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This Proto-Slavic 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.



Roman Jakobson insists on this etymology: from *slovo (word); with link to Old East Slavic кличане (kličane, hunters, who raise game by shout) : кличь (kličʹ), and also on the opposition *slověne vs. *němьci.

  • Trubachev (Трубачёв): Jakobson's etymology is promising, with the verb *slovǫ, *sluti (to speak (understandably)).
  • Vasmer: it has nothing with *slava (glory, fame) which influenced in terms of folk etymology later. *slověne can't be formed from *slovo because *-ěninъ, *-aninъ only occurs in derivations from place names, however local name *Slovy is not attested. Most likely it's derived from hydronym.
Compare Old East Slavic Словутичь (Slovutičĭ)Dnepr epithet, Russian Слуя (Sluja) ― affluent of Вазуза (Vazuza), Polish river names Sława, Sławica, Serbo-Croatian Славница and others which brings together with Ancient Greek κλύζω (klúzō, I lave), κλύζωει (klúzōei) · πλημμυρεῖ (plēmmureî), ῥέει (rhéei), βρύει (brúei), κλύδων (klúdōn, surf), Latin cluō (i clean), cloāca (sewer pipe). Other etymologies are less likely.
Otrębski brings interesting parallel ― Lithuanian village name Šlavė́nai on river Šlavė̃ identical to Proto-Slavic slověne.


*slověninъ m

  1. Slav


This noun needs an inflection-table template.


Derived termsEdit



  • Vasmer, Max (1964–1973), “славянин”, in Etimologičeskij slovarʹ russkovo jazyka [Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language] (in Russian), translated from German and supplemented by Trubačev O. N., Moscow: Progress
  • Slav” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present. (etymology)
  • Трубачев О. Н. Из исследований по праславянскому словообразованию: генезис модели на -ěninъ, -*janinъ // Этимология 1980. М.: «Наука», 1982. С.
  • Sreznevskij, I. I. (1912), “словѣнинъ”, in Materialy dlja slovarja drevne-russkago jazyka po pisʹmennym pamjatnikam [Materials for the Dictionary of the Old Russian Language According to Written Monuments] (in Russian), volume 3, Saint Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, page 421
  • Stanislav, Jan (1904-1977): Starosloviensky jazyk II: Morfológia, Bratislava 1987