Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2021/January

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Northern Sami lumma (on the article pocket written as lubma) and Inari Sami lummo lack an etymology. Initially, without having looked it up, I'd find a North Germanic borrowing quite probable (Continental Scandinavian lomme, Faroese lummi). Apparently, the North Germanic terms themselves might be cognate to or borrowing from Gaelic. Wakuran (talk) 02:12, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

Hmm, although this source uses the outdated term "Lapp", I'd interpret it as it also claims a Scandinavian origin. [1] Wakuran (talk) 02:16, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

drom (Dutch)[edit]

RFV of the etymology, because this is quite more definite than anything at the Etymologiebank, where the Middle Dutch noun is only mentioned with serious qualifications. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:08, 1 January 2021 (UTC)


  • A river, see Dasibari .
  • http://micmap.org/dicfro/search/gaffiot/Dasibari says "river of Cyrenaica, Pliny 5,37". That is in a description of a long southwards Roman expedition into the Sahara. It may be the first European mention of the river Niger and represent Songhay 'Isa Ber' "great river", 'Da Isa Ber' "great river belonging to spirits called the Da". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 15:11, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
    A lot can change in a couple thousand years. I don't think we can reconstruct what the ancestor of the Songhai languages was like back then, or know where it was spoken. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:40, 1 January 2021 (UTC)


Iberic name possibly a short form of Menendo, which in turn, seems to be a Gothic word converted into Iberic romance —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:51, 1 January 2021 (UTC).


RFV of the etymology.

I tried to fix this etymology and the one at Gawain, but both had the fatal flaw of giving modern Welsh derivations for names attested in Middle English and probably Old French. I completely removed the one at Gawain and I no doubt should have gotten rid of this one, too, but I thought I'd see what you can do with it, first. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:13, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

English job and Norwegian Bokmål jobbe[edit]

How does the Norwegian word (which is only found in Bokmål, BTW) factor into the English etymology? The current etymology in the English just says "from the phrase jobbe of work (“piece of work”), of uncertain origin", and lists a few possibly related Middle English verbs (which, for the record, are gobbe, jobben, and choppe), before finishing off with a folk etymology about the biblical character Job, while the Norwegian lacks an etymology altogether. Was the Norwegian borrowed from the English? Are there any cognates in other Germanic languages? 01:39, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

Our entry for Norwegian jobb states that it is derived from English. Tharthan (talk) 09:37, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Although it isn't really used like that in English, I think similar verb forms have appeared in basically all other Germanic languages, from the borrowed English noun, such as Danish jobbe (possibly a bit rare), Swedish jobba and German and Dutch jobben. Språkrådets Nynorskordboka has an entry for "jobbe" in Nynorsk, by the way. [2] It seems also that the sense of stock market speculation has been borrowed separately. Wakuran (talk) 15:41, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
I'm personally unfamiliar with a Dutch verb jobben, though its existence wouldn't surprise me; the noun job is only standard in Belgium, in the Netherlands it's colloquial at best and heavily associated with yuppies and boardroom types. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 16:42, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Looking up "jobben" on the Dutch Wiktionary, it seems that the Dutch verb generally would mean "moonlighting", rather than working in general. Wakuran (talk) 21:14, 3 January 2021 (UTC)


earthberry, tagged but not listed Leasnam (talk) 17:31, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

I think the current etymology is justified. I cannot find anything older than 1850 on Google Books, so it seems safe to suppose that this originated in the nineteenth century, a time when many speakers of Germanic languages immigrated to the United States. Inheritance from Old English is quite implausible. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:53, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Note, too, that the first quotation also contains the unlisted noun goosh (which is currently listed only as a verb). Might this be a cognate of German Gosche, an informal and vulgar term for "mouth"? 19:13, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
The Duden entry for Gosche states "Herkunft ungeklärt", "Origin unknown". [3] Wakuran (talk) 21:10, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
The article that first quotation is taken from contains the phrases “winter wigwam or Gool’ucurh” and “summer wigwam or murana”, so it seems a reasonable guess that “goosh” is a name in one of the indigenous languages of Tierra del Fuego for a cranberry or similar berry.  --Lambiam 13:57, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
MED Online does not contain any similar word for strawberry; the natural Middle English form is strawbery (with various spellings, inherited from a similar Old English word). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 18:14, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
The def should be altered in my opinion. The usexs don't seem always to refer to strawberries. Looks as if earthberry can be used for various berries growing on the ground. --Akletos (talk) 14:26, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Leasnam (talk) 18:34, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
FWIW, the earliest books (the only three books from before 1899) I can find which contain the singular earthberry are two where it is mentioned as the German name for strawberry, and one where it does not mean strawberry:
  • an 1875 English-German vocabulary by Augusta Neuhofer, mentioning that the German word for strawberry literally means earthberry;
  • 1888, Arthur Charles Waghorne, A Summary Account of the Wild Berries:
    The Crowberry family [Empetraceae] has two genera.
    (a) The Crowberry or Empetrum genus which affords us our so-called "blackberry” or heathberry or earthberry, which is properly the common or black crowberry (E. nigrum).
  • an 1895 work by Arthur Alger Crozier on Crimson Clover and Other Topics (the relevant part of which is also quoted in an 1897 Annual Report of the Secretary of the Michigan State Board of Agriculture), saying that Strawberry Clover is also called "Strawberry-headed Trefoil, and in Germany, Earthberry (strawberry) Clover";
In the plural, I find the 1869 "goosh" cite mentioned above, and:
  • an 1864 book by Henry Mayhew on German Life and Manners as Seen in Saxony
  • the opaque 1870 Lectures on Art: Delivered Before the University of Oxford by John Ruskin, page 196, where "Dutch trickeries of base resemblance, and French and English fancies of insidious beauty, soon occupied the eyes of the populace of Europe, too restless and wretched now to care for the sweet earthberries and Madonna's ivy of Cima", whatever that means
  • New Outlook (1877, Alfred Emanuel Smith, ‎Francis Walton), volume 16, page 431, "baked “earthberries,” as the Germans call them";
  • and an 1882 translation(?) by Jeremiah Curtin of "The Round Stone (A Hungarian Folk-story)", in St. Nicholas, Conducted by M.M. Dodge, volume 9, page 273, where "the family lived on roots and stewed earthberries", possibly translating Hungarian földi eper
This suggests that it could have entered English as a calque from German etc, and the lack of a Middle English or Early Modern English form connecting the Old English and the modern words suggests it probably did. - -sche (discuss) 19:59, 8 January 2021 (UTC)


I can't find anything, but I think we can assume it's a Greek loan. An independently evolved Italic cognate would probably be something like "nobus" in Latin. --Antondimak (talk) 22:42, 3 January 2021 (UTC)

@Antondimak: Yes, of course. {{R:Gaffiot}} says so explicity. PUC – 13:06, 9 January 2021 (UTC)


Gives for the English verb one etymology - "From Middle English wagen (“to pledge”)" from old french/latin/etc., but the first two senses ("to wager/bet" and "to risk") seem really close to german "wagen" (to venture/dare). This isn't compatible with sound-change rules though (a friend says 'English coda /dʒ/ might be able to match German /k/, but I can't think of a way to get it to match German /g/') I don't know what to make of it, but thought I'd mention it here. I guess the 'gambley'/'risky' sense comes from how modern speakers would use 'wager'? 2A01:C22:AC38:7500:79F3:77D6:8CCD:EA4 20:34, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

Like the famous case of Mbabaram dog, this is a false cognate. English wage and German wagen are not related, but English wage and German wetten (to bet) are. —Mahāgaja · talk 21:58, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
And apparently German wetten and English wed is related, whereas German wagen and similar Germanic words are related to English weigh and the sens of guesstimating a weight before actually weighing it on a pair of scales. You learn something every day... Wakuran (talk) 00:16, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

PWG *s(k)ulan[edit]

Is there any explanation why many varieties of Continental West Germanic lost the k in this word, giving Dutch zullen, German sollen etc. rather than *schullen and *schollen? Did it start in one area and then spread to neighboring lects? —Mahāgaja · talk 12:40, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

Forms with /s/ are by no means limited to the continent; Scots has sal, soud (though these have mostly been replaced by forms in /ʃ/ due to English influence). However, the Scots forms are pretty easily explained, as the change of /ʃ/ to /s/ in unstressed environments is common in Scots (compare Inglis to English); sal and soud would of course frequently appear in unstressed positions. The Scots forms in s- are probably unconnected to those on the continent, though reduction under low stress is probably also the most satisfactory explanation for the continental forms. However, it would be unparalleled there, unlike in Scots. Whatever its origin, the change is clearly of a secondary nature, as you've right that it originated in one area. It first appears in Old Dutch and only later propagates to other Germanic languages; in Old High German it forms with s- are rare (in MHG forms with s- spread; forms with sch- fade away in the Early New High German period), and in Old Saxon they are unknown (and still rare in Middle Low German). Therefore the reconstruction of a by-form *sulan is inadvisable. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 13:42, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
This phenomenon is also found occasionally in North Germanic; in some North Germanic dialects, the entire initial cluster has been lopped off (as it was reanalysed as the mediopassive ending) so one is treated to forms such as al "I shall"! Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 14:00, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
After posting this question, I looked it up in {{R:EWddS}}, and they also say that sk > s happened as a result of the word being unstressed. Also, after I posted this question, I remembered the Scots "I sall rock ... I sall praise .... The knees of my heart sall I bow" in "Balulow" from A Ceremony of Carols. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:33, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

German Altweibersommer[edit]

Our current etymology, which was added by @Korn, says it's derived from "Weib, a regional variant of the word found in Spinnweben (spider's web), cognate to English web".

However, no semantic explanation has been provided, and I wonder how sound this etymology is.

Another analysis could be alt (old) +‎ Weib (woman) +‎ Sommer (summer); literally "old woman's summer". Though I don't get the semantics here either, this has parallels in other languages: Hungarian vénasszonyok nyara, Polish babie lato, Russian ба́бье ле́то (bábʹje léto).

But could those be, in fact, calques based on a mistaken interpretation of the German term? Might Korn's etymology be correct after all? But if yes, what does it mean? PUC – 11:07, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

There seems to be general consensus that Altweibersommer originally refers to loose webs and that the word referring to weather is a later phenomenon. Notice how the Polish word also means "loose spider silk". The usual etymology I see is that "Weiber" goes back to an OHG verb "weibon", meaning "fluttering". (Related to 'weaving', which is a back and forth movement, but the etymology is misleading as it is now.) What I'm actually less sure about is the -sommer part. While "the summer of fluttering webs" could refer to a warm period at a time when there are no leaves to hide/protect the spiderwebs, this doesn't make sense as a name for the webs themselves. I find it more likely that -sommer is the second element of gossamer and did not refer to the season when the word was created. Thus "Altweibersommer" would be "old fluttering spider silk", which is literally what the word originally meant, but I cannot provide any satisfying source here. Korn [kʰũæ̃n] (talk) 13:08, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
{{R:EWddS}} also suggests that the Sommer part is to be connected to gossamer and originally referred to something spider-webby, but does not connect the Weiber part to anything other than the word for "woman, wife". However, it also says that there is another, rare and chiefly dialectal meaning of Altweibersommer, which is "zweite Jugend bei Frauen", and that the "Indian summer" sense probably developed from that. That suggests to me that we probably have two originally distinct words, "old-woman-summer" and "old-fluttering-spider-silk", which came to be identical to each other through the magic of folk etymology. —Mahāgaja · talk 13:17, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
@Mahagaja, Korn: Thank you both. However, I don't get your point about the second element of gossamer: our entry says it's precisely a compound of somer / summer. Am I missing something? PUC – 18:14, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
Hmm, even gossamer seems to be etymologicaly related to "summer". Etymonline mentions several Germanic equivalents to gossamer derived from summer, rather than the other way around. Wakuran (talk) 18:23, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
This is a perennial topic, see e.g. [4] (German with French sub-titles), repeated for who knows how many centuries. Hence I thought I understood the "-weib-" element related to webs (I mean, obviously). By my humble estimate, the obsolete meaning "web" suggested before for gossamer may be an outflow of the very folk etymologies under discussion. The etymology for gossamer from "goose + summer" is glaring folk etymology, too, if written evidence is rarely definite proof.
To add to the confusion, remember that "Weib", "wife" etc. are uncertain and that spinsters are stereotypically female. The Polish parallel reinforces the equation. I do think it hardly had to do with either of these though. I don't have the slightest whiff of an idea. 19:05, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster states it comes from "goose summer". [5] Wakuran (talk) 19:44, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
I've expanded the etymology of gossamer with many references, which all take the second element to be summer (the word for the season). Some mention various Germanic cognates, including several meaning "summer threads", and Mädchensommer (using a different and un-web-like word for a female), which could be added if attested. - -sche (discuss) 22:21, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
I won't argue whether it is duck season, no rabbit season. But Etymonline ([6]) says about the cobwebs that "The reference might be to a fancied resemblance of the silk to goose down", which ticks several boxes on the model of *h2ew- "to dress", avis, ovis ("The one who dresses", after Pooth, cf. *h₂éwis). The following pairs are analogies, almost none related: gauze, goose, goat. Faden, Feder, Vieh, maybe Lamm, linum (and above lum'ma "pocket" if a flaxen bag sewen on, cp. burlap, burlap sack, Sachen, as well as cloth, clothes, cannabis, canvas). The "cognates" that you mentioned will be interesting.--2A00:20:604D:ED33:8C29:2290:94A3:9739 13:23, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Rather than "cognates", I guess they could be considered analogous equivalent coinages, similar to English toadstool, Dutch paddenstoel ("toad-chair", mushroom), Danish paddehat ("toad-hat", mushroom) and German Krötenschwamm ("toad-fungus", alternative word for the Panther cap.) Wakuran (talk) 18:47, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
I expanded the etymology a little, but it could still use more; in particular, can the connection of Weib to Webe be referenced, and what might Sommer be if not the season?
Grimm's Teutonic Mythology (Deutsche Mythologie) analyses "gossamer" as "God's train", taking the second word to be "samar, simar, train", but ... simar isn't even a Germanic word AFAICT, it's from Romance, and DWDS says German Sommer was first attested for webs in the 17th century (and compounds like Altweibersommer first in the 18th century), which seems late for an etymologically distinct word to start being attested. Furthermore, Grimm and some old dictionaries mention Czech babské léto, which seems to have the same polysemy as Polish (both the period of weather and webs), and as weird as I find it that multiple languages would transfer their word for an Indian summer to cobwebs or vice versa, is it really more plausible that multiple languages, including non-Germanic ones, had distinct words for "web" which merely resembled and got combined into their words for "summer", or that multiple non-Germanic languages calqued a fairly unusual German compound? The existence of Old Scots goesommer (from 1649), where the first element looks nothing like Scots forms of goose (and is of uncertain origin per the DSL), does make me question whether gossamer is really "goose summer", but even if the first element is unclear, what are the odds that German had a pair of words which both looked similar to Altweibersommer, where Sommer meant "summer" in one and something web-related in the other, and that Middle English (and its English and Scots descendants) had a different pair of words which were also similar to each other (gossomer, goesomer) and had the same pair of meanings? This is fascinating. - -sche (discuss) 17:15, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
I did manage to find a reference for the connection to (Spinn)webe / weben, although it's not the strongest of references. I also note that besides terms like Sommerfäden there is Herbstfäden, which provides some more small support to the idea that Sommer refers to the season. - -sche (discuss) 16:37, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
This is probably a long shot, but could the first element of gossamer be cognate with Old Norse gói 'late winter'? Of course that would imply that Proto-Germanic *gōīn- (from *ǵʰéyōm) still meant 'winter' more generally, not 'late winter' specifically. The original meaning of gossamer would then be 'the summer of winter'. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:28, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Hmm, there seems to be small evidence for the root *gōīn- being widespread outside of Scandinavia. I saw a theory that German folklore sorceress Frau Gauden might be related, although I guess the name might just as likely stem from another root. Wakuran (talk) 23:26, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Kroonen gives only North Germanic evidence, besides Old Low Franconian *-gima- (in Latinised words) as evidence for the genitive stem. While *gōīn- should be reconstructed for Proto-Germanic, we cannot exclude the possibility that it simply died out completely outside North Germanic. Again, I find it unlikely that a word that isn't even attested in Old English or anywhere else in West Germanic suddenly turns up in a Middle English compound in 1300, I just wanted to mention the possibility as it came to mind, inspired specifically by -sche's mention of Middle (not Old) Scots goesommer. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:19, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Unless, of course, Old Norse gói was borrowed into (at first only Northern?) Middle English, but is only attested as the first opaque member of a compound, which doesn't sound overly likely, either. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:29, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
(Regarding gossamer) Wright says another word with the same first element is "go-harvest, [...] also in forms goes-, gose-, goss-", Scottish for "latter end of summer, the time of year between harvest and winter" (his earliest cite is 1814); he does take the first element, even there, to be "goose". The DSL lemmatizes go-harvest and also mentions forms in goe-, and has cites from 1735; it calls additional alternative spellings in gose, goes- and goss- "corrupt forms" and says the word was likely created by analogy to goe-summer (where the first element is unclear and does not look like "goose"). Some of the supposedly "corrupt" forms look similar to the Middle English word for "goose"; unfortunately, they don't look like any of the Scots forms of goose.
Jamieson's Scots dictionary has an entry on the spelling "Garsummer", which an 1866 book fancifully connects to hoar — even while it dismisses other, even older and more fanciful ideas — but Jamieson's quotation ("...the Tinsel Garsummer") only appears in an 1869 edition; it's spelled gossamer in an 1853 publication of the same rhyme. - -sche (discuss) 10:48, 24 February 2021 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. @RcAlex36 Min Nan? Mandarin? Other/combo? I just assumed this was something like Tamsui. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 14:30, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

@Geographyinitiative: Min Nan is out of the question given how 基隆 is pronounced in Min Nan. Keelung looks like a romanization of 基隆 (Jīlóng) in the postal romanization format. RcAlex36 (talk) 14:33, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@RcAlex36 Fascinating insight- I never expected the word Keelung could be derived from Mandarin Chinese. If what you are saying is true, that ought to be made clearer on English Wikipedia at Keelung#Name. As that passage is written now, there is no source saying the word Keelung originates with Mandarin Chinese. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 14:39, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@RcAlex36 I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of situation, but I do think this situation must be similar to the so-called 上口字 (shàngkǒuzì) situation. There is an unsourced sentence on English Wikipedia that says "In Mandarin, probably the working language of Chinese government at the time, both the old and new names were likely pronounced Kīlóng (hence "Keelung")." [7] Kilong=ㄎㄧ ㄌㄨㄥˊ ??? --Geographyinitiative (talk) 15:19, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative: 上口字 (shàngkǒuzì) is Peking opera, although like Peking opera, postal romanization preserves the 尖團 distinction. Think Kiangsu, Kiukiang, Chinkiang, etc.. Keelung isn't unexpected. RcAlex36 (talk) 15:26, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@RcAlex36 I see what you are saying I think. Are you saying that the sentence "In Mandarin, probably the working language of Chinese government at the time, both the old and new names were likely pronounced Kīlóng (hence "Keelung")." is nonsense and that Keelung actually means to convey ㄐㄧ ㄌㄨㄥˊ? Wow. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 15:57, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Scratch that comment, I misunderstood. So wait a second, Keelung does mean Mandarin ㄎㄧ ㄌㄨㄥˊ , right? Once upon a time, I added ㄐㄧㄢˇ as an alternate pronunciation on the (liǎn) page. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 16:01, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative If the postal romanization system was indeed based on the Nanjing dialect at the time, then this explains the k in postal romanizations that corresponds to Hanyu Pinyin j in modern Standard Mandarin. When the postal romanization system was formalized, the 尖團 distinction still existed in Nanjing Mandarin, and we also know that palatalization of velar initials occurred later in Nanjing Mandarin than in Beijing Mandarin. I'm doubtful that the Qing court in Beijing used Nanjing Mandarin as its working language though. 臉 has nothing to do with the situation we have here because it is neither related to palatalization nor 尖團合流. RcAlex36 (talk) 16:18, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
I am very encouraged by this discussion. I will leave this open for further comment by other parties because of the unusualness of the etymology section on the Keelung page. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 16:26, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Geographyinitiative Note even when palatalization was taking place when the postal romanization system was formalized, the palatalized k (probably resembling palatal stop [c]) was a distinct phoneme from /ts/ (aka the 尖團 distinction). That is probably the reason why we have that initial consonant romanized as k in postal romanization (hence Nanking, Kiukiang, Kiangsu, etc.). Beijing Mandarin, Standard Mandarin and Wade-Giles do not have the 尖團 distinction, so 京=精, 牽=千, etc.. We know k before high vowels in Nanjing Mandarin eventually became ʨ, which was still a distinct phoneme from /ts/. Of course, all this discussion assumes the postal romanization system was based on, or at least in part based on the Nanjing Mandarin pronunciation at the time. RcAlex36 (talk) 16:50, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Germanic rat words[edit]

The comments at English rat need to be reconciled with Proto-Germanic *rattaz and *rattō and Old English rætt. The discussion at rat says a Proto-Germanic ancestor must refer to a different animal and "Attestation of this family of words begins in the 12th century." The first part conflicts with the unqualified definition of the Proto-Germanic words as rat. The second part is contradicted by the existence of the Old English ancestor. If you believe Wikipedia, a 1st century arrival of black rats in the North Sea area means later speakers of Proto-Germanic would have known about rats. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:09, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

"raturus (in a list of animals)" (Bossworth-Toller: raet [8]; not sourced) is strictly speaking not a family of words. It's evidence, but we do not know what for it is. 05:30, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
We should probably mention Welsh rhathu (to grate, rasp), which presupposes an older *ratt- < Proto-Celtic *rasdeti and is cognate with Latin rādō. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:03, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

Peridia etymology[edit]

I am not an expert in etymology or linguistics but enjoy researching terms relating to mycology. I noticed on the page for entry "peridia", Wiktionary states the etymology is missing or incomplete. I would like to contribute some information I found in hopes that someone more knowledgeable than I will be able to look into it and possibly update the etymology, as I feel there is compelling evidence for it in the information below, as well as associated terms peridum and peridioles. These terms refer to important elements of "birds nest fungi", the common name for the five genera of fungi that make up the Nidulariaceae family. These structures (perida) appear like little packages of spores or "eggs" (peridioles), or refer to the fruiting body itself, which holds the "eggs".

From the piecemeal evidence below, I believe there is reason to give the etymology as coming from the Greek "peri-", or PIE root *per-, meaning "in front of, against, near" etc. It stands to reason that these structures were named for their "pouchlike" characteristics Please let me know your thoughts.

A Greek English Lexicon (Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott) states that Greek "pḗra" (πήρα , Ion. πήρη ( πάρη [α^] Heraclid. ap. Eust.29.3), ἡ,) means "A leather pouch for victuals, etc., wallet, Od.13.437, al., Ar.Pl.298, Fr.273, Ostr.Bodl. iii 264 (i A. D.), etc."

Peri-, according to Etymonline.com, is a Greek word forming element meaning "around, about, enclosing".

-ioles is a diminutive suffix, which would further explain the use of peridioles, or "little pouches".

-idium is a plural suffix used to form plant or fungus names, especially those involved in reproduction (this I believe stands as evidence for a combination of this suffix with Greek peri-, as peridium contain the peridioles, which contain the spores which are a mode of reproduction in fungi). -idia is the singular.

Therefore, in my amateur view, "peridia" derives from Greek peri- and -idia to mean 'reproductive pouch', based on these evidence examples. I appreciate your help and graciousness in any response.

@AnnaHenning —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 23:58, 11 January 2021 (UTC).

Dictionary.com states it's from pḗra (wallet, pouch) and the suffix -idium, corresponding to -idion. [9], [10] Wakuran (talk) 01:00, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Isn't it more likely that peridium is originally a scientific Latinization of πηρίδιον, (pērídion), a diminutive of πήρα (pḗra)?  --Lambiam 12:48, 12 January 2021 (UTC)


Not sure if this is the right place to ask. I couldn't find any information about this - when creating proto reconstructions, is it policy to reference proto languages which are not fully accepted by linguists? For example, see *acaɣ - it's a legit Proto-Eskimo entry, but I wasn't sure if mentioning Proto-Nostratic in the etymology is accepted or not? I've only referenced Proto-Nostratic in that one entry so far, so it's easily rectified if I was incorrect in doing so. —JakeybeanTALK 14:32, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

My impression is that a mention with a proper disclaimer (I think describing Nostratic as "not widely accepted among linguists" borders on euphemism. It's like saying that Donald Trump is "not widely accepted among liberal Democrats") is discouraged rather than prohibited. You would have to have a good reason to bring it up. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:18, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I think it's OK to mention it when it's properly sourced and referenced, as it is there, as long as we don't start creating Proto-Nostratic reconstruction entries. And "not widely accepted among linguists" sounds OK to me; it's a good NPOV way of putting it. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:21, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, both. And thanks for your edit, Mahagaja. I'll try not to flood entries with too many references to Proto-Nostratic, if I do, I shall reference in the way you have done so. —JakeybeanTALK 15:56, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
@Jakeybean: There is no consensus for linking to Proto-Nostratic reconstructions. If you want to mention relevant comparanda in other languages and explain that they could only be related through a controversial hypothesis, that is fine, but this is simply regurgitating Starostin's bullshit. His work is completely worthless and rejected by the vast majority of mainstream academic linguists. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:00, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Trust me, I'm not here to push his theories - I just wanted to clarify what is wanted here and what isn't. I definitely do not want to spread misinformation, so maybe it is enough to have the link to Starostin in the references for anyone who wants to look further into Proto-Eskimo and any theories surrounding its possible macrofamily. —JakeybeanTALK 19:22, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I also don't want there to be links to Nostratic reconstructions. We don't have a code for Proto-Nostratic as far as I know, so we can use {{m|und|*xyz}} (where und is for undetermined). No link is created when the language code is und and the term starts with an asterisk. —Mahāgaja · talk 21:54, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I should be clearer: there is no reason we should even be presenting his reconstructions. We are under no obligation to reflect all scholars' views when some of those scholars are not applying the comparative method in good faith. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:07, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Re: Nostratic and Dolgopolsky, see also this thread from 2017 wherein I presented a quick-and-dirty analysis of Dolgopolsky's mistake rate concerning Japanese. I haven't done any similar breakdown of Starostin, but subjectively, I recall being dismayed by his mistake rate as well -- one such issue I discussed here in 2016, regarding Starostin's mis-analysis of Japanese 分かる (wakaru, to understand, intransitive; reconstructed by Starostin as proto-Japonic verb root stem bakar-) as arising from proto-Altaic baka ("to look, to watch"), when instead wakaru is from internal Japanese verb root stem wak- ("to split, to come apart"). The very morphophonemic shape of the modern verb implies a derivation within Japonic, including its cognacy with both classical root verb 分く別く (waku) and modern transitive derivational twin 分ける別ける (wakeru, to split something), but Starostin is clearly unfamiliar enough with Japanese that this escapes his notice. This kind of glaring misapprehension calls into question his entire approach, much as for Dolgopolsky. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:34, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
I think mentioning the theory (in these appendix pages), with qualification, and without creating entries, is OK. Given that there are (by definition) no broadly accepted reconstructions, and that we're not linking to or creating reconstruction entries anyway, I think we can do without mentioning Starostin's or anyone else's reconstructions, though. I would only mention Nostratic in terms like "Within the controversial Nostratic theory, Proto-Foo foo has been compared to Proto-Bar bar", i.e. when mentioning comparanda, like Meta says. - -sche (discuss) 23:12, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Any mention of Nostratic should be deleted, which is what we've done for Altaic. If we allowed people to add Nostratic theories to etymologies, we'd find their spurious comparisons all over PIE. --{{victar|talk}} 19:03, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
I agree. Best not mention Nostratic at all. Really striking resemblances between lexemes reconstructed for proto-languages so widely accepted that we have entries for them (both the proto-languages and the reconstructed lexemes), however, I'm not strictly against mentioning. Especially if at least borrowing is a plausible explanation.
In the case of Eskimo-Aleut, even the very sceptical scholar Aikio (who has expressed strong doubt about Eskimo-Uralic in the past) has recently pointed to a few surprising lexical matches with Proto-Uralic that might point to a deeper link after all, though it may not be properly recoverable due to the great time-depth involved.
Though, for example, Old Chinese (shine), Baxter-Sagart's reconstruction being *lewk-s, evidently cannot be a direct borrowing from PIE *lewk- (or a derivative from the root) for chronological and geographical reasons. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:40, 14 February 2021 (UTC)


A winnet is a piece of dried faeces caught on anal hair. It is regional dialect. I believe it comes from Geordie dialect as in@It winnet come off.' Can aybody confirm or provide an alternative etymology?

Hmm, I figured there were rules against listing words such as winnet, not due to the subject matter, but since they seem to be both dialectal and slang words, and hence see rather limited usage. Initially, it sounds like a folk etymology, and I'd hazard a guess that the -et-ending is diminutive. But then, taint (perineum) is allegedly a relatively similar construction. Wakuran (talk) 23:31, 21 January 2021 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. @RcAlex36 Hey, do you (or anyone else) know why Yilan and Chiayi are written with a 'y'? I found a 1914 example of 'Yichang' too. [11] Thanks for any help. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 14:42, 14 January 2021 (UTC)


It's clear that the word originally means "with-woman". But is the usage note correct in claiming that the "woman"-part refers to the mother? It would make much more sense to me that she is a "with-woman" in the sense of an "attending woman", "assisting woman". Compare also the use of this prefix in other Germanic langauges. I'm sure every German or Dutch person here agrees that ?Mitfrau, ?medevrouw would mean "a woman who is with someone", not "one who is with a woman". (In fact, this word, if used, would probably be understood as either "one of several wives" or "one of a group of women", but it could never ever mean "husband" or "man who is with a group of women", as the note would imply). 21:28, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

Etymonline agrees.  --Lambiam 15:41, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
I disagree with the native speaker argument though.
I disagree as a native speaker because almost all German mit- words safe for fossils derive from a verbal base with an agentive -er, leading to the impression of a comitative prefix on nouns. I disagree as an English speaker, too, because there is no indication yet that these words were from the same strata as midwife.
Instead, I'm sure, almost every male person agrees that the precise meaning of the word is unknown. The meaning is about possession of certain knowledge, if French sage-femme and the Dutch analogues are taken into evidence.
This fact of life will be reflected in the common etymology brought about by the stork.
Translations show much variation and synonymy within and across closely related branches. At least Skandinavians concure with a common element -mor, -moder, maybe Greek too, as well as the analog Slavic looking babo, porodní bába, bebiakali, bába, babica, but the Greek μαῖα is also comparable to Hebrew meyalédet, which presents with a trilateral root comparable to Arab. *wallāda*.
For sake of compromise, the wife in midwife could be any mother. But this has to be uncertain if barely any of the translations has a proper etymology, (cf. accouocheuse f, please).2A00:20:6015:E80:D5FA:1337:2F8E:2F7D 22:32, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
In each of the German nouns Mitarbeiter, Mitbewohner, Mitbruder, Mitbürger, Mitesser, Mitglied, Mitgründer, Mitknecht, Mitläufer, Mitmensch, Mitschüler, Mitstudent, and Mittäter, the prefix mit- means co-. While Mitarbeiter can be analyzed as either mitarbeit(en) +‎ -er or mit- +‎ Arbeiter, only the latter is possible for several of the others; e.g., Mitbürger is not an agent noun of *mitbürgen.  --Lambiam 14:23, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Old English has midwist, from mid- +‎ wist, literally “co-being”; cf, German Mitwesen.[12]  --Lambiam 14:34, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
My understanding has been that Middle English midwif originates from the substantivised form of an Old English syntagma mid wīfe 'with the woman/wife'. However, Etymonline supports the other interpretation as "with-woman", a woman who is with (sc. the mother). I don't know how to decide with certainty which of these two possibilities is correct. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:23, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
I would agree that in modern Germanic languages, the cognate to mid- would generally mean co-. Not that it constitutes any evidence, though. Wakuran (talk) 23:56, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
It's certainly not proof, but I do think it's some kind of evidence. Anyway, thanks for the discussion. Apparently the etymology is not entirely clear. I'll edit accordingly. 18:31, 21 January 2021 (UTC)


"Possibly borrowed from a reduced Semitic form *aj,"

Huh? Where does the -p- come from, then?

"ultimately from Ancient Egyptian ꜥfj (“bee”)."

Is Ancient Egyptian f cognate with Proto-Semitic *p?

"Other theories speculate an Oscan-Umbrian loan from an original *akuis (“sharp, stinging”) (e.g. Latin aqui- (“sharp”) in aquifolius, aquilinus); however, even though the Osco-Umbrian reflex of Proto-Indo-European labiovelar */kʷ/ that gives Latin <qu> is regularly /p/, an Oscan akrid ‘sharply’ makes this doubtful."

I don't get the reasoning here. The hypothesis sounds workable. Oscan akrid has a completely different suffix, so what?

Also, to speculate is always intransitive, isn't it? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 06:54, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Used in the impersonal passive often seen in scientific articles ("It has been speculated that nutritional factors may also play a role."[13]), it feels grammatically OK – but as a Wikipedia editor I want to slap on a [by whom?].  --Lambiam 12:00, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Which lemma does this refer to? Might you have forgotten a headline, or am I misunderstanding something? Wakuran (talk) 12:18, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
It refers to FB's final question.  --Lambiam 12:53, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
@Lambiam: What I mean is you can speculate about something, but you can't "speculate something". That's just grammatically incorrect, AFAIK. And "Other theories speculate [a] loan" isn't passive. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:33, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Here are a few uses with a noun phrase as direct object: [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20].  --Lambiam 23:40, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
You can also find a ton of occurrences of researches, that doesn't mean a lot. Outside of Indian English, where it may be accepted, researches is not considered standard, certainly not by first-language speakers. I for one would rather advise writers to avoid this construction, and our entry clearly describes the verb as intransitive. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:46, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
I agree that pulling Oscan akrid into the scene doesn’t make much sense; there is no labiovelar in its PIE etymon *h₂ḱró-, so it can’t be used to cast aspersions on the (unreferenced) claim that PIE */kʷ/ regularly develops to Oscan /p/.  --Lambiam 12:53, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
The claim is definitely correct. See Wikipedia. In fact, labiovelar stops turned into labial stops throughout Osco-Umbrian (and by all appearances already in Proto-Osco-Umbrian) – see here –, which is therefore also known as "P-Italic", literally after this very sound change. I've never seen a reference for such a famous (even eponymous!) and uncontroversial sound change on Wikipedia. It would be like adding a ref for Grimm's law. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:41, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Also, the argument is so unclear that neither of us both got it, but I suspect that akrid is not adduced to cast aspersions on the sound law, but on the assumption of a cognate of Latin aqui- in Osco-Umbrian. However, this argument is not compelling nor even particularly logical: just like Latin has both ācer and aqui-, so can Osco-Umbrian have had both formations. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:09, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
From a fringe macro-comparationist who also claimed Raetic is a Semitic language. Fittingly with this Linus Brunner we have cited Theo Vennemann. Without evidence for similar Semitic words, it should be removed. Fay Freak (talk) 13:08, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Ancient Egyptian f is indeed likely cognate with PSem *p. (I have no comment on the rest of this; it doesn’t make much sense to me either.) — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 20:50, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
@Fay Freak, Vorziblix: Thank you both! Yeah, Brunner and Vennemann are really not good sources on etymology; their suggestions are highly speculative at best. I merely tried to understand the reasoning first, but considering that there doesn't seem to be a lot to understand, I've decided to remove the part. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:00, 19 January 2021 (UTC)


Shouldn’t be a hard one. The shape ⟨GEORGI⟩ needs spread in a particular, discoverable fashion in European language. It is just that reference works ignore this term. @Hazarasp, Leasnam, for a start we should know the attestations of the country – although absurdly even the Oxford English Dictionary does not know Georgia except the vilayet of the United States and three terms derived from it (Georgia pine, Georgia buggy, Georgia skin. At least they do know the adjective Georgian for someone from the Kartvelian country, where (paywall) one finds an etymology for the country, which is claimed to be from 13th century Latin, which is claimed to be from Middle French georgien only attested in 1357 theoretically only, translated in a 1425 English quote they have. Then they mention 13th century Medieval Latin Georgianus, Italian only 14th century georgiano. But the real etymology for Georgia is barely visible; not at all from Wiktionary’s etymology section, but apparently in OED: they say the name of the country probably derives from Persian گرج(gurj, Georgia), now that’s a statement, but they write “13th cent.” in brackets behind it, which sounds kind of impossible as the earliest attestation of the Persian, probably they mean the century in which the name passed into Western European Medieval Latin. So through Italian trade, when Italians sailed beyond the Bosporus, they learned about the country of Georgia. Our derivation at the Italian georgiano, Georgio +‎ -iano, if the former is supposed to be the personal name, is of course bare nonsense, at best we have an {{orthographic borrowing}} because the name was etymologized by scribes who weren’t on board the ships as related to that Saint.

So I intend deletion of the digressions about Saint George and the personal name Γεώργιος (Geṓrgios), other than this sidenote, and Pliny and Pomponius Mela and vague “Later European accounts”, as well as the passage about the Russian word because it is not only “speculated” to be the same word but it is the same word owing to known Iranian sound correspondences (which are not to be told but at the Persian page either).

This leaves out however some other European languages where were aren’t as well equipped with references works: I browsed through various Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Bulgarian and Proto-Slavic etymological dictionaries and only discovered that the country or tribesman name is not mentioned. I can only assume that all the non-Eastern Slavic names (visible in the translation table of Georgia, Georgian) are borrowed from Russian instead of being inherited from a Late Proto-Slavic term, because German Grusien is too, and etymologists often omit, for brevity, words which aren’t old and we are supposed to derive by our own intellects, and it appears that in the Early Middle Ages nobody in Europe even knew the country, and especially because the shape is everywhere /gruz-/ as opposed to /gurz-/ which is here stated to be an Old East Slavic shape. Yet it sounds odd, due to geography and the Ottoman Empire, that Bulgarians only know about the country because Russians told them. Necessarily one can write a history of previous names in Bulgarian, if my supposition is true that the word is not inherited from Proto-Slavic but later borrowed from (Old) Russian. There might be now disused Turkish borrowings in South Slavic denoting the country and its people. I ping @Bezimenen, Gnosandes, Mladifilozof. Fay Freak (talk) 14:31, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

@Fay Freak: The name in Bulgarian (Грузия (Gruzija)) is adopted from Russian. In general, Bulgarian uses (transliterations of) the official Russian/Soviet exonyms for all former Soviet nations, not just for Georgia. Georgians as an ethnos, however, were known prior to 19-20 century, but I'm not sure under what name. One of the largest monasteries in Bulgaria, the Bachkovo monastery, was founded by Georgians, for example. Безименен (talk) 16:55, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
@Fay Freak: Georgia appears to be first attested in English in Marlowe's 1587 Tamburlaine the Great; in Middle English, the usual form is Georgie, which persists into the 16th century (and barely into the 17th) before sputtering out. Both of these seem to reflect a medieval Latin Geōrgia (Georgie is probably through a French intermediary). Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 08:19, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Etymology of waft[edit]

Our entry currently describes the origin as "uncertain", and -- quite implausibly, I think -- suggests a borrowing from Middle Dutch wachten (to guard).

I had assumed a similar pattern to other verb + noun pairs I was recently looking at, where the former is voiced and the latter unvoiced. Examples include:

With a slightly different pattern and addition of what might be past-tense marker -t, we also have pairs like:

It would appear that wave + waft would fit the latter pattern. This also seems to fit better semantically than Middle Dutch wachten (to guard).

Has anyone else encountered anything similar regarding the derivation of waft? Does our entry need updating? User:Eirikr

Hmm, I thought about the Swedish word vifta (to wave), seemingly derived from Proto-Germanic waibijaną. Etymonline also claims "wachten", though. [21] Wakuran (talk) 21:05, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
In the oldest quotation, from Shakespeare, the meaning is “to wave”.  --Lambiam 23:54, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
My impression was also that Dutch -cht being borrowed as -ft wasn't a common occurrence, in contrast to Dutch -cht corresponding to other Germanic cognates with -ft , such as in lucht and achter. Wakuran (talk) 00:02, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
FWIW, Merriam-Webster's etymology derives the verb as:

Middle English, perhaps from past participle of Middle English (northern dialect) waffen, by-form of Middle English waven to wave

‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 02:02, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
The OED gives a similar etymology: "Apparently an alteration of waff v.1, perhaps due to the past tense or participle waft." Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 23:14, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

/r/ in Jpn 算盤[edit]

We have two contradictory accounts at the moment of the correspondence Chinese /n/ : Japanese /r/ in 算盤. The etymologies listed there want the /r/ to be secondary from /n/, whereas at 算#Chinese we say that this is instead a pre-Sino-Japanese loan and the /r/ is a survival of an Old Chinese coda *-r > *-n in Chinese. Which is it?

To me, a priori and not knowing the history, the latter story is more believable: words of the Sino-Japanese stratum don't tend to get deformed like this, and why would this word have got routed through Ryukyuan? But I don't know what to make of the claim that "the abacus was imported to Japan from China during the Muromachi period". E.g. was this just the modern form of abacus and the Japanese knew an earlier form before that? 4pq1injbok (talk) 10:21, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

@4pq1injbok: I'm a little confused by the wording of your question, but here's what I can find regarding the Japanese term.
  • The device was first imported into Japan (in the historical record, anyway) some time during the w:Muromachi period (1336–1573). Some sources say late in the period, others say early (both in Japanese).
This is late enough that the Old Chinese coda is irrelevant -- unless there were some obscure dialectal variant of late Middle Chinese that still had coda /-r/ for , and that dialect were somehow the source of the Japanese term, with influence also on the Ryukyuan? That seems highly unlikely to me, but who knows. Then again, not all reconstructions of the Old Chinese for include any coda /-r/.
  • If this site is accurate, the Japanese term in 1570 was read as sōban, probably pronounced /soːban/, possibly /sɔːban/ considering the /a/ vowel in the etymon and the phonological realization of similarly-shaped borrowings.
  • The earliest I can pin down the soroban reading is to the 1603 w:Nippo Jisho Japanese-Portuguese dictionary, as listed here at Kotobank in the entry from the Kokugo Dai Jiten (KDJ), from publisher w:Shōgakukan. The Nippo Jisho entry can be seen here, two entries above the highlighted term. The edition available on Google Books is sadly missing the pages needed to check for any /soːban/ pronunciation.
  • There is also evidence of Japanese 算盤 read as sanban, the expected reading based on the original Chinese. However, the earliest I can date this reading to is 1688, as shown here in the KDJ entry.
  • Japanese sources that discuss the origin of the soroban reading describe it as a shift from swanpan. That seems extremely unlikely to me on phonological grounds -- so far as I know, we have zero other instances of late-Middle-Chinese swan shifting to soro. It's even more unlikely given the existence of the sanban reading, which demonstrates the expected phonological pattern whereby swa- flattened to sa-, and coda -n remained as coda -n.
  • A perhaps more likely source of the /r/ in Japanese そろばん (soroban) may be root soro-, as seen in adverb そろそろ (sorosoro, quietly and calmly), そろり (sorori) and そろっと (sorotto, quietly and smoothly; slidingly, glidingly), verb 揃う (sorou, to be in alignment; to be in order; to match, to go together).
  • The [here, two entries above the highlighted term. The edition available on Google Books is sadly missing the pages needed to check for any /soːban/ pronunciation. Gogen-Allguide entry] mentions some 50 alternative spellings used throughout history, including 三羅盤, likely read as saraban. Notably, root sara- -- and also root suru- -- also appear in various terms related to senses of smooth, gliding, sliding.
Coming back to your mention of the etymology at 算#Chinese, I must point out that it is very unlikely to be the case that "The Old Chinese coda was *-r, as preserved in Japanese 算盤 (soroban, “abacus”)." I believe that must be edited to remove the mention of the Japanese term, since this is far too young to have any direct connection to anything Old Chinese.
For that matter, the Japanese entry needs updating as well. I'll add that to my (growing) to-do list. :)
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:54, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Update -- I found an earlier cite for the soroban reading, the 1595 edition of a Latin - Portuguese - Japanese dictionary. See the Abáculus entry here, which lists the Japanese glosses san and soroban. The san gloss is also listed in Japanese monolingual dictionaries as a synonym for soroban, and is spelled simply (san) -- further indicating that the Chinese swan would have been rendered simply as san via normal phonological processes. I think this bolsters the case for soro- being some other morpheme unrelated to the Chinese. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:37, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

Source of Hindi क़ीमा[edit]

@AryamanA, Kutchkutch, Bhagadatta, wouldn't क़ीमा (qīmā) be much more likely to be from Persian قیمه(qime, hashed meat), which the latter entry says is from Turkic? The semantics seem very strange to me if it really is from Arabic.--Karaeng Matoaya (talk) 10:18, 22 January 2021 (UTC)

@Karaeng Matoaya: The preferred dictionary for Hindi, {{R:hi:McGregor|qīma}}, has [A. qīma], which must the source of the current etymology.
When AryamanA created the entry, the etymology was just {{bor|hi|ar}}, then Wyang added the Arabic word and I added the Arabic root to populate the category CAT:Hindi terms derived from the Arabic root ق و م.
{{R:NPED|قیمه}} and {{R:fa:Steingass|قيمه}} both have the definition Minced meat, so Persian قیمه(qime) being the immediate source of the Hindi/Urdu term makes sense. However, whether or not the Persian term is from Arabic is not entirely clear to me. The semantics do seem a bit strange strange, but such a change in meaning from Arabic to Persian doesn't seem entirely impossible. The spelling of the Arabic and Persian terms are very similar.
The Persian entry was created by User talk:Irman, and in this edit on the Persian entry User:Calak removed most of the etymology given by Irman, but left {{bor|fa|trk}} intact. Kutchkutch (talk) 13:58, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
The Turkish sense of the noun kıyma is fairly transparent; it is a verbal noun of the verb kıymak (to mince), composed from a root kıy- + the infinitive suffix -mak. Similarly formed Turkish nouns for foodstuff include dolma, dondurma, kavurma and sarma. The meaning in Turkish is perfectly mirrored in Persian. Given the senses of the terms in various candidate donor languages, Arabic appears extremely unlikely to have played a role.  --Lambiam 14:12, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
@Kutchkutch, another reason I'm a bit puzzled is that the expected Persian and Hindi borrowing of Arabic قِيمَة(qīma) (satisfying both phonetics and semantics) already exists as Persian قیمت(qimat) > Hindi क़ीमत (qīmat).--Karaeng Matoaya (talk) 15:15, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
I added the Ottoman Turkish version قمیه(kıyma) which is a plausible source of the Persian word, given that (1) it appears to be originally a Turkic word, (2) Ottoman Turkish is the most prolific borrower and lender of the Turkic languages with respect to Persian and Arabic. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 16:00, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
@Vox Sciurorum: You added the stem wrongly. Of course the sequence is قیمـ, not قمیـ. You misread the ligature in Redhouse. You should know that ى‎ with any dots likes to connect with م(m) in many fonts, making it hard to read for beginners. Fay Freak (talk) 17:15, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Fixed. Now at قیمق(kıymak), قیمه(kıyma). Vox Sciurorum (talk) 17:37, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
@AryamanA, Kutchkutch, Bhagadatta, Vox Sciurorum, Lambian, Fay Freak I have changed the etymology at क़ीमा (qīmā) to Turkic via Persian and added likely descendants at قیمه. Please check if anything is wrong.--Karaeng Matoaya (talk) 02:36, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
@Karaeng Matoaya: It is correct! —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 23:07, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

jitney (the numismonym)[edit]

Footnote 8 in the article in Wikipedia on the origin of the word jitney (the coin) mentions the chapter dealing with that subject in David L. Gold's Studies in Etymology and Etiology: With Emphasis on Germanic, Jewish, Romance and Slavic Languages (2009). What the article in Wiki says about that chapter needs to be updated.

It is true that in 2009 he tentatively espoused the etymology involving the word jetnée but in a 35-page analysis published in 2020 (see the full reference below) he concluded that either jetnée was coined in 1915 (in which case it could not be the etymon of a word attested for 8 August 1886) or jetnée derives from jitney.

Gold, David L. 2018-2020. “Pursuing the origin of the American English informalism gitney ~ jitney: On the alleged Louisiana French word *jetnée and the fallacy of omne ignotum pro magnifico in etymological research.” Leuvense Bijdragen: Leuven Contributions in Linguistics and Philology. Vol. 102. Pp. 383 - 417.S. Valkemirer (talk) 08:37, 23 January 2021 (UTC)


The genetics entry on Wiktionary says "coined by English biologist William Bateson in 1905" but this seems misleading - depending on how you view 'genetic' vs. 'genetics'

If this entry wants to refer to a strict definition of 'genetics' as a science discipline, it should clearly state so, otherwise refer to the 'genetic' antry or elsewhere.

Even Darwin's own text had the word 'genetic' in it, at least in 6th ed (1871) - source http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=text&itemID=F401&pageseq=1

Imre (Emmerich?) Festetics was the first (Die genetische Gesätze der Natur. Oekonomische Neuigkeiten und Verhandlungen, 1819) according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Festetics

"Genetic" isn't the same word as "genetics", nor is the German term. The etymology can mention that genetic came first, but all etymologies refer simply to the exact entry they appear in. DTLHS (talk) 17:41, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂leg-, ἄλγος, religio[edit]

The etymology of religio is disputed. I think we can agree that the ancient etymologies (relegare, religare) are not tenable. Connecting it with lego is semantically difficult. But I think somewhere I read the hyptothesis that religio could be connected with the Latin -lego-compounds that form the perfect stem with -s- (-lexi: neglego, intellego, diligo) and therefore be derived from the PIE root *h₂leg-. DeVaan thinks (as far as I can remember) that there's no need for a separate root apart from PIE *leǵ- > PIt *legō, arguing that the -e- in neg- and intellego renders an early formation of these compounds implausible and that diligo is difficult to connect with a verb with the meaning "to care". But as often, he doesn't really discuss the issue.

  1. *h₂leg- is reconstructed because of grc ἀλέγω. So if the root survived in grc why not use it to explain Latin words (as does LIV)?
  2. intellego and neglego could have been treated as two separate words each (*ìnter légo and *nèc légo) so that the stem vowel was stressed and therefore not weakened.
  3. With *h₂leg- we get an easy explanation for religio: PIt *lego ("to care") > Latin *religo ("to observe, to venerate" > religio ("reverence").
  4. diligo could be explained as a conflation of the two homophonous terms.

Apart from that: The etymology given at ἄλγος looks very, very, very implausible (PIE *-r- > grc -l-?? Why not ἅ- (with rough breathing)?). @Djkcel: Does Beekes really support this? --Akletos (talk) 11:57, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

Sup @Akletos:, yes, it appears that Beekes finds this conceivable; from page 62:
The word is often connected with ἄλγος (álgos). Although this has a different meaning 'to take care, mind, heed', a development to 'worry, grief' is conceivable (cf. MoDu. zorgen (to take care), beside Modern English sorrow.
However, I did that etymology when ἀλέγω (alégō) was a redlink lemma. Since you've created that entry, feel free to direct readers to that from ἄλγος (álgos), though Beekes does cite a few sources that support the connection to sorrow: (Seiler 1950: 85, Seiler Word 11(1955): 288, and Szemerenyi 1964: 148ff). DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 19:21, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
@Djkcel: Thanks for looking this up. The connection to ἀλέγω is not the point, this seems possible. But the swergh-thing was rather strange. I hope you don't mind that I've deleted it. --Akletos (talk) 20:19, 24 January 2021 (UTC) Post scriptum: In the passage you are quoting zorgen-sorrow serves as a parallel for the semantic development (to care > pain, grief), that doesn't mean that these terms are cognates of ἄλγος. --Akletos (talk) 06:46, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Mind explaining why "relego" and religo are not tenable here? Collective memory and many other figures of speech are perfectly natural in my humble opinion. lego, logos (i.e. "teaching"?) can imply veneration in a sense, too, whereas no ildotry is known from the Steppes. A single Greek reflex and no evidence of a laryngeal in Latin is not really plausible. An Anatolian cognate would be needed, besides the re- in religio is implausible. If *h2 surfaced as rough breathing as well as [γ] though: "This sound corresponds to Luw. intervocalic lenis -ḫ-: cf. Lyc. χuga- ‘grandfather’ ~ CLuw. ḫūḫa- ‘id.’ < *h2éuh2-eh2-; Lyc. agã ‘Idid’ ~ CLuw. aḫa ‘id.’ < *-h2e (with lenition)." [Kloekhorst (2018) Anatolian evidence suggests that the Indo-European laryngeals *h2 and *h3 were uvular stops, Indo-European Linguistics 6, 69-94]. Holy moley. All it needs is an exagerated trill. 18:36, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

Proto-Turkic: öküŕ[edit]

Can you check Reconstruction:Proto-Turkic/öküŕ and Reconstruction:Proto-Tocharian/wəkʷsó, please, we need a correction, as Güntert, Anders H; Festschrift Fr. Panzer 10 describes a reverse loan direction, cf: Orel handbook, page 434 on top. --Altuunay (talk) 17:46, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

There seems to be various similar proto-language terms with unclear connections between them; Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/uksḗn, Reconstruction:Proto-Turkic/öküŕ, Reconstruction:Proto-Kartvelian/usx-. Wakuran (talk) 00:28, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/uksḗn, Reconstruction:Proto-Turkic/öküŕ and Reconstruction:Proto-Tocharian/wəkʷsó, however, display it wrongly, as Panzer describes a reverse loan direction from Turkic into Tocharian. This should be corrected in these three pages. --Altuunay (talk) 17:35, 29 January 2021 (UTC)


I probably can and should be sympathetic with some Administrators comforting themselves that I have died with the Covid; but, unfortunately this has not happened yet; because I still patrol the Watchlist page five or six times a week. My current concern is that the source etymology editor for wood has left out the rest of the relevant information. Both the West Germanic and Proto-Germanic roots are merely substrates from the Proto-Celtic, whence also wiodu and wudu as substrates that were assimulated into Old English. That is: the Old English widu was all that was brought to Britain in the Anglo-Saxon invasions! The Gaelic and Celtic forms demonstrate their cognates quite clearly.

Also, whether the reconstructed Proto-Celtic root for gull is true or not, the original meaning and root as far as can be readily traced is from the root of the Breton verb 'to weep, cry', from the sounds emitted by the gulls. Andrew H. Gray 10:17, 25 January 2021 (UTC) Andrew (talk)

What is the evidence that Proto-Celtic *widus and Proto-Germanic *widuz are in a substrate or loanword relationship rather than being both inherited from PIE? —Mahāgaja · talk 12:43, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
As for gull, our entry for Proto-Celtic *wailannā does say it comes from something meaning "the wailer", which seems basically in keeping with your hypothesis. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:48, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for your notes. The point that I made was just that Proto-Celtic *widus is the origin of the substrate Proto-Germanic *widuz and both, as you state are therefore derived from the PIE - there is no question of a loan word here. Subject to correction, I understand Proto-Germanic as as being derived from Mezzo-Indo-European, in turn from PIE - that formed the language. It is, as you know, a later derivative of PIE in its core vocabulary and grammar; but the Germanic peoples would have assimilated a number of local lexemes in the areas where they settled, that included Celtic and Finn-Ugric dialects, as you know. One serious mistake is the assumption that is that the Proto-Finnic form LAMBAS is borrowed from Proto-Germanic *lambaz, when it is clear to any experienced etymologist that the Proto-Finnic form is the substrate for such an essential farming everyday word. There are Pre-Celtic forms in Old Cornish that confirm that the name of the creature is derived from its actions, such as 'to jump'. The only acceptable counter proof is if those lexemes can be proved to be non-existent in such substrate languages before the chance of borrowing. Also the fabricated reconstruction of the PG alleged origin of Old English ǣled (fire) [Andrew H. Gray 08:09, 1 February 2021 (UTC)] did not exist in the PIE root derivations. The Breton form for 'fireplace' could not have been borrowed from Anglo-Saxon anyway, since its language dialect was transmitted to Brittany in the 6th century, before the Anglo-Saxon language has taken any hold in Cornwall! Just because it has cognates in Swedish and Danish (albeit fossilised): ILD and ELD does not prove any PG origin; they are merely substrates from a Pre-Celtic dialect, akin to the Welsh, Cornish and Breton forms! Kind Regards. Andrew H. Gray 10:08, 29 January 2021 (UTC) Andrew
Just one question, do you mean æled? (And the Danish and Swedish forms for (noun) fire would be ild and eld, anyway.) Wakuran (talk) 14:55, 29 January 2021 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Added by @Desaccointier. Extremely unlikely to be from Min Nan, and very likely from Mandarin (c.f. Nanking, Kiangsu, Kiukiang, etc.). RcAlex36 (talk) 14:06, 27 January 2021 (UTC)

Also @Justinrleung. RcAlex36 (talk) 14:07, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
I agree that it's more likely to be from Mandarin. Sinkiang is very far from Fujian/Taiwan, so it's not likely that the word came from Min Nan. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:23, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Fixed. Very straightforward case, to be honest; not sure why someone didn't fix it before I got to it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:42, 27 January 2021 (UTC)

Latin bado ("I gape, I yawn")[edit]

I am working on the following entry in my sandbox, the Latin verb badare "to yawn, gape, be open," attested as the ancestor of a few French words that gave us quite a few English words (bay, abash, bevel, etc), among some other Romance words. I wanted to see how it looked to those more familiar with Latin entries before creating the term. Any input or things you'd change? (Also, you guys are free to edit the page yourself, it's fine that it's a userspace). Thanks! DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 19:49, 27 January 2021 (UTC)

This Latin word is *not* attested and should be made a reconstruction, if indeed created at all. You're also labeling the *badaculō forms as descendants, when they're actually derivatives. Additionally, the PIE reconstruction is embarrassingly outdated and not supported by any modern legitimate scholars. --{{victar|talk}} 23:28, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
The PIE is from Roberts p. 736, but I'm not married to it, we can lose it. However just about every source cited in the entry does support an onomatopoeic origin. As for attestation, bado is in Gaffiot, so it’s attested. Check out the Italic channel of the Discord channel if you've got time, we talked about it a little more over there. Thanks for your input so far. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 00:37, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
@Djkcel: *bata- is not a valid PIE reconstruction. Roberts is not a good source for PIE etymologies and it's misled you before. Though badō is "technically" attested, it's only an intergloss.[bado 1] I've created a draft entry here: User:Victar/bado. I don't mind calling it "possibly onomatopoeic" but in no way is it related to the *bau- forms you cite in the etymology. --{{victar|talk}} 06:14, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
I added badō and created *badaculō and *badaculum as well. --{{victar|talk}} 21:16, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Nice dude, thanks again for your help with this. I updated the English terms to point to the entry too. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 03:51, 31 January 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ von Wartburg, Walther (1928–2002) , “batare”, in Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), volume 1, page 282

come through[edit]

"From Middle English com thurgh, a separable prefix form of inseparable prefix Middle English thurghcomen, equivalent to come +‎ through."

I really don't understand this. Mihia (talk) 01:37, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

I guess it means that in Middle English, just like in Modern German, the infinitive (base) form of the verb had a prepositional prefix (like German durchkommen), which was split in conjugated forms. Later, the split form was reinterpreted as a new infinitive form. If that is clear. Wakuran (talk) 02:17, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
Oh, I see, "thurgh" is the prefix, right?. It is written as if "thurghcomen" is a prefix. In any case, is this complexity necessary to explain "come through"? Can the listed meanings of "come through" not exist or have come about simply as a result of "come" + "through"? Mihia (talk) 02:25, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
It's there to demonstrate that the usage is older than Modern English come + through, that there is a continuity in this verb-adverb combination since Middle English times. Leasnam (talk) 21:28, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
It is interesting to know how old the meanings are. We do sometimes claim to be a historical dictionary. DCDuring (talk) 21:32, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
I've updated the Etymology at come through to be less complicated. Leasnam (talk) 21:36, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Mihia (talk) 11:48, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Does dissimilate have another linguistic meaning than as action verb for the phonological process of dissimilation? I don’t know Middle English grammar, but inasmuch as it was similar to other West Germanic languages, thurghcomen was most likely a separable verb, meaning that its prefix thurgh could come apart from comen, in which case the formulation “inseparable prefix” of the older version of the etymology was dead wrong.  --Lambiam 15:03, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Well, unfortunately, ME thurghcomen only has a single citation, which is: (a1382) WBible(1) (Bod 959)Prov.18.8 : Þe woordis of þe twisel tunge..þurʒ-comyn [vr. thurʒ comen; L perveniunt] vn to þe entrayles of þe wombe. - where you can see that þurʒ-comyn is a plural present indicative verb relating to woordis. If it were seperable, it should be comyn þurʒ. Leasnam (talk) 21:23, 3 February 2021 (UTC)


@Justinrleung RFV of the etymology, the bulk of which was added by a now-banned user, and was restored by @DoMeNooS. The 'Online Etymological Dictionary suggests Chinese 匈奴 (Xiōngnú) is from Turkic Hun-yü, though it looks to me that Hun-yü is just the romanization of Mandarin 獯鬻 (Xūnyù) or 葷粥荤粥 without the palatalization of the h- initial (compare Hiong-nu). Is 匈奴 related to 獯鬻? Are there any good sources out there that discusses the etymology of 匈奴? RcAlex36 (talk) 05:00, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

@RcAlex36 Apologies for not responding in 2 days, I wasn't even logged in. To address your concern, I've found no source which indicates Hun-yü is romanization of Mandarin 獯鬻 or its later form 葷粥 — especially since their reconstructed pronunciations are Khunlug. The apparent source of the citation on the 匈奴 page is from the English Hun page — cited is the Etymonline page for Hun (apparently the user who tried to cite this on the Chinese-language page did not realize the link is auto-generated from the page title, and no page for 匈奴 exists on the cite). Scholarly works with mention of the term or transliteration Hun-yü do not connect it with the Xunyu — only with the Xiongnu and/or the European Hun clade. To this end see the following examples, Archaistic names of the Hiung-Nu (which deals quite extensively with known associations of the Xiongnu under the name Hunyu), Confucianism and Its Rivals, Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History, etc. Occasionally I've seen it connected to Xianyun, but never Xunyu. In spite of this, I've also come across a primary source, Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian, which says the Xiongnu, Xunyu, Xianyun, and Shanrong were all the names of the same people. In fact, Wei Zhao actually wrote that "Xunyu", "Xiongnu", and Hunyu were all simply alternative forms of the ethnonym Chunwei. It seems like the ancient Chinese scholars saw Xianyun, Xunyu. and Xiongnu as names for the same people, which scholars took as an indication the ultimate etymology was a Turkic lemma they reconstructed as Hun-yü — and at this point this has evidently become considered an unspoken fact? It seems most of the work here is dedicated more to the apparent homogeny of these various nomadic peoples and not the actual etymology of the clans' names. DoMeNooS (talk) 19:17, 30 January 2021 (UTC)

Northeast Asian words for "ramie"[edit]

@Eirikr and also whoever else is interested, what sort of connection must there be between Korean 모시 (mosi, ramie), Japanese (むし) (mushi, ramie), and Ainu モセ (mose), ムセ (muse), "nettle plant; bast fiber"? Which language is the most likely source language?--Karaeng Matoaya (talk) 11:04, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

I don't have much to say about the languages in question, but I have a few comments as an amateur ethnobotanist: it's the name for an article of trade, so the possibility of this being a Wanderwort has to be considered. The main species, Boehmeria nivea ([22] & [23]), is more tropical and subtropical, so it's not native to the area, though I'm not sure about Boehmeria nivia var. tenacissima ([24] shown here as B.nipponnivea, and mentioned in our Japanese entry as B.nivea var. nipponnivea ). Of course, it's been in cultivation long enough that it might not make a difference. If it did come from elsewhere, it probably would be via China, which has a different, very ancient word.
In the context of the Ainu term, I should also mention that nettle has also been an important fiber plant in its own right, various species being used from ancient times worldwide (I run into it a lot in California Indian ethnobotany).
Here are some other Asian terms for ramie that I was able to find: Vietnamese gai, Thai ป่านรามี (redlinked, but that's the word Thai Wikipedia uses), Malay rami (we don't have an entry for it, but it's mentioned in various dictionaries as the source for English ramie), Hindi Wikipedia has it under "रैमी"
That's all I have time for this morning. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:16, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Excellent ethnobotanical detail, Chuck, thank you!
Etymologically, Japanese mushi ("ramie") isn't attested until the early 1200s when it appears as an alternative name for karamushi. However, that term itself is clearly a compound of kara- (originally in reference to the Gaya confederacy, developing quickly to refer to "mainland Asia" in general) + mushi (presumably the name of a plant). I can't find anything definitive about the actual root term mushi here.
Exploring the possibility of an internal Japonic derivation, mushi may also refer to "bugs" () or "steaming; humidity" (蒸し). Neither seems terribly likely to be the etymon here (I thought maybe "steaming" might work, but ramie must apparently be processed dry).
Looking outside of Japonic, many possibilities arise, and teasing out which one is older is quite the challenge.
  • Korean has 모시 (mosi). Depending on any earlier forms than the 1489 attestation currently listed in our entry, this might well have been borrowed into Japanese such that it became mushi instead -- some linguists reconstruct proto-Japonic such that non-final /o/, especially the further-back variants, may have evolved into historical Japanese /u/. Any borrowing of Koreanic mwosi → Japonic mushi would fit that pattern.
However, if the word were borrowed from, or otherwise cognate with, the Koreanic term, the addition of the kara- prefix is weird -- this generally only happens when there is a local item that already has a certain name, and a foreign item appears that is similar to the local one. For a multi-stage example of that pattern (albeit with different prefixes indicating "foreign"), see also the evolution of 玉蜀黍 (tōmorokoshi, maize, corn on the cob, fuller narrative explanation here at the Japanese Stack Exchange site).
  • Ainu has muse (nettles), attested here in Batchelor's 1899 dictionary as synonymous with mose.
Up through at least the early 1600s as recorded in the 1603 Nippo Jisho Japanese-Portuguese dictionary, the /s/ in modern Japanese se was previously pronounced as fricative /ɕ/. So Ainu muse → Japanese mushe becomes an immediate possibility. A shift within Japanese from mushe to mushi is plausible. Alternatively, we also know that Ainu has changed over the years, so it's possible that Batchelor's Ainu muse might have even been musi earlier on.
In the Japanese WP article at カラムシ (Karamushi), I see the following 歴史 (Rekishi, History) section:


It has been pointed out that the karamushi growing wild in Japan today may be a naturalized plant from abroad that was cultivated for its fiber in prehistoric times, and that then escaped into the wild. In Ancient Japan, we see that the imperial court and noble families established guilds such as the 麻績部 (omibe, ancient womibe; literally, "ramie + spinning + section"), and the 機織部 (hata-ori-be, hatoribe, hatori, literally "loom + weaving + section", whence also surname 服部 (Hattori)), and according to the Nihon Shoki passage concerning the year 693, the emperor issued an edict regarding "karamushi" as one of the plants that government officials should encourage the commoners to cultivate.

The JA WP article also mentions several alternative names for the plant:
Given all the tangled information, my growing hunch is as follows:
  • JA mushi is from AIN muse (or earlier form), probably indicating a native nettle plant that was used for fiber.
  • JA karamushi arose as ramie was imported from mainland Asia. Since ramie isn't stinging and the hairs or thorns are not irritative the way they are with nettle, it makes sense that this would push out use of the native mushi -- ultimately replacing the old meaning of "nettles", which appears to have been forgotten (at least, as far as the dictionary entries go).
  • KO mwosi here may be an accidental resemblance. Or perhaps the KO term also once referred to nettles?
  • KO mwosi (or earlier form) was the original term.
  • JA karamushi referred to ramie from the mainland, using the kara- prefix here not so much to indicate "foreign", so much as a disambiguator to clarify that this is not otherwise-homophonous (mushi, bug, worm, vermin).
  • AIN muse may be an accidental resemblance, or perhaps a later borrowing after the early 1200s when the Japanese term lost its kara- prefix.
That's a lot to wade through, but I hope it's useful. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:44, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

모시 and めし[edit]

@Eirikr and anyone else, could there be a connection between Korean 모이 (moi) (< *모시 (*mosi)) "feed; fodder" and Japanese (めし) (meshi, rice; meal)? —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Karaeng Matoaya (talkcontribs).

@Karaeng Matoaya: Very tempting to see something there. :)
However, the Japanese term derives via shifts in usage from verb 召す (mesu, to call, to summon), in turn derived from a causative / honorific 見す (mesu, to command, to control (causative honorific) / to see (honorific)). The modern food sense of (meshi, cooked rice; a meal) came about from mesu shifting via honorific usage (attested very early from at least 759), then becoming associated with "to eat" via senses of "to call or command; to pull close, to draw towards oneself" (also already extant in Old Japanese), and then becoming independent nominalized form meshi (attested only relatively recently from 1592 in the sense of "food").
Our related JA entries need updating to include these details. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:01, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
PS: Link to the relevant KDJ entry. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:05, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

a lot[edit]

No etymology given. Is this really the same word as lot 'fate, etc.' from Old English hlot? While intuitively a semantic development from 'lot, share, portion; fate' to 'large quantity' is not inconceivable (apparently the related but not etymologically identical German word Los can also refer to a 'batch' – besides a 'section of a building project', which recalls the easily explained meaning of English lot 'allotment, parcel, plot of land' –, although the meaning 'batch' is not mentioned in de-Wiktionary), it's not exactly obvious how this could have worked in detail. It should be possible to trace the semantic development of this word through Middle and Early Modern English. I can imagine phrases like a lot of people, whose original meaning appears to have been 'a randomly assembled group of individuals brought together by fate; a rag-tag bunch', as semantic pivots. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:13, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

  • It looks like sense 1 of lot. A lot is no more than the indefinite article added to the noun, which would not normally justify a separate definition. We should reorder the senses of lot to match development of its meaning. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:32, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
Right, there seems to be no difference between the "A large quantity" sense of lot when used with indefinite article, and the "A large amount" sense of a lot. (Also, btw, "amount" refers to uncountable quantities, while the present example at a lot is countable, so that doesn't seem quite right either.) However, in many respects a lot does seem to have a life of its own as an expression, so I'm not sure. On the etymology front, I have always assumed that the expression "a lot" developed from the "batch" or "portion" meaning of "lot". Mihia (talk) 14:06, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, as I said, the semantic development from 'share, portion' via 'batch' to 'large quantity' makes intuitive sense, but it's not that obvious really, in my opinion (these meanings are really not that close at all, and the semantic links should be shown – apparently 'batch' led to 'pile' first), and as my example a lot of people 'a group (led together by fate?)' was intended to show, other paths are conceivable. I'm just trying to understand and trace the overall non-obvious development that led from 'fate; object used to decide a question by chance' to 'pile; large quantity'. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:09, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
What about a whole lot? PUC – 17:40, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
@PUC: What about it? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:43, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
@Florian Blaschke: Way I see it the a is not strictly the indefinite article, as misspelling shows. OE ae could be it, see uncertain ever. At least ambiguous is *h2el-, pertaining to a loose bunch (alia) as well as alotment (alimony) and quantity (all) frequently in univerbation (although). Besides, the article a(n) ("one") has many cognates. Here it could be something other even if from the same root. "large quantity" may well be from the adverbial phrase, from ae. Either way, if the Balto-Slavic-Germanic isogloss is not secured for PIE, *K is not guaranteed. At least in modern Russian transliterations H is replaced with G or X so common origin should be uncertain and substrate influence come into question. Then the h(lot) might as well relate to ae, not the least because a similar argument should appeal to holy with respect to *h2leg- (religio). I'm sure the previous topic is why you looked into this?
This is all the more interesting because *kleuH- [Kroonen] looks like *(s)kleh₂w- "crook, nail, peg" (clavis), but is not formally identical. We are careful to suggest that primacy of "stick" cannot be as easily established as Pfeifer for example wanted it. The Proto-Germanic is not clear either: We have lot from *hleuta, where Kroonen has *hluti- m. 'share' ("E lot), next to *hlauta- m. 'lot' (without English but Gothic "hlauts", Old Norse "hlautr", Old Saxon "hlot", OHG "loz, hloz) all from *hleutan- 'to obtain by lot' (i.e. OE hleotan etc.) only with Balto-Slavic comparisons.
> (apparently the related but not etymologically identical German word Los can also refer to a 'batch' –
Do you mean a true homophone? Please clarify. 14:41, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
I have no idea what you are talking about. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:54, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
I was simply asking if lot 'a large quantity' is etymologically the same word as lot (< OE hlot) 'fate (etc.)' and how they are connected semantically. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:57, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
@Florian Blaschke: I understood the question yet the answer is ellusive.
  • First you point out German Los "batch", that is "not etymologically identical". Then you conclude from this that English *lot* "large quantity" must be "etymologically the same word", i.e. identical. Where is the logic in that?
I'm sorry I didn't respond to PUC's remark. The whole lot is significant for fortunate fate, as opposed to drawing the short one (de:den Kürzeren ziehen, i.e. to loose, be obliged, have no leverage).
  • Wonder then if this compares to Holz as it appears in Streichhölzer ziehen, noting that streich- is more general than zünd- (ie. tindermatch). Cp. holt (forest, ie. a property, compound) and slavic cognates "log". Gk. klado "branch is mentioned in either case (Schrader apud Orel: *xlutiz p. 178; Orel: *xultan p. 192). Note the shortcoming that Orel's reconstruction and cognate sets differ from Kroonen. 11:59, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Please, could anyone fix the interwiki-link that does not display at the moment (de.wt: den Kürzeren ziehen). 12:01, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
You've misunderstood my argument. Los and lot are not etymologically identical but etymologically related and semantically comparable. So German Los appears to show a really close parallel for the semantic development from 'fate (etc.)' to 'batch'.
As for the etymology of *hlutiz m. “share” (> English lot) and *hlautaz m. “lot” (> German Los), Kroonen says they're both derivations from a verb *hleutaną (to obtain by lot) which has cognates in (East) Baltic, and presupposes a PIE root *klewH-. The Germanic -t-suffix he speculatively, but plausibly explains as reflecting PIE *deh₃- (to give) in a stem *klewH-dh₃- “to give by lot”. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:32, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
I've fixed the interwiki link. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:35, 13 February 2021 (UTC)


Can dilation really be considered a back-formation from dilate, as is currently indicated on the page? My understanding of back-formations is that they typically refer to removing an apparent affix (e.g. an ending that happens to resemble a standard suffix). But in this case, "dilation" is formed from adding a standard suffix to "dilate". It may be a relatively modern construction, but that's not the same thing as a back-formation. Jonathanbratt (talk) 18:23, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

Both our own definition and Wikipedia agree. The latter gives resurrection (from Latin) and its 18th-century spawn resurrect as an example.  --Lambiam 12:19, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, if "dilation" was formed after "dilate", then it's "dilate + -(t)ion", which is a formation, not a back formation. Thanks for correcting the entry. - -sche (discuss)

Bashi Channel[edit]

The Bashi Channel is a strategic location between Taiwan and Luzon (in the Philippines) that is in the news nowadays. I think it would be helpful to Wiktionary readers to know a little something about the origin of the word 'Bashi'. I did some preliminary research on the talk page of the word indicating that the word may be old and not from Mandarin Chinese. (It is easy for Mandarin Chinese speakers to believe that the name for the channel comes from Mandarin Chinese because the spelling is coincidentally the same as the Hanyu Pinyin romanization of the Chinese character name for Bashi.) --Geographyinitiative (talk) 20:55, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

The spelling is also the name in Han characters: 巴士 (see 巴士海峽). Since 巴士 by itself is clearly a loanword (through Cantonese), and “Autobus Channel” does not make much sense, it is not clear to me that Mandarin speakers would assume the name for the channel to have a Chinese origin, other than based on its location. The name comes undoubtedly from the name “Bashí islands” also given to the Batanes, which, according to this source, was bestowed by Dampier after the name of a local popular intoxicating liquor. Without independent confirmation, we should only present this as a plausible etymology.  --Lambiam 12:43, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I read that source and quoted from it on Talk:Bashi Channel, but I don't really believe it. Are there any other sources drawing a equals sign between Bashi and Batanes? Also, I would like to find out what the pronunciation of this word is in the Philippines, especially in northern Luzon where the authentic pronunciation may be in common use. (PS All I'm saying is that it could be easy to believe that this word is Hanyu Pinyin derived.) --Geographyinitiative (talk) 13:03, 29 January 2021 (UTC)

The reason I bring this discussion here is because I don't speak the language this 'Bashi' word came from- it sounds like it came from an aboriginal/native language from the Philippines. Aboriginal related content gets ignored all the time and that's one of the big blind spots for Wiktionary and Wikipedia that we must correct in my opinion. Here are my basic goals for this discussion: I'd like to gather a collection of maps and books from ancient times to present, look at what they say and indicate about the origin and usage of this word and its variants (Bashee, Bachi, and Bashí) and then see if they match up with the explanation in the Directory book at all or what have you. If the "beer" etymology can be shown as historically plausible, then at that point I might consider adding it, but I think it's too soon to assume the "beer" etymology is an accurate or even plausible portrayal of historical facts. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 13:16, 29 January 2021 (UTC)

On page 422 of his A New Voyage Round the World (1697), Dampier wrote: “The Eaſtermoſt Iſland of the two , our men unanimouſly called Baſhee Iſland, from a Liquor which we drank there plentifully every day, after we came at an anchor at it.” An apparent plural in seen in “the Baſhee, or 5 Iſlands” in the table of contents of the book. Here you can see an 18th-century map with the Dutchified spelling “Basjee Eylanden”, allegedly after a map by Dampier. Perhaps that map is from A New Voyage.  --Lambiam 14:08, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
From Dampier’s description it is not fully clear (“between” does not seem the right term for the relative spatial position), but the best fit for the eponymous island for the whole group of “5 Islands” is Ivuhos, called Vohas Island on Google maps.  --Lambiam 14:30, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
This source explicitly equates Ivuhos Island with Dampier’s Bashee Island.  --Lambiam 14:37, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
WOW!! Incredible research! Great job! If I could give you a pat on the back I would! Here's my preliminary wording for an etymology section- "Bashee is a local language term for a type of liquor drunk c.1697 by the crew of William Dampier on an island south of the channel. The crew called the island after the name of the liquor and the channel took the name of the island." Now this doesn't finish the job on "Bashi Channel" itself (where did the "i" come in??), but it's a great start! Thanks!!! --Geographyinitiative (talk) 18:29, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
It's probably related to the word basi. This article says [25] that there's a type of sugarcane wine in the Philippines with this name, but reverses the order and says the name of the wine came from the island's name. "All cultivated sugarcane crops in the north were made into Basi in the 17th Century and this still holds true today. According to historical records, the name Basi came from Bashee Island (now Batanes) because of the popularity of the drink in the area." --Geographyinitiative (talk) 18:44, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
@Lambiam Hey- I have added an etymology to the Bashi Channel page based on your excellent research. That should conclude this topic for now at least. Change it or make it better if you can! Great work here! I would never have believed that the channel was named after alcohol. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 21:05, 16 February 2021 (UTC)


Presently there are three ety sections at manual: the noun ultimately "from Late Latin manuāle (handbook, manual)", the adjective ultimately "from Latin manuālis, from manus (hand)", and a separate one for "Abbreviation of manual transmission.". To my mind we clearly do not need the third: this can go under the section dealing with the "by hand" meaning. However, presently the "manual transmission" sense is duplicated under the "handbook" ety, which also contains other "by hand"-type meanings that apparently have nothing to do with the "handbook" sense. This all needs sorting out, but the question I have is whether we need two etys, one for the handbook and the other for the "by hand" meaning, or whether the two are closely related enough to merge into one section. What do you think? Mihia (talk) 22:14, 28 January 2021 (UTC)

I feel the 3 etymologies presented currently are very appropriate. Leasnam (talk) 23:59, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
I really cannot possibly agree that "manual" as an abbreviation of "manual transmission" needs a whole separate ety section to itself. That way madness lies. The other split, I'm not certain about. Personally I would combine them, if it was just down to me, since don't they both ultimately come from "hand", but then again if their paths are seen to diverge early enough and widely enough, maybe. That aspect needs input from those better versed in etymology than me to decide, but please let's get rid of ety 3. Mihia (talk) 11:36, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Concerning manual transmission though, that is the etymology. The word manual alone never developed to mean "stick shift"...it was 'manual transmission', which later shortened to simply 'manual' (because we're lazy), but the word transmission is equally part of that development and is still included in the meaning. But it wouldn't kill me to see it as a sense under the adjective, I think I've seen other entries similarly modelled. But the way it is currently is always the most proper way of displaying it, albeit a cluttered and busy one. Leasnam (talk) 14:32, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
I feel that following this approach to its logical conclusion would result in a crazy proliferation of pointless etymology sections. For example, why don't we have another for the "manual typewriter" meaning, or indeed the existing "manual measurement" sense? Or, if you look at a word such as "local", probably there are at least three or four meanings that are shortenings of "local + X", which would by this approach all need separate etymology sections. Mihia (talk) 20:31, 31 January 2021 (UTC)
I see your point :) Leasnam (talk) 20:57, 31 January 2021 (UTC)
Regardless of whether the adjective and the second noun sense should share their etymologies, either we need an entry for on manual, or we need to generalize this noun sense to include “manual control”, which can apply to almost any device, like seen here for piloting a space ship “on manual”. Something analogous holds for the noun senses of automatic – comfortably in one Etymology section with the adjective. Here we see that an automatic combustion control system can be operating, and that air supply can be controlled, “on automatic”.  --Lambiam 12:06, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I've had a first go at fixing up this entry. I have left the two main ety sections separate for now, as there hasn't been expression of desire to merge them. If a consensus does in future emerge to merge them then I certainly would not object, as it seems both are ultimately from the same origin. Mihia (talk) 21:03, 31 January 2021 (UTC)

grey as in greyhound[edit]

According to a hypothesis that pops up in several Wikipedias the grey in greyhound corresponds neither to English grey (as one would assume) nor to Old Norse grøy “bitch” (as greyhound#Etymology has it) but to a "Celtic" word greg or grech "dog"; a google books search yields plenty of hits too, going all the way back to 1840. But I couldn't find any such word here in the Wiktionary, and nothing even remotely similar in Breton, Irish or Welsh. Any ideas which word - and which language - might be meant here by "Celtic" greg? --2A01:C22:AC83:A900:A9D2:2AF7:14FC:209D 00:48, 30 January 2021 (UTC)

The way most of those speak of Celtic as if it were a language makes me suspect this stems from the 19th- or 18th-century fad of tracing everything back to Celtic as if it were some kind of primordial urlanguage. I'm not sure how much it caught on with actual scholars of ancient languages (the field of linguistics was in its infancy, so I won't say "linguists"). It did, however, make its way into the writings of people in other fields who didn't know anything about language. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:06, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
Alas, the habit of attributing everything unexplainable to Celtic continues to the modern day. (When I was a teaching assistant for a historical linguistics class at Cornell in the '90s, a student asked me if it was safe to assume that every French word that didn't come from Latin came from Celtic! I assured her it wasn't.) If the grey of greyhound comes from Celtic at all, I suppose it could come from *gregis (herd) (Old Irish graig, Welsh gre; cognate with Latin grex), and Wikipedia says "DNA sequencing indicates that the greyhound is more closely related to herding dogs. This suggests that Greyhounds are either progenitors to or descendants of herding types." That seems more plausible to me than the Norse theory (why would a whole breed of dogs be called "bitch hounds" when half of them are male?) but less likely than the transparent "grey" + "hound" theory, since a lot of greyhounds are, in fact, gray. —Mahāgaja · talk 10:24, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
I wonder too if it might not be a derivative of Old English grig, gregg (paltry fellow, coward), based on the greyhound's non-aggressive behaviour and tendency to avoid confrontation (?). Leasnam (talk) 19:52, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
You might want to explain that theory to two greyhounds in my neighborhood, who are anything but non-aggressive and confrontation-averse. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 06:19, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
HaHa...it was just a thought :) Leasnam (talk) 21:29, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
I've noticed this phenomenon numerous times in German Wikipedia, in placename explanations in particular: The name is traced back to some mysterious word that is labeled as "Celtic" but doesn't resemble any known word and cannot be identified with any particular language, nor with Proto-Celtic or an ancient Celtic language. It might as well be Elvish, because it's definitely a fantasy language. For example (fictional example) "München comes from Celtic munik, which means riverbank" (there is a modern pseudo-etymology with Basque instead of Celtic, showing that this genre is still alive even in academia). This is one of my pet hates. In at least one case I remember tracing such a pseudo-etymology back to a book from the 18th century or so, when Celtology was still in its infancy. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:51, 13 February 2021 (UTC)


Listed as being from "king + make". I would've thought it was a back-formation from kingmaker, like bartend, axe-murder, etc. No? - -sche (discuss) 05:07, 31 January 2021 (UTC)

I think so. King-maker came first, then king-making. Kingmake appears to be a 20th century invention.
James A. H. Murray [et al.], editors (1884–1928) , “King-maker”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), volume V (H–K), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697, page 708, column 2.
Vox Sciurorum (talk) 21:43, 31 January 2021 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Seems the etymology is for a different word. Leasnam (talk) 06:44, 31 January 2021 (UTC)

2 minutes after this was created, the same editor removed this from chacier and moved it to chaciér. The language section removed had been added by this user in 2015 here. It looks like they were using the previous entry as a template and forgot to change everything out, then noticed that the old entry was at the wrong spelling (4 minutes after that move, they ended up moving this entry from "forcier" to forciér- I'm guessing they weren't having a very good day). Chuck Entz (talk) 08:10, 31 January 2021 (UTC)
Ok thanks. I've corrected the etymology. Leasnam (talk) 14:42, 31 January 2021 (UTC)

English kitten and Middle English words ending in -on/-oun[edit]

Hi ! I just want to take a moment to relate that Middle English (ME) words featuring an -on/-oun suffix, especially for diminutive nouns, do not automatically indicate an Anglo-French or Old French origin, although many, many such words obviously do. Rather, ME -on/-oun is often merely a spelling convention, and often appears on words of purely Old English/Old Norse origin, as an alternative spelling for -en. For instance, you can often find the spelling opoun for ME open; rotoun for roten (rotten); pesoun for pesen (peasen/peas); ram(p)soun for ramsen (ramsons); kychoun for kichene (kitchen); crystoun for cristen (Christian); mynchoun for minchen (nun); shepoun for shipene (cattle shed), etc. There's even chicoun for "chicken" (and what's a more non-French word than chicken ?). So just because a ME spelling shows -on/-oun doesn't mean that 1). the stress was on the second syllable, and 2). that the word is of French origin. This also applies to agent suffixes in -our, but I'll save that for another time. So a word like ME kyton, kitoun could actually be of native origin, though I do believe that an unrecorded AF derivation is also possible. Kind regards Leasnam (talk) 00:43, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

I don't think that it is fair to say that kitten is for certain nothing other an Anglicised form of chaton. I have little doubt that the Anglo-Norman variant of chaton was a contributor to the form of the English word, but English had kitling (from Old Norse), which also referred to a baby cat. Plus, the modern form of the word is kitten, seemingly implying that the end suffix was interpreted as -en#Etymology_5. Tharthan (talk) 02:51, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
It's true that ME spellings in -on/-oun sometimes aren't etymological (though I think saying it's "often merely a spelling convention" is overstating it a bit). However, for kitoun, the balance of evidence indicates a borrowing from Anglo-Norman, as the word is exclusively attested with final -on/-oun in ME (the modern spelling with -en is 15th c.). Additionally, the word usually specifically means "young cat"; this is what we'd expect from a AN borrowing, but not from some derivation from Proto-Germanic *kittīną. kiteling is not hugely relevant here, as it is of different phonological shape (the ON etymon is kettlingr; the vocalism in -i- is under influence from kitoun) and is barely older than kitoun. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 03:49, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
There are only 5 citations from ME, so there's not a whole lot to draw from. Attests are: 3 for kyton, 2 for kytton, 2 for kitoun, 1 for keton. There is an additional mention of ketoun. I would also say that the balance also favours AF, except there is no AF attestation of such a word :\ ...the only times it appears is in (wait for it)...English. But i'm okay with the etymology. Kitten definitely comes from Middle English kitoun, no doubt there. Where kitoun comes from though, is still a bit of a mystery. Leasnam (talk) 05:03, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
While Anglo-Norman *kitoun isn't attested, such a form can be easily reconstructed based on attested chitoun, cheton; northern dialects of Old French often have k- where the speech of Paris has ch-. Such a reconstructed form is probably the best explanation for Middle English kitoun. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 08:35, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
@Hazarasp: Do you mean *kitoun or kitoun? J3133 (talk) 08:45, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
@J3133: Fixed. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 08:48, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
@Hazarasp: I disagree with the claim that kitling is irrelevant. The fact that we have both kitling and kitten at about the same time, continuing into Modern English, is noteworthy. If the i in kitling is due to influence from kitten (citation?), that still does not change my general point. Moreover, Leasnam indicated that some spellings of kitten’s Middle English etymon had e rather than i.
Not to mention, a possible Anglo-Norman etymon for kitten begs the question: could Old Norse ketlingr have influenced the Anglo-Norman word? After all, Norse was a notable influence on Old Norman when compared with general Old French.
So, again, I think that the idea that (the) chaton (variant) only served as a vague inspiration/model for the English word, cannot be ruled out. Tharthan (talk) 07:10, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
Well, I see that there is also the ME chiton, cheton (the young of an animal), which is identical in shape to Old French chiton, cheton (kitten), but with slightly different meaning. In the MED, no etymology is given for ME chiton, but it lists chitte and kitoun for comparison. Leasnam (talk) 05:30, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
I don't think the fact that kiteling and kitoun appeared at around the same time proves their relatedness; at best, it proves that they could be related. My claim about the -i- in kiteling is from the MED: "Forms with -i- show influence of kitǒun"; in contrast, the OED wonders whether kiteling is really from Old Norse; this is a good point, but a better etymon is lacking. As for the fact that Middle English keton exists beside kitoun, Old Norse only has a form in -e- (there is no Old Norse *kittlingr), while OF has forms in both -e- and -i-, so the vocalism matches OF better. Not to mention that the ME ending -oun/-on is far closer to OF -oun/-on than ON -lingr. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 08:35, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
"It proves that they could be related"
Right, which is why it would be very imprudent to portray the etymology of kitten as an unadulterated loan from Anglo-Norman into English for certain. From all that is known about this, it is equally likely that the English word was inspired by the (unattested!) Anglo-Norman word, with kitling also in the public mind at the time. What Leasnam pointed out about a diminutive -on/-oun suffix in Middle English sometimes actually reflecting -en#Etymology_5 also means that English speakers could have formed kitoun/keton with full understanding of the elements making up the word. kit is easily recognisable as cat (plus, again, kiteling would have been known at the time), and -oun/-on could have easily been recognised as a diminutive suffix.
All that I am saying, Hazarasp, is that removing any suggestion that something other than a straightforward loan from Anglo-Norman to English might have occurred, would be quite rash. Hence the wording currently in the etymology section (as of 11:38 AM on 1 February 2021). Tharthan (talk) 16:39, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
Firstly, kiteling may well have postdated kitoun, invalidating your entire premise. Secondly, speakers of Middle English probably wouldn't've seen the lone formation kiteling as sufficient basis to extract a root kit- (give me one other ME example of a back-formation from a word in -ling. Thirdly, even if you grant that such a root could've been and was extracted, the suffix of kitoun is not easily explainable in native ME terms. Forms like chicoun for chiken are rare variants before the very end of the ME period, but kitoun consistently displays -on/-oun, so it can't be explained in those terms. Finally, the AN etymology I give is the etymology given by the MED, OED, Merriam-Webster, etc. (for good reason!). In short, it isn't "quite rash" to remove stuff about kitoun was "inspired" by an AN word of almost identical phonological shape (what is that even supposed to mean?), as no recourse to inspiration is needed. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 01:11, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
Respectfully, Hazarasp, your rejection of that bit of etymological info content rests on a number of presumptions— to wit: "kiteling may well have postdated kitoun", and "kitoun consistently displays -on/-oun, so it can't be explained [as using an attested variant spelling of -en]".
Since we do not know whether it was kiteling or kitoun that actually came first, it is not fair to suggest that kiteling’s presence in the language is not a valid point.
The fact that -oun/-on are attestable variant spellings of -en in Middle English is not something to handwave. That they happened to be pretty less common variant spellings is not quite as relevant as you seem to be suggesting. What is noteworthy about it is what it demonstrates about the perspective of Middle English speakers: French diminutive -on was not always recognised as distinct from the English -en. That is very significant when discussing whether kitoun was a word inspired by an unattested Anglo-Norman word (which, by dint of its unattested nature, could have even been a bit different from what we suppose it was. Perhaps the Anglo-Norman word usually had a different initial vowel. After all, an Old French chitoun variant form does not necessarily an Anglo-Norman *kitoun [standard form] make!), or was for certain a borrowing of an unattested Anglo-Norman word.
A Norman/French word and/or usage acting as an inspiration for an English formation or for the way an English word is used would not be unprecedented by any means. Here is just one example: the usage of the pronoun on (originally a variant of homme: "man") in French inspired English speakers to utilise the numeral one (probably thinking "individual") as an indefinite personal pronoun. French on was not borrowed into English, but its use in French acted as an inspiration for the English impersonal pronoun "one". Recall, man was originally used for that purpose in English.
A consistent display of -on/-oun in kitten’s Middle English etymon does not say too much when there are only a handful of attestations of the word.
So, again, there is enough doubt that the etymology section ought not to be written in a way that is as certain of itself as the current wording is. If you would like the wording of the portion that you removed from the etymology section to be adjusted slightly, I can understand. But excluding that information from the etymology section is definitely imprudent. Tharthan (talk) 03:58, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
The fact that we don't know which came first is very important, as the accepted etymology is agnostic in regards to which came first, but your etymology requires kiteling to predate kitoun. Something that works 100% of the time is better than something that only works 50% of the time.
As for the interchange between -en and -on/-oun, the fact that the some speakers in some periods spelled some words with -en/-oun does not mean that they were treated as interchangeable in all words by all speakers at all times. In fact, the very rarity of such back-spellings militates against this. Additionally, we have many attestation of words ending in -on/-oun rhyming on the final syllable in Middle English (in the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales, we have 37:38 resoun:condicioun, 217:218 toun:confessioun, 221:222 confessioun:absolucioun, 239:240 toun:champioun, 315:316 commmisioun:renoun, 477:478 religioun:toun; 673:674 burdoun:soun; 847:848 resoun:composicioun); this nothing short of guarantees that the endings where seen as different in some contexts. While the spelling of kitoun is not the clinching argument it would be if it was wider-attested, I still think it is a important piece of evidence that must not be ignored here, as despite the tendency to conflate -en and -on/-oun in later Middle English, words with etymological -en show a markedly different pattern of forms from words with etymological -on/-oun; the forms of kitoun place it firmly in the latter group.
Your claim that *kitoun could have a different vowel, since it is unattested is ill-considered. Linguistic reconstruction is not random; it proceeds on the basis of existing forms. For instance, given attested chitoun, we can reconstruct kitoun with a good deal of confidence, given the northern failure of /k/ to palatalise; one would not expect any vocalic change in the same way. [ Hazarasp (parlement ·werkis) 12:08, 2 February 2021 (UTC) ]
New comment>>This brings up an interesting point: palatisation of k (or c) in Old French only occurs before -a, and oftentimes the a changes to e (cf. caballus > cheval). So if the urform was *caton, in Central French it would become cheton, then altered to chiton. So far so good. But in ONF, it should have remained *caton (spelt katon)--no palatisation, hence no vowel shift. The process that led to the shift of a to e then finally to i should not have occurred in ONF...so what happened ? Did the Normans and Picards say to themselves..."Hmm, we know that CFr che- & chi- correspond to our words beginning with ka-, so lets re-bend the word chiton back halfway into kiton by undoing only the palatisation part...leaving the rest of the develomental changes alone (?). They must have all had etymology degrees back then, unless I'm missing something obvious...(which is quite possible) Leasnam (talk) 02:11, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
You are missing something obvious - the vowel shift isn't caused by the palatalisation; this is proved by forms like Picard keval, Norman queval (vowel shift, no palatalisation) alongside cheval (horse). Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 03:35, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
Oh I see...okay, Thank you very much ! :) Leasnam (talk) 21:14, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
I never said that a Romance word serving as a inspiration for an ME formation was impossible; stop putting words in my mouth. I understand what you are proposing now, despite your past lack of clarity; I just do not agree with it.
You have totally failed to address my point about the inability of ME speakers to extract kit- from kiteling; I assume that is because you are unable to counter it.
There is also the additional problem of the vocalism of kitoun implicit in your proposal; if you derive kitoun from kiteling, that leaves the -i- of that word unexplained, but if you follow the accepted etymology of kitoun, then the -i- of kiteling is easily explained as from kitoun.
Etymologies are always subject to doubt by their very nature (it's not like we have a "Made in [country]" sticker on words), but in the face of such doubt, conjectures are made. It is misleading to place flawed conjectures alongside those lacking flaws. I would also suggest you let this matter rest; kitten/kitoun is only one word, it is clear that you aren't going to change my mind, and there remains much for both of us to do here at Wiktionary. Hazarasp (parlement ·werkis) 12:08, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
@Hazarasp: The wording that I am advocating that we use in the etymology section is not substantially different from what you are insisting upon having it be. The only thing that is different about it is that there is a bit of an addendum that notes that the word may possibly be an English formation inspired by the Anglo-Norman term.
I am not going to yield so easily on this particular matter for one reason and one reason only: I believe that it is very important that we do not speak so definitively about etymologies that are not necessarily as clear cut as might be claimed at first thought. Doing that is careless and irresponsible. Indeed, with most words for which the etymology is not necessarily so clear cut, we include information similar to that which you refuse to permit inclusion of in kitten’s etymology section.
You misunderstood my comment about the vowel. What I said was that the main form of the Anglo-Norman word might have had a different vowel than we presume (perhaps one closer to that of the form that persisted in French after Old French), not that there weren't forms of the word that existed that were close to or the same as our reconstruction. In other words, the actual predominant Anglo-Norman form of that word might well have left more room for doubt than if we assert that the main form was *kitoun. Compare modern Norman, which uses caton.
I did not address your remark about an alleged implausibility of extracting kit- from kiteling because I reckon that, even if speakers might not have extracted kit from kiteling for normal use purposes (in other words, outside of this kind of situation), its presence in kiteling would nevertheless have permitted for it to be used in a new word which was synonymous with kiteling. That kind of thing is pretty unremarkable.
Explaining the -i- in kitoun if we link the word to kiteling is not particularly difficult when we have an attestation where the Middle English word is spelt keton. That reflects the vowel of Old Norse ketlingr just fine. Tharthan (talk) 16:34, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
I'll keep this concise: I have no problem with making the etymology less definitive, but I believe the alternative etymology that you propose shouldn't be included since it quite simply doesn't cut the mustard. I hold this view for four principal reasons: because kitoun's final-syllable vocalism is incompatible with it being derived with -en, the difficulty of extracting kit- from kiteling (it's imprudent to think that ME speakers would've considered it a formative, especially due to the rarity of kiteling), the very real possibility that kiteling postdates kitoun (rendering the etymology unworkable), and your hypothesis's inability to explain the vocalism of kitoun' in -i- (the existence of forms with -e- is irrelevant). In my view, these problems are severe enough to discount the etymology when we have a better one. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 00:49, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
That's an acceptable compromise. Your edit to kitten's etymology section attempting to find an acceptable wording was largely quite all right. I did make a slight alteration to it, however. Tharthan (talk) 07:07, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Of some relevance here, since we're talking about Old Norse and other Germanic languages, is modern German's pair of Katze (cat) and Kätzchen (kitten), displaying a kind of ablaut or umlaut, where the core vowel is fronted in the diminutive form. I'd always assumed a similar mechanic was at work in the /a//i/ shift seen in English cat and kitten. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 08:00, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

Theorhetically, that is correct: a west germanic *katt would become *kettin due to umlauting effect of the i in -in, the diminutive ending. I'm aware that French -on has additional diminutive effect, but where it acquired that force is a mystery as well. It doesn't seem to have existed in its presumed Latin progenitor suffix -ō, -ōnem. It's also interesting to note that we don't ever see a ME *caton or*catoun beside the others forms. It's always ke-, ki-, or ky- Leasnam (talk) 14:02, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
I know no more than you on that, but our etymology section claims that French -on comes in part from Frankish diminutives *-in and *-ing. Tharthan (talk) 16:47, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
Interestingly enough, the cognate suffixes in all the other Romance languages Spanish -ón, Italian -one, Romanian -oi, etc. are all augmentative. I'd say the ME kitoun lacking any forms with /a/ is probably due to the influence of words like chitte, kiteling, which would've suppressed such forms (I'm not willing to completely rule out their influence!) Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 01:11, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
This might be a stretch, but this word may have originated in a germanic language and was borrowed into Old French...from whence we obtained it. I know, there's no hard evidence, but one cannot really tule it out either. Leasnam (talk) 10:35, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
Whether there was a Frankish word *kattin that (having been borrowed into Old French/Old Norman) was then influenced by Old Norse ketlingr in Old Norman (which seems to be what Leasnam is suggesting) or not, what can definitely be said about kitten is that its etymology is hardly cut and dried. Tharthan (talk) 16:50, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
I added a New comment further above where it is most relevant. Leasnam (talk) 02:11, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
Funny enough, according to Adelung around 1800: "Eine junge Katze wird im Osnabrück[ischen] Kitte genannt." Though this (Low German?) term appears to be so isolated that it might as well have been an English loanword. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:11, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Would (Low?) German have borrowed such a term from English so early? I didn't think English had achieved international prestige status so early. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:48, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
No idea, honestly. But Low German and English are both highly similar languages, geographically close and already in contact well before the 20th century, so I wouldn't want to rule the possibility (of a relatively isolated loanword) out. It's also less implausible than kitte (which doesn't seem to be attested anywhere else in Low or High German) being the only non-English survival of the West Germanic *kattīn postulated above, which coincidentally exhibits exactly the same apparently unique (within English, and Germanic in general) shift from stressed /e/ (i. e., umlauted West Germanic *a) to /ɪ/. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:08, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
@Florian Blaschke: Interesting points, thank you. I confess I don't quite follow your last sentence. Modern German has Katze from older Old High German kazza, earlier *katta from Proto-Germanic *kattuz, from Late Latin catta. The final /e/ here is unstressed, as I've understood it.
Odder to me is the presence of that front-vowel diminutive suffix without any apparent umlauting of the /a/ in ⟨kat⟩.
I did stumble across Grimm's dictionary entry for Kätzchen here, which lists a number of possibly-relevant dialectal forms (bolding mine): "nd. kätsken, kätjen, hamb. kettjen". If I've understood the notation, these would appear to be for the catkin botanical sense, but I'm not sure of my understanding, and whether this would categorically rule out these forms for the young / small cat sense. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:16, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
The botanical sense apparently has the same origin as small cat, anyway. Wakuran (talk) 23:36, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
@Eirikr: I meant that if kitte is not a loanword from English, the only other obvious explanation would in fact be descendance from the hypothetical PWG *kattīn suggested above, supposedly the origin of English kitten. However, throughout West Germanic, the umlaut of *a is /e/; English kitten would be an apparently unique case where this expected /e/ was raised to /ɪ/, while exactly the same unique raising has to be assumed for kitte. That looks like an unlikely coincidence.
What ⟨kat⟩ are you referring to? In which language? You mean PWG? It's not umlauted yet in PWG. Compare, for example, OHG lembir, OE lombru < PWG *lambiʀu (see *lamb; to be fair, it's probably unexpected for a layperson that Germanic umlaut, found throughout North and West Germanic, is such a late phenomenon – dated to the 8th century in OHG and no earlier than the 5th century in OE and North Germanic, IIRC). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 08:43, 17 February 2021 (UTC)