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Ancient GreekEdit



Etymology 1Edit

Uncertain. Multiple theories have been put forth.

Beekes declares it to be a Pre-Greek Mediterranean substrate borrowing, comparing it with Hittite [script needed] (mahla, grape).[1]

Kroonen (2016) reconstructs a byform *smh₂l-, from which he also derives Hittite [script needed] (šam(a)lu-, apple). He also connects this word with Proto-Kartvelian *msxal- (pear) and proposes that the Indo-European words may have come from a metathesis of that Kartvelian word. [2]

However, Fenwick (2016) argues for an Indo-European origin of both μῆλον and [script needed] (šam(a)lu-, apple), deriving them from Proto-Indo-European *meh₂-. She proposes the existence of an -l- deverbal suffixed onto that root (which she concludes also occurred when Proto-Germanic *wibilaz (weevil) was derived from *webʰ-), leading to a new root.[3]

Alternative formsEdit


μῆλον (mêlonn (genitive μήλου); second declension

  1. apple
  2. any fruit from a tree
  3. (figuratively, in the plural) a woman's breast
  4. (in the plural) cheeks
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Uncertain. Compare Old Irish mil (small animal), Dutch maal (young cow), Old Church Slavonic малъ (malŭ), and Old English smæl (English small).

Alternative formsEdit


μῆλον (mêlonn (genitive μήλου); second declension

  1. sheep
  2. goat
  3. beast


  1. ^ Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010), “μῆλον”, in Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, pages 943-944
  2. ^ Kroonen, Guus (2016), “On the origin of Greek μῆλον, Latin mālum, Albanian mollë and Hittite šam(a)lu- ‘apple’”, in The Journal of Indo-European Studies[1], volume 44, pages 85-91
  3. ^ Fenwick, Rhona S. H. (2016), “Descendants and ancestry of a Proto-Indo-European phytonym *meh₂l-”, in The Journal of Indo-European Studies, volume 44, pages 441-456

Further readingEdit