This Proto-Indo-European entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



The word is either a nominalization of an unattested adjective *h₂r̥tḱós ‎(destroying) or a derivative of *h₂rétḱes ‎(destruction) (cf. Avestan [script needed] ‎(rašah), Sanskrit रक्षः ‎(rákṣaḥ)).

In late PIE (i.e. post-Anatolian period) the word metathesized into *h₂ŕ̥ḱtos which phonetically surfaced as *h₂ŕ̥ḱþos following the rule that when dental and velar occlusives appear syllable-initially, they metathesize tkkt and turn into a thorn cluster denoted ḱþ. See Wikipedia for a discussion of these clusters' makeup.


*h₂ŕ̥tḱos m ‎(non-ablauting)

  1. bear



  • Albanian:
    • Old Albanian: ar (< shortening of *arth, where -th was mistaken for a diminutive suffix; *arth < *artsa < *arḱos)
      • Albanian: ari (< back-formation from arinj (pl.), inherited plural of OAlb ar), arushë (feminine)
  • Anatolian:
  • Armenian:
  • Baltic:
    • Lithuanian: irštva ‎(bear’s den) (< *h₂ŕ̥tḱo/eh₂)
  • Celtic: *artos (see there for further descendants)
  • Hellenic:
  • Indo-Iranian: *Hrtća
    • Indo-Aryan:
    • Iranian:
      • West Iranian
        • Afghan: yəž
        • Balochi: [Arabic needed] ‎(riš)
        • Kurdish:
        • Mazanderani: اش ‎()
        • Luri:
        • Persian: خرس ‎(xirs)
        • Zazaki: xəš
      • East Iranian
    • Nuristani:
      • Kamviri: ic
  • Italic:
    • Latin: ursus (< *orssos < *orksos) (see there for further descendants)