διφθέρα

Ancient GreekEdit

EtymologyEdit

The origin is uncertain, possibly from Proto-Hellenic *dipʰtʰérā. Related to διψάρα (dipsára, writing-tablet; piece of leather) and Mycenaean Greek 𐀇𐁇𐀨 (di-pte-ra).

Since de Saussure, connected with δέφω (déphō) or δέψω (dépsō, to soften (with the hand)). Beekes argues that this connection and the alternation between φ (ph) and ψ (ps) point to a Pre-Greek origin.

Compare also Old Persian 𐎮𐎡𐎱𐎡 (di-i-p-i /dipi/), Akkadian 𒁾 (ṭuppu, tablet, document, letter), and Sumerian 𒁾 (dub, tablet).

PronunciationEdit

 

NounEdit

διφθέρᾱ (diphthérāf (genitive διφθέρᾱς); first declension

  1. prepared hide, piece of leather; especially as writing material
  2. anything made of leather
    1. wallet, bag
    2. (in the plural) skins used as tents
      • 4th century BC, Xenophon, Anabasis, book 1, chapter 5 (Greek, English):
        διφθέρας ἃς εἶχον στεγάσματα ἐπίμπλασαν χόρτου κούφου, εἶτα συνῆγον καὶ συνέσπων, ὡς μὴ ἅπτεσθαι τῆς κάρφης τὸ ὕδωρ
        diphthéras hàs eîkhon stegásmata epímplasan khórtou koúphou, eîta sunêgon kaì sunéspōn, hōs mḕ háptesthai tês kárphēs tò húdōr
        they took skins which they had for tent covers, filled them with hay, and then brought the edges together and sewed them up, so that the water could not touch the hay.

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