Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2017/June

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hieroglyph, hieroglyphic[edit]

In hieroglyph: "First attested around 1598, a back-formation from hieroglyphic [...]"
In hieroglyphic: "First coined 1726 [...]"
That doesn't fit together. Is the adjective younger or is the noun derived from a non-English adjective? - 20:41, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

According to etymonline, hieroglyphic is the older term (1580s in English, so not by much), via Late Latin and Ancient Greek. KarikaSlayer (talk) 00:59, 3 June 2017 (UTC)


There's a plausible theory that the word "Europe" is originally from a Semitic word for "sunset" (occident). Compare particularly Aramaic ערובה (ʿrōbā, sunset, Sabbath eve), but also borrowed Arabic عَرُوبة (ʿarūba, Friday, Sabbath eve) and inherited غُرُوب (ḡurūb, sunset), etc. The theory is supported e.g. by Christoph Luxenberg, but apparently dates back to the classicist Heinrich Lewy and his "Die semitischen Fremdwörter im Griechischen" (1895). Is there a more recent Hellenistic evaluation of this? Kolmiel (talk) 19:40, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

Okay. As long as there no (negative) reaction, I'll add it as a possibility. Kolmiel (talk) 23:08, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Scandinavian men[edit]

Danish etymology points to ON meðan, Swedish etymology points to GML men. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 12:26, 12 June 2017 (UTC)


  • Entry googol: “Made up in 1920 by the nine-year-old Milton Sirrota (1911–1981), the nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner (1878–1955) who had asked Milton to think of a name for the hypothetical number of 10 to the 100th power. The word was first published in the book Mathematics and the Imagination (1940) by Kasner and fellow mathematician James R. Newman (1907–1966) (see the quotation below).”
  • Entry googolplex: “Like the word googol, googolplex was coined in 1920 by the nine-year-old Milton Sirrota (1911–1981), the nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner (1878–1955). The word was first published and precisely defined in the book Mathematics and the Imagination (1940) by Kasner and fellow mathematician James R. Newman (1907–1966) (see the quotation below).”

In fact, the words googol and googolplex already appear in Kasner’s article New Names in Mathematics (1938), Scripta Mathematica. Besides, how do we know that the word was coined in 1920 rather than 1921 when Milton was still nine years old (i.e., before March 8)? Have a look at my analysis on Jeff Miller’s page (“This fits to the […]”). -- IvanP (talk) 21:32, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

person of size[edit]

Is it really an analogy to person of color? The phrase "of size" is also used in other contexts to mean "of a significant size" (i.e. "large"). --WikiTiki89 15:34, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

I think so, yes...a person of size doesn't necessarily have to be a large person, per se, just an overweight one...a petite woman who is 5' tall can be a person of size if she is overweight, right ? Leasnam (talk) 12:20, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
I don't see your point. Any expression indicating largeness, when used of a person in a euphemistic tone, will obviously mean "overweight". So I don't see the analogy with "person of color" to be necessary. --WikiTiki89 12:44, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, it seems clear to me. person of color is a nice way to refer to someone who is not white, just like person of size is a nice way to refer to someone who is not of normal/healthy weight or bone structure. If I were not already familiar with the term, or a non-native speaker who had never encountered the phrase before, I might think that a person of size was referring to a giant or one of abnormally tall stature. But that's not at all what it means. Leasnam (talk) 12:59, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you would think that, that would more likely be called a "person of abnormal size". I hadn't heard of this phrase at all until I saw the RFD section of "woman of size" and "man of size", which I understood correctly immediately and before looking at our definition. But that has nothing to do with it. The question is do we know for fact, or do we not know for a fact, that this phrase was originally created by analogy to "person of color"? --WikiTiki89 13:42, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
I would think that "size" is just euphemistic for "large size", and thus it is "person of" + "[large] size". Andrew Sheedy (talk) 13:49, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
When you say "by analogy with person of color", you're making the claim that someone looked specifically at person of color as a model when they coined person of size. It's just as possible that the mental process used for creating person of color was applied independently to the concept of size to produce a parallel result. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:58, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
I vaguely remember when I started hearing this term...it was usually on talk shows (like the OWS, etc.), and I want to say that it was after person of color had taken hold...quite a bit after. According to WordSense, the origin of Person of size is indeed by analogy with person of color [[1]]. Not sure if this is originally from us though Leasnam (talk) 14:05, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Ok, just poking around a bit, It appears the term originated early 90's (possibly late 80s) and was used on the sitcom "Murphy Brown," where a heavyset woman announced, "I prefer to think of myself as a person of size." I can find no book cites prior to 2000. I got this from an article in the NYT published in 1993 [[2]] which states: "On the sitcom "Murphy Brown," a heavyset woman announces, "I prefer to think of myself as a person of size." Karen Stimson, director of Largesse, a group that fights sizism, weighed in with this comment to The A.P.: "Being fat has always meant being downwardly mobile, especially for women. Society discriminates against people of size." The phrase is bottomed on people of color, an 18th-century term for "nonwhites" enjoying new popularity among those not pigmentally deprived. The related noun sizism or its variant weightism has been patterned on racism, sexism and ageism." Leasnam (talk) 14:16, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Nice find! That's pretty good evidence. --WikiTiki89 14:23, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
If we have the entry base on, shouldn't we have bottom on as well? --Barytonesis (talk) 16:43, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
@Barytonesis, created: bottom on Leasnam (talk) 01:50, 19 June 2017 (UTC)


The article on the Latin word rex says it comes from Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₃rḗǵs, whereas the French and German Wiktionary articles claim it's a deverbal of regere. --Espoo (talk) 14:39, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

I think we're more likely to be right. Considering the cognates it has, it's unlikely to have been an intra-Latin coinage. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:40, 18 June 2017 (UTC)


A gloss in the etymology would be helpful to me. Thanks. Germyb (talk) 02:31, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Pavel in Slavic languages?[edit]

I have a question about Pavel (Paul) in Slavic languages, particularly West Slavic ones like Czech, and Polish Paweł. Did these derive from Old Church Slavonic or were they just local adaptations of the Latin Paulus? The East Slavic entries like Russian and Belarusian are listed as having a Greek intermediate, as expected (Biblical names like these usually came through Old Church Slavonic, or from the Byzantine Greek missionaries, and the presence of the 'v' corresponds to the Greek form). Word dewd544 (talk) 22:08, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Phonologically, it is possible that West Slavic languages got the word directly from Latin (the presence of v is not necessarily from Greek), but chronologically it makes more sense to me that it was borrowed in the time of Late Common Slavic from Greek, perhaps with two alternatives *pavьlъ and *pavъlъ. --WikiTiki89 17:58, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. And apparently, Old Church Slavonic was actually standardized for a mission by Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia (where Czech Rep. and Slovakia are today), and acquired some West Slavic features on top of the predominant South Slavic basis. But then it later became prohibited in Moravia by the Pope, who favored Latin. Word dewd544 (talk) 23:53, 20 June 2017 (UTC)


What's the etymology of this one? Is there something related to the idea of a seahorse turning into a dragon in some folktale? ばかFumikotalk 11:25, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

Or perhaps something left behind by a dragon turning into a seahorse? Chuck Entz (talk) 13:37, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
According to a number of references, otoshigo means "(nobleman's) illegitimate child" (google books:"otoshigo" child), and the term is referring to the dragon-like seahorses as the bastard children of dragons, since (as ja.WP comments) they resemble dragons: "ほとんどの魚は前後に伸びた姿勢をとるが、タツノオトシゴ類は体を直立させ、頭部が前を向く姿勢をとる。この姿が竜やウマの外見に通じることから「竜の落とし子」「海馬」「龍宮の駒」、あるいは"Seahorse"などの名前がつけられたものとみられる。" - -sche (discuss) 20:23, 20 June 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. ばかFumikotalk 11:44, 22 June 2017 (UTC)


fassen + -ung

What part of the etymology do you want to discuss? —CodeCat 19:30, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Added to the entry. Leasnam (talk) 23:15, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of Hungarian végre[edit]

It seems, based on the meaning, that the word "végre" ('finally, at last') is simply the sublative form of the word "vég" ('end'). Is this the case?

I updated the etymology. According to the reference material, it is "A vég főnév megszilárdult ragos alakulata." --Panda10 (talk) 14:01, 23 June 2017 (UTC)