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Unknown according to De Vaan.[1] The old hypothesis deriving it from Proto-Indo-European *kwh₂et- (to ferment, become sour)[2] has the problem that *w isn't supposed to disappear in Latin (the expected outcome would start with qua- and not ca-) .



cāseus m (genitive cāseī); second declension

  1. cheese
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Fasti 4.769:
      ‘ūbera plēna premam, referat mihi cāseus āera,
      dentque viam liquidō vīmina rāra sērō.’
      ‘‘Let me squeeze full udders, may my cheese repay me with money,
      and may the wicker strainer give a passage to the liquid whey.’’

      (A shepherd’s prayer to Pales.)
    Synonyms: fōrmāticum, fōrmāgium (medieval)


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative cāseus cāseī
Genitive cāseī cāseōrum
Dative cāseō cāseīs
Accusative cāseum cāseōs
Ablative cāseō cāseīs
Vocative cāsee cāseī

Derived terms[edit]


  • Balkan Romance:
    • Aromanian: cash, cashu
    • Romanian: caș
  • Dalmatian:
  • Italo-Romance:
  • North Italian:
  • Occitano-Romance:
    • Gascon: casás (butter, cheese, whey)
    • Old Occitan: casadure (royalty on cheese)
  • Ibero-Romance:
  • Insular Romance:
  • Borrowings:
    • Old Irish: cáise (see there for further descendants)
    • Proto-Brythonic: *kọs (see there for further descendants)
    • Proto-West Germanic: *kāsī (see there for further descendants)


  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “Cāseus”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN
  2. ^ Walde, Alois; Hofmann, Johann Baptist (1938), “caseus”, in Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), volume 1, 3rd edition, Heidelberg: Carl Winter, pages 176f
  3. ^ Ferguson, Ronnie. 2006. A linguistic history of Venice. Florence: Olschki. 254.

Further reading[edit]