Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2018/September

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


How is this from *taliŋa? The link doesn't even list it.

  • Suppose we match the "l" on *taliŋa to dalunggan, dalunggan is not the main word, it is dialectal variety of dunggan. The same goes for the Cebuano kayo is kalayo in Dalaguete and kamay is kalamay in Bohol.

Buhid talíŋa ear Inati taliŋeʔ ear Kalamian Tagbanwa talíŋa ear Palawan Batak talíŋa ear Cebuano talíŋa ear; notice, pay heed Manobo (Western Bukidnon) teliŋa ear; gills of a fish Mansaka tariŋa ear

  • This where BCD is wrong, talíŋa has never been a Cebuano word.
  • Maybe they got it from an older word. Checking Diccionario De La Lengua Bisaya, Hiligueina Y Haraya de la isla de Panay—itself inaccurate because it mixes all languages in the Visayas including Cebuano and Hiligaynon—it only lists dalongan.

Now I call on everyone, @Atitarev, @DTLHS, @Metaknowledge, @Justinrleung, @Fay Freak, @Conrad.Irwin, @Conrad.Irwin, @Brett, @Neskaya, @Chuck Entz, @SemperBlotto, @Stephen G. Brown, @Chuck Entz, do something. And don't reply with an "I don't know Cebuano, I cannot comment." @Mar vin kaiser doesn't know a thing about Cebuano himself yet he has been given much free rein because no one is willing to contradict him. He's obviously after quantity over quality, of course everyone wants first dibs. Regarding his other edits some are just inaccurate, often sourced from doubtful and obsolete sources.—This unsigned comment was added by Carl Francis (talkcontribs).

Could we do with a bit less hysteria, please? This is a content disagreement on a wiki, not an invasion by vandal hordes poised to End Civilization As We Know It. In my experience, @Mar vin kaiser is a reasonable and serious contributor, though I'm not sure if he knows any Cebuano. You, on the other hand, have a history of demanding we go nuclear on anyone who even touches "your" entries. Very few of the admins you tried to ping have even looked at a Cebuano entry, and at least a couple would not have been very polite about being pinged over this. Consider yourself lucky that you failed. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:57, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
On full disclosure, I'm not a native speaker of Cebuano, but I grew up with lots of friends from Cebuano-speaking areas, and also grew up with household help speaking the language, and can therefore understand and speak more or less what I need to say, just not long sentences. Upon looking at the etymology further, the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database lists words like Cebuano "dalunggan", Aklanon "duɣúŋgan", Baybay "dayunggán", Hiligaynon "dulunggan", Capiznon "dulunggan" as a different cognate system from "talinga", but the cognate system of "talinga" also lists examples where the consonant "t" changed to other consonants like "k" (kiliŋa) or "d" (ⁿdɛliŋa). Looking at the cluster of languages in the West and Central Visayan region using words like "dalunggan", it's not farfetched really that the "t" in "talinga" became "d", like "dalinga", which became "dalunggan" locally. But then again, I would say that I am not an etymologist, I'm just saying that it's reasonable to think so. Though of course, no explicit sources saying this, so not yet conclusive. If the people here feel that we should withhold judgement first, I'm ok with removing the etymologies I put in dalunggan. --Mar vin kaiser (talk) 06:13, 1 September 2018 (UTC)


While this isn't an causative adverb in Finnish (se + -ten -> siten, not sitten), could this instead be a Germanic loan related to Swedish sedan, Old Norse síðan and Old English siþþan? After all, Finnish does have other adverbial and particle borrowings from Germanic (such as ja and jo). SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 18:10, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

You could probably put together some kind of a morphology-free loaning scenario, but this has several dialectal variants including siittä, siten, siitten that also require accounting for. {{R:fi:SKRK}} suggests that in the first place sitten < siten × siittä. --Tropylium (talk) 19:37, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
Are there any sources suggesting a Germanic origin, or is it more likely that the word is simply a blend of siten and siittä? SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:55, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

kumplikasyon and kumplikado[edit]

I need help on what is the most likely source of the Tagalog word kumplikasyon, and I am not certain if it borrowed from Spanish complicación or English complication. I need help also on kumplikado, as I am not certain if it is just calqued from English complicated, or it can be borrowed from Spanish complicado. --TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 21:29, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

blotto#Etymology 3[edit]

Please help to research the etymology of blotto (in the former Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia): a hollowed-out tree trunk used as a boat). Based on the quotations, I'd guess that it is from a language used on the island of Celebes (now Sulawesi). — SGconlaw (talk) 22:06, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

An article (in Dutch) in De Indische Gids, vol. 35, part 2, describes the word as being “Mol. Malay, from Gorontalese” (see page 1613). The context places the use in Central Sulawesi. “Mol. Malay” presumably means Malaccan Creole Malay Ambonese Malay [redacted 06:49, 6 September 2018 (UTC), --L.], even though Sulawesi is not considered part of the Maluku Islands. Malay-based languages spoken on Sulawesi, next to standard Indonesian, include Manado Malay and Makassar Malay.  --Lambiam 12:37, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
Wow, excellent. I've updated the entry. Unfortunately, the original words in Malaccan Creole Malay and Gorontalese are not given, are they? — SGconlaw (talk) 13:00, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
No, the only form shown is blotto. Also, if “Mol. Malay” is meant to mean what I think, then I suspect the writer is linguistically confused – which one is easily enough, what with the mishmash of Malay creoles and pidgins. Other than this one occurrence of “Mol.”, everything else confines the uses of the word to Sulawesi. Maybe we should simply keep it at “from Gorontalo” and leave out the dubious middleman – which is probably irrelevant anyway, since the quotations strongly suggest the term is used in all languages spoken across Sulawesi.  --Lambiam 11:19, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps that would be best until more evidence emerges. — SGconlaw (talk) 14:45, 5 September 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. The proposed second element 'za' does not match the terminus of the word '-alang'.- Sonofcawdrey (talk) 06:50, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Zab8 is an alternative etymon for the first element, not the second element. Apart from the first element, the etymology of the rest of the word has not been indicated. Suzukaze-c has cleaned up the etymology, but it is still incomplete. — SGconlaw (talk) 07:40, 4 September 2018 (UTC)


When is Greek αρχιπέλαγος (archipélagos) first attested in Greek? It doesn't seem to be attested in Ancient Greek, per this search. This would seem to support the hypothesis that it, or rather Italian Arcipelago, is contaminated from Ancient Greek Αἰγαῖον πέλαγος (Aigaîon pélagos). Or is αρχιπέλαγος (archipélagos) already attested in Medieval Greek, prior to Arcipelago? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 09:17, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Per utramque cavernam 09:26, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I have to say that the first claim "Greek αρχιπέλαγος (archipélagos) is a learned reborrowing < Italian arcipelago < Byzantine Greek *ἀρχιπέλαγος (*arkhipélagos)" looks strange to me. Why does Triantafyllidis assume that the Modern Greek lexeme is not simply inherited from Byzantine Greek? The detour through Italian does not seem necessary. There is no phonetical or morphological irregularity that would suggest such a conclusion, unless I'm missing something. At most, since the semantic development from "the Aegean Sea" to "any sea containing many islands, like the Aegean Sea; island group, island chain" appears to have happened in Italian before it is attested in Modern Greek, the contemporary Greek meaning appears to have been borrowed from Italian.
That said, if the Modern Greek word is never attested to have the meaning "Aegean Sea" historically, and the Byzantine Greek lexeme is not attested (which would be surprising, since Byzantine Greek is otherwise very well attested), maybe it never existed in the first place and the reshaping from Egeopelago to Arcipelago happened in Italian itself, through a learned writer who constructed the plausible (but unattested) Ancient Greek *ἀρχιπέλαγος (*arkhipélagos, chief sea; the Aegean Sea), and borrowed it into Italian. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:07, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
This reminds me somewhat of the situation of Greek κιθάρα (kithára), whose meaning is borrowed from Italian chitarra, but whose spelling comes from Ancient Greek. Perhaps that is what is happening with αρχιπέλαγος (archipélagos): the meaning is borrowed from Italian Arcipelago, but the constituents arci- and pelago are changed to their Greek equivalents, ἀρχι- and πέλαγος. — Eru·tuon 21:33, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, Italian loanwords into Greek aren't rare (considering the close contact with Venice), and it makes sense that some of them would be re-assimilated to the language if they originally came from (Ancient) Greek (although in this case a direct Ancient Greek source may be lacking). The situation of Greek κιθάρα (kithára) is different, though, since it definitely existed before – although I'm not completely sure if it is directly inherited, via Byzantine Greek, or borrowed secondarily from Ancient Greek, in which the situation would be more similar and interesting; otherwise it's simply a semantic loan. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:30, 27 September 2018 (UTC)

Does Yiddish Kiste mean a box or case?[edit]

The etymology section of keister states, “A likely origin may be the word "Kiste" which means a box or case, in both German and Yiddish.” I am doubtful of the last part of this assertion. There is a Yiddish word for box, קעסטל(kestl), corresponding to the (Austrian) German diminutive Kistel, which however is an unlikely origin for keister.  --Lambiam 09:43, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

קעסטל(kestl) is apparently German Kästel, diminutive of Kasten. In a typical Slavic-influenced pronunciation or Yiddish pronunciation one would pronounce Kiste with [i] instead of [ɪ]. I don’t know what the distinction between “box” and “case” is supposed to be. German does not have this distinction. Fay Freak (talk) 12:26, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the correction. The meanings of “box” and “case” overlap, like you can keep your jewellery equally well in a box and in a case. But you wouldn’t call a cardboard shoe box a shoe case. The latter would be reserved for something more durable. German makes different distinctions, like Büchse, Dose, and Schachtel, which may also overlap (like for Sparbüchse and Spardose). Which is used when may be mostly an issue of following the well-trodden path – although I think there is a similar clear semantic distinction between, for example, Schuhschachtel and Schuhkästchen. In any case, although I don’t find the word קיסטע(kiste) in any dictionaries, I spot it in some Yiddish texts, like here in a quotation embedded in a Hebrew text by a poster requesting a translation. A few contributions down on that page it is translated as Hebrew תיבה‎, which means “box”.  --Lambiam 12:32, 10 September 2018 (UTC)


"perhaps from an indigenous language". Indigenous to where? Without narrowing it down further that seems like a useless statement. Any connection with លតា (lɔtaa)? DTLHS (talk) 06:27, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

OED Online says nothing about an "indigenous language". It says that liana may either be a latinization of the French liane (which may be derived from French lier ("to bind")), or that it arose "from the notion that the word was of Spanish origin": “liana, liane, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1902. — SGconlaw (talk) 07:26, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
According to the etymology for “liane” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language). [my translation]:
Borrowed from Antillean French [Antillean Creole French? --L.] where the word seems imported from the dial. of the West of France in which the word refers to various plants, most of them climbing (mugwort, clematis, bindweed, honeysuckle, see FEW vol. 5, p. 318b); liene, liane is prob. a back formation from the dial. verb liener “to bind sheaves” (reported for Loches by FEW, loc. cit., pp. 318a; cf. the homon. and sem. collision between liener "to bind sheaves" and the dialectal form liener of the Centre and the West, a var. of glener “to glean”, FEW vol. 4, p. 152b and vol. 5, p. 318b, note 4), itself der. from lien* with desinence -er; liene, liane would reflect the alternation lien, lian of the dial. of the West, see FEW vol. 5, p. 317b; see also Barbier in R. Lang rom. vol. 67, 1933–36 [1935], p. 333.
 --Lambiam 15:50, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
It's a good thing you said "most", because mugwort sticks out like a sore thumb in that list for not being remotely like a vine, while the others are all well-known twining vines. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:11, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
Those are not my words, but the Trésor’s (which says « la plupart »).  --Lambiam 15:56, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Scottish Gaelic prepositional pronouns[edit]

Scottish Gaelic has a regular feature that prepositions form combined forms with pronouns. For example:

aig = 'at'
mi = 'me'
agam = 'at me'.

For all synchronic purposes, and certainly for the Gaelic classroom, it is fine to say "aig + mi = agam". That's the best way to learn it, and it is what is going on in the subconscious of native speakers. But that is a synchronic analyisis, and not an etymology. The problem is that all Celtic languages have these forms, and they have existed in the languages since Proto-Celtic times. That means, agam is actually derived from an Old Irish prepositional pronoun, which is in turn derived from a reconstructable Proto-Celtic prepositional pronoun, and THAT was formed by the combination of the predecessor of aig and the predecessor of mi. This is not just pedantry: the purpose of etymology is to explain historical accretions, and many prepositional pronouns are quite irregular (fo + i = foidhpe, etc.). Only a history of the combined form explains these. Now in the case of agam, the Wiktionary etymology does what it is supposed to, but just look at foidhpe and many others. The "fo + i" explanations can certainly be given as usage notes, maybe saying that the combined form REPRESENTS the combination of these elements conceptually, but the etymologies need to be reworked completely. --Doric Loon (talk) 23:37, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

And possibly somebody should check whether the same is true of the entries for Welsh etc. --Doric Loon (talk) 23:41, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
Your claim that these portmanteau morphemes have existed in the languages (you mean Scottish Gaelic and Welsh?) since Proto-Celtic times is incorrect and betrays profound confusion. It's like saying "all Romance forms have forms like French au, Spanish al, Portuguese ao, Italian al, and they have existed in these languages since Latin times". The first part is wrong because Romanian, having postfixed definite articles, does not have anything comparable, and the second part is patent nonsense because "these languages" – Romance languages like (Standard) French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian – obviously did not exist when Latin was spoken as a vernacular language (Sardinian is said to have split off first, in the first century BC), and Latin had no definite articles at all; these portmanteau morphemes were only formed within Early Romance from ad illum after Romanian had split off. Analogously, Scottish Gaelic nor Welsh by definition did not exist when their common ancestor Proto-Celtic was spoken (around 800 BC at the latest, since the oldest Lepontic inscriptions are dated to no later than the 6th century BC), and Scottish Gaelic agum goes back to something like Proto-Celtic *onkus me – clearly not a portmanteau morpheme, but still two separate words. The fusion must have happened separately around the time of Primitive Irish and Proto-Brittonic, just like the fusion of many other forms, including especially verbal forms with various particles. Prepositional pronouns cannot have existed yet in Proto-Celtic, nor at any point before the typical Insular Celtic sound developments took place (lenitions, etc.) which created the various grammatical mutations.
As for your central point, it seems at best pedantic to me, and your suggestion unworkable, since (as explained) prepositional pronouns cannot be reconstructed to Proto-Celtic, and Wiktionary does not use any stages between Proto-Celtic and Old Irish in its etymologies. Compare the way we treat English won't, French au, etc. We don't go back to Middle English or respectively Gallo-Romance or whenever the contraction actually originated. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:46, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

skank Etymology 1 and 2[edit]

Two etymologies, added around 2005, seem possibly made-up (skeevy + rank; scold + brank). There is earlier discussion from 2007-2015 at Talk:skank.

I can't find brank in Middle English, as this etymology claims. The OED suggests that brank and branks were used in Scotland from the sixteenth century and might relate to Middle English bernak "bridle", or to German Pranger "pillory, fetter". The Dictionary of the Scots Language agrees about the timing, and suggests it may come from Middle High German.

OED says the origin of the "lascivious woman" sense of skank is unknown, attested in the US from the 1960s. Etymonline more or less agrees: it says skank (from 1965) may come from synonymous skag (1920s), but the origin of skag is unknown. Neither OED, American Heritage, M-W Online, or Collins online include the "anything unpleasant" sense.

I would collapse the current Etymology 1 and Etymology 2 into a single "origin unknown" section, with the earliest attestations we can find. We'll also want to verify whether "anything unpleasant" is attested. Cnilep (talk) 03:22, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

I have collapsed 1 & 2, as I suggested. I found one attestation for non-human skank, but it's not a substance; it's slander. I've left the template on for now. Cnilep (talk) 00:20, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
If there are no other suggestions, I'll mark this as closed. Cnilep (talk) 07:42, 1 October 2018 (UTC)


Arabic خريطة(karīṭa, map). From a native root or Ancient Greek χάρτης (khártēs, map)? The root given خ ر ط(ḵ r ṭ, related to turnery) doesn't really make sense, and some borrowings from the Arabic word (e.g. Persian خریطه(xarite)) give Ancient Greek as the ultimate source. — Julia 01:59, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

The Persian Wiktionary also derives the Arabic word from Greek. Nişanyan Sözlük even gives a direct borrowing for Turkish harita from Greek, without an Arabic or Persian intermediary. In any case, I think you’re right, deriving it from this triconsonantal root doesn’t make sense. That is almost certainly a reinterpretation like we also saw earlier for بيطار.  --Lambiam 16:48, 14 September 2018 (UTC)


再び, meaning again, is read as ふたたび (futatabi). It looks suspiciously similar to ふた+旅 (2 + trips, or second trip). Can anyone confirm or deny this? NMaia (talk) 11:22, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

The kanji character meaning “two” has kun reading futa, which I think covers the futa part of both. The kun readings of (“trip”) and (“occurrence”) are homophonous, making “two trips” and “twice” sound the same, but I think this is coincidence. You can also write pure kanji like this: 一度 (hitotabi), 二度 (futatabi), 三度 (mitabi) (“once, twice, thrice”). However, the same kanji combinations also have goon readings: ichido, nido, sando.  --Lambiam 16:15, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • After edit conflict... @NMaia -- This derives as (futa, two, native Japanese numeral) + (tabi, time, incidence). Both (tabi, time, incidence) and (tabi, voyage, trip) have pitch accent 2 (low first mora, high second mora, downstep immediately after), suggesting that these might be cognates. However, the meanings are divergent, and no monolingual JA sources that I've consulted list these as cognates. HTH! ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:56, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr Wouldn't this be that classic case of a native Japanese word with more than one sense, and later different kanji were applied for each sense? NMaia (talk) 11:42, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
If you mean tabi, that's assuming that the "voyage, trip" and "time, incidence" senses are cognate. No JA-JA dictionary lists these as cognate, so, barring other sources or evidence, I'm inclined to view these as two separate terms that happen to have the same phonetic realization, perhaps as a result of earlier convergence. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 07:14, 16 September 2018 (UTC)

僕 Etymology[edit]

The current page of states it as a phono-semantic compound, which is true; but isn't it just a corruption of the original form from oracle bone, which clearly depicts a person offering up something such as a chalice or bowl, or cleaning using a bamboo dustpan-like receptacle used for farm-work and cleaning, which hints at the original meaning being servant or slave? -Lucasgoode(talk) 4:36, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

The definition given for Chinese is “male slave, male servant”, which hints at the present-day meaning being servant or slave. Presumably that was also the original meaning; at least, I see nothing on the page suggesting a diachronic change of meaning. Do you mean to ask whether perhaps the character originally had the meaning of servant or slave? Comparing the historical forms of with those of , and taking into account that grew two “legs” by dint of the combination with , it would appear that the human shape seen in early forms of 僕 emerged accidentally.  --Lambiam 23:31, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lucasgoode, Lambiam: I have expanded the glyph origin to include more details on the development to its current shape from the forms found in oracle bones. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:56, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

How to unpack the etymology of θαυμάζω?[edit]

Hi, I'm new to Wiktionary, so I'm not sure if this question is "how to do X?" or "are we classifying X correctly?"

I want to show that the etymology (or "a possible etymology") of the verb θαυμάζω is the root θαυματ- plus a proto-Indoeuropean progressive tense marker Y. However, the current etymology links to the noun form θαῦμᾰ (thaûma) while most scholars would say that the full root is found in the other cases, such as genitive θαύμᾰτος. How can I build an etymology with the root θαυματ- (thaumat-)? Do I have to create a new entry for each root I want to connect?

I'm trying to create a lot of connections with progressive markers in Ancient Greek verbs, so I want to get this right before I do a lot of work.

Thanks for your help! --Kenmayer (talk) 20:58, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

There's always the option of mentioning the root in the entry, but only linking to the nominative form. Thus you would say something like "θαυματ-, the stem of θαῦμᾰ (thaûma)".
Wiktionary is structured around lemmas, which means that a specific form has information about all of the inflections of the word, and those other forms mostly just refer back to that lemma form- so it's usually best to link to the lemma in an etymology. Also, see Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Non-English#γεν-. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:50, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Can you say more about this Proto-Indo-European marker *-y? How could a Proto-Indo-European marker interact with an Ancient Greek root? If the interaction took place in Proto-Indo-European times, we should show θαυμάζω as a descendant of the (reconstructed) PIE product of that early interaction. If it took place at a time when Greek had already become a language in its own right, we should use an appropriate Greek suffix, possibly descended from this PIE marker.  --Lambiam 23:06, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your help! I only called the yod marker Proto-Indo-European because someone corrected my first entry at χαίρω and insisted on it there. It is called a Jotpraesens in Frisk 1960 p. 1064 (https://archive.org/stream/hjalmar/frisk#page/n2035), similarly p. 216 for βάλλω and for βαίνω at the bottom of p. 209. What he understands by Jotpraesens is unclear to me, but it seems to be productive both in proto-Indo_european and proto-Greek. Andreas Willi, Origins of the Greek Verb Cambridge 2018, p. 579 might be the last word on the subject, and he's saying Protoindoeuropean. I've got a PhD in Ancient Greek, and read a lot of Indo-European linguistics for fun, but I'm a total amateur here. Thanks for any advice and help! --Kenmayer (talk) 03:03, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
The yod marker in question is described at *-yeti and *-yéti. I think it was definitely a Proto-Indo-European thing, because words containing it apparently had already been modified in many cases by sound changes in Proto-Hellenic: for instance, the Proto-Hellenic ancestor of χαίρω (khaírō) is *kʰəřřō rather than *kʰəryō. The yod (y) sort of remained a yod (spelled with iota) when it was in a cluster with w or h in Proto-Hellenic, as in θεῖος (theîos) from Proto-Hellenic *tʰḗhyos, but in most cases, it just caused consonant changes, which can be seen in the Proto-Indo-European entries, and then vanished. If this is correct, the yod marker as such didn't exist in Greek, but maybe the changes caused by yod, or the segments resulting from the changes, were felt by the Greeks as markers of the present stem and applied to other words that didn't actually descend from Proto-Indo-European.
So, to be nit-picky, θαυμάζω (thaumázō) can't contain the yod marker unless it descended from Proto-Indo-European. There's also the contrary point that τ (t) plus yod usually became σ (s), but I do remember reading in Smyth that it sometimes became ζ (z) (or maybe that is a misanalysis). So it would be more correct to say that it underwent a consonant change that is like the consonant change caused by the yod marker, or that it really derives from a suffix -άζω (-ázō), which had the yod-triggered sound change, or something more complicated. I'm not looking into this as deeply as I could right now. — Eru·tuon 04:04, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
There is also extensive information in a chapter entitled “The I-class” in the book The Greek Verb: Its Structure and Development by Georg Curtius (translated to English, 1880; original title Das Verbum der griechischen Sprache seinem Baue nach dargestellt, 1873). According to Curtius, “It is a settled fact that the primitive Indo-Germanic language distinguished a large number of present-stems from the verb-stem by affixing the syllable ja.” (The German text has “indogermanische Grundsprache”, which does not carry the unfortunate connotation of lacking refinement that English primitive does.)  --Lambiam 10:17, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I cited Curtius when I wrote up the Wikipedia page on Greek progressive markers. As someone trying to explain Ancient Greek verbs to students, I'm more interested in how these markers clarify and simplify many bizarre Greek forms than pinning down exactly when in proto-IE or proto-Greek the markers were applied. There are plenty of examples of Homer and later authors using present tenses with a marker and without, and I suspect that some markers continued to be productive even when Greek had branched off from other IE languages. It's just very hard to fit this information into Wiktionary in a form that would be useful to students and people interested in Greek verbs. I'm thinking Categories would be the way to go. You can see that I put θαυμάζω into the category "Ancient Greek verbs with a progressive iota or yod marker" --Kenmayer (talk) 13:52, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
I think this is vital information and we should find a way to incorporate it. Fusional languages have the problem that we have no canonical way of extracting suffixes in cases like this, but this doesn't make the derivational process less synchronically valid. It would also be cool if we could represent and categorize by nonconcatenative templates in Semitic languages.
Giving the suffix in Proto-Hellenic would perhaps be the most elegant solution, but we don't categorize words by ancestor language suffixes. Crom daba (talk) 14:32, 7 October 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the English etymology. I know there's a reference, but I can't even figure out which possible etymology it's calling "probably mistakenly attributed," and based on the research I've done, it seems that the Dutch/Old Saxon etymology is completely unsupported. idk, maybe I just can't read. Can anyone clarify/confirm? —Globins 19:59, 16 September 2018 (UTC)

Shipley’s Dictionary of Early English keeps it at “Old English af, off + God”.  --Lambiam 20:25, 16 September 2018 (UTC)

Etymology formatting help[edit]

I'm not sure how to write the etymology for Cacahuatepec.

  • The English word is borrowed from Spanish, so I use {{bor|en|es|Cacahuatepec}}.
  • The Spanish word is borrowed from a Nahuan language, but we can't identify which Nahuan language, and the word is not actually attested in Nahuatl as far as I can find. The Classical Nahuatl equivalent would be *Cacahuatepēc but the word is not actually from Classical Nahuatl.
  • How do I explain the breakdown of the word and the meaning of its parts when I don't know what language it is? Again, if it were Classical Nahuatl, I could write cacahuatl (cacao) +‎ tepētl (mountain) +‎ -c (at, to, from), but it's not really Classical Nahuatl.
  • The Nahuatl word is calqued from a Mixtec word, and the same problem arises: we don't know which Mixtec language it comes from, and there isn't even a family code for Mixtec. (At least this time some modern Mixtec forms are attested: San Juan Colorado Mixtec Yucu Suhva, San Miguel El Grande Mixtec yucu súhā.)
  • Is it correct to use Template:calque on pages that are not calques themselves, but are borrowed from a word which was calqued? The template has no nocat= parameter. It seems like the logical thing would be to categorize the English word Cacahuatepec under Category:English terms derived from Mixtec languages but not Category:English terms calqued from Mixtec languages, but the template provides no option to do that.

--Lvovmauro (talk) 10:21, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

A quick response now as I need to be away from my computer shortly. I would suggest something like this:
Borrowed from {{bor|en|es|Cacahuatepec}}, from an unidentified [[w:Nahuan languages|Nahuan]] language; compare {{cog|nci|*Cacahuatepēc}}, from {{m|nci|cacahuatl||cacao}} + {{m|nci|tepētl||mountain}} + {{m|nci|-c||at, to, from}}.
If appropriate, you can insert categories like "Category:English terms derived from Nahuan languages" and "Category:English terms derived from Mixtec languages" manually without using {{calque}} or other templates. — SGconlaw (talk) 10:47, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
I don't think {{cog|nci|*Cacahuatepēc}} is appropriate because there's no evidence to actually reconstruct it. --Lvovmauro (talk) 11:53, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
To categorize the term as derived from Nahuan languages, you could also go further and write "[..] from an unidentified {{der|en|azc-nah}} language; [..]" to have both the link and categorization in one go. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 11:58, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lvovmauro: Taking into account what you and Mnemosientje have said, may I suggest the following:
Borrowed from {{bor|en|es|Cacahuatepec}}, from an unidentified {{etyl|azc-nah|en}} {{der|en|azc-nah|-}} language; compare {{cog|nci|cacahuatl||cacao}} + {{m|nci|tepētl||mountain}} + {{m|nci|-c||at, to, from}}. The Nahuan word is a {{glossary|calque}} of a [[w:Mixtec languages|Mixtec]] word.
Then add "Category:English terms derived from Mixtec languages" manually. — SGconlaw (talk) 12:46, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't use {{etyl}} instead of {{der}}; the former is pretty much deprecated afaict. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 13:07, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Ah, right. Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 13:20, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
I think Wiktionary uses the term "Mixtecan" for categorization purposes (see Category:Mixtecan languages), so it'd be Category:English terms derived from Mixtecan languages (which can similarly be linked through {{der|en|omq-mix}}). Not sure though. There don't seem to be any Category:Terms derived from Mixtecan languages on Wiktionary at all, which is curious. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 13:40, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Mixtecan and Mixtec are different things. Mixtec is a branch of Mixtecan. Trique is another branch of Mixtecan. --Lvovmauro (talk) 01:05, 19 September 2018 (UTC)


The Etymology section says You can also discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “CC-CEDICT says it's a loanword”.

In general, CC-CEDICT entries are documented in three ways: (1) the submission from a user or an editor; (2) the discussion of the submission by CC-CEDICT editors; (3) comments from the editor who processes the submission.

(1) and (3) are visible to all via the CC-CEDICT Editor wiki [1], while (2) is visible only to editors. Here is a link to the history of the CC-CEDICT entry 吸頂燈, showing (1) and (3). [2]

The original submission was from me (CC-CEDICT editor 'richwarm', aka Wiktionary user Richwarm88) and you can see the three Web snippets I quoted. In particular, in relation to etymology, there are the following two quotes:



The submission was also processed by me, following discussion with (and implicit approval from) two other editors (whom I shall call M and Y here). Here is how the March 2011 discussion went:

richwarm: ABC says "吸顶灯[-頂燈] xīdǐngdēng n. lamp with its shade affixed to the ceiling M:zhǎn". [...]

M: It may be a case where the characters were picked because they sound like the English equivalent [...] The meaning of 吸頂燈 is almost inferrable from is characters, but 吸頂 sounds an awful lot like "see-ling" (i.e. "ceiling"), and the choice of "吸" seems to be unrelated to the meaning of the word, “貼頂” would make more sense meaning-wise, although that's still not quite right [because] after all 頂 means the top (like the roof). It doesn't typicially refer to a ceiling.

Y: Like M, I think the word is unnatural enough in Chinese that it has to be a loanword, "ceiling lamp" -- but loanword and original do not necessarily cover the same semantic field, so maybe "flush-mounted ceiling lamp" is a more accurate translation [than ceiling-mounted lamp, which was my (richwarm's) original suggestion].

(end of discussion)

Today, I also find the following on the Web:

吸顶灯是灯具的一种,顾名思义是由于灯具上方较平,安装时底部完全贴在屋顶上所以称之为吸顶灯。 [...] 命名来源: 紧靠屋顶安装,像是吸附在屋顶上 [3]

“吸顶灯”一词盖音译自“ceiling light” - 汉语词汇学- 北大中文论坛 [4]

My conclusion? There is no conclusive proof in what I have quoted above that the 吸頂 part of 吸頂燈 is derived from the sound of English "ceiling", but I think it is quite possible. Regardless of that, it seems highly likely that the characters 吸頂 were chosen (at least in part) because these lights appear to be attached to the ceiling (頂) by suction (吸).

By the way, Wiktionary's definition — "ceiling lamp" — appears to be inadequate because a ceiling light could hang down from the ceiling, whereas a 吸顶灯 is flush (or nearly flush) with the ceiling.

Richwarm88 (talk) 22:58, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

Tantalizing. I used {{rfe}} because I had hoped that someone else might look at it too and help clear things up (but I did not expect the original CC-CEDICT contributor to come!). I suppose "perhaps..." will have to suffice for now. I hope there is other research we are just cureently unaware of.
IIRC I found 吸頂燈 (and →"ceiling lamp") from the IKEA catalog, so there's that :p A lot of them do look really lamp-y to me.
Suzukaze-c 04:57, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Hi! Well, I just looked at an ikea catalog online [5]. The lights labelled 吸頂燈 do not hang down. If you scroll down the page a bit you get to another section called 吊燈, and those lights do of course hang down, as the character 吊 would suggest. They are not what I would call chandeliers, though, even though "chandelier" is the definition for 吊燈 in cc-cedict and wiktionary. I think they are called "pendant lamps" or "hanging lamps". For 吊燈, Pleco (PLC) says "pendent lamp [sic]; hanging lamp". KEY says "hanging lamp" and Grand Ricci says "lampe suspendue". I think "chandelier" may be too specific a definition for 吊燈.
As for the etymology question, a cautious approach would be to say that 吸顶灯 is possibly a loanword from "ceiling", or something like that. — Richwarm88 (talk) 06:43, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Sure. "Light" might be more generic than "lamp" anyway, so I've changed it. —Suzukaze-c 19:31, 20 September 2018 (UTC)


I'm not entirely sure if is an empty component or a form component here. could someone help me out with this? Cheers.

Ideogrammic compound (會意): semantic  (window) + semantic  possibly a window attached to a building.
-Lucasgoode(talk) 14:00, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Russian швартов from Dutch[edit]

Russian sources for шварто́в (švartóv, mooring line; hawser, (shore) fast), including Vasmer, claim it's from Dutch sjortow, the spelling I can't find outside the Russian dictionaries but I can find sjortouw, possibly from to drag + touw (cable). Can sjortow or sjortouw be confirmed as the source for the Russian term? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:30, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

I'm curious -- there's no /v/ in the beginning of the Dutch term, so where does it come from in the Russian? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:08, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
The regular transliteration of sjortouw would have been шо́ртов. Not only is the first в inexplicable, the а is unexpected too, as is the stress jump. A better Dutch candidate for being the origin of this Russian term is zwaar touw ([6], “heavy cable”). That is the first etymology suggested here, the second being shore tow – which again leaves us with an unexplicable /v/. The Middle Dutch spelling swaer suggests that the initial z may be voiceless, as it is today in the Amsterdam dialects.  --Lambiam 22:12, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Thank you for the suggestions. Stress changes are too common and can be ignored. Most Russian nautical terms come from Dutch, some from English and German and date back to Peter the Great. @Eirikr. There was no standard for transliterations, words were borrowed from hearsay and got adjusted to the Russian phonology then. (Notifying Benwing2, Cinemantique, KoreanQuoter, Useigor, Wanjuscha, Wikitiki89, Stephen G. Brown, Per utramque cavernam, Guldrelokk): . --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:22, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam Middle Dutch s stands for /z/ in the positions where modern Dutch spells z, like still in modern German, so you can't rely on that. —Rua (mew) 10:54, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Here different dictionaries refer to sjortouw, sjortow and zwaartouw. Sjortow is probably a typo.
These aren’t real etymological sources, however. Vasmer derives швартов from zwaartouw, which is a perfect match: Dutch Dutch s-/z- isn’t just voiceless, but also extremely hushing, as in Greek, Finnish, Iberian Spanish – Ш is how I would write it. Guldrelokk (talk) 05:55, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
This Dutch etymology website states that Russian švartóv comes from Dutch zwaartouw, as do similar words in Yiddish, Bulgarian, Ukrainian and Azeri.  --Lambiam 07:20, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
@Lambiam, Vahagn Petrosyan, Guldrelokk: Thank you, all! --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:45, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
The correct etymology was first given by van der Meulen, here. --Vahag (talk) 14:56, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Vahagn. The Dutch term is written as one word there: zwaartouw and it seems attestable. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:19, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
I have no opinion on the spelling. Both zwaartouw and zwaar touw return results in dictionaries. --Vahag (talk) 10:30, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
Zwaar touw is rather generic; it just means heavy cable. Written as one word, zwaartouw, it appears to have a specifically nautical meaning. Let us follow Vasmer, who also gives zwaartouw as the etymon.  --Lambiam 16:43, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

Ashgabat, عشق‌آباد[edit]

Described as meaning 'city of love', but Persian Wikipedia says it's from اَشک‌آباد which doesn't fit with this, which was added in [7] and [8] Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 14:49, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

The claim is also found in Wikipedia. See also w:Asaak. I'm deeply sceptical of this suggestion – it has zero concrete evidence or plausibility going for it, and all the trappings of a standard nationalistic/patriotic myth, which seeks to exaggerate the age and glory of the roots of the national culture and its elements (etymological speculation and linguistic and pseudohistorical crankery being a standard part of it), also considering the source given in Wikipedia. Without concrete evidence, it remains too speculative for us to take seriously. The unexpected vocalism, the fact that the Turkmen version of the name starts in A-, is easily explained as an adaptation to Turkmen vowel harmony. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:01, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

tee-tee (urine, urinate)[edit]

What's the etymology? Alteration of pee-pee? (Also, I wasn't quite sure what label to use. It's Southern US, but: it's juvenile, but also sometimes still used by adults, euphemistically, but OTOH at least one dictionary I looked at said it was "sometimes objectionable", which I wouldn't expect a euphemism, e.g. pee, to be. Also, etymology 2 should possibly specify which of the many homographic titis it's an archaic spelling of.) - -sche (discuss) 21:47, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

I don't know whether it's related, but there was an Old English verb teon or téon "to draw, bring forth, produce".
Aelfric: The Old Testament, "God cwæð eac swylce: Teon nu ða wæteru forð swymmende cynn cucu on life" (God said thus: Let the waters bring forth swimming creatures that have life)
Compare make "to defecate or urinate." It's probably a coincidence, though you do get the odd survival of mostly obsolete forms in regionalisms. Cnilep (talk) 02:57, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
It could simply be imitative of the sound of urination. — SGconlaw (talk) 03:45, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
It could be derived from a child pronunciation of tinkle (to urinate) or a shortening of tinkle-tinkle Leasnam (talk) 18:41, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

γαλήνη (galḗnē), galēna[edit]

What is the connection here, given that the Latin entry states that the etymology is unknown? DTLHS (talk) 22:22, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

There is no reason to assume that the second and third senses (mineral and antidote) are etymologically related to the first sense (calm of the sea). The mineral sense is apparently only attested as galena in a Latin text, Pliny’s Natural History. As to the third sense: if I understand the situation correctly, Galḗnē is what, according to Galen, the theriac of Andromachus the Elder was called (De Antidotis 1.6) The similarity between that name (Γαλήνη) and that of Galen (Γαληνός) is striking. According to Wikipedia, that concoction contained 64 ingredients, mainly botanic and none resembling sense 2.  --Lambiam 04:44, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Ah, but according to our entry on Galen, his name comes from γαλήνη (galḗnē, “calm”). The plot thickens.  --Lambiam 04:51, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
The Greek Wiktionary states that γαλήνη comes from the verb γελάω (geláō, to laugh). I do not immediately see the semantic connection.  --Lambiam 05:04, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

Total Origin Arabic Roots[edit]

Holly Arabic language have two three and four constant word roots and four constant word roots moor then three constant words roots. Mostly people says that holy Arabic language have only three constant words roots and some how four constant. It's wrong and says about toomuch words of Arabic language loan words its also wrong. Like "tarjuman" says its a loan word. It's a not loan word its originally a Arabic language word. An it's origin root is "r, M, j".

In ترجمان‎, the remark "Possibly the word is loaned" is found; see ت_ر_ج_م‎ for a remarkably detailed explanation. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:07, 22 September 2018 (UTC)


According to the cited source, Karttunen's dictionary, the lexeme is not actually attested prior to the 18th century. Should it really be labeled as Classical Nahuatl then? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:01, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

The compound chocolanamacac is attested in the early 17th century, which implies the existence of chocolatl. --Lvovmauro (talk) 02:07, 23 September 2018 (UTC)


Does anyone know who first introduced this term? Is it von Uexküll? (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_von_Uexküll)

I think the term plan in the zoological meaning was introduced by Cuvier in his 1817 opus Le Règne animal distribué d'après son organisation, pour servir de base à l'histoire naturelle des animaux et d'introduction à l'anatomie comparée, in which he wrote [my translation], “If one considers the animal kingdom according to the principles we have given above, ..., one will find that there exist four principal forms, four general plans, if one may express it thus, after which all animals appear to be modeled, of which all ulterior divisions ... are merely rather light modifications ... that in no way alter the essence of the plan.” Later, Cuvier occasionally refers to the concept as “plan d‘organisation”. Most likely, the German term Bauplan existed in the sense of “construction plan” (of a building) when von Uexküll adopted it as a German term for Cuvier‘s organization plan in his 1905 study Leitfaden in das Studium der experimentellen Biologie der Wassertiere. It seems plausible that he was the first to use the term in this sense, but it may be hard to prove it. Unfortunately, I can’t find the text of von Uexküll‘s Leitfaden online; if we knew how he introduces the text, it might tell us more.  --Lambiam 16:27, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Actually, plan d‘organisation had been used earlier by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in his 1795 article "Histoire des makis ou singes de Madagascar". Later he postulated that there was just one single plan underlying the morphology of all animals, instead of the four plans of Cuvier.  --Lambiam 17:02, 26 September 2018 (UTC)


As an adverb, 続続 (ぞくぞく) (zokuzoku) means "one after another". As a verb, ぞくぞくする means "to shiver" (along with other senses). This feels like it may be gitaigo, with the verb derived from the adverb sense. But then, my feelings plus ¥100 will get you a cup of convenience store coffee. Does anyone here know? For the time being, I have marked the adverb and the verb as separate etymologies. Cnilep (talk) 01:21, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

@Cnilep --
Both spellings of zokuzoku are adverbs. The kanji-spelled one derives its meaning from the underlying Chinese. The kana-only spelling is indeed gitaigo, and, as best I've been able to find, is wholly unrelated to the Chinese-derived term. The kana-only term is also related to ぞくっと (zokutto, shiveringly, shudderingly, due to cold or fright), and also seems to be related to the (zo) in ぞぞめく (zozomeku, to move or behave in a creeping, buzzing, rustling, impatient, or uncomfortable manner), ぞぞ (がみ) (zozogami, hair standing on end, as caused by fright), ぞっと (zotto, shudderingly, shiveringly, startledly). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:16, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
I have added two etymologies to the hiragana page. I don't cite a source, but Eirikr's explanation seems self-apparently true. Cnilep (talk) 00:53, 28 September 2018 (UTC)


Microwaves (the food devices) use microwaves (the electromagnetic wavelength, which came first) to cook food. But why are the waves called micro- when they're one of the longest electromagnetic wavelengths? 01:11, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

I believe its because they're shorter than regular radio waves. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:47, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
That is also what the Wikipedia article Microwave states: “The prefix micro- in microwave is not meant to suggest a wavelength in the micrometer range. It indicates that microwaves are "small", compared to the radio waves used prior to microwave technology, in that they have shorter wavelengths.”  --Lambiam 08:59, 30 September 2018 (UTC)