Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2022/January

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← December 2021 · January 2022 · February 2022 → · (current)


The current etymology given for honeymoon is a pretty straight-forward analysis as honey + moon, as the nice (honey-sweet) time shortly after the wedding. However, I happened upon Norwegian hjon and cognates in other North-Germanic languages meaning 'married couple'. Therefore, I'd like to propose that the first element of the compound is this word, perhaps later reshapped through folk etymology to honey.

To give some caveats: I haven't looked if there are any sources supporting this etymology, nor do the Norwegian (and cognate) words currently have a etymology, at least on English Wiktionary. However, the current etymology for honeymoon doesn't seem to cite sources either.

(BTW, happy new year!) AntiquatedMan (talk) 14:28, 1 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hmm, hjon might not necessarily refer to a married couple, but it could also mean family member or servant. Norwegian has the archaic words hjonelag and hjonskap for "marriage", however. Similar phrasings as "honeymoon" in the Romance and Slavic languages seem to be ultimately derived from English, which wouldn't in itself disprove the hypothesis of a folk etymology. Then, if it was a true etymology, you would be expecting some Old Norse word like *hjónamánaðr, where it doesn't seem to be an attested compound. [1] Wakuran (talk) 15:48, 1 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Or, for the etymology to feel safer, I'd like to see either a similar Old Norse compound, or proof that hjón was borrowed into English with a similar meaning before the compound honeymoon. (According to Etymonline, "honey" as "darling" is attested from the mid-14th c. and "honeymoon" from the 1540s. [2] ) Wakuran (talk) 16:04, 1 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The first element has a parallel in German Low German Hönnigweken (honeymoon, literally honey-weeks). The first and second element can easily be compared with Middle Low German suckermānt (honeymoon, literally sugar-month). Has it ever occurred to anyone to check English's most closest relatives first for similar formations ? I am often shocked when I so readily find etymological counterparts for various mystery English words in Old Saxon/Middle Low German Leasnam (talk) 05:30, 5 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I do honestly doubt this molasses etymology and refer you to Heirat and Hochzeit, noting that heyday seems to be a by-sense of honeymoon, and that the etymology of hoch is sketchy. See also high-light. On the other hand, honey is to honour what cherry is to cher, namely obvious folk-etymology, or imitative. Or a mystery as you say. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:44, 15 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

ó thuaidh[edit]

Irish ó thuaidh (northwards) and ó dheas (southwards) go back to Old Irish fa-thúaith, sa-thúaith and fa-dess, sa-dess (cf. Thurneysen, Rudolf (1940, reprinted 2003)D. A. Binchy and Osborn Bergin, transl., A Grammar of Old Irish, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, →ISBN, § 483 and Gregory Toner, Maire Ní Mhaonaigh, Sharon Arbuthnot, Dagmar Wodtko, Maire-Luise Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “dess”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language ⁊ also “túaid, thúaid”). So it’s pretty clear that the fa- forms took over and then lost the initial f-.

But where does this fa-, sa- come from? My guess would be that they must be the same element as s- in forms like modern siar, OIr. síar (westwards) or suas, OIr. súas (upwards), etc. (And then I’d expect it to continue older form in *su̯-s(a)- being the non-lenited variant and fa- being the lenited one).

But this fa- also seems to be fo (under, towards), fo- (cf. Gregory Toner, Maire Ní Mhaonaigh, Sharon Arbuthnot, Dagmar Wodtko, Maire-Luise Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “1 fo, fa, fá”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language: “(b) of direction towards, into, through”).

fo (under, towards) is derived from *upo (> *uɸo > Prim.Ir. *u̯o > fo) which doesn’t give any reason for s- to be there… So – am I right in thinking that Proto-Celtic could have had a variant form *su(ɸ)o (cf. Latin sub and maybe Greek ὑπό (hupó)?) that yielded the s- prefix in the adverbs with root in a vowel (s-úas, s-ís, s-air, s-íar) and the sa- variants in north/south directions? (Also – would that be IE s-mobile showing up?) // Silmeth @talk 17:08, 1 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I suspect the s forms come from the same s in so (this), sin (that), sund (here), etc. —Mahāgaja · talk 10:02, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Mahagaja: I asked prof. David Stifter on Twitter about it too, and he answered that he believes fa-dess etc. are fo dess, fo thúaith with fo (under, towards), but he also thinks sa-dess, sa-thúaid are just rare Middle Irish forms influenced by síar, sair, etc. (since there are just a few citations of them in eDIL, and all of them from texts from the LL manuscript). He has no idea for the etymology of s- in síar, etc.
As for sin (that) – isn’t that *sindosin and sin being doublets like English that and the (and similar story with sund and so)? Do you mean that somehow in the directional adverbs the s- has been transferred from demonstratives? // Silmeth @talk 12:21, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, that's what I meant. It's just an idea, though; I'm not arguing in favor of it. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:35, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

put one's foot in one's mouth[edit]

Are these the best we can find? --Espoo (talk) 21:59, 1 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

In the uses given as precursors, it is invariably “the bishop” who is to blame, with variants like “the bishop has blessed it” (Tyndale) and “a bishop in the pan”.[3] I find it implausible that such a salient aspect as a bishop would vanish from the scene just like that and do not agree with the judgement that this clerical disappearance act is “only natural”.[4] Also, the evil bishop did not commit a blunder, but spoilt the broth or whatever he put his foot in, usually by burning it. That is semantically quite different. So I think the (obsolete) idiom “the bishop put his foot in (something)” is not a precursor of the current “put one’s foot in it”. In some late 19th-century uses of the latter idiom, the meaning is “commit a white-collar crime” (and get caught).[5][6] I see many 19th-century uses in which the phrase has a literal meaning: a crime has been committed, a mud footprint has been found and preserved, a suspect is brought to court and, in their role as defendant, is asked by the court to put their foot in it,[7][8][9][10]i[11] something they cannot legally be compelled to do. Could this be the source of the idiom? In a column in an 1873 issue of the Melbourne Punch the metaphor is first “explained” by the “it” in which one should not put one’s foot being a “moral hole”, but then proceeds by regaling the reader with three colossal gaffes.[12] Many 19th-century uses are about gaffes, which makes the jump to “put one’s foot in one’s mouth” with the same meaning more likely.  --Lambiam 12:32, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Bishops have been used in other salacious phrasings, as well, in Britain. Famously, "Said the actress to the bishop". Wakuran (talk) 14:12, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We have an entry for the variant “as the actress said to the bishop”. The salacity is not in this phrasing itself, but it colours that which the actress is alleged to have said. The gaffes of foot-in-mouth disease are mostly not salacious at all. If the origin story (“based on real events“) on Wikipedia is true, the bishop was a real (Anglican) bishop.  --Lambiam 00:40, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Proto-Brythonic *saɣeθ[edit]

I noticed that *saɣeθ is described as a 'parallel borrowing' to Old Irish saiget. Is there something incompatible about the two, such that they cannot both be derived from a Proto-Celtic borrowing from Latin sagitta? Nicodene (talk) 05:41, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The /d/ of the Old Irish is troubling, as there's no straightforward way to get it from Latin tt. It seems to have come from a *sagita with degemination, while the Brythonic is definitely from sagitta with tt. Otherwise, probably the main reason we don't generally say that Latin words found in both Goidelic and Brythonic go back to a Proto-Celtic borrowing from Latin is the fact that some sound changes affect Latin loanwords differently from Proto-Celtic words, showing that they didn't enter Celtic languages until certain post-PC changes had already happened. For example, Latin *ū becomes Proto-Brythonic *ʉ, but PC *ū becomes PBr *i, so loanwords with *ū have to have been borrowed later than PC. More relevantly to this word, PC *s before a vowel becomes PBr *h, but Latin s before a vowel stays s, so if sagitta had been borrowed into PC, the Welsh result would be *haeth rather than saeth. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:55, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I see- thank you for the explanation. I'd underestimated the age of Proto-Celtic.
Edit: Should the entry wīnom be corrected, then- or is that a sufficiently old borrowing? Nicodene (talk) 22:54, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The fact that it's also in Lepontic makes it seem more likely to be Proto-Celtic, but of course there's no way to prove it wasn't borrowed separately into Goidelic, Brythonic, and Lepontic. —Mahāgaja · talk 23:09, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Reference templates across languages[edit]

I have cited Snoj's Slovenian Etymological dictionary to complement the etymology of a Macedonian term, namely скуша (skuša). Seeing that a reference template had been created for use on Slovenian entries, I adopted it as such. Should I create a Macedonian version, starting with "R:mk" rather than "R:sl", or is the language code inside reference templates insignificant? Martin123xyz (talk) 15:37, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

IMO, if the work referenced is about Slovenian, then it should just be called "Template:R:sl:whatever". Just because you can use it in the etymology sections of other languages doesn't change the fact that the work itself is about Slovenian. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:17, 2 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
+. I have nothing to add to what Mahāgaja said, it is fairly obvious. The language codes in the titles of reference templates were not for restricting your use of them. Fay Freak (talk) 16:38, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


This is very probably derived from a Central Asian language, but I'm not sure which. This article says the English term is borrowed via Russian, which sounds plausible enough, but Vasmer doesn't have an entry for "цокор" nor does Russian Wiktionary. 07:02, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

There are similar words in Ukrainian, Polish and Hungarian, I see. [13], [14], [15]. Wakuran (talk) 13:50, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
According to attestation dates and my experience with these things, namely the case of polatouche, and compare also the spread of Russian вы́хухоль (výxuxolʹ) and desman, I judge that this has come to English from Polish via French, search le zokor whereby you find zoology books. The French had less problems orthographically to take over the Polish form, which was zokor, easier to find than cokor, but you should corroborate our entry by giving the English IPA pronunciation. Fay Freak (talk) 16:53, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That borrowing pathway makes sense given the orthography. I still suspect the ultimate source must have been a non-IE Central Asian language, since the creature's native range is China, Kazakhstan, and Siberian Russia (unless there's a Slavic root, which feels doubtful to me).
Regarding pronunciation, I would (as someone with no specialized knowledge) say it like "zoh-core", basically the same as Merriam-Webster gives, \ ˈzōˌkȯr \, so I guess the first vowel is [o] or [oʊ] rather than [ɔ]. 23:09, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm, Merriam-Webster claims "native name in the Altai mountains", which isn't particularly specific. I still think that the borrowing westward might have originated through Russian, though. Wakuran (talk) 00:46, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think we must have gotten the spelling through German mediation, since English speakers would never transliterate ц as ⟨z⟩ without outside interference. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:54, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
English words starting with ts- or tz- are rather rare, overall. I have trouble coming up with more common examples than tsar or tsunami. (Possibly the form czar is through Polish.) Wakuran (talk) 15:27, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I might have spoken too soon. It seems the Polish spelling is car, and Poles use cz- for another sound. Wakuran (talk) 15:30, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Apparently the spelling ⟨czar⟩ was first used in Latin, in Notes on Muscovite Affairs (1549) and was adapted into English from there (see w:Notes on Muscovite Affairs § Tsar vs Czar for details). —Mahāgaja · talk 16:02, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Anyway, which Central Asian languages would include a native voiceless alveolar affricate, to begin with? It seems as if many of the languages in the area only includes it as a borrowed phoneme for Russian loanwords. Wakuran (talk) 16:32, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don’t know, but it is still from Turkic or Mongolic, from the Mongolic word for “blind” that presents itself as Standard Mongolian сохор (sokhor). So explicitly in a 1980 issue of Советская тюркология the relevant snippet of which is in these two previews, which could mean a shrewd German calqued it to name it Blindmull. A 1992 book Звери и птицы Сибири claims an origin in a Buryat соохор зумбараан (sooxor zumbaraan, literally spotted suslik) which seems odd. Fay Freak (talk) 21:15, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm, strange then, that the Russian word would gain an affricate, but alright... Wakuran (talk) 21:41, 4 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Fay Freak: The Polish form cokor is cited from a 2015 publication that introduced a lot of new terminology to Polish zoology (eg. changing foka szara into szarytka morska, a term that hadn’t existed in Polish before, for grey seal; or introducing kawia as a new word for guinea pig, instead of commonly used świnka morska, see [16] (in Polish)). I can’t find either cokor or zokor in Wielki Słownik Języka Polskiego nor in PWN dictionaries or the encyclopedia. I don’t think Polish is a source language here, cokor seems to be a recent loan-word introduced in specialist publication in 2015. Zokor might have appeared earlier in some Polish texts (as a cited foreign name), but I don’t think it had ever been an established Polish word.
Before this publication Polish Wikipedia used the Latin term for this animal, this was changed in 2015 in this edit. Giving Polish as a source of the borrowing here looks like nonsense to me. // Silmeth @talk 00:00, 5 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well I had a 1868 quote for Polish using it as a naturalized word at multiple places. That was even easier to find than an English 19th-century quote. In the same decade, a dictionary used it as a defining term for ślepiec. It was probably known in Polish but rarely talked about or not in corpora now well OCRed. Even more “non-sensically” we find cokor in the Upper Sorbian (!!!) dictionary of 1865. Of course Bogoslav Šulek wanted zokor in Croatian.
It may be a transcription of one of the now many translingual names that borrowed the species epithet from Russian; this is difficult to tell as long as Wikispecies has not covered the synonyms of that subfamily. The point stands though that French zoology books knew it in the 18th century already. Then it can be Russian → directly French → directly English, if we don’t artificially assume that French took it from Russian directly while English from taxonomy directly. Although then we still lack the missing links in English literature (or zoological learning). And though to get to Russia from France back in the day one likely had to pass Poland and its fauna was easier to access for study. Fay Freak (talk) 00:50, 5 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I have not mentioned that Dal’s dictionary contains for some reason зокор (zokor) without stress mark but not цокор (cokor). But this зокоръ (zokor) I see only in his dictionary and Russian←→French dictionaries while others have цокоръ (cokor) around the same time. How come? Fay Freak (talk) 01:22, 5 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Comparing Zuckerberg and jakal I'd say it's Turkic through Persian Arabic and Turkish into Russian as for собака, which would explain rarer by-forms through different roots and the altaic forms possibly from Russian, see further Aleut sabaakax. Indeed, the zokor looks like the Schweinehund or a beefy guineapig (named for their noses?). ApisAzuli (talk) 08:08, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I made Russian цо́кор (cókor) with references. Apparently the word was acquired from the local Mongolic and Turkic languages by the Russian dialects of Siberia and was then spread to Europe. I suggest explaining the non-etymological ц- (c-), which is not found in the Russian dialects, by a scholarly retransliteration from German Zokor. --Vahag (talk) 14:15, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

This is all barmy of course. I wouldn’t have dared to suppose that the standard Russian form for a Siberian animal is Germanized. But your theory also means that the German Zokor had a spelling pronunciation, after having been transcribed in a scholarly fashion from зокор (zokor) towards this shape in place of Sokor which also exists, or was assumed to have one when being taken over in literary Russian, which also means the Standard Russian is “twice-borrowed”. Fay Freak (talk) 17:01, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Upon further digging I see the word was first used in German-Russian Pallas's Latin-language works as zokor, who usually uses an inconsistent approximate German orthography for transcribing local names, for example Armenian խնձոր (xnjor) becomes chansoer. Russian botanists must have transcribed this attestation into Cyrillic according to German orthography. Vahag (talk) 18:56, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This 1907 Russian dictionary (use US proxy to view) references zoologists including Pallas for the form цокоръ, whereas for зокоръ it references Dal'. Everything points to цокор (cokor) being a ghost form created by scholars. Vahag (talk) 19:36, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Can we say that ‹Z› would then be a failed attempt to render /s/ in place of standard initial ‹s› /z/? ApisAzuli (talk) 20:21, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It was an attempt to render either a /s/ or a /z/. Vahag (talk) 21:16, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology - particularly, is the hypothesis being from pre-Roman substrate (< PIE *bʰars-) any more sure than other hypotheses ? The Link to Pensado, José Luis; Messner, Dieter (2003), “boroa” is coming up "Not Found" for me. Leasnam (talk) 14:24, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Timelinewise, 13th century seems a little late for a substrate word to appear. Leasnam (talk) 14:37, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This century and work is when most words appear, according to our Galician etymologies. Fay Freak (talk) 14:58, 3 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I assume that is because prior to the 13th c. Galician was actually 'Latin' ? I see your point, but this word was never attested in the Late Latin of the area/region, as would be assumed ? Leasnam (talk) 05:01, 5 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I had some serious considerations about this, possibly indicating Greek πυρός as the plosive is intervocalic in pan de boroa; or alternatively that de-boroa became rebracketed, which didn't get me very far because I confuse *dubnos vel sim. for "dark" (cf. Danube, there's a cognate in *-ros).
Now I just really want to know if blow (powder cocaine) is from this. ApisAzuli (talk) 20:23, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

grané or gravé?[edit]

I have started a thread on the etymology of English gravy at Talk:gravy § grané or gravé?. I found the “accepted” etymology suspicious, and discovered that I am not alone. Suggestions on how to fix this are welcome.  --Lambiam 12:39, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know much about linguistics so this is just my opinion, but:
on the one hand, I can definitely see how the letter 'n' could be mistaken for a 'u', (whether handwritten or typeset, these two letters can look pretty similar) yet,
on the other hand, seems completely implausible given the fact that this is gravy we're talking about. Language is generally passed down through speech, not through books. If it was some really obscure word then I can definitely see how it could happen, but this is a common food item, not a piece of arcane knowledge or a one-time occurrence. Obviously if everybody (including well-educated chefs) has always called it "grane", then you don't just switch over to "grave" after seeing it spelled that way in a book. Rather, you assume that the book is wrong. Most people back then probably wouldn't even have been reading books anyway, and cooking itself was a thing passed down from master to apprentice orally.
As for how to fix it, for now maybe change "apparently a misspelling" to "possibly a misspelling"? 14:45, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


The entry for English angiotenic has a

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Well, it's not hard to decompose the word as a classical compound. Indeed, we show French angioténique as

angio- +‎ Ancient Greek τείνω (teínō, to stretch).

So it's (at least intuitively) obvious that there's some borrowing going on here, and WT:ET encourages us to indicate occurrences of borrowing. But I have no idea in which direction this borrowing happened.

So I have questions at distinct levels:

  1. (etymology) Is angiotenic borrowed, and if so, is it borrowed from French?
  2. (Wiktionary policy, or perhaps style) Is it acceptable in such a situation to provide only the details of the classical compound? Using angiotenic as an example, to my own mind, although it would be of some interest (if only from the perspective of the history of pathology) to know whether the compound was first created in some other language, the main thing I'd want to know is the meanings and origins of the constituent pieces from which it was compounded.

PaulTanenbaum (talk) 13:33, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Ideally, we should find out which language the word was first coined in, but if that's not feasible, then including only the classical roots (like the French etymology section does) is acceptable. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:22, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The term was coined (written with a hyphen, in the collocation fièvre angio-ténique) by Philippe Pinel in the first volume of his monography Nosographie philosophique, published in the year VI (Gregorian year 1797).[17]  --Lambiam 15:54, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Excellent! Thanks so much. PaulTanenbaum (talk) 16:28, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

English babble and Babel[edit]

Two points concerning the unlisted folk etymology:

1.) The somewhat lengthy etymology section on the babble page concludes with the simple assertion "Unrelated to Babel". This is true, but shouldn't the folk etymology at least be noted? Here's just one example: in the margin of the 1609 Douay Old Testament there is a note at Genesis 11:9 on the word "Babel", ":: He that speaketh so confusedly that he is not understood is said to babble" (p. 44 https://archive.org/details/holiebiblefaithf00mart_0/page/44/mode/2up ).

2.) On the Babel page, it lists the General American pronunciation as /ˈbæb.l̩/, which is the same as the word "babble". Clearly this is influenced by the folk etymology, which I think should probably be noted. But besides that, I am an American and I've heard it pronounced both ways. Some people say /ˈbæb.l̩/ and others say /ˈbeɪ.bl̩/ (I myself usually go with the latter). So I think the pronunciation section is a bit incomplete as well. 14:20, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Well, the thing about this is, that the English verb babble (to chatter, waffle on) is attested since around 1250 (in the Ancrene Riwle: To babelinde & to spekefule ancren. - "To babbling and speechful hermits"). Personally, I think it's purely coincidence that the two terms seem alike, and that a misconnection was made a long time ago in error by someone who really didn't have access to all pieces of the puzzle (it reminds me of how some Christian leaders like to tie the name of Easter to ancient Ishtar). Also, I feel the pronunciation of the biblical term, at least where the pronunciation /ˈbæb.l̩/ is concerned, appears to have been influenced by the verb/noun babble as you pointed out (for contrast, compare Abel - no one ever refers to him as /ˈæb.l̩/). However, if babble meant "to speak in an unknown language or a language different to one's own" or "to confuse" (e.g. He babbled them all.) then I could see more direct influence from Babel > babble. Some senses of babble come close...but those senses were likely there to begin with without the need for influence from Babel so it's difficult to say for sure. Leasnam (talk) 16:19, 6 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There's quite a bunch of similar imitative words among Indo-European languages, as well. If you smack your lips and wiggle your tongue, some uttering like "buhluhblub" comes more or less naturally. I guess there could be some indirect connection with the Semitic root also being imitative, but it doesn't seem to be a common theory. Wakuran (talk) 02:41, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, blah blah blah is one example of that. Leasnam (talk) 15:04, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Probably also Ancient Greek βάρβαρος (bárbaros). If so, we might want to think about whether the listed cognates should be listed as definitely cognates. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:34, 9 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Schläfli symbol[edit]

Isn't this rather a calque of German Schläfli-Symbol? I fail to find the original publication which would settle the question. — Fytcha T | L | C 〉 02:22, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Schläfli did not use this term. It may have been introduced by Coxeter, who used the term in: Coxeter, H. S. M. (1930), “The Polytopes with Regular-Prismatic Vertex Figures”, in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London[18], series A, volume 229, pages 329–425.  --Lambiam 12:03, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Etruscan and Carthage[edit]

Etruscan *𐌂𐌀𐌓𐌈𐌀𐌆𐌀 (*carθaza) as shown here is extrapolated from a 6th century BCE tessera hospitalis fragment that begins "Mi Puinel Carθazie..." (I am Puinel the Carthaginian...) Nevermind that this definitely isn't from Greek Καρχηδών (Karkhēdṓn) and that archaic Latin Carthada is closer phonetically to the Phoenician, is /t/ > z /ts/ before /i/ a productive part of Etruscan declension? If so, *Carθata seems like a potential shared borrowing with or from early Latin, though very likely not into it. airy—zero (talk) 03:55, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology.

@Indigenouswikicom has been causing module errors by switching etymologies and Descendants sections to make things borrowed from Javanese instead of being inherited or borrowed from Malay, but not updating pages that use {{desctree}} to link to the Descendants sections they've removed. Although the number of such changes to etymologies by a new user makes me nervous, I haven't reverted them so far, since I don't know that much about the history of the languages in the area. In this case, however, I have trouble believing that Indonesian would borrow such a basic part of the core Austronesian inherited vocabulary from another language, especially since I would expect the outcome of inheritance to be identical with the Javanese. Not to mention that it basically guts the Descendants section for Proto-Malayic *laŋit.

Also pinging @Austronesier. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:34, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Chuck Entz Hello, thank you for your concern. First of all, I would like to explain that eventhough Indonesian language was initially a form of Malay language, it doesn't mean all of the terminology in Indonesian is originally from Malay language. The Malay language itself historically is a newly formed language emerged around 18th century inherited from the Old Malay language (a language spoken in Sumatra) that highly influenced by the Old Javanese, that's why the Old Malay itself is unintelligble by the modern-day Malay speakers but intelligible by the Javanese speakers. Indonesian language contained such significant linguistic elements from another native languages mainly the Javanese, Sundanese, Betawi, etc. You can also search "the oldest language in Southeast Asia" and the Old Javanese would popped-up as the top result. The Old Javanese (and later transformed as Javanese) is unrefutably play significant roles in shaping the Austronesian languages itself (and undeniably the Javanese itself is the most spoken Austronesian language), that's why I'm trying to give my contribution right here to fix the right terminology trees in some terms.
Furthermore, if you're asking about the source of "laṅit" term in Old Javanese, you can see it here http://sealang.net/ojed/. Thanks.
P.S.: You can also search and do your own research regarding to this Indonesian linguistic matter, here I could give you one of the references about the Javanese language influence in forming "Indonesian" itself: "Javanese influence on Indonesian". (Indigenouswikicom (talk) 07:04, 7 January 2022 (UTC))[reply]
The recent "fix" of the etymology of langit is completely off the mark. This word belongs to the dominant Malay layer of Indonesian vocabulary, cognates of it are found in all Malayic sister languages (including languages like Iban and Kendayan which display little signs of borrowing from Javanese) and thus goes back to Proto-Malayic, and obviously is inherited from Proto-Austronesian. The Javanese word is simply a cognate, the perfect phonetic match can be explained by the respective phonological histories of Malay and Javanese.
Also not quite correct are unfortunately many of the explanations given by @Indigenouswikicom. (Classical) Malay did not develop in the 18th century, but has been extensively documented since the 16th century. It evolved directly from inscriptional Old Malay (or an ancient Malayic variety closely related to the latter). Old Malay is as intelligible, or rather unintellligible, to Malay speakers as it is to Javanese speakers. Further, Old Javanese is not "the oldest language in Southeast Asia" (whatever that means; by attestation, this title would go to the Cham language). It did not "play [a] significant role in shaping the Austronesian languages itself" except for being a source of regionally confined (Java, Bali, southern Borneo) borrowings, and some recent borrowings into modern Indonesian, especially colloquial Indonesian. Contemporary demographics should not be projected back to the ancient past, to do so is a fallacy. The impact of Malay as source language for widespread borrowing reaching all the way to the Philippines and the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago is definitely much more significant. There has been significant back-and-forth borrowing between Malay and Javanese, but it has gone both ways.
So please @Indigenouswikicom: get familiar first with the basics of historical linguistics in general and specifically Austronesian historical linguistics, before concocting new etymologies, or - even worse - replacing established etymologies reflecting more than 100 years of solid scholarship. As introductory reading I suggest The Austronesian Languages by the great Bob Blust, who passed away two days ago. For the question of Javanese influence on Indonesian, the book by Soepomo Poedjosoedarmo is indeed a very good source. But it should be consulted literally, and not taken as inspiration for wild speculations.
I will restore the correct and established etymology. –Austronesier (talk) 09:03, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"Proto" is only reconstructed form of the languages through the sinilar sounding, Proto form can't and shouldn't come before the attested linguistic form, because the so-called "Protos" are only hypothetical and theorized (which means didn't based on factual attestation). Old Malay has been attested having high borrowing linguistic elements from Old Javanese. Furthermore, Old Javanese indeed "the oldest language in Southeast Asia" (reference: "Introduction to Old Javanese Language and Literature"), the Cham language itself are influenced by the Old Javanese language due to the historical ties between Java and Indochina. And by the way, Old Javanese (and later transformed as Javanese) play significant roles in shaping Indonesian language as what I mentioned before, Indonesian language contains high Javanesic elements than Malayic elements, because Indonesian is the developed language apart from Malay language itself.
And since you mentioned about the Phillipines, the oldest inscription found in Philippines are surprisingly using Old Javanese language and even written in Old Javanese script. Malay influence came to Philippines after the ancient (and even classical) Javanese civilization settled there. And even, the Kedayan people in Borneo as what you mentioned above are also originally from Java.
Furthermore, all what I mentioned above can be attested through reviews or even a simple google search. So before you called my contributions as "wild speculations", you'd better understand your words first. (Indigenouswikicom (talk) 09:18, 7 January 2022 (UTC))[reply]
Who says that the Kendayan originate from Java? And no, the Laguna Copperplate Inscription is basically written in Old Malay, with some Old Javanese elements. Factoids collected from Google searches don't really strengthen your point.
Anyway, some more reading matter:
  • Wolff, John U. (2010). Proto-Austronesian Phonology with Glossary. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications.
  • Adelaar, K. Alexander (1992). Proto-Malayic: The Reconstruction of its Phonology and Parts of its Lexicon and Morphology. Pacific Linguistics, Series C, no. 119. Canberra: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, the Australian National University.
And since you reject the use of reconstructions and thus implicitly the w:Comparative Method, also:
  • Campbell, Lyle (2004). Historical Linguistics: An Introduction (2nd ed.). Cambridge: The MIT Press.
The Austronesian word for 'sky' is attested from Madagascar to Hawaii, and from Taiwan to the Tanimbar Islands. Malay and Javanese langit each show regular sound correspondences with other Austronesian languages, which allows to reconstruct Proto-Austronesian *laŋiC. Nothing in the attested history of Indonesian/Malay suggests that this word is borrowed from Javanese.
@Wiktionarian89, Xbypass, GinormousBuildings
Austronesier (talk) 11:09, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
PS for all those not familiar with the details of comparative Austronesian linguistics: the proposed "etymology" is equivalent to saying that German Nase comes from Latin nasus. –Austronesier (talk) 11:34, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
First of all, bringing "Kendayan" to these discussion is so unrelated and silly, because Kendayan are sub-group of Dayak people, not Malay people. And the oldest inscription found in Philippines (Laguna Copperplate Inscription) is irrefutably using Old Javanese language, I'm an indigenous who could read the native scripts, and I could guarantee that inscription clearly using Old Javanese script.
And by the way, please watch your words especially your dictions before you talk to someone, because I'm not some type of idiot that could be easily manipulated.
And for your information, there is no such thing as "Austronesian" language in reality, it's only the hypothetical reconstruction linguistic family form based on the region (mainly Indonesian region).
And again, I'm only doing my contribution only based on my scope, which is mainly about the Western indonesian family languages. And in Indonesian language itself, the term "langit" undeniably attested originally from Javanese which is inherited from Old Javanese. So if you're trying to bring Hawai'i into these matter, I guess it is not so related at all, eventhough those terms might be cognate to each other. My edit contributions mainly trying to give information based on factual reality that can be attested not the delutional/hypothetical/theorized terms that can't even be proved. (Indigenouswikicom (talk) 14:45, 7 January 2022 (UTC))[reply]
I don't know anything about the particulars of this case, but the fact that a word is attested in one language prior to another does not always imply that the latter was borrowed from the former, especially when there are other plausible explanations (in this case, inheritance from a common ancestor word which is widely found across Austronesian-speaking lands). 14:55, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You shouldn't confuse people with language. The Kendayans, despite ethnically being part of the Bidayuh (Land Dayak) people due to their shared customs and religious beliefs, their language falls under Malayic sub-branch of Austronesian language family, and the classification is based on phonological evidence. Wiktionarian89 (talk) 06:56, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed, "Proto" is only reconstructed form of the languages through the similar sounding, Proto form can't and shouldn't come before the attested linguistic form, because the so-called "Protos" are only hypothetical and theorized (which means didn't based on factual attestation). However, it does not means that these Protos are random thing.
In this matter, both Old Malay and Old Javanese attested the "langit" thing. The problem arise when you interpret it as loanword from Old Javanese to Old Malay. Do you have any evidence that "langit" is a loanword from Old Javanese to Old Malay?
The usage of Kawi script did not imply that the language used in the text is Old Javanese. Transliteration is not a recent innovation in human world. In the Laguna Copperplate Inscription case, I would rest it on Old Malay with large influence of Old Javanese (and Sanskrit of course), as the translation had been done by Antoon Postma. Xbypass (talk) 15:45, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, this proposed edit sounds unlikely to happen as Indonesian "separation" from Malay is quite young (1928~1945). The borrowing from Javanese is more unlikely than inheritance from Malay. Xbypass (talk) 15:30, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Chuck Entz: They have changed the etymology of two more words in the same untenable manner: ular and nasi (in the latter case even changing the etymology of the English lemma!) This needs to stop, especially given their self-admitted disregard of the Comparative Method. –Austronesier (talk) 15:01, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I've given them a namespace block for now so they can't edit any etymologies or reconstructions for a few months. I may make it sitewide and permanent depending on how the discussions work out. Etymologies have to be based on evidence and modern scholarship, not on general impressions about whose language is "older". They obviously haven't actually read and understood the article they linked to about the influence of Javanese on Indonesian- the whole theoretical framework it's based on is in complete disagreement with theirs. I wouldn't presume to correct them on the details of the Javanese language, since I don't know much about it. For the same reason, they shouldn't correct others on the details of etymologies, since they know basically nothing about how etymologies work. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:23, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Chuck Entz Thank you for handling this (and also for bringing this issue to wider attention in the first place)! I will restore the commonly accepted etymologies and leave their non-etymological contributions intact, since they appear mostly unproblematic (I cannot say much about all those categories they have created/moved). –Austronesier (talk) 20:03, 7 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

with a grain of salt[edit]

The etymology implies that it was taken directly from a common Latin expression, but that is clearly not the case; as the Wikipedia article on this phrase claims in contrast:

The phrase cum grano salis ("with a grain of salt") is not what Pliny wrote. It is constructed according to the grammar of modern European languages rather than Classical Latin. Pliny's actual words were addito salis grano ("after having added a grain of salt").

This seems valid. But then what exactly then is the origin of the idiom, and how did it make its way into modern European languages? Was it calqued by scholars directly from Pliny's words, or is there some other, longer history to it? — 02:14, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

GBS gives several uses of the Latin idiom cum grano salis from the 1530s: [19], [20], [21]. Since by then Pliny's Natural History had seen several printed editions and was widely read by scholars, the theory that the origin can be found there is certainly not impossible. Pliny uses the phrase addito salis grano not figuratively but in its literal sense as part of a recipe,[22] the same way he uses addito in several other recipes: to indicate the addition of ingredients in the mix of ingredients as a step in a preparation (e.g., addito sale, thymo, aceto mulso (“adding salt, thyme, honeyed-wine vinegar”[23]). That makes Pliny’s adverbial phrase less suited in a context where the metaphor of a prescription is missing, which may explain why – if Pliny is indeed the OG of the phrase – it saw a modified return in the Renaissance.  --Lambiam 15:58, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Here is a use probably from the 1440s (apparently Bernardino of Siena wrote these sermons near the end of his life). I'm not sure if I could tell you exactly what is going on in that sentence thanks to the abbreviations, but it doesn't appear to be a literal grain of salt. OF course, this edition is from centuries later and it's possible that an editor added it. This, that and the other (talk) 03:32, 9 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Sermons 32-45, of which this is sermon 39, comprise the work that was published separately as (Tractatus) de contractibus et usuris (On contracts and usury), which according to WorldCat appeared in print in 1474 or before. Since many copies are extant, a later interpolation seems unlikely.  --Lambiam 20:48, 9 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


This is currently our most wanted Latin entry; it's linked from lots of etymologies of words for cherry. However, it seems to be unattested. It's mentioned in TLL only in the context of Romance derivations; no uses or mentions are given (although TLL goes up to the 6th century only). TLFi mentions a use by Anthimus, but the two editions linked from the Wikipedia article both settle on "cerasia" and relegate "ceresia" to a footnote: [24] [25]. We could create this entry in the Reconstruction namespace, but who's to say the path from cerasium to ceresia wasn't via *cerasia rather than *ceresium? I'm not sure what to do here. This, that and the other (talk) 02:52, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Could it be a textual variant that appears in some manuscripts but not others? The apparatus criticus on the Google Books page you linked does contain "ceresia", implying it is attested, although I don't know enough about Latin grammar to tell if that's a plural of "ceresium" or singular feminine. 03:49, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
In my opinion we don't need those terms (reconstructed *cerasia and *ceresium) as entries unless there is some descendant that has to go back specifically to one of them. AFAICT, this is not the case, cause ceresia is enough to explain all the later cherry-words, and I would eliminate ceresium entirely from our etymology sections. The intermediate steps between cerasium und ceresia are on the one hand too trivial and on the other hand too uncertain to warrant their own entries. We don't reconstruct *pira, ae f either. Of course, if one of them is indeed attested it should be included. Akletos (talk) 12:47, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I have created it with another quote which contains the lemma form. The Anthimos occurrence(s) should be added to cerasium with {{var}}, not cerasia, since due to the parallel or accumulative structure it must be the plural of a neuter, no feminine singular. Fay Freak (talk) 18:26, 8 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Heh yes in case my original post wasn't clear, "cer(a/e)sia" in Anthimus is clearly the plural of "cer(a/e)sium". Thanks for finding the quote and creating the entry! This, that and the other (talk) 05:43, 9 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Etymology 1, (relating to the common noun uses of fuse) is:

Borrowed from Italian fuso and French fusée, from Latin fūsus (spindle).

However, the uses seem very different from those words, rather than borrowed. But they are very similar to English fusee#Etymology_2, which says it is

From French fusée, ultimately from Latin fūsus (spindle).

I'm not clear whether fuse was initially just an alternative spelling of fusee#Etymology_2 or what.

There is no Etymology for fuze. Fuse and fuze have similar but not identical meanings. AFAIK, the usage notes are correct, ie fuze is used to mean detonator worldwide, but for all other meanings, the US writes fuze and the rest, even Canada, write fuse.

And meanwhile, fuzee is listed as a variant spelling of the two etymological variants of fusee. Since fusee and fuzee appear archaic -- in a quick check, present usage only seems to refer to historical muskets and clocks (though in the latter case, a few were still being manufactured to special order 40 yrs ago and perhaps more recently) it may be that they have never been used in the sense of detonator, so may truly be merely alternative spellings.

Please would someone with a clearer head than mine, sort it out. Thanks --Enginear 02:45, 10 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I think fuze is a spelling variant of fuse, like tyre next to tire. The word fuse is monosyllabic, so it cannot be an alternative spelling of bisyllabic fusee. I very much doubt that monosyllabic fuse was borrowed from strongly bisyllabic French fusée.  --Lambiam 11:42, 10 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for this (and thanks to User:Twice Nothing, who seems to have written below, then reverted my additions to fuze and disappeared). That made me suspicious, but I checked books.google and there is indeed nothing using fuze for anything other than detonator, except limited use in ancient publications (IDNK that Encyclopedia Britannica was explaining such things as how to load and fire cannons in 1782!) where I would liken it to the long slow-burning wire beloved of cartoons, which I think should be fuse. But since I'm unsure of where one def morphs into the other, I now agree with TN, rather than with 'pedia, which thinks fuze can be used for all types of fuse. Someone with knowledge of 200 yr old munitions can add the burning wire sense back if they want. There's certainly no mention re any of the more modern definitions.
Thanks for commenting that variant spellings can't change numbers of syllables. It felt wrong to me too, but knowing much less linguistics than I would like, I was unsure.
So, melding what you and TN have said, I've:
In fuse Etym1
  • changed Etym1 to: From Italian fuso and French fusée, from Latin fūsus (spindle)." [removed the word Borrowed and changed the first field bor to der' in Italian fuso]
  • In Noun #1: Removed #: Synonym: fuze (US) [as per TN and books.google -- any such usage was borderline and was a long time ago]
  • Added: Verb # To furnish with or install a fuse (see Usage notes for noun above) (previously incorrectly at Etym2)
In fuse Etym2
  • Deleted Verb #3 (moved to Etym 1 -- see above)
In fuze
  • Added etymology: Variant spelling of fuse used to differentiate senses, see Usage note
In fusee
  • Noted Pronunciation section was above Etymology 1. I'd not seen that done before, but there is a logic (all 3 Etyms are pronounced the same) so I left it. If it breaks something, I'm sure it won't be the only one, and someone will put a bot onto them.
  • Etym1: Left etym unchanged: it is "From French fusil. Doublet of fusil."
In fuzee
  • Another slight variant on normal layout, but seemed sensible so left it: there is no Etymology section, but the two Noun #s are "Alternative form of fusee" for two different Etyms of fusee
Please let me know if any of this is problematic. --Enginear 02:48, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"... but for all other meanings, the US writes fuze and the rest, even Canada, write fuse." I don't contest the jargon use, which I wouldn't have had occasion to run across, and is well-attested besides; but as a native speaker of American English, I have never seen the spelling "fuze" in professional text. It is, I think, sufficiently marginal not to be noteworthy. —Twice Nothing (talk) 19:13, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think the circuit breaker fuse belongs with fuse², from fundo "melt", on account of German Schmelzsicherung (how to translate this better than fuse-fuse) and the fact that fuze describes it as such.
Beyond that I am well confused by confounding factors, really weired, but have to disagree with Lambi. Spelling pronounciation is not ruled out, eye-dialect for disambiguation at least imaginable. ApisAzuli (talk) 23:45, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry -- somehow I missed this when I read everything through earlier today. I was in two minds, but L convinced me .. so now I'm back in two minds! Part of my acceptance of his thinking was that I can't think of any examples which counter their view. Even in the silly ones, eg UK Army WWI use of Wipers for Ypres, doesn't change the number of syllables. So if there are cases which change it, they are rare. But whenever someone tells me never or can't my engineering, or is that anarchic, mind always tries to test their rule.
There is, occasionally a change of pronunciation when a word is shortened, eg the c in miscellaneous > misc, or occasionally a change of spelling, as in refrigerator > fridge, presumably to avoid a change in pronunciation, and I think there's a case which has slipped my mind at present, where an obviously foreign word which is pronounced in a non-English way when in full, resulting in the g being hard when we would have it soft, or vice versa, and has a vowel added before the g in the abbreviation, so that it can follow the English rule, similarly to the added consonant in fridge.
I mention those apparently off-topic items because I do know one case where a 2-syllable English word is borrowed from a 3-syl Greek word: Εἰρήνη > Irene -- but with normal transliteration there is no change of spelling (except in the 1st syl, perhaps) so it is not, strictly speaking, an alternative spelling. I am guessing that the exception testing the rule will be one where there is a change of spelling, but even so, that has been insufficient to get the average English-speaker to use the correct number of syllables. Off-topic again, Queen's repeated use of a soft g for guillotine in Killer Queen has always irritated me. But this week I found out that that was the original English pronunciation -- I can't imagine why, unless the French too used to pronounce it that way. According to 'pedia, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin pronounced his name with a hard g, but whether they have any evidence for that, or merely assumed it would be the same as it is now pronounced, IDK.
I agree about electrical fuses. I'll move that while I'm in the mood ... along with most of the Derived terms. "The fact that fuze describes it as such" was a false friend -- it only said that because I put it there when I expanded the entry, and I only did that because it was easier, and there is also some similarity to fuse#Etym1, and without good reason, I saw no need to challenge the original categorisation, when I was running late and didn't have time to check with OED! So now TN has reverted it, the evidence of my laziness has gone, and Schmelzsicherung tips the balance. Thanks. TBH, I notice that quite often in Wikt. Probably the defs were added before the Etym's and someone thinks "I'm not going to add a Noun section to this Etym just for one def". Though in fact, pasting a copy then deleting all the other senses is pretty quick. I've not done it with translations before though. Hopefully I won't break anything. --Enginear 05:07, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Irene is apparently via French where the final -e would get silent, anyway, so it's not a particularly good example. Wakuran (talk) 10:45, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed; I saw that, but I still haven't found a less-bad example, and anyway I thought, if variant spellings never change numbers of syllables in English, why should they in French? Though without knowing Greek > French transliteration, I suspected Irène still had no change in spelling, so I didn't bother to go there. --Enginear 05:34, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If the name was borrowed before the pronunciation of the final e disappeared, it would. Wakuran (talk) 10:48, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The Online Etymology Dictionary writes, without giving a source or further evidence: “Meaning "device that breaks an electrical circuit" is first recorded 1884, so named for its shape, but erroneously attributed to fuse (v.) because it melts.[26] I cannot find this 1884 use, but in a patent for a “fuse block” awarded to Edison in 1890 but already applied for in 1885, we can read that said invention relates to: “fusible safety-catches ... in which the fusible wire is placed in an enclosing shell or chamber”.[27] Figure 7 seen in an article from 1887 belies the idea that fuses had a spindle-like shape. An 1882 patent – earlier than Edison’s – for a “thermostatic cut-out for electric lighting systems”, uses the term fuse as a verb: “The fusible alloy may be made to fuse at any degree of heat, but is preferable made to fuse at from 110 to 150 Fahrenheit.”.[28] In an 1883 article, the device is called a “fusible plug”.[29] Thus, there is strong historical evidence that the Online Etymology Dictionary is mistaken and the name of the device does stem from the verb.  --Lambiam 11:36, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, that's very interesting, and I agree is strong evidence.
The 1885/90 fusible safety-catch is actually a lightning arrester -- if you Google it for Images you will find that present ones look much the same, except that they now have more flanges. But it's a very useful cite as it has fuse#Verb meaning "To melt away leaving a gap in the circuit" rather than "to melt together", so that gives a peg to hang the Noun on. From an engineering PoV, it is also interesting because, dealing with a huge voltage (lightning), Edison places the fusible foil inside a tube, just as high rupture capacity (HRC) fuses are today -- you won't find new rewirable fuses for mains voltage, as there were 50 years ago; they're all inside tubes, surrounded by sand or similar, to absorb the energy of a short circuit without risk -- in severe short circuits, rewirable fuses would split the (usually) ceramic fuse carrier in two (which I've seen) and in really severe cases, blow the fusebox door off and blast shards of porcelain around the room (I've seen photos of the aftermath).
The 1887 non-spindle-shaped fuse is exactly like we used in the UK too. In the '90s, I was involved in the rewiring of a church which had been wired in 1902 by Perry & Sons, whose previous contract had been Buckingham Palace. It had been wired to a high standard (which, along with only being used a few hours/wk, is why it had lasted so long) and the fuseboard was a beautiful mahogany glass-fronted cabinet, locked with a little key, with two rows of fuses just like the one in the picture, where wire was strung between 2 thumbscrews -- a safety nightmare -- clearly, in all that time, they had never had a severe short-circuit! The main lights were called electroliers, a word I hadn't previously known. For some reason, I never added to wikt, but I see User:Hippietrail since has. That was a useful picture, because I had seen (later) photos of US fuseboards where it seemed fuses were inserted like torch batteries, so I hadn't been able to totally rule out the spindle-shaped hypothesis.
The thermostatic cut-out was just that, a mechanical fuse, not an electrical one -- and I've seen it done in the same way today, to isolate an oil pump if there was a fire, though more commonly, they're used to drop a valve which will stop the flow. A wire is strung across a place where a fire would be expected, eg a boiler front. the wire is in two halves, held together by two small overlapped brass plates soldered together. When the solder gets too hot it melts, the wire is released, and a spring pulls two contacts apart. I installed a new one in about 2004, 122 years later and barely changed! The one in the patent was designed to cut out the electrics in a house during a fire, so firefighters wouldn't refuse to enter!
When I saw that the 1883 article about a fusible plug was from the American Railroad Journal I didn't have much hope for it, since, as you can see here, w:fusible plugs have been used to prevent boiler explosions since 1802, and were used in locomotives, though not universally, from the very early days, to avoid things like this: [30]. IIRC, the energy stored in a loco boiler is about equal to a ton of TNT. Most commonly, the boiler blows itself out of the frame, but this one must have been more strongly attached!. First UK loco boiler explosion 1815, first US one 1831 -- the fireman was annoyed by the hissing from the safety valve, so he found a large bit of wood, put it over the safety valve and sat on it to keep it quiet. Stan Laurel couldn't have done it better! But the most common cause is that the water level gets too low, exposing the top of the firebox which quickly gets heated enough to lose its strength and starts to collapse. Some steam escapes, dropping the pressure in the boiler, leaving the water superheated, so much more water flashes to steam and, within a second, the fireplate crew are very dead and a boiler-shaped rocket is flying 100 yards or so, punching holes through any buildings it finds along the way. Alternatively, you fit a fusible plug in the top of the firebox, and it melts through, noisily blowing steam onto the fire, which though not enough to blow the fire out, alerts the crew, who then drop the fire into the ashpan, and vent steam to reduce boiler pressure, and no permanent damage is done.
Anyway, the one you found, while shamelessly using the name of its famous cousin, is indeed a fuse, as we know it, in 1883.
Two other tidbits from the early days of electrics: the UK's first electrical code was published in 1882 (almost wholly concerned with avoiding fires, and not caring about electric shocks, though actually, many installations were only 50 V, so that is understandable. The interesting thing for me is in the last rule, where the word switch is put in quotes. In the UK, we talk of points on a railway where the US say switch. I wonder if that was the derivation, and whether this new Americanism had hit the UK electrical trade in 1880 or so. Though there is an argument for the flexible wooden rod, since some early switches, a bit like microswitches now, did use a flexible rod which was moved onto or off a contact. In the UK, wooden switches were sometimes used on horses (IIRC one features in a Sherlock Holmes story), but we used canes on boys.
And according to diynot.com, in 1903 the 4th edition of our electric code apparently said at clause 48 (I don't have access to one to check) "Fuses may be considered too large if they are not warm to the touch on full load and too small if they hiss when moistened." One of the most stupid things I did while young (worse than "I wonder if it will hurt if I stick my finger in this fan": Answer, Yes) was, when an electric heater seemed not to be working, to touch the element with my finger, thus receiving both a shock and a burn. So I really squirmed when I saw that advice. But it's also inappropriate -- the fuse size needs to be determined by the temperature of the wiring; that's what's going to burn the house down! --Enginear 08:01, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

cat (revisited)[edit]

Hello Wiktionary Community ! I see that some fairly recent edits have been made to the etymology of English cat, reducing the size of the etymology (-to which I'm not opposed) - however, something stands out to me as being rather odd. Maybe I've not noticed this before, but in particular it is this passage:

The Germanic word is generally thought to be from Late Latin cattus (“domestic cat”) (c. 350, Palladius), from Latin catta (c. 75 A.D., Martial),[1] from an Afroasiatic language. This would roughly match how domestic cats themselves spread, as genetic studies suggest they began to spread out of the Near East / Fertile Crescent during the Neolithic (being in Cyprus by 9500 years ago,[2][3] and Greece and Italy by 2500 years ago[4]), especially after they became popular in Egypt.[2][3] .

Now, that may be the story of the domestic cat, but not all cats are of the domestic variety. Europe has the native wildcat (Felis silvestris), which has inhabited the region for at least a million years or so (possibly a direct descendant of Felis lunensis). What would the Proto-Germanic descendants of the Indo-Europeans have called a European wildcat, if not, well, a *kattuz ? This suggests that the reasoning why the word cat had to originate from the southern regions, ultimately from Egypt, has less credence than put forth in our etymology. Leasnam (talk) 23:02, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

There is no way to guess the name of that wildcat, though the fact that the Egyptian terminus would pertain tonbobcat non housecat might be meaningful. On another note, when Inlooked up the dog for zokor last week Instumbled again about Köter and similar words, where the signifier might be akin to cottage, so how about that? Unless this is a rhetorical question and you have new results in the backhand, I see no way this can be resolved. 2A00:20:6013:6A98:1E1B:3A18:AE49:ACC4 06:47, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Leasnam: note also that eg. Proto-Slavic used *stьbľь for a wildcat and borrowed words like *kotъ or *maca for a domestic cat (the former two continued in Polish as żbik (wildcat) and kot (cat); apparently Bulgarian has dialectal стебал (stebal, wildcat) and маца (maca, cat) although the native term for a wildcat disappeared later in most Slavic branches). So having two separate terms in the older language, one native and the other borrowed, isn’t that extraordinary. I have no idea what Proto-Germanic speakers would call a wildcat, but I see no reason they had to say *kattuz. //Silmeth @talk 10:03, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, they borrowed *kotъ from Proto-Germanic (possibly also Late Latin did the same), but not *maca. We likewise have an alternative root in English puss.
Perhaps *luhsaz was originally broad enough to include wildcats. —Mahāgaja · talk 11:42, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Norse also had gaupa for lynx, by the way. Wakuran (talk) 12:31, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Old English had a similar word, *ġēap (opportunist/snatcher?) found in earnġēap (vulture), probably literally "opportunist-eagle", "eagle that takes advantage of dead carcasses"; perhaps from the root meaning "cupped hand, empty space, gap, gape". Leasnam (talk) 14:35, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Looking at a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), it is easy to see that it is quite distinct from a housecat (Felis catus), I cannot see how anyone could ever confuse the two species. On the other hand, the European wildcat (Felis silvestris) looks identical to a feral housecat. To anyone without genetic testing (i.e. pre-Roman Iron Age inhabitants for example, and indeed anyone seeing one today), they are the same creature - the same animal. So the whole notion that early Germanic peoples didn't know what cats were and therefore couldn't have had a native word for 'cat' because domestic cats hadn't yet arrived on the scene cannot be true. "Perhaps *luhsaz was originally broad enough to include wildcats." - maybe, or maybe (based on the descendant languages) it was called *kattuz and *kattuzô. Let's not forget, Germanic languages show the most variants in form for this term, meaning there was ample time to develop multiple offshoot terms with varying shades of distinction between different words for 'cat'. Leasnam (talk) 14:27, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Using the same word for different species of animal doesn't mean that speakers can't tell the difference between them. I can tell the difference between black bears and brown bears, but if I see either one, I'm still saying "There's a bear!" —Mahāgaja · talk 14:47, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly my point ! We even use 'cat' today as an umbrella term for different types of felid. This usage may be recent, but it may have also existed in *kattuz (a *luhsaz may have been seen as a kind of *kattuz)
Well, early Slavs and Medieval and Early Modern Poles didn’t have genetic testing either, and yet words for them were kept separate, we do keep kot and żbik still in Polish (with kot having a bit broader meaning, I think most Poles would agree that żbik is a type of kot, but not every kot is a żbik as this word denotes only wildcats; older form zdeb was used in 15th century). // Silmeth @talk 14:49, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Again, to my point ! :) Leasnam (talk) 14:53, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
All I'm saying is this: the whole idea that the root of this word could not be Proto-Germanic because domestic cats were not around in Europe at that time needs serious review. The term could have originally meant one animal, then been applied later to practically the same kind of animal that was domesticated. Leasnam (talk) 15:00, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Or it could have been borrowed from another language when domesticated cats became more common and ousted the older word that had been restricted for wildcats, as it generally happened in Slavic (except that żbik as a word survived in Polish, and it seems its cognate survived to some extent in Bulgarian). // Silmeth @talk 15:13, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If that assumption is true, then that makes this term somewhat unique among Proto-Germanic animals - I cannot think of any other animal terms (domestic or wild) that were borrowed - not *hundaz, *kūz, *swīną...not even *rattaz, *falkô, nor *wisundaz. Leasnam (talk) 20:47, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Possibly *apô, although it's not native to the Germanic Urheimat... Wakuran (talk) 22:55, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly - another good example of a native word applied to a non-native animal. Thanks ! :] Leasnam (talk) 01:00, 13 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I meant that it was a Proto-Germanic term that could have been borrowed, but it seems that the jury is somewhat out on that... Wakuran (talk) 15:07, 13 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


The page *-tweh₂ says -त्वा is derived from it, but references no sources. For this reason I am hesitant to add an etymology for the Sanskrit term. I would request someone more knowledgeable than me to look into it. --Rishabhbhat (talk) 05:15, 14 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Was zum ...?[edit]

Continuing my inquiry about ins vs. in das vs. into, a similar mismatch appears in what the ... vs. German was zu- ...

The preposition zu seems meaningless. So, I conjecture by ignoring the vowel and possible endings, supposing assimilation in contraction maybe before *t assibilated (thus *wat-tuo or so):

i. eventually from *so ~ to, in line with nonetheless, nichts desto trotz, and similar patterns, so far so good, "what by water and what by land" (diff)
ii. Seeing the vowel as well as the fact that many instances like What the devil use appelatives, eventually from *tew- "you", cp. "Why, you little ..."

I take heck and Henker, assuming hook proves related by some nasal law or n-infix operation, Dutch kanker, French cancre, and even Latin carcer ("jailbird", s.v. cancer), in comparison with hellhole, detention hall vel sim. and further rather mundane senses of PIE *ḱel- and *ḱenḱ, especially those refering to retardation and stock rearing, to indicate that what the heck / hell and was zum Henker might have a common origin. This is almost more interesting, because there is to my knowledge no morphology for something like *ḱel- to rule out a relation with other such roots, and the relative dating of eg. Knast should be just as difficult. In particular: Knoten "knot, nodulus" for a lump is again semantically close to hanging and hooking; The fact that lump is not recognized herewithin as related to Lymphknoten and rather lumped together with limp is remarkable, for we give PIE *(s)lemb-, *(s)lembʰ- (“to hang loosely, hang limply”), but it does not instill confidence. Comparing further more German Lump "stray, chav", this leads too far astray (if need be, cp. candle, chandelier).

Now, what the hell rather indicates what in the hell as proper form, which is most curious as far as my inquiry about ins is concerned! German Was in dreiteufelsnamen and Dutch Wat is dat in hemelsnaam exist as well. Yet, zu or the appelatives cannot be explained as contractions from those. We also have quite the / a, what a drag, and I am finking Ger. was für ... might also match this pattern. I did not find a direct translation in Dutch using kanker.

So far so good, can we rule out this zu was somehow intentional? I am not seeing how it could make sense. ApisAzuli (talk) 15:53, 14 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Could be the same zu as in "zu Hause", I guess. Prepositions aren't used identically in different languages, anyway, particularly in figurative and abstract senses. Wakuran (talk) 17:35, 14 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Is this in reference to some existing entry here on Wiktionary? Where (other than in this post) is a connection made between what the and was zu-?  --Lambiam 12:35, 15 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe I shouldn't speak for ApisAzuli, especially since I often have troubles following his/ her points, but I think it's a claim that zu couldn't be a correct preposition in this case (which sounds somewhat dubious). Wakuran (talk) 16:35, 15 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You seem to be following just fine. I'm just saying, I cannot construct the phrase(s) from synchrony. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:28, 15 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There is also was zum Teufel?, which I think is short for something like was zum Teufel geht hier vor?. So zum Teufel is an adverbial phrase, also found in zum Teufel gehen. And Henker is, I suspect, a euphemism for Teufel, also found in the idiom zum Henker gehen.  --Lambiam 12:52, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That crossed my mind as well. Fahr zur Hölle! "go to hell!" may be enough for me to lexicalize Was zur Hölle. In the hell is adverbial, too, and thus easily placed as intensifier in the waste-basket of pragmatics. I payed special attention to Henker in comparison with heck to preempt the notion that it were euphemistic for christian hell or Devil. Although a common post-conversion development is practically guaranteed by the Diabolo topos, I remain incredulous about the, er, dubious Greek etymology. Now I don't want to steer the pot on a soapbox with an ax that needs grinding, because it should basicly not matter, much less in view of the supposition that the verbiage may have originated with more neutral connotations (see below).
To continue with the notion of damnation, see Teufel's Küche, and Kittchen (jail). For "Hell's kitchen" I have only found the name of a Manhattan neighborhood and a recently infamous TV show. As for jail, OF gaiole vel sim., MLa. gabiola, cp. gallows, ġealga (viz. "(informal, obsolete) A wretch who deserves to be hanged") cf. gallows bird, vogelfrei, further vögeln, fuck, and the most curious collocation flying fuck, cp. verflucht (idiom. verfluchte Scheiße), cf. flight, plight, Pleitegeier (Pleite-Geier) and perhaps straf-pflichtig (cf. Diefenbach 1851 [31], plectare, plecta).
There is also Dutch Ach wat verdomme in translation of what the hell² "Indicating acceptance, ...: Why not? ...", which is remarkable for Wakuran's comparison to zuhause, Zuhause in the case that this is from a participle, ie. deverbal. I'm not sure if zuhause is a good example (cf. Zimmer; or daheim, also insgeheim). Inasmuch as participles are precedented for the nominalizing (if you'll excuse the pun), as I have argued previously, this does not make it any easier.
As for positive connotation, NB: doom, judgement can be quite beneficial, for the sake of the argument, ffs; NB2: we have what the deuce eventually from deus. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:06, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

ῥᾴδιος, ῥᾶ, ῥεῖα[edit]

Where does ῥᾴδιος (rhā́idios) come from? It looks like it's denominal from something like *hrāwids. Are there cognates of ῥᾶ in other Indo-European languages? Is the second element the root *weyd- or is it a formation like κλείς (kleís), supposedly from *kleh₂w-iH-d-? Thanks in advance. --Akletos (talk) 20:51, 15 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

For the etymology of ῥᾶ, Beekes writes:
Starting from epic ῥῆα and Aeol. βρᾶ, we may reconstruct PGr. wrāha or wrāja. The word is no doubt old and inherited, but a good etymology is lacking.
(Then follow some suggestions by others for which evidence is deemed unsatisfactory.)
For ῥᾴδιος, Beekes refers to ῥᾶ, where he writes:
from ῥῆα, ῥᾶ, the positive ῥη-ϊδίως, Att. ῥᾳδίως, Aeol. βρα-ϊδίως (Alc.) was derived, and from there in turn the adjective ῥηΐδιος, ῥᾴδιος (like μαψ-ιδίως, -ίδιος, etc.); ...
There is no further explanation of the component ἰδίως, which looks like an adverb related to ἴδιος.  --Lambiam 12:27, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Incidently, see easy. ApisAzuli (talk) 07:47, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, @Lambiam, for looking this up. I guess the -ϊδίως part in Beekes' etymology is meant to be from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (with the meaning "looking like", a semantic development similar to English -ly); but are there other words with this suffix? I can't think of any and it would be a doublet of the far more productive -ειδής (-eidḗs). That's why I suggested derivation from a noun. Perhaps the entry μαψιδίως clears this up? Akletos (talk) 07:44, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I see no further examples. Beekes mentions μαψ-ίδιος as a derived term under μάψ. We explain μαψιδίως as derived from μαψίδιος, but if I understand what Beekes writes at the lemma ῥᾶ, he sees the latter as a back-derivation. Although the semantics would be peculiar, it is IMO still more plausible that ἰδίως was used here as a rather unproductive suffix than that we have an unproductive second-declension doublet of -ειδής.  --Lambiam 11:37, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
But what should ἰδίως be doing in these words? The semantic development "easily for/in/by itself" (or the other way round) > "easily" seems highly improbable to me. And ἴδιος is very rarely used in word formation at all (let alone the adverb), AFAICS, never as a second element. Akletos (talk) 14:42, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree it has no business there, but the same can be said of a suffix, also not spotted elsewhere, meaning “looking like”: ῥᾳδίως and μαψιδίως mean “easily” and “rashly”, not “in a way that looks easy/rash”.  --Lambiam 14:47, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Cf. the etymology of English -ly. Akletos (talk) 19:43, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of etymology 2.

  • Asserts (via ja-kanjitab) that しおり is a kun'yomi reading of 萎. This is not readily substantiated; if it is, the readings template does not reflect it.
  • Asserts (via ja-see) that the pronunciation and definitions at しおり apply to this etymon. This is incorrect because that article:
    • does not reference the kanji 萎 whatsoever, much less contain a ja-kanjitab with an alt=萎 parameter to properly receive the redirect
    • is comprised wholly of another ja-see, and none of the pages so redirected to provide the definition of "萎 read as しおり" 21:05, 15 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Hi everyone. I know this may seem like a weird question, but what formation of the PIE root *dʰwen- became Proto-Indo-Iranian *dʰwaníš (which gave Proto-Indo-Aryan *dʰwaníṣ, whence Sanskrit ध्वनि (dhvani))? It isn't listed on the reconstruction page. Prahlad balaji (talk) 16:31, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

get on like a house on fire[edit]

Does anyone know where this expression comes from? It seems counterintuitive to me to compare two people who get along really well to a building that's being destroyed. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:36, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms explains the idiom as “in effect comparing increasingly good relations to the rapid progress of a fire”.[32] The idiom is already found in the 19th century.[33]  --Lambiam 22:05, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There are at least three cites in ngram and Elephind for what looks like a dry aphorism, Why is a pig in a parlour like a house on fire? Because it is best put out immediately. Nevertheless we have inflame also with affection.
The majority of results in Elephind, when searching without quotation marks, are about actual house fires though. Wondering why their index of scandal sheets goes to 1800 only it occured to me that get on may be "get in" today, cp. on the news, just as they drove on cars. This would be well in line with a certain bushfire simile (or wildfire [34]). I mean, the juggelers in our current example would surely attract attention. Somebody might not like that, other's might take it as irony.
There is a result for get along like a house on fire in a 1840's novel set in Ireland. This is in a regretfully alcohol-fueled dialog which I take to indicate that the writer was drinking. I didn't look much past that because it does appear transparent.
The etymology should probably be get on + like a house on fire, as it can be found in other collocations as well that are verging on SoP and may be taken to indicate a prior history. ApisAzuli (talk) 00:02, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Tree hugger a Finnish calque?[edit]

I was surprised to find that our only quote for the word was from a translated Finnish book from 1960. I checked Google Ngram, which seems to point to the word only becoming common from around 1980 onwards, twenty years after the Finnish book was published. Now, as Finnish seems a highly unlikely source for borrowing, I looked for parallels in other European languages. The article's translations section provides a German one (Baumchmuser), but that doesn't seem to be used much at all. Could there then be, say, a French word behind all of these? Or is the English word actually much older? Or could the Finnish word really be the original one? brittletheories (talk) 10:19, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Not having read the book and not knowing Finnish, I suspect the translation wasn't literal and it's a bad example for a source. Wakuran (talk) 12:41, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Although it's listed for sale under both the years 1960 and 1990 online, it seems as if the English translation wasn't published until 1990, which would explain the word choice. [35] Wakuran (talk) 12:54, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Wakuran I found the original passage, which reads:
"Nyt lähdettiin, puunhalaaja[.]"
puun (tree's) +‎ halaaja (hugger) is both the literal and nonliteral translations for the English terms. In the novel, this is said to a man who had fallen under a tree by a policeman arresting him. Either it is a pun on a word that already had a derogatory connotation or this is really where it comes from. brittletheories (talk) 17:33, 18 January 2022‎ (UTC)
That's interesting, does the word have the same connotations even in Kalle Päätalo's context? From what I can see, the word got popularized through 1970's grassroots movements in India. Wakuran (talk) 18:12, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The term seems to be applied by a policeman to a poor bloke who grabbed a tree trunk to steady himself, not to protect the tree.  --Lambiam 14:34, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
So, a sarcastic remark about a village drunkard? Doesn't really seem related... Wakuran (talk) 19:42, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Slavic *nerstъ, Lithuanian naršyti[edit]

So there's this Balto-Slavic word referring to spawning (e.g. of fish):

Is there any further etymology, or is that it? Derksen doesn't seem to have anything useful.

Also, there's a verb naršyti (to rummage, browse) in Lithuanian, as in naršyklė (web browser), that seems possibly related, although no sources really help out. I tried to come up with a semantic development but I don't know if it's plausible or if it's junk original research. (Don't worry, this is like the only etymology I have written where I'm unsure if there's any plausibility at all.) The reason I think they're related is that neršti also has a similar sense of rummaging, although I haven't added it yet. 07:06, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Some help from a Latin speaker welcome. The English Dialect Dictionary suggests fainaigue is related to Old French fornier (to deny), from Latin foris (?) + negāre (the present active infinitive of negō (to deny; to refuse, say no; to reject, turn down (something)). What does foris mean here? None of the current senses seems to fit. Or is this a mistake, and some other Latin word intended? — SGconlaw (talk) 20:55, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Du Cange has an entry forisnegare, written as one word, glossed as “Fornoier un meffet en jugement”.[36] This is 17th-century French; I guess that Old French fornier is the same verb as fornoier. One guess is that meffet is modern French méfait, malfeasance, so does fornoier mean something like “to commit”? This does not help to explain foris + negare. The form forīs can be the accusative plural – "to refuse the doors”? It can also be the dative or ablative plural of forum – “to refuse to public scrutiny”??  --Lambiam 23:20, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Some figurative usage of foris "outside"? But maybe Latin would use ex- in such formations, and it still doesn't really makes much sense as used as an intensive prefix... Wakuran (talk) 01:59, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
(e/c) Or the adverb, "to deny outside"? (Here is an actual use of the word foris followed by negare.) Du Cange's German gloss on forisnegare is verleugnen, and this Middle(?) French dictionary has a word fornoiier glossed as sagen, weihen, ableugnen/bestreiten. (FWIW, the Anglo-Norman Dictionary has a verb fornier (alt forms include forsnoier) which is instead defined as ~supply, provide, endow, furnish, deliver; perform, execute, complete, finish; fight (a battle); grant, accede to; give, render, utter; punish, but I don't know if this is related.) - -sche (discuss) 02:11, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If it helps, the EDD glossed fornier as “nier, dénier” (“to deny”), from “La Curne”. — SGconlaw (talk) 03:42, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We have an entry for the prefix in question; 'exclusion' is the keyword. That said, I do not believe it has any relation to fainague. The term feign seems a better match. Nicodene (talk) 10:59, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

close enough for government work[edit]

RFV of the etymology.

Whether "Good enough for government work" or "Close enough for government work" originally started out as a complementary or neutral phrase seems to have been a long debated subject: see this linguistlist discussion and this archived blog post from 2008. I was glad to see that a citation was finally given on this page, but I wasn't able to verify it at all. In fact, looking at the source in question doesn't seem to have any usage close to the phrase at all. Am I missing something here? Nightpool (talk) 03:47, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]