Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium

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Etymology scriptorium

Welcome to the Etymology scriptorium. This is the place to cogitate on etymological aspects of the Wiktionary entries.

Etymology scriptorium archives edit

February 2017

Accent of Lithuanian vestiEdit

@Benwing2 Slavic has a mobile accent here, with accent on the ending in the infinitive. However, Lithuanian has an accent on the stem instead. Assuming that Slavic reflects the original situation, what is the cause of the retraction in Lithuanian? Also, why does the present have ẽ while the infinitive has è? Does Slavic have root accent in the present? —CodeCat 21:34, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

@CodeCat I wish I knew enough about Lithuanian historical linguistics to answer this. The answer might be in Kortlandt's From Proto-Indo-European to Slavic but it's inaccessible right now. I do know that verbs in Lithuanian are rather less conservative than nouns. Benwing2 (talk) 21:57, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Can you ping anyone else here who may know? —CodeCat 21:58, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
@Ivan Štambuk? Benwing2 (talk) 22:08, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Stang writes that "Im Litauischen sind heute alle Präsensformen barytoniert, abgesehen von den Fällen, wo das de Saussure'sche Gesetz gewirkt hat." in "Vergleichende Grammatik der Baltischen Sprachen" page 449.
No idea about the ẽ/è variation, it's probably also explained in Stang's book. Based on this sentence from Lithuanian_accentuation#Root "Short vowels a, e in a root of a word lengthen when stressed and have a circumflex accent: ã, ẽ", I wager that it has to do with when the accent was placed on it. (by analogy?)
Crom daba (talk) 01:41, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
To me, it looks a bit like the distinction could be similar to that of Neoshtokavian, where ẽ reflects an originally stressed vowel while è reflects a retracted accent. I could be totally wrong though. I don't know how the acute-circumflex distinction could arise on short vowels anyway, but apparently they're a regular thing for Lithuanian. —CodeCat 01:45, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Also, if I understand your quote right, does it mean that there are no more mobile verbs (accent classes 3 and 4) in Lithuanian, at all? —CodeCat 01:56, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
è was certainly unstressed at some point, but I really have no clue if the ictus getting there is phonology or morphology at work.
Circumflex "short vowels" ã/ẽ are actually long, the difference between them and historically long circumlexes is vowel quality.
Most probably the mobile accent classes still exists when comparing tenses other than the present.
My experience with this whole Balto-Slavic accentuation mess boils down to trying for years to square that linked Kortlandt pdf with my native language with no success. At this point my only hope is that @Benwing2 will figure it out for all of us and update the relevant wiki pages.
Crom daba (talk) 03:00, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Let's try another approach then, since Lithuanian is not helpful here. If the accent was originally on the root in PBS, then there would have to be some kind of sound law that shifted it onto the ending. The main contender, Dybo's law, does indeed shift the accent to the ending in AP b verbs, but this law doesn't operate in mobile paradigms. So it seems that the final accent directly reflects the PBS situation, if the mobile paradigm itself dates to PBS. Are there any sound laws that could cause a fixed paradigm to become mobile in the history of Slavic? —CodeCat 21:03, 8 February 2017 (UTC)


The etymology of krokodili is not sourced. Several suggestions have been put in to what the etymology of this word is but none of them have been sourced properly. Pkbwcgs (talk) 16:25, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

[1] is not a source?
"Krokodili (to crocodile) means to speak in your national language at an event where you should be speaking Esperanto (conjuring up the image of a reptilian beast flapping its big jaws)."
How exactly are you going to explain this away. You can't. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:36, 6 February 2017 (UTC).
@ That is a story book, not a source. Story books are not sources. Pkbwcgs (talk) 18:00, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
@Pkbwcgs A story book. A story book? I don't suppose you have a source for that assertion, because it is most definitely NOT a story book simply because the first line of its description says "Here is the captivating story of humankind’s enduring quest to build a better language." So I suppose by that same measure every written biography also falls under the mantle of fiction? Now you are just being obstinate.
@ It is basically a story about Esperanto. It has nothing about crocodiles and definitely nothing to do with your etymology. All you have done is provided me with a story about Esperanto and you are saying that it is a source and you are calling me obstinate. Please provide a better source and I will see whether it is valid or not. Pkbwcgs (talk) 18:25, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
@Pkbwcgs Is google blocking the preview for you or something, because page 113 shows the etymology clear as day. Do I need to quote it again? "To crocodile", look for it. It's right there. It is furthermore not "basically a story about Esperanto" as that makes up a fractional part of its over 300 pages devoted to conlangs of every variety. All you have done is display your willingness to distort the truth. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:36, 6 February 2017 (UTC).
@Pkbwcgs I am not convinced you are very well equipped to judge whether sources are valid or not. A brief Google of the author reveals that she 1. has some pretty legitimate credentials in the field of linguistics and 2. has written quite a lot about Esperanto specifically. This would make her claims on Esperanto etymologies authoritative enough in my book. The work may be aimed at a broader audience, but just because it's popular science doesn't mean it's unscientific. With that source, I'd definitely say the IP editor here is right and the claim could be mentioned at least in the etymology section. — Kleio (t · c) 18:39, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Slang etymologies are going to be somewhat apocryphal no matter how much scientific scrutiny you bring to the table, no sense in making a big deal out of this. Crom daba (talk) 18:44, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I am leaving the discussion here but I saw a lot of users reverting the etymology so this is why I brought it to here. Pkbwcgs (talk) 18:47, 6 February 2017 (UTC)


Please review / clean up this user's contributions. DTLHS (talk) 01:08, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Please block him. --Barytonesis (talk) 01:15, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, blocking makes sense to me, unless someone can reason with them. —JohnC5 02:51, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I hadn't seen any constructive attempts to educate and correct them which is why I asked here. DTLHS (talk) 03:04, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I just made a first stab at it on their talk page. Although they make lots of the usual kinds of newbie formatting errors, they also have problems with editing where they're clearly out of their depth, but don't seem to realize it, and they show other signs of poor judgment. I suspect this is compounded by moderately poor English comprehension. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:44, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm as anti-Starostin as anyone here, but blocking someone who hasn't demonstrated malicious intent sounds like a terrible idea. It makes sense short-term, but long-term we need editors and even this one may develop into a great asset in the future. Crom daba (talk) 11:21, 7 February 2017 (UTC)


This entry needs some cleanup and an assessment of the likelihood of the descendants actually descending from it. The former can quite possibly only be done by a competent Egyptian editor, most of whom seem to have left the project, unfortunately. The latter can probably be handled by any of our editors who have experience in these sorts of things — @Ivan Štambuk, JohnC5, and feel free to ping others. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:55, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

So I can find references to this word, but Beekes and earlier Walde prefer to relate it to a Semitic source, citing Hebrew שָׂק (saq, sack). These lemmata may well be related, but I don't know whether the Ancient Greek can be directly traced to the Egyptian. I have not the knowledge of Afro-Asiatic to make such a determination. —JohnC5 04:05, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Indo-European buck wordEdit

Could coordinate we coordinate the stories on Proto-Germanic *bukkaz, Proto-Celtic *bukkos (goat), Old Armenian բուծ (buc, lamb), Persian بز (boz, goat) (ESIYa gives Proto-Iranian *būźa), Sanskrit बुख (bukha, male goat) and maybe make a PIE entry? Currently we have *bʰuǵno-, *bʰuǵ- and *bʰuǵos. I'd like to link it as a potential source/relative of Proto-Turkic *buka (bull), Proto-Mongolic *bugu (deer), South Tungusic *bụcan ("deer"), and I'd like a single handle for the etymon.

And as an aside, how secure is the reconstruction anyway? How do we explain Celtic gemination (could it be a Germanic loan?) or Sanskrit aspiration (are these two connected somehow?) or Iranian long vowel (and why is it shortened again in Persian?). Also what about Proto-Slavic *bykъ (bull)? It doesn't look that far of from the rest of the crew.

Crom daba (talk) 17:05, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

On some of these words see Witzel 2003, pages 21–22. --Vahag (talk) 08:25, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Did anyone try reconstructing *bʰuǵ(ʰ)-kos on a PIE level (as Matasović does for Celtic)? Could PII *ĉk ~ *ĵk ~ *ĵʰgʰ give Av. z, Sa. (or Prakrit substrate) kk(h) ? What about Armenian? How does it treat clusters with different voicing?

Crom daba (talk) 22:09, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Armenian requires PIE -ǵ-. A -ǵʰ- would yield Arm. -ձ- (-j-). PIE -ǵk- would probably yield Arm. -ծք- (-ckʿ-) or -սք- (-skʿ-), although we do not have data. The two stems of Arm. բծ-ա- (bc-a-) and բծ-ո- (bc-o-) point to PIE *bʰuǵ-eh₂- and *bʰuǵ-o- respectively.--Vahag (talk) 08:31, 9 February 2017 (UTC)


I don't understand how to edit this in a way that doesn't mix it up but does get it out of the category "Persian twice-borrowed terms". Please help if you can! Kolmiel (talk) 18:53, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

I see no issue. {{bor}} works this way. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 20:49, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
When you looked, the problem had probably already been solved by the friendly user who did. Admittedly, it was a simple edit. But when I tried to fix it, I seem to have done something wrong, so I got confused. The issue was that the word was in the category mentioned above, in which it cannot be because it is a Chinese word, not a Persian one. Kolmiel (talk) 22:14, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, User:Crom daba has fixed it. The entry had {{bor|fa|zh|افیون|tr=afyūn|lang=fa|notext=1}}, which means a Persian term borrowed from Persian Chinese. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:56, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Kolmiel: The first arguments for {{bor}}, {{der}}, and {{inh}} are 1) the language of the headword term itself, and 2) the source language of the etymon. This is the opposite of the older {{etyl}} template, which had the etymon language first and the headword language second.
However, if you're using {{bor}}, {{der}}, or {{inh}}, and you also include a lang= argument, that overrides the behavior to match the older {{etyl}} template instead -- the lang value is the headword language, the first unnamed argument becomes the etymon language, and the second unnamed argument is the etymon itself. See [[Template:borrowing#Old-style_parameters]], for instance.
So in the previous version of the entry, {{bor|fa|zh|افیون|tr=afyūn|lang=fa|notext=1}} parses out to a Persian headword (the lang=fa part) from a Persian etymon (the fa in the first unnamed parameter), and that etymon was the term "zh" (the second unnamed parameter). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:39, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Sorry all - my fault initially. I don't even know why I used {{bor|fa|zh|افیون|tr=afyūn|lang=fa|notext=1}}. Wyang (talk) 21:45, 10 February 2017 (UTC)


Does anyone know if "incandesce" is a back-formation from "incandescence" or "incandescent"? It is consistent with the expected meaning of that (which would be some form of glowing), and when I first used it I had never heard it before and had back-formed it from incandesc- words. 08:03, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Oxford Dictionaries says that it's a backformation, but OED and Merriam-Webster say that it's from Latin incandescere. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:07, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Odd how Oxford Dictionaries and OED contradict each other. — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:41, 12 February 2017 (UTC)


Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/gʷerH- ("to approve, to praise") says that *gʷr̥H-yé- ‎(zero-grade ye-present) gives žerti, but Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/žerti ("to devour, to glut") says that it comes from *gʷerh₃- ‎("devour"). And of course Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/gʷerh₃- mentions žerti. A mistake of aspirants that we can distinguish (H-h₃)? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 10:12, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

LIV gives from *gʷr̥H-ye- > "OCS (+)" žьrjǫ, žrъti; "secondary thematic" žьrǫ 'to offer', separate from the *žerti group. I can't seem to find anything fitting together with this from {{R:Derksen 2008}}, though. --Tropylium (talk) 04:09, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
This is just a case of homonymy, *žьrti is the verb derived from *gʷerH- and *žerti is from *gʷerh₃-, the point of confusion is that *žьrti had an alternative form in *žerti (according to our page) which was homophonous with the devour verb. Crom daba (talk) 06:44, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

باران, baranEdit

Which of these are actually borrowed from Persian? I'm not a huge expert on Iranian, but Kurdish and Pashto are suspect. For the former, there's the variant "waran", which looks more expectable; but I suppose both might be native. The Pashto, however, looks very borrowed. Initial *b- becomes w-, not the other way round. Actually, b- can only arise from intervocalic *-p- by procope according to this [2]. Kolmiel (talk) 14:07, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Proto-Iranian *w- → Kurdish b- is regular. See Asatrian G., Livshits V. (1994) Origine du système consonantique de la langue kurde, pages 94–95, here. --Vahag (talk) 15:50, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Apparently Southern Kurdish, in many cases at least, has retained w- ([3]). But okay, you're right, it's a native development per se. So Kurdish is out of the list. Can you say anything about Pashto? Kolmiel (talk) 18:00, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Usually, the Pashto ووریدل (warēdəl, wōrēdəl, to rain) is taken to be the descendant of this root. I agree with you that Pashto باران (bārān) is probably a borrowing. --Vahag (talk) 06:19, 10 February 2017 (UTC)


[Copied from User talk:Smuconlaw.]

Excuse me, but if you’re going to go around reverting substantial edits you at least have to pay attention to the actual content of the edit. Nothing in my edit implied that Danish is borrowed from Latin. Rather, it very clearly indicates that Danicize is derived from Latin danicus and NOT from Danish. Anyway, from the form of the word, Danicize /ˈdeɪnɪsaɪz/, it can be seen that it cannot be from Danish + -ize; then it would be Danishize /ˈdeɪnɪʃaɪz/. Like most of the -ize words, it is either a learned Latinate construction or borrowed and adapted from Neo-Latin or another language that uses such constructions. The word’s spelling and pronunciation both confirm this. – Krun (talk) 12:54, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps we can take this discussion to the Etymology scriptorium. — SMUconlaw (talk) 13:04, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Editors' input on the above matter is most welcome. — SMUconlaw (talk) 20:24, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

I would think it's more from Dan(ish) +‎ -icize. I don't think these new constructions are actually hearkening back to old Latin forms, but are created on a model now ingrafted into and natural to English. Leasnam (talk) 22:05, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
@Krun, Smuconlaw, Leasnam: The OED doesn't list Danicize, but it does list Danic (Danish), which it states is an “ad[aptation of the] med[iaeval ]L[atin] Danic-us, f[rom] Dania Denmark.” It also lists Danicism (a Danish idiom or expression) as a derivation of Danic. IMO, Danicize was most probably formed as Danic +‎ -ize. FWIW, the OED doesn't list *Danishize either. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:44, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Should we indicate that as the (probable) etymology? — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:08, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
@Smuconlaw: Yes; I've just done that. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:04, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
OK, much obliged. — SMUconlaw (talk) 16:03, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Latin penuriaEdit

Does anybody have more details on this word? De Vaan doesn't mention it; and penury has another etymology. --Barytonesis (talk) 11:46, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

My bad, it does mention it as a derivative of paene, precisely. --Barytonesis (talk) 11:49, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I think it's the same root but not directly from paene, compare Greek cognates listed at spero. Crom daba (talk) 12:47, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

French à peineEdit

I don't know what to think of this edit. If it's right, we have to remove the descendants from paene. --Barytonesis (talk) 12:12, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

The TLFI says poena [4]. Also, can someone check the translations, they seem a bit off to me (especially #2). — Dakdada 15:24, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
If indeed paene means almost and poena means pain, then it could very well have been a corruption between the two, since they are pronounced similarly in Vulgar Latin (/pe.ne/ vs /pe.na/). --kc_kennylau (talk) 02:51, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I thought ae developed into an open-mid vowel /ɛ/ and oe into a close-mid vowel /e/. If so, then paene would have been /pɛ.ne/. — Eru·tuon 03:04, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I modified the etymology according to French Wiktionary. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 08:17, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

A new Labs Tool to visually explore etymological relationships extracted from the English WiktionaryEdit

Hi all! I have developed a tool to visualize etymologies. Please check it out at tools.wmflabs.org/etytree. My work is funded by an IEG grant. Please leave your feedback on the interactive tool here. It will help improve it.

It's is impressive how well automatic extraction of data works. This is because Etymology Sections are written using well defined standards. I would like to get some feedback about some difficulties I have encountered while extracting data and some ideas I have about new templates. I wrote some notes here. Please add your comment there if you have any.

Looking forward to your comments! Epantaleo (talk) 17:25, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

I took a look at a few basic words.
  1. "Door" generates, in addition to the expected chain of inheritance (< OE duru < PGmc *duriz ← PIE *dʰwer-) also an extensive tangent on completely unrelated words meaning "beetle". It seems that these have tagged along because of Middle English dor (a word that we do not have yet!) being used as a spelling for both.
    @Tropylium: Thanks for looking so much in detail. It's a great feedback. I'm going to reply to each point. Regarding dor, in the visualization it's dor, i.e., English dor (some kind of beetle) and not Middle English dor. Apparently (from the etymology in Wiktionary) both English door and English dor derive from Middle English dore. So the extraction is correct. Epantaleo (talk) 11:52, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
    So, the operation was a success, but the patient died... Homographs are definitely a problem, especially when there are a number of etymology sections, and with languages such as Middle English, where there's so much orthographical variation that unrelated words overlap. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:59, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
    @Chuck Entz: I see your point. You are right. The problem is intrinsic in the current way templates are used if two homographs link to the same lexical entry. This kind of experiment (the visualization) can help set new standards that improve how Wiktionary works in terms of infrastructure. If when people write etymology sections, they think about homographs and specify which sense they mean in the template, the graphs will link to the correct thing, a posteriori. This is not implemented yet though. To use your words, hopefully with a new setup (where thelink points to the word with the correct sense) the next patient won't die. Does it make sense? Epantaleo (talk) 15:30, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
    I doubt we will be "fixing" this just for the sake of accommodating your tool. People with brains can figure out that dor for "beetle" and dor for "door" are probably not the same word. And, as I said, you can fix this easily enough by not conflating homographs for which we have no entries. After all, you already manage to do this with homographs for which we do give multiple etymologies, correct?
    A fully machine-readable formatting standard for etymology would be quite a nice thing to have, but this is not really a project for Wiktionary to hash out (such a project would probably need a different underlying database structure entirely). --Tropylium (talk) 21:05, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
    @Tropylium: Maybe I'm too optimistic but how about users see that there is an incorrect link in etytree and add an entry for homograph "dor"? I think a major problem though is that in etymology sections there is no standard for homographs, i.e., even if there was an entry for "dor" etymology sections would anyway link to {{m|enm|dor}}, which is ambiguous. Maybe there could be something like {{m|enm|dor#Etymology_2}} or [[dor#Middle_English#Etymology_2]]?Epantaleo (talk) 16:09, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
  1. "Air" for some unfathomable reason gives only definition line 9 (i.e. "(informal) Nothing"). Only three derived terms are given (airworthy, castle in the air, phlogisticated air), out of dozens of possible ones. Two different PIE roots turn up (apparently because we have a faulty etymology at Modern Greek αέρας). Interestingly, one of them gets rendered with on-line numbers ("*h2weh1-"), despite our originals having the proper subscripts.
    @Tropylium: Good catch, those are small bugs that I'm going to fix: printing word definition in the tooltip seems to only print one of the definitions, and this change in superscript... not sure why this last thing is happening.Regarding derived terms, I am filtering those (I am working on filtering derived terms that are compounds at the moment, so they still show up) otherwise the visualization is overpopulated. Maybe I'll just have a button that visualizes all of the derived words if the user is interested. Epantaleo (talk) 11:57, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
  2. "Cheap" generates a generally correct-looking web of related words, but for some reason splits Old English cēap into two nodes, one of them labeled "ceap", the other "cēap". Is the tool failing to cope with words that we cite differently from the lemmatization?
    @Tropylium: ceap has been extracted from its own page https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ceap#Old_English, and there is no place (at least in etymology sections) where ceap is said to be etyomlogically equivalent to cēap. Again the extraction is working correctly. Epantaleo (talk) 12:02, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
    You may have failed to register correctly what the problem is. Ceap is not "etymologically equivant" to cēap, they are the one and the same word, which we spell in two different ways depending on the context. Our entry for ceap indeed notes this, in giving the word in its definition line as ċēap and not ceap. (You can think of ceap as a standardized broad transcription, cēap and ċēap as more narrow transcriptions.) It is highly typical for older stages of languages to have unstandardized orthography, which we here at Wiktionary solve by standardized lemmatization. Your tool definitely needs to be able to work with this. Although you could manually infer them from headword lines, rules for these operations can be generally found listed at Wiktionary's language considerations pages, in this case Wiktionary:About Old English. --Tropylium (talk) 21:05, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
    @Tropylium: Great, thanks for the pointer! I didn't know that. I will try to implement this, i.e., collapse different transcriptions of the same word. Epantaleo (talk) 16:11, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
  3. "Lunch" gives an extensive list of words borrowed fron English, and also an undergrowth of words meaning "long", that I don't see where it's pulling them from. I imagine they have something to do with the possibility we give that Northern English lunch might be from Spanish lonja — but the Spanish word itself appears nowhere in the chart! A second unrelated tangent adds in various "loin" words, again due to Old French longe having both meanings.
    @Tropylium: The etymology section in Portuguese lanche says: Borrowing from English lunch, shortened form of luncheon, probably from Old French longe, from lonc, from Latin longus. And Portouguese lanche is in the visualization. Epantaleo (talk) 12:12, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
    I see. That's perhaps taken care of easily enough: it might be a good idea to disregard claims of the form "word B derives from word C" in some other word A's entry, whenever word B's own entry has an etymology but fails to corroborate derivation from C. --Tropylium (talk) 21:05, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
So far this looks like kind of random performance; I have doubts about how much an uneducated reader is going to get out of it currently. In particular, it seems that the tool is making a bit too many assumptions about the relatedness of words whenever an entry is lacking. But I'm interested in seeing what direction this develops in.
@Tropylium: Hopefully I have shown with your examples that there is no random behavior.
As far as the interface goes, so far the generated graphs look far too "wiggly" to me, with the nodes grouped randomly and no clear way to identify different chronological levels. Attempting to manually re-organize the nodes, while possible, also seems to pull the entire graph along, with a distressing flickery effect (at least on Firefox 51.0.1 for the Mac).
@Tropylium: I agree. The thing is that, because of inconsistent etymologies (which I have to say I was expecting), I find loops in the graphs (which should not be!) otherwise I would use the much nicer visualization I used in the demo which uses trees that go from left to right following time evolution (with no loops!). Epantaleo (talk) 12:12, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

--Tropylium (talk) 19:23, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

I agree with Tropylium. The current state of the project seems more like a demonstration of author's d3 skills. Seriously, I can comprehend text better this infographics-wannabe. --

Dixtosa (talk) 19:36, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

@Dixtosa: Hope my explanations above answer your doubts too. In any case it was a lot of work for only 6 months. Hopefully my grant will be renewed so that I can improve the visual interface. It is noteworthy that the visualizations point out to inconsistent etymologies, which can be fixed. Once fixed the database extraction can be updated and the visualization will look fine. Epantaleo (talk) 12:14, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
This has made a ton of progress since I last looked at it, and it's really cool to see it coming along! However, there is certainly a lot of work to be done yet. The current moving web of words that is displayed is not as clear as the more linear layout I remember seeing before, which was far, far clearer. I'm not sure what your reasons for the change is (or if I'm just looking at incomplete work). I notice also that the search bar does not recognize diacritics, and does not even search when I use them (I tried searching "café" and "leçon" and nothing happened).
Again, I'm really thrilled about the idea, and the progress that has been made, but there's a lot of work to be done to make it more accurate and visually clear. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 23:20, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy: Thanks! That's very encouraging! :) I totally agree with you that the linear visualization was much clearer. I wish I could use it as it was so much work. However, as I have written before, in the current state, there is a lot of inconsistencies in etymologies which causes loops in the visualization and loops cannot fit in the previous visualization (trees don't have branches that merge back with the tree). Epantaleo (talk) 12:17, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy:, @Epantaleo: : As there are inconsistancies in the extracted data, with different nodes merged as a single one, the extracted datastructure is a graph. It is possible to overcome this limitation by "correcting" the structure on the fly (using a spanning tree algorithm or try to get a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph), which should be the correct structure. If the grant is to be continued, I'll be happy tohelp you find a correct algorithm for this. Dodecaplex (talk) 12:32, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
@Dodecaplex:: Great thanks! I thought about correcting the data on the fly too. However there is a fundamental question: do we want to manipulate what editors write in Wiktionary or do we just want to show what they write, including loops like the one described above? If we want editors to use this tool to check inconsistencies in Wiktionary then we want to plot what is is Wiktionary and let them fix inconsistencies. Maybe we can have both visualizations, one with loops and one without loops? Using both might be a lot of work. Epantaleo (talk) 16:20, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of visualizing the derivational relationships between words. However, as shown in the image for coffee, the tool doesn't recognize variant spellings of the same word: specifically the Arabic قَهْوَة (qahwa) with diacritics and قهوة without. Those should be a single node in the diagram; they are variant spellings of the same word, just as Old English ċēap, cēap, and ceap are. Ideally, the tool would show the form with the most diacritics, as it has the most information (that is, قَهْوَة (qahwa) and ċēap); and for Arabic, this is doubly necessary, because spellings without diacritics are extremely ambiguous in certain cases. (Arabic letters indicate consonants or long vowels, while diacritics indicate vowels, the lack of a vowel, and consonant doubling.) — Eru·tuon 01:54, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
@Erutuon: Thanks! Actually your note is similar to Tropylium's note above for Old English. I hope I'll have more time to work on etytree and implement this change. Epantaleo (talk) 16:24, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

Category:Proto-Germanic given namesEdit

A lot of the reconstructed given names we have are attested only in one or two (often closely related) early Germanic languages; e.g. *Grīmaz, *Audawarduz, *Mērijawīgą, *Andaswaraz, *Hrōþilandą, and so forth. On what basis do we assume that names like these were in fact in use in Proto-Germanic and were not just later regional innovations? — Kleio (t · c) 16:51, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Grim is attested as a nickname for the same God in Old Norse and Old English (Grīm and Grímr). There's also scanty evidence the Franks may have had a God they called Grīm. I'd say two (possibly three?) languages having the same nickname for the same Common God is enough to keep Grīmaz. The other few do seem a bit tenuous, especially Mērijawīgą, as only Mariwig is an "attested" Frankish name ("attested" since only through Latin Merovechus). Llacheu (talk) 17:04, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Where is Grim attested as a given name, and do these attestations predate intensive contact with ON speakers? Same with the Frankish attestation you speak of. My Google-fu is failing me, and I would like to verify. — Kleio (t · c) 18:41, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Latin conjugation vs. present active participle endingEdit

Is there anything for 3rd?

conj 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
verb -o#Latin (denominal or 3rd-conj.-deverbal compound) -eo#Latin (causative)  ?? -io#Latin (causative)
pres.act.part. -ans#Latin -ens#Latin  ?? -iens#Latin

Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 17:38, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Yes, , -ēns, though as the descendant of the default thematic or athematic conjugation, they aren't really derivational suffixes. —JohnC5 18:13, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
@JohnC5The same , -ēns of 1st and 2nd that would respectively make?:
  • suffixed to third-conjugation verbs in composition, forms regular first-conjugation verbs INTO
    suffixed to third-conjugation verbs in composition, forms regular first-conjugation and third-conjugation verbs; and
  • Used to form present active participles from second conjugation verbs. INTO
    Used to form present active participles from second and third conjugation verbs? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 13:19, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Template:REPLY TO Yes and no. For -ēns, that is fine, but for , this isn't correct. It's only inflectional morphology, not derivation for 3rd conjugation. Verbs don't really become 3rd conjugation. They are just inherited into that conjugation. On the other hand, verbs do switch conjugation to 1st. @CodeCat, could you confirm this? —JohnC5 15:32, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Every conjugation has a characteristic underlying formation, which may or may not be still productive. The issue is that the conjugations include multiple formations that have been subsumed into one group. The 1st conjugation, for example, is made up of denominatives formed from ā-stems with a ye-suffix, factitives formed from thematic adjectives with a h₂ye-suffix, a few primary root verbs, mostly from laryngeal-final roots, frequentatives in -tā-, deverbal verbs created by prefixing a preverb, and various analogical derivations. The second conjugation contains at least statives in -ē- and o-grade causatives in -eye-. So to say that a verb is converted to another conjugation is misleading; you should specify which formation was used in the conversion. —CodeCat 15:38, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
done Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 21:01, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
3rd conjugation could have two forms, compare for example rego (reg-o) and capio (cap-io). -Slœtel (talk) 21:10, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. @Prisencolin, not really sure what you mean by "court dialect". — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:35, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

It appears to follow the romanization scheme scene in An English and Chinese Vocabulary, in the Court Dialect- -Prisencolin (talk) 02:47, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
It seems to be referring to the Nanjing dialect. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 17:08, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I've made changes to the article to reflect this, but it's hard to tell whether it actually comes from the Nanjing dialect. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 17:12, 18 February 2017 (UTC)


schots, RFV of etymology 2: This etymology is also given by De Vries [5], but other dictionaries don't follow him and call the etymology uncertain. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:49, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

RFV etym ergosterolEdit

Sourced in DHLP=Houaiss for Portuguese, and Wikipedia, I changed the etym from LA<GRC ergo- + sterol to EN/FR ergot + sterol. Any idea of the preference for EN or FR? (BTW, Houaiss says PT<FR, not from EN). Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 13:10, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

Many sources list this as originating from Latin. Merriam-Webster and Oxford also mention that it came into English via Italian.

Our entry currently says this originated in French. Anyone have any clarity on where this etymology came from, and whether this is a valid alternative theory or just a mistake? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:23, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Whoever added it may have got it from here [[6]] Leasnam (talk) 05:44, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I have removed that part pending further sources. The OED says "Italian and Latin", but it looks to me that the instrument was invented by Germans and that the name was simply taken directly from Latin for all major European languages involved. It referred to a specific sort of Roman instrument, for which our English entry lacks a sense. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:47, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. "Worüber man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen." We need some Italian, German, and French etymological research. DCDuring TALK 15:39, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
Robert has tuba from a 1767 dictionary referring to a Roman instrument, doesn't mention Italian, but (of course) refers to Latin origin. The correspondence of the early use of the French term to the modern instrument is not clear to me. DCDuring TALK 15:48, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
For German, Pfeiffer says "borrowing (second half of 18th century) from Latin tuba". Kolmiel (talk) 19:23, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Philippa (Dutch) may be interesting: "Borrowed from German Tuba "tuba" (1845), earlier already Baß-Tuba (1835), a generalization of Tuba "Roman war trumpet" (1768), which is borrowed from Latin [...]. Before that, Dutch tuba "Roman war trumpet" had already been borrowed [...]. The German musician Wilhelm Wieprecht and the instrument maker Gottfried Moritz obtained a patent for the tuba in 1835, a bass wind instrument developed by them, under the name of Baß-Tuba." — So it seems that the word as such had already spread and that the use for the modern instrument is from German. Kolmiel (talk) 19:31, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Vandalic orthography for reconstructionsEdit

For the interested (@Anglom, Angr, CodeCat, Leasnam?) I started a discussion on this user page about Vandalic reconstructions after the entries *Gaisareiks and *Hildireiks were created recently. Input may be nice, since I've not done a whole lot of reading about Vandalic yet. — Kleio (t · c) 18:35, 16 February 2017 (UTC)


Online Etymology Dictionary claims that Proposed Arabic sources in a name of a variety of saltwort have not been attested and that theory is no longer considered valid. , do we know something they don't or is our Arabic etymon bunk? Crom daba (talk) 11:50, 18 February 2017 (UTC)


According to Wikipedia, the shamisen originated from the Chinese sanxian. If that is the case, why do we claim here that the word shamisen in Japanese comes from Okinawan? ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:15, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Is the etymology at 三味線#Japanese confusing? I would be happy to rework it if needed.
The term's history is relatively clear. The instrument may indeed have originated in China, but the term came from Okinawan, albeit based on constituent roots originally borrowed from Chinese. The relevant section of the WP article (at w:Shamisen#History_and_genres) notes the transmission of the instrument from China to Japan via the Ryūkyū Kingdom. The Japanese WP article section here notes that the Chinese instrument was known in the Ryūkyū Kingdom from 1392. That article also states that this was then transmitted to Sakai in mainland Japan in 1558 or 1559.
FWIW, the Japanese cognate for Chinese 三弦 (sānxián) is 三弦 (sangen). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:24, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm just confused how something which originated from China could be originally derived from a Japonic language. Perhaps the etymology does not go back far enough? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:42, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Perhaps we're talking past each other?
One example of a Chinese "thing" with a non-Chinese name is English bean curd instead of tofu. Things and the terms for those things don't always share origins.
“something which originated from China” -- The "thing" is the instrument, which did originate in China. No concerns there.
“could be originally derived from a Japonic language” -- The Japanese term 三弦 (sangen) for (one variety of) this instrument originates in Chinese. However, Japanese 三味線 (shamisen) derives from an Okinawan-coined compound of Chinese-derived elements 蛇皮 (jabi, snake skin) + (sen, line; string). The choice of the (sen) final character was influenced by the xián phonetics of the Chinese , but the Japanese 三味線 (shamisen) etymon 蛇皮線 (jabisen) as a single term was decidedly not from Chinese, to the best of what I've been able to find.
The alternative name of the more-traditionally Okinawan form of the instrument, 三線 (sanshin), is definitely borrowed from Chinese 三弦 (sānxián) phonetically, with the Japanese term using (shin, more commonly sen, line; string) as a phonosemantic replacement for Chinese (xián, string of an instrument), as the Japanese reading of this character is gen, which doesn't match the Chinese pronunciation at all.
Does that answer your concerns? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:23, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for that detailed explanation, I think I understand now. Cheers! ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:09, 22 February 2017 (UTC)


G. Meyer 1891: 259 (G. Meyer. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der albanesischen Sprachen. Strassbourg. 1891) —This unsigned comment was added by Mattbeets (talkcontribs)..

@Mattbeets: Is that supposed to be the source for the substrate origin proposed at mërajë? Meyer claims no such thing. According to him the Albanian word is a Romance borrowing. Feel free to readd the substrate theory (which is plausible) with a proper reference. --Vahag (talk) 14:25, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
@Vahagn Petrosyan: no, just a source for the attestations, since there was none. But I must admit i did not have the original source, so it was a proxy reference from Berneker's "Slavisches etymologisches Wörterbuch" (second volume) p. 73, but I thought the original reference was best. The substrate theory is mostly mentioned for the Greek word. e.g. Beekes 2010 . 903-904 copying from Schwyzer 1953 (first volume) p. 61 (and the same in Chantraine's and Frisk's respective dictionaries). The Greek dictionaries, however do not mention the Rumanian and Albanian, as I recall). —This unsigned comment was added by Mattbeets (talkcontribs).
I have moved the etymological discussion to maraj, with references. --Vahag (talk) 15:02, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Russian оченьEdit

Vasmer speaks of a relationship with о́ко (óko, the eye). What's the semantical link? --Barytonesis (talk) 23:02, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

Presumably visibly -> obviously -> prominently -> very Crom daba (talk) 16:51, 26 February 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

User:Hekwos changed the etymology for this English biblical name to assert that the original Hebrew term from which it came literally means "son of days"(referring to Jacob's age at the time of the birth), rather than "son of (my/the) right hand" or "son of (the) south", based on the assumption that it contains the plural of the Aramaic word for days. I disagree, and have reverted them twice. Since Semitic linguistics isn't one of my stronger areas, I would like a second opinion before taking further action. See the talk page for the points made so far and the edit history for the details of the reverted edits. Thanks! Chuck Entz (talk) 23:18, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

Reconstruction:Old English/LocaEdit

A user has created this entry but initially neglected to provide any descendants, so I marked it for speedy. This was reverted and a descendant added. However, I'm still not convinced that any of this stands up to scrutiny. —CodeCat 15:50, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Then scrutinise it. CodeCat has neglected to provide my full explanation and the fact I added etymologies. Llacheu (talk) 16:56, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
I smell yet anUther sock. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:48, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
lol clever ;) Leasnam (talk) 06:54, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I have upgraded Equinox's block to a permaban, as even if this isn't Uther, this user threatened other editors quite violently. I have also deleted most of the reconstructions he created. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:32, 26 February 2017 (UTC)


I would like to ask to check the etymology of the English term polo. My Czech language etymology dictionary says that the Czech word pólo comes (obviously) from the English term which comes from Balti expression polo which is a cognate with Tibetan pulu. Something similar can be seen e. g. also at the Online Etymology Dictionary. However, our entry says that the Balti term is pulu and the Tibetan term is po lo. I am not able to correct it since I cannot write the scripts of the two languages. Thanks. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 23:31, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

The Balti is pulu, Tibetan is polo. Both written the same way: པོ་ལོ (po lo). པོ་ལོ (po lo) is definitely polo in Tibetan, pulu in Balti. That little   ོ ( o) on top of the letters is the Tibetan ‘o’. —Stephen (Talk) 02:38, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, I do not understand, why do all the dictionaries have it the other way. Another one is here: [7] --Jan Kameníček (talk) 18:16, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang:. Could you help? DCDuring TALK 18:45, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

English etymological dictionaries:

  • Hobson-Jobson; a glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive:
    Page 1, Page 2
  • The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology:
    Polo, a game. (Balti.) 'It comes from Balti; polo being properly, in the language of that region, the ball used in the game;' Yule. Balti is in the high valley of the Indus.
  • An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English
    polo. Balti (dial. of Indus valley); cf. Tibetan pulu. First played in England at Aldershot in 1871.

Evolution of the Wiktionary entry:

Tibetan resources:

  • Tibetan writing is conservative (i.e. does not reflect modern pronunciation). The usual word for “ball” is པོ་ལོ (po lo) or སྤོ་ལོ (spo lo), pronounced differently in different places, including po:lo· in Balti (Rangan, K. 1975. Balti phonetic reader).
    Dialectal pronunciations of this term: list. Only one showing pulu is Wenlang dialect of the Cuona language, an East Bodish language (not Tibetic).
  • Balti-English / English-Balti Dictionary: polo s (i) ball; (ii) polo [T. (Ladakhi) bo-lo 'ball']
  • པུ་ལུ (pu lu) is found in Written Tibetan, but it means “hut made of stones”. ཕུ་ལུ (phu lu) is “a unit for tax assessment”.


  • Balti pulu in the current entry is likely a mixup amongst the many edits. It should be corrected to po lo (spelt པོ་ལོ (po lo) in Tibetan script, or پولو in the Perso-Arabic script).
  • Status of Balti (as either a Tibetan dialect or a separate language) should be discussed, and پﻭﻝﻭ should be checked. It was created by a possibly non-native anon.
  • Tibetan pulu is so far not verified. It may be a word from a western Tibetan dialect.

Wyang (talk) 23:45, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

@Wyang Could you please correct the entry in the way you have suggested above? --Jan Kameníček (talk) 16:25, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
@Jan.Kamenicek No worries, I've corrected the entry. Wyang (talk) 06:11, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang Thank you. Originally I thought that the Tibetan script needs to be corrected too. Jan Kameníček (talk) 07:49, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Balti, but I suspect پﻭﻝﻭ should be spelled پولو, if it is indeed a real word. --WikiTiki89 14:22, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Oh I see that was already mentioned. I'm going to move it if no one objects. --WikiTiki89 14:24, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I tried to search the last database dump for any pages with Arabic presentation forms in their titles, but AWB found none — not even this page, although the dump was from three days before you moved it, so it should have showed up. - -sche (discuss) 17:46, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

March 2017

Proto-Germanic frawjô and Russian правый from PIE *prōw- 'right judge, master'?Edit

Proto-Germanic *frawjô 'lord' (and hence German Frau), Russian правый 'right-hand' (the *frawjô entry actually mentioned only the secondary meaning 'rightist') and Latin provincia are all claimed in their respective entries to derive from a PIE *prōw- 'right judge, master'. I don't find this assertion elsewhere. On *frawjô, Kroonen's dictionary of PG only says that the PIE etymology is unclear and that the assumed connection to 'front', 'first' is problematic. Orel's dictionary of PG only ventures to claim some kind of connection with *pro 'forward' (he does mention that other authors have claimed a connection to provincia and право, but not a common meaning of 'lord' or 'judge'). The Indo-European Lexicon at Austin links the root in *frawjô to PIE *per- 'to pass over, beyond'. On правый, Vasmer's etymological dictionary of Russian assumes a connection to the PIE root for 'forward' and some parallel with Latin probus 'good, upright' and Old Norse framr 'forward, prominent, superior'. On 'province', the Online Etymology Dictionary considers the etymology uncertain; Vasmer does note the opinion of Pisani 1941 assuming a derivation of provincia from a root *prōv- 'having authority/right' connected to Slavic прав 'right(-hand)'. Even this conjecture of one author doesn't amount to a reconstruction of a PIE etymon meaning 'just master', from which Proto-Germanic *frawjô would be derived.-- 05:53, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

*prōw- is from Pokorny, and indeed appears to be outdated. --Tropylium (talk) 17:31, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
I see, that would be Pokorny's entry prō̆-u̯o, listed as a derivative of pro, prō 'forward' (in turn from per-, 'to go over'), which I paste below. Even if one sets aside the fact that some parts apparently haven't been accepted by newer authors, the original Pokorny entry still looks far more plausible than its reflection in the Wiktionary entries: he doesn't actually assert unequivocally that the meaning 'master' was present already in PIE, he doesn't suggest that the concrete physical meaning in Slavic is derived from the social/political meaning 'master', and he most certainly doesn't imply that this alleged PIE etymon also meant 'judge' and was derived from a notion of 'justice'. All he says is that there was a derivation from the root for 'forward' and that its reflexes meant 'inclined forward' in some languages, 'direct', hence 'right', in Slavic, and 'lord' in Germanic (and possibly, but not certainly, Italic, which would have been the only justification for dating the meaning 'lord' to PIE times at all). If I had to imagine, based just on the above, a semantic development getting us from '(inclined) forward' to 'lord', my first guess would be something like front > prominent/leading > chief/lord, not front (> direct > right? > just?) > judge, just lord > lord (and again > right in Slavic). There seems to be very little in the facts from which the whole 'justice' element would follow. The Slavic development would have been quite separate 'front > inclined forward > direct > right' and there is no reason to ascribe the Slavic secondary abstract meaning of 'justice' all the way back to PIE - nor does Pokorny do that, since he derives the Slavic meaning of 'right' from '(inclined) forward' via 'gradaus', i.e.


g. pro, prō `vorwärts, vorn, voran' ... prō̆-u̯o-: in ai. pravaṇā- `(vorwärts) geneigt, abschüssig', n. `Abhang, Halde'; über lat. prōnus s. oben; gr. πρᾱνής, hom. πρηνής `vorwärts geneigt' nach Leumann Homer. Wörter 77 f. aus *προ-ᾱνης `Gesicht voraus'; mit anderer Bedeutung ahd. frō, as. frao, ags. frēa `Herr' (*frawan-), got. frauja `Herr' (aisl. Freyr GN zum o-St. geworden), as. frōio ds., aisl. freyja `Herrin; Name der Göttin', ahd. frouwa `Frau'; daneben as. frūa, mnd. frūwe `Frau' aus *frōwōn, idg *prō-u̯o-, das auch in att. πρῷρα (lat. Lw. prōra) `Schiffsvorderteil' (πρωϝαιρα-, -αρι̯α idg. *prōu̯-r̥i̯ā); vielleicht lat. prōvincia, wenn auf einem *prōu̯iōn `Herr, Herrschaft' beruhend; abg. pravъ `recht, richtig' (`*gradaus');
-- 12:29, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
prince Lysdexia (talk) 03:50, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:00, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

Albanian etymologiesEdit

We seem to have another editor of Albanian (Herakliu (talkcontribs)) who is removing a lot of evidence of Latin or Slavic borrowing. I'm not certain whether the user is correct, but I would like someone to check as this is a fairly frequent occurrence for Albanian. —JohnC5 15:39, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Correcting few (6-7?) etymologies doesn't look like "Removing a lot of evidence" to me. Relax, I'm not vandalazing.Herakliu (talk) 16:50, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, if what you're doing is motivated by nationalist sentiment, then yes, it is vandalism. @Vahagn Petrosyan? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:28, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
He is replacing one unsourced etymology with another. I would revert him, but I would also delete the rest of unsourced Albanian material. --Vahag (talk) 11:19, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Do we need a source to state that 2+2=4? Notice how I corrected only very few and manifestly false etymologies. Perhaps, instead than blindly reverting, we could debate the lemmas that are controverse. Herakliu (talk) 15:37, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
@Herakliu: Bring up the debates at WT:ES, we'll see if it's indeed 2+2=4. --Vahag (talk) 04:46, 10 March 2017 (UTC)


It says peritus comes from periri whereas experior says its pp. is expertus and pereo says its pp. is peritus. Lysdexia (talk) 03:50, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the glyph origin. Added by an anon back in 2011. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:48, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


I want to challenge the claim that it is a "calque of English fennec fox". —suzukaze (tc) 18:12, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

  • Another of Fumiko's copious and generally unresearched additions.
Sans any findable evidence, I judge this to be a mistake. Japanese terms for animals, foreign and otherwise, often append the specific appellation with a more general term. I see no reason to treat フェネック狐 (fenekku-gitsune, fennec fox) as an English calque any more than 日本狼 (Nihon ōkami, Japanese wolf). Especially considering that フェネック (fenekku) is overwhelmingly more common -- the shorter gets 794 ostensible hits at google books:"フェネック" -"フェネック狐", collapsing to 49 when paging through, while the longer gets only 2 at google books:"フェネック狐", one of which is a manga (notable as manga are known for neologisms and odd spellings). Searches on the wider web show similar trends (google:"フェネック" -"フェネック狐" -wiki -glosbe @ 750K vs. google:"フェネック狐" -wiki -glosbe @ 4,930).
I'll clean up the entry. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:40, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
(It seems like the usual spelling for this term is the katakana form フェネックギツネ, which may be why the Google Books results for ~狐 are so meager. —suzukaze (tc) 23:51, 9 March 2017 (UTC))


RFV of the etymology.

The Talk page has an old two-post discussion-stub about this, but the argument then boiled down to "see Wikipedia". I had a look, and Wikipedia's content seems to suggest that hamburger in reference to the food was an English innovation, as the name changed from earlier Hamburg steak. See, for instance, [[w:Hamburg steak]], which describes the history of the food, with this appellation apparently older than hamburger. As the dish metamorphosed from a chopped-beef patty on a plate to a ground-beef patty on a bun, it seems the name shifted as well. This jives with my own understanding of the foods and the related terms, although where I came by my own recollections is since lost in time.

Does anyone have anything more authoritative? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:24, 9 March 2017 (UTC)


In Sargeant (Sargeant, Winthrop (2009), The Bhagavad Gita, SUNY Press, 2009, p. 303) and Hagen (Hagen, Steve Buddhism Plain a Simple, Charles E. Tuutle Co 1997 p.25) it says that the root meaning of dukkha is "a wheel out of kilter" or "an axle hole that is badly aligned" obviously causing discomfort to the rider of the vehicle. Do you any of the experts here know if this is correct? If so, should it be added to the definition? Thanks! Talk to SageGreenRider 14:19, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Monier-Williams's 1899 Sanskrit Dictionary says that the analysis of दुःख (duḥkha) (the Sanskrit ancestor of Pali dukkha) as दुस्- (dus-, bad) + (kha, axle hole) is a folk etymology and it's probably actually a Prakritization of दुस्- (dus-, bad) + स्थ (stha, standing). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:05, 12 March 2017 (UTC)


@Equinox: I'm doubtful that the sense "to kill" comes from Russian. French has the same metaphorical meaning, and I'm sure other languages too; the semantical link is pretty simple. --Barytonesis (talk) 20:35, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

I simply moved that text from the definition to the etymology, where it belonged. I didn't add the claim. Equinox 20:38, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, sorry about that. @Ulmanor. --Barytonesis (talk) 20:41, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
Etymonline makes the same claim. Crom daba (talk) 13:25, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

etytree, a graphical and multilingual etymology dictionary based on Wiktionary: feedback and endorsementEdit

Hi all!

I have now completed the first phase of the project and I’m asking for a renewal and for your feedback! Pls add your comment at the end of page Renewal.

A link to the demo is demo, while a link to the first release is tools.wmflabs.org/etytree.

Looking forward to your comments on the grant page! Epantaleo (talk) 14:22, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

Separate PIE root for are?Edit

Wikipedia has this:

"This has been claimed as the origin of the Old Norse and later Scandinavian languages' present stem: Old Norse em, ert, er, erum, eruð, eru; the second person forms of which were borrowed into English as art and are.[3] It has also been seen as the origin of the Latin imperfect (eram, eras, erat) and future tenses (ero, eris, erit). However, other authorities link these forms with *h1es- and assume grammatischer Wechsel (/s/→/r/), although this is not normally found in the present stem. Donald Ringe argues that the copula was sometimes unaccented in Pre-Proto-Germanic, which would have then triggered the voicing under Verner's law.[1][page needed] He explains the Germanic first person singular form *immi as such, deriving it from earlier *ezmi, since -zm-, but not -sm-, was assimilated to -mm- in Germanic (for which other evidence exists as well). Furthermore, the third person plural form *sindi (from PIE *h₁sénti) shows that this word, too, was unaccented. If the accent had been preserved, it would have become *sinþi, but that form is not found in any Germanic language. In this view, it is likely that stressed and unstressed varieties of the copula (with corresponding voiceless and voiced fricatives) existed side by side in Germanic, and the involvement of a separate root *h₁er- is unnecessary."

So is Ringe's position more solid than assuming a whole new PIE root entirely?

Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 03:23, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

cochlear and descendantsEdit

The descendants all seem to reflect *cochleara (and not **cochlearia), and Alkire-Rosen 2010 references it, but I'm not sure if -ara is a specific suffix or just feminine -a grafted onto a neuter. KarikaSlayer (talk) 20:43, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

grind to a haltEdit

RFV of the etymology.

Both the original etymology and the more elaborate reworking refer to windmills grinding grain/corn, which seems a bit of a stretch. It seems to me to simply refer to the grinding of hard surfaces against each other when something goes wrong with machinery. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:34, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

camel through the eye of a needleEdit

Is there any indication that this phrase has been adopted from Luke rather than Mark or Matthew, since the Greek isn't all that different? If not, it makes more sense to put the text from Mark (oldest) or Matthew (most influential) there if a full quote is necessary.

Also, it would be nice to have an indication of when the phrase began to be used as an independent idiom. The oldest hits on Google Books date to around 1800. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:29, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

It's probably best to cite all three gospels; people remembering the phrase from the Bible and using it in other contexts are probably not going to be remembering it from only one of the gospels and not the other two. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:24, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Added to the Citations page. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:09, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


More likely from Ancient Greek γένος (génos) than Latin genus, no? Anyone have a good reference? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:58, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree with "more likely", though it isn't definite. Arabic does have a fair number of old Latin loanwords. However, these themselves were often transmitted through Greek. If we can't find a reference, let's just mention both. Kolmiel (talk) 12:14, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
It might also come from Classical Syriac ܓܢܣܐ (gensa, absolute and construct state gnes), which also lacks a vowel corresponding to "o" or "u". In that event it would derive from the Ancient Greek. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:15, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's one of the commonest tracks: Latin → Greek → Syriac → Arabic. Of course, it need not start at Latin. And in this case it makes it even more likely that it doesn't, but that the origin is Greek. Kolmiel (talk) 12:31, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Considering that Greek already had the word γένος (génos), it would not make sense for it to have borrowed Latin genus as well, although the meanings could have influenced each other. However, the native Greek word is enough to explain the rest of the borrowing chain, so there is no need to bring Latin into the picture. --WikiTiki89 12:40, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, but we don't seem to positively know how the word actually entered Arabic. We know that it's not inherited and that there are these Greek and Latin terms that fit perfectly. So let's just say:
"Probably from Classical Syriac ܓܢܣܐ (gensa), from Ancient Greek γένος (génos). Less likely from Latin genus. In either case eventually from Proto-Indo-European *ǵénh₁os."
Kolmiel (talk) 23:33, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Unless there's a chance it came directly from Latin or a Romance language, I don't think there is a reason to consider Latin as a source. --WikiTiki89 21:16, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Our etymology is not based on any actual research in this word, just on our general knowledge and experience. So yeah, maybe it was borrowed directly from Roman soldiers in the Jordanian desert in the 1st century AD. Or maybe... Or maybe... All of this is improbable, so we say "less likely", but why not even mentioning it when we can't rule it out? Kolmiel (talk) 19:24, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Source for no relation between deus and θεόςEdit

The claim that those terms aren't related is sourced, but the source (Fortson) is lacking. Is this a good place to dispute the source?

Fortson doesn't give direct evidence and thus doesn't meet Wikipedia's standards on it's own (Exceptional claims require exceptional sources), in my opinion, because it's the only source and the claim is only mentioned in passing. The claim is surprising because of older sources and therefore frequently disputed by laymen like myself. I started a lengthy discussion that I don't expect to continue in good faith. Additional sources would be welcome.

The argument on the talk page goes, the PIE roots were completely different, because there was no way d (as in *dyew- (sky, heaven)) or (as in *dʰéh₁s (sacred place)) could have any relation. A negative is hard to prove. Lack of mention of a relation in e.g. (Ringe) does not directly support the claim. At the very least a common pre-PIE origin cannot be ruled out.

Although, this lack of relation supposedly is basic knowledge within the field of PIE reconstruction, simply because of sound laws. I don't believe d and are too far apart, given the mostly converging development of these phonemes. Can that be confirmed or denied here? 11:06, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Indeed, you cannot, strictly speaking, prove a negative. What's possible is to show that the resemblance that we see between deus and θεός (theós) is accidental:
  1. Latin eu comes by contraction from earlier -ejwo- (actually attested in Old Latin), and Greek meanwhile comes by contraction from earlier *-eho- < *-eso-. While e ~ e and -us ~ -ος (-os) are regular and unproblematic correspondences, -jw- versus -s- is very much not.
    (We do not have direct evidence for Proto-Greek *-h-, but we do have evidence against -w-. I suppose in theory a Proto-Hellenic *tʰejos cannot be ruled out without appealing to evidence outside Greek, though.)
  2. The meanings of the terms diverge: the Latin word comes with regular development from a root meaning 'bright, shining' (> 'heavenly' > 'god'), while the Greek word comes from a root meaning 'to place' (> 'placed' > 'dedicated' > 'worshipped' > 'divine; god').
Given just the basic roots, *dyew- (heaven) versus *dʰeh₁- (to place) (or even the specific pre-forms: *deywós versus *dʰh₁sós, there remains no reason to suspect that they might be related, though this is of course still theoretically possible. --Tropylium (talk) 14:51, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
@ What do you mean the source, Fortson, is lacking? It's right there at the bottom of the page: "Fortson, Benjamin W. (2010) Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, second edition, Oxford: Blackwell, page 1". And it isn't just him. All Indo-European scholars agree that θεός (theós) and deus are unrelated and their similarity is coincidental. It's true that you can't prove a negative, but in this case the positive claim (that the two are related) has no evidence whatsoever to support it, so the negative claim (that they're unrelated) is not exceptional at all; it is of necessity the default assumption in the absence of evidence to the contrary. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:55, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
"All Indo-European scholars agree" means nothing as far as they're concerned. I think the basic problem is that references like Fortson aren't going to give detailed explanations of the theory underlying their statements, because everyone who reads them is presumed to know it already. This person has never studied Indo-European historical linguistics, so you have to construct the theory for them from the ground up in order to explain anything. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:52, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
You're right; I hadn't seen the whole thread at Talk:θεός before. It's pretty clear he's arguing along the same lines as someone who, never having taken a class in biology, believes that bats and butterflies must be birds because they have wings and can fly, and is unwilling to accept the word of a textbook that mentions in passing that they aren't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:45, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: I believe it's simply part of the scientific method to explain from the ground up. Fortson surely doesn't presume any knowledge at the beginning of an introductory book. Sure I'm not qualified in this field, so I'm not contesting the validity, but the verifiability of the source. "All Indo-European scholars agree" means, I expect multiple sources. I acknowledge that's grabbing for a straw. 23:30, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
@Angr: "It's true that you can't prove a negative" - I claim nothing more, no positive claim, no evidence, with regard to edits to the article, but the default is "we don't know" (w:Null hypothesis).
I merely tried to justify the motivation of my doubt. Hence, absence of evidence is not w:Evidence_of_absence. With regards to Latin and Greek, substantial evidence might be obvious, though only against the naive assumption that one was directly borrowed from the other.
@Tropylium:, that's very thorough. I'd like to speculate and argue, but I suppose that would distract from the dispute about the source. I just want to remind you that the claim in Fortson is not limited to classic Greek and Latin, likewise the claim in the article which doesn't even appear in the context of PIE and is thus an outright generalization including pre PIE. Apart from that, PIE itself is dated with a precision of 500 to 1000 years and I am supposed to accept arguments about precise sound changes according to a small amount of rigid rules of a language without direct record? I don't mean to belittle the scholarship, that's actually awesome, but you have to admit certain limits to the comparative method. 23:30, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
If that's your entire point, then yes, it's completely possible that the two PIE roots are indeed related at some distant level many thousand years off. But then again, maybe it might be instead some other correspondence, such as θεός (theós) ~ febris, or ~ libum? If we do not bother working with regular sound correspondences and the other constraints that have been set up in historical linguistics, then we end up with nothing more than a w:just-so story, and literally any arbitrary relationships can be considered. --Tropylium (talk) 00:01, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

While perusing Beekes' Comparatice Indo-European Linguistics, I noticed that he explicitly states on page 14 that deus and θεός (theós) are unrelated. Just thought I'd mention here. —JohnC5 04:33, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

@JohnC5: Not in the edition I'm looking at (2010).
Second edition. —JohnC5 05:21, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I was looking at the etymological dictionary that you pointed me at, not the 2011 text book on the comparative method. So, he doesn't explicitly say the words are not related and from a first reading I get the impression after trying really hard to, that he only claims that theos wasn't borrowed from deus. 05:47, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


I did this a month ago, but I wonder if it was a good idea. It looks like a word suffixed in -unculus, but it's not; it really is the -culus suffix attached to a third declension -n- stem (-unculus comes from there by metanalysis). A true occurrence of the -unculus suffix would be ranunculus. --Barytonesis (talk) 17:26, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree that is should be homō +‎ -culus or maybe -ulus. homunculus would be the natural outcome of *homon-k-elos (See here for more on the vowels). —JohnC5 18:35, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


In what sense is "parallel" being used here? A calque? DTLHS (talk) 01:30, 22 March 2017 (UTC)


This word evidently comes from India, but which language and what etymon? @DerekWinters, Wyang (I'm really not sure who's best to ping for Indian etymologies, hope one of you guys knows.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:07, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Sorry, I've checked all the resources I have. Swahili Indic loanwords chiefly come from Gujarati, Hindi, and Marathi. Probably Kutchi too but I have no data on that. I don't have a big Marathi dictionary, but with what I have I've found nothing. DerekWinters (talk) 05:37, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
John M. Mugane's 2015 Story of Swahili (2015, ISBN 0896804895), page 51, says jora and tola are both Hindi, although he also says rangi is from Hindi, whereas we say it's from Persian; that's a lead to take with grains of salt. An article in this Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika (1988, page 118), mentioning Malagasy and Swahili borrowings, compares gora (using an older / alternate orthography / spelling) to Hindi jorā. None of our definitions of जोड़ा leap out as obvious sources, though The Kilindi, by Abdallah Bin Hemedi 'lAjjemy, points out that sometimes a Hindi "word tends in Swahili to be rather a measure of length than a description of material" or whatever else it originally denoted. Sharifa Zawawi, Kanga: The Cloth that Speaks (2005), page 10, says self-inconsistently that "Johnson derives the word jora from Hindi juwr[sic], "a length of calico in the piece of about 30 yards. The change of Arabic[sic] sound /uw/ to /o/ in Swahili is a phonological change seen in other cognates such as suwq > soko "market" [...]. In this example, jurra becomes jora or gora." A Uganda Journal article also lists it as a borrowing from Arabic. Perhaps someone with better Hindi and Arabic dictionaries can check these leads. - -sche (discuss) 06:47, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm reading Mugane's book; he's an engaging writer, but unfortunately a truly awful source for reliable etymologies! Zawawi can be frustrating, but she's usually better than that... I consulted Hans Wehr, but jurra revealed nothing relevant and I think juwr is what he would spell as jur, but I coudn't find that either. (That said, I have never studied Arabic, so I may be going at it wrong.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:15, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Does the alternation of g- ~ j- (gora ~ jora ~ jura) point to an Arabic origin? Malagasy gora, which is from Swahili gora, means "bundles or bales of cotton goods; a bolt of cloth". I think this may be derived from Arabic جُرَز (juraz), plural of جُرْزَة (jurza, bundle (of hay, etc.)). Wyang (talk) 07:52, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel, can you assess whether this seems right? Swahili does sometimes borrow from the Arabic plural directly, although it is relatively uncommon. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:51, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, the word جُرْزَة (jurza) exists, the plural is correct, and so is the sense "bundle of hay". It is also correct that an alternation between g and j can easily explained on the basis of dialectal variation within Arabic. I'm wondering why a word apparently meaning "thirty yards of cloth" should be from one meaning "bundle of hay". As to جُرَّة (jurra), it means a) a kind of arrow, and b) a kind of sieve used in sowing wheat according to this. And جُورَة (jūra) means "hole", but I think it's chiefly dialectal. I would have to check the old dictionaries. Maybe I can do that tomorrow. Kolmiel (talk) 01:18, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel, that would be much appreciated. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:36, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I checked Lane's lexicon for the roots j-w-r and j-r-r, and the only thing I found that was remotely plausible was that جُرَّة (jurra) means a piece of wood about a cubit long that was used to catch gazelles. But I have a hard time seeing that being the source of jora. Maybe Kolmiel will have more luck. --WikiTiki89 02:21, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: What about j-r-w and j-r-y? Lane's isn't online, is it? — Your gazelle sense is the same as what I mistakenly glossed as "a kind of arrow" above. More precisely, Al-Ma‘ānī says in the linked entry that it's "a piece of wood with a snare [or net] on the top, with which gazelles are hunted." I'm checking the old Arabic dictionaries right now. Kolmiel (talk) 12:26, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: Of course it's online. Looks like you need to be made aware of this site which lets you search and browse 20 dictionaries at once, most notably including Hans Wehr, Lane's Lexicon, and Lisaan al-Arab. --WikiTiki89 12:52, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Thanks. I work chiefly with modern texts and I have my Wehr at home. On the rare occasion that I'd need Lane I'd make a detour to the university. But all right, that won't be necessary anymore. Kolmiel (talk) 13:13, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Oh I totally forgot about those "modern text" things. --WikiTiki89 14:02, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Neat site. I wasn't aware of it either. — Eru·tuon 20:52, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
جُرَز (juraz, bundle/bale (of hay)) → (jura,) jora, gora "bundle/bale of cotton/cloth" (a sense still present in Malagasy) → "length of cloth (as would be transported/sold in a bale)" seems not-implausible. The Kanga book linked-to above quotes another work (I can't see enough to find out which one) as saying " [] jora one very long piece [of cloth] that comes in [a] bale," and The Kilindi notes that some words for types of material and other non-length things have shifted semantically to denoting lengths in Swahili, like doti (piece of cloth ~2-4 yards long), which is apparently cognate to dhoti. It's curious to me that so many books — even ones that literally spell out the Arabic etymon they say jora has — say it's from Hindi, though. - -sche (discuss) 04:01, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Wait, the "j" in jora represents /j/? --WikiTiki89 14:02, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
No, I think it represents /ɟ/ or something like that. Kolmiel (talk) 14:04, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Apparently it's an implosive /ɟ/, that is /ʄ/. --- At any rate, I haven't found anything interesting in Tāj al-‘Arūs and Lisān al-‘Arab. Of course, the entries are exceedingly long and one could search on for a day. But I've found the most relevant forms and that hasn't yielded anything new. So what we have is jurra meaning "a stick with a snare at the top" and jurza meaning "a bundle of hay". Both seem far off as such. However, if the sense "bale of cloth" is attested in Malagasy, then maybe jurza is somewhat less far off. Kolmiel (talk) 14:09, 23 March 2017 (UTC)


Please help to add the Punjabi script in the etymology section of pukka. Thanks! — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:08, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Added. Wyang (talk) 12:35, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! Any idea what the Punjabi and Urdu words mean? We could add those to the entry as well. — SMUconlaw (talk) 14:55, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
@Smuconlaw The Punjabi and Urdu meanings can be found here and here. Wyang (talk) 21:56, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Great, thanks! — SMUconlaw (talk) 10:14, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


There is a lot wrong with this entry. Firstly, the initial k- matches none of the languages, not even Germanic (Grimm's law). Then there's the -a- which is also suspicious. Finally, roots can't end in two sonorants, -lw- in this case. —CodeCat 17:48, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Well then... What consonant would match all the languages? And what would match the -lw-/-lv-/-lu in nearly all the languages? --WikiTiki89 18:06, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
According to Philippa there is no way to unite all of the Slavic, Germanic and Italic forms. Slavic and Germanic could be from *gol(H)-uo-; then Italic is out. Germanic could be borrowed from Italic; then Slavic is out. She argues in favour of a substrate word, but doesn't mention the Indo-Aryan forms. Kolmiel (talk) 20:24, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Derksen reconstructs *golH-o, and says "In spite of the incompatibility of the initial consonants, it is tempting to connect the (Balto-)Slavic and the Germanic forms with Lat. calvus "bald" and Sanskrit kulva- "bald, thin-haired". Benwing2 (talk) 06:53, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
The most effective solution would seem to be Derksen's suggestion that Balto-Slavic 'head' is from a different root than 'bald'; the former would have originally had *g-, which secondarily influenced also the latter.
Medials-wise, de Vaan notes that *lw > ll in Latin, so calva would have to be from pseudo-PIE *kl̥Hweh₂ (or perhaps rather, an inter-Latin derivative from calvus). --Tropylium (talk) 14:53, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
When you say the Slavic root for 'head' had PIE *g-, I understand that you suggest the one for 'bald' did have *k-. But that doesn't work with Germanic. Kolmiel (talk) 17:02, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


It's a popular joke in Canada, but seems highly unlikely that Trudeau comes from "trou d'eau", as someone edited in. Can we get an actual, serious etymology for this surname? I've heard that it may have a Germanic origin, possibly related to Thor (specifically, "Thorvald"), but it's not from the best source, either. -- Cirxe (talk) 22:54, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Arabic عُثْمَان (ʿuṯmān)Edit

What's the Etymology of this? behindthename.com claims that it means "baby bustard", does anyone have a good source on this? Crom daba (talk) 14:43, 24 March 2017 (UTC)


To me, this is very simply explained as a nasal-infix present, *bʰi-né-h₂-ti ~ *bʰi-n-h₂-énti, of the root *bʰeyh₂-. User:Victar has provided a cite by Kroonen giving instead *bʰih₂-néh₂-ti, with a -néh₂- suffix. But this derivation doesn't give the right result, as i + laryngeal results in a long vowel in Celtic and none is attested. —CodeCat 21:58, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

I'm not disputing it and updated the root to reflect this. I'm not sure why Kroonen cited an néh₂-present, but a source shouldn't be deleted simply because you disagree with it. --Victar (talk) 22:06, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
But then, if you're sourcing the etymology from that source, and the etymology is changed so that it no longer matches, should the source still be there? —CodeCat 22:08, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Alternative etymologies should always be cited if a proper source exists, even when they are incorrect. Regardless, the source cites the correct PIE root for the Celtic derivative and is valuable on that merit alone. --Victar (talk) 22:14, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not disputing the use of the reference for the Celtic term itself. —CodeCat 22:17, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Than what is it you are recommending? --Victar (talk) 23:05, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
How about this? Crom daba (talk) 00:09, 25 March 2017 (UTC)