Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium

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Etymology scriptorium

Welcome to the Etymology scriptorium. This is the place to cogitate on etymological aspects of the Wiktionary entries.

Etymology scriptorium archives edit

February 2018


How reliable is the theory that this is connected to Turk? Etruscus has other ideas. - -sche (discuss) 06:21, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

I've centralized the various theories at [[Etruscus]]. - -sche (discuss) 19:10, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Baldi points out real problems but the same lines of reasoning can be applied to all the other theories, too. However that he couldn't reconcile the problems doesn't mean that it's completely out of the question, does it? I'll refrain from posting my own theories about aur-ochsen on Crimea. Rhyminreason (talk) 05:50, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, that's the point: in spite of centuries of comparison with every language family imaginable, no one has ever provided convincing evidence that Etruscan and its close relatives are related to anything. The theory of Turkish origins is quite popular recently among certain groups for strictly ideological reasons, but it just doesn't hold up to scrutiny. These are mostly based on superficial similarities of isolated words and agglutinative morphology. Language change tends to hide real similarities over time, so superficial similarities are unreliable: the first part of English Tuesday is related to Latin deus and Latin Juppiter, but Ancient Greek θεός (theós) is related to English do, German Ort and Latin festus instead. As for agglutinative morphology, it's quite common worldwide in a wide range of obviously unrelated languages such as w:Alutiiq language, w:Car language, w:Jarawa language (Andaman Islands), w:Lotuko language, w:Matsés language, w:Nuxalk language, w:Ticuna language, w:Umpila language, to name a few. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:25, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I thought it unfair to describe one suggestion as more "implausible" than the other.
If there are multiple incomplete theories, even isolation isn't proved. The null hypothesis however is just "uncertain". Rhyminreason (talk) 15:18, 6 February 2018 (UTC)


I'm sitting here playing a video game with my son. He's constantly asking me "what does this do Dad?" I've got nothing to back this as the source of the word other than it makes too much sense. —This unsigned comment was added by FiredawgJB (talkcontribs) at 21:34, 2018 February 2‎.

What about doohickey? DCDuring (talk) 00:00, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
In the words of Eeyore, this etymological suggestion is "amusing in a quiet way, but not really helpful". —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 08:00, 4 February 2018 (UTC)


Is there any good reason to suppose this word is from Dutch haven, rather than from (a combination of) Russian га́вань (gávanʹ), Yiddish האַוון‎‎ (havn‎‎) and/or German Hafen? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:21, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

because the Dutch are famous for their shipbuilding and seamanship...? Leasnam (talk) 22:53, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
And more to the point, Zamenhof consciously avoided Yiddish and was much more orthographic with most languages. I'd expect something like *gavano if Russian were used as a source here. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:07, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge I didn't suggest they came from any single one (the spelling could have been inspired by all three for all I know), but I'm sceptical about the idea that this would have been from a foreign language likely unknown to Zamenhof rather than from two native languages and a foreign language he knew well. It looks like the source language was changed from German to Dutch in 2012 without a source. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:30, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

to be sure[edit]

I moved the question to Tea Room, to discuss it. 01:57, 6 February 2018 (UTC)


Hey, I'm trying to convert Rastorgueva's transcription to IPA. Any idea if these are correct?

ä æ
å ɑ
ö ø
ü y
ů ʊ
ъ ʉ
ы ɨ
ь ɪ

--Victar (talk) 07:31, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

@Victar: I have no idea, sorry. --Vahag (talk) 10:04, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Not problem. Any idea who might? @ZxxZxxZ, JohnC5, Rua?
Rastorgueva does provide a vowel diagram, but it's not quite to standard: https://ibb.co/jP0O8x. --Victar (talk) 20:58, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps ɘ and ɵ would be a better match for ъ and ь, I think they're supposed to be not far off from schwa.
Can't remember where I saw them being used this way though, Chuvash, Evenki and Nivkh come to mind, but I can't find it listing my books. Crom daba (talk) 15:38, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking one might be ɵ as well, but seeing as this is a Russian publication, I would have thought they would have used ё for that, if you're introducing Cyrillic anyway --Victar (talk) 16:05, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
There are iotated letters in the diagram though. Crom daba (talk) 16:25, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
I think they're certainly intended to represent some types of central vowels though. --Victar (talk) 08:16, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
I would suggest [ɪ] [ʊ] for ь ъ, and å is usually [ɒ] I believe. For ů, the best fully general option is probably [o̝] or [u̞], but does anything prevent us from using [ʊ] here too? ъ versus ů is not contrastive anywhere, right? --Tropylium (talk) 18:37, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tropylium, I think you're spot on everything. I'm going to go with /u̞/. Thanks! --Victar (talk) 09:06, 11 February 2018 (UTC)


The reference to Thraco-Illyrian raises my suspicions, as I recall some such etymologies have been dodgy in the past; Name of Moldova mentions other theories (and not the Thraco-Illyrian one), if anyone is up to the task of sorting out what's plausible or well-referenceable. - -sche (discuss) 17:12, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

Yeah that's probably BS. It's getting embarrassing with some of these people. The Romanian entry for it has some other theories but I'm not confident in any particular one tbh. Word dewd544 (talk) 16:34, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
I've moved all the theories to the Romanian section, so they're all in one place, but they still need trimming and/or referencing. - -sche (discuss) 18:26, 11 February 2018 (UTC)


Our etymologies of both royauté and royalty are apparently sketchy or unclear and all dictionaries seem to avoid getting into details to avoid, for example, the problem of where the y in royalty came from or at least when it changed, since it came from roialte. Did the change to y occur separately in French and English or was it borrowed from French? The French Wiktionary says royauté comes from regalitatem, but http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/royauté seems to be saying something very different. --Espoo (talk) 07:43, 10 February 2018 (UTC)


I don't understand the second sense. @Useigor? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 11:28, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

Fixed, I hope. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 13:46, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

Outlier Linguistics and their Chinese character speculation[edit]

@Justinrleung After seeing this article on the etymologies of the characters and . Are their speculations sound? mellohi! (僕の乖離) 16:32, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

@Hillcrest98: Yes, they are quite reliable in terms of Chinese character glyph origins. Their explanations are in line with modern paleography, not just pure speculation from Outlier. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:59, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
@Justinrleung: It's all good, thanks! mellohi! (僕の乖離) 23:20, 11 February 2018 (UTC)


@DCDuring Wiktionary's bawcock gives the etymology as baud + cock. In contrast Collins and Merriam-Webster give it as beau + coq. Do we have a reference for our etymology? -Stelio (talk) 10:48, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

  • See this link. If I were doing that etymology again, I'd first want to know more about early use. That might help decide whether baud or beau was a better fit. Also were baud and beau hompohones in OF or MF? DCDuring (talk) 12:08, 14 February 2018 (UTC)


Could Italian barcarola (from which English barcarole is derived) be a blend of barca (boat) and carola (carol, song)? — SGconlaw (talk) 09:23, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

No. It is simply a diminutive. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:17, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
OK, thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 05:42, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Why couldn't it be both? Rhyminreason (talk) 14:11, 16 February 2018 (UTC)


Is stake really borrowed from M. Eng? Seems unlikely as it has been in regular use in literature since about 1570. (Google ngram). Etymonline says all senses attested 1530s or earlier. – Gormflaith (talk) 21:38, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Of course, you are correct. I have fixed it. @Equinox added this, and I can't imagine why. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:16, 16 February 2018 (UTC)


Is it really From Dutch zondag or more correctly From Dutch Zondag (now spelled zondag); is the capitalisation inherited from Dutch or an Afrikaans development? - 21:34, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

The capitalisation varied a lot in modern Dutch: until the late seventeenth century uncapitalised spellings were by far the norm, during the eighteenth century upper-case predominated, while lower-case spelling become more common during the nineteenth century, with a lot of variation depending on the author, community or decade. You would have to look at the history of use within Afrikaans to determine when the spelling became fixed, but it is also good to ask whether the distinction would be of any use. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:45, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
The preference is anyway to link to modern lemma forms unless older forms deviate from them significantly. That isn't the case here. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:06, 24 February 2018 (UTC)


User:Liedes insists on mentioning the word Clotho on the Finnish entry kohtalo, which he maintained at first was descended from the Greek word (diff and User_talk:Liedes#kohtalo).

While he has withdrawn his claim, I fail to see why Clotho should be mentioned at all on the kohtalo page, even in a "See also" section. We're not supposed to be a repository of all the impressionistic associations that might strike someone's fancy. @Hekaheka, Tropylium? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:37, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

I have no source at hand (I'm traveling in China), but I'd think kohtalo (fate) is related to kohdata (to encounter) which has a "t-stem" e.g. in kohtaaminen (an encounter). Thus kohtalo/fate would be something one must encounter, want it or not. I agree with you on unnecessity to mention Clotho on "kohtalo" page. Hekaheka (I cannot sign this properly, because my browser does not show the tools bar.)
Seems like an issue with a crackpot growing stubborn rather than an etymology problem. Crom daba (talk) 23:58, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I have blocked Liedes for a week, partly for the comment they left as an edit summary. I looked at a few edits and they seemed to be made up of whole Clotho, if you'll forgive the expression. I would appreciate if our Finnish editors could review them, including all the recent ones I reverted. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:58, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
This user has been doing some filling-up of Finnish and general Finnic etymological and derivational information, much of it legit, but unfortunately with also much outright crackpottery mixed in as in here, none of this substantially sourced, and not a lot of productive engagement with other editors. I hope they'll learn a bit more about collaborative work; if not, we may have to continue on a review-revert-editwar-tempban cycle for a while. --Tropylium (talk) 15:34, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge, Tropylium FYI: The style of the anon user looks all too familiar. --Hekaheka (talk) 21:30, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
I expect you're right, although the anon started editing after the block on the Liedes account expired, so it isn't technically block evasion. Despite that, I've given the anon a 2-week block for continuing to add made-up nonsense. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:48, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Most of this new stock looks at least good-faith to me, despite formatting issues (e.g. mentioning the Greek cognate for tiima hardly adds anything). Blanket-reverting (including even the non-etymology edits) seems rather harsh. --Tropylium (talk) 14:30, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tropylium: Thank you for going through them. Liedes is unfortunately totally untrustworthy, hence my mass reversion. Do you think I should just let his edits sit until you can fix them? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:24, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

In case it's helpful, Finnish Wikipedia gives the Finnish for Clotho as Klotho. -Stelio (talk) 16:42, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

wiki / wiktionary-like site, blog or lists[edit]

So, does anyone know of a site that has wiki / wiktionary-like capabilities aka blog / list? For example, in a swadesh list. I would like to organize some of my etymology work in a single place where I can visualize and reference later when done.

This may be slightly off-topic but this has been on my mind for a while. Thanks for whatever.

Sounds like a technical question for WT:Grease pit, or a question for WT:Information desk? - 02:31, 19 February 2018 (UTC)


The etymology is weird. Isn't it less likely "freeing the feet" and more likely "removing [part of] the feet", with ex- functioning like in excoriate? - -sche (discuss) 18:18, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Spanish guanajo[edit]

Nonsense. The word comes from the Greek "wanax", meaning a nominal or powerless figure-head king. Applied to turkeys (called guanajos in Cuba} because of their feathered "display" making them look much larger and more threatening than they really are to would-be attackers as well as potential mates. Remember that in Spanish an "X" was and is pronounced like a hard "H" (so Yanks, no, it's not Meksico it's Mehico). Thus "wanax" --> "guanah" --> "guanajo" (in Spanish a "J" is pronounced like a hard "H"). —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 15:45, 2018 February 19 (UTC-8).

Feel free to argue with the Real Academia Española. Their entry quite clearly attributes the term to Arawak, which (to me, at least) makes more sense geographically and historically than any metaphorical Greek derivation, considering that the Arawak were the locals at the time of Spanish contact. Also consider that the form of Spanish spoken in the late 1400s had many more kinds of sibilants: see w:Old Spanish language#Sibilants. I can't find any information about historical spellings of Spanish guanajo, but with the merger of various sounds in the Spanish language, it's entirely possible that this term was formerly spelled guanaxo -- which would have been pronounced as something close to /gwanaʃo/ invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ, quite similar to the stated Arawak etymon of wanašu. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:06, 20 February 2018 (UTC)


This Vietnamese word claims to be cognate to "Bende kơmăt/kơmơ̆t (gall bladder)". That seems unlikely; what language code was meant? Bende is a Niger-Congo language in which the word for "gallblader; bile" is kantuliíla, tuntuliíla according to Yuko Abe's Bende Vocabulary. - -sche (discuss) 06:05, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

@PhanAnh123: did you by chance mistype the language code or mismatch whatever language SEALang refers to to the wrong code? - -sche (discuss) 06:20, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
I typed the wrong code, sorry.PhanAnh123 (talk)

Saint Pantaleon[edit]

If "Pantaleon" comes indeed from Παντελεήμων (Panteleḗmōn), this is an odd phonetic evolution. Or has it been folk-etymologised? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:15, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

Probably. His new name means "all-lion", I guess. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:02, 22 February 2018 (UTC)


Could the onset have gone through fortition via Irish rebracketing?

  • /w/ (voiced velarized bilabial approximate) > /b/ (voiced bilabial stop)
  • We can see the opposite process in Irish lenition (/bˠ/ to /w/ or /v/).
  • Behind the Name says that Bill derives from "Irish pronunciation" from earlier than the 19th century.
  • Initial /w/ does not occur in Irish radicals, except in words that start with the borrowed consonant ⟨v⟩ (e.g. vóta). [1]
    • As far as I'm aware, words that start with ⟨v⟩ do not undergo initial mutation, and are pronounced with /w/ in all declensions.
  • Therefore, an Irish speaker would pronounce Will with an initial /w/ in all declensions, as there is no way to lenite or eclipse an initial /w/.
  • So, if an Irish speaker heard someone talking about a guy named Will in a grammatical position in which native words would be mutated, he might assume the radical form based off initial mutation rules.
    • A common context would be in the vocative case. Addressing people is the most common use of the vocative case, therefore given names and pronouns are the most common use of vocative. In Irish, the vocative is lenited. So, an Irish-speaker might interpret "Will!" as "*Bhuil!" (pronounced approximately /wɪl/) as the vocative, therefore lenited, declension of *Buil (pronounced approximately /bɪl/).
    • It would not be interpreted as *Bhfuil (approx. /wɪl/), the eclipsed form of *Fuil (approx. /fɪl/), because given names are never in environments that would prompt eclipsis.
  • Even though there is a precedent set by the borrowed terms regarding declension of words with initial /w/, I assume that most ⟨v⟩-initial words were borrowed fairly recently, which can be supported by the fact that Gaelic type, which was widely in use in Ireland until the mid 20th century, did not even include ⟨v⟩. However, "William" was introduced before the multitude of ⟨v⟩-initial borrowings, during the time of the Norman conquest. [2] I would gander that William was one of the very first /w/-initial radical forms known to Irish-speakers. By searching Wikipedia categories, I found that Williams in Ireland started popping up in the 12th century (William de Burgh), and increased from there. The popularity of the name William in the categories "#th Century Irish people" is as follows: (Note that Irish was the majority language until about 1800).
    • 12th: 1
    • 13th: 5
    • 14th: 8
    • 15th: 8
    • 16th: 36
    • 17th: 50
    • 18th: 113
    • 19th: 247

A similar process can be seen in Zulu iNgisi and other rebracketed forms.

I couldn't find any good, reliable sources regarding this question. All but one front page Google "sources" of why is bill short for william say that it's "trendy medieval rhyming slang". One source often cited in random Quora forums even said that it was because "hard consonants are easier to pronounce than soft ones."

  • One insightful Quora user with an M.A. in Linguistics (and Opera!) disagrees with the rhyming slang theory for a good reason: why /b/ and not another random consonant/consonant cluster? Phonology isn't random.

Well, after I wrote this entire theory, thinking I was being incredibly clever, I found an (unreliable) source that kind of supports it. A HowStuffWords article cites Cleveland Kent Evans, a psychology professor and author of a couple baby names books:

Credit the Irish with this one. Evans says that a curiosity of Irish Gaelic will turn a W sound into more of a B depending on whether the word is the subject or object of a sentence. Either way, the first written evidence of a William being called Bill was in the late 17th century when Irishmen mocked King William III of England by calling the hated Protestant conqueror King Billy.
The claim that "King Billy" was a mocking name (which I thought was just informal) may support my argument. Perhaps interpreting "Will" as "Bill" was considered "wrong" because it followed Irish rules, not English, and the notion that "Will" was the declined form of "Bill" was considered unintelligent to some degree, similar to the situation in English in which it is considered more "proper" to decline -us in the plural as -i, the same as the original Latin, rather than the native English -es.

Sorry for such a long post. I'm procrastinating my linguistics homework. – Gormflaith (talk) 23:52, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

This strikes me as highly unlikely. Irish /w/ is the lenition of the velarized /bˠ/, which strikes the English ear as labialized, so if Irish speakers were to have back-formed a name from /wɪlʲ/ it would probably have been "Bwill", not "Bill". And there are other English nicknames starting with labial stops where this explanation won't work, such as Bob < Robert, Peg < Margaret, and Polly < Mary. I think child language is a more likely source for all of these. (Incidentally, given names can appear in eclipsis environments, especially after the preposition i (in): Cuirim cronú i bhFionn (I miss Fionn.)Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:58, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, it is pretty far-fetched. I didn't know that the /bˠ/ sounded like /bw/, or that names could be eclipsed (I'm no Irish grammar expert). However, maybe /w/ (voiced bilabial velarized approximate) turned into /bˠ/ (voiced bilabial velarized stop), which would follow Irish rules exactly, and then turned into /b/? I combed through English terms derived from Irish and found that the only terms that follow the /#ˠ/ to /#w/ pattern were Dwayne, Sweeney, and twig. /ɣ/ changes into /gw/ (Gweedore) and /vˠ/ to /w/ (wirra), though these are both the only instances of the pattern. The vast majority of terms just "dropped" the velarization. In any case, I think that Bob, Bill, Peg, and Polly are probably formed through some type of fortition in which a sonorant turns into a stop. But, that doesn't explain why it got devoiced in Peg and Polly, or the /b/ in Bob at all. –– Gormflaith (talk) 22:46, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
The hypothesis that the phenomenon comes from child language actually explains the /b/ of Bob best of all, because child language tends to have widespread consonant harmony: pronouncing Robert as /ˈbɑbət/ or Robbie as /ˈbɑbi/ is exactly what you'd expect from a toddler, especially as /ɹ/ is a particularly difficult sound to acquire. The hypothesis fares worse with Bill, Peg, and Polly, though since those names have no /b/ or /p/ sounds to trigger consonant harmony, nor are /w/ and /m/ difficult sounds for small children to make. Perhaps this phenomenon has a variety of sources. (As for Dwayne, I think the /w/ comes from the bh of Dubhán, not from the velarization of the d.) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 10:22, 28 February 2018 (UTC)


From Dutch or from Afrikaans? Ultimateria (talk) 21:14, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Seems a bit unknowable, no? I'd hazard a guess that the name of the language was borrowed before the distinction between Afrikaans and South African Dutch became clear. The easiest solution is to have the etymology say it's from both. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:55, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
The oldest hits on Google Books date to the late 19th century, so it might as well be from Afrikaans. If there are older English cites around they're probably from the area of modern South Africa or Namibia anyway. Dutch seems to have borrowed this sense from Afrikaans around the same time. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:59, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

Multiple etymologies of English de-?[edit]

de- has 1 etymology for English de-, deriving it from Latin de-. The meaning reversal, undoing or removing is more suggestive of a derivation from French dé-, from Latin dis- meaning reversal, removal.Zekelayla (talk) 14:23, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

The French page itself notes a conflation. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 18:37, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the issue is the English de-, though. Zekelayla (talk) 06:32, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Dictionary.com has "in some words, < French < Latin dē- or dis-" Zekelayla (talk) 06:34, 28 February 2018 (UTC)


Any possibility of EN vagrant (PIE *walg-, *walk-) akin to LA vagus (PIE *Hwog-o-s)? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:01, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

If not just a coincidence, this looks more like a case of folk-etymological reshaping in Old French (valcrant > 'vacrant ~ ? vagrant) than a direct connection. --Tropylium (talk) 02:18, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of iarăși[edit]

Currently, the Etymology section of the entry for Romanian iarăși only says "see iar". Should it not have an explanation for the și part? I mean, iar does have an older form iară, but the și is still left unexplained. Is it correct to assume that iarăși = iară + și? MGorrone (talk) 22:25, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

@PseudoSkull -- I think I read somewhere that pings only work if you sign using the ~~~~ shortcut. It would appear that MGorrone didn't see your note here. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:32, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, I was not notified of the ping, @PseudoSkull. I reloaded to see if there was any activity, and the link was dead. So I reposted. Then @Eirikr came by and pinged me on the repost explaining the situation. MGorrone (talk) 23:44, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I apologize about this. It's really annoying when pings do not work. I talked about that in further detail at Wiktionary talk:Etymology scriptorium as to why I moved it. But anyway, back on topic, with your question about the etymology, anybody have an answer? PseudoSkull (talk) 00:10, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

If I may, @MGorrone's analysis is correct. According to DEX, the word is made up of iară (dated form of iar, "again") + și ("and"). This info should probably be added to the etymology section. --Robbie SWE (talk) 10:51, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Just added that. Though maybe there is a template with a transliteration parameter for etymological ancestors? Perhaps the { {m} } template has it and I just don't know? MGorrone (talk) 11:13, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

March 2018

cannabis, ganja[edit]

Cannabis was discussed before, also on the big sister at w:Etymology_of_cannabis. So far inconclusive.

Could this be from or cognate with कान्हा (kānhā)? Rhyminreason (talk) 11:58, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

No. The superficial resemblance is restricted to modern Hindi, as you would know if you had looked at the etymologies of the words in question. Trying to determine the relationships of something that goes back thousands of years in multiple languages (and language families) based on such things is rather silly: the semantics are all wrong, कान्हा (kānhā) and गांजा (gāñjā) are quite different in modern Hindi, and they derive from even more different Sanskrit words (कृष्ण (kṛṣṇa) and गञ्जा (gañjā)}). You've got to stop posting everything here that pops into your head without thinking it through, let alone checking in the most obvious places such as the etymologies for the entries in question. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:24, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
What???? That's totally wrong. कान्हा (kānhā, Krishna) has nothing to do with that! —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 17:28, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

niskoitella, Finnish verb[edit]

This appears to be connected with the noun 'niska,' which means 'neck,' 'nape of the neck.'. The text containing the verb is a biblical one, so the reference to disobedience and stubbornness is likely colored by a Hebrew word picture of a draft animal resisting its training to the yoke or a mount avoiding or dulling the signal of a rider to its mouth by the reins to the bit. —This unsigned comment was added by Littleglassworld (talkcontribs).

I'm not sure if you meant to have a question in here somewhere? Yes, niska is the root for this; and also niskuroida, uppiniskainen. These are in entirely general use in Finnish though, not just in the Bible. --Tropylium (talk) 00:33, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
You don't mention which biblical context it occurs in, but there is a well-known Biblical Hebrew phrase: עֹרֶף (back of the neck) קְשֵׁה־ (hard(of)) עַם־ (people (of)), which is translated into English as "a stiff-necked people", and which is used to refer to the tribes of Israel as stubborn and disobedient. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:57, 4 March 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

Questioned on the talk page, though the requester was confused about the language of axis. The original etymology was added by an editor who has been rather careless about adding etymologies without knowing whether their sources were reliable or not. The hypothetical earlier form was added by an IP. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:53, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

It looks like the original source for this was the Online Etymology Dictionary, which, however, labels the word as merely related to axis, and not derived from it. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 08:03, 4 March 2018 (UTC)


I wish I knew my way around Arabic etymological works. This appears like it may have a semantic history similar to barbarian, which would be interesting, but I don't know where to look. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:31, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Arabic has no standard etymological reference. You have to look into the etymologies of the borrowings, in this case Turkish. --Vahag (talk) 14:15, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Hmmm, I'd like something better than that Turkish reference. It starts out on the wrong foot by giving a misspelling of the Arabic etymon, and proceeds to discuss Hebrew and Aramaic cognates that I cannot find in my dictionaries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:19, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
I remember there was some useful stuff in "ʿAdjam" in Encyclopaedia of Islam. --Z 19:26, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, that was excellent (and explained what I had thought to be a misspelling). Is there a reference template for the EoI? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:37, 4 March 2018 (UTC)

Finnish pateettinen[edit]

It seems highly unlikely that pateettinen came from paatos, from which paatoksellinen is derived. Much more likely seems a direct loan from French pathétique, not even thru Swedish. --Espoo (talk) 19:03, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Finnish vasen[edit]

Can be related to vasta-, "against, counter, anti" as in a lot of other languages? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 21:49, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

They go back as distinct roots already to Proto-Uralic (*wasa (left) > Samoyedic *wåtV; *wasta (place across) > e.g. Erzya васта (vasta, place)), though I would not rule out that they're indeed linked at a pre-Proto-Uralic level. --Tropylium (talk) 01:50, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

cāseus into French[edit]

If French had inherited Latin cāseus, what would it be? Something like chèse? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:37, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

I suspect that -eus would dissappear completely. See melior, palatium, iunius (from Phonological_history_of_French), not sure what happens with s when palatalized, perhaps palatal metathesis? Maybe something like cheis? Crom daba (talk) 15:13, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking of bāsium > baise, but now I'm not sure but that the latter is deverbal from baiser rather than inherited from Latin. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:29, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the ending, the only other Latin word we seem to have with "-aseus", to compare that part to, is carbaseus. More broadly, searching the database dump, I don't find many Latin words with even just "-eus" and French descendants (that are listed in the entry), but if mail and coin are regular inheritances of of malleus and cuneus, they show loss of the "-eus", whereas puteus became pui(t)s and laqueus became lacs. (Aculeus seems to have developed nonstandardly, cierge outright says it developed nonstandardly, couille and chausse says they're via Vulgar Latin forms in "-ea", and auge says it's an early borrowing.) - -sche (discuss) 16:15, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I think generally -eus developed in VL the same as -ius, so we can assume the result would be the same as for a *cāsius (cf. Portuguese queijo and Spanish queso, where the vowels of both and the medial consonant of the former suggest VL *cāsius. And note that those forms both rhyme with their language's respective reflexes of bāsium: beijo and beso. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:30, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
OK, the only word I found that ends in "-sius" and has a French descendant listed is Gildasius, which became Gildas, and the only ones in "-sium" with one are tamisium which became tamis, and bāsium. - -sche (discuss) 17:01, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Is chasière a borrowing or an inheritance of cāseārius? - -sche (discuss) 20:56, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't know. It isn't in my Dictionnaire étymologique. But the c > ch change sure makes it look like an inheritance; borrowings don't usually undergo that change, do they? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:10, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the first part, there is:
Given that and chasière coming from cāseārius, I would guess maybe chas. - -sche (discuss) 03:09, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Gildas notwithstanding, I do think there would be diphthongization of a to ai in a stressed open syllable before -ius, so chais is probably more likely. (Actually, given amat > aime and carō > chair, the diphthongization probably would have happened even without the palatalizing influence of the -ius.) Anyway, I was just idly speculating what the word cheese would look like if it had gone into French and then been borrowed into English, rather than being borrowed into West Germanic and then inherited into English. The fact that both French and Anglo-Frisian change to /k/ to /tʃ/ before certain vowels means that the two paths could have looked more similar than one might have expected. (Sort of like choice and choose, where the former has /tʃ/ because of the French rule and the latter has it because of the Anglo-Frisian rule, and it's basically coincidence that these two rather distantly related words wound up looking so similar.) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:26, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
True, and I see there's sain from sānus. (But I also notice that chair seems to indicate that an alternate form char is older, if you're imagining a historical borrowing.) Well, here are all our Latin entries which end in -aseuC or asiuC, aside from the already-mentioned cāseus and bāsium and Gildasius, if anyone wants to check if they have French descendants we don't have listed:
- -sche (discuss) 15:55, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Hebrew אפשר / Arabic ممكن[edit]

These two terms -- אפשר and ممكن - seem to both similarly used to mean "can," although Hebrew has the verb יכול with this meaning. An example in Hebrew: "אפשר לעזור לך?" (lit. "possible to help you?", meaning "can I help you?") I'm wondering how far this use in Hebrew goes back, whether this is a recent calque from Arabic or something much older. My instinct says the former but I don't know. Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to shed some light on this. Finsternish (talk) 18:28, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

Pretty sure it's a Modern Hebrew usage. I don't know about it being a semantic loan from Arabic, though it's possible: I'd simply say the אפשר in your example sentence is just האם אפשר (ha'ím efshár, "is it possible") with the interrogative particle dropped for convenience. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 20:51, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Makes sense, thank you. Finsternish (talk) 14:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Well actually, there is absolutely no need to say that it's short for האם אפשר. The interrogative particle is always optional, and the default is in fact not to have it. Now as to whether אפשר is a semantic loan from Arabic ممكن, the best way to investigate this would be to see when exactly this construction becomes common. --WikiTiki89 15:14, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Polish ogół[edit]

Would someone know the etymology of this word? There's one here, but it's in Polish.

PL Aleksander Brückner-Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego 394.jpeg

--Per utramque cavernam (talk) 20:46, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

pl.Wikt also has a nice-looking etymology which could be informative. Pinging recently-active Polish speaker @Tweenk, can you help us out? :) - -sche (discuss) 20:53, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Here's my translation of pl.Wikt:
From Old Polish oguł (the modern form is a result of a lowering of articulation u > o > ó before the consonant ł), from Northern Proto-Slavic *o(b)gulъ (probably that which is encircled, surrounded, entirety), perhaps a deverbal noun from Proto-Slavic *o(b)guljati (to encircle, surround in a dance), from Proto-Slavic *guljati (to play, dance, sing, have fun). Compare hulać, Belarusian агу́л (ahúl).
Some more cognates: Russian гуля́ть (guljátʹ), Serbo-Croatian guliti. The semantic diversity is a little suspicious and makes it harder for me to trust any reconstructed definitions for Proto-Slavic. --WikiTiki89 22:26, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks; I'll abstain from adding anything for now, because it's too obscure. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:31, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
I've added at least the immediate (Old Polish) ancestor, and that it comes from Proto-Slavic. - -sche (discuss) 21:24, 10 March 2018 (UTC)


I wasn't able to find a better etymology than our current account of the ancient folk etymology.

And would you agree to exchanging the current claims in Bosporus and Bosphorus about which is the more common spelling? As summarized on WP: The spelling Bosporus is listed first or exclusively in all major British and American dictionaries (e.g. Oxford Online Dictionaries, Collins, Longman, Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, and Random House) as well as the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Columbia Encyclopedia. The American Heritage Dictionary's online version has only this spelling and its search function doesn't even find anything for the spelling Bosphorus. --Espoo (talk) 10:13, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

In terms of actual usage, Bosphorus is still more common than Bosporus (also with the), and was historically been even more so. It's odd that Wikipedia claims it's "uncommon" in British English where it's maybe twice as common, and "rare" in American English where it's also more common. I see that it only makes that claim due to your own edits, which I've now modified. - -sche (discuss) 15:50, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

Seeking Etymology, Norman or otherwise, of the word ‘Tchad’[edit]

I would appreciate any information. —This comment was unsigned.

See Chad#Etymology_2. - -sche (discuss) 18:00, 11 March 2018 (UTC)


This is said to be from Arabic or Ethiopic. Can anyone figure out a specific likely etymon? Some references mention alternative spellings kobar and gobar, so the first consonant is not necessarily q. (Incidentally, we're missing an English entry as kobar for something else, see google books:"kobars".) - -sche (discuss) 18:00, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Here they link it to the root ق ب ر (q b r). DTLHS (talk) 18:02, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Using that, I also found the spelling of the immediate Ge'ez etymon in Leslau's Comparative Dictionary, where he says it is perhaps related to an Arabic word kifr "darkness of the night" which I also find mentioned in old Arabic dictionaries although not in the vaunted Wehr. (Wehr does mention a root ب خ ر (b ḵ r) meaning "turn into smoke or haze", but it's likely no more than chance similarity.) - -sche (discuss) 23:02, 11 March 2018 (UTC)


Can we decide which one of these is actually true?:

Waldemar is derived from a compound of Old High German waltan ("power") and māri ("famous") [or otherwise derived somehow from Proto-Germanic *waldą ("might, authority) + Proto-Germanic *mērijaz ("renowned, famous")]. Cognate (or equivalent to) Slavic Vladimir, which is ultimately derived from Proto-Slavic *Voldiměrъ, which is a calque of the Germanic.


Vladimir/Влади́мир is derived from Old Church Slavonic Владимѣръ, which is in turn derived from Proto-Slavic *Voldiměrъ, (but with the second part changed by folk etymology to миръ ["peace"]) which is a compound of *vold- ("rule") and *měrъ ("famous"). Derived from the Proto-Slavic are the Danish Valdemar and German Waldemar.

Tharthan (talk) 20:43, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Considering that living door to door with a decent amount of local Slavs (Polabians and Sorbs) well into recent times left virtually, or possibly literally, no impression at all on both speech and names in Germany, I find the notion that a German name be derived from Slavic very unbelievable. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 23:54, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Boris Paraschkewow, Wörter und Namen gleicher Herkunft und Struktur (2004, ↑ISBN), page 377, says:

Waldemar: The old Germanic personal name is made up of walt (from OHG waltan 'rule, reign', cf. Arnold) and mär (from Germanic *mӕ̄rja-, 'famous', [...]). To its pre-Old High German phonetic form *waldimӕ̄r- [the] Slavic *valdīmèr- can be traced, whose outcome in Old Czech had its sound modified to -mir and thus secondarily based on the Slavic word mirъ, 'peace; world'. With the characteristic for Czech (and the South Slavic languages) pre-consonantal change /al/ > /la/, the name spread in the still-current pronunciation Vladimir/Wladimir into the other Slavic languages, [...]. It is not [to be] ruled out that, independent of the described borrowing-process, the Germanic name, whose first component transparently had the same origin and meaning as Slavic valděti 'rule, reign', [but] whose second [component] prior to the reinterpretation remained unclear, through partial loan-translation [...] resulted in the Slavic name Wladislaw as a structural-semantic equivalent of Waldemar.

However, Vasmer says of Влади́мир:

The first part of which is connected with Church Slavonic владь 'rule/power' [...], while the second part is related to Gothic -mērs [...], OHG mâri [...], Greek ἐγχεσίμωρος [...], Irish mór, már [...], Welsh mawr; cf. Pedersen, Kelt. Gr. 1, 49. Thus, Vladimir "great in his power". The vocalization 'la' is Church Slavonic in origin. The ending '-mirъ' arose under the influence of 'мир', "peace, the world" by folk etymology [...]; otherwise, but hardly correct, cf. Kalima, [...]. See Володи́мер.

It seems that the German name is of Germanic origin, but the Slavic name might either be of Germanic origin reinforced by marked similarity in form and meaning to Slavic elements, or of native Slavic origin reinforced by the markedly similar Germanic name. - -sche (discuss) 01:08, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

If OHG Waldemar from waltan (verb?) / walt (noun) then questions:

  1. d ← t? is it regular?
  2. -e- between parts of name, is it regular?
  3. Is there similar OHG names? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 12:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
There is the Old High German (Alemanni) name Waldomer Leasnam (talk) 14:43, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Well, it seems there is no much information for "Alemanni"+"Waldomer" in Google search (mainly "[..] commander for King Meriadoc of Wales") —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Judging by Wikipedia, Scandinavian Valdemar is older than Waldemar, so maybe question should be "Valdemar/Vladimir"? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 12:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

See also German Walter.
Could it be that the names developed from a Latin or PIE name in parallel with the roots? For the PIE root also see Valentin. Rhyminreason (talk) 00:17, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Judging by Wiktionary, list of names derived from OHG waltan "rule": (Walfried, Waltraud, Walpurga/Walburg), (Berthold, Ewald, Witold; Danish Helmolt; French Romuald). And of course name Walter but it has slightly different etymology: in German entry it says "from OHG waltan", but in English "from Old Northern French Waltier, ..., from PG *waldą". Question: why Waldemar is Waldemar and not *Walmar? Or "Merged with Scandinavian Valdemar" = displaced by Scandinavian Valdemar? —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Interestingly, name Walfried is from "rule" + "peace". Proto-Slavic *mirъ "peace; world" has variant *měrъ (Serbo-Criatian mijer?, Slovak mier?, Old Polish mier?, Sorbian měr?, ..?). But I didn't see a dictionary that say: *Voldiměrъ from imperative of *volsti "to rule" + *měrъ "peace", so maybe there is something incorrect. —Игорь Тълкачь (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Italian concepire[edit]

Would the presence of Italian ricevere (vis a vis its assumedly borrowed doublet recepire) indicate that words like concepire were borrowed or semi-learned? I thought it was inherited but now I'm not sure. Can't find good resources on it. The emergence of a 'v' from an intervocalic 'p' in Italian isn't uncommon and doesn't necessarily indicate Gallo-Romance influence. But maybe this is a matter of different dialects used in the formation of standard Italian? Most of the other Romance cognates seem to be inherited. Word dewd544 (talk) 19:54, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Sigh, why aren't there more experts on Latin and Romance here? There seems to be many who are into obscure Iranian languages, Turkic, and Polynesian, many of which deal with hypothetical reconstructions, but one of the most well attested families when it comes to linguistic evolution and transitions should have more experts right? I feel like Romance linguistics should be easier than others in some ways. Word dewd544 (talk) 21:36, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Maybe there are some Romance specialists on Wiktionnaire who could help you? @Noé, Lyokoï, Pamputt, ? – Jberkel 21:45, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Better call @Nemo bis or @Otourly, they know much more about Italian than me Face-smile.svg Noé 23:00, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
@Word dewd544 Well, I can’t answer like an italian could do. When I learned Italian in France, I just remember that we employed the past participle " ricevuto " but may be it just because "ricevere" is easier to be prononced/learned by french people. Also it could really depends of the region of Italy... Otourly (talk) 05:45, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Baltic, Eastern Baltic[edit]

Isn't Eastern Baltic (Latvian and Lithuanian) a monophyletic grouping? If by "Proto-Baltic" we meant "Proto-Eastern-Baltic", wouldn't it be a valid protolanguage? @Tropylium --2A02:2788:A4:F44:7039:DDF:54FD:3A3C 23:31, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Probably? This seems to be mostly uncontested. Eugen Hill's recent review paper on Proto-Baltic mentions *ai > *ei (though this seems rather trivial) and complex reworking of the personal pronouns' inflection. Just looking at standard Latvian and standard Lithuanian doesn't go very far though, since both languages have extensive dialect diversity. --Tropylium (talk) 11:43, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
I think so too, but "Proto-Baltic" would generally be understood to mean the protolanguage of both Eastern Baltic and Western Baltic, which is why we avoid it, since the only protolanguage covering Eastern and Western Baltic also covers Slavic and so is called Proto-Balto-Slavic. If we mean Proto-Eastern Baltic, we should call it that. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 12:05, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

-ba, in LA[edit]

-bam, -bas & -bat exist, and as suffix, but -bamus, -batis and -bant were deleted in 2009 saying they're inflectional endings, not suffix. Is this true? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:19, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

It's true they're inflectional endings, but we generally treat those as kinds of affix. We certainly have plenty of entries for inflectional endings in other languages. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 12:54, 15 March 2018 (UTC)


The etymology currently just says “From Old French dauber (whitewash). However, the Old French dauber entry itself doesn't say anything about whitewashing.

Can anyone elucidate the origins of the English term? And possibly clean up / expand the etymologies of the etyma? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:39, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

絆#Japanese (kizuna, hodashi)[edit]

Please check my latest revision if you can. My researching gives me some conflict with the ultimate derivation:

Both kizuna and hodashi appear in the Wamyō Ruijushō (20-volume):

  • kizuna:  文選西京賦云韓盧噬於緤末[緤音思列反訓岐豆奈]薛綜曰緤攣也
  • hodashi:  釈名云絆[音半和名保太之]半也抱使半行不得自縦也

The more positive sense of "bond" for kizuna came later in The Tale of the Heike, around 300 years after the Wamyōshō.

Does the modern jiten verify the latter (iki + tsuna) or there are other theories aside from ones in my revision and here? --POKéTalker (talk) 21:24, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Re: kizuna, the later -zuna portion is rendered as -dzuna in pre-reform spellings, and is clearly the rendaku form of (tsuna, rope, line, binding). The initial ki- portion is highly unlikely to be (iki, breath); the semantics just don't fit at all. It's also unlikely to be 引き (hiki, pulling), as this element does not abbreviate that way -- I certainly cannot think if any examples (though that might just be because it's Friday). Gogen Allguide's entry suggests maybe (ki, knight, rider), but that also seems unlikely. In the absence of any clear candidates, I might list the theories and present the caveats, or just say "unclear".
I'll have to look into hodashi later.  :) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:56, 16 March 2018 (UTC)


I'm just curious, but would someone with a good knowledge of Old English tell me what this Old Norse borrowing supplanted? It doesn't say in the given etymology on the page. Tharthan (talk) 05:46, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

That's a good question and one I'm not have an easy time finding an answer to. This English–Anglo-Saxon vocabulary list gives filde (Bosworth-Toller gives it as fild), but it seems to apply only to land as it is derived from noun feld (field). The only word I can think of that could have been applied to a flat surface or a flat piece of paper is efen. Otherwise we'd expect a descendant of Proto-Germanic *flakaz (flat), but none seems to be attested (the flōc listed on that page is a noun meaning "flatfish, flounder"). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:42, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

ḱw to π?[edit]

Other than ἵππος (híppos), is there any evidence that PIE *ḱw became π(π) in Greek? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:51, 18 March 2018 (UTC)


An IP tried to add Wikipedia's Template:Dubious to this etymology. They think the etymology is not accurate, and "called balderdash". Can we source this etymology, per their request? PseudoSkull (talk) 17:53, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

See also the recent comment at Talk:okay. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:55, 18 March 2018 (UTC)