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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

December 2021


Hormosira is an algae, described by Endlicher and Meneghini in 1838, from Hormosiraceae family. What is its etymology? "Horm" refers to a rope and "sira" too, in reference, it seems, to the shape of the seaweed. Thanks for your help. Gerardgiraud (talk) 19:40, 1 December 2021 (UTC)

My guess would be Ancient Greek ὅρμος (hórmos, necklace), since the plant is also known as Neptune's necklace. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 01:44, 2 December 2021 (UTC)
OK @Djkcel: for the fist part. Is the second part could be Ancient Greek εἴρω (eírō, fasten together), referring to algae resembling necklaces tied together? Gerardgiraud (talk) 15:01, 2 December 2021 (UTC)
Unlikely, because the nominative singular -s almost never gets included when compounds are made. So this is most likely to be hormo- + sira. The second could be σειρά (seirá, cord, rope), making this alga a "necklace cord". —Mahāgaja · talk 15:42, 2 December 2021 (UTC)
A Contribution to the Flora of Australia (1867): “It derives its name from hormos a necklace, and sira a chain, as it consists of a series of inflated internodes, similar in character to vesicles.” J3133 (talk) 15:46, 2 December 2021 (UTC)
σειρά (seirá) can also mean 'chain', though it's usually more 'rope' or 'cord', so that must be what is meant. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:34, 2 December 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for these informations and this source. Gerardgiraud (talk) 17:45, 2 December 2021 (UTC)
Doesn't the root *twerH- ring a few alarm bells? Regardles of the remarkable coincidence that we would have hormo < *ser-(?)- + seira < *twerH-, which I must ignore, the notion of palatization in pre-Greek terms according to Beekes should come to mind. In addition it does look a loot like the root mentioned at queer, and chance of Thorn-clusters seems high. Third of all, a mythical connection with Neptune is all the more reason to suspect Pelasgians, for lack of a better identifier. In sum, the surface analysis alone cannot carry conviction. ApisAzuli (talk) 22:00, 2 December 2021 (UTC)
@ApisAzuli No, because this is a taxonomic name that Stephan Endlicher included in a volume of the Latin botanical work Genera Plantarum that he published in 1836. He obviously knew Ancient Greek, but there weren't a lot of Pelasgians around at the time he made this word up.
Here is the page in question. It's presented as some kind of subdivision of the genus Cystoseira, and includes Latin monilis, so you have an Ancient-Greek-based name ending in seira/σειρά (seirá) right next to a Latin translation of Ancient Greek ὅρμος (hórmos). We can't read the mind of someone who's been dead for over 170 years, but it's very suggestive. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:51, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: That's good to know that I can actually ignore the compound. I took the time to investigate the matter a little, and I still don't see the vowel change nor overwhelming evidence for the affrication. Which is to say, I did not have anything specidic in mind with my comment. The funniest part:
*tewk- shows no Greek reflex but refers (possibly) to *(s)tewk-, where *s- is exhibited exactly nowhere (what?). It is grouped with other forms under the unproven assumption of root extensions under *(s)tew- where Greek reflects *(s)tewg- with στ- but *(s)tewp- once with τ-, δ-, and epic -γ-δ- (wha-waht???).
For reference: Beekes (Palatalized Consonants in Pre-Greek, in: FS Kortlandt, 2008). Refering to Palmer (The Interpretation of Mycenaean Greek Texts, 1963) with regard to "" adduces "well-known cases like τεῦτλον - σεῦτλον and τῦκον - σῦκον" (2008: 52), sv. σῦκον. If I understand correctly, he takes vexilation of -σσ- with dental clusters as tell-tale signs of pre-Greek influence, but "The analysis of these variations is not easy [...] why exactly s or t are involved in the given variation" (EDG, 2009, pg. XXV) eg. ιξαλοσ, ισσέλα, ιτθέλα, `billy-goatʼ, assuming a cluster *-ktʸ-al- (2008: 48) or an initial *sʸ for σιαγον `jawʼ (2008: 52). In this view,I suppose that σάλος should remind of θάλασσα vel sim. "Everyone agrees that θάλασσα is Pre-Greek (i.e. not IE)" (@AlexB. over the Latin Stackexchanfe[1] where Latin and Greek are treated one and the same). ApisAzuli (talk) 22:36, 3 December 2021 (UTC) I need to note that the comparison of salos "earthquake" only makes sense with a further comparison to Turkish talaz (tornado, hurricane) in mind. The Law of Large Numbers holds, that superficially similar terms for comparison with σειρά "cord" are virtually guaranteed, if you know where to look. ApisAzuli (talk) 00:55, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

Latin AprīlisEdit

In working on my Spanish, I was curious about the etymology of abrigo (coat), and found that this is from Latin aprīcus, in turn from aperiō (to open, uncover) + -cus (adjective-forming suffix). (Our Latin -cus entry states that this only appends to nouns, but aperiō is clearly a verb -- what gives?) The similarity in form with Aprīlis and the potential for a semantic match as well (with April possibly as the opening of the verdant part of the year?) got me to wondering: if aperiō + -cusaprīcus, then presumably aperiō + -ilisAprīlis.

However, the etymology currently at Aprilis#Latin hazards that this is "[p]erhaps based on Etruscan 𐌀𐌐𐌓𐌖 (apru), from Ancient Greek Ἀφροδίτη (Aphrodítē, Venus)."

Is aperiō + -ilisAprīlis only an accidental match, and the Ancient-Greek-via-Etruscan derivation is the scholarly consensus view?

Curious, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:29, 2 December 2021 (UTC)

Both look far fetched, but thank you for asking - I took a peek at Ἀφροδίτη#Ancient Greek which gives better references.
Zezen (talk) 09:03, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
De Vaan does not derive apricus from aperiō, but refers to Nussbaum who posits derivation from a Proto-Italic noun ap(e)ri- “openness”, from ap(o), whence also ab; the precise relation to the verb is not further detailed. For aprilis, de Vaan observes that this was the second month of the Roman calendar, and suggests a connection with ab.  --Lambiam 12:04, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
Thank you both, @Zezen and @Lambiam. Sounds like both entries aprīcus and Aprīlis might be in need of updating. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:07, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
PS: If Aprīlis derives from ab but not from ap(e)ri-, any ideas where the medial "r" comes from, and whether the end is the same as suffix -ilis? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:09, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
De Vaan writes: “This could reflect the same preform ap(e)ri- ‘openness’ as posited s.v. aprīcus. [...] The suffix -īlis can be analogical to the months Quintīlis and Sextīlis [...] .” Presumably, although this is not stated, the verb is also supposed to come from this reconstructed “preform“.  --Lambiam 20:47, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
Does abrigo (coat, covering) really come from Latin aprīcus (sunny) ? Interesting sense development :\ See the etymology at French abri... Leasnam (talk) 20:59, 4 December 2021 (UTC)
I'm fascinated by the etymology given at French abri. The purported derivation "from Old French abri (a place where one is sheltered from the elements or harm), from abrier (to cover), itself probably from Latin apricor (sunbathe), from apricus (sunny)" has a bizarre semantic jump there in the shift from Latin to Old French -- how on earth would "sunbathe" wind up becoming "to cover, to take shelter"?
The etymology at French abri continues: "or less likely from a Late Latin abrigō (to cover, shelter), from a- + brigō, from Frankish *berīhan (to cover, protect)..." Why is this latter theory "less likely"? The semantics seem much more sensible, and the phonology appears to be a clean match.
FWIW, if we can clear up these oddities in the French etymology, the etymology for Spanish abrigo could wind up being much more straightforward.
Also FWIW, the etym at Spanish abrigar includes more detail than at Spanish abrigo. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:00, 5 December 2021 (UTC)
I agree 100%. Someone has gone in an added the "itself probably from Latin apricor (sunbathe), from apricus (sunny)" and also the "more likely/less likely" conclusions to what used to be a sound etymology, but they seem to have gotten the conclusions backwards. Also, now the French form has to suddenly be borrowed from a southern Romance language in order for it all to make sense...regardless, the descendant senses of "protect, harbour, provide refuge, etc." in no way come from a word meaning "sunny, sunbathe" no matter how much anyone wishes them to be. I'm about to go in and trash all of it. Leasnam (talk) 22:58, 28 December 2021 (UTC)

English nibs#Etymology_2Edit

Another Spanish-inspired query.

I'm most accustomed to hearing the term nibs used in reference to playing cards, usually about the jack, and by extension, to anyone who is important or self-important.

I stumbled across Spanish naipe (playing card) today, which apparently derives "from Arabic نَائِب(nāʾib, deputy), the second-highest court card in the Mamluk deck". The potential overlap between the Arabic نَائِب(nāʾib) and English nibs led me to nibs#Etymology_2, but we have nothing there. Merriam-Webster's entry also has no etymology.

Can anyone shed some light on this? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:43, 2 December 2021 (UTC)

Polish strzygaEdit

From Greek, indeed? See my Talk:strzyga

Zezen (talk) 08:59, 3 December 2021 (UTC)

I added a source to support that, at least. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 08:06, 4 December 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for the update. However, as we can see:
  1. ^ Kolberg, Oskar (1882). The People. Their Customs, Way of Life, Language... 15. Kraków: Uniwersytet Jagielloński. p. 24.
so as I had written there - it is close to folk etymology, given the year etc.
Let me also quickly add Mr Brückner's DOB, just in case:
Aleksander Brückner (Polish pronunciation: [alɛkˈsandɛr ˈbryknɛr]; 29 January 1856 – 24 May 1939) was a Polish scholar...
I thus suggest that we just ignore anything older than, say, the 1990s there for now, to avoid fakelore.
Zezen (talk) 08:19, 4 December 2021 (UTC) 08:17, 4 December 2021 (UTC)
The age of the hypothesis is no hindernis so as long as it is correct. If you think it is incorrect, you should have pointed out why already. Recent publications surely repeat the same idea, so we consider it notable and lemming it anyway. Doubt should be left to the discretion of the reader.
I did not search for either Kolberg or Brückner, but I trust pl.WP's summary is apt:
According to Alexander Brückner's research, the Slavic striga comes directly from the Roman strix (plural striges), a female demon with bird's claws that feeds on blood. In a vague manner, these beliefs, probably through the Balkan peoples, were adopted by the Slavs, overlapping in part with the figures of the phantom and the vampire [2]. (google translated https://pl.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strzyga)
Is it implied that there are Latin language sources using the name? Whether that's really from the owl or a transliteration of something else may be difficult to judge. Naturally one would want corroborating cognates. Rumanian WP however suggests it is chiefly Silesian. de.WP and ru.WP instead talk about Двоедушник and, like en.WP, stress the notion of two hearts and two souls. More over, the various methods of protection layed out here and there sound like a collection from various, possibly unrelated myths. The bird form tangent favours the owl interpretation, of course, so it would be inappropriate to blame Brückner without any evidence to the opposite. ApisAzuli (talk) 14:51, 4 December 2021 (UTC)
Dear @ApisAzuli,
Thank you for your extensive reply. Indeed, when I wrote this query (maybe too short), I had found some sources that suggested otherwise, but as I cannot find them that quick now, let me translate a less-than-ideal tip I have quickly (re)found now here:
Można zatem założyć, że obydwa duchy dotarły do Poradni z pogranicza - ukraińsko-polskiego, = It can therefore be assumed that both spirits [ie. words: Двоедушник and this strzyga] reached [us, i.e. Poland] from the Ukrainian-Polish border ... (source)
In our research let us thus continue to avoid Mr Bruckner and post-Bruckner folk etymologies, from plwiki and related, e.g. this interview with a non-specialist or that somewhat fanciful descriptions from ruwiki: а в Верхней [= in Upper Silesia] — стрыга, если это была женщина, или стрыгун, если это был мужчина. В легендах сообщалось также, что можно украсть у стрыги покойника, которого она ходит пожирать, with Sympathetisch- und Antipathetischer Misch Masch and similar from 1715...(valid as primary sources there in Wikis, but not here in Wiktionary, methinks), or with its direct Greek etymology "proven" with Jan Piotr Dekowski, Strzygi i topieluchy. Opowieści sieradzkie . - Warszawa, 1987 (very likely relying on Bruckner himself) as given as a ref in this ruwiki, and maybe also reflected in this source etc.
My hunch for now is to look at Ukrainian or Russian Стрыг*s e.g. Стрыгин, стрыгою in Демьян etc., using the usual etymological methods, or at least mark it as "unknown, traditionally derived from Greek as per Mr Bruckner", "tbd" etc. there for now.
I am thus curious what you and other multilingual colleagues may come up with, using Derksen and such.
With striga bows here, Zezen (talk) 16:10, 4 December 2021 (UTC)
OK, we have it fixed, without Mr Bruckner. So we can close this one, methinks. Zezen (talk) 16:39, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
Ovid's Amores does tell of blood sucking striga, and Plina knew one posessed by witches, by the way. That's too early for a derivation from Dracula, I'm afraid, and further comparison with Ricdin Ricdon and the Rumpelstilzchen, that does fly away away in one version collected by Grimm, would surely remain fruitless. Ironically, the method of protection against Rumpelstiltsken is calling it by its true name! Regardless, as I have already schemed a comparison of Landstreicher and strumpet (assuming Nasal Spirant Law) or stealcung and Stelzbock, you can imagine my surprise at Dutch strompen (to stalk). ApisAzuli (talk) 22:09, 6 December 2021 (UTC)

A meta beauty, ApisAzuli! Scheming and stromping is our Game 2. I am planning to copy it onto https://meta.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Hillbillyholiday_Unfrozen (now much refrozen) for one Lady of the Desk, q.v. Zezen (talk) 01:31, 7 December 2021 (UTC)


Notheia, which gave its name to the Notheiaceae family, is an epiphytic algae on Hormosira seaweed mentioned above.
In my etymology dictionary I find Noth meaning bastard or false. But what is false? The name of the species is Notheia anomala, anomala = presenting an anomaly / unusual / abnormal. No explanation in the original description here => Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, 1848-1851, p. 371 : read on line. Any idea? Thanks. Gerardgiraud (talk) 16:28, 3 December 2021 (UTC)

It's true that νόθος (nóthos) is a child born out of wedlock or to parents of unequal social status and that νοθείᾱ (notheíā) is the birth of such a child, but whether that's the origin of this alga's name (and if so, why), I can't say. It is the source of notho- "used to form names of taxonomic ranks of hybrids", but of course this genus of algae isn't a hybrid. —Mahāgaja · talk 19:05, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
Given the exact correspondence between the taxonomic name and the transcription of the Greek word νοθείᾱ (notheíā) and the tradition of using such words in taxonomy when possible, it is a very reasonable conclusion that it is the source of the name. What fancy of the namer it may derive from is not immediately obvious, though he may just not have liked the species being an epiphyte. DCDuring (talk) 19:49, 3 December 2021 (UTC)
Very funny indeed this proposed reason to explain this name. In any case, thanks for your ingenuity. It is indeed perhaps the way of the author to signify the fact that the alga is an epiphytic, i.e. the illegitimate child of Hormosira "mother" seaweed. Gerardgiraud (talk) 17:25, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

historical attestationEdit

The glyph origin section of asks "Can this glyph be traced earlier than the Internet era?" by Dokurrat. I'm not sure what this is implying since I think there are very few unicode glyphs that originate after the internet. Was there renewed interest or usage of this glyph due to the internet?

Either way, appears to better match many historical forms of so I don't think its usage is surprising. Indeed the Kangxi dictionary entry for seems to write both and with 舃 rather than 舄. (Though unfortunately there isn't a code point for 磶 with 舃 yet). Regardless 澙 seems to see usage, so does that make the glyph origin section unnecessary? ChromeGames (talk) 12:59, 4 December 2021 (UTC)


Anything salvageable from OVERLY CAPITALISED bit in the etymology section? Notusbutthem (talk) 13:36, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

Yeah the formatting on that second sentence was atrocious and all needed to be thrown out. I created a Proto-Celtic entry for the reconstruction that the Welsh word is likely from and linked to it from sarn. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 19:33, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

vulgar fraction, common fractionEdit

The page vulgar fraction needs an etymology. Some references that might be helpful:

This page might also be relevant to the use of the term in the Unicode standard:

The page common fraction also needs an etymology. The following is partially a hypothesis based on the sources I've provided: The etymology of common fraction is closely related to that of vulgar fraction; vulgar and common generally share the same literal meaning (ordinary, popular, general). Both can be used with a derogatory connotation, though the derogatory sense for "common" has become obsolete, while for "vulgar", the derogatory sense has become the primary definition.

Someone might want to check the sources listed in the footnotes of the references I provided to confirm this hypothesis.

Some cognates (possibly parent terms, possibly descendants) that I came across while looking this up:

  • Latin: fractiones vulgares
  • French: fraction vulgaire
  • Spanish: fracción vulgar, apparently a synonym of fracción común

My apologies if I've made any mistakes here. 2001:18E8:3:1087:F000:0:0:4FE 19:56, 5 December 2021 (UTC)

Latin vulgaris does not have the pejorative connotations of its descendants, although, at their earliest attestation dates, the term vulgar and cognates probably did not yet have a strongly pejorative sense either. Here is a use in Latin in a treatise by Jean Fernel from 1528, with the modern sense of a pair of numerals, one on either side of a horizontal bar. At that time, mathematical treatises were rarely written in the vernacular, so it is more than plausible that the Latin term is at the root of these terms. If we may explain vulgar fraction as a calque of Latin fractio vulgaris, then this explanation serves equally well for common fraction.  --Lambiam 06:35, 6 December 2021 (UTC)

af stedEdit

I think it is likely that Danish af sted literally means "from/out of the place". Do you agree? Prahlad balaji (talk) 20:43, 5 December 2021 (UTC)

That’s what it says in the definition: “literally out of or from (a) place.—⁠This unsigned comment was added by Lambiam (talkcontribs) at 05:49, 6 December 2021 (UTC).
Well, it also says that "Particularly, would appreciate an explanation of the sense development." Since I'm not a professional linguist, I just wanted to make sure. Prahlad balaji (talk) 10:27, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
As a Swedish speaker, "off the stead/ place" seems a pretty straightforward sense development to me. Cf. certain senses of go off, get off. Wakuran (talk) 16:31, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
Thanks all, it has been added. Prahlad balaji (talk) 18:39, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
That seems fairly unhelpful. The gloss adds nothing that couldn't be gleaned from links in the headword line, and the Norwegian (bokmal or nynorsk?) and Swedish comparison might give the false impression of cognates when they might as well be loans. There is, alas, no case inflection to sted that would warrant reading (from). German native speakers have trouble explaining ab die Post all the same, where case would be expected. On the other hand, with være til stede ("anwesend sein", pons.de, cp. zu(r) Stelle sein, 'be ready', zugegen sein 'be present'), and the verb stede, which sted 2. "imperative" suggests, need compared, cf. auf der Stelle 'on the spot, immediately; now!'. Auf! and Ab! are rather close in this one. Besides this, I wonder if stand-up (comedy) is really about volunteers stepping forward, or originally rather about improv.
The paradigm from *steH- ~ *stel- is just a mess in Germanic. ApisAzuli (talk) 09:39, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
I mean, cp. Sw. Hunden jagades av katten, En. The dog chases after the cat, Ger. Der macht Jagd auf die Katze. Although you could translate it as make chase of. ApisAzuli (talk) 11:55, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
I don't fully understand your last point, but Hunden jagades av katten would be translated as The dog was chased by the cat. Wakuran (talk) 15:40, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
  • Your German example is also a bit odd:
Der macht Jagd auf die Katze → literally, "The might(noun?) chase(noun) on the cat" → uncertain meaning? After definite article der, the word "macht" would presumably be Macht (might, power, strength, noun). As an alternative parsing, you're missing the head noun Hund (dog), and "macht" here is intended to be "makes": Der [Hund] macht Jagd auf die Katze → "The [dog] makes chase on the cat."
Not sure what your digression about case inflection is intended to convey -- Danish doesn't have much case, and there is no dative or ablative for regular nouns that would apply to sted, so there's no grounds for arguing that af (from) would cause any inflection of sted that would appear in the phrase af sted. See also w:Danish_language#Nouns. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:45, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
I had indeed missed the head noun but I let it stood because der works as a relative pronoun, an anaphor of identity in scope of the preceding examples.
Old Norse had more cases, so one should hope for an older syntagma.
I mean, if these examples are false friends like aufstehen too, as user, I'd want a bit more information from the entry. I'm assuming that sted has a perfective meaning, more like aufgestanden, "up up!". In particular, I expect it connotes a sense of immediacy, as the example's translation connotes "now". Or, maybe there is middle voice on account of (which, I guess, might be the part that translates "now" – kom så af sted "Now get going") and above være til stede ("anwesend sein" – 'to be present'), further, remotely similar auf der Stelle (on the spot; Now!). However, as I have to doubt this supposition as well, I'm starting to wonder if it should be emmendated to for or afar, seeing first of all ample opportunity comparing Ger. ver- (eg. Verstand "state of mind", verstehen "to get it, understand"), and second of all the fact that the entry currently translates "(from) the place" not "off". @Eirikr:. ApisAzuli (talk) 17:57, 28 December 2021 (UTC)
SAOB mentions an Old West Norse form, af stað. [2] Wakuran (talk) 23:01, 28 December 2021 (UTC)


Not standard layout for wiktimology Notusbutthem (talk)


Etymology "Sexine (from 's' in sculptured, and exine) is the outer sculptered part of the exine." from Erdtman G. 1952. Pollen Morphology and Plant Taxonomy. Angiosperms. Almqvist and Wiksell, Stockholm. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by 2407:7000:8200:2400:D052:5398:B541:EE7C (talk) at 23:28, 6 December 2021 (UTC).

scat in "quicker than scat"Edit

This appears to be a fossil word, but the meaning of the original word is obscure. You might think it comes from the interjection "scat!", but according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it's actually the opposite: the interjection comes from the phrase. A clue is that early forms of the phrase sometimes appear in the form "quicker than 's'cat" or "quicker than s'cat". One theory, which seems very dubious to me, is that it comes from a hiss followed by the word "cat". Can anyone figure out a convincing etymology for this? Nosferattus (talk) 00:48, 7 December 2021 (UTC)

I think the Online Etymology Dictionary is just wrong. The phrase "quicker than scat" (or "quicker 'n scat") seems to pick up popularity around 1890, but several older sources use a more lengthy phrase which might be the predecessor:
  • "quicker 'n yer 'd say 'scat!" (1855)
  • "quicker 'n you can say 'scat!'" (1857)
  • "quicker'n you could say scat" (1864)
  • "quicker'n I could say 'scat'" (1877)
So I think "quicker than scat" derives from the interjection "scat" rather than the other way around. Nosferattus (talk) 02:07, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
The alternative etymology for scat is however lacking. The un-assibilated initial would suggest Norse, thus perhaps scatter (disperse).
On the other hand, there's a German Idiom: wie /Schmits/ Katze (where Schmidt "smith" may be spelled variously)[3] [4] [5] so I cannot not read it as cat, assuming a fossilized determiner and that the variants with "quicker than you can say ..." are reinterpretations necessary to make the phrase legible in print, once the fossil is no more understood, inasmuch as quick used to mean "lively". Skandi variants of a similar ilk would be more than welcome. A possibly unrelated theme in a similar sense could be live fast, die young (popularized only recently) as I am beginning to doubt it meant rapid and after only a few years, rather than steadfast and youthful, "having the look or qualities of a young person". ApisAzuli (talk) 11:51, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
To add another perspective, Finnish too has multiple expressions about urgency and saying 'cat', such as ennen kuin ehdit kissaa sanoa (before you can even say cat). No etymology is given by any of usual source, according to this answer [6] at kirjastot.fi.
Brittletheories (talk) 17:29, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

Origin of 'harmonica' — English or German origin?Edit

The current English page for 'harmonica' states the origin of the word to be German; meanwhile, I was about to make an etymology section for the German page Harmonika, I see that the origin is apparently... English...? According to Duden.de, which is (to my knowledge) considered an authoritative source, the term in English derives from Benjamin Franklin's name given to his glass harmonica. (Which has nothing to do with the modern 'harmonica'.) This little cylical conundrum is quite confusing — does anyone know where the word actually originates? Kiril kovachev (talk) 22:21, 7 December 2021 (UTC)

*  Fixed, German borrowing was definitely wrong. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 06:15, 8 December 2021 (UTC)


Another seeweed genus name Scoresbyella. No Latin or Greek root in this name of an Austalian seaweed, but probably a tribute to a certain Scoresby. But impossible to know which one. Is it William Scoresby or his son Robert Edmund Scoresby-Jackson or William Scoresby Routledge or the biologist Shepherd Scoresby, or another one? I cannot access the original 1987 description for Womersley. Thanks for your help. Gerardgiraud (talk) 09:09, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

@Gerardgiraud: Electronic Flora of South Australia (from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia by Womersley (1987, part II, page 259)): “It is named after Mr Scoresby A. Shepherd, collector of the type and whose SCUBA collections have contributed greatly to our knowledge of southern Australian deep water algae.” J3133 (talk) 09:29, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
Thanks so much @J3133. Gerardgiraud (talk) 12:51, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

Agar Agarum AgaricEdit

The word "agar" derives from Malay and is translated by the same word in English. In French there are two words "agar" and "gelée" i.e. something like "jelly". Three words seem to share this same root:

But in fact, do these 3 terms really have the same etymology? Gerardgiraud (talk) 13:52, 9 December 2021 (UTC)

The toponym is also attested with a /k/ as "Akarum", which is probably the earlier variant. I don't know about the history of Malay, maybe agar originally had a /k/, but there's almost no possibility of Malayo-Polynesian languages being spoken as far west as Agarum, anyway. Some have tried to trace the name to Sumerian or Old South Arabian, though.
The fungus is probably not related to the toponym or the Malay word either. It's said to derive from Agaria, a place in Sarmatia, which means it might have some sort of Indo-Iranian etymon, I think.
As for the seaweed, I can't read its original description (Dumortier 1822), but it may be named after the fungus! airy—zero (talk) 14:40, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
Our etymology for agarwood is agar + wood. Any thoughts on how this connects to any of the senses of agar or any of the other terms? DCDuring (talk) 16:52, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
That's likely from Sanskrit अगुरु (aguru) (or a descendant). See w:Agarwood#Etymology for names in other languages. 17:10, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
This looks like a colonial-era loan from Hindi अगर (agar, agarwood) or similar. Google Ngrams gives the first attestations around the late 19th century in books on India. I'll add it to the entry :-) airy—zero (talk) 17:15, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
It is worth noting that aloe is probably from the same ultimate Dravidian root. 23:48, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
Indeed @Airy-zero Agaricus, the fungus, dates from Linnaeus 1753. Much earlier than the alga Agarum.
Here is what A. de Théis wrote in 1810 here: "As most of these plants grow in Greece it is believed that the name of agaric does not express the place where they were found but the usual use made of them by the inhabitants of Agarie. The Sarmatians have always eaten a great number of species of mushrooms even of those among us which are reputed to be poisonous ". Gerardgiraud (talk) 18:03, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
In this web site : Agarum, CFB Phycokey is said :
"Name derivation: Agarum : L. agari= agar, an old word for mushroom or a type of fungus; also algal gelatin (Malay) "
It looks like you were right @Airy-zero
But it is not said why an alga is related to a fungus Gerardgiraud (talk) 19:48, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
I don't think it has to be related per se, just perceived as similar. Wakuran (talk) 22:59, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
I wouldn't rely much on the Phycokey etymology.
It seems that the name Agarum was used about "sea grasses" by G. E. Rumpf et al. in Herbarium amboinense (ie, present-day Indonesia), published only in 1741, but the writing of which was completed in 1690. This influential pre-Linnean work would have been known to Dumortier (A. clathratum, 1822, cool waters), Postels and Ruprecht (A. pertusum and A. turneri, 1840, found in near-Arctic waters), and Bachelot (A. asiaticum). Rumpf used the name for other species, notably A. marinum, of which he says the Malay name is Agar agar cupan, but also A. secumdum, A. funiculare, A. lactucarium, and A. corticosum. I haven't determined what the current names of all these species are, but they seem unlikely to be the cool/cold water species now in Agarum. DCDuring (talk) 01:54, 10 December 2021 (UTC)
Agar (the jelly-like substance) is obtained from some species of algae. According to the Malay Wikipedia, the name of the substance stems from the Malay name agar-agar for these algae. Apparently, Rumpf also named his Ambonese sea grasses after this Malay name, like A. marinum being named after Malay agar agar cupan. He may have reused this generic name for sea grasses not called agar-agar in the local vernacular. (The dominant Ambonese language is a Malay-based creole.) Later marine biologists may have hijacked the name for their own unrelated cold water species, possibly even unaware of its etymon.  --Lambiam 17:54, 10 December 2021 (UTC)
Until there was taxonomic description, placement, and circumscription that passed 19th-century taxonomic muster taxonomic names were volatile. It has happened that genera have been emptied of most of their species, including even the type species, so that the nature of the genus is almost completely changed. The greater use of molecular-based, rather than morphology-based, characterization of genera is causing similar phenomena now. I had hoped to be able to find the modern names for Rumpf's Agarum species and the times they were transferred to other genera, but I have not yet found a source. DCDuring (talk) 18:47, 10 December 2021 (UTC)
All these hypotheses seem to definitively separate the etymologies of Agaric / Agaricus (the fungus) from Agarum (the seaweed). It would be a coincidence of quasi-homonymous names. Gerardgiraud (talk) 18:37, 10 December 2021 (UTC)
I doubt that he felt he was establishing a new name rather than using a long-established pre-Linnaean one. He is associated with Agarum because he came up with a good characterization of the genus and published it, not because he invented the name. As lexicographers rather than taxonomists we don't follow the naming system of the Codes to determine where names come from, especially in the cases of the older names. DCDuring (talk) 18:54, 10 December 2021 (UTC)
What I found looking at Dumortier's 1822 work was that:
  1. He was familiar with the work of Rumpf/Rumphius
  2. That he populated the genus with three species, referring to Linnaeus for the genus.
Linnaeus (General System, v. 2) refers to Gmelin, who, among the half-dozen Gmelin's must be Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin who authored Historia Fucorum.
Gmelin describes "Fucus Agarum", "Fucus Clathrus" (probably either Agarum clathrus or A. clathrus, and "Fucus Bracteartus" (referring to Rumph's "Agarum secundum"). He places many species in his "Septimus Order" "Agara".
From all this I conclude that my hypothesis was correct: that there was no reason for Dumortier to have any reason to think he was coining the name rather than using one well known among those who cared about seaweed taxonomy. DCDuring (talk) 19:32, 10 December 2021 (UTC)

Moreover @DCDuring, knowing that "Agar agar" comes from red algaes, it is interesting to note that 13 years before the name of Dumortier, in 1809, Link (Heinrich Friedrich Link) named Agarum a red algae. See here => GBIF-Agarum After that :

1/ In 1822 the name was given to the "brown Agarum" by Dumortier
2/ In 1843 the "red Agarum" was renamed Phycodrys (a red algae) by Kützing. Gerardgiraud (talk) 14:13, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
It would really be nice to know where Malay agar came from, when, and whether it had other meanings in Malay. We know it is from well before 1690, at least where Rumph was operating. We say it means "agar#English". Were the people of southeast Asia and Indonesia making some gelatinous stuff from seaweed before the Japanese (folkloric?) discovery/invention of agar in the mid-17th(?) century? The early Japanese method of agar production involved freezing a seaweed jelly, presumably a method not practical in the tropics.
agar-agar in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911. has "The native name of Ceylon moss or Bengal isinglass, consisting of dried seaweed of several species, such as Gracillaria lichenoides, Euchema spinosum [now Eucheuma denticulatum], etc. It is much used in the East for soups and jellies. Also called agal-agal. See gelose."
This raises the possibility that agar agar has origins in India, perhaps a connection with agarwood/agalloch.
The Agardhs (father and son) wrote a famous work on algae. Was this a coincidence? I think not. ;-) DCDuring (talk) 15:52, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
There's a fairly detailed discussion by Paul Silva (Nomenclatural remarks on Agarum, Jpn. J. Phycol. 39: 217-221, 1991) => here that shows how convoluted the history of the algal name is. It started with Georg Eberhard Rumphius and his Herbarium Amboinense, with the explanation for the name Agarum on page 181 (not 180 pace Silva) here.In 1768 Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin published a species called Fucus agarum in his Historia Fucorum (description and illustration). In 1809, Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link published a description of a genus he named Agarum, but it was completely unrelated to the modern genus aside from the name, which he probably got from Rumphius, and the fact that it referred to algae. Then in 1822, Barthélemy Charles Joseph Dumortier published the modern genus by briefly mentioning here that three species that were then considered to belong to Laminaria (published by Agardh) belonged to Agarum because they shared a particular feature not common to the rest of the former genus.
In 1822, Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent published an article that asserted that Link's Agarum really belonged to another genus. In 1826, he published a description of his own Agarum, which coincidentally covered exactly the same thing as Dumortier's Agarum. Bory de Saint-Vincent's version was the one used in the literature for over a century and a formal decision was made in 1954 to conserve it over the Link version (merging one taxon with another doesn't invalidate the original description of the name, so Bory de Saint-Vincent's Agarum was itself invalid according to the rules).
Paul Silva pointed out that Bory de Saint-Vincent's type species had already been named by Dumortier in 1822, so the taxonomic rules dictated that Dumortier's name, which used Dumortier's version of Agarum, was the correct one. Having the type species for a genus published 4 years before the publication of the genus- but using the same generic name- was confusing. Silva said that a proposal would be submitted to conserve Dumortier's Agarum instead of Bory de Saint-Vincent's Agarum would be submitted. All the current sources list Dumortier as the author of the genus, so this must have been done.
As for Agaricus, this is an ancient Latin name borrowed from Greek, so Linnaeus didn't invent it. As mentioned above, it apparently comes from the Sarmatian place name, Agaria. Pedanius Dioscorides used it in his 1st-century work De materia medica, though it's not completely clear what it referred to (there were probably multiple things referred to by the name). For instance, here he compares its root to that of silphium, which would be very odd for a fungus. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:34, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
Nice demonstration, I simply corrected 1922 to 1822. But since Dumortier did not describe "his" Agarum as it is the custom - he simply named a brown algae Agarum, and in 1843 the former red Agarum became a Phycodrys -, that does not tell us if the word Agarum himself; which designates first a red algae and after a brown algae; comes, or not, from the Malaysian word Agar. It would be necessary to have access to the oldest nomination and to know what justified this name. Perhaps the work of Rumpf et al. Herbarium amboinense(1690 or 1741) previousely mentionned. Gerardgiraud (talk) 22:48, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
This work: Drew et al. An interpretation of Rumphius's Herbarium amboinense, 1917 ==> read on line does tell us anything about that. Gerardgiraud (talk) 23:15, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
Malay agar-agar originally refers to the algae, and only secondarily to the food extracted from it. It is related to Javanese ager-ager/ager, Sundanese ager. The oldest attestation is in Old Javanese (OJv), where agěr-agěr (ě = [ə]) appears in texts from the Majapahit era and denotes some kind of sea weed ("Sphaerococcus lichenoides" per Zoetmulder in Old Javanese-English Dictionary). The schwa in the final syllable is original, while a in Malay agar is the result of the merger of *a and *ə in the final syllable in Malay. Note that *ə is a robust proto-phoneme in Austronesian languages, and not the product of vowel reduction (at least not in the ultima and penultima). The deeper etymology of OJv agěr-agěr is unknown (but certainly not traceable to agal-agal or agalloch). The corresponding forms in Malay in Sundanese are either cognate, or borrowed from OJv. –Austronesier (talk) 12:35, 12 December 2021 (UTC)
Thanks @Austronesier for so much learning about Old Javanese and Malay Agar.
And sorry @Chuck Entz I did'nt red Nomenclatural remarks on Agarum you speak to previously. This paper fully clarifies the origin of the genus Agarum Gerardgiraud (talk) 13:44, 12 December 2021 (UTC)


From Japanese 裏番組? 恨国党非蠢即坏 (talk) 03:03, 10 December 2021 (UTC)

Probably not, as explained in the edit summary. Perhaps a pseudo-Japonism inspired by words such as https://dic.pixiv.net/a/虹裏 (ふたば☆ちゃんねるには複数の掲示板が存在するが、当該掲示板において基本的に『裏』は「ある程度の板違いも認める」「少しばかりのアダルトOK」などの意味が存在しているらしく) and 裏垢. —Fish bowl (talk) 05:34, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
@Fish bowl: But these words did not enter Chinese. A Chinese slang is unlikely to be inspired by words that did not enter Chinese. 恨国党非蠢即坏 (talk) 00:14, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
@恨国党非蠢即坏: It's not entirely impossible. waifu and husbando are fake Japlish; the Japanese word for waifu is 嫁. —Fish bowl (talk) 00:23, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
@Fish bowl: wife and husband were already in English when they were made slangs, while 虹裏 and 裏垢 are never Chinese words. 恨国党非蠢即坏 (talk) 00:26, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
裏番組 竞争节目
裏番組 同一时间带播出的别的节目;竞争节目
簡体字:表番/肉番/里番 ¶ 繁体字:表番/肉番/裏番(「裏」は「裡」とも書く) ¶ 意味:健全な番組/お色気番組/アダルト向け番組
Fish bowl (talk) 00:31, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
Japanese 表番組 is a marginal, uncommon word. —Fish bowl (talk) 00:34, 20 December 2021 (UTC)

Key WestEdit

This has gotta be borrowed from Spanish Cayo Hueso (Bone Cay), right? — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 06:07, 10 December 2021 (UTC)

And adapted by folk etymology, of course. But you must be right; if it were simply named for being the westernmost (inhabited) of the Florida Keys, it would be called West Key, not Key West. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:32, 10 December 2021 (UTC)
Corrected accordingly. — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 15:58, 10 December 2021 (UTC)
Especially since, further west there are still the Marquesas Keys. Gerardgiraud (talk) 18:21, 10 December 2021 (UTC)

утка (Russian)Edit

The Russian entry for утка (utka) currently says that it derives from Old East Slavic уты (uty), but does nothing to explain the -ка at the end. Could the word утка in Russian possibly have a diminutive suffix -ка (-ka) or be derived from Proto-Slavic *ǫtъka, which does explain the ending? Prahlad balaji (talk) 14:59, 10 December 2021 (UTC)

Yes, of course. Fixing. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:08, 10 December 2021 (UTC)

etymology of Swedish herreEdit

This has been removed from the list of cognates of Herr with the reasoning that this Swedish word seems to be borrowed from Old High German. This is what herre says too, but it seems SAOB disagrees. I realize our entry on motsvarande is not trustworthy since it's partly not even real English, but as far as i can tell this word does mean "corresponding to", so according to SAOB, herre is borrowed from Old Saxon but not from Old High German like we claim:

fsv. härra, härre, liksom d. herre, isl. herra, herri, feng. herra, av fsax. herro, äldre hērro, motsv. fht. hĕrro, varav mht. herre, t. herr (jfr äv. ffris. hēra, holl. heer); eg. komp. av fsax. o. fht. hēr, adj., upphöjd, förnäm m. m., urspr.: grå(hårig), gammal, motsv. isl. hárr, gråhårig, feng. hār, eng. hoar(y), grå. Med avs. på bet.-utvecklingen jfr fr. seigneur, sieur, sire, it. signore, span. señor osv., av lat. senior, komp. till senex, gammal, ävensom lat. dominus.

Could someone please translate the important parts of this SAOB etymology so i can use the translation as a model to understand other SAOB etymologies and their annoying and unnecessary abbreviations? --Espoo (talk) 00:57, 12 December 2021 (UTC)

While we're waiting for someone who actually speaks Swedish, I thought I would try my hand at expanding all the abbreviations just to see if I could do it. I copied this into Google Translate, then looked at the translation tables of terms that I would expect to see in such an etymology, with Google Translate serving as confirmation as to whether I was anywhere near correct. My best guess:
  • fornsvenska härra, härre, liksom danska herre, isländska herra, herri, fornengliska herra, av fornsaxiska herro, äldre hērro, motsvarande fornhögtyska hĕrro, varav middelhögtyska herre, tyska herr (jämför även fornfriska hēra, hollandska heer); egentligen komparativ av fornsaxiska och fornhögtyska hēr, adjektiv, upphöjd, förnäm med mera, ursprunglig grå(hårig), gammal, motsvarande isländska hárr, gråhårig, fornengliska hār, engliska hoar(y), grå. Med avs. på beteckning-utvecklingen jämför franska seigneur, sieur, sire, italienska signore, spanska señor och så vidare, av latinska senior, komparativ till senex, gammal, ävensom latinska dominus.
  • Translation:Old Swedish härra, härre, as well asDanish herre Icelandic herra, herri, Old English herra, from(?) Old Saxon herro, older hērro, compare Old High German hĕrro, (?) Middle High German herre, German Herr (cf. also Old Frisian hēra, Dutch heer); actually comparative of Old Saxon and Old High German hēr, adjective, august, distinguished, etc., originally gray (-haired), old, corresponding to Icelandic hárr, grayhaired, Old English hār, Engish hoar(y), gray. With (?) sense-development compare French seigneur, sieur, sire, Italian signore, Spanish señor, etc., from Latin senior, comparative of senex, old, even Latin dominus.
As you can see, most of the abbreviations aren't as hard as they look. Once you know about f- (Old), t. (German) m.m./osv.=etc. and jfr. (cf.), the rest is mostly just filling in the blanks Chuck Entz (talk) 03:45, 12 December 2021 (UTC)
The text says "herre" is a borrowing from Old Saxon, the precursor of Middle Low German. (In Scandinavian contexts, Old Saxon and Middle Low German are generally conflated, since it's basically the same language/ dialectal area during different periods). Should I elaborate? Wakuran (talk) 22:47, 12 December 2021 (UTC)


The English entry says it is a doublet of friction, but the French entry says it is unrelated to friction. Which one is right? This, that and the other (talk) 08:27, 12 December 2021 (UTC)

The etymology provided by Le Trésor sketches the same story as given here in the French section: the Classical Latin noun frictiō from fricō (I rub) +‎ -tiō – whence French friction – has a Vulgar Latin homonym, this time best explained as arising from frīgeō (I am cold) +‎ -tiō, which is the alleged etymon of frisson. This fits in with the difference in meanings in current French.  --Lambiam 21:30, 12 December 2021 (UTC)
Good info. I'll remove the "doublet" template from the English entries, then. This, that and the other (talk) 10:33, 13 December 2021 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

This has been the subject of an edit war between @Svartava2 and @IMPNFHU, with the latter asserting that it's a borrowing from Punjabi and the former defending the status quo saying that it's inherited. IMPNFHU has been advancing a definite POV in the etymologies (removing any references to Old Punjabi, for instance) and answering with assertions devoid of any actual evidence. Of course, that doesn't mean they're wrong- which is why I'm bringing it up here. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:49, 12 December 2021 (UTC)

@Kutchkutch. Thoughts? -- 𝓑𝓱𝓪𝓰𝓪𝓭𝓪𝓽𝓽𝓪(𝓽𝓪𝓵𝓴) 03:03, 13 December 2021 (UTC)
@IMPNFHU, Chuck Entz, Kutchkutch, Bhagadatta: The inheritance etymology is well-sourced, [7] (H. piu) which is considered a good reliable source for Indo-Aryan inherited words, [8] gives pitā as the etymon, which is nothing but the nominative singular of पितृ. The same etymology is also in [9], dictionary of अपभ्रंश (apabhraṃśa, corrupted form of a word) lexicon. But its used mostly by Punjabi speakers in Hindi, which is why I didn't revert it again; it requires more attention. Alternatively, we could put the inherited etymology and add "possibly through Punjabi". —Svārtava [tcur] 03:16, 13 December 2021 (UTC)
@Bhagadatta, IMPNFHU, Svartava2: Since the inheritance etymology is well-sourced, it should be mentioned. If the Punjabi usage is directly from Punjabi, it could be the result of what AryamanA explained at: Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2020/September#Northwestern_Indo-Aryan.
I'm afraid the tree model is too simplistic for IA in general...On a purely lexical basis, as examined from the view of lexicostatics, Kogan (2016) finds Punjabi to be closest to Hindi...Hindi itself, as we know, is a highly mixed language that developed in Delhi from contact between many languages in a political centre, as reflected in its early forms such as Sadhukkadi, in which case even it is not a purely Central IA language and probably is highly influenced by other Central (Braj, Haryanvi), Northwest (Punjabi)...lects of IA
in which case there should be more such examples. Kutchkutch (talk) 12:40, 14 December 2021 (UTC)


I'm at a loss as to how we get from Ancient Greek ἀναγκαῖον (anankaîon) to Latin anangeon, which appears in a number of Renaissance rhetoric texts. Classical Latin borrowed the same Greek term (with a different sense) as anancaeum, which I can understand. But where does the -ge- in anangeon come from? My best theory is that the Renaissance writers were influenced by the Byzantine pronunciation /a.naɲˈɟe.os/ given at ἀναγκαῖος (anankaîos), but that assumes that they were aware of how contemporary Greek speakers were pronouncing the language. The fact that all these writers arrived at the same spelling seems rather miraculous in that context. This, that and the other (talk) 05:02, 14 December 2021 (UTC)

The earliest use I saw is in the index of a 1516 edition of Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria, annotated by Badius.[10] The text itself uses the spelling anagkeon in the margin where the annotating text has ἀναγκαῖομ (sic).[11] In De Elocutione Oratoria (1592) Ludovico Carboni used the spelling anangæon[12], although he used anangeon in his 1595 Divinis orator.[13] The Romanization ng for γκ remains mysterious; perhaps someone (the compiler of the 1516 index?) made this mistake, and others just copied it.  --Lambiam 10:36, 14 December 2021 (UTC)
I like your thinking. I summarised your theory in the entry, hopefully not at too great length. I really should have given you credit in the edit summary - sorry about that! This, that and the other (talk) 08:48, 15 December 2021 (UTC)
No [sic] needed on that ἀναγκαῖον, it’s a nu, not a mu. Nu used to look like that in Byzantine greek minuscule script, and the form survived in other Greek scripts for a long time. It’s still distinct from mu in lacking a final leg. I’ll change it in the entry. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 18:47, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Edit: As an aside, I don’t see why Renaissance writers would be unfamiliar with contemporary Greek pronunciation. After all, Greek refugees from the fall of Constantinople bringing their classics west were one of the main spurs behind Renaissance humanism in the first place! It may be the spelling with -ng- was intentional, as a fairly straightforward rendering of the Greek speech of the time. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 19:00, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

Sanskrit श्रवणEdit

Could Sanskrit श्रवण (śravaṇa) possibly be from the root श्रु (śru)? Prahlad balaji (talk) 16:05, 14 December 2021 (UTC)

Etymology 2, absolutely. Etymology 1, not so clear. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:05, 14 December 2021 (UTC)
Yeah everyone knows Etyl 2 is from श्रु. As for Etyl 1, I'm quite sure (without bothering to look it up in Monier) that it's related to श्रोण (śroṇa) meaning the same. -- 𝓑𝓱𝓪𝓰𝓪𝓭𝓪𝓽𝓽𝓪(𝓽𝓪𝓵𝓴) 09:21, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

Germanic terms for earringEdit

I don't know what would be the compounding form of a neuter an-stem, but it would be needed to reconstruct a proto-form of the cognates of earring (it has extensive West Germanic cognates, in addition to some North Germanic cognates). — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 18:46, 15 December 2021 (UTC)

I would expect that there would be an '-n-' or at least an '-a-' from the neuter n-stem, but the OHG simply has ōrring (cf. OSX ōrhring, ANG ēarhring). I would nevertheless reconstruct it as Proto-West Germanic *auʀahring, and chalk it up to influence from the following 'r' sound (*auʀahring > *auʀhring > descendants). I could find no Old Norse parallel, so I imagine the Scandinavian terms (DA ørering, SV örring) are borrowings. Leasnam (talk) 21:55, 15 December 2021 (UTC)
@Leasnam: Scanning through the PWG compounds we have already reconstructed, the treatment of the linking vowels in compounds seems to act on a spectrum. Old High German preserved the linking vowel most often, while Old English deleted it most often. — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 00:25, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Yes, OHG not only preserves the linking vowel, but will also add one where there originally wasn't one, making the lack of one even more notable. Thanks for correcting the gender, I truly fat-fingered that 'n' for an 'm' :} Leasnam (talk) 02:20, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
@Mellohi!: While that might be correct in general, and it still is, there is no evidence of an Old High German earring that I'm aware of. Grimm lists "mhd. ôrrinc, ôrinc, inauris (Lexer 2, 168 f.), ..."[14] and by the way variants like "ohrenring". This does approve at least of the assimilation, although [ˈoːɐ̯ˌʁɪŋ] (de.WT) disagrees and maintains that it does have to be not univerbed, reasonably so as the individual morphemes are still legitimate. Wondering whether Ohr- has an unexpectedly different origin, at least Lat. inauris if not Latvian auskars or indeed from *wo through Norse oo, might be besides the point if the "extended nazalized" *-ngʰ- in the stem remains poorly understood. ApisAzuli (talk) 10:42, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

Yiddish גאָרן 'floor, stor(e)y'Edit

@פֿינצטערניש, Wikitiki89, Svenji, NordaVento, Metaknowledge, Lingo Bingo Dingo, Johanna-Hypatia, Castillerian Any ideas? I can't find a suitable-looking word in Germanic, Slavic or Semitic to be the ancestor of this. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:15, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

Also not in any other language (Baltic, ...). Was there perhaps a dramatic semantic shift? If we accept the possibility, Ukrainian/Russian горн (gorn) may be a candidate. Or maybe from a shortening of Bulgarian горен кат (goren kat, upper storey)? But Yiddish terms are unlikely to be derived from Bulgarian. BTW, the word גאָרן can also be an inflected form of גאָר(gor), but I don’t think there is a relationship.  --Lambiam 10:19, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
More like garderobe, warderobe, Waren-Haus? Otherwise some rural words for rural architecture in the central east Middle High German dialects might yield. I was thinking of haystacks in barns, first, but the closest I could find would be schweizerdeutsch Schüür for ModHG Scheune (barn, de.WP). I thought my country grammar family refers to the second floor in the barn as Tenne although this is either a threshing floor, which may be inside, or in Austrian it denotes the whole barn. Although these comparisons are untennable for gorn, they go to show how variable the jargon may be per region. ApisAzuli (talk)
If you think “Tenne” has to do with storeys then it is of course Hebrew גורן \ גֹּרֶן(gṓren, threshing-floor). I wonder on the other hand whether for East Slavic горн (gorn, fireplace) one has to consider drawers in or compartments beside ovens: Jews would have particular uses for that, keeping warm food when making fire was not allowed or the like. Fay Freak (talk) 11:32, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Semantically, I really like גורן \ גֹּרֶן(gṓren, threshing-floor). It's a little problematic phonologically as Hebrew holam normally gets borrowed as /ɔɪ̯/ in Yiddish, so we'd expect *גוירן (goyrn). But maybe there's a way to finesse that. Maybe there was a conflation of the Hebrew 'threshing floor' word with the Slavic 'fireplace' word? —Mahāgaja · talk 11:52, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Though the proposed derivation from גורן \ גֹּרֶן‎ works reasonably well semantically, how often do Hebrew words in Yiddish change their spelling? In this case, the Hebrew spelling of /o/ with vav being replaced by the Yiddish spelling of [o~ɔ(ɪ̯)] with aleph. Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 19:25, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
There are a few cases of Hebrew loanwords being spelled phonetically rather than imitating the Hebrew spelling, such as טרייף(treyf) and קלעזמער(klezmer). In this case, if גאָרן(gorn, floor, story) is a loanword from גורן(threshing floor), perhaps the semantic shift was enough for people to forget that it was a Hebrew word, so it got spelled phonetically. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:21, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
See here for the origin. Vahag (talk) 12:03, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
Excellent find, thank you! —Mahāgaja · talk 12:32, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
We have the Gaden mentioned by Weinreich. Vahag (talk) 12:54, 17 December 2021 (UTC)
Yes, I know this word in the form Gadem n from my local Middle Low German, but rhotacism of intervocalic /d/ in German dialects as in US English has not been related to me before, in the sources for specific dialects: So we must write it is a borrowing from Bavarian or Rhine Franconian or local standard Early New High German—it has not been told where this Yiddish is used, but apparently it is, originally at least, southern Western Yiddish, so @Mahagaja’s “cognate” is not true. Of course with the quotes for Garn n and Gadem n in Grimm in the meaning Stockwerk the identity of the word is proven; all to be lemmatized under Gadem n or Gaden n, as Besen or Boden. Fay Freak (talk) 17:11, 17 December 2021 (UTC)

Why are there so few German borrowed words from English?Edit

I'm looking at Category:German unadapted borrowings with 35 entries. Is that right? The Duden mentions a few more while concerned with spelling and noting that the growing number of English borrowings is growing too high for the taste of language purists, and I could easily chalk those up as code-switching in a business environment where a minor bilingualism should be expected.

What stands out is that th is completely missing from these round about sixty items. Not only would it be a matter of spelling, if eg. thread is colloquially rendered as "Fred" in forums. tether eg., albeit rare yet difficult to translate might be pronounced * tezzer instead, prompting for an illegitimate spelling pronounciation. Proper nouns do not count as unaddapted borrowing, of course.

So, are there any proper loans with fricative th in German among the growing number of anglicisms? And if not, why not? ApisAzuli (talk) 10:23, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

Category:German terms borrowed from English has 960 entries; if the subcat referring specifically to unadapted borrowings is so low, it's probably mostly because people are unaware of {{ubor}} and so haven't been using it. I was unaware of its existence until this moment. —Mahāgaja · talk 11:15, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
I don’t know those distinctions “adapted” and “semi-learned” and all, even knowing the templates. And those English terms in German, are too uninteresting, in an English dictionary, to be entered, relatively to what could be entered. Fay Freak (talk) 11:35, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
"Interesting" isn't a criterion for inclusion. It could be good for a learner to be reassured that Button really does mean button, considering that Bodybag doesn't mean body bag. —Mahāgaja · talk 11:41, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
It isn’t the criterion, only my breviloquence for the criterion. It could be good, but other things could even more be. The criterion is whether one would like to know what it means or a definition or translation, which interest is to a large extent not there, to some extent even because the words are ad hoc and of no known internal lexicalization. The word “interesting” is abused by many who have nothing to say but not by me. Fay Freak (talk) 11:49, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
This is all beside the point. ApisAzuli should not conclude what is in a language from what is on Wiktionary, unless he specifically knows that a lexical area has been thoroughly covered. And I hinted why it isn’t covered, because the glosses would end up the English words in almost all cases, and it regularly satisfies to have a word entered in one language, particularly under the condition that it it appears manifest that a word has been formed in one language if one encountered it in another. I have defined what dépeçage is in Private International Law, and it will be apt to serve explanation if one comes thither from a text in German or another language, even if no one reassures that it is German; or sometimes someone will be served by an Arabic entry for Persian or even and Ottoman entry to understand something in Arabic. I also note that the example Bodybag Mahāgaja estranges as I have never encountered the word except in remote newspapers, while I know the meaning of a corpse container well, in spite of the fact that I have never been to any supposedly English-speaking country but always in Germany, so this also shews how the idea of words “in a language” is constructed. Fay Freak (talk) 12:03, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Thriller is supposed to have a /θ/ sound, but in practice, it's often assimilated, apparently. I guess English words with /θ/ just aren't that frequent enough to be borrowed to a large extent, and words with /ð/ mostly seem to be words fulfilling grammatical functions and such, being basic words that are unlikely to get borrowed. Wakuran (talk) 14:44, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
I also found Thinktank or Think-Tank. [15] Wakuran (talk) 14:48, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
But of course, assimilating foreign loanwords isn't anything unique for either German or fricative sounds. A German female friend I know pronounced "job" as "chop", so out of context, I first thought she said "shop"... Wakuran (talk) 14:53, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
Job is pronounced /dʒɔp/ (the final "b" is devoiced to /p/) but voiceness in German is lighter than in English, so it may sound somewhat like /t͡ʃɔp/ to an untrained ear. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:04, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
With regard to northern and central Germany, voicedness is pretty much the same as in English. (Of course, disregarding final devoicing.) Voiced stops may be partially devoiced in some positions, but that's just as true of English. So there's no difference there. The difference that exists is regional. Namely that in Upper German areas, lenis stops are usually entirely unvoiced. And these speakers do say /t͡ʃɔp/, not just to the untrained ear, but in actual fact. 01:33, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
Thriller seems to be the example I was looking for.
Schackeline, Zementa, etc. are a running gag, implying that these realisations are common enough for the joke to be understandable.
Incidently, Samantha is one of the nine lonely entries in those categories besides Thriller, Synthesizer, Klathrat, empathogen, Empathie, Edith, Arthur, Alexithymie, and actual aspiration along morpheme boundaries in Penthouse. Of these, the proper and common nouns have regular variants with /t th/, and the scientific terms might be considered neo-Latin instead of English. Empathie was, as far as I know, coined by German philosophers. If thriller should be deemed an outlier, it may be a learned borrowing for some folks inasmuch as it can be associated with written genres, anyway jargon.
The frequency argument might be plausible in a summary overview, and maybe more so if focused on the Germanic stock which is per se less likely to need borrowed. Although thousand entries is far from complete or representative, it gives a fairly comprehensive overview. I just got lost in the categories. ApisAzuli (talk) 18:22, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

English BelteshazzarEdit

I've heard that this name (from the book of Daniel) means "may Bel protect the king", but I've also heard it means "Bel's prince". Any possibility of the latter? Also, a few questions:

1.) A couple of months ago I copied and pasted the cuneiform (𒊩𒆪𒈗𒋀) from Wikipedia into Wiktionary's Belteshazzar, Baltassar, and Balthasar entries. (Maybe I shouldn't have done that without a better source?) Anyway, Wikipedia doesn't cite a source and I am just wondering where this cuneiform comes from? Is it actually attested somewhere, or only a scholarly reconstruction? How certain are we that the name "Belteshazzar" actually comes from 𒊩𒆪𒈗𒋀 and not from some other string of glyphs with similar pronunciation?

2.) I don't know Akkadian so bear with me. Comparing the name Belteshazzar (𒊩𒆪𒈗𒋀) with the similar name Belshazzar (𒂗𒈗𒋀), I see that only the beginning is different (𒎏 in place of 𒂗). I am assuming that 𒆪 is an alternate form of 𒂗 (pronounced 'bel' and means "lord"), whereas the 𒊩 is apparently the feminine suffix (pronounced "t", I guess cognate with Hebrew ת and Egyptian -t, but I guess it gets written before the noun)? So then, I suppose 𒎏 actually means "lady" (this word?)? Why, then, is Belteshazzar interpreted as "may Bel save the king" rather than "may Belit save the king"?

3.) Back to the "Bel's prince" interpretation, what would the cuneiform look like for that? Or is it completely implausible? 13:49, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

About "Bel's prince", my Akkadian's a bit rusty but I think it would be something like rubê Bēli(m). Anything with that genitive construction would have to have Bel at the end, so it definitely wouldn't be a possibility for this name. airy—zero (talk) 14:49, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

The Sanskrit root Edit

Could this root possibly be from Proto-Indo-European *h₃er-? Most terms from this Sanskrit root seem to be from the Proto-Indo-European root *h₃er-. Prahlad balaji (talk) 19:30, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

Danish smilEdit

Could the Danish noun possibly be from the verb, "smile"? Prahlad balaji (talk) 02:54, 18 December 2021 (UTC)

According to this page, yes. [16] Wakuran (talk) 02:56, 18 December 2021 (UTC)


I've been trying to track down the botanical identity of this Chinese green dye, which was very much admired and discussed in 19th-century Europe, but abandoned after synthetic dyes became available (probably Rhamnus globosa, a.k.a. Rhamnus chlorophora or Rhamnus tinctoria). The name is obviously from Chinese, but aside from the hunch that 绿 () may be the first part, I have no idea what Chinese term that might be. Pinging people who might know: (Notifying Atitarev, Tooironic, Suzukaze-c, Justinrleung, Mar vin kaiser, Geographyinitiative, RcAlex36, The dog2, Frigoris, 沈澄心, 恨国党非蠢即坏, Michael Ly): Chuck Entz (talk) 04:48, 18 December 2021 (UTC)

I might as well list the Chinese names (complete with toneless[!] pinyin transliterations) given in the Flora of China for the species mentioned in various sources: Rhamnus globosa - 圆叶鼠李 (yuan ye shu li), Rhamnus davurica - 鼠李 (shu li), and Rhamnus utilis - 冻绿 (dong lü) (there's also Rhamnus dahurica, which is probably an error for Rhamnus davurica rather than Rhamnus dahuricus, a synonym for Rhamnus virgata - 帚枝鼠李 (zhou zhi shu li)). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:27, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
My first thought that it might be 綠釉 (literally green glaze) or 綠油 (literally green oil).
google:"lokao" "綠" produces 綠膏 (literally green paste) in a single online dictionary. Nothing else appears for google:"綠膏" "lokao", google books:"綠膏" "lokao", or google scholar:"綠膏" "lokao".
綠膏 also appears in the 1947 US War Department Japanese-English Technical Terms Dictionary as the gloss for Chinese green. [17] google:"chinese green" "綠膏" is similarly desolate.
Fish bowl (talk) 05:32, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
1968, Lessico universale italiano: lokaó s . m . [ dal cinese lu kao , comp . di lu ( pronunz . comun . lü ) « verde » e kao « olio » ] (OCR) —Fish bowl (talk) 06:11, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
w:et:Lokao→2003, Chinese Medicinal Herbs: RHAMNUS CHLOROPHORUS, Rhamnus tinctorius. BUCKTHORN This is a tree of Chekiang province, called by the natives 綠柴 (Lü-ch'ai). [] The Chinese call the pigment 綠膏 (Lü-kao) and 綠膠 (Lü-chiao).Fish bowl (talk) 06:15, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
1906, Bibliotheca Sinica: Dictionnaire Bibliographique Des Ouvrages Relatifs À L'Empire Chinois: Over de bereiding en het gebruik der Groen Chinesche verfst of Lo Kaô (Groene koek).. —Fish bowl (talk) 06:17, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz, Fish bowl: Here's some more evidence:
A Chinese-English Dictionary (Giles 1912): 緑膏 a dye-stuff made from the bark of Rhamnus tinctorius, Wallst.; vert de Chine.
植物色素 (孟心如 1945): 鼠李屬植物,尤以紅皮綠膏(Rhamnus Chlorophorus)及白皮綠膏(Rhamnus utilis)兩種,含有極豐富之色素量。此項植物之產地,在我國分佈極廣,自此提得之染料名曰綠膏又名凍綠膠。
中国国民经济史 (罗章龙 2016): 绿色染料为鼠李科植物之皮制成,名曰绿膏。
英汉土木建筑大词典 (1999): lokao 绿膏,绿胶,中国绿
英汉辞典 上 (王同亿 1987): lo·kao ... [Chin lu⁴ kao¹, lit., green ointment]: 绿膏 由欧亚鼠李属植物(尤其是冻绿 Rhamnus utilis 和圆叶鼠李 R. globosa)提炼而来的绿色燃料——亦称中国绿(Chinese green
This should be good evidence for 綠膏 being the etymon. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:39, 18 December 2021 (UTC)
@Justinrleung Yes. I was already convinced by @Fish bowl's evidence, but this spells it out nicely- though "Rhamnus tinctorius, Wallst." is an error. To start with, Latin rhamnus is feminine, so it would have to be Rhamnus tinctoria. Also, the name Waldstein (Waldst. not Wallst.) published is for a European plant that is supposed to be a synonym for Rhamnus saxatilis subsp. tinctoria Nyman. This reference goes to the trouble of explicitly ruling out that name, so it must be a common error.
Thank you both! Chuck Entz (talk) 00:14, 19 December 2021 (UTC)


Bhadriraju Krishnamurti, The Dravidian languages, Cambridge University Press ,2003, ISBN 13: 9780521771115

Etymology of the Indonesian word "dan" as a coordinating conjuction?Edit

Indonesian dan translated as English and, I've search trussel Proto-Austronesian dictionary and I still couldn't find coordinating conjunction of and there. Any recommendation on other resources to trace the etymology of this word? Link for references: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dan#Etymology_1_5 ; https://www.trussel2.com/acd/acd-l_m.htm#Malay . PFeibwlRepaidLaxsarawosBueruegmTwlTwainineqaglassumruhwjraDjajaKrainanthapuhletai (talk) 16:29, 18 December 2021 (UTC)

Is it attested in non-Indonesian Malay? A wild guess for an etymon is the Dutch adverb dan, which (like English then) can be used in a conjunction-like way: Eerst zien, dan geloven[18] (“See first, then believe”). The Dutch meaning implies a temporal ordering and only connects clauses, so this potential explanation requires, next to a different part-of-speech role, a generalization of the sense.  --Lambiam 09:41, 19 December 2021 (UTC)
Malay dan is also used in Standard Malay outside of the Dutch-influenced sphere, and found in older classical text that show little influence from European languages. I remember that dan is supposed to be an irregular contracted form of dengan (with), but can't think of a source right now. –Austronesier (talk) 15:59, 19 December 2021 (UTC)

वारित and वृत्रEdit

Could Sanskrit वारित (vārita) and वृत्र (vṛtra) be from the root वृ (vṛ)? Prahlad balaji (talk) 17:36, 18 December 2021 (UTC)


Chnoospora is a brown alga which gave the name to the family Chnoosporaceae . But unable to get the description of Agardh from 1847 in order to know etymology. Is the name of the genus derived from the Greek Χνόος / chnóos, "down, hair", and σπορα / spora, "seed", literally meaning "fluffy seed"? Thanks for helping. Gerardgiraud (talk) 13:18, 19 December 2021 (UTC)

Algae of Australia (2009, Australian Biological Resources Study): “Chnoospora J.Agardh, Öfvers. Förh. Kongl. Svenska Vetensk.-Akad. 4: 7 (1847); from the Greek chnoos (wool) and sporos (a seed); allusion unknown.” J3133 (talk) 13:35, 19 December 2021 (UTC)
@J3133, I finally found the allusion here : Sylloge algarum omnium hucusque cognitarum (1895) : page 464,
since chnoos means "wool" ie "stuffed with wool", it's in reference to "the fertile filaments, densely packed". Gerardgiraud (talk) 13:18, 20 December 2021 (UTC)

Romanian Crăciun ("Christmas")Edit

The word "Crăciun" has been historically a very disputed etymology. There are two main theories:

  • Latin inheritance, which doesn't fit either in semantics or phonetics. No cognates for this meaning in any other Romance language.
  • Slavic borrowing, which fits both in semantics and phonetics. Cognates in South, West and East Slavic languages, see. The cognate is found in early East Slavic texts, which makes it clear it's not a borrowing from Romanian.

Currently, we list the Latin inheritance variant as most likely because that's the variant most Romanian linguists support. However, this is mostly due to the nationalist ideology (still) prevalent in the Academia.

I am not sure how to proceed with this. Are we making this a vote as in "most linguists, dead and alive, support this theory" or should we try to find the answer?

Also, currently Romanian says it's likely from Latin, whereas the Hungarian equivalent, karácsony has no such thing, making it unambiguously derived from Slavic. Bogdan (talk) 19:44, 19 December 2021 (UTC)

I don't see why it's disputed - none of the Latin proposals make any sense. They seem like desperate graspings at straws...and why ? Absurd. It's obviously a Slavic loan. Geeze. Leasnam (talk) 22:25, 20 December 2021 (UTC)
The comparisons to Romance ex creatur seem to suggest a sense of 'birth', which is well compatible with christening and christmess. Inasmuch as Christmas is a symplectic feat and mass is even of uncertain origin, compatible with the supposed "calling" hypothesis if indeed from missa (cp. eg. euangelion?), each of the hypotheses might have a point.
I'd throw χάρις in the ring (with "χάριτι θεοῦ" Paulus (1. Kor. 15, 10)), cf. grace period, cp Pt. carência (idem Ger. Karenzzeit "grace period", noting that I'm still doubtful about the dating of quarantine), Fi. ruokarukous (say the graces), maybe greet for more, and maybe rugăciune for the ending; Polish dziękczynienie may also mean Thanksgiving (closer to winter solstice?). Indeed, I should beginn filing for tax returns before I get written on the naughty list.
The Slavic ety on the other hand (“to step”, said of the sun “stepping forth” after winter solstice) doesn't sound very particular either. Now if a similar word also meant congregate, -tion ... actually, case in point. 2A02:3032:40D:8671:2:1:F6C2:CFE2 16:55, 22 December 2021 (UTC)
ApisAzuli (talk) 16:57, 22 December 2021 (UTC)
More over in a grand scheme of things, where Ger. Gnaden Gottes is the traditional translation of χάριτι θεοῦ and etymologically questionable, while Armenian Սուրբ Ծնունդ (Surb Cnund, Christmas, holy + birth) reflects, same as western Romance languages, *ǵénh₁- (cp. Noël, see also Ger. Christ-Kind, and the false(?) cognate Kunde "message, teaching, knowledge" and yet again cognate Armenian ծնօղ, even Amharic ገና (gäna, Christmas), PS: Knecht Ruprecht). I'm trying to see a connection here. Armenian is inarguably closer to lake Van; Gnadenzeit is indeed collocated with Weihnachtzeit; A sense of family reunion can be derived from eg. gnōtós ("kinsman") as well.
Perhaps we have here also Iranian reflexes eg. Yagnobi за́нта (zánta), seeing that Old Syrian Christendom was prolific in Iran, and Christian new Sogdian documents from the 10th century do exist. Avestan 𐬰𐬄𐬚𐬀𐬭‎ (ząθar, “creator; the Lord”) couldn't be any clearer (and it explains German Kurdish rapper Xatar's name very well).
Further comparison with the Jesus seems also possible, cp. eg. Czech Ježíšek, Slovene Božiček(?) but Slovak Mikuláš and more commonly in the Slavic sphere eg. Дя́до Мраз (Djádo Mraz), Дя́до Коледа (Djádo Koleda), which would, instead of "cold" or "the calands", rather remind of Swaarte Piet (cp. murky, etc.; indeed, cf. Polish Święty Mikołaj), or maybe March or Μέγας Βασίλειος (s.v. Άγιος Βασίλης (Ágios Vasílis)). Nikol(aus) and Pai Natal look possibly confusing as well, say vulgar * nicchol-(?) for a compromise.
Does any of that invalidate the supposed pagan East Slavic angle? I don't know. PSlav. *zę̀tь "son-in-law" < *ǵénh₁tis would be the only reflex from this well known root. That's mighty odd.
Anyway, happy black friday to y'all! ApisAzuli (talk) 14:02, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
While it is true that Romanian etymologies are often plagued by an irrational 'allergy' to Slavic word-origins, I am not seeing that here. Latin creationem > Romanian Crăciun would be a perfectly normal development, phonologically, and it is semantically satisfactory as well, considering the use of the Latin word in religious contexts and considering what Christmas is meant to celebrate, namely the birth of Christ.
A connection with various Balkan Slavic words, of the type Kračún, is obvious, but that the latter do not themselves derive from Romance is less so. The semantics of the proposed *korčiti “to step” > "winster solstice" are, at best, weak—certainly in comparison to the aforementioned derivation from Latin. If the article's comment on Old Romanian crăciun having an additional sense of 'birth' is correct, then I would consider Latin creationem to be by far the likeliest of the proposed explanations.
If kračún is first recorded first in Balkan Slavic texts, that is only to be expected, considering that Romanian entered its literary period only in the sixteenth century, while Balkan Slavic had already done so in the ninth. The lack of a clear cognate meaning 'winter solstice' in non-Balkan Slavic is also worth considering; in either case, we are dealing with a local innovation. Finally, as a speaker of at least one Slavic language (Russian), I am not aware of any native Slavic suffix of the type /-ˈun/, so the proposal of krak 'foot' as the etymon of kračún strikes me as not only semantically difficult, but also morphologically so. Meanwhile, Romanian has /-ˈtʃʲune/, inherited from Latin -tionem, precisely what is found in the form creationem. Nicodene (talk) 02:36, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
It's well precedented in my experience that Christmas can indeed loose the Christian connotation even if precedented a few centuries back. Nevertheless I thought the common wisdom about eg. the Christmas tree was that it's a pagan tradition.
By the way, Sylvester appears mighty odd in this regard, and the heathens did clear entire forests for acherage, so maybe also for charcoal come winter? You know, blackwood? December Timber? Even Transilvania could compare to certain Iranian words with initial t for "black", "dark", though this is a stretch; Besides, cp. durch (trans-, well cooked). I maintain that Schwarzwald could as well allude density, opposite to licht (light), but density is maybe proportional to calories (indeed cp. Schwarte). Coincidently, *krsnos would be rather close, or Cernobog? New years eve is of course due its namesake and thus at best only indirectly related to Latin silva 'woods' at best. I'm just saying, why dry a tree in your house if not to eventually burn it on a pyre.
Coincidently, I went through creo to Ceres and, although its entry disagrees slightly on the root, on to wikipedia and Demeter. This is ticking so many boxes, actually, I'm overwhelmed. For a start, some rites were held in January, she has 12 little helpers, the divine attribute may be represented as a bushel of crop (to smack naughty horned animals, cp. cuck, the horned husband? which I reckon may recall the practice of altering property marks with an additional score notch in the bed post instead); cult center in Sito though this must be a mistake, if it is a household tutalary god and construed analogous to Demeter, *dem- "to build" (cp. domina, Lord, creator), for in situ, meaning locally variable; on the other hand I'd not know if ząθar compares (Kloekhorst has some comparisons for Hit. z- to Gr. s < *t I believe, and ere's the diagnostic palatal i; cp. *so- ~ *to-, *Ke-). See perhaps also Frankish Horning for, I believe February, noting that some festivities may wander and that Calands pertain to January, right – and we actually give "bastard" as the ety. See also above timber < *dem-.
Finally, a sense of 'grow' seems compatible with 'walk' to me. The ending may be complicated, but Ru. Dative(?) *-u can carry many functions in interjection, for one. For the *n-stem consider perkun, perkwunos. In a tradiated view, she Ceres is the bringer, cp. gerere, also compatible with 'step' in a sense, and March, Mercur. A further comparison to tengri, another chtonic diety that came as far as Hungary (Hu. tenger "sea"?), seems posable, though phonetically difficult. In another view there is a simplex Deo in Demeter, looking a little similar to Дя́до. ApisAzuli (talk) 15:37, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
Tldr; "this is a stretch"..."ticking so many boxes"... the rest can be ignored... Chuck Entz (talk) 15:48, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
Yes, reading Transylvania as Blackwood forest is an extreme stretch. I didn't make it up specially for this thread, it just happens to fit beautifully. W.r.t. to Goddesses and their rites, at least, syncretism should be reckoned with, however. If it is the old Krishna vs. Christ comparison in disguise, it is naturally not going anywhere. Winter solstice is the longest night, mind. ApisAzuli (talk) 16:15, 27 December 2021 (UTC)

Germanic terms for starboardEdit

@Leasnam Old English stēorbord and Old Norse stjórnborði may show that the concept (and general formation) of a starboard existed in Proto-Germanic times, but I can't pin down an exact formation. The formation was borrowed into Romance repeatedly in the form (s)t(r)ibord as well. — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 19:12, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

Perhaps interestingly, the usual Germanic counterpart backboard is nearly absent or obsolete in modern English, despite the root of back basically surviving only in English and Scandinavian. Wakuran (talk) 21:26, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
The Old English would descend from a Proto-Germanic *steurōburdą; but the Old Norse form above would come from Proto-Germanic *steurīniburdô. Leasnam (talk) 00:01, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
Whereas "backboard" apparently is hypothetized to be derived from Proto-Germanic *bakaburdaz. (I'm not sure on why the endings on the two words would differ, though. Perhaps they're based on different Proto-Germanic hypotheses.) Wakuran (talk) 01:13, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
Might the variation indicate a loan relationship akin eg. to dexter? Although the few Germanic cognates have *-uo instead, or a mix of both, *-te-wo-o which would already look a lot like -wards, and a little less like *wand "hand" There are also two ON outcomes of *bankiz, some of which conspiciously lose the n. 2A02:3032:409:CB06:2:2:242:2D85 10:32, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
I think nasals were quite frequently dropped in Proto-Norse for a wide variety of words. Infinitive verb endings, for instance. Wakuran (talk) 12:51, 25 December 2021 (UTC)
Considering how readily nautical terms are/were borrowed within the Germanic Sprachbund, I wouldn't be at all surprised if these terms didn't go back to Proto-Germanic at all, but were coined in one early Germanic variety and then spread by a combination of borrowing and calquing to the others. —Mahāgaja · talk 10:54, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
A very real possibility. Yet inheritance is equally possible, so it's a 50:50 chance on these types of terms. The only sure thing is that there is no clear way of knowing for sure, unfortunately. We can make educated guesses, such as using the frequency of a noun declension perhaps, to decide if a compound contains a fossilised ending, but I cannot think of any other way to be more certain... Leasnam (talk) 19:33, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
The obviously incompatible morphological formations also lend credence to possible calquing (albeit based on close relatives) instead of inheritance. — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 20:25, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
Yes, that is also a good test. Leasnam (talk) 00:25, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, for calquing vis-a-vis inheritance, I might wonder whether the end results would matter much. Inherited words aren't immune to change, either way. Wakuran (talk) 12:51, 25 December 2021 (UTC)
Are these Old English and Old Norse terms actually attested? The Dutch book Nederlandse woorden wereldwijd considers (Middle) Dutch stuurboord the etymon of all these terms.[19]  --Lambiam 15:03, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
The Old English is attested. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:20, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
The Old Norse apparently shows up in a manuscript of the Fornmanna Sögur, but another copy left the borð- component off: see here, where both versions are indicated. — Ceso femmuin mbolgaig mbung, mellohi! (投稿) 20:37, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
The formation * tribord implied in the above is most curious, cp. abtreiben to steer off topic, after I bespoke drive, previously, and steuern eintreiben for (modern) colocation. travail also comes to mind. ApisAzuli (talk) 22:16, 26 December 2021 (UTC)
Probably just a simplification of the str- consonant cluster. It seems like the Romance languages generally have borrowed the word from Old French estribord. Wakuran (talk) 23:11, 26 December 2021 (UTC)

Swedish fikaEdit

The English Wiktionary entry for the noun fika claims it originates as backslang of "kaffi". Svensk ordbok agrees. On the other hand, Swedish Wiktionary says this is a myth, though without a source: "Från adjektivet fiken, att vara sugen på något, att ha begär. Ordet fika är omgärdat av flera olika myter som att det är en omkastningar ordet kaffe och en sägen om plåtburkar i försvaret märkta med förkortningen F.I.K.A."

New to Swedish & Wiktionary so not sure how to settle myself. --Okritiskt (talk) 22:03, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

Given that the Wiktionary statement stems from an editor who only has made two edits to propose the "fiken" etymology in question, I'd rather wager my bets on Svensk Ordbok. That the word "fiken" ("eager") exists, isn't necessarily proof that "fika" would be derived from it. Wakuran (talk) 01:10, 24 December 2021 (UTC)
That is, the phrases "fika efter" ("yearn for") and "fika" ("have a coffee break") would not necessarily be etymologically related. Wakuran (talk) 13:18, 25 December 2021 (UTC)


Hi, I was just curious if the word 'hearse' (< medieval Latin hercia) could have been influence in its semantic development by the phonetically similar (ancient) Greek word ἕρκος 'fence, enclosure'? I don't doubt the currently given etymology - though admittedly it is quite a wild one, from 'wolf' through 'teeth' to 'plough' and then to 'framework of wood or metal' - but I was just wondering if the Greek word might not also have influence the word somewhat. AntiquatedMan (talk) 14:37, 25 December 2021 (UTC)

Graeca sunt, non leguntur. Fay Freak (talk) 15:17, 25 December 2021 (UTC)
Fair enough. AntiquatedMan (talk) 16:19, 25 December 2021 (UTC)

Russian wordsEdit

I see that the entry for Russian година (godina) says it is from Old East Slavic годъ (godŭ). However, it does nothing to explain the -ина (-ina) at the end, so could this be from Old Church Slavonic година (godina) instead?

Also, could Russian угода (ugoda) be from у- (u-) +‎ года (goda)? Prahlad balaji (talk) 17:47, 27 December 2021 (UTC)

Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/godina says that Russian година (godina) is borrowed from Old Church Slavonic година (godina), but it also says that Belarusian гадзі́на (hadzína), Rusyn годи́на (hodýna), and Ukrainian годи́на (hodýna) are all inherited, so I don't see why the Russian couldn't be too. —Mahāgaja · talk 19:58, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
Okay, I have changed the etymology so that it says that it is derived from Proto-Slavic *godina. Prahlad balaji (talk) 02:19, 28 December 2021 (UTC)

Saxa in Old IrishEdit

Middle Irish Saxa (~Anglo-Saxon, Englishman) is a rare word that must, presumably, be the original singular of Saxain that was later displaced semantically by Saxanach. Saxa is not attested in Old Irish, however Saxain is. First, would it be reasonable to assume that Saxa goes back to Old Irish? (this seems to me like a daft question, but I have had bigger surprises regarding Irish!) Second, if an Old Irish form existed, what would its form be? Recognising that Latin Saxō is an n-stem and that Old Irish Saxain looks like an n-stem plural, the Old Irish singular would presumably be an n-stem too. Would Old Irish *Saxu be the correct reconstruction for this? ShellfaceTheStrange (talk) 21:17, 27 December 2021 (UTC)

It's hard to know for sure. The -u of n-stems is generally found where the Proto-Celtic nom.sg. ended in -i(y)ū (or the Latin nom.sg. ended in -iō in the case of loanwords). When the ending was just directly after a consonant, the Old Irish nom.sg. usually ends in the consonant, often with u-coloring of the preceding vowel. So the singular of Old Irish Saxain was more likely to have been *Sax or *Saux, since we'd expect it to correspond to Latin Saxō, not *Saxiō. But it's difficult to be 100% certain about it. —Mahāgaja · talk 21:32, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for this insight, I could not grasp why some Old Irish n-stems have -u and some do not. If we assume that there was an Old Irish *Sa(u)x, would it be possible to derive Middle Irish Saxa (with its final vowel) from it regularly? If not, I would wonder if Saxa could be a later analogical formation. ShellfaceTheStrange (talk) 21:52, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
Middle Irish doesn't just go around adding -a to Old Irish words, so it's not phonologically regular. And according to eDIL, the form Saexu is attested somewhere, which I think is very likely to be analogical. The early modern dative plural Sacsaibh, however, shows that the n-stem inflection wasn't stable. The spelling Saxae in Compert Con Culainn suggests that it got shifted to the io-declension, and the spelling Saxa is more likely to be a variant spelling of io-stem Saxae than of n-stem Saxu, since unstressed u remained distinct from unstressed a for longer than unstressed (a)e did. —Mahāgaja · talk 22:28, 27 December 2021 (UTC)
Very interesting indeed. I have followed the references given by the eDIL, and the group of Saexu, Saxa, Sexae are all variants of a single word from different manuscripts of Tochmarc Emire (eDIL cites Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, Volume 3, page 249, which is an edited version of the text). The dizzying variation of forms here surely supports the argument that Saxa is analogical. I thought my first question trivial, but once again Irish surprises! ShellfaceTheStrange (talk) 23:19, 27 December 2021 (UTC)

Danish nederdelEdit

Could this word have been borrowed from Swedish nederdel? Danish seems to have no prefix or word neder but Swedish does. Prahlad balaji (talk) 02:13, 28 December 2021 (UTC)

I wouldn't be surprised if all of the Continental Scandinavian languages originally borrowed the word from Middle Low German, to be honest. But the connections between the various Continental Scandinavian and Continental West Germanic languages could often be rather convoluted and fuzzy.
For the prefix neder- Svensk Akademisk Ordbok states
I ett stort antal fall äro ssgrna med neder- dock antingen direkta lån från t. l. nt. l. efterbildningar av t. l. ngt.[Sic!]* ord.
([Sic!]*Probably a typo for nt.)
In a large number of cases, the compounds with neder- are however either direct loans from German or Low German or calques of (some) German or Low German word.
[20] Wakuran (talk) 02:46, 28 December 2021 (UTC)
I've updated both etymologies (Danish and Swedish). Leasnam (talk) 21:55, 28 December 2021 (UTC)


The wiktionary entry is basically copied from Merriam Webster, which refers to "...others believe it comes from the Classical Hebrew phrase barukh habba', meaning "blessed be he who arrives" (Psalms 118:26)"

It's clear to any good listener, and especially to Hebrew speakers that the 3-syllable brouhaha is quite unlike the 4-syllable sound of baruch habah and the very meaning of the latter being "welcome" makes it abundantly clear that this theory of origin of the word brouhaha is mistaken.

The word brouhaha is attributed to being French in origin, as it first appeared in an 1865 book by Jules Verne, Kéraban-Le-Têtu, and also in his famous novel From the Earth to the Moon, but the Hebrew word brouhacha has been there for thousands of years in Exodus 15:10 (v' is the soft variant of b' both sounds of the letter bet)

נָשַׁ֥פְתָּ בְרוּחֲךָ֖ כִּסָּ֣מוֹ יָ֑ם (na-shafta v'ruhacha k'samo yam.) You made Your wind blow, the sea covered them (Sefaria)

Clearly a wind blown by the Lord sufficient to make the sea cover the pursuing Egyptian army is a more likely source of Jules Verne's use of the word brouhaha than baruch habah is. DKauffman (contribs ~ talk) 22:47, 28 December 2021 (UTC)

I always thought this word was imitative. DJ K-Çel (contribs ~ talk) 22:48, 28 December 2021 (UTC)
Derivation from Psalm 118:28 is also the favoured theory in the entry “brouhaha”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012. According to that entry, variations are already found as early as 1548 (Brou, brou, brou, ha, ha, Brou, ha, ha.). Yours is a nice theory, but it is hard to explain how the term found its way from Exodus 15:10 to French.  --Lambiam 20:12, 31 December 2021 (UTC)


Is the doubled e a stress indicator? Arlo Barnes (talk) 21:02, 31 December 2021 (UTC)

I doubt it. This is “the sort of thing idle pseudo-intellectuals invent on the Internet and which every smarty-pants takes up thereafter”. In this case, the pseudo-intellectual inventor apparently did not know the meaning of Ancient Greek ἀνάστημα (anástēma), related to the verb ἀνίστημι (anístēmi, raise, make stand up). The noun ἀνάστημα means “height”, so the term should mean “love of tall people (or things)”. They apparently also did not know how to transliterate (pseudo-)learned Ancient Greek neologisms. And finally, they did not know that in such compounds the first component should be based on the oblique stem, in this case ἀνάστηματ- (anástēmat-), which should have resulted in anastematophilia. So I think the ⟨ee⟩ is an ignorance indicator.  --Lambiam 23:40, 31 December 2021 (UTC)
There's another possibility: pseudo-intellectuals also often don't know the difference between modern and ancient Greek (Exhibit A: paraskavedekatriaphobia), so the "anasteema" might be a phonetic rendering of the Greek (see some modern Greek dictionary entries for ἀνάστημα). Chuck Entz (talk) 03:17, 1 January 2022 (UTC)
We also have an entry for Modern Greek ανάστημα (anástima), which in the official monotonic orthography is written without spiritus.  --Lambiam 17:47, 1 January 2022 (UTC)

Interesting, thank you. The pseudo-intellectual presumptive origin also explains why the entry says it is a ghost word (and as of today has been RFVd). Arlo Barnes (talk) 16:21, 1 January 2022 (UTC)

January 2022


The current etymology given for honeymoon is a pretty straight-forward analysis as honey + moon, as the nice (honey-sweet) time shortly after the wedding. However, I happened upon Norwegian hjon and cognates in other North-Germanic languages meaning 'married couple'. Therefore, I'd like to propose that the first element of the compound is this word, perhaps later reshapped through folk etymology to honey.

To give some caveats: I haven't looked if there are any sources supporting this etymology, nor do the Norwegian (and cognate) words currently have a etymology, at least on English Wiktionary. However, the current etymology for honeymoon doesn't seem to cite sources either.

(BTW, happy new year!) AntiquatedMan (talk) 14:28, 1 January 2022 (UTC)

Hmm, hjon might not necessarily refer to a married couple, but it could also mean family member or servant. Norwegian has the archaic words hjonelag and hjonskap for "marriage", however. Similar phrasings as "honeymoon" in the Romance and Slavic languages seem to be ultimately derived from English, which wouldn't in itself disprove the hypothesis of a folk etymology. Then, if it was a true etymology, you would be expecting some Old Norse word like *hjónamánaðr, where it doesn't seem to be an attested compound. [21] Wakuran (talk) 15:48, 1 January 2022 (UTC)
Or, for the etymology to feel safer, I'd like to see either a similar Old Norse compound, or proof that hjón was borrowed into English with a similar meaning before the compound honeymoon. (According to Etymonline, "honey" as "darling" is attested from the mid-14th c. and "honeymoon" from the 1540s. [22] ) Wakuran (talk) 16:04, 1 January 2022 (UTC)
The first element has a parallel in German Low German Hönnigweken (honeymoon, literally honey-weeks). The first and second element can easily be compared with Middle Low German suckermānt (honeymoon, literally sugar-month). Has it ever occurred to anyone to check English's most closest relatives first for similar formations ? I am often shocked when I so readily find etymological counterparts for various mystery English words in Old Saxon/Middle Low German Leasnam (talk) 05:30, 5 January 2022 (UTC)
I do honestly doubt this molasses etymology and refer you to Heirat and Hochzeit, noting that heyday seems to be a by-sense of honeymoon, and that the etymology of hoch is sketchy. See also high-light. On the other hand, honey is to honour what cherry is to cher, namely obvious folk-etymology, or imitative. Or a mystery as you say. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:44, 15 January 2022 (UTC)

ó thuaidhEdit

Irish ó thuaidh (northwards) and ó dheas (southwards) go back to Old Irish fa-thúaith, sa-thúaith and fa-dess, sa-dess (cf. Thurneysen, Rudolf (1940, reprinted 2003)D. A. Binchy and Osborn Bergin, transl., A Grammar of Old Irish, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, →ISBN, § 483 and Gregory Toner, Maire Ní Mhaonaigh, Sharon Arbuthnot, Dagmar Wodtko, Maire-Luise Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “dess”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language ⁊ also “túaid, thúaid”). So it’s pretty clear that the fa- forms took over and then lost the initial f-.

But where does this fa-, sa- come from? My guess would be that they must be the same element as s- in forms like modern siar, OIr. síar (westwards) or suas, OIr. súas (upwards), etc. (And then I’d expect it to continue older form in *su̯-s(a)- being the non-lenited variant and fa- being the lenited one).

But this fa- also seems to be fo (under, towards), fo- (cf. Gregory Toner, Maire Ní Mhaonaigh, Sharon Arbuthnot, Dagmar Wodtko, Maire-Luise Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “1 fo, fa, fá”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language: “(b) of direction towards, into, through”).

fo (under, towards) is derived from *upo (> *uɸo > Prim.Ir. *u̯o > fo) which doesn’t give any reason for s- to be there… So – am I right in thinking that Proto-Celtic could have had a variant form *su(ɸ)o (cf. Latin sub and maybe Greek ὑπό (hupó)?) that yielded the s- prefix in the adverbs with root in a vowel (s-úas, s-ís, s-air, s-íar) and the sa- variants in north/south directions? (Also – would that be IE s-mobile showing up?) // Silmeth @talk 17:08, 1 January 2022 (UTC)

I suspect the s forms come from the same s in so (this), sin (that), sund (here), etc. —Mahāgaja · talk 10:02, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: I asked prof. David Stifter on Twitter about it too, and he answered that he believes fa-dess etc. are fo dess, fo thúaith with fo (under, towards), but he also thinks sa-dess, sa-thúaid are just rare Middle Irish forms influenced by síar, sair, etc. (since there are just a few citations of them in eDIL, and all of them from texts from the LL manuscript). He has no idea for the etymology of s- in síar, etc.
As for sin (that) – isn’t that *sindosin and sin being doublets like English that and the (and similar story with sund and so)? Do you mean that somehow in the directional adverbs the s- has been transferred from demonstratives? // Silmeth @talk 12:21, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I meant. It's just an idea, though; I'm not arguing in favor of it. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:35, 2 January 2022 (UTC)

put one's foot in one's mouthEdit

Are these the best we can find? --Espoo (talk) 21:59, 1 January 2022 (UTC)

In the uses given as precursors, it is invariably “the bishop” who is to blame, with variants like “the bishop has blessed it” (Tyndale) and “a bishop in the pan”.[23] I find it implausible that such a salient aspect as a bishop would vanish from the scene just like that and do not agree with the judgement that this clerical disappearance act is “only natural”.[24] Also, the evil bishop did not commit a blunder, but spoilt the broth or whatever he put his foot in, usually by burning it. That is semantically quite different. So I think the (obsolete) idiom “the bishop put his foot in (something)” is not a precursor of the current “put one’s foot in it”. In some late 19th-century uses of the latter idiom, the meaning is “commit a white-collar crime” (and get caught).[25][26] I see many 19th-century uses in which the phrase has a literal meaning: a crime has been committed, a mud footprint has been found and preserved, a suspect is brought to court and, in their role as defendant, is asked by the court to put their foot in it,[27][28][29][30]i[31] something they cannot legally be compelled to do. Could this be the source of the idiom? In a column in an 1873 issue of the Melbourne Punch the metaphor is first “explained” by the “it” in which one should not put one’s foot being a “moral hole”, but then proceeds by regaling the reader with three colossal gaffes.[32] Many 19th-century uses are about gaffes, which makes the jump to “put one’s foot in one’s mouth” with the same meaning more likely.  --Lambiam 12:32, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
Bishops have been used in other salacious phrasings, as well, in Britain. Famously, "Said the actress to the bishop". Wakuran (talk) 14:12, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
We have an entry for the variant “as the actress said to the bishop”. The salacity is not in this phrasing itself, but it colours that which the actress is alleged to have said. The gaffes of foot-in-mouth disease are mostly not salacious at all. If the origin story (“based on real events“) on Wikipedia is true, the bishop was a real (Anglican) bishop.  --Lambiam 00:40, 4 January 2022 (UTC)

Proto-Brythonic *saɣeθEdit

I noticed that *saɣeθ is described as a 'parallel borrowing' to Old Irish saiget. Is there something incompatible about the two, such that they cannot both be derived from a Proto-Celtic borrowing from Latin sagitta? Nicodene (talk) 05:41, 2 January 2022 (UTC)

The /d/ of the Old Irish is troubling, as there's no straightforward way to get it from Latin tt. It seems to have come from a *sagita with degemination, while the Brythonic is definitely from sagitta with tt. Otherwise, probably the main reason we don't generally say that Latin words found in both Goidelic and Brythonic go back to a Proto-Celtic borrowing from Latin is the fact that some sound changes affect Latin loanwords differently from Proto-Celtic words, showing that they didn't enter Celtic languages until certain post-PC changes had already happened. For example, Latin *ū becomes Proto-Brythonic *ʉ, but PC *ū becomes PBr *i, so loanwords with *ū have to have been borrowed later than PC. More relevantly to this word, PC *s before a vowel becomes PBr *h, but Latin s before a vowel stays s, so if sagitta had been borrowed into PC, the Welsh result would be *haeth rather than saeth. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:55, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
I see- thank you for the explanation. I'd underestimated the age of Proto-Celtic.
Edit: Should the entry wīnom be corrected, then- or is that a sufficiently old borrowing? Nicodene (talk) 22:54, 3 January 2022 (UTC)
The fact that it's also in Lepontic makes it seem more likely to be Proto-Celtic, but of course there's no way to prove it wasn't borrowed separately into Goidelic, Brythonic, and Lepontic. —Mahāgaja · talk 23:09, 3 January 2022 (UTC)

Reference templates across languagesEdit

I have cited Snoj's Slovenian Etymological dictionary to complement the etymology of a Macedonian term, namely скуша (skuša). Seeing that a reference template had been created for use on Slovenian entries, I adopted it as such. Should I create a Macedonian version, starting with "R:mk" rather than "R:sl", or is the language code inside reference templates insignificant? Martin123xyz (talk) 15:37, 2 January 2022 (UTC)

IMO, if the work referenced is about Slovenian, then it should just be called "Template:R:sl:whatever". Just because you can use it in the etymology sections of other languages doesn't change the fact that the work itself is about Slovenian. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:17, 2 January 2022 (UTC)
+. I have nothing to add to what Mahāgaja said, it is fairly obvious. The language codes in the titles of reference templates were not for restricting your use of them. Fay Freak (talk) 16:38, 3 January 2022 (UTC)


This is very probably derived from a Central Asian language, but I'm not sure which. This article says the English term is borrowed via Russian, which sounds plausible enough, but Vasmer doesn't have an entry for "цокор" nor does Russian Wiktionary. 07:02, 3 January 2022 (UTC)

There are similar words in Ukrainian, Polish and Hungarian, I see. [33], [34], [35]. Wakuran (talk) 13:50, 3 January 2022 (UTC)
According to attestation dates and my experience with these things, namely the case of polatouche, and compare also the spread of Russian вы́хухоль (výxuxolʹ) and desman, I judge that this has come to English from Polish via French, search le zokor whereby you find zoology books. The French had less problems orthographically to take over the Polish form, which was zokor, easier to find than cokor, but you should corroborate our entry by giving the English IPA pronunciation. Fay Freak (talk) 16:53, 3 January 2022 (UTC)
That borrowing pathway makes sense given the orthography. I still suspect the ultimate source must have been a non-IE Central Asian language, since the creature's native range is China, Kazakhstan, and Siberian Russia (unless there's a Slavic root, which feels doubtful to me).
Regarding pronunciation, I would (as someone with no specialized knowledge) say it like "zoh-core", basically the same as Merriam-Webster gives, \ ˈzōˌkȯr \, so I guess the first vowel is [o] or [oʊ] rather than [ɔ]. 23:09, 3 January 2022 (UTC)
Hmm, Merriam-Webster claims "native name in the Altai mountains", which isn't particularly specific. I still think that the borrowing westward might have originated through Russian, though. Wakuran (talk) 00:46, 4 January 2022 (UTC)
I think we must have gotten the spelling through German mediation, since English speakers would never transliterate ц as ⟨z⟩ without outside interference. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:54, 4 January 2022 (UTC)
English words starting with ts- or tz- are rather rare, overall. I have trouble coming up with more common examples than tsar or tsunami. (Possibly the form czar is through Polish.) Wakuran (talk) 15:27, 4 January 2022 (UTC)
I might have spoken too soon. It seems the Polish spelling is car, and Poles use cz- for another sound. Wakuran (talk) 15:30, 4 January 2022 (UTC)
Apparently the spelling ⟨czar⟩ was first used in Latin, in Notes on Muscovite Affairs (1549) and was adapted into English from there (see w:Notes on Muscovite Affairs § Tsar vs Czar for details). —Mahāgaja · talk 16:02, 4 January 2022 (UTC)
Anyway, which Central Asian languages would include a native voiceless alveolar affricate, to begin with? It seems as if many of the languages in the area only includes it as a borrowed phoneme for Russian loanwords. Wakuran (talk) 16:32, 4 January 2022 (UTC)
I don’t know, but it is still from Turkic or Mongolic, from the Mongolic word for “blind” that presents itself as Standard Mongolian сохор (sokhor). So explicitly in a 1980 issue of Советская тюркология the relevant snippet of which is in these two previews, which could mean a shrewd German calqued it to name it Blindmull. A 1992 book Звери и птицы Сибири claims an origin in a Buryat соохор зумбараан (sooxor zumbaraan, literally spotted suslik) which seems odd. Fay Freak (talk) 21:15, 4 January 2022 (UTC)
Hmm, strange then, that the Russian word would gain an affricate, but alright... Wakuran (talk) 21:41, 4 January 2022 (UTC)
@Fay Freak: The Polish form cokor is cited from a 2015 publication that introduced a lot of new terminology to Polish zoology (eg. changing foka szara into szarytka morska, a term that hadn’t existed in Polish before, for grey seal; or introducing kawia as a new word for guinea pig, instead of commonly used świnka morska, see [36] (in Polish)). I can’t find either cokor or zokor in Wielki Słownik Języka Polskiego nor in PWN dictionaries or the encyclopedia. I don’t think Polish is a source language here, cokor seems to be a recent loan-word introduced in specialist publication in 2015. Zokor might have appeared earlier in some Polish texts (as a cited foreign name), but I don’t think it had ever been an established Polish word.
Before this publication Polish Wikipedia used the Latin term for this animal, this was changed in 2015 in this edit. Giving Polish as a source of the borrowing here looks like nonsense to me. // Silmeth @talk 00:00, 5 January 2022 (UTC)
Well I had a 1868 quote for Polish using it as a naturalized word at multiple places. That was even easier to find than an English 19th-century quote. In the same decade, a dictionary used it as a defining term for ślepiec. It was probably known in Polish but rarely talked about or not in corpora now well OCRed. Even more “non-sensically” we find cokor in the Upper Sorbian (!!!) dictionary of 1865. Of course Bogoslav Šulek wanted zokor in Croatian.
It may be a transcription of one of the now many translingual names that borrowed the species epithet from Russian; this is difficult to tell as long as Wikispecies has not covered the synonyms of that subfamily. The point stands though that French zoology books knew it in the 18th century already. Then it can be Russian → directly French → directly English, if we don’t artificially assume that French took it from Russian directly while English from taxonomy directly. Although then we still lack the missing links in English literature (or zoological learning). And though to get to Russia from France back in the day one likely had to pass Poland and its fauna was easier to access for study. Fay Freak (talk) 00:50, 5 January 2022 (UTC)
I have not mentioned that Dal’s dictionary contains for some reason зокор (zokor) without stress mark but not цокор (cokor). But this зокоръ (zokor) I see only in his dictionary and Russian←→French dictionaries while others have цокоръ (cokor) around the same time. How come? Fay Freak (talk) 01:22, 5 January 2022 (UTC)
Comparing Zuckerberg and jakal I'd say it's Turkic through Persian Arabic and Turkish into Russian as for собака, which would explain rarer by-forms through different roots and the altaic forms possibly from Russian, see further Aleut sabaakax. Indeed, the zokor looks like the Schweinehund or a beefy guineapig (named for their noses?). ApisAzuli (talk) 08:08, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

I made Russian цо́кор (cókor) with references. Apparently the word was acquired from the local Mongolic and Turkic languages by the Russian dialects of Siberia and was then spread to Europe. I suggest explaining the non-etymological ц- (c-), which is not found in the Russian dialects, by a scholarly retransliteration from German Zokor. --Vahag (talk) 14:15, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

This is all barmy of course. I wouldn’t have dared to suppose that the standard Russian form for a Siberian animal is Germanized. But your theory also means that the German Zokor had a spelling pronunciation, after having been transcribed in a scholarly fashion from зокор (zokor) towards this shape in place of Sokor which also exists, or was assumed to have one when being taken over in literary Russian, which also means the Standard Russian is “twice-borrowed”. Fay Freak (talk) 17:01, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
Upon further digging I see the word was first used in German-Russian Pallas's Latin-language works as zokor, who usually uses an inconsistent approximate German orthography for transcribing local names, for example Armenian խնձոր (xnjor) becomes chansoer. Russian botanists must have transcribed this attestation into Cyrillic according to German orthography. Vahag (talk) 18:56, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
This 1907 Russian dictionary (use US proxy to view) references zoologists including Pallas for the form цокоръ, whereas for зокоръ it references Dal'. Everything points to цокор (cokor) being a ghost form created by scholars. Vahag (talk) 19:36, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
Can we say that ‹Z› would then be a failed attempt to render /s/ in place of standard initial ‹s› /z/? ApisAzuli (talk) 20:21, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
It was an attempt to render either a /s/ or a /z/. Vahag (talk) 21:16, 8 January 2022 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology - particularly, is the hypothesis being from pre-Roman substrate (< PIE *bʰars-) any more sure than other hypotheses ? The Link to Pensado, José Luis; Messner, Dieter (2003), “boroa” is coming up "Not Found" for me. Leasnam (talk) 14:24, 3 January 2022 (UTC)

Timelinewise, 13th century seems a little late for a substrate word to appear. Leasnam (talk) 14:37, 3 January 2022 (UTC)
This century and work is when most words appear, according to our Galician etymologies. Fay Freak (talk) 14:58, 3 January 2022 (UTC)
I assume that is because prior to the 13th c. Galician was actually 'Latin' ? I see your point, but this word was never attested in the Late Latin of the area/region, as would be assumed ? Leasnam (talk) 05:01, 5 January 2022 (UTC)
I had some serious considerations about this, possibly indicating Greek πυρός as the plosive is intervocalic in pan de boroa; or alternatively that de-boroa became rebracketed, which didn't get me very far because I confuse *dubnos vel sim. for "dark" (cf. Danube, there's a cognate in *-ros).
Now I just really want to know if blow (powder cocaine) is from this. ApisAzuli (talk) 20:23, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
For the last point, I kinda figured it could be a connection with the "opposite" action of sniffing, somewhat similar how to a blowjob denotes sucking, for another street slang formation. Wakuran (talk) 02:00, 21 January 2022 (UTC)

grané or gravé?Edit

I have started a thread on the etymology of English gravy at Talk:gravy § grané or gravé?. I found the “accepted” etymology suspicious, and discovered that I am not alone. Suggestions on how to fix this are welcome.  --Lambiam 12:39, 6 January 2022 (UTC)

I don't know much about linguistics so this is just my opinion, but:
on the one hand, I can definitely see how the letter 'n' could be mistaken for a 'u', (whether handwritten or typeset, these two letters can look pretty similar) yet,
on the other hand, seems completely implausible given the fact that this is gravy we're talking about. Language is generally passed down through speech, not through books. If it was some really obscure word then I can definitely see how it could happen, but this is a common food item, not a piece of arcane knowledge or a one-time occurrence. Obviously if everybody (including well-educated chefs) has always called it "grane", then you don't just switch over to "grave" after seeing it spelled that way in a book. Rather, you assume that the book is wrong. Most people back then probably wouldn't even have been reading books anyway, and cooking itself was a thing passed down from master to apprentice orally.
As for how to fix it, for now maybe change "apparently a misspelling" to "possibly a misspelling"? 14:45, 6 January 2022 (UTC)


The entry for English angiotenic has a

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Well, it's not hard to decompose the word as a classical compound. Indeed, we show French angioténique as

angio- +‎ Ancient Greek τείνω (teínō, to stretch).

So it's (at least intuitively) obvious that there's some borrowing going on here, and WT:ET encourages us to indicate occurrences of borrowing. But I have no idea in which direction this borrowing happened.

So I have questions at distinct levels:

  1. (etymology) Is angiotenic borrowed, and if so, is it borrowed from French?
  2. (Wiktionary policy, or perhaps style) Is it acceptable in such a situation to provide only the details of the classical compound? Using angiotenic as an example, to my own mind, although it would be of some interest (if only from the perspective of the history of pathology) to know whether the compound was first created in some other language, the main thing I'd want to know is the meanings and origins of the constituent pieces from which it was compounded.

PaulTanenbaum (talk) 13:33, 6 January 2022 (UTC)

Ideally, we should find out which language the word was first coined in, but if that's not feasible, then including only the classical roots (like the French etymology section does) is acceptable. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:22, 6 January 2022 (UTC)
The term was coined (written with a hyphen, in the collocation fièvre angio-ténique) by Philippe Pinel in the first volume of his monography Nosographie philosophique, published in the year VI (Gregorian year 1797).[37]  --Lambiam 15:54, 6 January 2022 (UTC)
Excellent! Thanks so much. PaulTanenbaum (talk) 16:28, 6 January 2022 (UTC)

English babble and BabelEdit

Two points concerning the unlisted folk etymology:

1.) The somewhat lengthy etymology section on the babble page concludes with the simple assertion "Unrelated to Babel". This is true, but shouldn't the folk etymology at least be noted? Here's just one example: in the margin of the 1609 Douay Old Testament there is a note at Genesis 11:9 on the word "Babel", ":: He that speaketh so confusedly that he is not understood is said to babble" (p. 44 https://archive.org/details/holiebiblefaithf00mart_0/page/44/mode/2up ).

2.) On the Babel page, it lists the General American pronunciation as /ˈbæb.l̩/, which is the same as the word "babble". Clearly this is influenced by the folk etymology, which I think should probably be noted. But besides that, I am an American and I've heard it pronounced both ways. Some people say /ˈbæb.l̩/ and others say /ˈbeɪ.bl̩/ (I myself usually go with the latter). So I think the pronunciation section is a bit incomplete as well. 14:20, 6 January 2022 (UTC)

Well, the thing about this is, that the English verb babble (to chatter, waffle on) is attested since around 1250 (in the Ancrene Riwle: To babelinde & to spekefule ancren. - "To babbling and speechful hermits"). Personally, I think it's purely coincidence that the two terms seem alike, and that a misconnection was made a long time ago in error by someone who really didn't have access to all pieces of the puzzle (it reminds me of how some Christian leaders like to tie the name of Easter to ancient Ishtar). Also, I feel the pronunciation of the biblical term, at least where the pronunciation /ˈbæb.l̩/ is concerned, appears to have been influenced by the verb/noun babble as you pointed out (for contrast, compare Abel - no one ever refers to him as /ˈæb.l̩/). However, if babble meant "to speak in an unknown language or a language different to one's own" or "to confuse" (e.g. He babbled them all.) then I could see more direct influence from Babel > babble. Some senses of babble come close...but those senses were likely there to begin with without the need for influence from Babel so it's difficult to say for sure. Leasnam (talk) 16:19, 6 January 2022 (UTC)
There's quite a bunch of similar imitative words among Indo-European languages, as well. If you smack your lips and wiggle your tongue, some uttering like "buhluhblub" comes more or less naturally. I guess there could be some indirect connection with the Semitic root also being imitative, but it doesn't seem to be a common theory. Wakuran (talk) 02:41, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
Yes, blah blah blah is one example of that. Leasnam (talk) 15:04, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Probably also Ancient Greek βάρβαρος (bárbaros). If so, we might want to think about whether the listed cognates should be listed as definitely cognates. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:34, 9 January 2022 (UTC)

Schläfli symbolEdit

Isn't this rather a calque of German Schläfli-Symbol? I fail to find the original publication which would settle the question. — Fytcha T | L | C 〉 02:22, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

Schläfli did not use this term. It may have been introduced by Coxeter, who used the term in: Coxeter, H. S. M. (1930), “The Polytopes with Regular-Prismatic Vertex Figures”, in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London[38], series A, volume 229, pages 329–425.  --Lambiam 12:03, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

Etruscan and CarthageEdit

Etruscan *𐌂𐌀𐌓𐌈𐌀𐌆𐌀 (*carθaza) as shown here is extrapolated from a 6th century BCE tessera hospitalis fragment that begins "Mi Puinel Carθazie..." (I am Puinel the Carthaginian...) Nevermind that this definitely isn't from Greek Καρχηδών (Karkhēdṓn) and that archaic Latin Carthada is closer phonetically to the Phoenician, is /t/ > z /ts/ before /i/ a productive part of Etruscan declension? If so, *Carθata seems like a potential shared borrowing with or from early Latin, though very likely not into it. airy—zero (talk) 03:55, 7 January 2022 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

@Indigenouswikicom has been causing module errors by switching etymologies and Descendants sections to make things borrowed from Javanese instead of being inherited or borrowed from Malay, but not updating pages that use {{desctree}} to link to the Descendants sections they've removed. Although the number of such changes to etymologies by a new user makes me nervous, I haven't reverted them so far, since I don't know that much about the history of the languages in the area. In this case, however, I have trouble believing that Indonesian would borrow such a basic part of the core Austronesian inherited vocabulary from another language, especially since I would expect the outcome of inheritance to be identical with the Javanese. Not to mention that it basically guts the Descendants section for Proto-Malayic *laŋit.

Also pinging @Austronesier. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:34, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

@Chuck Entz Hello, thank you for your concern. First of all, I would like to explain that eventhough Indonesian language was initially a form of Malay language, it doesn't mean all of the terminology in Indonesian is originally from Malay language. The Malay language itself historically is a newly formed language emerged around 18th century inherited from the Old Malay language (a language spoken in Sumatra) that highly influenced by the Old Javanese, that's why the Old Malay itself is unintelligble by the modern-day Malay speakers but intelligible by the Javanese speakers. Indonesian language contained such significant linguistic elements from another native languages mainly the Javanese, Sundanese, Betawi, etc. You can also search "the oldest language in Southeast Asia" and the Old Javanese would popped-up as the top result. The Old Javanese (and later transformed as Javanese) is unrefutably play significant roles in shaping the Austronesian languages itself (and undeniably the Javanese itself is the most spoken Austronesian language), that's why I'm trying to give my contribution right here to fix the right terminology trees in some terms.
Furthermore, if you're asking about the source of "laṅit" term in Old Javanese, you can see it here http://sealang.net/ojed/. Thanks.
P.S.: You can also search and do your own research regarding to this Indonesian linguistic matter, here I could give you one of the references about the Javanese language influence in forming "Indonesian" itself: "Javanese influence on Indonesian". (Indigenouswikicom (talk) 07:04, 7 January 2022 (UTC))
The recent "fix" of the etymology of langit is completely off the mark. This word belongs to the dominant Malay layer of Indonesian vocabulary, cognates of it are found in all Malayic sister languages (including languages like Iban and Kendayan which display little signs of borrowing from Javanese) and thus goes back to Proto-Malayic, and obviously is inherited from Proto-Austronesian. The Javanese word is simply a cognate, the perfect phonetic match can be explained by the respective phonological histories of Malay and Javanese.
Also not quite correct are unfortunately many of the explanations given by @Indigenouswikicom. (Classical) Malay did not develop in the 18th century, but has been extensively documented since the 16th century. It evolved directly from inscriptional Old Malay (or an ancient Malayic variety closely related to the latter). Old Malay is as intelligible, or rather unintellligible, to Malay speakers as it is to Javanese speakers. Further, Old Javanese is not "the oldest language in Southeast Asia" (whatever that means; by attestation, this title would go to the Cham language). It did not "play [a] significant role in shaping the Austronesian languages itself" except for being a source of regionally confined (Java, Bali, southern Borneo) borrowings, and some recent borrowings into modern Indonesian, especially colloquial Indonesian. Contemporary demographics should not be projected back to the ancient past, to do so is a fallacy. The impact of Malay as source language for widespread borrowing reaching all the way to the Philippines and the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago is definitely much more significant. There has been significant back-and-forth borrowing between Malay and Javanese, but it has gone both ways.
So please @Indigenouswikicom: get familiar first with the basics of historical linguistics in general and specifically Austronesian historical linguistics, before concocting new etymologies, or - even worse - replacing established etymologies reflecting more than 100 years of solid scholarship. As introductory reading I suggest The Austronesian Languages by the great Bob Blust, who passed away two days ago. For the question of Javanese influence on Indonesian, the book by Soepomo Poedjosoedarmo is indeed a very good source. But it should be consulted literally, and not taken as inspiration for wild speculations.
I will restore the correct and established etymology. –Austronesier (talk) 09:03, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
"Proto" is only reconstructed form of the languages through the sinilar sounding, Proto form can't and shouldn't come before the attested linguistic form, because the so-called "Protos" are only hypothetical and theorized (which means didn't based on factual attestation). Old Malay has been attested having high borrowing linguistic elements from Old Javanese. Furthermore, Old Javanese indeed "the oldest language in Southeast Asia" (reference: "Introduction to Old Javanese Language and Literature"), the Cham language itself are influenced by the Old Javanese language due to the historical ties between Java and Indochina. And by the way, Old Javanese (and later transformed as Javanese) play significant roles in shaping Indonesian language as what I mentioned before, Indonesian language contains high Javanesic elements than Malayic elements, because Indonesian is the developed language apart from Malay language itself.
And since you mentioned about the Phillipines, the oldest inscription found in Philippines are surprisingly using Old Javanese language and even written in Old Javanese script. Malay influence came to Philippines after the ancient (and even classical) Javanese civilization settled there. And even, the Kedayan people in Borneo as what you mentioned above are also originally from Java.
Furthermore, all what I mentioned above can be attested through reviews or even a simple google search. So before you called my contributions as "wild speculations", you'd better understand your words first. (Indigenouswikicom (talk) 09:18, 7 January 2022 (UTC))
Who says that the Kendayan originate from Java? And no, the Laguna Copperplate Inscription is basically written in Old Malay, with some Old Javanese elements. Factoids collected from Google searches don't really strengthen your point.
Anyway, some more reading matter:
  • Wolff, John U. (2010). Proto-Austronesian Phonology with Glossary. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications.
  • Adelaar, K. Alexander (1992). Proto-Malayic: The Reconstruction of its Phonology and Parts of its Lexicon and Morphology. Pacific Linguistics, Series C, no. 119. Canberra: Dept. of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, the Australian National University.
And since you reject the use of reconstructions and thus implicitly the w:Comparative Method, also:
  • Campbell, Lyle (2004). Historical Linguistics: An Introduction (2nd ed.). Cambridge: The MIT Press.
The Austronesian word for 'sky' is attested from Madagascar to Hawaii, and from Taiwan to the Tanimbar Islands. Malay and Javanese langit each show regular sound correspondences with other Austronesian languages, which allows to reconstruct Proto-Austronesian *laŋiC. Nothing in the attested history of Indonesian/Malay suggests that this word is borrowed from Javanese.
@Wiktionarian89, Xbypass, GinormousBuildings
Austronesier (talk) 11:09, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
PS for all those not familiar with the details of comparative Austronesian linguistics: the proposed "etymology" is equivalent to saying that German Nase comes from Latin nasus. –Austronesier (talk) 11:34, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
First of all, bringing "Kendayan" to these discussion is so unrelated and silly, because Kendayan are sub-group of Dayak people, not Malay people. And the oldest inscription found in Philippines (Laguna Copperplate Inscription) is irrefutably using Old Javanese language, I'm an indigenous who could read the native scripts, and I could guarantee that inscription clearly using Old Javanese script.
And by the way, please watch your words especially your dictions before you talk to someone, because I'm not some type of idiot that could be easily manipulated.
And for your information, there is no such thing as "Austronesian" language in reality, it's only the hypothetical reconstruction linguistic family form based on the region (mainly Indonesian region).
And again, I'm only doing my contribution only based on my scope, which is mainly about the Western indonesian family languages. And in Indonesian language itself, the term "langit" undeniably attested originally from Javanese which is inherited from Old Javanese. So if you're trying to bring Hawai'i into these matter, I guess it is not so related at all, eventhough those terms might be cognate to each other. My edit contributions mainly trying to give information based on factual reality that can be attested not the delutional/hypothetical/theorized terms that can't even be proved. (Indigenouswikicom (talk) 14:45, 7 January 2022 (UTC))
I don't know anything about the particulars of this case, but the fact that a word is attested in one language prior to another does not always imply that the latter was borrowed from the former, especially when there are other plausible explanations (in this case, inheritance from a common ancestor word which is widely found across Austronesian-speaking lands). 14:55, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
You shouldn't confuse people with language. The Kendayans, despite ethnically being part of the Bidayuh (Land Dayak) people due to their shared customs and religious beliefs, their language falls under Malayic sub-branch of Austronesian language family, and the classification is based on phonological evidence. Wiktionarian89 (talk) 06:56, 11 January 2022 (UTC)
Indeed, "Proto" is only reconstructed form of the languages through the similar sounding, Proto form can't and shouldn't come before the attested linguistic form, because the so-called "Protos" are only hypothetical and theorized (which means didn't based on factual attestation). However, it does not means that these Protos are random thing.
In this matter, both Old Malay and Old Javanese attested the "langit" thing. The problem arise when you interpret it as loanword from Old Javanese to Old Malay. Do you have any evidence that "langit" is a loanword from Old Javanese to Old Malay?
The usage of Kawi script did not imply that the language used in the text is Old Javanese. Transliteration is not a recent innovation in human world. In the Laguna Copperplate Inscription case, I would rest it on Old Malay with large influence of Old Javanese (and Sanskrit of course), as the translation had been done by Antoon Postma. Xbypass (talk) 15:45, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
I agree, this proposed edit sounds unlikely to happen as Indonesian "separation" from Malay is quite young (1928~1945). The borrowing from Javanese is more unlikely than inheritance from Malay. Xbypass (talk) 15:30, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

@Chuck Entz: They have changed the etymology of two more words in the same untenable manner: ular and nasi (in the latter case even changing the etymology of the English lemma!) This needs to stop, especially given their self-admitted disregard of the Comparative Method. –Austronesier (talk) 15:01, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

I've given them a namespace block for now so they can't edit any etymologies or reconstructions for a few months. I may make it sitewide and permanent depending on how the discussions work out. Etymologies have to be based on evidence and modern scholarship, not on general impressions about whose language is "older". They obviously haven't actually read and understood the article they linked to about the influence of Javanese on Indonesian- the whole theoretical framework it's based on is in complete disagreement with theirs. I wouldn't presume to correct them on the details of the Javanese language, since I don't know much about it. For the same reason, they shouldn't correct others on the details of etymologies, since they know basically nothing about how etymologies work. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:23, 7 January 2022 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz Thank you for handling this (and also for bringing this issue to wider attention in the first place)! I will restore the commonly accepted etymologies and leave their non-etymological contributions intact, since they appear mostly unproblematic (I cannot say much about all those categories they have created/moved). –Austronesier (talk) 20:03, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

with a grain of saltEdit

The etymology implies that it was taken directly from a common Latin expression, but that is clearly not the case; as the Wikipedia article on this phrase claims in contrast:

The phrase cum grano salis ("with a grain of salt") is not what Pliny wrote. It is constructed according to the grammar of modern European languages rather than Classical Latin. Pliny's actual words were addito salis grano ("after having added a grain of salt").

This seems valid. But then what exactly then is the origin of the idiom, and how did it make its way into modern European languages? Was it calqued by scholars directly from Pliny's words, or is there some other, longer history to it? — 02:14, 8 January 2022 (UTC)

GBS gives several uses of the Latin idiom cum grano salis from the 1530s: [39], [40], [41]. Since by then Pliny's Natural History had seen several printed editions and was widely read by scholars, the theory that the origin can be found there is certainly not impossible. Pliny uses the phrase addito salis grano not figuratively but in its literal sense as part of a recipe,[42] the same way he uses addito in several other recipes: to indicate the addition of ingredients in the mix of ingredients as a step in a preparation (e.g., addito sale, thymo, aceto mulso (“adding salt, thyme, honeyed-wine vinegar”[43]). That makes Pliny’s adverbial phrase less suited in a context where the metaphor of a prescription is missing, which may explain why – if Pliny is indeed the OG of the phrase – it saw a modified return in the Renaissance.  --Lambiam 15:58, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Here is a use probably from the 1440s (apparently Bernardino of Siena wrote these sermons near the end of his life). I'm not sure if I could tell you exactly what is going on in that sentence thanks to the abbreviations, but it doesn't appear to be a literal grain of salt. OF course, this edition is from centuries later and it's possible that an editor added it. This, that and the other (talk) 03:32, 9 January 2022 (UTC)
Sermons 32-45, of which this is sermon 39, comprise the work that was published separately as (Tractatus) de contractibus et usuris (On contracts and usury), which according to WorldCat appeared in print in 1474 or before. Since many copies are extant, a later interpolation seems unlikely.  --Lambiam 20:48, 9 January 2022 (UTC)


This is currently our most wanted Latin entry; it's linked from lots of etymologies of words for cherry. However, it seems to be unattested. It's mentioned in TLL only in the context of Romance derivations; no uses or mentions are given (although TLL goes up to the 6th century only). TLFi mentions a use by Anthimus, but the two editions linked from the Wikipedia article both settle on "cerasia" and relegate "ceresia" to a footnote: [44] [45]. We could create this entry in the Reconstruction namespace, but who's to say the path from cerasium to ceresia wasn't via *cerasia rather than *ceresium? I'm not sure what to do here. This, that and the other (talk) 02:52, 8 January 2022 (UTC)

Could it be a textual variant that appears in some manuscripts but not others? The apparatus criticus on the Google Books page you linked does contain "ceresia", implying it is attested, although I don't know enough about Latin grammar to tell if that's a plural of "ceresium" or singular feminine. 03:49, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
In my opinion we don't need those terms (reconstructed *cerasia and *ceresium) as entries unless there is some descendant that has to go back specifically to one of them. AFAICT, this is not the case, cause ceresia is enough to explain all the later cherry-words, and I would eliminate ceresium entirely from our etymology sections. The intermediate steps between cerasium und ceresia are on the one hand too trivial and on the other hand too uncertain to warrant their own entries. We don't reconstruct *pira, ae f either. Of course, if one of them is indeed attested it should be included. Akletos (talk) 12:47, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
I have created it with another quote which contains the lemma form. The Anthimos occurrence(s) should be added to cerasium with {{var}}, not cerasia, since due to the parallel or accumulative structure it must be the plural of a neuter, no feminine singular. Fay Freak (talk) 18:26, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
Heh yes in case my original post wasn't clear, "cer(a/e)sia" in Anthimus is clearly the plural of "cer(a/e)sium". Thanks for finding the quote and creating the entry! This, that and the other (talk) 05:43, 9 January 2022 (UTC)


Etymology 1, (relating to the common noun uses of fuse) is:

Borrowed from Italian fuso and French fusée, from Latin fūsus (spindle).

However, the uses seem very different from those words, rather than borrowed. But they are very similar to English fusee#Etymology_2, which says it is

From French fusée, ultimately from Latin fūsus (spindle).

I'm not clear whether fuse was initially just an alternative spelling of fusee#Etymology_2 or what.

There is no Etymology for fuze. Fuse and fuze have similar but not identical meanings. AFAIK, the usage notes are correct, ie fuze is used to mean detonator worldwide, but for all other meanings, the US writes fuze and the rest, even Canada, write fuse.

And meanwhile, fuzee is listed as a variant spelling of the two etymological variants of fusee. Since fusee and fuzee appear archaic -- in a quick check, present usage only seems to refer to historical muskets and clocks (though in the latter case, a few were still being manufactured to special order 40 yrs ago and perhaps more recently) it may be that they have never been used in the sense of detonator, so may truly be merely alternative spellings.

Please would someone with a clearer head than mine, sort it out. Thanks --Enginear 02:45, 10 January 2022 (UTC)

I think fuze is a spelling variant of fuse, like tyre next to tire. The word fuse is monosyllabic, so it cannot be an alternative spelling of bisyllabic fusee. I very much doubt that monosyllabic fuse was borrowed from strongly bisyllabic French fusée.  --Lambiam 11:42, 10 January 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for this (and thanks to User:Twice Nothing, who seems to have written below, then reverted my additions to fuze and disappeared). That made me suspicious, but I checked books.google and there is indeed nothing using fuze for anything other than detonator, except limited use in ancient publications (IDNK that Encyclopedia Britannica was explaining such things as how to load and fire cannons in 1782!) where I would liken it to the long slow-burning wire beloved of cartoons, which I think should be fuse. But since I'm unsure of where one def morphs into the other, I now agree with TN, rather than with 'pedia, which thinks fuze can be used for all types of fuse. Someone with knowledge of 200 yr old munitions can add the burning wire sense back if they want. There's certainly no mention re any of the more modern definitions.
Thanks for commenting that variant spellings can't change numbers of syllables. It felt wrong to me too, but knowing much less linguistics than I would like, I was unsure.
So, melding what you and TN have said, I've:
In fuse Etym1
  • changed Etym1 to: From Italian fuso and French fusée, from Latin fūsus (spindle)." [removed the word Borrowed and changed the first field bor to der' in Italian fuso]
  • In Noun #1: Removed #: Synonym: fuze (US) [as per TN and books.google -- any such usage was borderline and was a long time ago]
  • Added: Verb # To furnish with or install a fuse (see Usage notes for noun above) (previously incorrectly at Etym2)
In fuse Etym2
  • Deleted Verb #3 (moved to Etym 1 -- see above)
In fuze
  • Added etymology: Variant spelling of fuse used to differentiate senses, see Usage note
In fusee
  • Noted Pronunciation section was above Etymology 1. I'd not seen that done before, but there is a logic (all 3 Etyms are pronounced the same) so I left it. If it breaks something, I'm sure it won't be the only one, and someone will put a bot onto them.
  • Etym1: Left etym unchanged: it is "From French fusil. Doublet of fusil."
In fuzee
  • Another slight variant on normal layout, but seemed sensible so left it: there is no Etymology section, but the two Noun #s are "Alternative form of fusee" for two different Etyms of fusee
Please let me know if any of this is problematic. --Enginear 02:48, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
"... but for all other meanings, the US writes fuze and the rest, even Canada, write fuse." I don't contest the jargon use, which I wouldn't have had occasion to run across, and is well-attested besides; but as a native speaker of American English, I have never seen the spelling "fuze" in professional text. It is, I think, sufficiently marginal not to be noteworthy. —Twice Nothing (talk) 19:13, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
I think the circuit breaker fuse belongs with fuse², from fundo "melt", on account of German Schmelzsicherung (how to translate this better than fuse-fuse) and the fact that fuze describes it as such.
Beyond that I am well confused by confounding factors, really weired, but have to disagree with Lambi. Spelling pronounciation is not ruled out, eye-dialect for disambiguation at least imaginable. ApisAzuli (talk) 23:45, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Sorry -- somehow I missed this when I read everything through earlier today. I was in two minds, but L convinced me .. so now I'm back in two minds! Part of my acceptance of his thinking was that I can't think of any examples which counter their view. Even in the silly ones, eg UK Army WWI use of Wipers for Ypres, doesn't change the number of syllables. So if there are cases which change it, they are rare. But whenever someone tells me never or can't my engineering, or is that anarchic, mind always tries to test their rule.
There is, occasionally a change of pronunciation when a word is shortened, eg the c in miscellaneous > misc, or occasionally a change of spelling, as in refrigerator > fridge, presumably to avoid a change in pronunciation, and I think there's a case which has slipped my mind at present, where an obviously foreign word which is pronounced in a non-English way when in full, resulting in the g being hard when we would have it soft, or vice versa, and has a vowel added before the g in the abbreviation, so that it can follow the English rule, similarly to the added consonant in fridge.
I mention those apparently off-topic items because I do know one case where a 2-syllable English word is borrowed from a 3-syl Greek word: Εἰρήνη > Irene -- but with normal transliteration there is no change of spelling (except in the 1st syl, perhaps) so it is not, strictly speaking, an alternative spelling. I am guessing that the exception testing the rule will be one where there is a change of spelling, but even so, that has been insufficient to get the average English-speaker to use the correct number of syllables. Off-topic again, Queen's repeated use of a soft g for guillotine in Killer Queen has always irritated me. But this week I found out that that was the original English pronunciation -- I can't imagine why, unless the French too used to pronounce it that way. According to 'pedia, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin pronounced his name with a hard g, but whether they have any evidence for that, or merely assumed it would be the same as it is now pronounced, IDK.
I agree about electrical fuses. I'll move that while I'm in the mood ... along with most of the Derived terms. "The fact that fuze describes it as such" was a false friend -- it only said that because I put it there when I expanded the entry, and I only did that because it was easier, and there is also some similarity to fuse#Etym1, and without good reason, I saw no need to challenge the original categorisation, when I was running late and didn't have time to check with OED! So now TN has reverted it, the evidence of my laziness has gone, and Schmelzsicherung tips the balance. Thanks. TBH, I notice that quite often in Wikt. Probably the defs were added before the Etym's and someone thinks "I'm not going to add a Noun section to this Etym just for one def". Though in fact, pasting a copy then deleting all the other senses is pretty quick. I've not done it with translations before though. Hopefully I won't break anything. --Enginear 05:07, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
Irene is apparently via French where the final -e would get silent, anyway, so it's not a particularly good example. Wakuran (talk) 10:45, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
Agreed; I saw that, but I still haven't found a less-bad example, and anyway I thought, if variant spellings never change numbers of syllables in English, why should they in French? Though without knowing Greek > French transliteration, I suspected Irène still had no change in spelling, so I didn't bother to go there. --Enginear 05:34, 17 January 2022 (UTC)
If the name was borrowed before the pronunciation of the final e disappeared, it would. Wakuran (talk) 10:48, 17 January 2022 (UTC)
The Online Etymology Dictionary writes, without giving a source or further evidence: “Meaning "device that breaks an electrical circuit" is first recorded 1884, so named for its shape, but erroneously attributed to fuse (v.) because it melts.[46] I cannot find this 1884 use, but in a patent for a “fuse block” awarded to Edison in 1890 but already applied for in 1885, we can read that said invention relates to: “fusible safety-catches ... in which the fusible wire is placed in an enclosing shell or chamber”.[47] Figure 7 seen in an article from 1887 belies the idea that fuses had a spindle-like shape. An 1882 patent – earlier than Edison’s – for a “thermostatic cut-out for electric lighting systems”, uses the term fuse as a verb: “The fusible alloy may be made to fuse at any degree of heat, but is preferable made to fuse at from 110 to 150 Fahrenheit.”.[48] In an 1883 article, the device is called a “fusible plug”.[49] Thus, there is strong historical evidence that the Online Etymology Dictionary is mistaken and the name of the device does stem from the verb.  --Lambiam 11:36, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
Thanks, that's very interesting, and I agree is strong evidence.
The 1885/90 fusible safety-catch is actually a lightning arrester -- if you Google it for Images you will find that present ones look much the same, except that they now have more flanges. But it's a very useful cite as it has fuse#Verb meaning "To melt away leaving a gap in the circuit" rather than "to melt together", so that gives a peg to hang the Noun on. From an engineering PoV, it is also interesting because, dealing with a huge voltage (lightning), Edison places the fusible foil inside a tube, just as high rupture capacity (HRC) fuses are today -- you won't find new rewirable fuses for mains voltage, as there were 50 years ago; they're all inside tubes, surrounded by sand or similar, to absorb the energy of a short circuit without risk -- in severe short circuits, rewirable fuses would split the (usually) ceramic fuse carrier in two (which I've seen) and in really severe cases, blow the fusebox door off and blast shards of porcelain around the room (I've seen photos of the aftermath).
The 1887 non-spindle-shaped fuse is exactly like we used in the UK too. In the '90s, I was involved in the rewiring of a church which had been wired in 1902 by Perry & Sons, whose previous contract had been Buckingham Palace. It had been wired to a high standard (which, along with only being used a few hours/wk, is why it had lasted so long) and the fuseboard was a beautiful mahogany glass-fronted cabinet, locked with a little key, with two rows of fuses just like the one in the picture, where wire was strung between 2 thumbscrews -- a safety nightmare -- clearly, in all that time, they had never had a severe short-circuit! The main lights were called electroliers, a word I hadn't previously known. For some reason, I never added to wikt, but I see User:Hippietrail since has. That was a useful picture, because I had seen (later) photos of US fuseboards where it seemed fuses were inserted like torch batteries, so I hadn't been able to totally rule out the spindle-shaped hypothesis.
The thermostatic cut-out was just that, a mechanical fuse, not an electrical one -- and I've seen it done in the same way today, to isolate an oil pump if there was a fire, though more commonly, they're used to drop a valve which will stop the flow. A wire is strung across a place where a fire would be expected, eg a boiler front. the wire is in two halves, held together by two small overlapped brass plates soldered together. When the solder gets too hot it melts, the wire is released, and a spring pulls two contacts apart. I installed a new one in about 2004, 122 years later and barely changed! The one in the patent was designed to cut out the electrics in a house during a fire, so firefighters wouldn't refuse to enter!
When I saw that the 1883 article about a fusible plug was from the American Railroad Journal I didn't have much hope for it, since, as you can see here, w:fusible plugs have been used to prevent boiler explosions since 1802, and were used in locomotives, though not universally, from the very early days, to avoid things like this: [50]. IIRC, the energy stored in a loco boiler is about equal to a ton of TNT. Most commonly, the boiler blows itself out of the frame, but this one must have been more strongly attached!. First UK loco boiler explosion 1815, first US one 1831 -- the fireman was annoyed by the hissing from the safety valve, so he found a large bit of wood, put it over the safety valve and sat on it to keep it quiet. Stan Laurel couldn't have done it better! But the most common cause is that the water level gets too low, exposing the top of the firebox which quickly gets heated enough to lose its strength and starts to collapse. Some steam escapes, dropping the pressure in the boiler, leaving the water superheated, so much more water flashes to steam and, within a second, the fireplate crew are very dead and a boiler-shaped rocket is flying 100 yards or so, punching holes through any buildings it finds along the way. Alternatively, you fit a fusible plug in the top of the firebox, and it melts through, noisily blowing steam onto the fire, which though not enough to blow the fire out, alerts the crew, who then drop the fire into the ashpan, and vent steam to reduce boiler pressure, and no permanent damage is done.
Anyway, the one you found, while shamelessly using the name of its famous cousin, is indeed a fuse, as we know it, in 1883.
Two other tidbits from the early days of electrics: the UK's first electrical code was published in 1882 (almost wholly concerned with avoiding fires, and not caring about electric shocks, though actually, many installations were only 50 V, so that is understandable. The interesting thing for me is in the last rule, where the word switch is put in quotes. In the UK, we talk of points on a railway where the US say switch. I wonder if that was the derivation, and whether this new Americanism had hit the UK electrical trade in 1880 or so. Though there is an argument for the flexible wooden rod, since some early switches, a bit like microswitches now, did use a flexible rod which was moved onto or off a contact. In the UK, wooden switches were sometimes used on horses (IIRC one features in a Sherlock Holmes story), but we used canes on boys.
And according to diynot.com, in 1903 the 4th edition of our electric code apparently said at clause 48 (I don't have access to one to check) "Fuses may be considered too large if they are not warm to the touch on full load and too small if they hiss when moistened." One of the most stupid things I did while young (worse than "I wonder if it will hurt if I stick my finger in this fan": Answer, Yes) was, when an electric heater seemed not to be working, to touch the element with my finger, thus receiving both a shock and a burn. So I really squirmed when I saw that advice. But it's also inappropriate -- the fuse size needs to be determined by the temperature of the wiring; that's what's going to burn the house down! --Enginear 08:01, 17 January 2022 (UTC)

cat (revisited)Edit

Hello Wiktionary Community ! I see that some fairly recent edits have been made to the etymology of English cat, reducing the size of the etymology (-to which I'm not opposed) - however, something stands out to me as being rather odd. Maybe I've not noticed this before, but in particular it is this passage:

The Germanic word is generally thought to be from Late Latin cattus (“domestic cat”) (c. 350, Palladius), from Latin catta (c. 75 A.D., Martial),[1] from an Afroasiatic language. This would roughly match how domestic cats themselves spread, as genetic studies suggest they began to spread out of the Near East / Fertile Crescent during the Neolithic (being in Cyprus by 9500 years ago,[2][3] and Greece and Italy by 2500 years ago[4]), especially after they became popular in Egypt.[2][3] .

Now, that may be the story of the domestic cat, but not all cats are of the domestic variety. Europe has the native wildcat (Felis silvestris), which has inhabited the region for at least a million years or so (possibly a direct descendant of Felis lunensis). What would the Proto-Germanic descendants of the Indo-Europeans have called a European wildcat, if not, well, a *kattuz ? This suggests that the reasoning why the word cat had to originate from the southern regions, ultimately from Egypt, has less credence than put forth in our etymology. Leasnam (talk) 23:02, 11 January 2022 (UTC)

There is no way to guess the name of that wildcat, though the fact that the Egyptian terminus would pertain tonbobcat non housecat might be meaningful. On another note, when Inlooked up the dog for zokor last week Instumbled again about Köter and similar words, where the signifier might be akin to cottage, so how about that? Unless this is a rhetorical question and you have new results in the backhand, I see no way this can be resolved. 2A00:20:6013:6A98:1E1B:3A18:AE49:ACC4 06:47, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
@Leasnam: note also that eg. Proto-Slavic used *stьbľь for a wildcat and borrowed words like *kotъ or *maca for a domestic cat (the former two continued in Polish as żbik (wildcat) and kot (cat); apparently Bulgarian has dialectal стебал (stebal, wildcat) and маца (maca, cat) although the native term for a wildcat disappeared later in most Slavic branches). So having two separate terms in the older language, one native and the other borrowed, isn’t that extraordinary. I have no idea what Proto-Germanic speakers would call a wildcat, but I see no reason they had to say *kattuz. //Silmeth @talk 10:03, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Yes, they borrowed *kotъ from Proto-Germanic (possibly also Late Latin did the same), but not *maca. We likewise have an alternative root in English puss.
Perhaps *luhsaz was originally broad enough to include wildcats. —Mahāgaja · talk 11:42, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Norse also had gaupa for lynx, by the way. Wakuran (talk) 12:31, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Old English had a similar word, *ġēap (opportunist/snatcher?) found in earnġēap (vulture), probably literally "opportunist-eagle", "eagle that takes advantage of dead carcasses"; perhaps from the root meaning "cupped hand, empty space, gap, gape". Leasnam (talk) 14:35, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Looking at a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), it is easy to see that it is quite distinct from a housecat (Felis catus), I cannot see how anyone could ever confuse the two species. On the other hand, the European wildcat (Felis silvestris) looks identical to a feral housecat. To anyone without genetic testing (i.e. pre-Roman Iron Age inhabitants for example, and indeed anyone seeing one today), they are the same creature - the same animal. So the whole notion that early Germanic peoples didn't know what cats were and therefore couldn't have had a native word for 'cat' because domestic cats hadn't yet arrived on the scene cannot be true. "Perhaps *luhsaz was originally broad enough to include wildcats." - maybe, or maybe (based on the descendant languages) it was called *kattuz and *kattuzô. Let's not forget, Germanic languages show the most variants in form for this term, meaning there was ample time to develop multiple offshoot terms with varying shades of distinction between different words for 'cat'. Leasnam (talk) 14:27, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Using the same word for different species of animal doesn't mean that speakers can't tell the difference between them. I can tell the difference between black bears and brown bears, but if I see either one, I'm still saying "There's a bear!" —Mahāgaja · talk 14:47, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Exactly my point ! We even use 'cat' today as an umbrella term for different types of felid. This usage may be recent, but it may have also existed in *kattuz (a *luhsaz may have been seen as a kind of *kattuz)
Well, early Slavs and Medieval and Early Modern Poles didn’t have genetic testing either, and yet words for them were kept separate, we do keep kot and żbik still in Polish (with kot having a bit broader meaning, I think most Poles would agree that żbik is a type of kot, but not every kot is a żbik as this word denotes only wildcats; older form zdeb was used in 15th century). // Silmeth @talk 14:49, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Again, to my point ! :) Leasnam (talk) 14:53, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
All I'm saying is this: the whole idea that the root of this word could not be Proto-Germanic because domestic cats were not around in Europe at that time needs serious review. The term could have originally meant one animal, then been applied later to practically the same kind of animal that was domesticated. Leasnam (talk) 15:00, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Or it could have been borrowed from another language when domesticated cats became more common and ousted the older word that had been restricted for wildcats, as it generally happened in Slavic (except that żbik as a word survived in Polish, and it seems its cognate survived to some extent in Bulgarian). // Silmeth @talk 15:13, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
If that assumption is true, then that makes this term somewhat unique among Proto-Germanic animals - I cannot think of any other animal terms (domestic or wild) that were borrowed - not *hundaz, *kūz, *swīną...not even *rattaz, *falkô, nor *wisundaz. Leasnam (talk) 20:47, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Possibly *apô, although it's not native to the Germanic Urheimat... Wakuran (talk) 22:55, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Exactly - another good example of a native word applied to a non-native animal. Thanks ! :] Leasnam (talk) 01:00, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
I meant that it was a Proto-Germanic term that could have been borrowed, but it seems that the jury is somewhat out on that... Wakuran (talk) 15:07, 13 January 2022 (UTC)


The page *-tweh₂ says -त्वा is derived from it, but references no sources. For this reason I am hesitant to add an etymology for the Sanskrit term. I would request someone more knowledgeable than me to look into it. --Rishabhbhat (talk) 05:15, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Was zum ...?Edit

Continuing my inquiry about ins vs. in das vs. into, a similar mismatch appears in what the ... vs. German was zu- ...

The preposition zu seems meaningless. So, I conjecture by ignoring the vowel and possible endings, supposing assimilation in contraction maybe before *t assibilated (thus *wat-tuo or so):

i. eventually from *so ~ to, in line with nonetheless, nichts desto trotz, and similar patterns, so far so good, "what by water and what by land" (diff)
ii. Seeing the vowel as well as the fact that many instances like What the devil use appelatives, eventually from *tew- "you", cp. "Why, you little ..."

I take heck and Henker, assuming hook proves related by some nasal law or n-infix operation, Dutch kanker, French cancre, and even Latin carcer ("jailbird", s.v. cancer), in comparison with hellhole, detention hall vel sim. and further rather mundane senses of PIE *ḱel- and *ḱenḱ, especially those refering to retardation and stock rearing, to indicate that what the heck / hell and was zum Henker might have a common origin. This is almost more interesting, because there is to my knowledge no morphology for something like *ḱel- to rule out a relation with other such roots, and the relative dating of eg. Knast should be just as difficult. In particular: Knoten "knot, nodulus" for a lump is again semantically close to hanging and hooking; The fact that lump is not recognized herewithin as related to Lymphknoten and rather lumped together with limp is remarkable, for we give PIE *(s)lemb-, *(s)lembʰ- (“to hang loosely, hang limply”), but it does not instill confidence. Comparing further more German Lump "stray, chav", this leads too far astray (if need be, cp. candle, chandelier).

Now, what the hell rather indicates what in the hell as proper form, which is most curious as far as my inquiry about ins is concerned! German Was in dreiteufelsnamen and Dutch Wat is dat in hemelsnaam exist as well. Yet, zu or the appelatives cannot be explained as contractions from those. We also have quite the / a, what a drag, and I am finking Ger. was für ... might also match this pattern. I did not find a direct translation in Dutch using kanker.

So far so good, can we rule out this zu was somehow intentional? I am not seeing how it could make sense. ApisAzuli (talk) 15:53, 14 January 2022 (UTC)

Could be the same zu as in "zu Hause", I guess. Prepositions aren't used identically in different languages, anyway, particularly in figurative and abstract senses. Wakuran (talk) 17:35, 14 January 2022 (UTC)
Is this in reference to some existing entry here on Wiktionary? Where (other than in this post) is a connection made between what the and was zu-?  --Lambiam 12:35, 15 January 2022 (UTC)
Maybe I shouldn't speak for ApisAzuli, especially since I often have troubles following his/ her points, but I think it's a claim that zu couldn't be a correct preposition in this case (which sounds somewhat dubious). Wakuran (talk) 16:35, 15 January 2022 (UTC)
You seem to be following just fine. I'm just saying, I cannot construct the phrase(s) from synchrony. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:28, 15 January 2022 (UTC)
There is also was zum Teufel?, which I think is short for something like was zum Teufel geht hier vor?. So zum Teufel is an adverbial phrase, also found in zum Teufel gehen. And Henker is, I suspect, a euphemism for Teufel, also found in the idiom zum Henker gehen.  --Lambiam 12:52, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
That crossed my mind as well. Fahr zur Hölle! "go to hell!" may be enough for me to lexicalize Was zur Hölle. In the hell is adverbial, too, and thus easily placed as intensifier in the waste-basket of pragmatics. I payed special attention to Henker in comparison with heck to preempt the notion that it were euphemistic for christian hell or Devil. Although a common post-conversion development is practically guaranteed by the Diabolo topos, I remain incredulous about the, er, dubious Greek etymology. Now I don't want to steer the pot on a soapbox with an ax that needs grinding, because it should basicly not matter, much less in view of the supposition that the verbiage may have originated with more neutral connotations (see below).
To continue with the notion of damnation, see Teufel's Küche, and Kittchen (jail). For "Hell's kitchen" I have only found the name of a Manhattan neighborhood and a recently infamous TV show. As for jail, OF gaiole vel sim., MLa. gabiola, cp. gallows, ġealga (viz. "(informal, obsolete) A wretch who deserves to be hanged") cf. gallows bird, vogelfrei, further vögeln, fuck, and the most curious collocation flying fuck, cp. verflucht (idiom. verfluchte Scheiße), cf. flight, plight, Pleitegeier (Pleite-Geier) and perhaps straf-pflichtig (cf. Diefenbach 1851 [51], plectare, plecta).
There is also Dutch Ach wat verdomme in translation of what the hell² "Indicating acceptance, ...: Why not? ...", which is remarkable for Wakuran's comparison to zuhause, Zuhause in the case that this is from a participle, ie. deverbal. I'm not sure if zuhause is a good example (cf. Zimmer; or daheim, also insgeheim). Inasmuch as participles are precedented for the nominalizing (if you'll excuse the pun), as I have argued previously, this does not make it any easier.
As for positive connotation, NB: doom, judgement can be quite beneficial, for the sake of the argument, ffs; NB2: we have what the deuce eventually from deus. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:06, 16 January 2022 (UTC)

ῥᾴδιος, ῥᾶ, ῥεῖαEdit

Where does ῥᾴδιος (rhā́idios) come from? It looks like it's denominal from something like *hrāwids. Are there cognates of ῥᾶ in other Indo-European languages? Is the second element the root *weyd- or is it a formation like κλείς (kleís), supposedly from *kleh₂w-iH-d-? Thanks in advance. --Akletos (talk) 20:51, 15 January 2022 (UTC)

For the etymology of ῥᾶ, Beekes writes:
Starting from epic ῥῆα and Aeol. βρᾶ, we may reconstruct PGr. wrāha or wrāja. The word is no doubt old and inherited, but a good etymology is lacking.
(Then follow some suggestions by others for which evidence is deemed unsatisfactory.)
For ῥᾴδιος, Beekes refers to ῥᾶ, where he writes:
from ῥῆα, ῥᾶ, the positive ῥη-ϊδίως, Att. ῥᾳδίως, Aeol. βρα-ϊδίως (Alc.) was derived, and from there in turn the adjective ῥηΐδιος, ῥᾴδιος (like μαψ-ιδίως, -ίδιος, etc.); ...
There is no further explanation of the component ἰδίως, which looks like an adverb related to ἴδιος.  --Lambiam 12:27, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
Incidently, see easy. ApisAzuli (talk) 07:47, 17 January 2022 (UTC)
Thanks, @Lambiam, for looking this up. I guess the -ϊδίως part in Beekes' etymology is meant to be from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (with the meaning "looking like", a semantic development similar to English -ly); but are there other words with this suffix? I can't think of any and it would be a doublet of the far more productive -ειδής (-eidḗs). That's why I suggested derivation from a noun. Perhaps the entry μαψιδίως clears this up? Akletos (talk) 07:44, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
I see no further examples. Beekes mentions μαψ-ίδιος as a derived term under μάψ. We explain μαψιδίως as derived from μαψίδιος, but if I understand what Beekes writes at the lemma ῥᾶ, he sees the latter as a back-derivation. Although the semantics would be peculiar, it is IMO still more plausible that ἰδίως was used here as a rather unproductive suffix than that we have an unproductive second-declension doublet of -ειδής.  --Lambiam 11:37, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
But what should ἰδίως be doing in these words? The semantic development "easily for/in/by itself" (or the other way round) > "easily" seems highly improbable to me. And ἴδιος is very rarely used in word formation at all (let alone the adverb), AFAICS, never as a second element. Akletos (talk) 14:42, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
I agree it has no business there, but the same can be said of a suffix, also not spotted elsewhere, meaning “looking like”: ῥᾳδίως and μαψιδίως mean “easily” and “rashly”, not “in a way that looks easy/rash”.  --Lambiam 14:47, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
Cf. the etymology of English -ly. Akletos (talk) 19:43, 19 January 2022 (UTC)


RFV of etymology 2.

  • Asserts (via ja-kanjitab) that しおり is a kun'yomi reading of 萎. This is not readily substantiated; if it is, the readings template does not reflect it.
  • Asserts (via ja-see) that the pronunciation and definitions at しおり apply to this etymon. This is incorrect because that article:
    • does not reference the kanji 萎 whatsoever, much less contain a ja-kanjitab with an alt=萎 parameter to properly receive the redirect
    • is comprised wholly of another ja-see, and none of the pages so redirected to provide the definition of "萎 read as しおり" 21:05, 15 January 2022 (UTC)


Hi everyone. I know this may seem like a weird question, but what formation of the PIE root *dʰwen- became Proto-Indo-Iranian *dʰwaníš (which gave Proto-Indo-Aryan *dʰwaníṣ, whence Sanskrit ध्वनि (dhvani))? It isn't listed on the reconstruction page. Prahlad balaji (talk) 16:31, 16 January 2022 (UTC)

Is there any reason to think of this as a PIE formation? We do not list under PIE roots derivatives that can have been formed entirely within a daughter branch (watery is not from *wódr̥-kos, etc.) --Tropylium (talk) 11:45, 25 January 2022 (UTC)

get on like a house on fireEdit

Does anyone know where this expression comes from? It seems counterintuitive to me to compare two people who get along really well to a building that's being destroyed. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:36, 17 January 2022 (UTC)

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms explains the idiom as “in effect comparing increasingly good relations to the rapid progress of a fire”.[52] The idiom is already found in the 19th century.[53]  --Lambiam 22:05, 17 January 2022 (UTC)
There are at least three cites in ngram and Elephind for what looks like a dry aphorism, Why is a pig in a parlour like a house on fire? Because it is best put out immediately. Nevertheless we have inflame also with affection.
The majority of results in Elephind, when searching without quotation marks, are about actual house fires though. Wondering why their index of scandal sheets goes to 1800 only it occured to me that get on may be "get in" today, cp. on the news, just as they drove on cars. This would be well in line with a certain bushfire simile (or wildfire [54]). I mean, the juggelers in our current example would surely attract attention. Somebody might not like that, other's might take it as irony.
There is a result for get along like a house on fire in a 1840's novel set in Ireland. This is in a regretfully alcohol-fueled dialog which I take to indicate that the writer was drinking. I didn't look much past that because it does appear transparent.
The etymology should probably be get on + like a house on fire, as it can be found in other collocations as well that are verging on SoP and may be taken to indicate a prior history. ApisAzuli (talk) 00:02, 18 January 2022 (UTC)

Tree hugger a Finnish calque?Edit

I was surprised to find that our only quote for the word was from a translated Finnish book from 1960. I checked Google Ngram, which seems to point to the word only becoming common from around 1980 onwards, twenty years after the Finnish book was published. Now, as Finnish seems a highly unlikely source for borrowing, I looked for parallels in other European languages. The article's translations section provides a German one (Baumchmuser), but that doesn't seem to be used much at all. Could there then be, say, a French word behind all of these? Or is the English word actually much older? Or could the Finnish word really be the original one? brittletheories (talk) 10:19, 18 January 2022 (UTC)

Not having read the book and not knowing Finnish, I suspect the translation wasn't literal and it's a bad example for a source. Wakuran (talk) 12:41, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
Although it's listed for sale under both the years 1960 and 1990 online, it seems as if the English translation wasn't published until 1990, which would explain the word choice. [55] Wakuran (talk) 12:54, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
@Wakuran I found the original passage, which reads:
"Nyt lähdettiin, puunhalaaja[.]"
puun (tree's) +‎ halaaja (hugger) is both the literal and nonliteral translations for the English terms. In the novel, this is said to a man who had fallen under a tree by a policeman arresting him. Either it is a pun on a word that already had a derogatory connotation or this is really where it comes from. brittletheories (talk) 17:33, 18 January 2022‎ (UTC)
That's interesting, does the word have the same connotations even in Kalle Päätalo's context? From what I can see, the word got popularized through 1970's grassroots movements in India. Wakuran (talk) 18:12, 18 January 2022 (UTC)
The term seems to be applied by a policeman to a poor bloke who grabbed a tree trunk to steady himself, not to protect the tree.  --Lambiam 14:34, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
So, a sarcastic remark about a village drunkard? Doesn't really seem related... Wakuran (talk) 19:42, 19 January 2022 (UTC)

Slavic *nerstъ, Lithuanian naršytiEdit

So there's this Balto-Slavic word referring to spawning (e.g. of fish):

Is there any further etymology, or is that it? Derksen doesn't seem to have anything useful.

Also, there's a verb naršyti (to rummage, browse) in Lithuanian, as in naršyklė (web browser), that seems possibly related, although no sources really help out. I tried to come up with a semantic development but I don't know if it's plausible or if it's junk original research. (Don't worry, this is like the only etymology I have written where I'm unsure if there's any plausibility at all.) The reason I think they're related is that neršti also has a similar sense of rummaging, although I haven't added it yet. 07:06, 19 January 2022 (UTC)


Some help from a Latin speaker welcome. The English Dialect Dictionary suggests fainaigue is related to Old French fornier (to deny), from Latin foris (?) + negāre (the present active infinitive of negō (to deny; to refuse, say no; to reject, turn down (something)). What does foris mean here? None of the current senses seems to fit. Or is this a mistake, and some other Latin word intended? — SGconlaw (talk) 20:55, 19 January 2022 (UTC)

Du Cange has an entry forisnegare, written as one word, glossed as “Fornoier un meffet en jugement”.[56] This is 17th-century French; I guess that Old French fornier is the same verb as fornoier. One guess is that meffet is modern French méfait, malfeasance, so does fornoier mean something like “to commit”? This does not help to explain foris + negare. The form forīs can be the accusative plural – "to refuse the doors”? It can also be the dative or ablative plural of forum – “to refuse to public scrutiny”??  --Lambiam 23:20, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
Some figurative usage of foris "outside"? But maybe Latin would use ex- in such formations, and it still doesn't really makes much sense as used as an intensive prefix... Wakuran (talk) 01:59, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
(e/c) Or the adverb, "to deny outside"? (Here is an actual use of the word foris followed by negare.) Du Cange's German gloss on forisnegare is verleugnen, and this Middle(?) French dictionary has a word fornoiier glossed as sagen, weihen, ableugnen/bestreiten. (FWIW, the Anglo-Norman Dictionary has a verb fornier (alt forms include forsnoier) which is instead defined as ~supply, provide, endow, furnish, deliver; perform, execute, complete, finish; fight (a battle); grant, accede to; give, render, utter; punish, but I don't know if this is related.) - -sche (discuss) 02:11, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
If it helps, the EDD glossed fornier as “nier, dénier” (“to deny”), from “La Curne”. — SGconlaw (talk) 03:42, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
We have an entry for the prefix in question; 'exclusion' is the keyword. That said, I do not believe it has any relation to fainague. The term feign seems a better match. Nicodene (talk) 10:59, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
Can we find a reference for the second etymology, though? At least the first one is referenced by the EDD. — SGconlaw (talk) 11:24, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
The only easily accessible one seems to be this excerpt from Tulloch, A.'s Understanding English Homonyms, p. 45. Nicodene (talk) 11:49, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
@Nicodene: hmmm. I guess we could add that reference, though I wonder whether the author obtained this information from us. No source is cited by Tulloch for that etymology. (The unreferenced etymology in our entry was added by an anonymous IP in January 2011; the book was published in 2017.) — SGconlaw (talk) 12:07, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
As far as dog fooding goes, I didn't know renege and found the 2011 quotation full of hoops jargon better defined by Du Cange's "... en jugement", s.v. forisnegare up thread. Conversely, the quotation does not seem fit for the suggested sense, which see. Is that correct?
I did mean to suggest that there is re- in foris "deny" anyway, which needs worked out. I agree that the sense of taking sick leave, that wasn't in question to begin with, looks like it meant feign. Now the irony is that, should the definition of "break one's word" correctly express the sentiment of players about a reneged decision, it does to me suggest a breach of trust – in the unfailability of officials? That sounds entirely childish to me though – no backsies!.
Third of all, cf. fornix. I got more in store, but as Meta has said,, this is not my blog. ApisAzuli (talk) 15:52, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
Resolved. Thanks, everyone. — SGconlaw (talk) 13:22, 23 January 2022 (UTC)

close enough for government workEdit

RFV of the etymology.

Whether "Good enough for government work" or "Close enough for government work" originally started out as a complementary or neutral phrase seems to have been a long debated subject: see this linguistlist discussion and this archived blog post from 2008. I was glad to see that a citation was finally given on this page, but I wasn't able to verify it at all. In fact, looking at the source in question doesn't seem to have any usage close to the phrase at all. Am I missing something here? Nightpool (talk) 03:47, 20 January 2022 (UTC)

Actually, the three excerpts that GBS provides in your linked page do not contain the phrase or anything close to it. The whole publication is available with over 4000 pages. ApisAzuli (talk) 07:42, 21 January 2022 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology under etymology 2. Pinging @范俊華, PhanAnh123. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:53, 22 January 2022 (UTC)

Yeah it's wrong, there is no way to explain the aspiration. More likely it's the same etymology as etymology 1.PhanAnh123 (talk) 03:02, 22 January 2022 (UTC)
@PhanAnh123: I see. How would you explain the connection of "change" to this usage in surprise, though? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:23, 22 January 2022 (UTC)
to take the place (ăn cháo thay cơm "to eat porridge instead of/in the shortage of rice") > in someone's place (làm thay "to do something in someone's stead") > for oneself/particle . Japanese 代わり might offer some insights. PhanAnh123 (talk) 03:30, 22 January 2022 (UTC)
FYI, I have inquired with a local Vietnamese speaker to get the intonation and context of the interjection, without success. I basicly say Thai[land] and surely cannot make out the difference in the phonology, so this is largely nonsense. Anyway, the first hears thầy while he repeatedly says "Buddha". Showing thay to him didn't help much as we hardly speak the same language, so I'm not sure to which of the words Meister (maestro) refered, or what gestures that might signify baldness and growing really meant. What I took for baldness, as I did not yet know that there were many near homophones, he combined with pointing at six points on the head!?
Growth, by the way he raised hands above his head, or growing old are my interpretations because, first of all, old is chiefly collocate or connoted in mastery. Then I have found , MC /tʰʌi/, , MC /tʰʌi/, Vietnamese thai [tʰaːj˧˧] –homophone thay [tʰa(ː)j˧˧]. Not the least, I was contemplating Nachwuchs beforehand, whence I was looking at to grow, *wōkraz (offspring), erwachsen (mature) (thinking this needs a new thread; see also Nachkommen, cp. germ, germen, *ǵénh₁mn̥, komen), also woke ☸️ (cp. raise, rise, arise). And now I can add Wechsel (change) to this, which has a conflicting etymology, ie. uncertain to me. While I'd enjoy taking the Chinese character compositions further appart, all this is far above my pay grade. I can't even transcribe German (interjection) *djoi* appropriately, which sounds like joy to me, and I rather say ui to express affection.
I'm hoping there is a related Vietnamese sense of age, but that's of secondary importance. The point is, as far as the thread is concerned, if Wuchs and Wechsel were unrelated, and baby, boo boo, Boah ey! or dada "papa" etc. are anything to go by, /tʰʌi/ vel sim. could just be imitative in some sense. Albeit, thầy says "Doublet of sư", which is after all not too dissimilar from the 哉 that was removed from the interjection, given a bit of wiggle room because of immitation – actually, my mind must have latched onto "SV: ...".
And all this because of the unwarranted comparison to Jp. kawai non kawaii. Some of these days ... sigh! ApisAzuli (talk) 10:10, 24 January 2022 (UTC)


One of our most widely linked missing Latin etymons is Late Latin abrigare, claimed to be a source of French abrier etc. This etymology was added by Leasnam in 2010. However, I am unable to find any attestations for this Latin word. What's more, TLFi has *abrigare with a star. Would there be any objection if I changed this etymon to *abrigare everywhere it appears? This, that and the other (talk) 12:10, 22 January 2022 (UTC)

@This, that and the other: Go for it. The standard Latin dictionaries are pretty thorough for Late Latin and earlier — if it's not in them, you can safely assume it's unattested without asking here. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:49, 23 January 2022 (UTC)
@This, that and the other: No objection from me. Please add the asterisk. Leasnam (talk) 06:02, 23 January 2022 (UTC)
Thank you both. I am always a bit hesitant to edit very detailed etymologies that have been in place across multiple entries for 10+ years, but I'll be more confident in future when it comes to Late Latin. This, that and the other (talk) 07:08, 23 January 2022 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. The etymology written in the entry can be verified through Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Place Names (6 ed.) by John Everett-Heath, Oxford University Press, 2020 (ISBN: 9780191905636)--Texniths (talk) 17:37, 22 January 2022 (UTC)

You removed the RFV-etym, and the entry is correct. You don't have to post here when you do so. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:47, 23 January 2022 (UTC)


The micro-algae genus Derepyxis give his name to Derepyxidaceae family I've just created the WP page. But impossible to get the etymology of the genus name: pyxis seems to refer to a box but dere? Thanks for helping Gerardgiraud (talk) 15:12, 24 January 2022 (UTC)

1885, Alfred C. Stokes, “Notes on some apparently undescribed forms of Fresh-water Infusoria. No. 2”, The American Journal of Science, page 318: “Derepyxis (δερη, neck, πυξις, box)”. J3133 (talk) 15:46, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
@J3133Thanks so much! Gerardgiraud (talk) 18:29, 24 January 2022 (UTC)


The genus Hibberdia was created by R.A.Andersen in 1989, at the same time he created Hibberdiaceae family. But impossible to get the etymology of Hibberdia in his paper. Perhaps an eponym? Gerardgiraud (talk) 14:34, 26 January 2022 (UTC)

Probably David John Hibberd. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:26, 26 January 2022 (UTC)
Corroborative evidence: This paper by Robert A. Andersen cites nine articles (co-)authored by D.J. Hibberd.  --Lambiam 15:28, 27 January 2022 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Tagged but not listed. Leasnam (talk) 16:02, 26 January 2022 (UTC)

Resolved. Leasnam (talk) 16:08, 26 January 2022 (UTC)