Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2018/November

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Does the "mine supervisor" sense have a different etymology than the German-derived/calqued "superhuman" sense? - -sche (discuss) 17:24, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

OED seems to group them together as one term [[1]], as does MW; however Century only has the "foreman in a colliery" sense, and doesn't even mention the German word or meaning, so they must be unrelated. Leasnam (talk) 23:27, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
I broke them out. It's obvious that the German is a much later calque. Leasnam (talk) 23:31, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

虫垂 and vermix[edit]

The etymology section for Japanese 虫垂 (chuusui, vermiform appendix) presents as a possible explanation that this is, perhaps, a calque of Latin vermix. A problem with this explanation is that vermix is not a Latin word. Translated literally, 虫垂 would mean “worm hang”. Now it is a well-known fact that Japanese medical knowledge expanded greatly, starting in the 18th century, through the diligent study of Rangaku, which gave access to Western science, including medicine. Excerpts of Dutch medical compendia were translated into Japanese. The vernacular Dutch term for the learned Latin term vermiform appendix is a very literal calque, wormvormig aanhangsel. It is easy to see why Japanese translators may have opted to calque-translate this more in style as if it were “worm hang”. The use of to form a compound is not unique; for example, 肉垂 (nikusui), literally meaning ”flesh hang”, is used for an animal’s double chin (as seen e.g. in rabbits) or wattle (as in birds).  --Lambiam 19:15, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure where that etym was sourced from, but the JA materials I have to hand suggest it's a calque from medical Latin appendix vermiformis. Note that can mean “to hang”, and also “to dangle, to hang off of something else”. It can be used on its own to refer to an appendix, particularly in medical contexts. There are also longer-form synonyms for Japanese 虫垂 (chūsui) that are closer calques and that appear to pre-date the short term: 虫様垂 (chūyō sui, literally worm-shaped dangling → vermiform appendix), 虫様突起 (chūyō tokki, literally worm-shaped sticking-out → vermiform process). Unfortunately, the JA sources I've consulted describe what this is, but say almost nothing as to the historical provenance of these terms. The Shinmeikai 5 does state that 虫垂 is a newer synonym for older 虫様突起 (chūyō tokki). The best I've found so far about the etymon is this entry in the Sekai Dai Hyakka Jiten (“World Big Encyclopedia”), which explicitly calls out the Latin term in a notation similar to etymologies in other dictionaries.
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:52, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
@Fumiko Take. —Suzukaze-c 23:06, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • @Lambiam, I've expanded the etymology. I suspect that rangaku was probably where this term first entered Japanese, but I cannot find a source that definitively states as much, nor any historical sources that use the term. That said, I haven't done much digging yet in historical texts. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:32, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

German Metzger[edit]

Duden's etymology describes this as:

mittelhochdeutsch metzjer, metzjære, wahrscheinlich zu mittellateinisch matiarius = jemand, der mit Därmen handelt, zu lateinisch mattea < griechisch mattýa = feine Fleischspeise

I'm curious if this might (also?) be related somehow to Hungarian metsz (to cut), which appears to have wholly Hungarian / Uralic roots (obsolete verb met + frequentative verb-forming suffix -sz, though our -sz entry is currently missing the frequentative suffix sense; see also the verbs alszik, tesz), with no relation to the Latin or Greek. The German term appears to be more southern, and Austria is right next door to Hungary, so it's at least geographically plausible. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:34, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

I'm certain that there is no connection and that the resemblance to the Hungarian verb is purely accidental. (Also, what's up with the -g- < -j- then?) I don't see how both etymologies (and the mat(t)iārius etymology is pretty compelling; see also de:Metzger and Pfeifer apud DWDS) could be true at the same time. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:52, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
The -j--g- shift required for Middle High German metzjer to become modern Metzger is rather puzzling to me, but maybe that's a regular shift in German?
There is a Hungarian noun-forming suffix -g, and I find evidence of a rare form metszeg (google:"metszeg"), which prompted my initial query from the hypothesis that maybe HU metszeg → *metszg + DE agentive suffix -erMetzger, either as a borrowing or as an influence. But perhaps not. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:29, 15 November 2018 (UTC)


Users knowledgeable of Old English etymologies and with more time than me may want to look into the question on that talk page. - -sche (discuss) 19:23, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

Done. Leasnam (talk) 04:04, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

sumu, somon[edit]

Do we know what language somon is from, and whether sumu (which we're currently missing, there and at sum, as a word for a Sum (country subdivision)) is from Mongolian or Chinese? (Is the word when in reference to Mongolia derived from Mongolian, while in reference to China it's from Chinese?) - -sche (discuss) 22:01, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

Our entry 蘇木#Etymology 2 states that it is borrowed from Mongolian.  --Lambiam 22:21, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
There's also the question of whether sumu is from the older Mongolian, or from Mandarin (in turn from Mongolian). @Crom daba should be able to sort this all out. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:00, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
See сум. As a side note, I think we should merge Classical Mongolian and Mongolian, the distinction is more trouble than worth. Crom daba (talk) 12:00, 3 November 2018 (UTC)


I see a lot of sources not just not backing our etymology up, but indeed insisting that stay (the common verb) derives ultimately from Latin stare, which our etymology dismisses. I looked into the citation, but I must be missing something because I don't see how The Century Dictionary's entry disproves or offers grounds for dismissal of the stare explanation.

Forgive me if I truly am missing something blatantly obvious or something like that, but I don't see why we ought to assume that the common verb stay is from an Old French verbal derivative of a noun derived from Middle Dutch staeye ("a prop, stay"), from a contracted form of Middle Dutch staede, ultimately from Proto Germanic *stadiz (a standing, place). Tharthan (talk) 06:30, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

The question is, does English stay come from the Old French verb estayer or from the Old French ester (simple present third person singular estait)? As a general rule, English verbs derived from Old French verbs ending in -er drop the infinitive ending -er, first replacing it by -en, which then is dropped in the transition from Middle English to English. For example, Old French contester → English contest. So in the first case we expect Old French estayer → Middle English estayen → English estay, in the second case Old French ester → Middle English esten → English est. The aphaeresis estay(en)stay(en) is almost standard, as in Old French especial → Middle English special. A development leading from Old French ester to English stay, on the other hand, is not easily explained.
It is generally accepted that estayer comes from an Old French noun *estai (French étai). Now the question becomes the etymology of *estai. Here, we find a serious divergence. Our stay etymology derives it from Middle Dutch staeye. The French Wikipedia derives it from Old Low Franconian *staka (cognate with stake), as does “étai” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).  --Lambiam 08:17, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
When an English word has an Old French pedigree, you’d generally expect that it migrated to the British isles with the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. If estai was already then part of the Old French lexicon, it cannot have been borrowed from Middle Dutch, since the latter term denotes West Germanic dialects that were spoken and written between 1150 and 1500.  --Lambiam 21:09, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, but didn't Old Norman or Anglo-Norman end up also creating a bit of a passageway for other Old French terms to enter into English at a somewhat later date? Furthermore, even if it isn't from Middle Dutch, could it not still be derived from the other Germanic source suggested by the French source that you mentioned? Tharthan (talk) 22:13, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
While there remained contact for a considerable time between Anglo-Normans and continental Normans, the number of words introduced thereby in Anglo-Norman French from the second half of the 12th century onward must be rather small compared to the lexicon imported in the wave of the initial 1066 conquest. That makes the Middle Dutch hypothesis not entirely impossible but considerably less likely. An additional problem is that the meaning of étai is “prop” while the Middle Dutch word just meant “place”, although it is conceivable that the meaning in French shifted only later. I have no opinion on the Old Low Franconian hypothesis. The Trésor presents no evidence for the claim.  --Lambiam 07:18, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
The earliest occurrences of Middle English staien are from the early 15c (1423) in the sense of "to support, hold something up", and it appears that this word came into English much later after the Norman Conquest. Also, to my understanding, most English words of French origin were borrowed 14-15 century, and not immediately after the Conquest. Leasnam (talk) 23:03, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
But were they borrowed from Anglo-Norman French or from continental Middle French? In other words, when did estai cross the Channel?  --Lambiam 07:43, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
They were borrowed from both. The notion that English was immediately flooded with Norman French words in the years following the Norman Conquest is simply just not true. Early Middle English writings show meagre borrowings contrasted with Late Middle English (Chaucer), which is rife with French words, both from Central French and Northern varieties. In Early Middle English, the English simply did not "take" to the French. It wasn't until after the French speaking monarchs in England abandoned French to speak ENGLISH that we see a version of English, their "English", peppered to death with French insertions. As far as estai is concerned, as it says above, it's attested first in 1423, which makes it rather Late Middle English. Leasnam (talk) 20:42, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
The conquerers brought with them, in the 11th century, an extended lexicon from Old Norman French and other Old French dialects. Their language developed into what is called Anglo-Norman French. This was the King’s French. Regardless of when estaien was borrowed by Middle English, surely it found its way via the intermediary of Anglo-Norman French, so at some earlier point in time it must have become part of the Anglo-Norman French lexicon. When did this happen? In the course of its development, the Anglo-Norman French lexicon also incorporated many new words from continental French. However, the number of such new words was nevertheless much less than the size of the “old” lexicon. Was estai already part of the lexicon imported wholesale across the Channel in the 11th century, or was it one of the later imports? The latter form a minority, so without further specific information on any particular word, the former is more likely. If Middle English estaien is first attested in 1423, does that tell us something about the earliest use of estaie in French? Le Trésor gives 1304 as the first attestation. We should compare that to early attestations of Middle Dutch staeye in a sense of “support”, something on which I have no information.  --Lambiam 09:24, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic “jaw”[edit]

*kaflaz and *kefalaz overlap in their descendants. Now I am not sure what’s the truth about what was used in Proto-Germanic. Am I right to assume that *kefalaz as created by @Leasnam, but later than the other, is the better reconstruction? I wouldn’t know if there were variants in Proto-Germanic. Pfeifer speaks of “r-, l- oder t-Suffix” and there are more descendants with -r and -t. I find neither form anyway elsewhere, but some thing or the other needs to be done, onto which I focus attention herewith. Fay Freak (talk) 18:48, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

The former variant seems to have been created on the basis of Old English (ċeafl < *kæfl < *kafl-), while Dutch/French/German clearly point to *ke- (and Norse to *kē-!). It looks frankly unclear if the words can be derived from a single proto-form. --Tropylium (talk) 17:22, 10 November 2018 (UTC)


The etymology which User:Hikui87 added, can anyone verify that? --Naggy Nagumo (talk) 23:50, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

It's not right. I'd fix it, but I'm having trouble with the editor features at the moment. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 02:03, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr, should it be removed? --Naggy Nagumo (talk) 00:46, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
@Naggy Nagumo, done. Replaced with {{rfe}} until I or someone else can get around to adding the correct etym. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:30, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

not to worry[edit]

Etymology? @Backinstadiums. Per utramque cavernam 23:03, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

I think this was first used in the mid 20th century (as a standalone phrase). DTLHS (talk) 01:45, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
It might be an ellipsis of something, but what? "I tell you not to worry."? "It's better not to worry."? "Not any reason to worry."? DCDuring (talk) 04:07, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Could it be a construction running parallel with to be sure and others, about which there has been a discussion a few months ago? Per utramque cavernam 15:03, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I'd forgotten about Wiktionary:Tea_room/2018/February#to_be_sure. But the expressions discussed there functioned as sentence adverbs. Not to worry has a discourse function (a bit like de nada?) as a response to an apology.
In that discussion there was a large population of adjectives that could follow to be. At the moment I can't think of other verbs that can fill the slot occupied by worry. DCDuring (talk) 06:07, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
"Not to fear": [2], "not to fret", [3]. DTLHS (talk) 06:10, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
According to Partridge’s Dictionary of Catch Phrases the idiom dates from the mid-1930s with a surge in 1957–8. There are many grammatically standard sentences with the collocation; a nice example from 1935 is, “Not to worry is obviously at times impossible to the thoroughly sane and sound.”[4] Or, paraphrasing the Bard’s tragical Prince of Denmark: “To worry or not to worry, that is the question that is worrying me.”  --Lambiam 08:30, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
But is/was there an expression which performs a similar function in discourse? DCDuring (talk) 14:56, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
I can imagine an exchange like “To worry or not to worry, that is the question. — Well, if these are the alternatives, my choice is not to worry.” Admittedly somewhat contrived, compared to “I tell you not to worry”. But the expression is somewhat odd, and almost certainly was felt even more so when it was fresh, so whatever the origin is, it may not have been a quite normal expression either.  --Lambiam 22:45, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Looking at the citations in the entry, the Kingsley Amis citation is indirectly reported speech, not the stand-alone expression. Our usage example is stilted and omits commas that I would expect to bracket the expression. It would be more natural if the usage example was of the use of the expression in dialog.
There is not terribly much usage in Google Books of standalone conversational Not to worry = No worries, but abundant usage of the collocation in indirect reported speech. Is it possible that a sentence like 'He told me not to worry (indirect reported speech) is interpreted as He told me "Not to worry"' (direct reported speech)? DCDuring (talk) 05:43, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
I found this in Jewish Language Review, Volume 5: "It has been supposed that English Not to worry! is of Yiddish origin, but those who have suggested this etymology have never specified the presumed Yiddish etymon. Could it be ni(sh)t gedayget!?" DTLHS (talk) 06:31, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
As well as "Meshuggenary: celebrating the world of Yiddish" (2002, 21): "And another translates a Yiddish expression into English, as Be well (Yiddish, Zay gezunt), not to worry (Yiddish, nit gedayget), [] "
@Metaknowledge, Wikitiki89? Per utramque cavernam 09:04, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't know. It may be worth noting that "ni(sh)t gedayget" literally translates to "not worried" rather than "not to worry". --WikiTiki89 16:12, 12 November 2018 (UTC)


Is the etymology correct? Not from con- + assimilation?--Espoo (talk) 15:27, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

One might quibble about the "with ‘m’ doubled to clarify pronunciation" part, but, but the etymology has to be correct- the second part is definitely mingle, not assimilate. I suppose it could also be a calque, but assimilate and mingle aren't that great a match, semantically. It looks to me like addition of the co- prefix to an English word with the "m" added by analogy with the behavior of the same prefix in Latin borrowings. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:29, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
I think that's what Espoo meant (con- + mingle with assimilation). Per utramque cavernam 16:47, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Now that you point it out, probably. My last sentence is still relevant- not assimilation, but analogy with assimilated Latin terms. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:43, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
It looks like the spelling comingle is slightly older than commingle. It is hard to tell now why some people, three centuries ago, chose a second, different spelling, but it is possible they only knew the word from hearing it used and just guessed a spelling for it. If the words were pronounced then as they are now, commingle is the more phonetic spelling. At the same time, for people familiar with words like command, commemorate, commit and commotion, a double mm may by analogy have seemed the correct spelling. I find it plausible that both explanations have played a role.  --Lambiam 22:26, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
My guess is that the extra "m" was added to make it match other words where the assimilation happened in Latin before they made their way into English. It wouldn't surprise me if it was at least partly motivated by the old belief that Latin was the model to which all other languages should conform. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:43, 11 November 2018 (UTC)


It looks as if I found another one.

Many other sources put forth this as the etymology for the word:

From Middle English mincen, from Old French mincier/mincer ("to cut into tiny pieces"), from Vulgar Latin *minutiare ("to make tiny") [from minutiæ ("tiny pieces"), from minutia ("smallness")] from Latin minutus ("small").


Although some dictionaries list an Old English etymology as a possibility, it is still usually noted to be less likely than the Latin etymology. And as plausible as I grant you that our etymology is, is there any real reason besides the alternative Middle English spelling minsen of Middle English mincen and the obsolete alternative Modern English spelling minse of mince why we assume that mince comes in part from Old English minsian ("to make less, make smaller, diminish")? Again, it is not that it seems implausible (not at all, in fact, it would seem implausible for Old English minsian to exist at the same time [if it was indeed still part of the common parlance at the time] as Old French mincier/mincer and not influence the Middle English word), but before we declare a word to be the result of a conflation of two ancestral words from two different languages, I think that we ought to give it some more thought. If the partial penultimate etymon (of sorts) is indeed Proto-Germanic *minniz (less), I suppose that in the grand scheme of things that it doesn't matter because both Latin minutus and Proto-Germanic *minniz come from the same Proto-Indo-European root. Still, it would be good if we could back up our etymology. If mince didn't partially come from Old English minsian, then the Old English term ought not to be listed in our etymology. Tharthan (talk) 04:12, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

The question is really this, Tharthan: Why do you think it should be removed ? Let us not mince words... Leasnam (talk) 20:39, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Ha ha. And I was thinking that I might end up making mincemeat out of some of our etymology.
In all seriousness, my concern is a bit of a broader one. I (at least) perceive that we may have a bit of a problem here on the English Wiktionary of suggesting Germanic (or partially Germanic) etymologies for words that are far more likely of other origins. I can name one example right now off of the top of my head.
Our previously given etymology for the common word neat was that it was derived from a Middle English word which was derived from Anglo-Norman neit, which we said was the result of a conflation of Old French net or nette ("clean, clear, pure"), which was from Latin, and another Middle English word, *neit/nait ("in good order, trim, useful, dextrous"), which was derived from Old Norse neytr (“fit for use, in good order”), which was from Proto-Germanic. Until the etymology was looked at and deemed suspicious, that was the etymology that we gave.
I know that there are plenty more examples, but I can't recall them off of the top of my head. I also realise that there are plenty of other sources out there that have slants themselves (I can think of one right now that is too hasty in dismissing Germanic etymologies in favour of 'Unknown' or 'Of Latin origin'), but I think that we ought to be as neutral as possible in this regard. If you want more examples, I can go digging around for some other ones that I have spotted before. Tharthan (talk) 23:41, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Tharthan, you sound like the etymology police ! A one time error does not a pattern make, you should know that (and such a tiny error too). Are you keeping tabs ? tsk tsk... Deriving mince from minsian and mincier is absolutely sourceable, and reasonable. You've stated that above more or less. The real issue may be whether Old French mincer, mincier comes from Frankish *minsōn or Vulgar Latin *minūtiāre. Let's chat :D Leasnam (talk) 01:56, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, I'm pretty sure that I've seen quite a few other examples in the past. If I come across one again, I'll mention it under this topic header.
Regarding Old French mincer/mincier, there is always, of course, the possibility that it comes from a conflation of both. The problem with determining if it comes almost solely from one or the other is that we couldn't really determine that by the resulting word's meaning. For instance, if we assume that it comes from Vulgar Latin *minutiare, then close cognates such as archaic Italian minuzzare ("to crumble, to rip apart into little pieces), and archaic Spanish menuzar ("to crumble, to comb over"), as well as Portuguese esmiuçar ("to chop finely; grind, to 'break it down' [to explain in detail]") make it pretty clear that at least later on in its existence, one of the meanings of the Vulgar Latin verb was "to reduce to tiny pieces", even though it initially would seem to have simply been "to make small" (however, we cannot rule out that "to reduce to tiny pieces" was a later development in the Romance languages rather than in Vulgar Latin). This is something that was obvious already. The problem is that the hypothetical Frankish verb seems like it would have meant "to reduce in size". So from my perspective, the question is about what the original meaning of the Old French verb was, because it could even not much later in its development have developed either meaning reasonably irrespective of which one it started with. If we can't figure that out (and I imagine that that might be difficult, to say the least), then we are at a dead end. Tharthan (talk) 02:58, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
True. I Agree with you there. However, an additional point I'd like to bring up concerns the form of the word, and this makes derivation from *minūtiāre difficult. Seeing that the primary and secondary stresses fall on the 4th and 2nd syllables, respectively, the expected descendant of Latin *minūtiāre should be Old French *menucer, *menucier, and this is precisely the outcome we see in words like menu, menuise, and menuiser (Old French menusier), the last being the true descendant of *minūtiāre. Sharply contrasted are mincer/mincier with complete loss of the Latin stressed -ū- so staunchly preserved in the other forms. This makes taking a serious a look at Frankish *minsōn as a likely candidate worth considering, at least where the form of the Old French word is concerned. And as you say, it's not a huge leap from "cut into small pieces, crumble" to "become smaller, lessen", however you choose to slice it ;) Leasnam (talk) 03:45, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

матур = beautiful[edit]

Is it possible to find out the etymology of матур matur, the Bashkir and Tatar word for 'beautiful'? It doesn't show any resemblance to the words for beautiful in any other languages. Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 20:23, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Done, feel free to trim/reword. Crom daba (talk) 21:27, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
See also Baghatur.  --Lambiam 22:17, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Great, thanks! (Any citations available?) Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 05:24, 13 November 2018 (UTC)


The past participle of Proto-Germanic *aiganą is automatically given as *aihtaz, but it is really *aiganaz, which has been lexicalised and has got its own entry. Given that Wiktionary's inflection table templates are notoriously undocumented, I have no clue if and how I can correct this. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:40, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

cancer bush & kankerbos[edit]

These two terms are clearly related, but the direction is unclear to me. Also, it would be nice if it is clarified whether cancer/kanker refers to a colour or to use in folk medicine, or to something else. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:40, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

According to this webpage (not necessarily reliable), “For many years African people and Xhoi-xhoi people and Xhoi-san people as well as Bantu people used this plant in the fight against cancer, and it was very effective there, and it still is.” Other sites agree. Here is a leaflet (pdf) with the text: “Traditional name: Kankerbos / English Translation: Cancer Bush”, suggesting a transmission Afrikaans → English. Several English-language books discussing Sutherlandia/Lessertia frutescens introduce an alternative name with some text like “kankerbos (cancer bush)”, also suggesting that cancer bush is a calque.  --Lambiam 10:12, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I see this short magazine article also states the early colonists used it for cancer, so it is clearly linked to the disease. Here's a mention of kankerbos from 1896 (mentioning stomach cancer by the way), predating anything I've seen for cancer bush. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:36, 14 November 2018 (UTC)


Would a Hindi and Urdu speaker kindly check if I indicated the etymology at chur correctly? Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 16:33, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Polish lewo[edit]

Any ideas where this came from? It reminds me vaguely of Latin laevus. —Rua (mew) 18:42, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Compare Russian налево (nalevo), from левый (levyj), which is indeed related to laevus. Per utramque cavernam 18:58, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Arabic سَرْج (sarj, saddle) vs. Ossetian саргъ (sarǧ, id.)[edit]

@Victar, Fay Freak; Arabic seemingly has a solid etymology and Ossetian is traditionally considered an Arabic loan, but Abaev (vol. 3, p. 32) wonders if the word could be Iranic instead and adduces a number of Iranic cognates. However, some Iranic words look like they might be from Ancient Greek σάγμα (ságma) (presuming its etymology is correct and the direction of loaning wasn't the reverse), interestingly a later descendant of the same word, Greek σαμάρι (samári), seems to have reached Chagatai. Crom daba (talk) 20:13, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

He says that “after the word has been found in Sogdian” it has become more appropriate to ask if the Arabic is borrowed into Arabic from Iranian. I don’t think so. The Iranian might as well from Aramaic, the existence of which he … seems to ignore, as I read? Even if the word is borrowed into Aramaic from Iranian, contaminating the s-r-g root, the Arabic would still come more likely from Aramaic. Arabs just conversed more easily with Semitic-speakers and struggled with the totally different Indo-European. Note that other saddle words have come into Arabic from Aramaic, like أُكَّاف (ʾukkāf) or نَمَط (namaṭ), though بَرْذَعَة (barḏaʿa) is a counter-example. But names of occupations are especially likely to be borrowed from Aramaic, سَرَّاج (sarrāj, saddler), إِسْكَاف (ʾiskāf, shoemaker), and many more, see Fraenkel pp. 253 seqq.. Fay Freak (talk) 21:20, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm generally rather distrusting of anything Abaev writes. --Victar (talk) 21:23, 15 November 2018 (UTC)