Circassian added by hand- a category which can't be created at the moment, since we don't have a language code for Circassian.

    To give you some background, Circassian is a branch of the Northwest Caucasian languages, and consists of a dialect continuum with two independent written standards, which we and the ISO treat as separate languages: Adyghe (ady) and Kabardian (kbd).

    The problem is that, aside from referring (ambiguously) to Circassian as the source of the borrowing, the etymology links to a Kabardian entry using the language code for Adyghe.

    Can someone with access to the appropriate references please sort this out? Thanks! Chuck Entz (talk) 21:31, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

    I added what I could. We do have a custom code for Circassian languages: cau-cir. --Vahag (talk) 22:38, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
    Can anyone say if the Abkhaz initial "а-" is a prefix or something else? It's added to all nouns in dictionaries and it's always hyphenated for etymological reasons? I read somewhere that it works as a definite article, so should there be forms without "а-" (indefinite)? There is an online Abkhaz-Russian dictionary [2]]. Have a look at this article а-милициа where амилициа (āmiliciā, police) is written with the initial "а" with a hyphen - "а-милициа", it's obviously from the Russian мили́ция (milícija). @Vahagn Petrosyan, can you comment on this? I am curious if the lemmas should be without "а-". It would also be good for the etymology of English adjika and Russian аджи́ка (adžíka), derived from Abkhaz. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:22, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
    а- is the generic/definite article. See here, page 22. The pure stem is rare. All serious dictionaries include а- in the lemma, but separate it with a hyphen. We should do the same. --Vahag (talk) 15:11, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
    @Vahagn Petrosyan, thanks, ажакьа seems to follow this, so "а-" changes to other forms, why does the example sentence use "и" in "ижакьа ауишьҭит"? Is it the indefinite form (if you know)?@Hippietrail, I don't remember where we talked about this but I was right about the definite article and you were right about including it in lemmas. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:48, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
    I don't know what's going on in the usage example. I simply copied it from the dictionary. PS We talked about this in Talk:абанан. --Vahag (talk) 07:32, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
    Yep I remember discussing this before. Good that things are getting worked out. Thanks for the ping. — hippietrail (talk) 15:35, 30 June 2015 (UTC)


    The etymology is clear (derived from hoofdstad), but I'm not sure how to describe the process exactly. The change in the vowel (a > e) is irregular and unique to the noun stad, and is clearly based on the adjective stedelijk. So how would I indicate this in the etymology? {{affix|nl|hoofdstad|-lijk}} would neglect the irregularity of the umlaut, while {{affix|nl|hoofd-|stedelijk}} would not make any sense. But {{blend|hoofdstad|stedelijk|lang=nl}} is going a bit too far I think. —CodeCat 17:26, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

    How about "{{affix|nl|hoofdstad|-lijk}} with vowel alteration taken over from {{m|nl|stedelijk}}"? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:54, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
    Or "{{affix|nl|hoofdstad|-lijk}} with a vowel change due to influence from {{m|nl|stedelijk}}" or "{{affix|nl|hoofdstad|-lijk}} with the vowel changed by analogy with {{m|nl|stedelijk}}"? Chuck Entz (talk) 01:26, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
    How about {{suffix|hoofstad|alt1=hoofdstede|lijk|lang=nl}}? Leasnam (talk) 05:50, 30 June 2015 (UTC)