Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2015/June

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← May 2015 · June 2015 · July 2015 → · (current)

Proto-Slavic *tědьnъ

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)
Dropping the "gone" also seems plausible - people often drop the "lost" in get lost and just say "get!" when they want to tell someone to go away. Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:51, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Hawaiian Language

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)
As I have understood it, haole means "no breath", because haoles do not follow the Polynesian custom of touching noses honi and foreheads as a greeting, while at the same time inhaling and sharing each other’s breath. —Stephen (Talk) 09:58, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

tangata tiriti

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)
    It depends on the dialect; see w:Yiddish dialects. In standard written Yiddish, apparently, ey is from OHG ei (< Proto-Germanic *ai) and ay from OHG ī, as in Litvish. So fleysh does point to Proto-Germanic *flaisk-, but the Yiddish evidence isn't normally considered important since you have OHG and MHG (usually); I've never seen it cited as evidence for Proto-Germanic reconstructions. Unfortunately, Kroonen does not have this etymon. For some reason, I always assumed the Proto-Germanic reconstruction was *flaiskiz. One possible solution I can think of (and which I think is suggested in the literature, from a quick web search) is that it was originally a neuter s-stem. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:55, 3 July 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, 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 [1]]. 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)