Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2021/October

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~ , Chinese[edit]

These two terms seem obviously related, as in two voices of the same underlying verb: as the causative and as some sort of a middle voice. Phonetically, (OC /*l̥u[n]-s/, /*qʰuns/) looks like a devoiced-initial alteration of (OC /*Cə.lu[n]-s/, /*ɢljuns/). Any references on the pair? --Frigoris (talk) 08:37, 1 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Malayalam റ്റജീറ്റീസ് is noted as having a missing etymology. This is clearly from Tagetes, though unclear whether via English, Portuguese, or some other intermediary. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by 2A02:C7D:F22A:CA00:8D1E:7062:F0C:6783 (talk) at 12:45, 2 October 2021 (UTC).[reply]

Updated expected Cantonese reflex of some Chinese characters[edit]

I added debuccalization rules (k → h) for the initial and modified the palatalization rules (h → j) for , and initials. Additionally, characters with a initial and a oblique tone (仄聲) now output an s initial if the character is closed (合口). Feel free to comment on the update and do notify me if there are any bugs. (Pinging @StrongestStrike, Justinrleung, Frigoris for a review.) Graphemecluster (talk) 18:36, 3 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Yiddish קעמל[edit]

@Lingo Bingo Dingo, Metaknowledge, Wikitiki89 or anyone else: Is there a known explanation why the vowel of קעמל(keml, camel) is /ɛ/? Is it borrowed from English (in which case /æ/ > /ɛ/ is expected)? Was it reinterpreted as a diminutive because of the ־ל(-l) and thus subjected to umlaut? (Though if that were the case, we'd expect the plural to be *kemlekh, wouldn't we?) —Mahāgaja · talk 11:05, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It's from Middle High German kemel (masc.!). Modern High German Kamel (n) has been partially remodeled after the Latin/Greek source (per Kluge and Weinreich). The old form is still preserved in Kä­mel­garn. –Austronesier (talk) 11:59, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Great, thanks! I see that Grimm does suggest that the e in MHG does indeed come from an interpretation of the -l as the diminutive. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:38, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Mahagaja The form kemel also exists in Dutch, where it is the older but now formal term, though with a different quality, so I'm sceptical of the explanation involving a reinterpretation as a diminutive. See also this. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:07, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The hypothesis that kemel is "a direct borrowing from a Semitic language dating back to the Crusades" sounds particularly far-fetched to me. A Proto-West Germanic *kamīl (with ī from the post-Classical Greek pronunciation of κάμηλος (kámēlos) or just from assimilation to familiar Germanic word shape) would give kemel in Middle Dutch and Middle High German even without reinterpreation as a diminutive, wouldn't it? —Mahāgaja · talk 17:23, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I agree the direct borrowing from a Semitic language is very implausible; neither the vowels nor the consonants are good matches. It is also has another option: "Ook ontlening aan Middelgrieks kamilos is mogelijk; in dat geval is de e in de eerste lettergreep van kemel het gevolg van i-umlaut." ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 18:22, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The vowels are absolutely in line with Arabic جَمَل(jamal), which is [-æmæl] or even [-ɛmɛl]. The initial consonant was originally [ɡʲ] ~ [ɟ], which might well give Dutch /k/ (note that even [ɡ] used in Egyptian Arabic). So phonetically Philippa's theory of direct borrowing is entirely plausible, which doesn't mean that I necessarily agree with it. 06:19, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

hūmānus (human) <? humus (earth, soil, ground)[edit]

(Notifying Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5, Benwing2, Lambiam, Mnemosientje): How are these even related semantically? Is humus missing any sense? Svartava2 (talk) 14:22, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The semantics aren't difficult; words from *dʰéǵʰōm/*dʰǵʰm̥mō often have the sense 'human, person, man', e.g. Latin homō, Old English guma, Old Irish duine, Old Lithuanian žmuõ; human beings are considered the earth-dwellers (Earthlings) in contrast to the heaven-dwelling gods. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:38, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
There are also creation stories that have the first human beings molded from dirt or clay. For the cultures with such stories, it's only natural to speak of humans and the earth as aspects of the same thing. The best known example is the creation story in the Hebrew scriptures, which uses אֲדָמָה‎ to refer to the earth and אָדָם‎ to refer to the first man. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:20, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
In the Hebrew case the development is likely the reverse, אֲדָמָה(earth) being suffixed ־ָה‎ from אָדָם(man), and that is derived from the word for “blood”, see it: facing such questions, it was useful to be exceptionally detailled at אָדָם(man) about how the semantics possibly were, contrary to Metaknowledge’s hasty “cruft” labelling. Of course anyhow if it is the reverse then we also see how things worked. I like to show antiparallels. Fay Freak (talk) 15:32, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The current straightforward “From humus, with unclear ū ” is too simplistic. De Vaan treats hūmānus under the entry homõ, but writes, “The explanation of hūmānus is unknown”.  --Lambiam 15:58, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Mahagaja, Chuck Entz, Lambiam, Fay Freak: Thanks for the responses. Could the semantic development be elaborated at the entry? Svartava2 (talk) 05:05, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think the sense development gets sufficient attention at the entry homõ. The etymology section of hūmānus should state that it is a derivative of homõ, while noting that the historical development of the vowel mutations is unclear.  --Lambiam 05:24, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Lambiam changed etymology of hūmānus. Svartava2 (talk) 12:24, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Italian poltrone[edit]

As it stands, the Italian word poltrone "lazy" is derived thus:

From the older form poltrone (“foal”)...

I stumbled over this at first: poltrone is derived from poltrone? After considering it for a bit, I think it means that the current sense, "lazy", derives from an obsolete sense, "foal". (The form hasn't changed, but the sense has.) In which case that should be added as another etymology, and this one should point to it. But, not speaking Italian myself, I think this needs attention/confirmation from someone who actually knows what they're talking about! -- Perey (talk) 05:13, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It rather seems as if the augmentative suffix -one was added to poltro, so the explanation might not be entirely correct. Wakuran (talk) 08:33, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • German faul (lazy, moldy), English foul, PIE *puH-, "More at putrid"
  • foal, pullus, PIE *polH-, possibly from *pewH-, cp. Paul; where *h2 is prefered see the collective,llater feminine suffix (cf. queen)
PIE *puH- would usually spell *pewH- in our notation anyway, save for a few exceptions that I don't understand. See further German flau (nauseated,oof the stomach), Flaute (of weak winds; cp. flatulence, *bhleH, Ger. Blähungen), and very similar lau (luke [warm], same as flau but with positive connotion).That said,there was either interference between Latin (late Latin, Italian) and Germanic (PWGem, North Sea Germanic), or this homonymy goes further back. The *-l suffix isn't terribly though, I reckon. ApisAzuli (talk) 08:44, 7 October 2021 (UTC) PS: correction, that's *polH- < *peh₂w, but I have obviously considered the difference to be small enough to ignore. ApisAzuli (talk) 08:52, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
By the way, I wonder if the sense "bed" for poltro could be related to English bolster and similar Germanic words. Etymonline mentions a similar theory. [1]. Wakuran (talk) 08:47, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Wakuran: what does that have to do with anything? ApisAzuli (talk) 08:55, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Just a slight digression. Wakuran (talk) 09:02, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Etymology given is pretty sus since we don't have a definition. 17:17, 8 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It is not so much an etymology but rather an explanation of what each component radical means, maybe it needs a better heading to clarify that it's not the history of the glyph. AmyCupcakeRose (talk) 15:24, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


This is within the same Pays-de-Loire IP range as a notorious editor of Japanese, Esperanto and various proto- and historic languages best known for their former edit summary "Errors. Missing Informations.". On the one hand, they're very knowledgeable. On the other, they think that it's okay to make stuff up as long as you know what you're doing. I've seen them add translations to television for dead languages such as Gothic and Old English (I blocked them once for "Unauthorized time travel"), and they added so much nonsense to Japanese and Esperanto that there is now an abuse filter to keep them from adding any more.

I just noticed a lot of activity by this IP with Proto-Italic. I suppose it could be someone else who just happens to be from the same area, or they could have sworn off their previous conlanging games, and I wouldn't know enough to tell- so I'm bringing it up here for others to take a look. Pinging @Mahagaja, Rua, JohnC5, Victar, Brutal Russian, Metaknowledge. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:54, 8 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I've kinda given up on trying to fix all their bad edits because I can't keep up with it alone. —Rua (mew) 20:04, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Rua it would be quite simple to selectively block them from the Reconstruction namespace with a regular block, and there's also the possibility of expanding the list in Abuse Filter 117 to include more languages- the expensive part is fetching the wikitext in the first place, so more arguments in the "includes_any" function would have negligible additional impact. As far as I know, they're the only IP editor in that IP range who ever edits reconstructions, but we would have to be careful not to exclude editing of mainspace entries that merely have proto-languages in the etymology sections when the etymology sections aren't part of the edits. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:08, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Proto-Turkic *gēt or *kēt?[edit]

I noticed some disagreement over whether to reconstruct the proto-Turkic root meaning notch as *gēt or *kēt. Could somebody pick one, arbitrarily if necessary? Nişanyan gives "ETü kert-/ket-" as the origin of gedik. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:28, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Vox Sciurorum:: If in doubt always /k/, Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2020/December § Moving Proto-Turkic words on /*g-, *d-/ to /*k-, *t-/. The voiced forms are an Oghuz innovation, but certain celebrated generalists haven’t cared enough about the primary materials and historical evidence to own it consistently. Fay Freak (talk) 17:54, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

PIE eight as dual form of PIE four?[edit]

According to this page in PIE eight is formally the dual of a stem *(H)oḱto- (“four fingers”). Does this mean that eight originally meant two fours? Bonus question: Why does the reconstruction for PIE eight has a 'w' at the end? Both Sihler and Beekes reconstructed it without. Is it based on someone else's?--The cool numel (talk) 07:59, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

There's also Reconstruction:Proto-Kartvelian/otxo- ("four") which is currently listed as a borrowing of the IE word for "eight", but under this hypothesis could instead be a borrowing of the word for "four". Are there any other attested forms other than Avestan and possibly the Kartvelian borrowing? 20:36, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
On a related note, except for a PIE borrowing of the word for eight used with the meaning of four, there's also a theory of a Proto-Semitic borrowing of the word for four with the meaning of eight. Possibly this could indicate a Base Four counting system, if it isn't a coincidence, but it's overall pretty confusing... Wakuran (talk) 01:19, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
There is a vaguely similar theory about Bantu languages, e.g. Swahili nane (eight) being derived from na (and) and nne (four). It sounds plausible but doesn't extend beyond eight, and two words do not yet make a system. Panya kijivu (talk) 21:01, 19 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
There is also similar theorizing about Old Japanese, some kind of apparent ablaut for numbers 1-4, 6, 8, and probably 20.
  • pito (1) ↔ puta (2) ↔ pata (20)
  • mi (3) ↔ mu (6)
  • yo (4) ↔ ya (8)
The other Old Japanese number words don't seem to correlate the same way:
  • itu (5) ↮ so or towo (10)
  • nana (7) ↮ so amari yo or towo amari yo (14; literally "ten leftover four")
  • kokono (9) ↮ so amari ya or towo amari ya (18; literally "ten leftover eight")
That said, the way the etym is written on the initially linked page for Proto-Indo-European *oḱtṓw (eight), it's not clear at all how "four fingers" fits into this anywhere, not least as the PIE word for "four" is reconstructed as *kʷetwóres and the word for "finger" is reconstructed as *pénkʷrós, *penkʷ-ros (fifth). How on earth do we get from kʷetwóres pénkʷrós ("four fifths") to oḱtṓw ("eight")? That makes no sense to me, either semantically or phonologically. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:48, 20 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hmmm. The theory seems to be based solely on an Avestan word if I interpret things correctly.
This erstwhile singular seems to appear in Avestan 𐬀𐬱𐬙𐬌-(ašti-, breadth of four fingers).
Wakuran (talk) 22:32, 20 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
That's rather sparse evidence for such an etymology...
Digging around in the page history, I found that 4pq1injbok (talkcontribs) added that etym in this edit from September 2015. @4pq1injbok, could you shed any light here? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:45, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Reading between the lines, I think what was meant was that there was some early stage ancestral to PIE as we know it where the last syllable of *kʷetwóres hadn't been added, and it was some variant of *kʷet-. If you add an initial vowel, I can see how the "e" might drop out, leaving a labiovelar-dental cluster which might simplify to "kt", possibly coloring any neighboring vowel(s) in the process. After the suffix was added to the *kʷet morpheme the suffixed term would have completely replaced the unsuffixed version, but an obscure derived term might have survived because it had already lost its connection to the original morpheme. That derived term would be what ended up as the Avestan term mentioned above. The form that became eight would have survived for the same reason. Not that I'm saying that's what happened- I'm just trying to see how someone might have come to believe it did. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:17, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Er, it's been a while. That etymology looks to be due to Henning (1948), "Oktō(u)". Transactions of the Philological Society, 47: 69-69. Short but hopefully helpful? 4pq1injbok (talk) 20:34, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Hmm, I don't have access to that source, and Google Books is only showing me other works that happen to reference Henning.
Does anyone have Henning's text to hand? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:39, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I managed to get the file through, er, samizdat. My library is also supposed to have a copy, though in long-term storage; I could file a request for it if helpful.
Anyway, if one of the implicit questions is "should we change this to say something more measured or less fanciful about PIE 'eight'", I'm entirely fine with a "yes" answer. 4pq1injbok (talk) 12:43, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


The Nynorsk Etymology section and the Bokmål etymology section give completely different theories for the origin of the name of Stavanger, this is really strange as they're two orthographies for closely related dialects and it's a city name, as Stavanger is located on an angr (fjord), the Nynorsk etymology of Staff-Fjord seems more likely than the Bokmål theory of Staff-Sorrow, the bokmal also has no citations on the page. --AmyCupcakeRose (talk) 15:11, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The Bokmål example looks like a folk etymology to me. Elof Hellquist mentions the same fjord/bay theory on his entry for Ångermanland [2], [3] . Cf. Hardanger. Wakuran (talk) 19:57, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The Bokmål etymology seems to stem from this edit, where curiously, the reference added mentions the alternative "fjord" etymology. I suggest a change. Wakuran (talk) 20:15, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Certain languages' names for Venice have a g/k/ç at the end, e.g. Venedig or Վենետիկ. Is this because they're from an adjective (veneticus) rather than the city's name, or what? - -sche (discuss) 02:43, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Adelung suggests it is a variant of -sche, that is adjectival in the examples indeed, but already considers -g archaic in his time, though without citations. Although t'sch would be a plausible outcome of the palatal t, the d in Venedig is still difficult to explain in this view unless dgi/dig used to be a conventional alternative for the palatal.
Hungarian Velence, if from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy though it looks too weird, might imply nasalization which could also explain g for n, as though *Venetien (cp. Italien, in that case also attributive). More interesting would be an archaic coda, hypothetically, though a more realistic head would be 'republica'. ApisAzuli (talk) 09:25, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Veneticus is indeed the source of these forms. See footnote 4 in Deonomasticon Italicum, vol. IV, page 749. --Vahag (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
German Venedig was borrowed from the adjective, but apparently as a proper noun from the start, or at least interpreted as a proper noun at an early stage. In this book from 1568, Venedig is the proper noun, coocurring with Venedisch (< **venedigisch?) as adjective. The spelling variant Venedich for the proper noun is found in early printed text in German and Dutch. –Austronesier (talk) 10:16, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The history of the Germans forms is traced by Matthias here (use a US proxy to view the pages). Vahag (talk) 10:44, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Isn't the t->d shift just simple voicing? Wakuran (talk) 12:03, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, and it happened already in Romance. Forms with -d- are attested in Italian since the 13th century. Vahag (talk) 12:28, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


In English, I had always assumed gerunds to be derived from, or one may even say uses of, the present participle, but presently at -ing we have gerunds and participles listed under different etymology sections. Is this definitely correct? (Point originally raised at Wiktionary:Tea_room/2021/October#-ing.) Mihia (talk) 21:04, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Yes; they were quite different suffixes for most of history and are still distinct in other languages, although the participle ending has come to be spelled the same way as the gerund ending relatively recently in English history. (Other dictionaries, e.g. Dictionary.com and Lexico, say the same thing.) - -sche (discuss) 01:46, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The direction was in fact the other way around. The verb suffix -ing was initially solely the gerund suffix, and the participle suffix was -ende, Then the latter was replaced by the gerund suffix (or perhaps altered under its influence): -inge < -inde < -ende. The change took reportedly place in the Middle English period, beginning in the 13th century in the southern and central parts of England.[4]  --Lambiam 07:21, October 12, 2021 (UTC)
I've heard it claimed that the colloquial pronunciation of -ing as -in’ is the direct descendant of -ende, though I have my doubts, because (1) -in’ is used for the participle as well as the gerund, and (2) -in’ is used on words that have never been participles or gerunds, such as somethin’ and nothin’. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:26, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
That the change appears more often is really no ground to doubt anything. It's rain last week, rain yesterday, thus it can't be rain today!? Superb analogy, but I'd bring an umbrella anyway, an en-infinitive, and n-stems, to be sure. ApisAzuli (talk) 08:08, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks very much for the replies. And would this etymological differentiation of gerunds from participles extend to gerund phrases with objects? For example, presently the sentence "He likes eating chocolate" is under the "gerund" etymology rather than "participle". Is this also correct? Mihia (talk) 08:32, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes; in "He likes eating chocolate", eating is a gerund, while in "He is eating chocolate" it's a participle. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:34, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    Rightio, thanks. Just one more thing, if I may. As is presently being discussed at the Tea Room, the present article seems to be making a sense distinction between "true gerunds", as in "She has a habit of sleeping late", and apparently verb-derived "outright noun" -ing forms, as in "The meetings of the Council". Are you (or anyone) aware of any etymological or sense-development angle to such a distinction? I mean, might the "outright noun" sense have developed from the gerund sense, for example? Any ideas? Mihia (talk) 13:11, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    Oddly enough, mēting is attested in Old English, though we don't have that sense in our entry. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:33, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I've now added it at mēting. Leasnam (talk) 03:59, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • FWIW, *-ungō says the suffix can only certainly be reconstructed to Proto-Germanic (potential cognates outside or further back than that are uncertain—and include adjectives meaning things like "foreign", complicating the question of the original part of speech / semantics), but one of the Proto-Germanic words with the suffix which we reconstruct seems very outright-nounal, *wunungō (home, dwelling place), so if outright-nounal use developed from gerundal use, it seems to have developed early on. - -sche (discuss) 17:12, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    Gerunds are so nounlike it's hardly surprising that they can be used as outright nouns in any language that has them. It doesn't have to happened only once in the history of the Germanic languages. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:28, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Is that your Ernest? If eating chocolate continues the Gerund we should have a eating chocolate contest, not a chocolate eating contest. ApisAzuli (talk) 12:12, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed, "eating chocolate contest" sounds more logical, though not grammatical. I suppose whatever syntactic process is responsible for moving the direct object before the participle in "man-eating tiger" also moves it before the gerund in "chocolate eating contest". —Mahāgaja · talk 17:33, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The gerund can be construed in two ways: verbal and nominal. Verbal would be "eating chocolate" and nominal would be "the eating of chocolate". And the latter then can be rephrased as a compound "chocolate eating", e.g. "Excessive chocolate eating is unhealthy." -- The difference is most palpable in the fact that the verbal construction requires an adverb rather than an adjective: "Eating chocolate excessively is unhealthy." 19:43, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Mahagaja: (Edit conflict) Maybe! The de.WP: Gerundium says something similar, suggesting Middle High German had an intrusive d in what looks like it became the zu-Partizip (cp. Fleischfressende Pflanze, verfressene, die zu Fressen(n/d)e?), French contestant didn't come from nothing and *-ands forms nouns in our PGem, although this is difficult to believe with only two entries in the category and reflexes such as let' s be frie-nds, while I got, of course, no intuitive understanding in the Gothic or Norse categories. That *-nt is associated with Caland is confusing too because I was reading a script instructing that we must heed Meißner’s (1998, p.251) warning: “es ist nicht alles „Caland“, was glänzt”, when supposing that There may be a pre-PIE identity between Caland adjectives and participles in *-nt-, but at the earliest stage we can reconstruct with any certainty they are clearly distinct. (John J. Lowe, Caland Adjectives and Participles in Sanskrit and Proto-Indo-European, 23rd UCLA IEC, 28 October 2011), which is of course a flight of fancy though the problem may be real as we don't clearly distinguish PIE *-nt- or *-(o)nts. ApisAzuli (talk) 05:57, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@ the IP: That's fairly interessing but it only shows that Mahāgaja's argument could be misconstrued to say that that's purely a matter of synchronic syntax. If this was intended it goes to show that the dichotomy in the etymology caters primarily to preconcieved notions from grammar school. Didactic reduction is necessary, but it goes ad absurdum when it denies the etymology. Mihai's inquiry is, effectively, asking us to join the sections, and Mahagaja's argument is seeminglui able to support that notion. ApisAzuli (talk) 06:44, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Romanian asexualitate[edit]

@Robbie_SWE: because you might be interested and/or able to help.

It is claimed on Wiktionary that this is a borrowing from English asexuality. This strikes me as odd because both the a- is pronounced differently and so are the endings -ity / -itate. If I had to guess, I'd rather call it a calque. Fytcha (talk) 19:28, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I think "borrowing" covers terms borrowed from the written form as well as the pronounced form of a word. Many borrowings from Latin into English were not directly mediated by a spoken form. The difference in the ending does indicate that more processes than just borrowing are involved.--Urszag (talk) 20:31, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Romanian sexualitate is classified as a borrowing of French sexualité, so there was some adaptation, already by then. Wakuran (talk) 20:37, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
When the entry was created, it was said to be from French asexualité; this was changed to English in 2015. I suspect calling it a "borrowing" was a lax/loose usage of "borrowing"; iff the term is from English, it seems to be a calque (as proposed above), using a- (we lack an entry but ro.Wikt has one) + sexualitate. - -sche (discuss) 21:17, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
To give another point of reference: compare German Performance with German Permakultur. In the case of the former term, German speakers try to retain and imitate the original English pronunciation, whereas in the case of the latter, it is pronounced exactly as a native German compound made up of those parts would be pronounced. To me, this strongly points to the fact that the former is a borrowing whereas the latter is a calque. As Romanian asexualitate also falls in the latter category (being pronounced like a native word; no attempt is made to imitate the donor language's phonology), I'd also classify it as a calque. Fytcha (talk) 03:53, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think we're getting caught up in semantics here – do you define a borrowing as being "language X borrows word A from language Y, but retains spelling and pronunciation"? Cause then we're in big trouble – all our categories beginning with "X terms borrowed from[...]" are wrong then. There's a distinction between words borrowed from a language and loanwords – the latter are never adapted. I see no problem listing asexualitate as borrowed from English or French, but maybe we should add something along the lines of "Borrowed from English asexuality, French asexualité, modelled after heterosexualitate/homosexualitate". Robbie SWE (talk) 08:37, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Robbie_SWE: I think you are right, I was and still am a bit confused about the exact terminology. I simply noticed that Romanian loans of the type of asexualitate (assimilated into the native phonology/morphology) and baseball (imitated) are not differentiated with our current use of {{bor}} which I see as lending to improvement. Mind you I primarily focus on the pronunciation here, the spelling is not so much of concern to me (because that seems to be a conscious choice by human orthographers whereas the phonology is reflective of underlying linguistic processes). According to this chart [5], baseball is a foreign word and asexualitate is a loan rendering. Fytcha (talk) 12:01, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
This problem is hardly exclusive to Romanian. Ideally we would want some way to distinguish between these two kinds of borrowings. — surjection??⟩ 11:42, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@surjection: I found this chart [6] on Wikipedia which is already much more granular than our current templates. I would be strongly in favor of a proposal that granularizes the currently existing borrowing templates and I would replace {{bor}} with them in the languages I know. Fytcha (talk) 12:05, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Meh. I don't think any of those really match this case. It's more of a case where an internationalism coined in one language is copied into another but by using a third, usually classical, language (Latin, Greek, etc.) as a base and treating the word as if it had been a word from that third language. It's closest to "loan word" in that classification but still not quite the same. — surjection??⟩ 12:36, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Are you talking about the ending -itate? It seems as if that is the main spelling for Romanian words inherited from Latin -itās, and not an attempt to make the word look like a learned Latinate form. Wakuran (talk) 19:41, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I was talking more generally. Still, the ending isn't clearly just taken from the English word either, but rather based on how other Latin words are treated, even if the original word didn't exist in Latin but was later built of Latinate elements. — surjection??⟩ 23:38, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Lithuanian gintaras[edit]

Many sources hypothesize a connection to Hungarian gyanta, gyantár, but I'm not sure if this is generally accepted. It does seem to be acknowledged that the Slavic words (e.g., янтарь) are borrowed from Baltic. Would it be fair to just write that in the etymology section and call it a day? I don't know how to proceed here. 20:44, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

What? That a word has been borrowed into another language doesn't clarify the etymology, at all. What do you mean? Wakuran (talk) 21:13, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • I do obviously know that the borrowing of a word from language A into language B says nothing about the further etymology of how language A came to have said word. However, I am not sure whether the hypothesis is that the word was borrowed into Baltic from Finno-Ugric, or vice versa, or both borrowed from a common unknown source. In two of those three scenarios, the connection does say something about the origin of the word. Vasmer thinks the connection with Hungarian is wrong anyway. I was just listing it here in case anyone knew more.
  • Other than the Hungarian connection which every resource on this seems to discuss, there are a bunch of other ideas I've been able to find. One is that it derives from *gínˀtei (whence genys (woodpecker)), another derives it from *gúntei (whence ginti (to protect)). A footnote in "Foundations of Baltic Languages" mentions a hypothesis that it derives from the same PIE root as Norse kynda, relating to fire. I can't find the text of the source ("Bemerkungen zu litauisch giñtaras ‘Bernstein’") online. Then there's an idea claiming it is borrowed from Indo-Aryan via Turkic, which I haven't looked into in detail.
  • There is a dubious connection with Phoenician, which the Slovak entry jantár currently mentions. It was previously included on the Lithuanian entry too, but has since been removed.
  • All in all, there's a lot here, but it seems pretty complicated to summarize. 22:45, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
In SE Baltic, amber is often driven ashore by waves. A connection with ginti (to drive), dzīt (to drive) seems possible. The -ar- suffix however isn't common and is unproductive in modern Latvian, not sure about Lithuanian. Panya kijivu (talk) 19:27, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


The ety at childing goes on into detail about "child", but is this necessary? For this, shouldn't it just refer to the article at child? Also, can ety 1 and ety 2 be merged as "essentially the same word" or do we really need two sections for the different use of the suffix (and if so wouldn't this ety split logically need to be replicated across all relevant "-ing" words, such as uprushing, to give a random example -- it seems overkill). I usually don't mess with ety sections as usually I don't know what I'm doing, so perhaps someone else could assess this one. Mihia (talk) 08:37, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, personally, I'd agree about some trimming. Wakuran (talk) 12:20, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I've trimmed both a bit. Leasnam (talk) 16:51, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Which one is right; this page saying it's from Proto-West Germanic *hwan or the PWG page saying it's from Proto-West Germanic *hwannē? — surjection??⟩ 11:39, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Surjection: If the only attested Old English spellings are hwenne, hwænne, hwonne, then certainly the latter. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:19, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Note that the etymology section for hwænne states, “From Proto-West Germanic *hwannā ”.  --Lambiam 08:36, 15 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

ympäri, ymmärtää[edit]

Would I be correct in assessing that the former adverb/postposition (from Proto-Finnic *ümpärik) and the latter verb (from Proto-Finnic *ümbärtädäk) are both from a noun *ümpäri (draft) that has not survived as an independent noun in any descendants? — surjection??⟩ 17:58, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Where does Southern Altai (alt) belong?[edit]

Our module data places Southern Altai in the Siberian Turkic branch of Turkic. Wikipedia says it belongs to Kipchak, and editors of Proto-Turkic reconstructions agree. What is true? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 11:02, 15 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Seems to be a quite complex issue. [7] Wakuran (talk) 11:40, 15 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Proto-Italic u-stem adjectives?[edit]

Per the entry for "brevis" in Michiel de Vaan's Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages, Proto-Indo-European u-stem adjectives were reformed into i-stem adjectives "in the prehistory of Latin". Unfortunately, the exact dating of the change in declension class is not always clearly indicated, but in the case of some words, such as gravis, he states that the transfer to the i-stem class is not shared with Sabellic and therefore should not be reconstructed back to Proto-Italic.

The entry for brevis gives a list of five other relevant words: dulcis, gravis, mollis, suavis, tenuis.

The forms given by de Vaan (who cites the stem, not the full nominative form) that are specifically labeled as "PIt." are as follows:

  • *mreχ-u(-i-)
  • *dulkwi-
  • *gʷra(w)u-, *gʷrau- (also *gʷrauo-, not explicitly marked as a PIt. form, mentioned in the specific context of discussing the derivation of Oscan bravús);
  • *moldu-(i-)
  • *swādu-, *suādu- ("then" *suādwi-, not explicitly marked as a PIt. form)
  • *tn̥(a)u- ("yielding *tn̥(a)ui- > ten(a)u̯i- > tenuis", none of the intermediate steps explicitly labeled as a PIt. form).

The forms that Wiktionary has in Reconstruction:Proto-Italic are as follows: *breɣʷis, *dulkwis, *gʷrawos, *swādwis, *tenwis. All of these entries cite de Vaan as the sole reference, even though only *dulkwis is an actual match to the form de Vaan labels as PIt.

I first ran across this by noticing that the o-stem form *gʷrawos was listed as the ancestor of the Latin i-stem form gravis, which de Vaan never says is the case. As I read the entry, de Vaan implies a development directly from a PIt. u-stem form to an i-stem form: "As with other PIE u-stem adjectives, PIt. *gʷrau- < PIE *gʷreh₂-u- 'heavy' was remade into an i-stem within Italic. In view of the o-stem O. bravús < *gʷrauo- << *gʷrau-, this development must post-date the split of Sabellic and Latino-Faliscan." While I guess a change from an u-stem to o-stem followed by a change of o-stem to i-stem (as in lenis, viridis, hilaris) is possible, we have no citation indicating that this happened.

Therefore, in the Proto-Italic reconstruction space, I believe *gʷrawos at minimum should be replaced with an u-stem form *gʷrawus or *gʷraus. However, I don't know which is preferable. Also, it looks like we possibly don't have any declension table templates for u-stem adjectives in Proto-Italic.

De Vaan indicates that the following forms also existed as u-stems in Proto-Italic: *swādus, *tən(a)us, and possibly *mreɣus, *moldus (I'm not sure how to intepret his "u(-i-)" notation; given that the entry for brevis also lists the steps "*mreǵʰu-i- > *bregʰu̯i- > brevis", de Vaan does seem to consider the i-stem form to date back to Proto-Italic, so maybe there's no need for us to list a Proto-Italic u-stem declension for that stem).

As far as I know, we don't have a reconstruction space for Proto-Sabellic or Proto-Latino-Faliscan, so I'm not sure whether entries should exist for *gʷrawos or *gʷrawis, or if these forms should simply be noted on the page for Proto-Italic gʷra(w)us as the post-Proto-Italic sources of the descendants Osc. bravús and Lat. gravis. --Urszag (talk) 10:32, 17 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology.

Hello. The currently given source ([8]) does not support the given explanation, which contradicts other sources saying the arabic etymon has the meaning of “chilled” (μουσακάς#Etymology). Grasyop (talk) 10:35, 17 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Well, I now see that مصقعة#Etymology points towards a root meaning simultaneously “to hit, to pound, to freeze” (which are quite different meanings, in my opinion). Grasyop (talk) 10:45, 17 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The Arabic Wikipedia also states that musaq‘a is a corruption of muṣaq‘a, originally so named because the dish is usually served chilled. I find that unconvincing; many dishes are served chilled, and in the sense of having to do something with cold, the root means “freezing”, as in “freeze to death”, and the dish is definitely not served frozen. The Turkish Wikipedia states that the Arabic word means “watered”. I have no idea what might be the basis of that claim, but it is equally semantically implausible.  --Lambiam 07:47, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
FWIW, Watkins's explanation is:
[Greek mousakas and similar forms in other Balkan languages, all ultimately from Turkish musakka, a dish of eggplants and tomatoes braised under a layer of minced meat, from Arabic musaqqā, watered, made to drink (the dish being so called because water or broth is poured over the layer of meat, and the vegetables are braised in the meat broth or juices), passive participle of saqqā, to chill, derived from (iterative or intensive) of Arabic saqā, to water, give to drink; see šqy in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 18:58, 19 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

English flint, Russian плита, Ancient Greek πλίνθος[edit]

Currently the entry flint claims that flint < Proto-Indo-European *splind- (to split) and πλίνθος < Proto-Indo-European *(s)plei- (to split). I am not sure if these are supposed to be the same root or not.

Meanwhile the entry πλίνθος claims that the origin of the Greek term may not be Indo-European at all, and says nothing about potential PIE roots.

Vasmer claims that Russian плита is related to πλίνθος and flint, if not a borrowing from Greek. But the entry on плита instead claims that the ultimate origin of плита and its Slavic cognates is Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂- (thin, flat).

This is all very confusing and inconsistent. From reading the entries, it is not clear which of these words are related to each other, if any, or what the ultimate root(s) are. Maybe that reflects the fact that the etymology is uncertain, but we could at least update the sections to be more consistent about that. 00:39, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

There's no one PIE source that can give all of these. The t of the Germanic word has to go back to a PIE *d; the t of the Slavic word has to go back to *t, and the th of the Greek word (if it's IE at all) has to go back to *. Also, the Slavic word doesn't have a nasal in (the Russian reflexes of the nasalized vowels are я and у. So if these are indeed all from the same PIE root *(s)pley-, it would have to have different extensions, *pli-n-d- in Germanic, *pley-t- in Slavic, and *pli-n-dʰ- in Greek. This situation isn't actually particularly unlikely, but it does make claims of relatedness a little more difficult. On the other hand, the ending -νθος is prototypical of non-IE loanwords in Greek, which is probably why our entry assumes that πλίνθος is non-IE. —Mahāgaja · talk 06:52, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The current claim that Russian плита (plita) and Proto-Slavic *plita come from Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁-, on the other hand, does seem unlikely, as there's no way to get the vocalism to work. PIE *eh₁ gave Proto-Slavic , not *i. —Mahāgaja · talk 06:55, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The primary meaning of πλίνθος (plínthos), a block-shaped brick, makes derivation from a root meaning “to split” somewhat implausible. If pressed to suggest a PIE root, I’d say that *pleh₁- (to fill) seems more plausible. However, also then, -ινθ- remains unexplained.  --Lambiam 07:08, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the responses. Does the etymology flint < Proto-Germanic *flintaz < PIE *splind- seem plausible at least? 07:42, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
It would have to be from PIE *plind-, but if the root has an s-mobile that's not a problem. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:33, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Lambiam: that has the same problem as getting Russian плита (plita) from *pleh₁-: there's no way to get the vowel from that root. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:37, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
(I think you mean *pleh₂-.) As I wrote, this fanciful theory leaves the larger part, -ινθ-, which includes the vowel, unexplained. If an explanation is found, like from an as of yet undiscovered PIE suffix *-índʰ- :), it might also explain the vowel.  --Lambiam 16:02, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Lambiam: You're the one who wrote, "If pressed to suggest a PIE root, I’d say that *pleh₁- (to fill) seems more plausible", but in fact there's no way to get i vocalism from either *pleh₁- (to fill) or *pleh₂- (flat), so they're both out. Even a suffix like *-índʰ- probably wouldn't get us πλίνθος (plínthos) because of the laryngeals: *pl̥Híndʰos would probably give *παλίνθος (*palínthos), not πλίνθος (plínthos). —Mahāgaja · talk 17:04, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Given the magical properties of flintstone, a comparison to Blitz (flash) and light is in order. There must be a reason why some rock is deemed blind. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:26, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, Mahāgaja, for the deconstruction of this backlog. There are just bare Indo-European etymologies in Latin, Greek, Russian entries coming from sources predating the laryngeal theory, IP, and hence wrong ones. Especially those with claimed s mobile are often suspicious. Correspondingly there is often the situation that no better has been proposed since then either and newer sources just repeat the old ones without admitting that they are middling. Considerations of foreign origins on the other hand are way too seldom.
I have the suspicion that Ancient Greek πλίνθος (plínthos) is an Iranian or rather Anatolian borrowing equalling Classical Syriac ܦܠܙܐ(plezzā), based on the Greek meaning of “an ingot of metal”; a Near Eastern wanderword, with various etymologies suggested at Old Georgian პილენძი (ṗilenʒi) (a “Semitic” ultimate derivation is baseless, strike that). Fay Freak (talk) 16:24, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Words spread along with technologies. Latin tegula ("roof tile") spread to give us Hungarian tégla ("brick"), Latvian ķieģelis ("brick", via Low German), Turkish tuğla ("brick"), Finnish tiili ("brick"), Portuguese tijolo ("brick"), English tile and so on.
Asserting Proto-Slavic or older origins of плита would mean that the other half of Europe had knowledge of bricks/similar technology all along but for some reason (taboo?) refused to use them. That would require extraordinary evidence. In absence thereof, I'd rather assume Byzantine Greek borrowing. Panya kijivu (talk) 19:34, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I don’t understand your formulated reasoning but indeed Boryś, Wiesław (2005), “płyta”, in Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego (in Polish), Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, →ISBN, page 447b says that the East Slavic term, from the Ukrainian vocalism of which the Polish has been borrowed, is “likely a borrowing from Ancient Greek πλίνθος (plínthos), although a cognate relation has been afforded”. This does not exclude the word having been present in Proto-Slavic though; so Melnychuk, O. S., editor (1982–2012), “пли́та́”, in Етимологічний словник української мови [Etymological Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language] (in Ukrainian), Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, page IV explicitly assumes псл. *plita but likewise a borrowing from the Greek (which is feminine!). Fay Freak (talk) 19:58, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
For context, I know bare words which are only retained in East Slavic and mainly Great Russian but still presumably were Proto-Slavic: мизги́рь (mizgírʹ), по́лба (pólba), белу́га (belúga) (against *vyzъ). @Voltaigne: Ukrainian word please ❣️ Fay Freak (talk) 20:14, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Those are natural entities that can, ahem, reproduce themselves; while technology needs to be practiced by someone for its terms to stay in use. I doubt continuity of *plita simply because I have no idea what (be it natural or artificial thing) the word could have meant in the era of wooden architecture.
Словарь древнерусского языка (XI-XIV вв.) [Dictionary of the Old Russian Language (11th - 14th centuries] has плита, плифа and пленфъ. It is of course possible and even likely that the sound changes were caused by gravitation towards existing similar word(s); four variants(counting плинта as well) is a lot for a short word. Panya kijivu (talk) 22:35, 19 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Panya kijivu: (Edit conflict) you are wrong on two things. Older origins would only mean that the word may have meant whatever, maybe to bake if not brick, when you already pressupose that there was an opportunity for borrowings among Slavs. Second, if archaeological sites are typed by architecture, you might just miss a slav one that built a house of bread, because you'd think it had to be Roman of sorts. (PS: I don't know either what it wood have meant in the woulden era, but suppose "chunk, hunk" can mean just about anything).
More over, you shouldn't confuse a single brick for a brick building, which requires more knowledge than the firing of clay they surely possessed (PS: though palace comes to mind). Wood was far cheaper in central Europe than in the Levant. If perkunos, ygdrasil, druids and truth are anything to go by, they had a thing going for wood in north europe. It requires no incentive for a cobbler to stick to his lasts. Brick maybe does offer an advantage, but that's a very good reason to keep it secret.
You cannot justly disclaim a claim as extraordinary in favor of a claim like your own that is no less extraordinary (unexplained loss of n, unless I am missing something).
@Fay Freak: and what about परशु, πέλεκυς and potentially 𒁄 (pilaqqu,pilaqqu), or (equivalently, I say), पर्शु--PIE *pérḱus is oddly reminicent of PIE *perkʷ-, PBS *perunъ ("lightning") in view of my previous comment, and without Sanskrit or Greek cognates to deny it.
@Mahagaja: Any reconstruction without cognates is formally inadmissable, you have just denied the cognates, and no internal reconstruction to support the pre-Proto-Germanic root.
The mind boggles. Given OHG 'flis' I say cp. Fliese. Dwds.de/wb/[9] slightly disagrees: 17th century, from Low German, equivalent to OHG flins (9. century), MHG, MLG vlins ‘Kiesel, harter Stein, Fels’ [rubbel, hard stone, rock]. MLG vlīse ‘Steinplatte’ [stone platter], ON flīs schwed. flis(a) ‘Splitter, Stück’' [splinter, piece] after loss of n before Spirans and compensatory lengthening of the uouuel. Fliese goes, all said, back to a nasalized dental extension of *(s)plei-, q. v. spleißen ‘spalten’ [to split, cleave]. This is one of the mentioned pre-Laryngeal-Theory sources, so I am notnsure what to make of the following, cf. spleißen ... dental enlargement to PIE *(s)plei- ‘spalten, abspalten, spleißen’, itself an extension of *(s)p(h)el- ‘spalten, abspalten, absplittern, abreißen’. I do have to note that *G and *bh hardening before laryngeals is (or was) hypothetical (cf. Fredrik Otto Lindeman - Introduction to the “Laryngeal Theory”, ca. §70-80). I'd disagree as well, but I have no 2¢, only bills payable. ApisAzuli (talk) 01:10, 20 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Panya kijivu: Congratulations, you proven the non-existence of the Proto-Slavic with the variants. However notably Vasmer already noted down the variants and thereby claimed a later Greek borrowing in Vasmer, Max (1909) Греко-славянскіе этюды. III. Греческія заимствованія въ русскомъ языкѣ (Сборникъ Отдѣленія русскаго языка и словесности Императорской Академіи наукъ; LXXXVI, № 1)‎[10] (in Russian), Saint Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, page 152, following Matzenauer, Antonín (1870) Cizí slova ve slovanských řečech [Foreign words in Slavic languages] (in Czech), Brno: Matica Moravská, page 403, in contrast with his allegations of difficulty of a Greek borrowing in his later etymological dictionary. Preobraženskij, A. G. (1910–1914), “плита́”, in Etimologičeskij slovarʹ russkovo jazyka [Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language] (in Russian), volume II, Moscow: Tipografija G. Lissnera i D. Sovko, page 75 also saw a variant and hence assumed a borrowing. Matzenauer gives the correct development already: A quadrilateral column foot of hewn stone on the ground is where one made fire, so the “brick” talk is misleading. Fay Freak (talk) 03:18, 20 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Descendants of βροτός?[edit]

Today I learned that English 'ambrosia' comes, via Latin, from Ancient Greek ἄμβροτος, the negation of βροτός, mortal–I hadn't realized that the gods' consumable conferred immortality. Anyway, are there any descendants of βροτός itself in Latin or its offspring, or in English?–PaulTanenbaum (talk) 11:43, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know a Latin continuation from Gr. brotos, sorry, just a few remarks.
It's not said that it "conferred" immortality to anyone. Gods are simply 'undying', I reckon; cp. Götterspeise (literally godly) or see kleos amphiton/sravas aksitam being the most famous example of an 'undying' formular (in funerary contexts).
The etymology looks folk, and thus relevant to my interests. On the one hand I'd rather compare Ampfer (see there, perhaps from *amros) to the plant Ambrosia; see also Mohrrübe, Möhre for a well known wanderword / substrate hypothesis of a similar root (pun not intended).
Root beets are difficult to reconcile with the semantics of the Greek word on the other hand (unless refering to paleo diet, ancient and traditional?) especially given the entry's image of a creme desert. Note *mel- (*mer- through Rhotacism in some instances) and *(s)mer- ("to grind, crush"), PGem *smerwą (from *smer- (“anoint”)) in comparison to *gʰer- (“to rub”, creme, Christos ("the annointed, Messias")). No less difficult is the (funerary) cake hypothesis recalled at pyramid in contrast to an Egyptian root mr. Funerary cakes seem to be a recurrent theme also in Anatolia and the near east, to say the least. I always have to think of Crème Brûlée, which I've seen made from ayran in Turkish restaurants, pressumed traditional.
Long story short, it has to be far from certain. Why would a Latin continuation from Greek matter at all? ApisAzuli (talk) 09:10, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
On a presumably unrelated note: see Romanian mormânt, Aromanian murmintu and Sardinian morimentu really inheritable from monumentum. This seems rather unlikely. What does Sardinian have in common with Romanian? ApisAzuli (talk) 12:57, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • PS: See AGr. brosis ("food") in *gʷerh₃- (to swallow, devour, eat), cognate L. voro. Is this koinkidink or what would the initial element be?
  • As regards βροτός, given the note that it "behaves as if it begins in a single consonant", and given the sonorant *mr̥tós I have looked at aborior to find that the semantics match *mer- very well, better the standing etymology. ApisAzuli (talk) 22:57, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    PIE *mr̥tós gave rise to both μορτός (mortós) and βροτός (brotós), where I imagine the development of the latter form was βροτός < μβροτός < μροτός. Perhaps μορτός is the oldest form, with μροτός < μορτός by metathesis. Is it possible that the Homeric Greek poet who composed the Odyssey used the form μορτός with its simple onset, but that the scribes who wrote the verses down “corrected” a form unknown to them, replacing it by a familiar one?  --Lambiam 08:28, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The entry says that in the line mentioned, "εἴπῃσι βροτῶν must be scanned long—long–short–short—long"; switching in μορτῶν would result in the incorrect scansion long-long-short-long-long. Short scansion, even if not what would "ordinarily" occur, is not unknown before βρ in Homer, as part of the general phenomenon of short scansion being possible before some types of obstruent+liquid clusters in some positions.--Urszag (talk) 08:41, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Eye dialect spelling of il. or Contraction of il.

Is this "y" a different one than the one whose etymology is described on Parler savoyard ?

Pronom neutre hérité du latin via le francoprovençal qui connaît trois genres : masculin, féminin et neutre.

--Espoo (talk) 17:37, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It seems that the Eye Dialect y is used in the nominative case, and the Savoyard y in the accusative case, if I interpret it correctly. I guess the etymology might still be related, however. Wakuran (talk) 18:19, 21 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think the Canadian French usage is simply a contraction. Other pronouns are similarly contracted in the nominative case. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:24, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


The root is usually glossed "to bend". I can't imagine the apparatus needed to justify this interpretation, and I have no interest in investigations into a Rube-Goldberg contraption. This is relevant for onomastics, eg. Champagne and Rome.

TL;DR: The evidence looks rather poor, kh₂m-ér-e-ti is unmotivated, not necessary for *kameros, and wholy incompatible with κμέλεθρον. These remind distantly of turn, rota, fold or the like. The ostensible root-extension *-p- is unexplained and it alternates with non-IE *b (see also *(s)kh₂emb-, scampi according to Pokorny). Half the derivations look like possibly loaned from one another, especially καμπή (winding, such as of a river). Indeed I heared it said that a certain river bend in Rome was the place where troops assembled, and I think it was implied that semantic drift gave rise to the meaning field [by the river]. Although river bends were a favourite spot for the errection of settlements and buildings, in general, a huge variety of terms can be expected as for knee or Haff (viz. hav as explained for one hypothesis towards Habsburg, cf. de.WP).

Given the uncertainty of Kapuze (hood), cappa (cloak), escape (sounds like folk etymology), etc., I came to wonder if German Umhang (cloak) (cf. um, also Vorhang (curtain)) could be taken to speculate that *kh₂m was informed by *h₂m̥bʰi. There are at least two problems. First, neither Latin ambi- (“both”), Ancient Greek ἀμφί (amphí, “around, about”), Sanskrit अभि (abhi, “against, about”) match the comparanda synchronically. Second, the velar would remain unexplained and if **h₂m- could be isolated, the derivation of *h₂m̥bʰi might require a convergent alternative. The velar seems reminiscent of a certain prefix, mostly from a Latin and Germanic perspective. We'd expect PGem *huam-, *hum-, -(b/f)- (cp. *humpaz (“hip, height”), from Proto-Indo-European *kumb- (“curved”), cf. hump, but see also humpeln (to limp), hampeln (to act out), also (he)r-um-hampeln, umher hampeln; cp. perhaps OHG hamf (mutilated, lame) with Pokorny from *kamp-, *kam-? [apud Köhler], but see also Kampf, Kämpfer from campus, thus 'veteran', besides Hänfling).

Albeit idle speculation, I don't expect new solutions to those problems, what with an internal derivation for *kóm and comparisons to *G-, or that Kloekhorst gives Lycian Xñtawa "to rule" and other words for kingship from *Henti- (as though "front, forehead" > "head, king", if I remember correctly; cf. the semantics of *hansō) but *Hems- for ḫaššuš ("king") and no comparison to Hatuša, where nobody has considered *tewH- to date as far as I know.

The pertinent questions: Am I wholy mistaken and the etymology is as certain as the ultimately terse wording pretends? Or is there room for doubt, as has been said that the truth is likely to remain obscure in etymology (unless you got a time machine lying around)? And what does this mean for the user, should it be a given that wikipedia is a good first address but never the final word? I mean, there are many people who have, seemingly, elected to take any outflow of the theory for granted, and I fail to see the difference with editors and scholars, sometimes. Certainly there are scholars with new and old ideas around. What more can be said about campus? ApisAzuli (talk) 15:36, 22 October 2021 (UTC) Edited ApisAzuli (talk) 15:36, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology where the Greek derivation is concerned. Sure, you can find older one-off etymologies out there to support this, but this is not a consensus derivation. Seems like a dated attempt to tie -iscus to Greek despite the fact the way the suffix is used in Latin is clearly inconsistent with how it's used in Greek, which forms diminutive nouns, not adjectives meaning "of, relating to, similar to, like". Also, this is Late Latin. Latin usage matches Germanic usage exactly. Leasnam (talk) 15:58, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Schelde, Scheldt, Scaldis[edit]

Does anybody have reliable information about the etymology? The view suggested at Scaldis that they are all descendants from Latin, rather than the word having been borrowed into Latin, does not seem very plausible. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:26, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The name was likely borrowed into Latin, but from which language? Ancient Belgian? Not unlikely, but we do not know anything with certainty about the language spoken by the Belgae. And the Belgae may simply have borrowed the name from pre-Celtic Europeans. The Franks that later resettled in Gallia Belgica and became the dominant force as the Roman Empire lost its grip, such as Chlodio who held the lands around the upper Scheldt and is believed to be an ancestor of the Merovingian dynasty, were Romanized; they may have spoken the early Gallo-Romance of the local Picardians, and even if they still spoke Frankish among themselves they may well have adopted Romance names inherited from the names used by the Romans.  --Lambiam 19:45, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
If it's about the river, according to Scheldt it's a Germanic word related to shoal and shallow, so something like "shallow water". Wakuran (talk) 13:06, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The Dutch Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek (Early Middle Dutch Dictionary) has: “possibly < Celtic skaldis”.[11] I think the reference Top.Wbk. is to: Maurits Gysseling (1960), Toponymisch woordenboek van België, Nederland, Luxemburg, Noord-Frankrijk en West-Duitsland (vóór 1226). However, a Celtic origin is not entirely compatible with the Nordwestblock theory espoused by Gysseling. Unfortunately, GBS affords no preview.  --Lambiam 06:19, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


WP’s picture of choice for the mytho­lo­gi­cal crea­tu­re.

Does lamium have anything to do with lamia? I had dilletantishly assumed it was somehow related to labia > Labiatae, until I saw the article here.

Bonus question: Both ‘m’ and ‘b’ occur together in what might be the root of Lambiam. Does that have anything to do with it? 😀 ◅ SebastianHelm (talk) 17:35, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Aye, I also dilettantishly used to think it so, but even with lamia there is still the connection of maneating lips. The corolla of the plant resemble Λάμια. After all her name was also transferred to a fish
(and an owl only according to L&S, not TLL, giving for this sense Isaiah 34:14, where the Hebrew bears לִילִית‎, the identification “owl” of which is baseless for Biblical Hebrew, it is the demon which is in Akkadian lilū, lilītu, a Sumerian loanword left for @Sartma to create, I reference CAL for convenience).
The macron seems baseless even without the etymology, since the plant-name is only attested in Pliny’s Natural History, in antiquity’s remnants. Fay Freak (talk) 20:29, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
What macron? I see none other than the two in “lilū, lilītu”, but what do these have to do with either the etymology of the terms in question or with Pliny?
As for the resemblance, I find the resemblance between a mermaid and a seal more convincing. Yes, most Labiatae can be seen as resembling lips, but there's so much more to Lamia than just her lips. ◅ SebastianHelm (talk) 01:27, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The word is given with a macron on the a (lāmĭum) in the two dictionaries that we cite. Fay Freak edited to remove this after making the above note about the apparent lack of evidence for a long vowel (neither dictionary explains itself). I find Wiktionary's practice to use unmarked letters for short vowels in Latin a bit annoying, given how many obscure words have entries here: it makes it difficult to explicitly indicate uncertain vowels (macron-breves like ā̆, aside from looking awkward, can be interpreted as "short and long pronunciations are both known to have existed" rather than "it is unknown whether a short or long pronunciation existed").--Urszag (talk) 02:16, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the explanation; that answers at least that one question. What you write about unmarked letters for short vowels sounds very reasonable; the way you prefer certainly has the advantage that we would only mark what we know – a clear, self evident logic. Why is the current practice different – has there been a conscious decision of the community about that? ◅ SebastianHelm (talk) 15:53, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@SebastianHelm: Well, from WT:About Latin the concensus is derived from common dictionary practices. I don't know of a concensus how to mark uncertain vowels, but I don't see that there's a need (here) because the premise rests on a false dichotomy. Vowels are automatically "short", ie. unmarked, unless otherwise indicated. So, if the uncertainty does not warrant a long vowel, it is automatically unmarked. Usage notes may be applied tacitly, if there be need.
From what I found out about Greek (voted 2015) there is precedent: "to make the removal of macrons and/or breves by a human or a bot (for any reason other than that the information concerning vowel quantity conveyed by those macrons and/or breves be false or uninferrable) a bad edit." I have no opinion on the removed macron but I thought it deserves mention. ApisAzuli (talk) 20:30, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Treating vowels of unknown length as “automatically short” is just a convention. It may make sense to follow that convention in certain restricted circumstances, such as when a modern Latin speaker who uses a reconstructed pronunciation system needs to say a word with unknown vowel lengths. But the same convention is clearly inappropriate in other circumstances: e.g. for someone who is discussing or researching the etymology of a word, the difference between “short vowel length” and “unknown vowel length” is significant, and it’s not helpful to conflate them.
Certainly, usage notes can be used to add information not shown in the transcription. But is it convenient to use usage notes as the sole means of marking uncertain vowel lengths? I think it is fairly inconvenient, and appears to not be working very well in practice, given the large number of entries for obscure proper nouns that currently lack any notes.--Urszag (talk) 23:31, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The first point you make is not restricted to modern Latin speakers, so there's a slippery sloap and you would possibly mark up some breves that should be uncertain, too, catch-22. ApisAzuli (talk) 13:04, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Isn't the newly added etymology for lamium a bit fanciful, even when looked at asquint?  --Lambiam 12:42, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Well, yeah. Looking asquint at anything could produce fanciful results, expecially when your brain is equally half-functioning due to lack of rest or various substances. Wakuran (talk) 13:05, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Since there are no sources, I would revert it, at least as long as there still are unanswered questions about that personal fancy. But I know too little about either the topic or the etiquette here to interfere with experienced editors. ◅ SebastianHelm (talk) 15:53, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@SebastianHelm: No, you just can’t read, again. A reference was added, how could it be otherwise, into the reference section into the same edit which added the etymology; which is according to the etiquette here: that footnotes are not always given, in opposition to Wikipedia you come from. What you call personal fancy is communis opinio, another mistake of you: to take over fanciful classifications of other people to be in the group, which was cheap. It’s only my formulation that has been quirky, the gist is the comparison of the lamia creature, of which you don’t know much how it looked, to the plant. Fay Freak (talk) 17:03, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I have no access to that source. Elsewhere I find: The name Lamium was used by ancient Romans and is derived from the Greek lamia, a kind of flatfish, in reference to the flowers resembling the throat of that fish.[12] I wonder what they were smoking – the question is which for which sense of polysemous lamia these ancient Romans fancied a resemblance, but I doubt is was with the fierceful gullet of the turbot. Another source has this: Old Pliny probably had the myth of the child-eating wraith on his mind when he described a flower with pouched petals that resembled a gullet (lamium).[13] That is more like it, but note the not entirely meaningless modality qualification “probably”. Gaffiot glosses Latin lamia as a vampire bugbear, not specifically a witch. LSJ has lower-case λάμια as “a fierce shark”.  --Lambiam 14:24, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
But you man see that it is a bare common view. @Akletos has made it misleading again by writing as though the link was particular to Ernout/Meillet. In my writing I intentionally did not even specify which sense of lamia was at play, but the idea of exterior similarity was mentioned—now it has become POV, trying to stress how dodgy the etymologies are, even though the unclearness largely be an effect of us not even knowing the exact pictures Romans had in mind of lamiae either. Fay Freak (talk) 15:08, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
A “common” view is not necessarily a correct view. It is unlikely, to say the least, that Pliny invented a name for the plant; he simply used the name by which it was already commonly known, possibly for many centuries, even before the inception of Rome’s Graecophilia. We can only guess at its etymology. Any relation between that name and that of some wraith or beast known as lamia, be it mythological or ichthyological, is purely speculative.  --Lambiam 06:54, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology.

An IP posted a comment at Category talk:English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰewh₂- pointing out that this and down refer to "Proto-Celtic *dūnom (stronghold, rampart), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰuHnom (enclosure), from *dʰewh₂- (to finish, come full circle)", so should not be in the same category as those from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewh₂- (dust; smoke, haze). The "finish, come full circle" root was added in this 2015 edit by @GuitarDudeness to down and copied to dune by @Inqilābī a couple of years ago. I just noticed that this was discussed a few years back at Reconstruction talk:Proto-Celtic/dūnom, but inconclusively. @Mahagaja: any suggestions on what to do with the category and the etymologies on those two entries? Chuck Entz (talk) 18:05, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

English town is said to come from from Proto-Indo-European *dewh₂- (to finish, come full circle). I doubt that dune and town are cognates.  --Lambiam 13:20, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I doubt that as well, but Zaun is linked to town, too, and we see placenames like (Corn)wall, (Heiligen) Wall (maybe not cognate, but see Wall (mound, rampart)) and I heard it said that Angeln was protected by a rampart. We also have Burg and Berg connected in that sense, perhaps Wehr and *wers-, etc. etc. And there is a specious descendent"to conceal, hide" as well. I only doubt that these can be explained from the root mist, smoke or fog, but note the conspicious comparison of *wers- (mountain) and *gwer- (to rise), if I got that correct. Sand dune on the other hand is a specialized term and I wonder what it would have meant in Old High German, where there none. The descendents "*tuna, duna" can't be right for all I know. The root "to finish" is rather reminiscent of done did, *dheh1-, possibly from locative *dhe-. What I really don't get is down feathers. Suppose it is a loan from well endowed due to Hally Hansen's anoraks. ApisAzuli (talk) 14:58, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The wall in Cornwall comes from Old English wealh (foreign) (compare walnut). Leasnam (talk) 15:46, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Let me put it this way. It seems somewhat unlikely that there are two different PIE roots, *dʰewh₂- and *dewh₂-, that both happen to mean “to finish, come full circle” – a sense currently not given at either entry.  --Lambiam 07:01, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

if'n#Etymology 2[edit]

Any possibility that this originated as if even? That's what I always thought it was, anyway. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:06, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I've certainly read "even <condition>" where I'd absolutely expect "even if" and always dismissed it as mistake. Online I can't tell well if those were scotch or else, say, Indian English. ApisAzuli (talk) 11:08, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the second part after "an alternative theory". I just added the first part which I found in the Duden [14]. Grimm also brings forward this theory though narrates it in less detail (the part with Schiff meaning Gefäß/Nachtgeschirr is missing). The second theory raised suspicion with me however; it has been added by @Sarefo in 2005 (!) and has been left untouched since. --Fytcha (talk) 19:34, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

While we're at it, how can I properly refer to the Grimm dictionary on Wiktionary? Fytcha (talk) 19:38, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Fytcha: {{R:Grimm}}. Just search Category:langname reference templates and in the search function Template:anything to find any reference template. Fay Freak (talk) 20:13, 24 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

References without citation[edit]

From a previous topic I became aware that Wiktionary apparently uses the term “references” differently from the way it is used in academics. There, to quote Reference#Scholarship, “A reference section contains only those works indeed cited in the main text of a work.” Here, by contrast, it appears accepted that so-called “References” sections are used without accompanying citation – rather like what commonly is called a “bibliographical” section. Deviating from the standard might be motivated by the fact that “entries” here tend to be shorter than articles elsewhere. Another argument may be that references are already very rare here (it took me 63 clicks on "Random entry" until I found one that even has a “References” section.) so that people rather have something resembling a reference than nothing at all. But since it is hardly more work to insert a reference with a citation (the editor even has a dedicated button for that!) these arguments can't outweigh the cost of deviating from a tried and proven standard. So, is that really how Wiktionary uses the term “references” – and why? ◅ SebastianHelm (talk) 12:27, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

In some ill-defined sense we are "supposed to" use References for explicit citations and Further reading for supporting information not explicitly cited. Most editors don't do that. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 12:57, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I don’t really distinguish “references” and “further reading”, as you might have seen, others don’t understand the difference either. These sections are only the remnants of a larger number of sections: like, before, we had “external links”, and that got voted away. Sometimes they are just combined so we do not have a section for but one entry (which is noisy and impedes reading through the actual content).
You can’t really compare to a larger scholarly treatise having a “main text”, as we don’t even have that much text in an entry; you see that. We do not generally “insert a reference with a citation”, as you call it, because what we say anywhere does not really depend on whether somebody said it in his reference work. Therefore most entries have no references whatsoever because editors add a word when they had encountered it in use, not because it was in references, they emphasize being a secondary source and the use-mention distinction (different from German Wiktionary); from the primary material itself then the etymology is judged—it may or may not exactly correspond to the content of a reference (w:WP:SYNTHESIS has no equivalent here, if two references say A and B we may opt for C). As Lambiam said above “a ‘common’ view is not necessarily a correct view” so the grounds why something may be correct we strive to make discernible. It works, unlike many contentious Wikipedia topics, because for language one does not need too much unusual reason to reach unanimity. Fay Freak (talk) 13:37, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Would Sanskrit राजति (rājati) be from Proto-Indo-European *h₃réǵeti? It seems fitting. I know the Sanskrit verb ultimately derives from the PIE root *h₃reǵ- but I'm curious as to whether the Sanskrit verb comes from the specific PIE verb I mentioned.

Thanks, Prahlad balaji (talk) 19:41, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It can't come directly from *h₃réǵeti because of the long ā in the first syllable. (The direct descendant of *h₃réǵeti would be rájati with a short a.) It's probably been influenced by राजन् (rājan) or some other form with ā. —Mahāgaja · talk 20:16, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]