Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2018/August

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← July 2018 · August 2018 · September 2018 → · (current)


Might the existence of another "letter"-bone, T-bone, have reinforced this rebracketing? Or does the bone resemble an H from any angle, which could have caused or reinforced the rebracketing? Or is it just chance? - -sche (discuss) 20:58, 2 August 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.


Our entry claims that internecine is borrowed from Latin internecīvus, despite the different ending, and without even remarking on it.

Merriam-Webster and Etymonline.com, instead, derive the English word from a more obvious Latin source internecinus "fought to the death; very deadly, murderous, destructive". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 12:01, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Changed by EncycloPetey over ten years ago, I dunno why. It's true that internecinus doesn't seem to be attested in classical dictionaries. Per utramque cavernam 12:05, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that edit. From the citations given here, internecīnus is attested in Late Latin, though. I don't see why post-classical Latin should be excluded or ignored. Interestingly, according to Georges, the alternative form internicīvus is attested in Cicero.
The definition given here, namely "nur mit dem Unterliegen der einen Partei od. beider Parteien endigend, v. pr. vom Krieg", i. e. "(of a conflict) only ending when one or both parties are defeated", is more precise than "destructive" or "murderous", more like "fought to the death". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:45, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
@Florian Blaschke: "I don't see why post-classical Latin should be excluded or ignored." Sorry if it looked like I was implying that; I wasn't. Per utramque cavernam 16:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


The Dutch etymology section has had an excessively long essay for over a decade. Could somebody with expertise in older Germanic languages cut down the second paragraph? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:33, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

It seems that verbiage would be better placed at the Proto-Germanic entry rather than Dutch Leasnam (talk) 16:38, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I've simply removed it, as it really doesn't pertain to the Dutch entry specifically at all Leasnam (talk) 16:41, 4 August 2018 (UTC)


The English and Ancient Greek entries disagree slightly on whether this is from Hebrew or Aramaic. - -sche (discuss) 17:09, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

I find it also confusing that the Aramaic גולגלתא‎ the Hebrew entry גולגולת links to isn’t the Aramaic גּלגּלת the English Golgotha links to, and that the English link turns out to be another Hebrew word.
I think that the Hebrew is from Aramaic is from Akkadian is from Egyptian, because it means in Akkadian and in Egyptian “a kind of vessel” (not the kind of word that tends to be cognate over so long a time, and compare German Kopf from Latin cuppa to see how languages adopt their name for “head” from vessel names). Don’t know what that Arabic جلجلة has to do in the comparison which is some onomatopoeia and else the placename. @Vorziblix. Fay Freak (talk) 20:27, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
The Egyptian word seems to have gone in the other direction; based on attested usage, it basically meant ‘head’, with the ‘vessel’ sense derived from that. In the Old Kingdom, ḏꜣḏꜣ is only found with the meaning of ‘head’ and can be written with head determinatives as
; since the Middle Kingdom, it starts replacing tp as the basic word for ‘head’. The word meaning a kind of vessel, meanwhile, is commonly written with a final semivowel or feminine ending (ḏꜣḏꜣw, ḏꜣḏꜣt, later also ḏꜣḏꜣj), evidently a derivation, and is not attested at all in the Old Kingdom (and only rarely in the Middle Kingdom).
There are problems with assuming an Akkadian borrowing from Egyptian. Egyptian generally doesn’t correspond to Semitic g in loanwords, but only in cognates. The palatalization of Afro-Asiatic g into Egyptian in certain environments is usually considered to have happened shortly before the start of the historical era. In historical-era loanwords, Egyptian is only found rendered by Semitic or z, and rarely ḏ̣ or . If this was a loanword into Akkadian, it would have to be a prehistoric one.
I can’t speak to the Hebrew/Aramaic issues, unfortunately, as I don’t know enough in that field. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 09:01, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
According to Brown-Driver-Briggs, Hebrew גֻּלְגֹּלֶת gulgolet "skull" is Aramaic גּוּלְגַּלְתָּא gulgalta, similar to Hebrew גַּלְגַּל galgal "wheel". The whole word group containing "gimel lamed" denotes round objects, (stone) circles, heaps, skulls, piles, rolls, cylinders, scrolls, wheels, even bowls and basins. That assyrianlanguages.org site looks fishy. Gesenius says that in Arabic, the second lamed is cast away, so it's ﺟَﻠَﺠَﺔ (Freytag: cranium, et ipsum caput). If there is any Ancient Egyptian cognate, I guess it is 𓎼𓃀𓎼𓃀 gebgeb Coptic ϭⲓⲃϭⲓⲃ, to slay. -- 01:49, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
An older Germanic word for head is gebal, preserved in German Giebel, akin to Russian golova (Kluge). cf. also Latin gabalus "crux, patibulum" (DuCange). -- 03:23, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
Giebel is a gable- it has nothing to do with heads. Russian голова (golova) is from Proto-Indo-European *kalw-, and is unrelated to anything in Germanic (if it were, one would expect the Germanic form to start with an "h"). While it's tempting to bring in Latin calvus from that Indo-European root, the fact that this is a term that comes from Aramaic-speakers makes it easier to explain using the Aramaic etymology mentioned above. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:08, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

-ish (etymology 2)[edit]

I'd appreciate an etymology for -ish in Romance words such as publish, relinquish, etc. I don't think it's the same as the adjectival ending that we have, or is it? Thank you in advance.

According to Webster's (1913), the ending -ish appears in certain verbs of French origin, and it corresponds to Latin -escere, an inchoative ending. There is also the adjectival suffix -ish in the sense of selfish, boyish, brutish, etc. -- 01:55, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
But the -ish ending on verbs like finish, diminish, etc. is not a suffix in English. Never has been. It carries absolutely no meaning in English. Leasnam (talk) 18:32, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

wail on, whale on, whale, wale[edit]

Which is the original form(s)? Presumably the others should use "alternative form of" or "synonym of" the like, rather than duplicating definitions in so many places. - -sche (discuss) 07:19, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

wail in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 has it as a transitive verb, but directing users to wale#Verb. Among OneLook dictionaries only Wiktionary and UD have entries for wail on. whale in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 conjectures on the influences of various words referring to blows or beatings (whack, whap, whip) that begin with wh to account for whale, which they view as a variant of wale#Verb. DCDuring (talk) 15:36, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Interesting. I've centralized the w___ on entries at whale on, and directed readers from there to whale, where the etymology mentions the possible origin from wale. (Whale does seem to be the most common spelling, now that I look at Ngrams for "whale on him", etc.) - -sche (discuss) 22:22, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
My idiolect often falls prey to the etymological fallacy, silly when a popular term is involved. DCDuring (talk) 02:46, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
No other dictionary has an entry for w(h)a(i)l(e) on except UD (whale on). But I've heard it often enough to accept it at whatever the dominant spelling. We should have some cites. DCDuring (talk) 02:50, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree with making "whale on" the main entry. The phrasal verb with "on" seems to be from around 1960. DTLHS (talk) 03:23, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
The "strike to produce welts" sense of wale goes back to at least the 1400s (the Middle English Dictionary has citations of "a wykkyd wownde that hath me walt" and "tyl he be quaylled"), whereas a couple dictionaries I checked think the "thrash" sense of whale only goes back to the 1780s, supporting the idea that the ultimate origin may be wale, although whale on is most common now. Wheal also has a striking-related verb sense, and wheal on may be attestable as yet another alt form / synonym of whale on. - -sche (discuss) 04:47, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
American Heritage Synonyms has all of the following nouns as synonyms: wheal, wale, weal, welt, whelk. Most of these have similar related verb senses. DCDuring (talk) 05:27, 13 August 2018 (UTC)