Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2021/November

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From what I've been taught at school (as a mainland Chinese), this most likely derived from a verse in 木兰诗(Ballad of Mulan) - "雄兔脚扑朔,雌兔眼迷离". However, I'm not a lexicologist, so I'm not 100% sure about this. Shall I add it to the article, like "possibly from ..."? ZypA13510 (talk) 14:40, 1 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@ZypA13510: You should be right. This is what 成語典 and 重編國語辭典修訂本 suggest. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 15:22, 1 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


On the surface, this looks a lot like πούς (poús, foot) + λείριος (leírios, lily-like) or λείριον (leírion, lily). Not a Greek speaker, but is "lily-like feet" a reasonable derivation? Does anyone know if that squares with Podalirius' mythology, time depth for λείριον as a Coptic borrowing, or Greek name derivation? airy—zero (talk) 15:47, 2 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

This etymology doesn't account for the -α- and seems IMO therefore highly unkikely. To me this name has a rather un-Greek feel to it, but I may be wrong. Akletos (talk) 17:47, 3 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Given the accusative form πόδα (póda), I don’t see why πόδα + λείριος should be particularly unlikely. Another parsing to consider is πόδ- + αλείριος. The Etymologicum Gudianum has two entries for Ποδαλείριος and appears to consider both possibilities.[1] My understanding of Byzantine Greek does not allow me to decipher more precisely what is being said.  --Lambiam 20:27, 7 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
You shouldn't conflate ancient etymologies with modern linguistically informed etymological studies. The discussion of the etymology of Podaleirios seems to have revolved mainly around the question if a heros is appropriately called "soft-footed". But even then every effort was made to explain the -a- where -o- would be expected. I think we can disregard this kind of etymology without missing something in our efforts to explain the name.
What's relevant here and what I indeed did not check before is that there is Ancient Greek ποδανιπτήρ (podaniptḗr, footpan) which seems to be an old formation (Stesichorus+). So if poda- is the first element what is the second? Really Ancient Greek λείριον (leírion)? Akletos (talk) 22:07, 7 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
For what it is worth, here a more recent theory (Fick, 1874) is reported on that -αλείριος stems from *-αλεϝέριος, apparently assumed to be cognate to ἀλεωρή (aleōrḗ, escape, shelter).  --Lambiam 12:33, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

tax return[edit]

I haven't been able to find a reliable source for the etymology of "tax return" or of "return" in this sense.

propose some theories and guesses. --Espoo (talk) 23:47, 3 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Would you mind brushing up on the entry of tax return, first? You file for your tax return, then the tax that was overpayed is returned to you, is it? If not, how else would you say that? I mean, it's pretty much a false friend with Rückzahlung, Steuerrückerstattung, cf. erstatten.
You can tell that douane (customs), nominally an Arabic loan through (medieval?) Latin, is mighty close to donare (to give), donum (gift; offering, sacrifice), cognate as per these pages with Lithuanian duõnis (“gift”) and Proto-Slavic Proto-Slavic *danь (“tribute, tax”), without any Germanic cognate where PGem *t would be expected. More over, you can tell that somethings' fishy when nedarām is explained from Proto-Indo-European *der- following Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “Etymology scriptorium/2021/November”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN without regards for the equivalent(?) phrase in Persian, ندارم (nidaram, "I have not" [g-translate])), cf. suppletive دار‎ in the paradigm of dâštan), which is homograph with Persian "tree", reconstructing *dʰer- and, respectively, *dóru, also, incidently, homograph with Arabic "to turn" and "to flow". The topic of East Iranian substrates in Balto-Slavic and Germanic is of course most curious, but a convolution of giving and taking in one word should be intuitively understandable from English, get me, I (have) got, German gib mir, es gibt (there is, I have yet), so don't shrug this off nonsense. There's another parallel with فارسی بلد نیستم, I'm sure you understand. See also Report, portage; statement;restitution.
But yeah, sure, let's try explain this as SoP from returning like every single answer in your links and then RfD the page as SoP. ApisAzuli (talk) 06:37, 5 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
That's not what a tax return is. A tax return is the documentation that the taxpayer returns to the tax authority outlining what their income for the year was and how much tax they owe. If the taxpayer is owed money, they can then expect a tax refund (not return). —Mahāgaja · talk 07:30, 5 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, I understand now. That's why I said false friend (YMMV).
We say tax is from medieval Latin taxa without any such indication in the actual entry. For once I can point to an actual Malberg Gloss. Cf. taka "Besitzergreifung", "... das zur Wurzel des starken Verbs takan ʼnehmenʼ gehören könnte." (Arend Quak, Archaische Wörter in den Malbergischen Glossen). take is from an early Norse loan. A West-Germanic congener outside the Lex Salica is not secure. Quak suggests that *alachtaca was rather replaced by *alachteoch in some editions (the infinitives aren't in evidence). The latter is usually connected to PGem *teuhan.
Taxes aren't involved in the article, but cp. Abzüge (literally minus, the difference between income and netincome, "Abzüge vom Bruttolohn" [2], "Bei Arbeitnehmern wird die Einkommensteuer durch Abzug vom Arbeitslohn erhoben (Lohnsteuer)", "Steuerabzug" [3]; also a false friend in that sense as we gloss "3. deduction"), Bezüge (hyponym to Einnahmen, "... Beamte und andere im öffentlichen Dienst Tätige erhalten Bezüge." [4]), beziehen (receive) (cf. Duden.de: 3. of papers, merchandise, knowledge, wage, etc., "aufgrund einer Bestellung", 5. (Swiss) of taxes, "einfordern"), Bezug (4. subscription), (cf. take the paper), Bezug ((pillow) case) (cp. Decke, decken, Kostendeckung, mit Versicherung eindecken, etc.). I have no strong opinion on the primacy of either malberg gloss.
If there was linguistic corruption involved you can bet your Lastenesel that the same holds for retourner prior to the 17th century evidence adduced by OED and refered to in the SE thread, which I see only now. It does not matter too much, IMHO, that this refers rather to elections. Tycoons, for lack of a better word, still vote with their purse, they just don't admit it. cf. reimburse, by the way.
Trying to approximate further evidence through triangulation from parallel constructions, like Stimm(Zettel)abgabe, and Abgaben (fees), or Berufung (appeal to the court) and berufen (call to a chair in an institute, thx to Geiselmann for the church related tangent), einberufen (call into service, NB: taxation, so to speak, can involve practical labour), einziehen (idem, also of money, also of moving in), berappen (to pay through the nose, cf. Swiss Rappen) cannot be easy, right? I'd prefer an educated guess, or palpable evidence from classical Latin. I do suspect a French postposition adverb à la force majure, at least. ApisAzuli (talk) 17:54, 6 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
One of the senses of the noun return is “an account, or formal report, of an action performed, of a duty discharged, of facts or statistics, etc.” Since a tax return is someone's formal report of income, I suppose this is the origin of the component.  --Lambiam 12:39, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Where does the first part ator- come from? Merriam-Webster suggests it is "perhaps alteration of lipid control". What does this exactly mean, and are there alternative theories about its etymology? RcAlex36 (talk) 15:27, 5 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Looking just now at the MW page, I find myself thinking that their etym note must surely be misplaced -- this would make more sense for the etymology of Lipitor than for the ator- portion of atorvastatin. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:15, 5 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
In "Triumph of the Heart: The Story of Statins" (page 118) the author describes the name as a combination of tor- + -vastatin which was then modified to ator- to make it appear first on alphabetic lists. I don't know what tor- means. DTLHS (talk) 17:25, 5 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
On this page, which reads like a Cliff’s Note of spells from the Potterverse, Lipitor is explained as “lipid gladiator”. If the brand name Lipitor was invented before the generic drug name, the part tor may have come from Lipitor.  --Lambiam 18:30, 7 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The trademark Lipitor was applied for on November 30, 1995. The patent, US patent 4,681,893, was filed on May 30, 1986, but does not contain the term atorvastatin. (The earliest use of the term atorvastatin in a US patent appears to be in US patent 6,066,653 filed on January 10, 1998.) The application for FDA approval, dated June 17, 1996, is for “LipitorTM (atorvastatin calcium) Tablets (10, 20 and 40 mg)”. Thus, it appears chronologically well possible that the first part of the newly invented generic drug name was derived from an earlier brand name, selected for being marketable.  --Lambiam 13:52, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Where does the n- come from? Are both POS the same word? "in" would be probable at least for the adverb. --Akletos (talk) 20:02, 7 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The obvious guess for the second-person-plural part of it would be that Latin nos played some part. The rather odd assortment of person, number and part of speech values suggests that perhaps we're looking at some sort of conflation of multiple etyma. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:09, 7 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see how any of the forms of nos could be reduced to mere n-. I would find Latin invicem more plausible, but that is Neapolitan mmece. So the explanation I expect would be something like a demonstrative particle equivalent to Italian ci and an element that expresses reciprocity (not necessarily in the 1st person plural). Akletos (talk) 11:45, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
(Edit Conflict) One take for irony's sake, the Ladin nce that's already there on the page looks likely akin to Dalmatian and Lombard ance, Italian anche. The further etymology is ucertain and I the semantics match not at all, but the hypothesis from hanc matches the accusative mentioned in the first line of it.WT's ci if I read that correctly, and this woud well match the enclitic forms of -nce. However, I have no idea how exact this is or why the n appears infixed. I comcure that one can imagine quite a number of possible layers of etymologies, down to a purely phonetic level, eg. similar to what we have at ille. The comparison to in is about nel, right? ApisAzuli (talk) 12:10, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


I was under the impression that this was the 連体形 of 産む・生む that had undergone /m/ <-> /b/ alteration, especially considering the alternate spellings 産 and 生. However, the page at seems to suggest it comes from the up- stem in (うひ) (uhi) and (うへ) (uhe). Does anyone have some sort of clarification? LittleWhole (talk) 04:23, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@LittleWhole: The modern ui reading comes from attested Early Middle Japanese (EMJ) of the early 900s, as recorded in the Kokin Wakashū as うひ, likely EMJ pronunciation of ufi, more specifically /uɸi/. I haven't found this term in Old Japanese (OJP) sources, and the KDJ entry here lists the Kokin Wakashū as the earliest, and the KDJ is (usually) pretty good about listing first attestations. If it existed in OJP, it was probably pronounced as /upi/.
The ubu reading is listed here as attested first in roughly 1012. The voicing suggests that this would more likely to derive as an /m//b/ shift, which also seems to be borne out (ha!) by the semantics, where u(f)i just means "first", and ubu pertains more specifically to "time of birth; infant".
I'll do some further digging. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:17, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


I thought that this was Latin ad- + chorda (string) + -are --> to tune (an instrument). Now we got this derivation from cor (heart) all over the place which looks etymologically a little bit folk-sy to me (although, of course, the assonance may have played a part in the developement of all those metaphorical meanings). How is this treated in literature? --Akletos (talk) 12:54, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Compare concors, which has no musical connotations. The musical sense of accord as a set of simultaneous tones came later.[5]  --Lambiam 14:12, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I'm d'acord with Akletos. I find the glosses with "heart" are too much on the nose. The poetic interpretation should be doubtful because, while the word certainly fossilized in the given sense in context of anatomy, the seat of emotions was surely not that settled and Persian دل‎, which is surprisingly cognate, for example glosses "mind" besides "heart". That the synonym qalb sounds similar to Gelübde (oath) may be coincidence as far as everyone is concerned, but we do surely have some idioms about the spinal cord as well, eg. Rückgrat for support and composure, sich krumm machen (to bend oneself), and *spen- ("to libate") for reference. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:58, 10 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the reply, @Lambiam. That's what you find in every etymological dictionary I checked, but I haven't seen any discussion of the problems that this etymology has (There is no *accors; what is ad- doing here semantically? Why should there have been felt a need to form a term that's doing nothing what concordo does not and makes less sense?). Akletos (talk) 08:47, 13 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
At least in Old French, the earliest recorded uses of the verb appear to be transitive, meaning “to reconcile”,[6] which is, I guess, why we see the reconstructed meaning of *accordō presented as “make agree”. The intransitive sense “to agree”, “to be of one mind”, of Latin concordō appears in Old French as reflexive s’accorder. I suppose there is also then still a semantic difference: “to be of one mind” is stative, whereas “to make oneself agree” implies a change of mind. I have not tried to see if early recorded appearances of the verb in other Romance branches likewise have an active and transitive sense, but present day Italian accordare is also purely active and transitive. If you wish to say “I agree” in Italian, you cannot say [io] accordo; it has to be [io] sono d’accordo, or for short just d’accordo. You can also say [io] concordo. So it has the appearance that *accordō arose because a need was felt for a causative companion of concordō.  --Lambiam 11:03, 13 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Persian plural suffix "ها"[edit]

The etymology links to Middle Persian 𐭩𐭧𐭠. It is listed as a plural ending, but most sources(Windfuhr, Utas, Paul) believe it was an adverbial suffix. It also doesn't list etymology. Does anyone have any information on how it was used or its etymology?--Isama201610 (talk) 03:12, 10 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Reconstruction:Proto-West Germanic/larikkjā[edit]

Is there any source for the form "*larikkjā" and the presence of the suffix *-jā here? The entry on lerihha gives a contradictory etymology from Proto-Germanic *larika which looks more formally plausible to me. After a stem consisting of two short syllables, I would expect the long variant of the suffix without gemination (*-larikijā). From what I can see, the outcome in Old High German with a geminate fricative (lerihha, lericha, larihha, laricha) is consistent with a proto-form with singleton k (compare *lahtukā > lattuhha and *laiwarikā > lērihha; as part of the High German consonant shift, singleton intervocalic *k became geminate /xx/) and and maybe not consistent with a proto-form with geminate kk (doesn't that turn into modern German plosive -ck- usually? I just noticed that our entry for sprākkijā also shows an inexplicable geminate, as noted on the Discussion page). --Urszag (talk) 18:05, 12 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Do we need a PWG term at all? There are no other descendants listed besides the OHG term. EwddS, p.503, seems to imply that the Latin word was borrowed in OHG times ("...ahd. lerihha. Entlehnt aus l. larix, [...]"). Akletos (talk) 08:40, 13 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Single descendents are no problem if the reconstruction is well warranted. Pfeifer [7] argues that the form in -chk-, which is alas not quoted, had to precede the High German sound shifts. So far it is a rather formal question hinging on the definitions of OHG and our PWGem. OHG is formally defined by the sound shifts, but this is difficult because the process seems to begin before attestation, continuing for centuries across the map. PWGem is in one view a Sprachbund including very early or pre-OHG, that should be compatible in a very loose sense with other sources' OHG, because if they do not acknowledge PWGem as a term in any form you cannot expect them to spell it out, but they might eventually mean the same. (PS: edited for wording (twice); but still missing clarity!)
More over, Pfeifer implicates the Alps and Karpathian as likely source, where the larch trees grow plentiful. This might be misleading, as "larch" can be found (almost) synonymous with cedar, cf. Pt. alerce for one.
This seems to be a research level topic, not exactly know what you are doing material, as I have too many lax comparisons at hand to count. Please allow me to ramble on: I would cp. eg. lacrimosa. ApisAzuli (talk) 12:51, 13 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that the geminate *kk looks wrong here (see Proto-West Germanic *þrukkijan for what happens to geminate k). The PWG term is however not as useless as it may seem. Only the OHG term is given as descendant, but a look at the presumed loan descendants of German Lärche makes me suspicious. In Low German, there is Lärk (and similar forms), and the Scandinavian forms are likely to have been borrowed from Middle Low German (even if the form is not attested). As for Low German Lärk itself (and also Dutch lork next to dialectal lark, lerk): if it is indeed borrowed from HG, why should rch have been changed into rk when rch is also found in inherited words? A very early borrowing from Latin that spread as far north as into North Sea Germanic appears more likely. And what about the vowel in Dutch lork? I have found Lorch in Wittgensteiner Platt (a variety of Moselle Franconian), so there might have been an early syncopated variant *larika > *lar(i)ka that was not subject to umlaut. –Austronesier (talk) 17:35, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology.

An IP added "From अण्डा (anDaa) Sanskrit", which I reverted because it was unformatted and probably not quite correct (Why the long vowel at the end? What about the last consonant in the Javanese?), but it seems quite plausible in a general sense- the influence of Indic languages on the region is well known, and not just the phonology, but the semantics seem like a good match. I then noticed that the current etymology say that it is borrowed from Old Javanese, which seems odd. I know that there are lots of cases where the "Old" language isn't actually an ancestor of the modern language, but this doesn't seem to be one of those. I suppose it could be a learned borrowing, though. Pinging @Rajkiandris who added the {{bor}} template to the etymology. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:52, 13 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

More likely than not, this is directly inherited from Old Javanese ĕṇḍog. None of the sounds in this word is affected by the regular sound changes from Old to Modern Javanese, so a learned borrowing would be indistinguishable from direct inheritance. But as long as nothing speaks against the latter and strongly in favor of the former, direct inheritance is the default assumption. Note also that ĕṇḍog is a relatively rare form in the OJv corpus. In the Ramayama Kakawin, only hantĕlu and hantiga are found. Further, Javanese endhog belongs to the low ngoko-register; learned borrowings are more likely to be found in the high krama-register.
The etymology added by the IP from Sanskrit अण्डा (aṇḍā) is highly improbable. Old Javanese borrowed Sanskrit words with little modifications, and especially without additions such as adding arbitrary final consonants. "Deliberate" word modification that is found in many words of the modern krama-register started only after the Old Javanese period (at least in the written record). Common modification strategies of krama words include replacing the coda by -nten (pirapinten), -os (dadidados, caritacarios), -wis (antaraantawis); and replacement of back vowels (including final -a [-ɔ]) with non-back vowels (rusakrisak, murahmirah, lungguhlenggah). But no krama word is formed with -og. At the current state of research (AFAIK), the etymology of Javanese endhog is unknown. –Austronesier (talk) 12:12, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Austronesier I notice that Sanskrit अंडा (aṃḍā) gives Sanskrit अण्डक (aṇḍaka) as a possible ancestor, though I'm not sure on what basis (it was added later than the others). Would that explain the "g"? Chuck Entz (talk) 15:51, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Chuck Entz Very interesting! I wasn't aware of Sanskrit अण्डक (aṇḍaka), which has an entry in Monier-Williams. Normally, Sanskrit -aka remains unchanged, e.g. Sanskrit नरक (naraka) > Old Javanese naraka, पुस्तक (pustaka) > pustaka. But if अण्डक (aṇḍaka) was not transmitted as a learned pundit borrowing but via a Mainland SE Asian vernacular pronunciation (thus similar as in Thai นรก (ná-rók) from Sanskrit नरक (naraka), most likely transmitted via Khmer), an outcome as endhog [əᶯɖɔk̚] looks less outlandish. I will look in the publications of the wanderwort experts Tom Hoogervorst and Waruno Mahdi if similar cases of other non-literary loans into Javanese (and Malay) exist which display a change of final -aCa to -oC (simple loss of final -a in non-literary late Indic borrowings is well attested[8]; it's to o-part that's tricky here).
And of course, we would also have to check if borrowings of Sanskrit अण्डक (aṇḍaka) are actually attested in Thai/Khmer/Burmese which could have served as transmitter. –Austronesier (talk) 16:44, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Hebrew and Aramaic מרים, and Ancient Greek Μαριάμ[edit]

The etymological tree (at least the one on Wiktionary) looks something like this:

  • Hebrew מִרְיָם
    • Aramaic מַרְיָם
      • Ancient Greek Μαριάμ

I'm not a linguist, but one thing I'm wondering is, couldn't the tree actually look something more like this?

  • Hebrew מרים (original pronunciation now lost)
    • Aramaic מַרְיָם
    • Ancient Greek Μαριάμ
    • (Masoretic) Hebrew מִרְיָם

The Greek, Aramaic, and (Masoretic) Hebrew would all be derived directly from the original (or at least pre-Masoretic) Hebrew. I'd think this would make more sense, seeing as the Greek form comes from the Septuagint which was not translated from Aramaic but was directly translated from Hebrew. Looks to me like the original pronunciation could have been Mariam, which would then have been inherited by Aramaic and Greek, but the pronunciation in Hebrew would have changed to Miriam at some later point, but before the Masorites added the vowel pointing. Is this at all plausible, or is there actual evidence indicating that Miriam is the older pronunciation? 13:01, 15 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I'd just like to mention that if the variant with /a/ is older, it could support the theory that the name derives from Egyptian mry-, which in theophoric names probably had an original vocalism like */maɾja-/ invalid IPA characters (/). airy—zero (talk) 14:14, 15 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

مارطغان (martağan)[edit]

I looked up Ötüken Türkçe Sözlük, and the dictionary says that the word martağan was from Latin martagon, and I found it weird, because other sources pointed out that Medieval Latin martagon and the other forms in western languages were definately borrowed from Ottoman Turkish (e.g. Corominas, TLFi, FEW, etc.). But I could not explain the origin of martağan. Does anyone have ideas on the etymology? --Ydcok (talk) 15:12, 15 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The sense of a style of turban refers to Mehmed I, who became sultan in 1413. TLFi mentions a use of a botanical sense (Botrychium lunaria) in Medieval Latin dated 1267, predating the emergence of the Ottoman principality in c. 1299. If the etymon is Turkish, it was not Ottoman Turkish, and the original meaning was then presumably also botanical. But since (as far as I can see) the only Turkish connection is via Mehmed’s style of headdress, the evidence for a Turkish origin is exceedingly weak.  --Lambiam 17:48, 17 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology.

This etymology section was already somewhat speculative and footnote-heavy when @Jooian added another speculation from a (footnoted) journal article. They were reverted by @Jeannebluemonheo and @שוקו מוקה on the grounds it was dubious, but reinstated their edit each time. The added part is clearly labeled as an opinion in an article, and gives the source. I guess it hinges on whether the article is credible- a judgment I'm not qualified to make.

Given the reversions, I thought it would be a good idea to have this checked, just to be safe. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:52, 17 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I should add that Jooian's only edits on any Wikimedia site consist of adding this reference to two entries, and based on their account name they seem to be the author of the article in question, while שוקו מוקה has never edited Wiktionary except for these reverts. Jeannebluemonheo has made a few unrelated edits to Korean entries. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:15, 17 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, I think it's from them because the ety is written as if the whole thing was obvious, if only one knows beforehand what the talk is about, yet its possible they are presenting a puzzle with a few pieces missing. The dubious part may be inherent and so not their fault, unless it goes completely against sound laws. The hypothesis is so weak that there is no single point of failure to attack as far as I can tell. The template formatting and the wording need attention ("in fact"; maybe "Middle Chinese" needs to be hedged or the term made explicit), which is enough justification for a revert on occasion. It's the Sanskrit connection that confuses me. ApisAzuli (talk) 21:40, 19 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
FWIW, there's some JA connections that tie into this. See also Talk:쌀. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 06:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


I'm aware that Kroonen has this reconstruction, but as noted at spritzen, the German verb goes back to a Late MHG rounded form sprützen (per the cited Duden.de; confirmed by Pfeifer), from *spruttjan. Which implies a completely different verbal root, *spreud-. So Kroonen's etymology cannot be correct, then. As for Norwegian, it could be unrelated or it could even be a loanword from German. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:12, 19 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

You lost me at the late MHG form, which could early come under the influence of sprühen, whereas eg. Spritze (syringe) shows a semantic compatible with Speer, spit, and perhaps spreizen (as I maintain that tack and Reisszwecke go together with *twi-; see also Zweig underlying Zweck "target, goal", allegedly, as kind of peg that marked the spot in aiming practice; cf. Spreizdübel). Last but not least, if voicing of a syllabic *sp.r-t could go either way (gold, Geld, Gulde, gültig, gelten, gel, and for argument's sake glitzer, gleißend, gleaning, more over Glück, gutes Gelingen, gelinde gesagt, gladness, glee) we are perhaps looking at dialectal variations and orthographic ii "ü". Nur so zum Speibiel; I' m just spitballin, mary. ApisAzuli (talk) 14:33, 20 November 2021 (UTC) More over, Spritt (alcoholic bevarage, cp. gespritzt "spiked") clearly shows i. ApisAzuli (talk) 14:40, 20 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
OHG has sprizza (sprinkler), and likely a derived term Old High German sprizzalōn (to split, splinter) Leasnam (talk) 02:44, 21 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


According to Matasović's EDPC, this word is only attested in Middle Irish, not in Old Irish. Second, the Proto-Celtic reconstruction given there is questionable and should probably be *ɸlVtros, and the PIE reconstruction is altogether dubious – it is generally thought that PG borrowed from Celtic, and although this has been questioned, a relatively isolated Germanic–Celtic equation is a rather precarious basis for a PIE reconstruct. The greatest problem, however, which prevents me from creating a Proto-Celtic reconstruction entry, is that Matasović and Kroonen differ in their reconstruction of the Proto-Celtic lexeme already, see *leþrą. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:40, 19 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I've done the easy part, labeling it Middle Irish rather than Old. If Proto-Indo-European *létrom is in doubt, then this isn't the only page affected; everything at Special:WhatLinksHere/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/létrom needs to be fixed. Our entry for leather says Proto-Celtic *ɸlitro-, from Proto-Indo-European *pl̥tro-, but doesn't give a source (it's Kroonen, right?); presumably it's from *pel- (skin) (and that page also needs to be updated). The problem with reconstructing the Celtic word with i (per Kroonen) is that the Brythonic words have to go back to something with e, as Proto-Celtic *ɸlitro- would have given Welsh *llydr rather than lledr. On the other hand, *ɸlitro- from *pl̥-tro- makes better morphological sense on the IE side than *ɸletro- from *pl-etro- does. —Mahāgaja · talk 00:37, 20 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
It seems that Proto-Indo-European *létrom goes back to Pokorny, who however suggests Germanic borrowing from Celtic with derivation from Proto-Indo-European *pel- as an alternative possibility. All the modern sources I have encountered prefer the latter etymology, so it seems quite reasonable to disregard *létrom. Regarding the Celtic form, I would second that Proto-Celtic *ɸlitro- cannot be correct and that *e is necessary, despite the morphological peculiarity required. To this end, I've gone ahead and created Proto-Brythonic *lledr, which is unproblematic. A reasonable reservation could be made that the gender of the Proto-Celtic form is unclear because the neuter is lost in Middle Irish and Brittonic, however if one accepts that Proto-Germanic *leþrą is a borrowing from Celtic, it seems reasonable to reconstruct Proto-Celtic *ɸletrom with neuter gender. ShellfaceTheStrange (talk) 13:21, 23 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I'd rather create the page at Proto-Celtic *letrom and list *ɸletrom as an Alternative reconstruction, as there's no Celtic-internal (or even Celtic-plus-Germanic-internal) reason to posit ɸ; only the association with Proto-Indo-European *pel- justifies the ɸ, but since the morphology of *pl̥-e-trom is wonky at best, there's no very compelling reason to think *letrom comes from *pel- at all, though of course the possibility should be mentioned in the Etymology section. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:06, 23 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology:

The original etymology that was part of the entry when it was created in 2004:

This version can be found in a few older English-language references.

The "黃藜" was added by Wyang in this 2013 edit with the edit summary "seems to be the same thing".

The huáng lí part seems to be from the whangee entry, where it was no doubt copied from w:Whangee, where it was added in 2007 by an account whose other 6 edits in all of Wikimedia had nothing to do with Chinese.

The problem is that Chinese doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to "he (a root)" (or the last syllable of the English term, which sounds like the English pronoun, "he") , either phonetically or semantically. Phonetically, the vowel matches, but the consonant doesn't. Semantically, the goosefoot is an annual leafy weed, not a root, and certainly has nothing to do with bamboo or canes.

Can someone who knows Chinese sort this out? (Notifying Atitarev, Tooironic, Suzukaze-c, Justinrleung, Mar vin kaiser, Geographyinitiative, RcAlex36, The dog2, Frigoris, 沈澄心, 恨国党非蠢即坏, Michael Ly): Chuck Entz (talk) 22:04, 20 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The only possibility that I see is the Korean reading, which would be irregular because it maintains the velar r unless initial. So, given an unskilled translator it's not impossible, though unlikely. ApisAzuli (talk) 22:46, 27 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I have no idea about this sense and the reading. As for Korean readings of 藜, it has the two phonemic readings - (ryeo) (North Korean or non-initial) and (yeo) (South Korean word-initial). The readings don't include anything similar to "he"). A non-phonemic reading may includes [-ɲjʌ̹-] in some compounds. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:03, 28 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Chuck Entz: The OED says this: "Probably < an unattested Chinese compound (probably denoting the material) < huáng (Cantonese wòhng) yellow + an unidentified second element." The AHD says "Ultimately from Mandarin huáng lí (or a kindred Chinese dialectal word): huáng, yellow (from Middle Chinese xɦuaŋ) + , lamb's quarters (from Middle Chinese liaj)." The AHD's description is basically our current etymology. That said, we may need proof for the existence of the Chinese word 黃藜. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:21, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

German Kreuz "clubs"[edit]

Is it known why the German word for "cross" also refers to "clubs" (the playing card suit)? I haven't been able to find any source that discusses the etymology of this particular sense. — surjection??⟩ 20:30, 22 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I always assumed it was simply because the club symbol is shaped a bit like a Greek cross. —Mahāgaja · talk 21:22, 22 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
From the opposite viewpoint: when I first learned the English word, it took me some time to actually see the "clubs" in the cross-shaped Kreuz-symbol. –Austronesier (talk) 21:31, 22 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
For that matter, as a native speaker of English, I still have no idea why the symbol is called clubs. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:24, 22 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
According to Wikipedia, the name "clubs" is a semantic loan of Italian bastoni, so it would have nothing to do with that symbol. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 04:51, 23 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I guess the shapes might look more like a shovel or a pizza paddle than an actual club, although paddles could be used for hitting, as well. In Dutch and Scandinavian, the suit is literally clover, which basically makes sense, considering the similarity to a shamrock. Wakuran (talk) 14:59, 23 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Hazarasp: I don't suppose you have any sources that explain how we (in the English-speaking world) wound up with the symbol from French cards, apparently called trèfle (trefoil, clover), but with the name clubs based on the Italian bastoni? Was the suit of clubs (of the cloverleaf symbol) equated somehow with the suit of clubs (of the blunt striking weapon symbol)? Curious about the history, which strikes me as non-obvious and somewhat confusing.  :) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:27, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
No; what I've said is the result of a quick investigation rather than any indepth research. For all I know, it could be wrong or at least just one theory out of many, though it does seem to fit the facts on the ground well. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 00:32, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
It also fits with the history of spades, where again the symbol is French but the name appears to be taken straight from Italian spade (swords). (Speaking of which, I think our etymology at English spade is wrong in putting the playing card term under the ‘garden tool’ etymology.) — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 14:28, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Vorziblix: Interesting, thank you. Yes, it looks like the "playing card suit" sense for English spade merits its own etymology -- while cognate with the "garden implement" sense, this does appear to be a borrowing from the Italian. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:23, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Eirikr: “Was the suit of clubs (of the cloverleaf symbol) equated somehow with the suit of clubs”: The French suits, as well as the German and Swiss ones, are derivative of the Spanish-Italian ones, as playing cards spread from Southern to Northern Europe in the late 14th to 15th centuries. You could read that in w:Playing card suit#Invention of German and French suits. Therein the “hearts” obviously reshape the “cups”, the “diamonds” replaces the “coins”, the “clovers” or “clubs” seem to depend more on the “acorns” of the German suits of which the French suits are more immediately inspired – and even Wikipedia on playing cards explicitly says “the trèfle (clover) was probably derived from the acorn” – themselves representing the idea of a plant-based remnant or aught similarly vague but in essence the French suits come from the Italian ones. Fay Freak (talk) 05:44, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Fay Freak: Interesting, to be sure, but that doesn't answer the puzzle of how the English-speaking world wound up using the French symbol, but the Italian-derived name for the suit. And since it appears that English card games came from French decks, the insertion of the Italian term is rather mysterious. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 06:27, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
In Scandinavian, the terms are akin to spade/ gardening tool, as well, even if the term might be derived from a Romance word for "sword". In modern Romance languages, it seems words derived from pike are preferred, though, (probably alluding to its pointed edge). Wakuran (talk) 14:33, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Eirikr: This is implicit in the equation of suits/the interchangeability in some early view and explicit in the playing cards article: “In England, the French suits were eventually used, although the earliest packs circulating may have had Latin suits. This may account for why the English called the clovers clubs and the pikes spades.” In other words the English used the Italian-Spanish suits and kept two of its four suit names when replacing their pictures with the French ones. One of course needs to embrace the unsettling assumption that those were the default in past England. Fay Freak (talk) 15:11, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Fay Freak: You surely know how to play durak, but you might not have heared of the game Arschloch. None of this is "obvious". There are lots of reasons to believe that the tradition of inscribed signs on simple instruments to predict the future – gamble — and divine are far older than Italian games whose origin is simply unknown. Same goes for pretty much any other card game in existence, eg. Skat, where trump cards are counted as Spitzen in a strait beginning with the Jack of Cluvs (if you'll excuse the pun). In that sense, Austrian Treff (viz. trefle "trifoile") might as well continue trionfi. You have simply no idea what you are talking about with wikipedia for a source. spade is for a fact cognate to spada, whatever that means you're bluffing. Greek on the other end calls ‹♣️› σπαθί and ‹♠️› μπαστούνι. How do you explain that? In view of this, it is remarkable that the Swiss-German deck has Schilten, equated with ‹♠️›, depicted with a cross Shields suit Fleur.svg or else Bouclier jeu de carte.svg. The Schweizerisches Idiotikon: Chrǖz [9] makes no mention of the suit, but it refers to the national emblem 🇨🇭 and dozen other possibly relevant senses, including certain sticks in a children's game. I got jokes like that in spades up my arms, you betcha.
If spades are from the 16th century or later I guess Italians or rather Portuguese on a mission to the Americas exchanged trading cards with Yankees and played a game of hearts for matchsticks, if spades should be a calque. Any earlier than that I wouldn't know where to look, and it seems to be besides the point. How's the scene in Marocco though, do they know tarocco in Casablanca, or blackjack? ApisAzuli (talk) 06:33, 27 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The long o in "rō" would indicate that the term actually could be borrowed from Dutch, rather than English. If I remember correctly, the Dutch were the first Western people that Japan had international trade with, so there are quite many old Dutch loanwords in Japanese. Wakuran (talk) 14:18, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm, apparently, the sources seem to point to an English origin, and the Dutch word is klaver, anyway. Seems I might have been mistaken. Wakuran (talk) 14:22, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Wakuran: FWIW, the first Western (European) people that had trade with the Japanese were the Portuguese starting from 1543, followed quickly by the Spanish, and then the Dutch. The Dutch were very commercially minded, while the Portuguese and Spanish were busy working political and religious angles (although in the European politics of the age, "religion" and "politics" were sometimes awfully hard to distinguish). Consequently, it didn't take long for the Japanese authorities to recognize that the Portuguese and Spanish might present a threat to their own power, leading to the "closed country" or sakoku (鎖国) policies that the Tokugawa regime enacted starting from 1633.
クローバー (kurōbā) is a relatively recent term, only attested since 1907, well after the period of major Dutch influence on the language. The earlier names for the plant include things like オランダ紫雲英 (Oranda genge, literally Dutch vetch), 詰草 (tsumekusa, literally “packing plants”, from the Dutch practice of packing glassware in dried clover for shipping), オランダ馬肥やし (Oranda umagoyashi, literally Dutch horse-feed).
Regarding the long ō sound, consider other English borrowings, like スモーキング (sumōkingu, smoking), クローズ (kurōzu, close), ローラー (rōrā, roller). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:23, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology, which was added by @Linshee a few years back.

From Old Turkic 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰜(t²ür²k̥ /türük/), from *𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰃(*t²ür²i /türi/, root, ancestry, race) + suffix 𐰜-(k̥- /-ük/), from Proto-Turkic *türi- (lineage, ancestry).

Old Turkic as an ancestor of Anatolian Turkic languages such as Ottoman Turkish is one of those cases where the connection is so obvious from the name that no one bothers to check- but it's completely wrong. The speakers of Old Turkic were the first to learn to write, but their illiterate cousins somewhere else were the real ancestors of the Ottoman and modern Turks.

I know that much, but I'm otherwise clueless about Turkish etymology. Someone else will have to fill in the missing details. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:26, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Chuck Entz: It is more like according to some fringe view, that nobody in the West holds, that Old Turkic is the ancestor of Turkish, which is the view of Nişanyan specifically who has the etymological dictionary that is the fastest to accesss, {{R:tr:Nishanyan}}, whence most etymologies claiming Old Turkic origin for Turkish words are copied.
On the other hand etymological dictionaries for Turkic languages try to give the earliest attestation of terms in any Turkic language whatsoever, and there Old Turkic reaches the farthest back together with Old Uyghur, so one just gives that as the “Turkic origins”, and the older a written Turkic language the less certain it is anyhow of which modern languages it is the ancestor though these old languages have to have some descendants in so far as they aren’t deconstructed as merely literary standards and their disuse has little do with Turkic languages going extinct – for Old Uyghur we have a single obscure current child in the language data, and about Middle Kipchak, a language skewedly attested in medieval teaching material written for Arabs and Armeniaca apart from the overrated Codex Cumanicus, and treated mostly in mid-20th-century journal articles badly digitized, we had a discussion on my talk page two years ago where I proposed it to be the ancestor for all Kipchak languages and others wanted it of none probably because they don’t like the attestation situation in ambiguous Arabic script or even Armenian script mentions, while for Bulgar we have feigned Chuvash as they are the only late medieval and current representatives of the Oghur branch respectively, which branch is necessary to reconstruct Proto-Turkic as opposed to Common Turkic, 1.500 AD opposed to 500 AD or something around that according to glottochronology. The modern Uyghur and Uzbek languages, another major branch, are based on Chagatay which was written in the relevant countries roughly before Russification, but before that there were Khorezmian Turkic and Karakhanid which Chagatay somewhat displaced and one doesn’t know whether and how much it is based on this or that or something else.
The stemmatology of Turkic languages was of course easy only in so far as one only looked on modern data (though some modern lects are of uncertain and possibly mixed origin between the branches). Fay Freak (talk) 05:40, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Wahnsinn, Wahn, Wahnvorstellung, and Swedish similar words[edit]

Apparently Wahnsinn and Wahn are not etymologically related although this is or was incorrectly claimed in these and related entries.

It's more difficult to find the etymologies of Swedish similar words, especially since saob.se doesn't bother to explain or doesn't know and sometimes adds unhelpful and potentially misleading comments with "compare" and a German word. This leaves the question open if, for example, the term is a false-friend loan translation of Wahn with the unrelated prefix -van or a new formation using that prefix in its correct meaning. For example, are there sources that show 1) vansinne is really a back-formation from vansinnig equivalent to van- +‎ sinne and not a direct translation of Wahnsinn and 2) vanföreställning is a combination of van + föreställning and not a translation of Wahnvorstellung?

See also https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diskussion:Vanf%C3%B6rest%C3%A4llning#etymology --Espoo (talk) 11:08, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The -vor- ~ -före- part could belong with fear, could it? This would neatly square to with paranoia, despite the different etymology of para-. Swedish vara as a loan from Low German etc. should allow comparison to the typical vocalism where I hear o for a, eg. * Orbeit (etymologically correct of related to orphan as is said). The wikipedia is however not too helpful about the history of Niedersächsisch, so I'm pretty clueless, I'm afraid. ApisAzuli (talk) 12:20, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Swedish före- and German vor- are cognate with English fore- and have nothing to do with fear.  --Lambiam 13:06, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for your response. It's an odd proposition because I was just not talking about these prepositions. I was of course aware of this. It just matches too well that -noia has ultimately no etymology, while the particle comes without -a- in its epic form and Greek can betray a lost initial ϝ *u.
Ultimately *per- is underlying both vor and παρά, even if we derive them differently. I may be paranoid but at the same time I am not superstitious enough to believe everything I read here. ApisAzuli (talk) 17:13, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Kluge agrees dat Wahnsinn is not etymologically related to Wahn.[10] However, the meaning of Wahn has changed under the influence of Wahnsinn from a neutral concept of “idea” to that of a “false idea”. For Dutch, the Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands considers both the adjective waanzinnig and the later attested noun waanzin to be calques of the German terms.[11][12] The same semantic shift as in German occurred (not independently) for Dutch waan.[13]  --Lambiam 13:17, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The Swedish words look like they're borrowings or calques from Middle Low German, I'd say. Some later words might come from High German, as well. Wakuran (talk) 14:19, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I suspect that in Swedish vanmakt (powerlessness) the prefix van- is essentially the same as English wan-, no longer productive but found e.g. in archaic wanhope (despair). I further suspect that, like in Dutch, Swedish vansinnig arose as a semi-partial calque, giving rise to a similar semantic shift, in this case an additional sense, for the prefix van-. A vanföreställning is specifically delusional, indicative of vansinne. Compare Dutch waanvoorstelling, where the prefix has unambiguously the delusional sense: the earlier Swedish van- from before the additional sense is represented in Dutch by wan-, seen in wanprestatie (non-performance).  --Lambiam 17:05, 24 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Proto-Slavic *ręgnati (“to open the mouth”) and Proto-Slavic *ragъ (“scorn”)[edit]

ringor#Latin has:

... from the same Proto-Indo-European root as Proto-Slavic *ręgnati (“to open the mouth”) and Proto-Slavic *ragъ (“scorn”)

but I could not find cognates derivatives neither via a simple local search nor via the Global one in other projects.

Can we create either of these?

Or maybe Proto-Slavic *rǫgati is meant, as per rugati?

Zezen (talk) 07:34, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It doesn't say "from Proto-Slavic" but rather "From the same Proto-Indo-European root as Proto-Slavic *ręgnati (“to open the mouth”) and Proto-Slavic *ragъ (“scorn”)" - there is a big difference in those two statments. Leasnam (talk) 13:10, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
1. Indeed, @Leasnam - I misquoted and will fix hereinabove. My bad.
2. Still, where to find modern Slavic derivatives of "Proto-Slavic *ręgnati (“to open the mouth”) and Proto-Slavic *ragъ (“scorn”)" ?
Would it be this rugać?
3. If 2 be true, how exactly is this "Proto-Slavic *rǫgati" related to "Proto-Slavic *ragъ (“scorn”)" etc.?
4. Points 2 and 3 notwithstanding, let us standardize and elaborate all these.
Zezen (talk) 16:25, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
For one, if you look at the reference from which it is, it is supposedly Old Church Slavonic, the noun written *rągъ which looks like a corrupt notation. I am badly equipped about the OCS corpus, but I have looked into the Serbo-Croatian and Slovene comparisons indicated.
Serbo-Croatian regnuti and Slovene regnuti exist(ed) twice, in either language and either lexeme with the imperfectives regati and režati and for the second meaning also regetati, meaning 1. klaffen, bersten, geöffnet sein etc. 2. in Serbo-Croatian “knurren”, in Slovene “quaken“ and “wie eine Elster schreien” “plappern, plauschen”, and either of the two meanings are denominal from a noun rega, meaning 1. Riss, Spalte, Kerbe etc. 2. Quaken; Laubfrosch. Obviously the first group belongs to the root of well-known *rězati (to cut, to snithe) while the second group is a variant of *rygati (~ to belch)
I am confident that we can remove the Slavic comparisons because they are wrong. The Latin comparison rīma (fissure) was only made because they jumbled the two Slavic groups. What is left is that one can only say that as with similar Ancient Greek ῥέγκω (rhénkō) one knows nothing but suspects parallel sound symbolism. Fay Freak (talk) 21:06, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
OCS has a noun рѫгъ (rǫgŭ, mockery, derision, degradation) and a verb рѫгати (сѧ) (rǫgati (sę), to scorn, to mock) (← *rǫgati, hence rugati, rugać etc.), see рѫгъ (1) (2) and рѫгати in the Gorazd dictionaries). The form rągъ looks like a Polish orthography rendering of the OCS noun (with ą substituted for ǫ) // Silmeth @talk 13:41, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Macedonian феудализам[edit]

The etymology for Macedonian феудализам says that is borrowed from Serbo-Croatian < German < Medieval Latin, and assuming that this chain of borrowing is correct, one could also add that the Medieval Latin word ultimately derives from Frankish. The Macedonian word would then get categorized in "borrowed from Serbo-Croatian", "derived from Serbo-Croatian", "derived from German", "derived from Medieval Latin" and "derived from Frankish". However, although Frankish is the "ultimate" origin and is thus more interesting to the reader than the languages that the word passed through, the word will not be categorized differently in relation to the former than to the latter. Is this by design or is there some way to categorize the word's Frankish status with primacy over the intermediate languages in the borrowing chain? In this particular case, it's not that important, but if a word like суши was hypothetically borrowed from Serbo-Croatian < English < Japanese, it will get categorized as "derived from English" and "derived from Japanese", with the two languages on par, which is really counterintuitive. It is not useful to a reader or researcher looking for English borrowings in Macedonian and not interested in the ones where English was a mere vehicle, but interested in the ones that are characteristically English. Martin123xyz (talk) 08:58, 26 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

In brief, no, we don't have any mechanism to distinguish between ultimate source languages and intermediate source languages. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:41, 26 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I have trouble imagining how such a system would work even if we did have it since the ultimate source is never really ultimate - there is always a proto-language behind it, or a language spoken in times beyond the reach of reconstruction. Perhaps ultimateness could be defined in terms of derivation? Thus, for феудализам, the ultimate source would be Medieval Latin, where the morphological composition was fixed, remaining the same in the intermediate source languages, whereas Frankish simply supplied the root.
Furthermore, intermediate source languages sometimes modify the borrowing characteristically, and in other cases they do not, which changes how speakers of a given recipient language perceive them and what they expect of a list of borrowings. Thus, Macedonian суши has not been modified significantly in the intermediate source languages through which it was borrowed from Japanese, so I intuitively want to see it in a list of Japanese loanwords. Meanwhile, Macedonian спорт has been modified significantly in English on the way from Old French, so I intuitively want to see it in a list of English loanwords, rather than Old French ones. Many other people would surely feel this way too, especially those without linguistic training. I suppose that what they would expect is a category for "most recent source language after which no significant change to the meaning or form of the word took place and to which the word recognizably belongs". That appears to be the subconscious criterion that middle schools inculcate when teaching about loanwords through examples such as ангел < ἄγγελος for a Greek word, суши < 寿司 for a Japanese word, шпајз < Speise for a German word, кроасан < croissant for a French word and алтернација < alternatio for a Latin word.
Perhaps such views of borrowings can be dismissed as unscientific biases and stereotypes to which a serious dictionary should not try to cater and which are too vague and variable to be adhered to even if one tried. The definition for a prototypical loanword that I have proposed above is certainly impractical to incorporate in the categorization system. However, I am still not too happy with the thought of someone coming to look for what they conceive of as "German loanwords" in Macedonian and not finding something like шпајз in "words borrowed from German", because it turns out that the immediate source is Serbo-Croatian (hypothetically; I don't know the actual facts regarding the intermediate source languages which have left no phonological, morphological or semantic imprint, nor do I know where I could find such information), but finding it in "derived from German", on par with правопис < Rechtschreibung, a calque which ended up in the catch-all category. Martin123xyz (talk) 12:26, 26 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


This says cognate with German heer. Is that a typo for Heer? --Espoo (talk) 08:04, 28 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

If I had to guess, it's a typo for Dutch heer. 08:10, 28 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't guess, I looked at the edit history: it used to say "Dutch {{m|de|heer}}", with the wrong language code. When it was converted to {{cog}}, "Dutch" was removed, leaving the language code to provide the language name. I've now changed it to {{cog|nl|heer}}. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:35, 28 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Sitting/standing/stood/sat there like a lemon[edit]

There are some interesting theories about the origin of this phrase. It definitely seems to be chiefly British but of the two earliest instances in the 1940s, one is British and one is American. The consensus seems to be that lemon is used in this expression as it’s an unwanted fruit compared to, say, an orange or instead that it refers to a stupid or weak person who can be metaphorically squeezed (exploited/conned) like a lemon. These discussions are particularly interesting and pertinent (and suggest a boxing origin for the probably unrelated phrase ‘hand someone a lemon’: [14], [15] and [16]. I read in a quiz in a newspaper a couple of days ago that ‘lemon’ in the sense of a useless or unwanted person actually originated with fruit (slot/gaming) machines though, as lemons are (apparently) typically the lowest value icon that can be landed on but I can find no supporting evidence online for that. What are your thoughts on these theories? Overlordnat1 (talk) 11:57, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Solemn? So lame. A lame'un: Cant't walk, is just sat there. ApisAzuli (talk) 22:55, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Himanthalia is an algae genus from the Himanthaliaceae family. Is somebody has an idea of the etymology of the genus? Thanks. Gerardgiraud (talk) 14:55, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Gerardgiraud: British Sea-Weeds (1867): “It is not easy to determine the exact derivation of the name of this plant. The Greek word imas, a strap, furnishes the first part, but it is doubtful whether the remainder is derived from thalos, a branch, or als or thalassa, both of which mean sea. The English name of Sea-thongs would be best translated by the latter word, and that probably is correct.” Some sites mention “Himanthalia elongata” means “elongated sea tongue”. J3133 (talk) 15:12, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@J3133: thanks a lot for these informations. I have too "langue de mer" ("tongue of the sea") in Cabioc'h and al. 1992. Guide des algues des mers d'Europe. Delachaux et Niestlé →ISBN. Gerardgiraud (talk) 16:09, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The original description has a footnote:
"Ex ἱμάς, άντος, lorum, et ἅλς"
That shows that the other sources didn't look at the original description. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:16, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Chuck Entz: Does lorum apply to “H. lorea”, as it does not seem to be in “Himanthalia”? J3133 (talk) 16:42, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Gerardgiraud, Chuck Entz: I have added the etymology. J3133 (talk) 16:56, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Chuck Entz: well seen! My former algologist colleagues also made the mistake by forgetting to read the original source. Thank you for this clarification. Gerardgiraud (talk) 17:07, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
And, as a digression, in German, Dutch, Scandinavian and Russian, a "sea-tongue" would be the sole fish. (I suspect the term might have originated in German circles and later spread.) Wakuran (talk) 02:22, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Certainly, but going from the vernacular name of the fish genus Solea (Seezunge in German), to that of an algae genus Himanthalia is a strange confusion, isn't it? Gerardgiraud (talk) 13:43, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Compare Seetang (sea weed) on the one hand, and perhaps tuna of uncertain origin on the other. ApisAzuli (talk) 20:30, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Tang doesn't seem related to *tungǭ, though. Wakuran (talk) 13:26, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The Seezunge doesn't seem related either to tuna fish or the human organ, yet there it is. 2A00:20:6057:A83E:3DA6:A2AD:77B2:E217 17:27, 5 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Polish Bytom[edit]

This etymology needs to be corrected. I don't know anything about it so I'm not messing with it, but the part about Pithom is wrong. Pithom (the ancient Egyptian city) has an Egyptian name (which means "house of Amun"), from Egyptian pr "house" + (j)tm(w) "Amun"... nothing to do with Bithynia or Boii or Proto-Indo-European *bʰewd-. 17:56, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The etymology was added here[17]. @Djkcel: Caesar, really? –Austronesier (talk) 23:14, 29 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Well, I wasn't quoting Caesar, of course, but a book written about his conquest of Gaul. The part I referenced seems to have been taken off of Google Books, but I found it in an old archive of the Wikipedia article for Bituriges:
Their name supposedly meant "kings of the world" or "kings/masters of hitting/forging/smithing" (compare Boii "the hitting/forging/smithing ones", a deflection of the root bit also present in the industrial city Bytom connected to Boii and Cotini, Bithynia loosely connected to the Galatians and Pithom loosely connected to the ethnically related Hyksos).
A terrible etymology that has since been removed. (Wikipedia has a lot of terrible onomastic information on it that I used to be guilty of falling for) For now I've RFE'd the entry. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 00:25, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
"or", like I don' t know, but ...??? Compare Büsum, allegedly from Binse (de.WP), maybe, according to Pfeifer, from a substrate language! ApisAzuli (talk) 20:46, 30 November 2021 (UTC) And we do agree on that point ApisAzuli (talk) 20:50, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
A generic note with a quick @Djkcel - these Polish-Silesian-German-Czech names suffer from centuries old politicized fakelore, see also Turbolechites in plwiki, much current in e.g. Commons as of 2021 and maybe spilling over to enwiktionary.
Traces thereof and semi-decent etymology discussion (the sources from the 1980s) can be found here: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bytom#Nazwa_miasta Zezen (talk) 09:09, 3 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Conan etymology[edit]

I heard (from a very UNRELIABLE source) that Conan means woman in Irish. I searched and everywhere I find says it means "little wolf" in Gaelic. Is there any validity to the claim that Conan means woman or is this just Internet misinformation?

Sounds like a one-off childish insult aimed at someone named Conan. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:07, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Someone was probably thinking of Colleen but got the two names confused. Overlordnat1 (talk) 22:48, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Conan doesn't mean "little wolf" either; it means "little dog" (from Old Irish (dog), genitive con). —Mahāgaja · talk 00:28, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Currently the etymology for the word carapace is quite messy across Wiktionary. In summary we have:

  • English carapace currently states it comes from Portuguese, through French, citing etymononline that actually it's either from Spanish carapacho or Portuguese carapaça through French carapace (Source);
  • French carapace states it came from Portuguese, but the source, Trésor de la langue française informatisé, states it comes from Spanish carapacho;
  • Portuguese carapaça states the borrowing was from Spanish carapacho through French carapace with the source Infopédia with Aulete and Michaelis stating it comes from French. Priberam states only the sense carapace is a Gallicism, while the second sense designating the plant Erica ciliaris is not. It doesn't provide an etymology. In Galician, carpaza also occurs, referring to plants, including of the genus Erica (Source 1 and 2.
  • Spanish carapacho doesn't state any source. In Spanish there's also the word caparazón for shell, from Occitan 1, 2

Can someone help solving this? - Sarilho1 (talk) 16:14, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I took a pass through the Spanish, Portuguese, and English entries (I saw that you already did French -- thanks) and did some cleanup and sourcing. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 21:37, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
For the crayfish I would compare piscis, Sp. pez, Pt. peixe, Picard pichon, etc. This does not get us very far because the limited distribution of *peysḱ- is an unsolved riddle. ApisAzuli (talk) 09:02, 2 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]


The word appears analogous to vasopressin. What does the desmo- part mean? RcAlex36 (talk) 16:19, 30 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

A major difference between vasopressin and desmopressin is the latter’s high degree of protein binding: 50% versus only 1% for vasopressin (see the pharmacokinetic data in the infoboxes on Wikipedia). A reasonable guess is that the prefix desmo- refers to this binding ability.  --Lambiam 12:24, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Lambiam: Desmopressin is sold under the brand name DDAVP, which seems to stand for 1-desamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin. So desmo- may be a shortening of desamino. RcAlex36 (talk) 13:28, 4 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]


What is the etymology of Andy#Noun? A reference to some livestreamer with that name? Stockmausen (talk)

That sense was added on 2021-07-04 by Gaioa (talkcontribs). Gaioa, can you shed any light on this? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:08, 1 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]