Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2012/July

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← June 2012 · July 2012 · August 2012 → · (current)


I was under the impression that this was a very early borrowing from an unknown source shared with Ancient Greek οἶνος (oînos), Hebrew יין, etc rather than inherited from Proto-Indo-European. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:25, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Here is what Beekes says under οἶνος (oînos):
With (Ϝ)οῖνος ((W)oînos) agree, except for the gender and auslaut, Lat. vīnum (if from *u̯oinom; Umbr. etc. vinu then Lat. LW [loanword]), Arm. gini (gini) (< *u̯oinii̯o-), Alb. vênë (< *u̯oinā); an IE word for `wine', reconstructed from this, may together with the related Lat. vītis (vine) and many others (s. on ἴτυς (ítus)) belong to the group *u̯ei- (turn, bend). As the wild vine a.o. was at home in southern Russia and certain parts of middle Europe, this assumption is acceptable also from the aspect of historical facts. As however the cultivation of the vine has started in the Mediterranean lands or in the Pontus area and in the south of the Caucasus, most scholars incline, to look for the origin of the word in these countries, what would point to non-IE origin. But if we put the homeland of viticulture in the Pontus and the northern Balkan, the word for `wine' might come from there. From this IE source would then come not only the words mentioned from Greek, Lat., Arm. and Albania, but also Hitt. u̯ii̯an(a)-, Hier. Hitt. wa(i)ana-, and also the relevant Semit. words, e.g. Arab. وين (wain), Hebr. יין (jajin) (common *wainu-?). Thus Beekes, MSS 48(1987)21-6, who points out that the Hitt. form requires *u̯ih₁on-. From Lat. vīnum further the Celt. a. Germ., from Germ. or Latin again the Slav. and (indir.) Balt. wine words; from Arm. gini e.g. Georg. γvino (γvino). -- Lit. with further details in WP. 1, 226 (IE, resp. PArm.), Pok. 1121, W.-Hofmann s. vīnum , Schrader-Nehring Reallex. 2, 642 ff., Vasmer s. vinó. Cf also Kronasser Vorgeschichte und Indogermanistik (Symposion 1959) 122 f.. Page in Frisk: 2,364-366
--Vahag (talk) 10:43, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
The Hebrew is not Weinum, but Yayin יַיִן or in ancient pronunciation: 'Yine' - still close enough. It is probably an ancient word coming from the yells of a drunkard, Yay! Yee! and Nnnnn!! It also plays with water מים - "Mime" except with a nasal sound. So perhaps its "the drunkard's water".
If we are already at that, drink has the same root as the hebrew ינק - Yanaq (or Yanak when pronounced without the guttural sound in the Q) which means to suck (notice the same sound there too). Obviously this comes from the sound: Yenugku Yenugku or as written in English: "Gulp". There is another Hebrew word: גמע Ggammaa' for drinking water which preserves the exact sound of water being swallowed in large gulps.
Both Mime and Yine may be heard as gulping sounds when repeated: My my my mime mime mime ... or the sound of flowing water. The letter M is the ancient Phoenician way of depicting water (also found in Hieroglyphs - but commonly transliterated as N) and is called Mem meaning water. (Or Nun - meaning fish) Pashute (talk) 11:58, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Interchange of y and w in words anciently borrowed to or from Semitic languages isn't limited to this term. As for your other, rather fanciful, speculations: deriving everything from onomatopoeia like that is kind of silly, and quite unnecessary. The word for water goes all the way back to w:Proto-Afro-Asiatic, which should be explanation enough. As for drink: the dr part isn't the sort of thing that just materializes in words- you haven't explained where that came from. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:06, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Romanian "substratum" word etmyologies and Albanian cognates

A user has been recently editing all the Romanian words which have Albanian cognates, usually presumed to be from a substratum (i.e. Dacian, Thracian, Illyrian, etc) source, and indicating that they're all "borrowings" from Albanian instead. Of course I don't mind suggesting this as a possibility in the etymologies; that's one thing, but actually completely deleting the old ones and stating that they're all without a doubt from Albanian seems a bit too much, and sounds like some nationalist bias is being introduced. As far as I know there isn't any definitive proof that they are later borrowings from Albanian rather than having an older relationship; the alternatives should at least be mentioned, because it sounds like there are no substratum terms anymore now and can all be explained as Albanian. In some cases, they have even edited words that are probably of Latin origin and twisting them to make them derived from some hypothetical and speculative "Proto-Albanian" source that doesn't even correspond that clearly with any modern Albanian terms, so there seems to be some agenda here.

I will admit in certain cases there are a few words I believe are more likely to be later borrowings, and some of the new etymologies may well be correct, but how this happened is uncertain. Maybe during the Ottoman era, perhaps, though I find that highly unlikely as the majority of these are very common basic words deeply ingrained in the language that don't seem to be relatively recent introductions. If referring to very ancient times then for all we know they could be of common origin as there's no way to prove they came from one or another with the limited information we have now, and how can the language even be rightfully called Albanian at the time if it wasn't around as we know it back then, or at least documented? Unless they are advocating the "medieval migration from Albania" theory for Romanians, which is a whole different story, I don't see how these people would have been in close enough contact historically for this borrowing to happen, and why they didn't impact any other Balkan people between them like South Slavic speakers who are geographically closer to Albania.

There are other theories also, in some cases some linguists and etymologists have suggested the other way around even: that some were borrowed into Albanian from early proto-Romanian from the local Vlach people, though I'm not personally suggesting this is the case. The origins of the words are as of yet still mostly shrouded in mystery anyway, and I wasn't aware there was now an academic consensus that they were loan words. And since the Paleo-Balkan languages of Dacian, Thracian, and Illyrian and the relationships between them are so poorly attested, I am certainly aware it's hard to compare them to these modern languages and definitively say they were derived from any of them, so I'm not saying they necessarily did come from that source, just that they are most likely very old words which have been in both languages for a long time. I have a feeling this is going to turn into a back and forth edit war eventually.

Word dewd544 (talk) 17:47, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Which user has been adding them? Have you talked to them about it? —CodeCat 21:33, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Not yet. I just wanted to check first if anyone had any news about these, in case there was some new research that I missed recently before I started jumping to conclusions. It's not that big of a deal to me but I guess I should ask about it. They're named Torvalu4, I believe. I'll see what I can find out. Word dewd544 (talk) 21:52, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

I noticed this too, and as an Albanian speaker and contributor, I don't see strong reasons to consider these words Albanian borrowings into Romanian, perhaps just a couple of them. Considering the origin of the two languages, I think one should consider the substratum option more seriously. Etimo (talk) 11:17, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

yellow yolk

Anyone out there know what the -ca is doing (and additional examples of it) in the Old English word geoloca 'yolk', derived from geolo 'yellow'? Tibetologist (talk) 09:38, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

The following table is an empiricist or positivist note of the relevant Translations:
Czech: žlutý (cs) "yellow"
Czech: žloutek m "yolk"

Hungarian: sárga (hu) "yellow"
Hungarian: sárgája (hu) "yolk"

Korean: 노랑 (norang) "yellow"
Korean: 노른자 (noreunja) "yolk"

Kurdish: zer (ku) "yellow"
Kurdish: zerik (ku) f "yolk"

Old English: geolo "yellow"
Old English: geoloca "yolk"

Polish: żółty (pl) "yellow"
Polish: żółtko (pl) "yolk"

Russian: жёлтый (ru) (žóltyj) "yellow"
Russian: желток (ru) m (želtók) "yolk"

Slovak: žltý "yellow"
Slovak: žĺtok m "yolk"

Slovene: rumen (sl) "yellow"
Slovene: rumenjak (sl) m "yolk"
You may note the suffix -ca of Old English geoloca "yolk" from geolo "yellow" looks like the eastern ones.
--KYPark (talk) 23:49, 19 July 2012 (UTC); Expanded the table --KYPark (talk) 03:11, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
The Slavic suffixes are diminutives. Because of Grimm's Law they, and the Kurdish, can't be related to the -ca found in Old English. The non-Indo-European forms are not demonstrably related. —Angr 12:29, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Isn't this total denial of my note (rather than thesis) too hypersensitive? First and foremost wanted here is any explanation or answer to the question, I guess. I've tried after almost 4 days of nothing, while wishing mine better than nothing. Perhaps most wanted here may be the Indo-European explanation. Do it yourself, or help do it anyway!
  • The yolk in itself is a part or diminutive, if you like, of an egg.
  • I wouldn't believe in Grimm's law too much, which is only phonetic.
  • Whether Indo-European or not, it would not apply anyway in case of a calque, say, of a Korean word where no theory would work!
Should you be not terribly confined within PIE or the like, you may reasonably assume from the above information that Korean 노른자 (noreunja) "yolk" might be the origin! Why not at all? From linguistics? Just nonsense! Should I say 귀띔 (gwittuim) vitally, you would do your best to translate it into English, or simply find the best calque, while no Grimm's Law may come in!
--KYPark (talk) 15:50, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Not hypersensitive at all. Nonsense is worse than nothing.
It's true that English does have a diminutive suffix that might explain this, as can be seen by pairs such as bull and bullock, but this can't be related to the diminutives in Slavic languages, because regular sound changes would have made the Germanic and Slavic forms completely different. I don't know enough to rule out borrowing, but it would have had to have happened at a very early stage.
Are you suggesting borrowing between Korean and Old English? I don't think anyone has ever even suggested that there was any contact between the two a millennium and a half ago. There are just too many intermediate peoples and languages in between for this to make sense. Besides, Wanderworter are almost always for items that don't have names in local languages because they come from somewhere else. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:50, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Again and again I wish you do not behave as if you were omniscient but do suspect you may be a victim of mass obscurantism.
As if you were omniscient, you make such a hurry from the beginning as to try to conclude and suggest that all that I empirically note as above is just nonsense as worse than nothing. Such are propagandas, brainwashes, personal attacks, and so on.
Instead, you'd better offer your constructive view perhaps based on PIE, regardless of mine, so that readers could compare and make a choice for themselves. This is so called the "readerly" or "user-centered" way in vogue since the late 70s, hailing the death of the author and reader-response criticism.
The valid explanation after all has to do either with or without such an empirical note, no doubt, which thus should remain the sole source of inference until one after another competent alternative comes in.
There would be no folk having no word for fire. Why then did Germanic folks borrow the Greek word into Danish fyr, Deutsch Feuer, Dutch vuur, English fire, Frisian fjoer, etc., almost certainly in addition to their own? I wonder how you could explain this mysterious loan in Proto-Germanic and PIE terms.
It is quite valid in science, esp. from the rationalist perspective, to assume the significant Euro-Korean contact without any historical evidence, as far as it can explain the relevant phenomena, and until it is fully falsified.
Nonetheless, in Europe "a millennium and a half ago" Huns centered around Scythia. So Romans called them Scythians. Anglo-Saxons back then must be closely related to them, as usually were other Germanic folks wandering around Europe and North Africa with them, often storming even the Roman Empires, like Germanic langobards. History has it that AS in Britain needed reinforcement from Scythia so far away. A 2005 documentary of ZDF has it that Huns came "from the end of the world," suggesting the Korean peninsula and Manchuria. Most strikingly, the Hunnish traits may be found most in Korea!
I do like you to also "see lots of [Euro-Korean] connections others might miss."
--KYPark (talk) 06:40, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Korean 노른자 (nolunca) is an abbreviation of 노른자위 (noluncawi), from nol- ("yellow") + -un (의) + 자위 (cawi, "part of eyeball or egg (of birds etc.) differentiable by colour" 눈알이나 새 따위의 알에서, 빛깔에 따라 구분되는 각각의 부분). Only noluncawi is attested in Middle Korean. 23:41, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

The biblical Hebrew color of red was called Shannee Tolaa, or Yellaa, תולע - which means worm, and shannee means double, because the worm that this color was extracted from, would fold itself in double.
I wouldn't be surprised if the color is connected to a type of worm. Pashute (talk) 11:52, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
All of the ancient animal-derived red colors that I know of are from scale insects, not worms, and scale insects are incapable of bending like a worm does. As for being the origin of yellow, the y is just local to English: related languages have g. Your derivation is simply impossible. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:25, 25 July 2013 (UTC)


(I hope I'm not adding this in the wrong place, i.e. on the main WT:ES page if it should be a subpage or vice versa.) Should the poker sense of [[set]], "Three of a kind in poker", be under etymology 2 rather than etymology 1? - -sche (discuss) 03:11, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

I moved it. I'd split it into two etymologies, but ran out of well-functioning brain time before finishing. I was BOLD based solely on my own intuition, but would be surprised if the OED disagreed. MWOnline doesn't put much stock in the connection of Ety 2 to Latin BTW, not showing any etymology for the noun before Middle English and not splitting the noun by etymology at all. DCDuring TALK 10:15, 20 July 2012 (UTC)


Can anybody tell me about the alleged German idiom in this word's etymology? Meaning? Idiomatic? Definitely related to maski? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:03, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Macht nichts or es macht nichts is a real German idiom which means "it doesn't matter" or "don't worry about it". It was also borrowed into English as the now rather old-fashioned slang mox nix, which we don't have but Urban Dictionary does. I can't say whether maski actually comes from it, though. —Angr 17:41, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I checked a reference book which confirms it's from German. Anyone up to adding these terms, then? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:45, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I see we do already have das macht nichts, and I've just created macht nichts from it. —Angr 18:18, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll do mox nix. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:30, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
bed[watch | edit]


The etymologycal connection with Proto-Indo-European bʰedʰ 'to dig', originally noted in Pokorny, however, only phonologically plausible, is today not generally accepted: The "Concise Oxford Dictionary" prefers to end with the Germanic term, and the German Kluge/Seebold notes, "Die traditionelle Erklärung ... als »Schlafgrube« (zu l. fodere »graben«) ist von der Sache her unhaltbar." As far as I know, there is no culture or ethnos in the world really digging out their beds. Who ever is better experienced, is asked to give linguistic parallels or archaeological findings, before reverting my change. Thank you.HJJHolm (talk) 07:36, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

I do not have any issue with it deriving from bʰodʰo- "plot, patch, bed" from bʰedʰ- "dig". The original sense is still preserved in "flower-bed" meaning an area that has been dug in the earth. Leasnam (talk) 15:39, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Just guess that English bed could be cognate to pad, foot, boot, pot, bottle, bottom, bat, bath, basin, base, vase, vessel, boat, body, wade, ford, water, and so on. The sea is the greatest basin and body of water!
Best guessed here may be the common factor of bearing or receiving, mostly relating to water!
--KYPark (talk) 08:09, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Again, I still believe it to come from "dig". The original sense being "a plot or patch of ground dug out". It wasn't until the PGmc forebears began sleeping in these 'beds' that the association to "a place to sleep" came about. I would like to reconnect it to its former PIE root. Leasnam (talk) 03:00, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
This is an archive page that has been kept for historical purposes. The conversations on this page are no longer live.