Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2018/March

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cannabis, ganja[edit]

Cannabis was discussed before, also on the big sister at w:Etymology_of_cannabis. So far inconclusive.

Could this be from or cognate with कान्हा (kānhā)? Rhyminreason (talk) 11:58, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

No. The superficial resemblance is restricted to modern Hindi, as you would know if you had looked at the etymologies of the words in question. Trying to determine the relationships of something that goes back thousands of years in multiple languages (and language families) based on such things is rather silly: the semantics are all wrong, कान्हा (kānhā) and गांजा (gāñjā) are quite different in modern Hindi, and they derive from even more different Sanskrit words (कृष्ण (kṛṣṇa) and गञ्जा (gañjā)}). You've got to stop posting everything here that pops into your head without thinking it through, let alone checking in the most obvious places such as the etymologies for the entries in question. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:24, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
What???? That's totally wrong. कान्हा (kānhā, Krishna) has nothing to do with that! —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 17:28, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

niskoitella, Finnish verb[edit]

This appears to be connected with the noun 'niska,' which means 'neck,' 'nape of the neck.'. The text containing the verb is a biblical one, so the reference to disobedience and stubbornness is likely colored by a Hebrew word picture of a draft animal resisting its training to the yoke or a mount avoiding or dulling the signal of a rider to its mouth by the reins to the bit. —This unsigned comment was added by Littleglassworld (talkcontribs).

I'm not sure if you meant to have a question in here somewhere? Yes, niska is the root for this; and also niskuroida, uppiniskainen. These are in entirely general use in Finnish though, not just in the Bible. --Tropylium (talk) 00:33, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
You don't mention which biblical context it occurs in, but there is a well-known Biblical Hebrew phrase: עֹרֶף (back of the neck) קְשֵׁה־ (hard(of)) עַם־ (people (of)), which is translated into English as "a stiff-necked people", and which is used to refer to the tribes of Israel as stubborn and disobedient. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:57, 4 March 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

Questioned on the talk page, though the requester was confused about the language of axis. The original etymology was added by an editor who has been rather careless about adding etymologies without knowing whether their sources were reliable or not. The hypothetical earlier form was added by an IP. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:53, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

It looks like the original source for this was the Online Etymology Dictionary, which, however, labels the word as merely related to axis, and not derived from it. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 08:03, 4 March 2018 (UTC)


I wish I knew my way around Arabic etymological works. This appears like it may have a semantic history similar to barbarian, which would be interesting, but I don't know where to look. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:31, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Arabic has no standard etymological reference. You have to look into the etymologies of the borrowings, in this case Turkish. --Vahag (talk) 14:15, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm, I'd like something better than that Turkish reference. It starts out on the wrong foot by giving a misspelling of the Arabic etymon, and proceeds to discuss Hebrew and Aramaic cognates that I cannot find in my dictionaries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:19, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
I remember there was some useful stuff in "ʿAdjam" in Encyclopaedia of Islam. --Z 19:26, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, that was excellent (and explained what I had thought to be a misspelling). Is there a reference template for the EoI? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:37, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Finnish pateettinen[edit]

It seems highly unlikely that pateettinen came from paatos, from which paatoksellinen is derived. Much more likely seems a direct loan from French pathétique, not even thru Swedish. --Espoo (talk) 19:03, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Finnish vasen[edit]

Can be related to vasta-, "against, counter, anti" as in a lot of other languages? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 21:49, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

They go back as distinct roots already to Proto-Uralic (*wasa (left) > Samoyedic *wåtV; *wasta (place across) > e.g. Erzya васта (vasta, place)), though I would not rule out that they're indeed linked at a pre-Proto-Uralic level. --Tropylium (talk) 01:50, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

cāseus into French[edit]

If French had inherited Latin cāseus, what would it be? Something like chèse? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:37, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

I suspect that -eus would dissappear completely. See melior, palatium, iunius (from Phonological_history_of_French), not sure what happens with s when palatalized, perhaps palatal metathesis? Maybe something like cheis? Crom daba (talk) 15:13, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking of bāsium > baise, but now I'm not sure but that the latter is deverbal from baiser rather than inherited from Latin. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:29, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the ending, the only other Latin word we seem to have with "-aseus", to compare that part to, is carbaseus. More broadly, searching the database dump, I don't find many Latin words with even just "-eus" and French descendants (that are listed in the entry), but if mail and coin are regular inheritances of of malleus and cuneus, they show loss of the "-eus", whereas puteus became pui(t)s and laqueus became lacs. (Aculeus seems to have developed nonstandardly, cierge outright says it developed nonstandardly, couille and chausse says they're via Vulgar Latin forms in "-ea", and auge says it's an early borrowing.) - -sche (discuss) 16:15, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I think generally -eus developed in VL the same as -ius, so we can assume the result would be the same as for a *cāsius (cf. Portuguese queijo and Spanish queso, where the vowels of both and the medial consonant of the former suggest VL *cāsius. And note that those forms both rhyme with their language's respective reflexes of bāsium: beijo and beso. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:30, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
OK, the only word I found that ends in "-sius" and has a French descendant listed is Gildasius, which became Gildas, and the only ones in "-sium" with one are tamisium which became tamis, and bāsium. - -sche (discuss) 17:01, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Is chasière a borrowing or an inheritance of cāseārius? - -sche (discuss) 20:56, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't know. It isn't in my Dictionnaire étymologique. But the c > ch change sure makes it look like an inheritance; borrowings don't usually undergo that change, do they? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:10, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the first part, there is:
Given that and chasière coming from cāseārius, I would guess maybe chas. - -sche (discuss) 03:09, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Gildas notwithstanding, I do think there would be diphthongization of a to ai in a stressed open syllable before -ius, so chais is probably more likely. (Actually, given amat > aime and carō > chair, the diphthongization probably would have happened even without the palatalizing influence of the -ius.) Anyway, I was just idly speculating what the word cheese would look like if it had gone into French and then been borrowed into English, rather than being borrowed into West Germanic and then inherited into English. The fact that both French and Anglo-Frisian change to /k/ to /tʃ/ before certain vowels means that the two paths could have looked more similar than one might have expected. (Sort of like choice and choose, where the former has /tʃ/ because of the French rule and the latter has it because of the Anglo-Frisian rule, and it's basically coincidence that these two rather distantly related words wound up looking so similar.) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:26, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
True, and I see there's sain from sānus. (But I also notice that chair seems to indicate that an alternate form char is older, if you're imagining a historical borrowing.) Well, here are all our Latin entries which end in -aseuC or asiuC, aside from the already-mentioned cāseus and bāsium and Gildasius, if anyone wants to check if they have French descendants we don't have listed:
- -sche (discuss) 15:55, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Hebrew אפשר / Arabic ممكن[edit]

These two terms -- אפשר and ممكن - seem to both similarly used to mean "can," although Hebrew has the verb יכול with this meaning. An example in Hebrew: "אפשר לעזור לך?" (lit. "possible to help you?", meaning "can I help you?") I'm wondering how far this use in Hebrew goes back, whether this is a recent calque from Arabic or something much older. My instinct says the former but I don't know. Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to shed some light on this. Finsternish (talk) 18:28, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

Pretty sure it's a Modern Hebrew usage. I don't know about it being a semantic loan from Arabic, though it's possible: I'd simply say the אפשר in your example sentence is just האם אפשר (ha'ím efshár, "is it possible") with the interrogative particle dropped for convenience. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 20:51, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Makes sense, thank you. Finsternish (talk) 14:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Well actually, there is absolutely no need to say that it's short for האם אפשר. The interrogative particle is always optional, and the default is in fact not to have it. Now as to whether אפשר is a semantic loan from Arabic ممكن, the best way to investigate this would be to see when exactly this construction becomes common. --WikiTiki89 15:14, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Polish ogół[edit]

Would someone know the etymology of this word? There's one here, but it's in Polish.

PL Aleksander Brückner-Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego 394.jpeg

--Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:46, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

pl.Wikt also has a nice-looking etymology which could be informative. Pinging recently-active Polish speaker @Tweenk, can you help us out? :) - -sche (discuss) 20:53, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Here's my translation of pl.Wikt:
From Old Polish oguł (the modern form is a result of a lowering of articulation u > o > ó before the consonant ł), from Northern Proto-Slavic *o(b)gulъ (probably that which is encircled, surrounded, entirety), perhaps a deverbal noun from Proto-Slavic *o(b)guljati (to encircle, surround in a dance), from Proto-Slavic *guljati (to play, dance, sing, have fun). Compare hulać, Belarusian агу́л (ahúl).
Some more cognates: Russian гуля́ть (guljátʹ), Serbo-Croatian guliti. The semantic diversity is a little suspicious and makes it harder for me to trust any reconstructed definitions for Proto-Slavic. --WikiTiki89 22:26, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks; I'll abstain from adding anything for now, because it's too obscure. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:31, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
I've added at least the immediate (Old Polish) ancestor, and that it comes from Proto-Slavic. - -sche (discuss) 21:24, 10 March 2018 (UTC)


I wasn't able to find a better etymology than our current account of the ancient folk etymology.

And would you agree to exchanging the current claims in Bosporus and Bosphorus about which is the more common spelling? As summarized on WP: The spelling Bosporus is listed first or exclusively in all major British and American dictionaries (e.g. Oxford Online Dictionaries, Collins, Longman, Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, and Random House) as well as the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Columbia Encyclopedia. The American Heritage Dictionary's online version has only this spelling and its search function doesn't even find anything for the spelling Bosphorus. --Espoo (talk) 10:13, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

In terms of actual usage, Bosphorus is still more common than Bosporus (also with the), and was historically been even more so. It's odd that Wikipedia claims it's "uncommon" in British English where it's maybe twice as common, and "rare" in American English where it's also more common. I see that it only makes that claim due to your own edits, which I've now modified. - -sche (discuss) 15:50, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

Seeking Etymology, Norman or otherwise, of the word ‘Tchad’[edit]

I would appreciate any information. —This comment was unsigned.

See Chad#Etymology_2. - -sche (discuss) 18:00, 11 March 2018 (UTC)


This is said to be from Arabic or Ethiopic. Can anyone figure out a specific likely etymon? Some references mention alternative spellings kobar and gobar, so the first consonant is not necessarily q. (Incidentally, we're missing an English entry as kobar for something else, see google books:"kobars".) - -sche (discuss) 18:00, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Here they link it to the root ق ب ر (q b r). DTLHS (talk) 18:02, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Using that, I also found the spelling of the immediate Ge'ez etymon in Leslau's Comparative Dictionary, where he says it is perhaps related to an Arabic word kifr "darkness of the night" which I also find mentioned in old Arabic dictionaries although not in the vaunted Wehr. (Wehr does mention a root ب خ ر (b ḵ r) meaning "turn into smoke or haze", but it's likely no more than chance similarity.) - -sche (discuss) 23:02, 11 March 2018 (UTC)


Can we decide which one of these is actually true?:

Waldemar is derived from a compound of Old High German waltan ("power") and māri ("famous") [or otherwise derived somehow from Proto-Germanic *waldą ("might, authority) + Proto-Germanic *mērijaz ("renowned, famous")]. Cognate (or equivalent to) Slavic Vladimir, which is ultimately derived from Proto-Slavic *Voldiměrъ, which is a calque of the Germanic.


Vladimir/Влади́мир is derived from Old Church Slavonic Владимѣръ, which is in turn derived from Proto-Slavic *Voldiměrъ, (but with the second part changed by folk etymology to миръ ["peace"]) which is a compound of *vold- ("rule") and *měrъ ("famous"). Derived from the Proto-Slavic are the Danish Valdemar and German Waldemar.

Tharthan (talk) 20:43, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Considering that living door to door with a decent amount of local Slavs (Polabians and Sorbs) well into recent times left virtually, or possibly literally, no impression at all on both speech and names in Germany, I find the notion that a German name be derived from Slavic very unbelievable. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 23:54, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Boris Paraschkewow, Wörter und Namen gleicher Herkunft und Struktur (2004, ↑ISBN), page 377, says:

Waldemar: The old Germanic personal name is made up of walt (from OHG waltan 'rule, reign', cf. Arnold) and mär (from Germanic *mӕ̄rja-, 'famous', [...]). To its pre-Old High German phonetic form *waldimӕ̄r- [the] Slavic *valdīmèr- can be traced, whose outcome in Old Czech had its sound modified to -mir and thus secondarily based on the Slavic word mirъ, 'peace; world'. With the characteristic for Czech (and the South Slavic languages) pre-consonantal change /al/ > /la/, the name spread in the still-current pronunciation Vladimir/Wladimir into the other Slavic languages, [...]. It is not [to be] ruled out that, independent of the described borrowing-process, the Germanic name, whose first component transparently had the same origin and meaning as Slavic valděti 'rule, reign', [but] whose second [component] prior to the reinterpretation remained unclear, through partial loan-translation [...] resulted in the Slavic name Wladislaw as a structural-semantic equivalent of Waldemar.

However, Vasmer says of Влади́мир:

The first part of which is connected with Church Slavonic владь 'rule/power' [...], while the second part is related to Gothic -mērs [...], OHG mâri [...], Greek ἐγχεσίμωρος [...], Irish mór, már [...], Welsh mawr; cf. Pedersen, Kelt. Gr. 1, 49. Thus, Vladimir "great in his power". The vocalization 'la' is Church Slavonic in origin. The ending '-mirъ' arose under the influence of 'мир', "peace, the world" by folk etymology [...]; otherwise, but hardly correct, cf. Kalima, [...]. See Володи́мер.

It seems that the German name is of Germanic origin, but the Slavic name might either be of Germanic origin reinforced by marked similarity in form and meaning to Slavic elements, or of native Slavic origin reinforced by the markedly similar Germanic name. - -sche (discuss) 01:08, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

If OHG Waldemar from waltan (verb?) / walt (noun) then questions:

  1. d ← t? is it regular?
  2. -e- between parts of name, is it regular?
  3. Is there similar OHG names? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 12:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
There is the Old High German (Alemanni) name Waldomer Leasnam (talk) 14:43, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Well, it seems there is no much information for "Alemanni"+"Waldomer" in Google search (mainly "[..] commander for King Meriadoc of Wales") —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Judging by Wikipedia, Scandinavian Valdemar is older than Waldemar, so maybe question should be "Valdemar/Vladimir"? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 12:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

See also German Walter.
Could it be that the names developed from a Latin or PIE name in parallel with the roots? For the PIE root also see Valentin. Rhyminreason (talk) 00:17, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Judging by Wiktionary, list of names derived from OHG waltan "rule": (Walfried, Waltraud, Walpurga/Walburg), (Berthold, Ewald, Witold; Danish Helmolt; French Romuald). And of course name Walter but it has slightly different etymology: in German entry it says "from OHG waltan", but in English "from Old Northern French Waltier, ..., from PG *waldą". Question: why Waldemar is Waldemar and not *Walmar? Or "Merged with Scandinavian Valdemar" = displaced by Scandinavian Valdemar? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Interestingly, name Walfried is from "rule" + "peace". Proto-Slavic *mirъ "peace; world" has variant *měrъ (Serbo-Criatian mijer?, Slovak mier?, Old Polish mier?, Sorbian měr?, ..?). But I didn't see a dictionary that say: *Voldiměrъ from imperative of *volsti "to rule" + *měrъ "peace", so maybe there is something incorrect. —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
de.Wikipedia, without clear sourcing, asserts "In der Onomastik gibt es unterschiedliche Ansichten, ob der slawische Name eigentlich aus dem Germanischen entlehnt ist oder der germanische aus dem slawischen oder ob beide aus einer älteren indoeuropäischen Sprachschicht stammen." "In onomastics, there are different views, about whether the Slavic name is actually borrowed from Germanic, or the Germanic from Slavic, or whether both derive from an older Indo-European stage." But I'm having a hard time finding reliable- (or even pop-culture-y-) looking references, at least in German, that give anything but a Germanic etymology for the Germanic name. - -sche (discuss) 18:34, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

Italian concepire[edit]

Would the presence of Italian ricevere (vis a vis its assumedly borrowed doublet recepire) indicate that words like concepire were borrowed or semi-learned? I thought it was inherited but now I'm not sure. Can't find good resources on it. The emergence of a 'v' from an intervocalic 'p' in Italian isn't uncommon and doesn't necessarily indicate Gallo-Romance influence. But maybe this is a matter of different dialects used in the formation of standard Italian? Most of the other Romance cognates seem to be inherited. Word dewd544 (talk) 19:54, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Sigh, why aren't there more experts on Latin and Romance here? There seems to be many who are into obscure Iranian languages, Turkic, and Polynesian, many of which deal with hypothetical reconstructions, but one of the most well attested families when it comes to linguistic evolution and transitions should have more experts right? I feel like Romance linguistics should be easier than others in some ways. Word dewd544 (talk) 21:36, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Maybe there are some Romance specialists on Wiktionnaire who could help you? @Noé, Lyokoï, Pamputt, ? – Jberkel 21:45, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Better call @Nemo bis or @Otourly, they know much more about Italian than me Face-smile.svg Noé 23:00, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
@Word dewd544 Well, I can’t answer like an italian could do. When I learned Italian in France, I just remember that we employed the past participle " ricevuto " but may be it just because "ricevere" is easier to be prononced/learned by french people. Also it could really depends of the region of Italy... Otourly (talk) 05:45, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Baltic, Eastern Baltic[edit]

Isn't Eastern Baltic (Latvian and Lithuanian) a monophyletic grouping? If by "Proto-Baltic" we meant "Proto-Eastern-Baltic", wouldn't it be a valid protolanguage? @Tropylium --2A02:2788:A4:F44:7039:DDF:54FD:3A3C 23:31, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Probably? This seems to be mostly uncontested. Eugen Hill's recent review paper on Proto-Baltic mentions *ai > *ei (though this seems rather trivial) and complex reworking of the personal pronouns' inflection. Just looking at standard Latvian and standard Lithuanian doesn't go very far though, since both languages have extensive dialect diversity. --Tropylium (talk) 11:43, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I think so too, but "Proto-Baltic" would generally be understood to mean the protolanguage of both Eastern Baltic and Western Baltic, which is why we avoid it, since the only protolanguage covering Eastern and Western Baltic also covers Slavic and so is called Proto-Balto-Slavic. If we mean Proto-Eastern Baltic, we should call it that. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 12:05, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your answers. Yes, probably better to speak of Proto-Eastern Baltic. @Florian Blaschke, what do you think? --2A02:2788:A4:F44:1D6C:8B9E:1BBB:8CAF 21:22, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, Lithuanian–Latvian or East Baltic is absolutely a coherent and quite close-knit group sharply distinct from Old Prussian and its closest (poorly attested) relatives (West Baltic). See w:Balto-Slavic languages: The minimal consensus is that West Baltic, East Baltic and Slavic are all valid subbranches. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:21, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

-ba, in LA[edit]

-bam, -bas & -bat exist, and as suffix, but -bamus, -batis and -bant were deleted in 2009 saying they're inflectional endings, not suffix. Is this true? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:19, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

It's true they're inflectional endings, but we generally treat those as kinds of affix. We certainly have plenty of entries for inflectional endings in other languages. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 12:54, 15 March 2018 (UTC)


The etymology currently just says “From Old French dauber (whitewash). However, the Old French dauber entry itself doesn't say anything about whitewashing.

Can anyone elucidate the origins of the English term? And possibly clean up / expand the etymologies of the etyma? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:39, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

絆#Japanese (kizuna, hodashi)[edit]

Please check my latest revision if you can. My researching gives me some conflict with the ultimate derivation:

Both kizuna and hodashi appear in the Wamyō Ruijushō (20-volume):

  • kizuna:  文選西京賦云韓盧噬於緤末[緤音思列反訓岐豆奈]薛綜曰緤攣也
  • hodashi:  釈名云絆[音半和名保太之]半也抱使半行不得自縦也

The more positive sense of "bond" for kizuna came later in The Tale of the Heike, around 300 years after the Wamyōshō.

Does the modern jiten verify the latter (iki + tsuna) or there are other theories aside from ones in my revision and here? --POKéTalker (talk) 21:24, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Re: kizuna, the later -zuna portion is rendered as -dzuna in pre-reform spellings, and is clearly the rendaku form of (tsuna, rope, line, binding). The initial ki- portion is highly unlikely to be (iki, breath); the semantics just don't fit at all. It's also unlikely to be 引き (hiki, pulling), as this element does not abbreviate that way -- I certainly cannot think if any examples (though that might just be because it's Friday). Gogen Allguide's entry suggests maybe (ki, knight, rider), but that also seems unlikely. In the absence of any clear candidates, I might list the theories and present the caveats, or just say "unclear".
I'll have to look into hodashi later.  :) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:56, 16 March 2018 (UTC)


I'm just curious, but would someone with a good knowledge of Old English tell me what this Old Norse borrowing supplanted? It doesn't say in the given etymology on the page. Tharthan (talk) 05:46, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

That's a good question and one I'm not have an easy time finding an answer to. This English–Anglo-Saxon vocabulary list gives filde (Bosworth-Toller gives it as fild), but it seems to apply only to land as it is derived from noun feld (field). The only word I can think of that could have been applied to a flat surface or a flat piece of paper is efen. Otherwise we'd expect a descendant of Proto-Germanic *flakaz (flat), but none seems to be attested (the flōc listed on that page is a noun meaning "flatfish, flounder"). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:42, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
sliht. I suppose smōþ/smēþe and brād could also be used Leasnam (talk) 20:11, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
@Leasnam I see. So am I right in presuming that it is likely that the introduction of flat to English vocabulary led to the "smooth, even, flat" meaning of slight to become less used, and eventually almost completely superseded by flat? Tharthan (talk) 21:07, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
That's a possibility, but it doesn't really answer the question of why Icelandic still has flatur and sléttur, which both still basically mean the same thing Leasnam (talk) 21:27, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

ḱw to π?[edit]

Other than ἵππος (híppos), is there any evidence that PIE *ḱw became π(π) in Greek? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:51, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

πέπαμαι (pépamai, to acquire), but it's problematic.
If you need any *Ḱw > *Kw like τίτανος (títanos, chalk) which is also problematic, and θηρίον (thēríon) which is a textbook example.
Generally check Schwyzer page 301 and references therein, I couldn't dig them up but you have some ties to academia IIRC so you might. Crom daba (talk) 00:01, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: Thanks for your help! In fact I don't have Schwyzer or access to it, but I do have Rix, whose only example besides ἵππος is in fact θήρ/θηρίον. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:37, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: A legend has it shady Russian sites might have it, I wouldn't know anything about it tho.
There are a few more proposed cases but Beekes rejects them, φθέγγομαι, φωνή (as cognate to zvono), πάσσω...
Schwyzer also claims that *Kw is reflected as K (this was new to me, I don't know if the theory still holds), which casts some additional doubt on this change IMO. Crom daba (talk) 21:10, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: Rix says that the perfect active participle ending -wō̆s- -wot- simply loses its w without changing the preceding consonant, but that's clearly due to paradigm levelling so that the perfect active participle has the same consonantism as the rest of the paradigm, e.g. *we-wik-wōs > εἰκώς (eikṓs) rather than *εἰππώς (*eippṓs). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:17, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Going the other way, are there other Greek words with geminate π? I can't think of any right now. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:57, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
(Aeolic ὄππα doesn't count) --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:59, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Here is a list of Ancient Greek lemmas containing ππ. Most of them look like compounds with ἵππος, contractions of other words, or loanwords. - -sche (discuss) 18:20, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
Here's a list I made that includes words mentioned or linked to even if they don't have entries. I excluded anything obviously related to ἵππος (híppos):
  • Probably onomatopoeic.
--WikiTiki89 18:27, 19 March 2018 (UTC)


An IP tried to add Wikipedia's Template:Dubious to this etymology. They think the etymology is not accurate, and "called balderdash". Can we source this etymology, per their request? PseudoSkull (talk) 17:53, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

See also the recent comment at Talk:okay. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:55, 18 March 2018 (UTC)


I noticed that Fortson's Indo-European (section 2.17) book casually remarks that the word is "known" to be from Semitic. Beekes gives a number of possibilities ("the name probably comes from the East") but says that the connections to ἀφρός (aphrós) and the like aren't scholarly consensus anymore. It would be great if the Semitic theories were elaborated on by someone knowledgeable in Ancient Greek. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 00:25, 19 March 2018 (UTC)