Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2018/May

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Etymology of écharpe[edit]

I just looked this word up, and the page only gives écharpe<escharpe (MF). Loading escharpe, I see no etymon, but the OF section below gives escharpe<skreppa (Old Norse), and it is only natural to assume the missing link and conclude écharpe<escharpe (MF)<escharpe (OF)<skreppa. Then I looked up sciarpa to see if it was cognate, and I found sciarpa<écharpe<*skrippa (Frakish). So the questions are:

  1. Firstly, which is right: écharpe<escharpe (MF)<escharpe (OF)<skreppa or écharpe<escharpe (MF)<escharpe (OF)<*skrippa (Frankish)?
  2. Are the Frankish and Old Norse terms related, perhaps one a borrowing for the other?
  3. Are the OF and MF identical terms escharpe related, or is the MF term from Frankish and the OF term from ON, with the OF term dying out and the MF arising afterwards?

MGorrone (talk) 15:24, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

I've expanded the etymology at écharpe. I'm also finding seemingly conflicting origins. I have a tendency to think that this might be two words: one meaning "scarf, bandolier, sash, baldric" and another meaning "satchel, bag, scrip", but I am not sure yet... Leasnam (talk) 02:20, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
fr.wt links it to Latin: "De vieux-francique *skirpja « sacoche, panier de jonc », du latin scirpus". Note *skirpja marked as reconstructed. Pondering the previous σᾰ́κος thread I came to consider an influence of a meaning patchwork, made of clippings, scraps, rags, i.e. cut waste cloth, because of the Egyptian "sꜣgꜣ" - inferior kind of cloth, most likely sackcloth linked from σάκκος. And hence an influence of a root meaning cut, which fit OH so well, because "shield", the gloss of the Greek term, goes back to *(s)kelH- (“to cut”), and "Verschnitt" on the other hand is German for scraps (maybe more specific), where "Schnitt" is akin to "schneiden" (to cut). So I suppose
Scrap, from Old Norse skrapa might be relevant, here, if only because it sounds similar to ON skreppa.
For the German perspective: The latter glosses to slip, but it's not easy to see how that might be related to the various meanings of the noun slip to left over fabrics. There's also the "Schlapphut", today understood to be akin to "schlaff" (opposite of stiff, rigid, strong + hat), schlapp says as much. For slab in turn (as if slap) we have "4. An outside piece taken from a log or timber when sawing it into boards, planks, etc." Case closed. Almost. Someone else will have to pick up the slack and plug the holes and errors in this argument (pun intended, I'm really sorry, but I hope this helps).
The gist is anyhow, that sack, basket, etc. are Wanderwords important in international trade, so a single origin is hard to prove.
I wonder how you would justify "more likely from Old Norse" @Leasnam. Rhyminreason (talk) 10:48, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
Well, Old Norse skreppa meaning "to slip" as in "to fall on a slippery surface" is a different word. What is relevant here is the feminine noun skreppa meaning "scrip, bag". The "more likely" would apply only to the Old French word escherpe "bag, satchel" leading to the English word scrip meaning "bag, satchel". IF there is a different Old French word, escherpe that leads to the French word écharpe "scarf" then perhaps "more likely from Old Norse" wouldn't apply to that word, if it's not the selfsame word. I've removed that blurb from the etymology Leasnam (talk) 14:17, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
CNRTL does link the modern French word to the Old French word meaning "satchel, saddle-bag, scrip", so it does appear to be one word. Sense development from "large basket made of bullrushes" via a hypothetical Frankish borrowing (I assume in order to preserve the form of the word) is more fraught with complications than a borrowing from Old Norse meaning "scrip, bag" IMO Leasnam (talk) 14:29, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

why is police a plurale tantum?[edit]

Having to say "the police are..." instead of "**the police is..." has always bugged me. Where does that usage come from? --Per utramque cavernam 08:53, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

I suppose it comes from the fact that the term refers to a group of people. In British English it's parallel to constructions like "the audience are", "the staff are", etc., but what's weird is the ungrammaticality of *"the police is" even in American English (where "the audience is", "the staff is" etc. are normal). What trips me up is remembering to say "Die Polizei ist" rather than *"Die Polizei sind" when I'm speaking German. (I have the same problem remembering not to say *"Meine Brille sind", *"Meine Hose sind", or *"Diese Schere sind", to be honest.) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:49, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: Thanks. I didn't know audience and staff tend to be used like that too. Pesky pluralia tantum! --Per utramque cavernam 11:32, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I've seen police, audience and staff used primarily in the singular. At least that's how I use it, but I am not a native. I would have thought the /s/ ending facilitates the impression of a plural form, but staff doesn't fit that idea. So I guess the staff is more frequently seen as a singular entity.
"The police is/are coming" gives a 1/40 ratio on g-books. "The police is/are" only gives a 1/4 ratio, and prior to ca. 1900 a prevalence of "is". Most those results might be irrelevant, e.g. the verb might not relate to the police but a different part of the sentence. But I did not bother to check (the doubt arose later). Rhyminreason (talk) 00:20, 7 May 2018 (UTC)


This is in reference to the horse disease. Conversation moved from the Tea Room:

@DTLHS, I wouldn't say that the horse disease is a separate etymology. It's called "strangles" because it strangles the horse. -Stelio (talk) 07:32, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
They are separate etymologies- the horse disease word was formed much later than the verb / noun inflections, within English, even if they ultimately have the same source. DTLHS (talk) 16:18, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
This reminds me of the debate over whether a verb derived from a homographic noun (for example) is a separate etymology... a question about which there is debate. - -sche (discuss) 04:27, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
This isn't discussed on WT:ELE or WT:ELY. What is the cut-off for considering whether two senses of the same word are separate etymologies? For example computer as a person's role is 17C whereas the electronic tool is 20C, but they are listed under the same etymology. Strangles as a horse disease goes back to 13C, as per the following citation. -Stelio (talk) 09:11, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • R. Paillot; M. R. Lopez‐Alvarez; J. R. Newton; A. S. Waller (March 2017), “Strangles: A modern clinical view from the 17th century”, in Equine Veterinary Journal, volume 49, issue 2, DOI:10.1111/evj.12659, ISSN 0425-1644, page 141:

    Strangles remains one of the most frequently diagnosed infectious diseases of horses worldwide and is responsible for significant welfare and economic cost. It was first described by Jordanus Rufus of Calabria, a knight of Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, King of Naples and Sicily, circa 1251.

Digging further, I've found a copy of the original 1251 text. So the etymology I've got so far is:

from Old French [] (between 1256 and 1300, Jordanus Rufus, La marechaucie des chevaux)
from Medieval Latin strangulionis (1251, Jordanus Rufus, de medicina equorum)
  • I can't get the Old French term though. The contents of La marechaucie des chevaux is included in Tony Hunt's Old French medical texts, a copy of which is in the open archive of the Wellcome Library (History of Medicine, Shelfmark BN.CA.36) in Euston. But I'm not planning to be back in London for a while.
  • And presumably it goes from Old French into Middle English before it reaches Modern English. But I haven't got a Middle English citation to confirm the spelling.

So this confirms DTLHS's stance of the disease name being of a different etymology, yes? And without the intervening words, what can be included in the entry's etymology section? -Stelio (talk) 13:57, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

I find it interesting that the Portuguese translation in the entry is garrotilho, following the disease manifestation rather than the Latin word. I've put in {{t-needed}} for a few more languages. DCDuring (talk) 17:29, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
I've fill in some translations. Here are some more, but I'm not sufficiently comfortable with these languages to add them myself. -Stelio (talk) 08:33, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Interesting that a few, not all, of these use the concept of strangulation, though just Italian seems to use Latin strangulatio. To me that indicates that the horse disease definition of strangles might derive from the verb fairly directly. I haven't found any evidence of a Latin (or Ancient Greek) word for the horse disease, but the Oxford Latin Dictionary or similar from Europe might help. DCDuring (talk) 16:05, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
You won't get a Latin or Ancient Greek term for this disease (beyond the Medieval Latin noted above) because it was first documented in 1251, according to all professional veterinary sources. -Stelio (talk) 07:46, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
And you won't get an Old French intermediary, if that was just using the Pseudo Latin. The ellipsis in the quote is curious, anyway. I wouldn't be too surprised if the quote was literal. Rhyminreason (talk) 09:13, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
That's not a quote; those are my own notes. :-) Jordanus Rufus wrote de medicina equorum (dated to 1251) in which he describes strangulionis in Medieval Latin. Then Jordanus Rufus also published La marechaucie des chevaux (some time between 1256 and 1300) in Old French (so his own translation). I haven't been able to see a copy of the text of that book yet to confirm what the wording he used was, hence "[...]". After that point, I don't have an English citation until the 1700s (see citation on bastard strangles). -Stelio (talk) 11:40, 10 May 2018 (UTC)


The etymology uses the ambiguous term “Scottish”. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:58, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

It may be impossible to tell the difference between derivation from Scots and derivation from an identical Scottish English word. If so, I think it would be simpler to say English broadened the use of one of its own (English) words, rather than involving another language. - -sche (discuss) 17:36, 5 May 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. 蕳砃 is not a native Min Nan word; it is definitely borrowed from Malay, not the other way around. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:06, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

Slav, Sclavus, σκλάβος[edit]

Especially following some referenced(!) edits to some of them today (see diff), these give different etymologies. (slave did, too, until I cut its etymology off at Latin and put a "see there".) Perhaps we want to mention all of the theories (at least, any that are plausible) in one place and point the other entries towards it. - -sche (discuss) 08:27, 7 May 2018 (UTC)


The etymology given (from Indonesian makan) appears dubious to me. If true, the expression niets te makken would originally mean "nothing to eat". None of the examples I can find suggest indigence, like penniless people going hungry – merely an inability to afford modestly luxurious expenses.  --Lambiam 19:24, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

FWIW, the Dutch Wiktionary entry seems to source this from Yiddish instead of Indonesian. I'm inclined to agree with that derivation, rather than from an Indonesian term meaning to eat. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:53, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
Digging into the history of the makken entry, the Indonesian connection came with the creation of the page in 2007, when the sense was simply given as to eat -- the same as the purported Indonesian etymon, makan. It looks like the sense was updated later to align with what Dutch sources say, but the etymology was only updated to match our templating and formatting conventions, without any alignment with other sources.
There is a wide semantic difference between to eat and the meaning of the specific set phrasing in which makken appears -- niets te makken hebben, “to have nothing to spend, to have no influence” -- making the initial entry sense and derivation appear to be either a flat-out mistake, or perhaps a sense limited to the specific sociolect of Indonesian speakers of Dutch.
I've done some research in Dutch sources, turning up no clear leads aside from the purported Yiddish connection in the NL WT entry at [[nl:makken]] (presumably deriving from מאַכן (makhn)?). However, I have little experience with this and I am sure I'm limited in what I can find. I hope others can delve in and ferret out the full derivation. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:54, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Celtic *glastos[edit]

Does it come from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃- ?

Conceivably. I'll see what Matasovic says when I get a chance. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:59, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
He says probably so. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 18:41, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

English sog ~ Icelandic saggi etc.[edit]

The former claims to be of unknown origin, but sure looks like it could be a Scandinavian loan. seaw lists several other Scand. forms related to the Ic. --Tropylium (talk) 19:06, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Century in 1911 already connected this to Icelandic söggr, although modern dictionaries I checked either have no entry or say only "unclear". - -sche (discuss) 22:26, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Old East Slavic мѫжьщина[edit]

According to Max Vasmer Russian мужчи́на (mužčína) is inherited from Old East Slavic мѫжьщина (mǫžĭščina). (For some reason he uses 16th century Russian spelling мущи́на (muščína)). мѫжьщина doesn't seem to be attested and there are other theories. Belarusian мужчы́на (mužčýna) must have inherited from the same source or re-borrowed from Russian. (Notifying Benwing2, Cinemantique, KoreanQuoter, Useigor, Wanjuscha, Wikitiki89, Stephen G. Brown): : Do you have any suggestions about what to do with мѫжьщина? Also @Per utramque cavernam, Vahagn Petrosyan might be interested. BTW, pls advise if you want to be included/excluded from the Russian notification group in Module:workgroup ping/data. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:44, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

@Atitarev: You can include me in the notification group. --Per utramque cavernam 11:42, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
See also Talk:мужчина. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:45, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: This is what the asterisk is for: Old East Slavic *мѫжьщина (*mǫžĭščina). But how do we know it wasn't Old East Slavic *мѫжьчина (*mǫžĭčina)? --WikiTiki89 15:09, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89:: Good question. I also suspected it was from OCS. Another theory is it was from mężczyna via Belarusian. Both мужчи́на (mužčína) and же́нщина (žénščina) are from adjectives in Proto-Slavic + *-ina. I wonder if *ženьščina is a correct reconstruction. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:23, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Never mind, Old East Slavic *мѫжьщина (*mǫžĭščina) makes more sense, since it is *mǫžь + *-ьskъ + *-ina. The Russian and Belarusian forms both make perfect sense as well, so I don't know what the confusion is about. --WikiTiki89 20:17, 11 May 2018 (UTC)


Can anyone improve or narrow down the etymology on this term (beyond a compound of wag + pastie)? I've found a few sources that try to give an explanation (copied into the talk page) but none of them agree and I can't find any other sources to support any of these interpretations. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 12:16, 10 May 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Can somebody create a "reference" section and put a citation please? Cause I can't seem to find any sources of this etymology. Johnny Shiz (talk) 20:14, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

It's mentioned on the ZH WP page, at zh:w:眼鏡#历史. That section has two reference links, which might be a good place to start. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:19, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Cited. Wyang (talk) 00:09, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

(mochi, mochii)[edit]

Is (mochi, glutinous rice) is the origin for (mochi, glutinous rice cake), or is the rice cake derived from a shortening of 餅飯 (mochi-ii, literally rice cake + cooked rice grains), as in mochii? ~ POKéTalker) 06:01, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Per the KDJ, (mochi) is a shift from older (mochii, historical mochipi), in turn a shift from 糯飯 (mochi ii, historical mochi ipi), referring to (ii, cooked grains) made from (mochi, glutinous rice).
The DJR entry for (mochii) here similarly notes a shift from older mochi ipi, though they spell the older mochi with the same kanji as the later derivation.
The DJS entry here agrees with the KDJ.
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:11, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
There's a bit of confusion: there exists also 餅飯, also spelled mochi-ii but literally "cooked glutinous rice + cooked grains" (four instances of that). Is it a later derivation from (mochi) and/or the same as cooked rice cakes, even though adding another (ii)? ~ POKéTalker) 03:53, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
餅飯 (mochi ii, ancient mochi ipi) appears to be an alternative form of 糯飯 (mochi ii, ancient mochi ipi), specific to the sense of mochi, as in the glutinous pounded rice dough. This term is not a later derivation of modern (mochi), but instead the etymon:
  • 糯飯 (mochi ii, historical hiragana もちいひ)餅飯 (mochi ii, historical hiragana もちいひ) (mochii, historical hiragana もちひ) (mochi)
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:46, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
All done, amo and kachin included. ~ POKéTalker) 06:54, 14 May 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. ばかFumikotalk 11:36, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

It must be from the Portuguese Timóteo, as is the case with many early western, let alone biblical, borrowings of Japanese. It may also be the Latin Timotheus or one of its inflectional forms. The 1936 平凡社大辞典 mentions Timotheos next to the headword without explanation, but probably not as the etymology. Nardog (talk) 14:08, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
While Portuguese is indeed the most likely historical candidate donor language, a straight borrowing from PT would have maintained the "o" on the end. What would cause this to fall out??
The Latin genitive Tīmotheī and vocative Tīmothee look like they have the right phonetics to produce JA Temote, but a borrowing straight from Latin is unlikely.
Rather that no sources that we've been able to locate give any details on the precise derivation of the term, and how it arrived in Japanese as Temote, the derivation is unclear. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:09, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
@ばかFumiko, please do not re-insert your own emotionally-charged editorializing. Please also do not again remove the [[Saint]] from the gloss -- this term is specifically referring to Saint Timothy. The modern given name Timothy is rendered in Japanese as ティモシー (Timoshī), not テモテ (Temote). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:57, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr How about you stop your editorializing? It's strange to me that while I'm obligated to provide sources for edits on Wikipedia, otherwise they'll easily be subject to removal, a frigging admin on Wiktionary is allowed to have free reign to throw around unverified claims which are clearly his own original research as a matter of course. Secondly, the label "biblical" denotes the fact that it's not the English name, but the biblical individuals (including that saint). ばかFumikotalk 02:56, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Fumiko here. To say the origin is "unclear" implies that we, not just those here on Wiktionary but scholars in general, have not figured it out yet; but we (those on Wiktionary) don't know if that's true. And the direct translation of "Saint Timothy" would be "聖テモテ". The label helps the reader identify the sense—compare ミカエル, パウロ, ペトロ. Nardog (talk) 04:44, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Simply omitting any such note implies that the entry editors have done no research. I've spent some time looking into this, and no source I've found describes how this term entered into Japanese, nor why it manifests as Temote instead of the expected Temoteo (assuming a Portuguese source). The wording I added ("The route of borrowing and the reason for the phonetic transition to Temote is unclear") was intended to convey exactly that: the details are unclear, as no resources consulted include any such detail. This note is not intended as commentary or editorializing, but rather as an objective statement of what I've found. If that should be reworded, I'm open to suggestion, but I do think we need to say something about this.
Regarding the sense line, ミカエル (Mikaeru) and パウロ (Pauro) have multiple other possible referents, and indeed the JA WP has disambig pages for these (ja:w:ミカエル_(曖昧さ回避), ja:w:パウロ_(曖昧さ回避)). With just the biblical label and a link through to [[Timothy]], readers might be misled into thinking that テモテ (Temote) has a broader range of meanings. From what I can find, テモテ (Temote) refers pretty exclusively to one specific individual, Saint Timothy. Incidentally, the situation is similar for ペトロ (Petoro): the JA term appears to refer specifically to the saint, while the EN term has a broader range of meanings. We would do our readers a disservice if we do not make that clear. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:25, 18 May 2018 (UTC)


Surely this is attested in Classical Chinese? Probably not strictly wasei kango. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:57, 12 May 2018 (UTC)


No etymology given. 16:59, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Done, but I'm only pushing the problem back further. Per utramque cavernam 14:31, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Undone. How can you possibly know whether основа or основать came first? --WikiTiki89 15:01, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't know. I've readded a more cautious etymology. --Per utramque cavernam 15:06, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

By the way, I've always assumed a "deverbal" was a noun derived from a verb by disfixation; it seems counterintuitive to me to call terminaison a "deverbal" of terminer. Am I wrong? @Wikitiki89, Mahagaja? --Per utramque cavernam 15:13, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

I'm not aware of that restriction. I thought a deverbal was any non-verb derived from a verb. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:17, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: Mh, all right. I'll have to find a new name for CAT:Deverbals by language and {{deverbal}} then, because my goal is to gather a very specific subset of disfixed deverbals, not every word derived from a verb there's out there. (CAT:French disfixed words sounds weird...) --Per utramque cavernam 16:19, 23 May 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. ばかFumikotalk 01:40, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

  • Regarding sense development, 草履 (zōri) are sandals made from straw originally, and this matches the spelling, (grass) + (footwear).
  • Regarding the reading, the KDJ describes this as originally sauri (equating to modern sōri), the regular on'yomi. The zōri reading would then be a shift from sōri by simply adding voicing, not an unusual change in Japanese terms.
The KDJ, Daijirin, and Daijisen include a reading jōri, presumably as a less-regular shift form zōri. The Daijirin and Daijisen entries include the detail that this reading was attested in the 1603 Nippo Jisho Japanese-Portugese dictionary. Any reading jōri would have been spelled giǒri in the Portuguese orthography of the time, and notably, there is no such entry -- it would appear on this page towards the top of the right-hand column, between giôqiǒ (modern romaji jōkyō, 濃香) and giǒrocu (modern romaji jōroku, probably 丈六). The zǒri entry here towards the bottom of the left column states:

Zǒri. Commummente ſe diz, Iǒri. Calçado feiso da palha, junco, ou qualquer outra [illegible]

I suppose it's possible the Paris edition available on Google includes a typo, and Iǒri should instead be Giǒri. Does anyone have access to another edition of the Nippo Jisho for confirmation? Or any other JA source describing the origin of the purported jōri reading? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:51, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

time paradox[edit]

Excuse me etymologists, I am a mere copier of my dictionary sources: again, and again, problem with gkm=Medieval Greek: Impossible:

  • {calque|gkm|la|
  • {bor|gkm|la
  • {inh|gkm|grc

Instead, I have to send all mediaeval words to ancient categories, with ancient greek borrowing from latin!
P.S. And I cannot find {loanword|... e.g. ντετερμινισμός (Determinismus).
Can anybody help? Thank you. sarri.greek (talk) 12:45, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Template:bor is to be used for loans.
A mere ancient/modern distinction seems a bit bcoarse, indeed. Rhyminreason (talk) 00:16, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
See WT:AGRC: "Ancient Greek includes all forms of Greek from the invention of the Greek alphabet in the 8th century BC through the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD, including Classical Greek, Koine Greek, and Byzantine Greek (also called Medieval Greek)." You can use gkm to indicate Medieval Greek as the source of an etymology, but any word attested before 1453 is considered Ancient Greek. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 07:45, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
-loanword=sorry @Rhyminreason: my brain stuck, thought bor.exact+inflectional endings was some special Cat.
-Μεγάλε Maha! @Mahagaja: I know, I know... This is precicely the paradox: 10th century = ancient... sarri.greek (talk) 09:46, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
@Sarri.greek: It's just a label. Don't take it too literally! You can always put {{lb|grc|Medieval Greek}} or {{lb|grc|Byzantine}} on it to clarify the time period it's used in. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
New discovery: the ancient greeks sang Christian κοντάκια!! They can now be found in Categories ancient lemmas, ancient nouns, ancient neuter nouns... Formerly MeGr, but now Angr... sarri.greek (talk) 10:25, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the language spanned quite a time period.
The prevailing view so far has been that the varieties spoken in the ancient period and the variety spoken in the middle ages are not sufficiently different to require treating them as different languages. Compare Hebrew, treated as one language. Or Moldavian or Croatian, whose speakers are sometimes miffed at what we call their language on here. The downside of using a name some people are initially confused by is outweighed by the upside of not duplicating massive amounts of content across such similar varieties of the language. - -sche (discuss) 14:02, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
I do thank you @-sche: for your paregoric, but practical analysis. I was looking for a solution with less, much less implications: just excluding some words from ancient categories; not making new ones. A Mediaeval Cat already exists and is sufficient. I just cannot take the words OFF the ancient ones. I was hoping there were some kind of template for narrowing, not expanding the inclusion in categories. Same problem with greek words spellt in polytonic script: thousands of them, as written before 1982. We do not want them duplicating the existing modern monotonic greek lemmata in all subcategories. A template telling the word: go to one and only one category, would be ideal. sarri.greek (talk) 15:21, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Since "Ancient Greek" is the name we give to all 22 centuries from 750 BC to AD 1453, it makes sense that CAT:Ancient Greek lemmas (and so on) contains words from that entire timespan. If we had a CAT:Classical Greek it would make sense to exclude post-Classical terms from it, but we don't. (We do, however, have CAT:Post-classical Ancient Greek, which has only 2 entries in it. Shouldn't they be moved to CAT:Koine Greek and/or CAT:Byzantine Greek and the rather useless category deleted?) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:46, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
The way it is used in those two entries looks legit to me. Why not just put Byzantine and Koine under Classical? Crom daba (talk) 20:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: It's not erroneous, it's just not helpful to have two entries in a catchall "post-classical" category when everything else post-classical is either Koine or Byzantine or both. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:32, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Could CAT:Ancient Greek lemmas have subcategories, technically? Rhyminreason (talk) 10:00, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
It already does, they're listed at the top. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:53, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
I've deleted the category, moving the two entries into the other categories. It is added by the label "post-Classical", so we'll have to watch out for new uses. We should update Module:labels to allow labels to display and function differently depending on language code (this would also help with Doric Greek vs Doric Scots), so the label could categorize as "post-Classical" for Latin and Old Armenian, but "Koine" + "Byzantine" for Ancient Greek. - -sche (discuss) 21:13, 16 May 2018 (UTC)

Bástya (Hungarian) vs. bastion (English / French) vs. Башня (Russian): etymology? Are they cognates?[edit]

The three words in the title are similar in sound and meaning, so I was wondering whether they are related in any way. The etymology sections apart from bastion are empty, so where do bástya and башня come from? I suspect the Russian word may not be a cognate becsuse of the n which in the others is a t, but the other two? Also, are there other cognates to these in other languages? For example, does башня have cognates in other Slavic languages? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

On a quick check-up, at least the Hungarian supposedly comes through Italian bastia. This gives an etymology seemingly completely different from the French — but then the Latin verb bastiō that the latter refers to turns out to be indeed a late Germanism. (It has a Classical pronunciation given though, which seems a bit anachronistic.) --Tropylium (talk) 10:37, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
To expand on that, bastia says bastia (Italian) < *bastjan (OHG) < *bastijaną (PG), bastion traces it to OF bastille, then bastille gives the Modern French term as from Latin bastilia, plural of bastile, which comes from bastio, and that verb is from Frankish *bastijan, from the same PG term, giving the chain bastion<bastille<bastile<bastio<*bastijan<*bastijaną, which would make the terms cognate. So if all the above is correct, and bástya is from Italian bastia, we have cognates. MGorrone (talk) 13:45, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
I have added a referenced etymology (Vasmer). Yes, Russian ба́шня (bášnja, tower) was borrowed from Italian bastia via Polish baszta or Czech bašta. There's also a doublet from French - бастио́н (bastión, bastion). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:54, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Why did the t become n in Russian? I assume there's nothing phonotactically wrong with a hypothetical *ба́штя, is there? Is there some similar word with n that bastia got confused with? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:34, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
It was Old East Slavic башта (bašta). No idea why it was passed on differently. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:39, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Actually, the same source says -nja was added as a Slavic suffix -> baš(t)nja: башта -> баш(т)ня [1]. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:45, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
-ion and -nja#Serbo-Croation, supposing that's comparable to ня, are both deverbal suffixes. Does that hint at a parallel development?
Could the loss of t be due to orrthographic mishaps, in a way that ш would have been read as sht? Rhyminreason (talk) 10:12, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure for Russian, but at least in Serbo-Croatian, stn goes to sn regularly. Crom daba (talk) 11:32, 16 May 2018 (UTC)


Tagged but not listed. Nardog (talk) 01:57, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

My IP edit; forgot to use the "sort=" feature, sorry about that. Expanded, but would like to think about the "Fuyuki" given name. The entry looks good (to me) now. ~ POKéTalker) 02:49, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

海原 (unabara)[edit]

Compound of (umi, sea, ocean) + (na, Old Japanese possessive particle) + (hara, plain)? ~ POKéTalker) 01:36, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

  • Exactly. KDJ lists exactly that. appears in a few compounds as una. The u is parsed as “sea, ocean”, and the na as the alternative to regular particle (no). There's even 海原 (unohara) as the ancient Eastern Japanese version of 海原 (unabara), clearly manifesting the (no).
For that matter, (umi) is parseable as u “sea, ocean” + mi “water”.
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:43, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the confirmation; 海上 (unakami), 海境 (unasaka), 海路 (unaji), and 海底 (unazoko) seem to have a similar shift. ~ POKéTalker) 06:51, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
This probably has wider ramifications, but why is the OJ pronunciation given with h- throughout and not as p- > ɸ-? For that matter, medial -ɸ- usually goes to -w-, so I would have assumed that rendaku happened here already by the p- stage. --Tropylium (talk) 12:03, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

(unagi, munagi)[edit]

Is the shift from mu-u- a normal Old to Middle Japanese shift, and any earliest attestation of modern unagi? ~ POKéTalker) 06:51, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

It's not "normal" as in, it's not something that happens consistently. However, it isn't an unusual shift. See also (ume, ancient mume), (uma, ancient muma), and even the shift from suppositional mu to u (and thence to modern / -yō). FWIW, the Gogen Allguide entry suggests a derivation from (ancient reading mu, “body”) + nagi, a hypothetical inflection of the root for naga “long”. The Nihonjiten entry suggests the same, as well as a few other theories. The KDJ doesn't give any derivation beyond just OJP, providing a citation from the Man'yōshū. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:48, 21 May 2018 (UTC)


What's origin of Arabic أُسْطُول‎ (ʾusṭūl, fleet)? It seems to be cognate with Greek στόλος (stólos, fleet). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:15, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Shelomo Dov Goitein says in A Mediterranean Society: volume I (1967) that "usṭūl [...] is derived from Greek stolos, 'fleet,'" although "in the Arabic of that period" he is writing of, which seems to be the 1000s-1300s, it designated one heavy warship rather than a fleet. Manwel Mifsud, in Loan Verbs in Maltese: A Descriptive and Comparative Study (1995), agrees with this derivation ("/ʾusṭūl/ 'fleet' < Gr στόλος") and says the loan is "of very old origin". - -sche (discuss) 15:32, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
@-sche: Thanks! --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:59, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
That's an interesting quote but how old exactly is very old, anyway? Rhyminreason (talk) 00:19, 20 May 2018 (UTC)


@Tropylium, Hekaheka, are these edits valid or is this the problematic Finnish philologist from before? (If the latter, the edits could just be nuked to save time.) - -sche (discuss) 21:23, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Please also take a look at Special:Contributions/, e.g. diff. - -sche (discuss) 21:30, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Whichever the case, I think we've cleaned up most of the former already, where required. --Tropylium (talk) 17:14, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
Seem very much like it. A block or two could be in order. (I would recommend blocks for both IPs) SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 09:15, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
Found another one: Special:Contributions/ SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 13:14, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
The range Special:Contributions/ seems particularly active. It's one of the ranges of a mobile operator (Telia) in Finland, so blocking it may incur some collateral damage. The 84. one in turn is probably a broadband connection of some kind. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 13:34, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
For the record, I also support blocking the original account indef. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 14:30, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
I however wouldn't probably support mass reverting or nuking the edits - some edits are actually productive, but the editor has shown that they have no intention to stop adding clearly incorrect folk etymologies to some entries. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 18:15, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Another range? Special:Contributions/ SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 19:10, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Yep, another mixture of probably well-intentioned edits some of which are badly garbled enough to be effectively vandalism anyway — e.g. mass-changing all adverbs suffixed with -ti to say that they are "abessive like inflection" even though they're derived terms and not inflected forms. --Tropylium (talk) 12:33, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

From mancus#Latin 'handless' to PIE[edit]

In etym, it reads from Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/man- 'hand' (+ko), which redirects to Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/mon- 'man, person', nothing to do with the other meaning. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 22:05, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Fixed. It's from the same source as manus (hand). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:38, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Japanese words purportedly from Hebrew? (comparison)[edit]

This may interest anyone who has a liking of comparative linguistics. From the theory that the Japanese came from one of the ten lost tribes of Israel, just found this YouTube video from 2011: this video (start at 12:26) gives us some Japanese words that are similarly sounding from Hebrew ones (possibly the ultimate derivation?).

The terms in question from the video are:

To begin with, in my opinion, there is no way these words actually were derived from Hebrew (from the differing pronunciations), given there is no evidence (yet, probably) on their derivation from said language. Just posting this to make you aware. If I missed something, or this has been already discussed somewhere else, please notify me. Domo, ~ POKéTalker) 14:20, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

🙄 As long as no one actually enters these "etymologies" into our entries we're OK. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:22, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
All languages have words that coincidentally both sound similar and have similar meanings. Anyone who knows anything knows that a few coincidences are usually nothing more than coincidences. Keep in mind the birthday paradox. --WikiTiki89 14:58, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
書く (kaku, to write) is cognate with 掻く (kaku, to scratch), and probably also cognate with 掛く (kaku, to catch on something; to cover over the top of something; to hang something).
住む (sumu, to dwell in a place) is cognate with various other sumu verbs, with a core meaning of "to settle" -- be it in a place, or accounts, or transactions between people, or a matter under discussion.
滅ぶ (horobu, to fall; to perish, to die out) is element horo + suffix bu "seems like, becomes like, behaves like". Horo appears in horohoro "scatteringly", and with voicing as boroboro "raggedly, tatteredly, crumblingly".
祓う (harau, to purify) is cognate with 払う (harau, to sweep away; to pull taut; to pay out), and derives from 張る (haru, to be taut), 貼る (haru, to paste or stick onto something, by spreading the flat object taut when laying it onto the surface) + repetitive / iterative suffix (fu), modern . Also cognate with 孕む (haramu, to be pregnant, i.e. to have a full and taut belly).
拍手 (hakushu, to clap) is clearly a compound.
Cheers, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:12, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Biting the flame bait, I have to say the birthday problem is not really relevant here at all. The linked probability calculation is stretching the imagination. The fallacy is the assumption that we had perfectly quantified information, either way.
The real mistake is the heavily implied verdict that the claim must be wrong. The chance to find random matches as high as 50% (which, as the text freely admits would include mutually exclusive matches) given the necessary leeway only means that the chance simply isn't significant. Rhyminreason (talk) 05:15, 24 May 2018 (UTC) (redacted)
Which just shows that you have no clue what you're talking about, and why your comments are such a waste of time to read. I don't mean that as an insult, but as a literal statement of fact. If you accept any superficial resemblance as persuasive, you spend a lot of time trying (and failing) to make sense out of random noise. There are observable forces at work in language change, and not taking them into account keeps you from truly understanding anything. There are always exceptions, but they're exceptional- most of the data will fit. Having felt the force of gravity and seen its effects, I know not to expect rocks to fall upwards: I will first look for their source uphill, rather than downhill. Overall patterns are what to look for, not individual resemblances. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:02, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for all your comments. In later parts, there's also other terms: the ソーラン節 (Sōran-bushi), and the sumo terms hakkeyoi/hakkiyoi and sumo itself:

More information on ancient Japan and ancient Israelite comparisons, including words (in Japanese). There's lots of interesting resources on the web, including the katakana parallels to the Hebrew/some Aramaic alphabet. Still, it's good to say they're only coincidences at best. ~ POKéTalker) 03:30, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Just watch Pokemon, buddy, we are building a dictionary here. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:40, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Goodness, that's harsh. If I am not mistaken, Poketalker has already acknowledged that it's unlikely to be true and is just posting this for the heck of it. —Suzukaze-c 17:11, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Russian кувалда, “sledgehammer”[edit]

ru.wikt says this is a borrowing from Belarusian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer), and that the Belarusian word is itself a borrowing from Polish kowadło (anvil). But Belarusian also has the word кава́дла (kavádla, anvil), which I assumed is borrowed from that very same Polish word kowadło when I created the entry. Now I don't know if I was right to make that assumption, but Belarusian кава́дла (kavádla) seems closer both phonetically and semantically to kowadło than кува́лда (kuválda) is.

Does anybody know what's up here? Does Belarusian have two different loans from the same Polish etymon? --Per utramque cavernam 15:47, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

@Per utramque cavernam: It seems Russian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) was metathetically borrowed from Polish kowadło via Belarusian or Ukrainian. The Russian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) gradually changed: ковадло->ковалдо->ковалда->кувалда and changed the meaning. Ukrainian and Belarusian later re-borrowed the term from Russian with the same modern sense. Another theory is кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) was formed by ку- (ku-) + вали́ть (valítʹ, to fell, to knock down). The Ukrainian source is Етимологічний словник української мови. Not sure if it's the source for the last theory (prefix) or both (+ Polish "anvil"). The part that Belarusian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) and Ukrainian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) re-borrowed it from Russian is more or less certain - Ukrainian and Russian sources agree. The terms Ukrainian кова́дло (kovádlo, anvil) and Belarusian кава́дла (kavádla, anvil) were borrowed from Polish. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:51, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: All right, thanks. I think the etymology of the Polish kowadło is sure: Proto-Slavic *kovati + *-dlo.
So the only uncertainty left is the etymology of Russian кува́лда (kuválda). I'm not knowledgeable at all, but that Vasmer theory that it's from ку- (ku-) + вали́ть (valítʹ) is strange, no? What's that prefix? And -да is not a suffix (per Talk:-ба), is it? All in all, that would be a weird formation. --Per utramque cavernam 08:17, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam: Yes, I don't like the prefix theory either. The travel from Polish kowadło (anvil) (ковадло->ковалдо->ковалда->кувалда) to Russian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) makes much more sense to me. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:12, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Yes, I find it more convincing too. Last question: кова́дло (kovádlo) doesn't exist at all in Russian? --Per utramque cavernam 10:54, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam:: All dictionaries and Google books searches return only Ukrainian results. It's hard to establish with certainty, if it was ever Russian. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:08, 25 May 2018 (UTC)


Currently split into two etymologies. Aren't these similar enough to fall under one etymology heading? IMO separate headings should be used only for unrelated words. Any fine detail of derivation paths of different parts of speech can be covered under the one heading, as necessary. I think that splitting entries like this over multiple etymology headings is counterintuitive and confusing for ordinary users. Mihia (talk) 22:19, 25 May 2018 (UTC)