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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

September 2021

quisling (sp. "Quislin")Edit

@-sche, Lambiam, Leasnam, Mahagaja:

A minor matter, but something regarding the earlier form of the man's surname, "Quislin"...

The final form, "Quisling" quite clearly is Kvislemark + -ing (sense 2).

But is the earlier form, Quislin, Kvislemark + a Latinate -in suffix seen in certain Scandinavian surnames (from -inus)?

Cf. Lundin, Ahlin, Nordin, Dahlin, Sahlin.

If so, we probably ought to note that. Tharthan (talk) 00:43, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]

According to Wikipedia, referencing a book with no Google preview, “The family name derives from Quislinus, a Latinised name invented by Quisling's ancestor Lauritz Ibsen Quislin (1634–1703), based on the village of Kvislemark near Slagelse, Denmark, whence he had emigrated.” If Quislin derives from Quislinus, then this ancestor reinvented the Latinization. But perhaps the author of the book got the order of derivations wrong, or the presentation is misleading; the intention could be that ancestor Lauritz, the son of Ib, adopted a family name and turned kvissel – the first component of Kvislemark (a terrain at a fork in a river) – into a surname using -inus and henceforth styled himself “Lauritz Ibsen Quislin(us)“. See also Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2019/August § quisling.  --Lambiam 06:55, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Thank you for your assistance.
If you are right about that, then presumably, Quislin later became to Quisling due to reanalysis after immigration to Norway as Kvislemark + -ing (sense 2). If no one has any objections to that analysis, the relevant part of the etymology section probably ought to be amended, so that it says:
The name is seemingly supposed to mean "one who is from Kvislemark", and is equivalent to Kvislemark +‎ -ing (suffix designating a person of a certain origin or with certain qualities). However, the earlier form of the name, Quislinus/Quislin, appears to have originally been intended as Kvislemark + Latin -inus (suffix indicating a relationship of position, possession, or origin), and only later on came to be reinterpreted as Kvislemark + Norwegian -ing (suffix designating a person of a certain origin or with certain qualities).
Tharthan (talk) 17:42, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I don't know when the spelling change QuislinQuisling took place, but the person effecting the change may have been unaware of any association with the utterly insignificant Danish parish Kvislemark.  --Lambiam 21:18, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]
That's certainly true. I have modified the etymology section at quisling, taking what you just said into account. Feel free to revert if you take issue with the edit. Tharthan (talk) 18:34, 2 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I wasn't sure if to protest but since Lambi said effectively the same, I think the compound is too long and we would usually cite a reinterpretation of the suffix in such cases, the stem morphology to be left as an exercise for the reader if you don't want to cite a cranberry, if only to shave screen real estate. The exercise should be simpler if there was a page for Kvislemark.
It would be lovely to have the place name in place, but I am puzzled by the previous thread. The only two examples for *tw > kʷ that I can think of in any Germanic branch are Quark and queer, where I thought the latter was from metastasis of the labio-velar that was already there in *terkʷ, while lacking compeling counter examples. ApisAzuli (talk)
I know about the Scandinavian words kvitra (with daughter terms) and Dutch kwetteren for tweet, twitter, although it seems unclear if they are strictly related. Wakuran (talk) 13:46, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Cf. Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/twitwizōną. Wakuran (talk) 13:51, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Btw, is Frisian tsjotterje believed to be related, or would it have another origin? Wakuran (talk) 16:21, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Also, on a related note, there's Old Norse trana or trani from Proto-Germanic *kranô. Wakuran (talk) 16:21, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]

fustee, dusteeEdit

The racial terms. Any idea what the etymology of either is? Compare mustee, costee, which are from Spanish mestizo, castizo. A reference cited in costee suggests that it (or the alt form castee) would be directly from Spanish casta by analogy to mustee, so I suppose dustee could be from dusty or dust + -ee by analogy to mustee, but I wonder if there's not a Spanish etymon. mustiphini from mestizo fino shows that the sound/form can become quite different from the original Spanish. - -sche (discuss) 21:13, 1 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The old Century Dictionary speculates, with question mark, that fustee might be from mustee and dustee from fustee. I almost wonder whether people connected mustee to musty and then derived fustee from fusty (musty), and dustee from dusty: to this day I can find books calling someone's skin colour "dusty". - -sche (discuss) 03:57, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]

maroon, cimarrónEdit

The English entry says the source of the Spanish word is Taino, while the Spanish entry says it's native Spanish from cima (mountaintop). Other references I can find also differ in which origin they state. Which is right? Generally, works which cite Taino say the Taino word meant "wild" and was applied by the Taino (and then the Spanish) to undomesticated plants and animals, but Helaine Silverman, D. Fairchild Ruggles, Cultural Heritage and Human Rights (2008), page 108, says the "Taino" word was applied to cattle that escaped domestication and took to the hills (emphasis mine); perhaps it is then that the word is Spanish and the Taino (once they shifted to speaking Spanish) are only responsible for a semantic development? - -sche (discuss) 07:06, 2 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The Spanish Wiktionary mentions both etymological theories. It appears that the term originated in the Americas, which lends some support to the theory of Taíno origin, and afaik -(a)rrón, although seen as an extension of -ón in abejarrón, otherwise does not carry a sense such as “dweller”. I can imagine though that Spanish cima and the numerous Spanish words ending on -arrón influenced the form of the loanword. The first ref given at the Spanish Wiktionary, a 57-page article entitled “Cimarrón: apuntes sobre sus primeras documentaciones y su probable origen” (”Cimarrón: notes on its first documentations and its probable origin”), gives an extensive discussion, resulting in the conclusion that the term comes from an indigenous Taíno word símaran, a durative of the word símara meaning arrow, like an arrow escaping the bow. I have not read the whole article, so I cannot judge how convincing its arguments are.  --Lambiam 12:41, 2 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Thanks, I've expanded the entry. - -sche (discuss) 19:06, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]


maybe from OldIr dess (right) < *deks-o- ; see Cymr. dehau and Bret. dehou from Celt. *deks-owo- see also Sk. daks-ina, Gr. δεξ-ιό-ς (dex-io-s), Lat. dex-ter

Yes; I've added it now. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:07, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]


Can anyone provide a bit more specificity on what the "misunderstanding" was: misreading, or mistaking the meaning...? I want to check because it seems like this could be categorized as (etymologically) a ghost word. - -sche (discuss) 19:07, 4 September 2021 (UTC)[]


What about Hyllested’s ideas? --Espoo (talk) 07:40, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]

whose dissertation can be downloaded here.  --Lambiam 08:11, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]


I split out the sense " A good-humoured, slow-witted fellow, usually an elderly man" to a separate ety on the basis of what other dictionaries do, but we also have the sense "The chief bosun's mate", which is presently under the same ety as the pH-stabiliser, portion of computer memory, device to cushion impact on trains, etc. etc. It occurred to me that the "bosun's mate" sense could in fact be the same ety as the "fellow" sense, but I cannot find verification of this. Does anyone know for sure where this sense belongs, or can find out? Mihia (talk) 19:17, 6 September 2021 (UTC) I did find one definition [1] which reads 'a navy term for a boatswain's mate, part of whose duties is to administer the "cat"', possibly as if administering the "cat" explained the term. Mihia (talk) 19:26, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The "cat" referred to is not something I would ever associate with the phrase "good-humoured"... Chuck Entz (talk) 19:52, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yeah, I'm beginning to think it probably has nothing to do with the "fellow" sense, but whether it belongs in its existing place either, I don't know. Mihia (talk) 20:10, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Thinking again about the "cat" association, it now seems to me more likely that it is connected with the "leather" sense, ultimately connected with "buffalo", in which case this sense of "buffer" probably should go under ety 1. Mihia (talk) 21:34, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I found a book that discusses the issue, though it doesn't come to a definitive conclusion. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:50, 6 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Chuck Entz: Thanks. Google won't show me that content; would it be possible for you to give me the gist of it, if it's not too long and complicated? Mihia (talk) 17:37, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Mihia Google is real picky about showing things from one country domain to people from another one. You might have better luck if you replace "google.com" with "google.co.uk" in the URL. Anyway, the book says the most common explanation is that the boatswain's mates act as a "buffer" between the officers and the rest of the crew. It then mentions an 1864 slang dictionary that says, in reference to the buffer's use of the "cat", that it might be from buff, as in bare skin, and finally gives the author's own theory that it might be from buff, apparently an obsolete term meaning to strike a blow or buffet. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:23, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Chuck Entz: I changed it to co.uk and it worked! Thanks for that tip. If the mate acts as a "buffer" between the officers and the rest of the crew, then this sense is in the correct section. I feel slightly sceptical about this "most common explanation", but since I really have no idea I will leave it alone. Thanks for your help. Mihia (talk) 13:00, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]


Anyone got an etymology for fáilte (welcome) or fáilid (happy)? There's nothing in Vendryes, Matasovic, or Pokorny. —caoimhinoc (talk) 00:22, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]

There is something at Manx failt.  --Lambiam 08:10, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
That's the same there is a fáilte. I'm looking for a source. —caoimhinoc (talk) 14:23, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Rupee and RubleEdit

The etymologies for these two words denote their meanings in their respective languages; rupee comes from a word meaning stamped and ruble from one meaning cut. There seems to have been minimal effort to trace each word back to its PIE root. Considering that Russian and Hindustani are both Indo-European languages and the words have a similar form and original meaning, I wonder if they are descended from the same root, but it is beyond my ability at this time to research that now. 2408:8221:2D:BBD0:35D8:D8C3:6988:B3B3 10:20, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The roots of the words seem to be Sanskrit रूप् (form, shape) and Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/rǫbiti (to chop), but the Sanskrit lemma doesn't have any etymology. Wakuran (talk) 12:19, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The Sanskrit root रूप् (rūp) is said to be a back-formation from the noun रूप (rūpa), i.e. a denominal verb. This can be seen in the MW dictionary (the last two entries on the page). --Frigoris (talk) 12:58, 7 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Interesting analogy and admittedly possible on the face of it. (I know of one comparable case: *peḱu- (cattle), leading to pecunia and fee. Livestock was apparently the most important form of wealth for the Indo-Europeans.) But the meaning 'currency' doesn't go back very far in either language. I also don't see how a Sanskrit /p/ could be related to Russian /b/. I'd put this one with accidental similarity. —caoimhinoc (talk) 12:50, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]


RFV of the etimology. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by 2A01:E0A:9B9:A870:C847:43C3:7976:714C (talk) at 18:06, 8 September 2021 (UTC).[]

Well, it says “usually”, so I guess it is in many sources and one of them is in the lengthy reference list, have you even looked? The Semitic word is apparently the one I described under إِنَاء(ʾināʾ). Fay Freak (talk) 18:13, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I'd second a rfv of the Gamkrelidze/Ivanov claim. Don't see how that could work. —caoimhinoc (talk) 19:18, 8 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Agreed, this etymology is beyond farfetched. --{{victar|talk}} 06:03, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]


What is the "rava" that is alluded to? Is this just another form of rapa (turnip)? If so, doesn't that derive from Latin rapum rather than Dutch? I'm confused what the Dutch influence is supposed to be, if any. 06:57, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The Dutch part was grafted on to the etymology in 2013 by a user who's added lots of bad etymologies over the years: they're much, much better than they were back then, but they still make lots of mistakes. It looks like they were trying to combine the etymology that was there with the etymology for English ravel, with predictable results. I've removed that part as obvious incompetent nonsense. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:01, 9 September 2021 (UTC)[]

pronunciation xīngEdit

@Suzukaze-c You wrote an rfe asking why the Mandarin reading does not end in -ng. According to MOEDict, xīng is indeed an alternative pronunciation which I've added to the entry, but I do feel that there is probably more to it etymologicaly, considering that -ng is the expected Mandarin ending. ChromeGames923 (talk) 00:26, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]


Finnish tumma, Estonian tume, Voro tummõ etc. can't be connected to Proto-Slavic *tьma both meaning "dark,darkness"? Kutkar (talk) 11:24, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The entry is located under Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/tьma. Wakuran (talk) 15:18, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Xhosa ímalí and Zulu ímalíEdit

According to OED, English mali (money) is “from Xhosa imali, Zulu imali (money), both ultimately from English money.” Our Xhosa and Zulu entries state they are “from Swahili mali, ultimately from Arabic مال(māl).” The Xhosa entry references “Sergio Baldi, “Swahili”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics (2011)”. Sgconlaw states “this [the OED entry] is a new entry first published June 2000 (so not an old entry that has yet to be reviewed)”. Which is the correct etymology? J3133 (talk) 13:37, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Just wondering if it is likely for Arabic to influence Zulu? Are there many Muslim Zulus, perhaps? — SGconlaw (talk) 13:45, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The OED is not especially reliable for borrowings; they simply don't have the necessary breadth of expertise. Baldi is not always right, but the distributional evidence he cites makes this clearly favourable to the alternative, which requires an unmotivated shift from /n/ to /l/. @Sgconlaw, Arabic did not directly influence Zulu, but if you looked at Baldi's evidence, it would become immediately clear that multiple individual borrowings with the same semantic shift is highly unparsimonious.
@J3133, is there a reason you added this to June's subpage? I suggest you move it to the current page. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:18, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
There don't have to be. Arab traders had extensive dealings all along the east coast of Africa and Swahili developed as a lingua franca for Africans to communicate with Arabs and each other. There have been Zulu speakers who also spoke Swahili for a long, long time. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:24, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
So is it advisable to cite both etymologies as alternatives, or only the Arabic one? If the latter, we should provide a fuller citation to Baldi, and I think we should at least mention the OED’s etymology and explain why we feel it is less plausible. Who can draft something appropriate? — SGconlaw (talk) 18:33, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm not a fan of these maximal English etymologies, but I know you are, so I added more text to satisfy you. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:16, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Metaknowledge: thanks. Might I add that a fuller explanation with sources as you have added would probably avoid someone coming along in the future and changing it back to the OED version. — SGconlaw (talk) 20:04, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]
In my humble opinion, I prefer those "maximal etymologies" to the situation where two related words have contrasting etymologies with a "more at" note, such as are and art. Wakuran (talk) 21:28, 10 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Proto-Anatolian terms with IPA pronunciationEdit

I don't know anything about Proto-Anatolian, so this request may be entirely unjustified, but many of the IPA transcriptions look rather strange. In particular, the great majority of consonants are geminated. The word for "bear" is /ħːŕ̩tːkːɔs/, for example. I just want to mention it, so it can be ruled out that someone conjured up something funny here, because I've seen it once before with IPA in a less prominent language. 04:49, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Courtesy link: *Hŕ̥tḱos. It looks a bit strange, but a cursory inspection suggests that the editor who added this is quite capable and knowledgeable.  --Lambiam 08:14, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Having skimmed over the entries in Category:Proto-Anatolian terms with IPA pronunciation, it is apparent that [ː] is used to indicate a fortis-lenis distinction (e.g. d [t] vs. t [tː]), so it seems to be ok. Even H [ħː] is solid, since Melchert uses H for the voiceless laryngeal and h for the voiced one.
But I agree, without explanatory notes (e.g. in Wiktionary:About Proto-Anatolian or the linked WP page w:Proto-Anatolian_language) and ideally a source for this phonetic interpretation of Melchert's reconstruction, it is confusing. Which brings us back to Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2021/August#IPA_for_reconstructed_languages. –Austronesier (talk) 09:22, 15 September 2021 (UTC)[]
At the very least it needs the asterisk marked up, conventionally, also for Proto-Germanic
Whether it's fine and reliable, or not, is entirely relative to how useful this is, as Mahagaja and Austronesier said in that thread, but I disagree that the about-pages are better places to deal with. Because, if the verbose explanation may use IPA for clarity, there'd be need to avoid it in the reconstruction entry, where the reader is more likely to look first. The international standard is a good choice, because it is easier to research generally speaking. It's just a bit of funny punctuation added. However, that point is crucial.
I favor Victar's judgement to remove the pronounciation, nevertheless, if only to avoid uncomfortable discussions. Like, I'm worried about the age old question around the linguistic reality of reconstruction, such as in this case. This thread is concerned with verification, not policy. I see no way to verify that PA had /*ħ/, if it rests mostly on Sumero-Akkadian Cuniform readings from many centuries later. I'm in no position to criticize it appropriately, but it seems too important to accept unchallenged for laryngeal theory, if the only resolution seems to be that it's broad transcription with several possible representations in a narrower sense, and underlying *h2, *h3. It's still unclear to me what that really means to you. ApisAzuli (talk) 06:58, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, adding IPA to reconstructions as in this case creates an illusion of unverifiable precision (like /*ħ/ for PA *H, or saying that PA lenes were unvoiced) which historical linguists don't offer in many cases–for good reasons. It's like adding geographical coordinates to a country infobox in WP. Some proto-sounds are like Singapore or Liechtenstein and can be pinned down in a meaningful way, but for others the range of possibilities and opinions is as large as Brazil. –Austronesier (talk) 07:53, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]
This moves into policy territory, but a heading Reconstructed pronunciation will remove any unwarranted illusion of precision.  --Lambiam 12:36, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I'm sorry I committed several typoes. Now, I reckon, that about-page exclusive treatment of the phonology could be justified by a need to be verbose and even handed. A heading 'reconstructed pronunciation' does not offer the needed level of detail. Anyhow, I had meant to say the opposite, that a single Cesar Chiffre or other rule set using IPA would pave the way for including the corollary data in the entries. So, "there'd be [no] need to avoid it [...]". However, the way it is now it set precedent by way of anchoring, largely dictating content for the about-page. And it seems to be mistaken: I have by the way revisited Kloekhorst 2018 on the matter (though the download from his page seems to be broken), who summarized a forming consensus on PA uvular stops, largely following Weiss 2016 and others but citing Melchert 1994 as uncertain. What has changed since then? Craig Melchert has recently published 78 pages of a chapter on "The Position of Anatolian" in draft for preview (so not a good reference per se, but see his page), where it does tentatively suggest labialized uvulars */xʷ/ [xʷ] eg. for the case of *tr̥Hʷánts as the outcome of *h2w, if I am not mistaken. The exposition is slightly cryptic, but pharyngeals (viz. ħ) are nowhere to be found. @Tom 144, Lambian, Austronesier ApisAzuli (talk) 07:25, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@ApisAzuli: Thanks for pointing out these sources. From what I can get there, Melcherts "conventional" *H/*h are now interpreted by him as [x]/[ɣ], and as [qː]/[q] by Kloekhorst. So the transcription /ħːŕ̩tːkːɔs/ contains a hybrid of Kloekhorst's length interpretation of the fortis-lenis contrast (see Kloekhorst (2016)), and the common pharyngeal interpretation of *h2 and *h3 (which is rejected by Kloekhorst). –Austronesier (talk) 12:38, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
A convenient way of expressing the fortis/lenis distinction in IPA is with the "strong articulation" diacritic ◌͈ from the Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet for the fortis series, leaving the lenis series unmarked. We already use it for Korean and Old Irish. /ħ͈ŕ̩t͈k͈ɔs/ or /x͈ŕ̩t͈k͈ɔs/ might look less startling than with length marks. Nevertheless, I am still opposed to the inclusion of IPA transcriptions for proto-languages. WT:About Proto-Anatolian should have a discussion of the various proposals for the phonetic realization of each reconstructed phoneme, but the entry itself shouldn't give pronunciation information, IMO. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:16, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yeah, I was noticing this the other day on *tr̥Hʷánts (since I'm working on the PIE entry). is controversial enough, let's not reconstruct largyngeals. --{{victar|talk}} 20:27, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Can somebody verify the etymology of glamour?Edit

This [2] edit was made by a rather disruptive user [3]. --Fytcha (talk) 17:24, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The Norse hypothesis is standing since September 2010.
The writing style of the more recent edit is rejectable and should be reverted. The previous version is not perfect either, because we would usually leave details up to the respective entry and simply gloss "moon", or nothing, which was not supported by the templates in 2010,I imagine. If the editor was serious they had better create the respective entry, where the quotation is a better fit. Adding qualifications into the competing, thus far accepted hypothesis changes very little, because the template system does not support probabilistic reckoning (does it?) and the tone is too confrontational anyway. It should be understood that almost all etymologies are hypothetical to varying degrees.
More over, they fail to see that the Norse alternative might, hypothetically speaking, also apply to the Scottish etymon, whether that's intended or not. This point of view should give them some rest. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:10, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I've not heard of the Norse connection before, but I found some corroborating info here [[4]] under GLÁMR. Leasnam (talk) 04:53, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Etymonline mentions it, as well. [5] Wakuran (talk) 11:21, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]
‘glamour’ is definitely from Scots. OED says so. All the oldest citations are from Scotland. The text should make clear that the two hypotheses—gramarye or glámr—pertain to the origin of the Scots word. They both seem equally likely to me. I think they should be brief and the Scots entry can optionally contain a more detailed discussion. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 01:11, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I might buy into an etymological confluence of two tributaries, gramarye and glámr, whose collusion gave birth to Scots glamer.  --Lambiam 09:51, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]


RFV of the etymology. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 21:37, 16 September 2021 (UTC)[]

@Justinrleung, most likely incorrect or at least inaccurate in the form as it is presented now. Sanskrit देवसभा (devasabhā) means literally a सभा (sabhā, assembly hall) of the देव (deva)s, which doesn't match the meanings of the Chinese 天堂 as defined in the entry. In Buddhist mythology, there's a devasabhā hall by the name सुधर्मा (sudharmā) in the Trāyastriṃśa heaven of Śakra (Indra). (This is also the name of a hall of the Yādavas in the Harivaṃśa). In extant translations in Chinese Buddhism the word devasabhā was typically glossed over while a phrase like "the devasabhā known as Sudharmā" was translated together as 善法堂 from its name; su- (good) + dharma + (feminine ending to agree with sabhā). There's a mention though, in the classical Sanskrit-Tibetan-Chinese glossary book Mahāvyutpatti; you can see the mentioning here where devasabhā was glossed as 天堂 or 靈霄殿. However, this cannot be understood to mean that it was actually used like that in the texts, nor that the Chinese term 天堂 first ever arose from a translation of devasabhā. Most of the earliest attestations of the Chinese term couldn't be "mapped" to an Indic original. Some later authors such as Yijing (monk) used it quite idiomatically (as in modern usage) to translate any word in the sense of "heaven; paradise" without the सभा (sabhā) stuff; e.g. for दिव्य (divya, heavenly; celestial, adj), as in the phrase दिव्येषु कामेषु (divyeṣu kāmeṣu, in heavenly delights) -> 受天堂樂 in the 《根本説一切有部毘奈耶藥事》. --Frigoris (talk) 08:12, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Also, if @Kungming2 (who added the etymology) is out there, do you have some source for the etymology? --Frigoris (talk) 08:44, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[]


Is it more parsimonious to assume Lithuanian košė and Slavic kaša are siblings, or that one borrowed from the other (which would most likely be Lithuanian borrowing from Slavic)? Košė does seem slightly more like the hypothesized related Lithuanian word košti which makes me think it could be independent, but I wasn't able to find any source either way. (Also, this is my first time making a Reconstruction page so I'm not sure if I did it right. I copied it from another and then modified the details. Might have gotten something wrong.) 21:59, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[]

The Lithuanian verb is real, more often as perfective nukošti. There are however multiple problems with that hypothesis:
  • Different intonation (it doesn't change easily in Baltic languages).
  • The Latvian counterpart kāst "to filter, to decant" does not produce a noun; there's a regionalism kašas pl but that's clearly from kasīt "to scratch".
  • Filtering or decanting isn't actually involved in making porridge.
Therefore, košė is more likely a borrowing from Slavic. Panya kijivu (talk) 20:16, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]

korku, -u and -iEdit

The entry at Turkish -u introduces this suffix as a nominalizing suffix, providing the example korku. This in itself is already dubious as it doesn't mention vowel harmony, and I wouldn't expect -u to be used as the canonical form.

But when following the link to this example word, the etymology now links to another suffix -i. In this page in turn, no mention is made about any nominalizing function.

Can a Turkish editor clarify? Sitaron (talk) 04:48, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]

It looks like there are two issues: whether -u should be the lemma, and what its definition should be. I've addressed the first by posting it at WT:RFM, but I have no clue about the other one. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:51, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Sitaron: -u is a harmonized form of -i, as are and . It is correct that they are a derivational suffix to form a noun from a verb (cf. yazı, ölçü, koku and many more). --Fytcha (talk) 09:45, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Sitaron: As for canonicalization, Wiktionary doesn't do this for Turkish suffixes unfortunately, see for instance -im, -ım, -um, -üm (only one of them contains all three meanings and the complete etymology). If I were to decide, I'd make all but the canonical forms of the suffixes into pages whose only purpose is to refer to the canonical form of the suffix (as in -dük).
The canonical forms are those with i and e. --Fytcha (talk) 09:54, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
A possible approach would be to have a consolidated entry -ı/-i/-u/-ü, with definitions for separate entries etcetera of the form “Vowel-harmonized form of -ı/-i/-u/-ü ”. A similar approach can be used for -ler/-lar and other context-dependent suffix variation such as -(y)ken and -de/-da/-te/-ta. For korku the etymology should then use “From {{|tr|korkmak|ı/-i/-u/-ü|alt2=u|alt1=kork-|t1=to be afraid}}”.  --Lambiam 09:38, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]

An Entry for the Hebrew Word: כיח is MISSINGEdit


Could anyone knowledgeable enough would please ADD an ENTRY to Wiktionary for the MISSING above-referenced Hebrew word (hopefully, with its Arabic/Aramaic cognates)/

Thank you,

AK63 (talk) 05:22, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]

That doesn't seem like an etymological question. Have you tried WT:Requested_entries_(Hebrew)#כ‎? Chuck Entz (talk) 06:05, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
There is one now, but did you mean the Mishnaic noun כִּיחַ or the modern verb כִּיֵּחַ?  --Lambiam 09:13, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Possible relation of Proto-Bantu *ncímbá and PIE *sinǵʰo-Edit

I do not know how this Etymology Scriptorium works (I would be surprised if this theory actually comes into consideration), but just wanted to let a few people know that these are a possible pair.

If the relation is unclear, consider Swahili simba and Sanskrit सिंह ("siṃhá")

(I do not know how they are related, but I did hear that us Indians used to trade a lot with East Africa) ॥ সূর্যমান ॥ 14:34, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]

According to Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-Iranian/sinȷ́ʰás, they're unrelated. According to User:Metaknowledge. Wakuran (talk) 16:02, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
According to Mayrhofer [1] “The reminiscence of Swahili simba “lion” is clearly coincidental” (My translation). —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 16:13, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  1. ^ Mayrhofer, Manfred (1996) Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen [Etymological Dictionary of Old Indo-Aryan] (in German), volume 2, Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, page 728
Mayrhofer has no experties in African languages, is it? Meta has worked in Bantu languages, but is no expert in Indo-Iranian, has erred before, and the line only says "likely unrelated". The question has been posted on every etymology forum on the internet and it is always struck down under the iron doctrine of coincidence, without irony or anything amounting to an argument. Although, there are so many languages between, below and above this and that, like Elamite and Dravidian and a couple unknown ones too, that nobody could be expected to show an unambiguous path of transmission at the supposed time-depth.
The Indo-Iranian reconstruction rests on a single reflex and should be technically inadmissable because of it; the further reconstruction all the more, if it would be incompatible with the central Asian donor hypothesis. It refers to a wanderword, so the timing might be based on a suspected donor, but we clearly can't say which one. Bantu has a problem with dating as well because of the lack of writing. The *n is a noun-class prefix and should not distract from the question. Howsoever, the animal is and was native to both continents, so trade relations are per se no argument. The question would be, what kind of relation to expect. Since the words can be unrelated coincidents, the default answer is what you see here.
On another note, the Iranian forms tentatively attributed to a different donor don't look anything alike, and the Indo-Aryan cognates under for that one root differ quite a bit in meaning. ApisAzuli (talk) 04:46, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The question that would need to be answered for any kind of a connection is where the Bantu *b comes from or where does it go in Indo-Iranian. Note that is not an /m/ but rather marks nasalization: /sĩɦə/, so we cannot even assume anything like *m > *mb. --Tropylium (talk) 09:35, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Incomplete etymology for "diopside"Edit


The entry gives two mineralogy articles for further reading, which have some etymology notes, but they conflict with each other and with Wikipedia's non-referenced assertion (see bullet points). If we assume Min.dat has misread Greek lettering, some of the conflict is resolved.

Min.dat "Diopside"
Named in 1806 by Rene Just Haüy From the Greek διζ- for "double" and οψτζ- "appearance," in allusion to two possible orientations of the prism zone.
Webmineral's "Diopside"
From the Greek dis - "two kinds" and opsis - "opinion."
Wikipedia's "Diopside" article (uncited)
Diopside derives its name from the Greek dis, "twice", and òpsè, "face" in reference to the two ways of orienting the vertical prism.
Current Wiktionary entry (uncited)
Ancient Greek [Term?] (through) + [Term?] (view)

——JavaRogers (talk) 23:08, 18 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Merriam-Webster and AHD both agree it's from French diopside, from di- (two) (from Ancient Greek δίς (dís)) + ὄψις (ópsis). —Mahāgaja · talk 21:13, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Mindat.org’s stem οψτζ- is phonotactically impossible. Ancient Greek ὄψις (ópsis) means “aspect, appearance, view, sight, vision”. Perhaps it can be used figuratively for “viewpoint, opinion”, but this is definitely not a primary meaning. Ancient Greek ὀψέ (opsé) does exist but is an adverb meaning “late”. The noun ὄψ (óps) means “eye, face”, but its stem is ὄπ-, so its use should have given rise to diopide (cf. dinopid).  --Lambiam 08:58, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Diopside seems to be from Ancient Greek δίοψις (díopsis) which is a rare term for "transparency" and therefore analysable as Ancient Greek διά (diá) + Ancient Greek ὄψις (ópsis); the mineral in its pure form is (according to wikipedia) transparent. οψτζ looks like an attempt to imitate the letter forms of ὄψις without knowing the Greeek script, ὀψέ in the wp-article is clearly a misreading of ὄψις. The explanations with Ancient Greek δίς (dís) can be regarded as folk etymologies. --Akletos (talk) 09:30, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I’ve adjusted the etymology accordingly.  --Lambiam 04:49, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I assume the etymologies for related cognates also should be adjusted, if there's time. Wakuran (talk) 11:31, 21 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Thai กระท่อม etymology 2 -- possibly from Sanskrit क्रतु?Edit

I am outside my usual field of knowledge/interest here, but I am a Latinist who is currently learning Attic Greek.

I came across greek kratos in my studies, and being aware of Kratom, on a total whim I wondered if it was at all possible the two were related. Thanks to wiktionary, I came across क्रतु which is cognate with the Greek word, of course, but also could/would have definitely been transmitted to the region in which Kratom grows. The two words are obviously both phonologically similar. Kratom being an intoxicating plant used by the locals with opioidergic effects, the Sanskrit word has clear significant semantic similarity to the psychoactive effects of the plant, ie. "power, might, ability".

I, however, know nothing of Thai, and I don't know how the phonological or morphological "arithmetic" works out here. I'm sure however that there are probably Thai words which are loaned from Sanskrit, and so I'm assuming the "arithmetic" is known. My only question is, thus, if it is at all possible that the two words are related? Arxandr (talk) 23:38, 18 September 2021‎ (UTC)[]

Initially, the semantic shift seem pretty far-fetched to me. Not any more believable than the connection between a hut and the tree it's made of (?), anyway... Wakuran (talk) 13:42, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Hmm, the tree might be too weak for cottage material, when I look at the images. Possibly the leaves could be used for rain cover, if anything. Wakuran (talk) 13:59, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
You're looking at the wrong etymology section. The "hut" etymology is from Khmer. The idea being discussed is whether people borrowed the Sanskrit word as the name of the plant due a perceived connection between the effects of the plant and the meaning of the Sanskrit word. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:48, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
No, I thought that it might be a connection between the two Thai words, although they had different meanings, but on second thought, that might be an incorrect assumption, as well. Wakuran (talk) 18:56, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
These two are not related. The [tʰ] in the Thai word is spelled with ท. This was a plain voiced stop [d] in earlier stages of Thai and is the regular rendering of द d in loans from Sanskrit and Pali, e.g. เทพ (têep) from Sanskrit देव (deva). The त in क्रतु however remains an unaspirated [t] in Thai and is spelled with ต, e.g. ญาติ (yâat) from जाति (jāti). Also in the last example, one can see that final short vowels in nouns of the i- and u-declensions become zero. So a loan from Sanskrit क्रतु would have become something like **กรตุ (**grad). Finally the tone mark in กระท่อม is also atypical of loans from Sanskrit/Pali. –Austronesier (talk) 15:55, 19 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The only reason why I might be inclined to cling on to this theory is that the word has no known etymology and describes a plant which really only lives deep in the jungle. The Sanskrit (or, I suppose, most likely Pali) that would have been transferred may have been very colloquial. The word's origins must be obscure because its etymology cannot be found anywhere, and though I understand that its very unlikely, I wonder if it is at all still possible that through local dialects or even accents of Thai, this plant came to be named as such. Per wikipedia's very well cited entry on the traditional use of the plant, I just wonder if perhaps it was a neologism formed from Sanskrit or Pali that was done post-hoc -- the connection seems very strong, as the Thai knew it's properties and indeed used it in some cases for religious rites. But I am not the expert here, and again know nothing of Thai or the other languages of the region, but given where it grows -- would it not be more likely to originate in one of the insular language families of the region? It grows most notably in Indonesia... Perhaps its something like Sanskrit->Malay->Thai. However I appreciate your work in disputing the initial theory here, and I know that this is make-or-break for establishing etymologies. Arxandr (talk)

Persian الو(alow)Edit

According to Doerfer, Gerhard (1967) Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen [Turkic and Mongolian Elements in New Persian] (Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur: Veröffentlichungen der Orientalischen Kommission; 20) (in German), volume III, Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, pages 357-358, this word is difficult to have a Turkic origin, and Herzenberg thinks it is from Iranian *ham-tāpa-, which borrowed from an Eastern Iranian language, such as a later Sogdian dialect, which had not only -*t- >-*δ- > -*l-, but also -*p- > -*b > -w as reflected in many Tajik dialects (Studies in Persian etymology). — Ydcok (talk) 05:08, 20 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Descendants of Sanskrit शून्यEdit

Sanskrit शून्य (śūnya) is the source of many words for zero or cipher. They were all listed as descendants rather than borrowings. I split the list based on whether the word was definitely a borrowing (unrelated language) or possibly inherited (listed as a child langage in Category:Sanskrit language). It occurs to me that there may be learned borrowings mixed with genuine descendants. For example, Hindi शून्य (śūnya) says it is "borrowed". Can somebody clean up the rest? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 14:28, 22 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I think I've cleaned them up. I can't confirm Assamese, but it looks like a descendant, Dhivehi is recorded as a descendant, the Pali word is part of its inherited lexicon, and the Punjabi looks inherited - but might possibly show contamination. The cluster -ny- was generally assimilated, so its presence is a give away. The Thai word is a hybrid - the consonants are from Pali and the vowel is from Sanskrit. --RichardW57 (talk) 22:06, 26 September 2021 (UTC)[]

"english" in the sense of "spin"Edit

Our entry currently just has the etym as "uncertain". I read somewhere not too long ago that this was ultimately from French angler (to angle something), mis-parsed as anglais and then translated into English (a bit of a mondegreen?). Has anyone else encountered this derivation? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:15, 24 September 2021 (UTC)[]

That might make sense for clé anglaise, Engländer (monkey wrench). And I always thought it was a calque in the other direction! The most reasonable explanation for Schraubenzieher outside irregular changes would also refers to the angular momentum of levers and pullies (german.stackexchange). There is a rare saying, schief ist englisch und englisch ist modern (skewed slant is an Anglish thang ...?), which, I imagine, is referring to the diphtongized vowels. ApisAzuli (talk)
For another tangent, now that I have read the entry, consider that this is called anschneiden or anschnippeln in table tennis, maybe also arcing bow shots, car racing, and of course bowling. To cut has a similar sense in cricket. The participle has a velar, an-ge-schnitten. I recall gain, again, gegen, angegen, implying that more northern varieties with similar changes might have ŋ, as for Dutch aansnijden, participle /ˈaŋɣəˌsnedə(n/. Henceforth it may be questionable if its prefix is really an- (with notable complications for the reconstruction in Old Dutch, and possible conflation with in- in the beginning point of entry sense, to say the least).
In sum sum, angle from Latin angulus is only needed to account for the 'l', s. v. -else for example. ApisAzuli (talk) 00:28, 26 September 2021 (UTC)[]


RFV of the etymology. Bye-Bye (talk) 18:47, 25 September 2021 (UTC)[]


Corruption of munnion, French moignon (stump of an amputated limb, stump).

How reliable is this etymology? It contradicts what apparently all other dictionaries say. --Espoo (talk)2

A discussion of the etymology can be found here, where it is said that “the old derivation ... from mognon ‘stump,’ is clearly wrong”. (I do not find this discussion particularly clear.)  --Lambiam 11:46, 26 September 2021 (UTC)[]

chop sueyEdit

Is it correct for us to be calling this a "phono-semantic matching"? Perhaps the editor who added it felt English picked "chop" out of association with "mixed" or "broken"? But that connection seems tenuous, and "suey" does not seem to have been an English word at all at the time (although it is now supposedly a childish/slangy shortening of "suicide"). Chop-chop and chopsticks are just listed as borrowings. - -sche (discuss) 20:00, 26 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Huh? Aren't the "mixed"/"broken" just meanings found in the original Chinese? And the connection with chop mainly due to the English verb? (Although the lemmas seem to indicate that the form originated in Chinese Pidgin English.) Wakuran (talk) 21:24, 26 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I.e. rather than phono-semantic matching, the "chop" part might be a folk etymology, but maybe that was what you meant? Wakuran (talk) 21:27, 26 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Well, if you search giblets you find 什件. The first character, that may read Cantonese /t͡säːp̚²/, is defined as alternative form of 杂. Seems the semantic association to chopping is not far fetched, while these particular glosses may be irrelevant for a native speaker in a second language. Whether the pronounciation was intentional is anyone's guess, as the history is uncertain, but the vowel change woukd otherwise have to be regular. ApisAzuli (talk) 01:51, 27 September 2021 (UTC)[]
By the way, I remember some Norwegian comedians doing a joke on this where "Suey" was interpreted as the name of a dog... I guess Norwegian comedy often could feel pretty rural and provincial... Wakuran (talk) 12:18, 28 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I've changed it to "borrowing". - -sche (discuss) 02:02, 28 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Based on what, erring on the safe side? I mean generally, how do you distinguish reanalysis from calquing (or partial calquing) on a homonym when the homophony / allophony is exceptionally broad? Same thing as with money / mali above (explaining why it entered english, not where the swahili was from, it's clearly a substitution for and of money in English, not talking about some Arabic currency).
Also, I suspect that the second half is actually akin to sushi. I cannot judge the alleged 16th century quotation from the wiki artikel, but everything else would seemn to post date American usage, so take it with a grain of salt. 2A00:20:6000:DF79:8D13:4DA0:871F:E7FE 19:38, 28 September 2021 (UTC)[]
According to the entry, "sushi" seems to be derived from an old Japanese word meaning "sour". I don't think there's any connection to the Cantonese word. Wakuran (talk) 20:06, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Ya, Japanese すし (sushi) is from a root meaning sour, with no connection I can see to Chinese (shattered; fragments; talkative). There is a connection to Chinese (vinegar), but not to . ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:45, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@Eirikr: With all due respect, that's not what I was talking about. I was in fact not aware of the etymology. I haven't explained it the first time and still don't feel like going out on a limb. Let me put it this way, if -shi was an archaic conjugation (which one?) then why was it not regularly lost? Suppose it's not unusual for familiar food names to fossilize, somewhat like tagliatelle which ending is no doubt a reanalyzed diminutive suffix. ApisAzuli (talk) 23:54, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
@ApisAzuli: Indeed, what were you talking about? Honest confusion on my part. Your only other contribution to this thread is the bit above about "Well, if you search giblets you find 什件." The すし (sushi) connection was brought up by an anon.
Re: the -shi ending, if you visit the lemma entry for the food item at 寿司, that explains that this is the archaic terminal (i.e. predicative) ending for adjectives, as used in pre-modern Japanese and older. If someone makes a simple statement, it's sour, they would have said sushi, as this terminal ending for adjectives includes an inherent "it is" sense. By extension, I could imagine a shift in usage whereby a conversation like "what's that?" → "sushi" is reanalyzed where the response is interpreted as a noun rather than an adjective. There are other instances of terminal-conjugation adjectives or adjectival phrases that have become nouns, such as 顎無し (aginashi, Sagittaria aginashi, a kind of flower, literally it has no sepals), or 少し (sukoshi, a little bit, literally it is a small amount). Whatever the case, monolingual Japanese sources are consistent in deriving the noun from the terminal conjugation of the adjective.
If you were the IPv6 anon who posted about sushi, then the only way I can think to connect the suey in chop suey with すし (sushi) would be if the suey were derived somehow from or . Then the two would be cognate. But it looks like the suey is instead from , which (as best I can tell) is wholly unrelated to either or . ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 01:46, 1 October 2021 (UTC)[]


This word, paṭhamapurisa (third person) is undoubtedly related to Sanskrit प्रथमपुरुष (prathamapuruṣa). I am raising its etymology here because Svartava2 has changed its etymology from --RichardW57 (talk) 21:23, 26 September 2021 (UTC)[]

{{calque|pi|sa|प्रथमपुरुष|t=third person}}, compounded as {{compound|pi|paṭhama|t1=first|purisa|t2=person}}. The uncompounded form also exists.


{{inh+|pi|sa|प्रथमपुरुष}}. Snchronically, {{compound|pi|paṭhama|t1=first|purisa|t2=person|nocap=1|type=kd}}.

The first issue is that the use of {{inh+}} is either a lie or a reckless assertion. As has been pointed out, the template links the output to a definition of 'inherited' that requires descent via regular sound changes, and the cerebralisation in paṭhama is an irregular development from prathama, and a vocalic development from puruṣa to purisa would be irregular, and indeed I have seen no evidence that the second 'u' is original.

The second issue is that I believe that this word is a calque. Oriental ('native' is the wrong word) Pali grammars appear to be part of the Indian tradition of grammars, which appears to have very much started with the analysis of Sanskrit. Most of the terminology is the same as Sanskrit, but adapted to Pali phonology - semi-learned loans in some people's vocabulary, though I think that that English term is a semantic loan (calque even?) from ardhatatsama. Why should we believe that this word is a common inheritance with the Sanskrit word?

The third issue is that I believe the etymology section should mention the existence of the uncompounded form, whose nominative singular is paṭhamo puriso, i.e. the first part is also inflected. Note that this is an idiomatic phrase - the literal translation in English would be 'first person', not 'third person'. I have given the two-word phrase in the alternative forms section.

The fourth issue is that I believe it is worth noting that the phrase/compound word retains its meaning even when other words are inserted, e.g. the genitive plural paṭhamamajjhimuttamapurisānaṃ "third, second, and first persons".

I am therefore mostly reverting the edit by @Svartava2. --RichardW57 (talk) 21:23, 26 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Terms derived from PIE wordsEdit

  1. Is there a version of 'PIE word' that doesn't add the box of the word in the term's article?
  2. Also is there a version of 'PIE root see' for PIE words?

 --The cool numel 21:13, 27 September 2021 (UTC)[]

What do you want to achieve with the non-boxing  PIE word  version? The purpose of {{PIE word}} – which has been nominated for deletion – is to add a box containing the word in an article. If it doesn’t do that, then what is it it should do instead? Instead of some “{{PIE word see}}”, simply list descendants in a section Descendants, like the entry {{desc|hyx-pro||*u(m)s}} found at *h₂ṓms. (Is Sanskrit अंस (aṃsa) missing there?)  --Lambiam 09:04, 28 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Adding the page to the category <language> terms derived from PIE and <language> terms derived from the PIE word <x> The cool numel (talk) 16:26, 28 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The former should be done (assuming inheritance) using {{inh|xx|pie|*PIE-term}}, in which xx is the code for the recipient language, as seen at the etymology section of daughter, which has “from {{inh|en|ine-pro|*dʰugh₂tḗr}}”. For the latter, the descendants list at the PIE term will do. Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/dʰugh₂tḗr § Descendants lists Proto-Germanic *duhtēr, and Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/duhtēr § Descendants lists English daughter.  --Lambiam 22:11, 28 September 2021 (UTC)[]
The article daughter, for example, doesn't have the category "English terms derived from dʰugh₂tḗr" which is what I'm looking for. PIE roots, for example Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/dʰeh₁- § Derived terms uses the template {{PIE root see}} to add all categories of words derived from it. The cool numel (talk) 09:45, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Personally I am not in favour of such overspecific categories. There are also no categories such as Category:English terms derived from ἄμη, Category:English terms derived from masculus, Category:English terms derived from trognon or Category:English terms derived from wrītaną.  --Lambiam 13:13, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Wait what @Lambian? Categories like English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *méǵh₂s exist anyway and there are 43 of them. Are all of them bad? I mean it's just like terms by PIE root isn't it?  --The cool numel 17:53, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I do not see how these categories are useful; IMO their minor curiosity value (if any) does not merit their existence.  --Lambiam 09:39, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Including categories like "English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- (think)"? Or the other ~600 categories like it? The cool numel (talk) 12:02, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, please stop @The cool numel. --{{victar|talk}} 16:24, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]

蒲公英 - 婆婆丁Edit

might there be a connection between 婆婆丁 and the japanese reading of たんぽぽ (tanpopo)? —⁠This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:46, 28 September 2021 (UTC).[]

I think it's negative, the form 婆婆丁 and 孛孛丁 were already recorded in the Ming period documents (滇南本草, 救荒本草, 农政全书, 本草蒙筌, etc.), and according to Chinese dialectologist Itsuku Oota (太田斎)[6], 婆婆丁 and similar forms were simply derived from the formal form 蒲公英 and mixed with folk etymology, which produced a lot of interesting dialectal forms of dandelion, including 布布丁, 姑姑英, 婆婆英, 薄薄丁, 馍馍菜, 不登登, 孛登高, etc. Some of those forms can also be found in Wiktionary: [7] Ydcok (talk) 13:14, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]
  • @ Japanese sources bring that up, particularly an older version of the Chinese term, 丁婆婆 (MC ʈˠɛŋ|teŋ buɑ buɑ). However, at least one Japanese source (Gogen Yurai Jiten, "Etymology Derivation Dictionary") rejects that hypothesis due to the time lag between when the flower was called 丁婆婆 in Chinese and when the Japanese term たんぽぽ (tanpopo) shows up, apparently sometime during the Edo Period (1600–1868).
Separately, I find the contention mentioned above a bit odd, that Chinese 婆婆丁 (pópodīng) is somehow derived from 蒲公英 (púgōngyīng). The vowels aren't too far off, but the consonantal shifts seem strained...?
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:00, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]


We say the lack of a final -o in English (vs standard Italian Milano) suggests borrowing from French, but as pointed out on the talk page, the final -o is also lacking from the native Milanese Lombard Milan. Could this just be a borrowing of the local name, then? - -sche (discuss) 02:28, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]

On the face of it, that certainly seems more likely, especially given that standard Italian would not have been standard yet when the name was borrowed into English. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:43, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
So several categorizations “<language> terms borrowed/derived from Italian” are probably somewhat anachronistic.  --Lambiam 09:57, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I think a borrowing from French is more likely, because English borrowed several names of cities on the continent from French rather than the local language, e.g. Turin, Florence, Rome, Venice, Munich, Prague, etc. As for terms derived from Italian, remember that our definition of Italian goes very far back, since we consider Old Italian (which is as old as Old English) an etymology-only variant of Italian. —Mahāgaja · talk 10:43, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
In the old days Venice with its language Venetian was a big source of loanwords. I correct incorrect attributions to Italian as I notice them. See {{R:tr:LF}}. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 20:21, 2 October 2021 (UTC)[]
I saw that English pizza is etymologized as, specifically, “Borrowed from Neapolitan pizza”. Is that perhaps too specific? The modern style of pizza, first documented by Vincenzo Corrado who wrote in Italian, is a Napolitan innovation. This does not imply the term is originally Napolitan, and not at all that Napolitan was the donor language.  --Lambiam 10:32, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]

gig, giggleEdit

Bringing these edits to gig and giggle to public attention. Especially the latter one reeks of a folk etymology. — surjection??⟩ 13:32, 29 September 2021 (UTC)[]

I was just bold and reverted the claptrap at giggle -- given the extremely common addition of suffix -le to form frequentatives, and also the Middle English antecedent and cognates in Dutch and German, the purported mish-mash of Irish gíog + geal strains credibility so much it makes my head hurt. The removal of the Middle English and the Dutch and German looks like borderline vandalism to boot.
I am less certain about the changes to gig, so I've left that as-is. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:56, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I have de-giggled that change.  --Lambiam 08:54, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]


At  jig  I read: “An assimilated form of earlier gig ”.

  1. Should that be, “Dissimilation of”?
  2. Is there any substantiating support for this claim? In particular, is this earlier “gig” attested?
  3. If so, shouldn’t the sense “jig” be listed as the definition of a (presumably obsolete) entry at gig?
  4. Or is this earlier “gig”, perhaps, an earlier “alternative form of jig”? – the spelling “gig” for the pronunciation /d͡ʒɪɡ/ would not be entirely strange.

So many questions, ...  --Lambiam 09:14, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]

Merriam-Webster's etymology of jig is: "perhaps from Middle French giguer (to frolic), from gigue (fiddle), of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gīga (fiddle); akin to Old Norse geiga (to turn aside)", which seems to match up with our gig#Etymology 1. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:40, 30 September 2021 (UTC)[]
I have replaced the section by one derived from the entry in The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology.  --Lambiam 10:07, 6 October 2021 (UTC)[]

bien lui en pritEdit

What is the etymology of this French phrase? What I wrote previously was reverted so I am unsure. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Ffffrr (talkcontribs).

It is one specific form of a more general idiom: prendre de <action> à <quelqu’un>, in which: the subject can be bien, but also grand bien, or mal; the indirect object (à <quelqu’un>) can be pronominal, becoming lui or in the plural leur; the verb agrees with the third-person singular subject but can be any of the present (prend), past historic (prit), perfect (a pris), future (prendra) or conditional (prendrait), but not the imperfect; and the action can be an infinitive, or pronominal, becoming en. So a manifestation of the idiom may take the form, grand bien leur prendrait de rééditer ce genre de performance.[8]. The sense of the verb in the idiom is “to contribute to a (good or bad) result”; see sense 60 for prendre at the French Wiktionary.  --Lambiam 07:09, 1 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Lambiam: That's an interesting phrase. When the subject is impersonal, the imperfect is not unheard of: "Je ne savais pas ce qu'il me prenait de dire ça à un total inconnu"; "Quand il lui prenait de téléphoner à Alexandre, c'était en général pour lui demander son avis"; "s'il lui prenait parfois de rêver de répit, d'accalmies, de plages de silence".
Compare also the turn of phrase qu'est-ce qui te prend ?, qu'est-ce qui lui a pris ? (≈ quelle mouche l'a piqué ?), "il me prenait parfois de folles envies de serrer cette charmante enfant dans mes bras et de l'appeler ma fille" (= "de folles envies me prenaient parfois de...", where the sujet réel, which is a noun designating some emotion, is displaced behind the verb and replaced by an impersonal il). PUC – 19:32, 2 October 2021 (UTC)[]
These seem to be different idioms. Do they, or at least the second one, correspond to sense 66 for prendre at the French Wiktionary, Concevoir un sentiment pour quelqu’un? Note that the definition for sense 60 is not grammatically substitutible (Bien lui a pris d’avoir été averti à tempsBien lui a contribué à un bon ou à un mauvais résultat d’avoir été averti à temps), and I suspect the same may hold for 66. The usexes given are too bare to see the grammatical pattern. Can one replace je ne sais pas ce qu’il me prit de dire ça by je ne sais pas quel caprice me prit de dire ça and then also by je ne comprends pas comment il me prit de caprice de dire ça?  --Lambiam 22:19, 2 October 2021 (UTC)[]

October 2021

~ , ChineseEdit

These two terms seem obviously related, as in two voices of the same underlying verb: as the causative and as some sort of a middle voice. Phonetically, (OC /*l̥u[n]-s/, /*qʰuns/) looks like a devoiced-initial alteration of (OC /*Cə.lu[n]-s/, /*ɢljuns/). Any references on the pair? --Frigoris (talk) 08:37, 1 October 2021 (UTC)[]


Malayalam റ്റജീറ്റീസ് is noted as having a missing etymology. This is clearly from Tagetes, though unclear whether via English, Portuguese, or some other intermediary. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by 2A02:C7D:F22A:CA00:8D1E:7062:F0C:6783 (talk) at 12:45, 2 October 2021 (UTC).[]

Updated expected Cantonese reflex of some Chinese charactersEdit

I added debuccalization rules (k → h) for the initial and modified the palatalization rules (h → j) for , and initials. Additionally, characters with a initial and a oblique tone (仄聲) now output an s initial if the character is closed (合口). Feel free to comment on the update and do notify me if there are any bugs. (Pinging @StrongestStrike, Justinrleung, Frigoris for a review.) Graphemecluster (talk) 18:36, 3 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Yiddish קעמלEdit

@Lingo Bingo Dingo, Metaknowledge, Wikitiki89 or anyone else: Is there a known explanation why the vowel of קעמל(keml, camel) is /ɛ/? Is it borrowed from English (in which case /æ/ > /ɛ/ is expected)? Was it reinterpreted as a diminutive because of the ־ל(-l) and thus subjected to umlaut? (Though if that were the case, we'd expect the plural to be *kemlekh, wouldn't we?) —Mahāgaja · talk 11:05, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]

It's from Middle High German kemel (masc.!). Modern High German Kamel (n) has been partially remodeled after the Latin/Greek source (per Kluge and Weinreich). The old form is still preserved in Kä­mel­garn. –Austronesier (talk) 11:59, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Great, thanks! I see that Grimm does suggest that the e in MHG does indeed come from an interpretation of the -l as the diminutive. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:38, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Mahagaja The form kemel also exists in Dutch, where it is the older but now formal term, though with a different quality, so I'm sceptical of the explanation involving a reinterpretation as a diminutive. See also this. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 17:07, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The hypothesis that kemel is "a direct borrowing from a Semitic language dating back to the Crusades" sounds particularly far-fetched to me. A Proto-West Germanic *kamīl (with ī from the post-Classical Greek pronunciation of κάμηλος (kámēlos) or just from assimilation to familiar Germanic word shape) would give kemel in Middle Dutch and Middle High German even without reinterpreation as a diminutive, wouldn't it? —Mahāgaja · talk 17:23, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, I agree the direct borrowing from a Semitic language is very implausible; neither the vowels nor the consonants are good matches. It is also has another option: "Ook ontlening aan Middelgrieks kamilos is mogelijk; in dat geval is de e in de eerste lettergreep van kemel het gevolg van i-umlaut." ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 18:22, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The vowels are absolutely in line with Arabic جَمَل(jamal), which is [-æmæl] or even [-ɛmɛl]. The initial consonant was originally [ɡʲ] ~ [ɟ], which might well give Dutch /k/ (note that even [ɡ] used in Egyptian Arabic). So phonetically Philippa's theory of direct borrowing is entirely plausible, which doesn't mean that I necessarily agree with it. 06:19, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[]

hūmānus (human) <? humus (earth, soil, ground)Edit

(Notifying Fay Freak, Brutal Russian, JohnC5, Benwing2, Lambiam, Mnemosientje): How are these even related semantically? Is humus missing any sense? Svartava2 (talk) 14:22, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]

The semantics aren't difficult; words from *dʰéǵʰōm/*dʰǵʰm̥mō often have the sense 'human, person, man', e.g. Latin homō, Old English guma, Old Irish duine, Old Lithuanian žmuõ; human beings are considered the earth-dwellers (Earthlings) in contrast to the heaven-dwelling gods. —Mahāgaja · talk 14:38, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
There are also creation stories that have the first human beings molded from dirt or clay. For the cultures with such stories, it's only natural to speak of humans and the earth as aspects of the same thing. The best known example is the creation story in the Hebrew scriptures, which uses אֲדָמָה‎ to refer to the earth and אָדָם‎ to refer to the first man. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:20, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
In the Hebrew case the development is likely the reverse, אֲדָמָה(earth) being suffixed ־ָה‎ from אָדָם(man), and that is derived from the word for “blood”, see it: facing such questions, it was useful to be exceptionally detailled at אָדָם(man) about how the semantics possibly were, contrary to Metaknowledge’s hasty “cruft” labelling. Of course anyhow if it is the reverse then we also see how things worked. I like to show antiparallels. Fay Freak (talk) 15:32, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The current straightforward “From humus, with unclear ū ” is too simplistic. De Vaan treats hūmānus under the entry homõ, but writes, “The explanation of hūmānus is unknown”.  --Lambiam 15:58, 4 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Mahagaja, Chuck Entz, Lambiam, Fay Freak: Thanks for the responses. Could the semantic development be elaborated at the entry? Svartava2 (talk) 05:05, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[]
I think the sense development gets sufficient attention at the entry homõ. The etymology section of hūmānus should state that it is a derivative of homõ, while noting that the historical development of the vowel mutations is unclear.  --Lambiam 05:24, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Lambiam changed etymology of hūmānus. Svartava2 (talk) 12:24, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Italian poltroneEdit

As it stands, the Italian word poltrone "lazy" is derived thus:

From the older form poltrone (“foal”)...

I stumbled over this at first: poltrone is derived from poltrone? After considering it for a bit, I think it means that the current sense, "lazy", derives from an obsolete sense, "foal". (The form hasn't changed, but the sense has.) In which case that should be added as another etymology, and this one should point to it. But, not speaking Italian myself, I think this needs attention/confirmation from someone who actually knows what they're talking about! -- Perey (talk) 05:13, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[]

It rather seems as if the augmentative suffix -one was added to poltro, so the explanation might not be entirely correct. Wakuran (talk) 08:33, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[]
  • German faul (lazy, moldy), English foul, PIE *puH-, "More at putrid"
  • foal, pullus, PIE *polH-, possibly from *pewH-, cp. Paul; where *h2 is prefered see the collective,llater feminine suffix (cf. queen)
PIE *puH- would usually spell *pewH- in our notation anyway, save for a few exceptions that I don't understand. See further German flau (nauseated,oof the stomach), Flaute (of weak winds; cp. flatulence, *bhleH, Ger. Blähungen), and very similar lau (luke [warm], same as flau but with positive connotion).That said,there was either interference between Latin (late Latin, Italian) and Germanic (PWGem, North Sea Germanic), or this homonymy goes further back. The *-l suffix isn't terribly though, I reckon. ApisAzuli (talk) 08:44, 7 October 2021 (UTC) PS: correction, that's *polH- < *peh₂w, but I have obviously considered the difference to be small enough to ignore. ApisAzuli (talk) 08:52, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[]
By the way, I wonder if the sense "bed" for poltro could be related to English bolster and similar Germanic words. Etymonline mentions a similar theory. [9]. Wakuran (talk) 08:47, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Wakuran: what does that have to do with anything? ApisAzuli (talk) 08:55, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Just a slight digression. Wakuran (talk) 09:02, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[]


Etymology given is pretty sus since we don't have a definition. 17:17, 8 October 2021 (UTC)[]

It is not so much an etymology but rather an explanation of what each component radical means, maybe it needs a better heading to clarify that it's not the history of the glyph. AmyCupcakeRose (talk) 15:24, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[]


This is within the same Pays-de-Loire IP range as a notorious editor of Japanese, Esperanto and various proto- and historic languages best known for their former edit summary "Errors. Missing Informations.". On the one hand, they're very knowledgeable. On the other, they think that it's okay to make stuff up as long as you know what you're doing. I've seen them add translations to television for dead languages such as Gothic and Old English (I blocked them once for "Unauthorized time travel"), and they added so much nonsense to Japanese and Esperanto that there is now an abuse filter to keep them from adding any more.

I just noticed a lot of activity by this IP with Proto-Italic. I suppose it could be someone else who just happens to be from the same area, or they could have sworn off their previous conlanging games, and I wouldn't know enough to tell- so I'm bringing it up here for others to take a look. Pinging @Mahagaja, Rua, JohnC5, Victar, Brutal Russian, Metaknowledge. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:54, 8 October 2021 (UTC)[]

I've kinda given up on trying to fix all their bad edits because I can't keep up with it alone. —Rua (mew) 20:04, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Rua it would be quite simple to selectively block them from the Reconstruction namespace with a regular block, and there's also the possibility of expanding the list in Abuse Filter 117 to include more languages- the expensive part is fetching the wikitext in the first place, so more arguments in the "includes_any" function would have negligible additional impact. As far as I know, they're the only IP editor in that IP range who ever edits reconstructions, but we would have to be careful not to exclude editing of mainspace entries that merely have proto-languages in the etymology sections when the etymology sections aren't part of the edits. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:08, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Proto-Turkic *gēt or *kēt?Edit

I noticed some disagreement over whether to reconstruct the proto-Turkic root meaning notch as *gēt or *kēt. Could somebody pick one, arbitrarily if necessary? Nişanyan gives "ETü kert-/ket-" as the origin of gedik. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 13:28, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[]

@Vox Sciurorum:: If in doubt always /k/, Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2020/December § Moving Proto-Turkic words on /*g-, *d-/ to /*k-, *t-/. The voiced forms are an Oghuz innovation, but certain celebrated generalists haven’t cared enough about the primary materials and historical evidence to own it consistently. Fay Freak (talk) 17:54, 9 October 2021 (UTC)[]

PIE eight as dual form of PIE four?Edit

According to this page in PIE eight is formally the dual of a stem *(H)oḱto- (“four fingers”). Does this mean that eight originally meant two fours? Bonus question: Why does the reconstruction for PIE eight has a 'w' at the end? Both Sihler and Beekes reconstructed it without. Is it based on someone else's?--The cool numel (talk) 07:59, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[]

There's also Reconstruction:Proto-Kartvelian/otxo- ("four") which is currently listed as a borrowing of the IE word for "eight", but under this hypothesis could instead be a borrowing of the word for "four". Are there any other attested forms other than Avestan and possibly the Kartvelian borrowing? 20:36, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
On a related note, except for a PIE borrowing of the word for eight used with the meaning of four, there's also a theory of a Proto-Semitic borrowing of the word for four with the meaning of eight. Possibly this could indicate a Base Four counting system, if it isn't a coincidence, but it's overall pretty confusing... Wakuran (talk) 01:19, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[]


The Nynorsk Etymology section and the Bokmål etymology section give completely different theories for the origin of the name of Stavanger, this is really strange as they're two orthographies for closely related dialects and it's a city name, as Stavanger is located on an angr (fjord), the Nynorsk etymology of Staff-Fjord seems more likely than the Bokmål theory of Staff-Sorrow, the bokmal also has no citations on the page. --AmyCupcakeRose (talk) 15:11, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[]

The Bokmål example looks like a folk etymology to me. Elof Hellquist mentions the same fjord/bay theory on his entry for Ångermanland [10], [11] . Cf. Hardanger. Wakuran (talk) 19:57, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The Bokmål etymology seems to stem from this edit, where curiously, the reference added mentions the alternative "fjord" etymology. I suggest a change. Wakuran (talk) 20:15, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]


Certain languages' names for Venice have a g/k/ç at the end, e.g. Venedig or Վենետիկ. Is this because they're from an adjective (veneticus) rather than the city's name, or what? - -sche (discuss) 02:43, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Adelung suggests it is a variant of -sche, that is adjectival in the examples indeed, but already considers -g archaic in his time, though without citations. Although t'sch would be a plausible outcome of the palatal t, the d in Venedig is still difficult to explain in this view unless dgi/dig used to be a conventional alternative for the palatal.
Hungarian Velence, if from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy though it looks too weird, might imply nasalization which could also explain g for n, as though *Venetien (cp. Italien, in that case also attributive). More interesting would be an archaic coda, hypothetically, though a more realistic head would be 'republica'. ApisAzuli (talk) 09:25, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Veneticus is indeed the source of these forms. See footnote 4 in Deonomasticon Italicum, vol. IV, page 749. --Vahag (talk) 09:50, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]
German Venedig was borrowed from the adjective, but apparently as a proper noun from the start, or at least interpreted as a proper noun at an early stage. In this book from 1568, Venedig is the proper noun, coocurring with Venedisch (< **venedigisch?) as adjective. The spelling variant Venedich for the proper noun is found in early printed text in German and Dutch. –Austronesier (talk) 10:16, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The history of the Germans forms is traced by Matthias here (use a US proxy to view the pages). Vahag (talk) 10:44, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Isn't the t->d shift just simple voicing? Wakuran (talk) 12:03, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Yes, and it happened already in Romance. Forms with -d- are attested in Italian since the 13th century. Vahag (talk) 12:28, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]


In English, I had always assumed gerunds to be derived from, or one may even say uses of, the present participle, but presently at -ing we have gerunds and participles listed under different etymology sections. Is this definitely correct? (Point originally raised at Wiktionary:Tea_room/2021/October#-ing.) Mihia (talk) 21:04, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Yes; they were quite different suffixes for most of history and are still distinct in other languages, although the participle ending has come to be spelled the same way as the gerund ending relatively recently in English history. (Other dictionaries, e.g. Dictionary.com and Lexico, say the same thing.) - -sche (discuss) 01:46, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The direction was in fact the other way around. The verb suffix -ing was initially solely the gerund suffix, and the participle suffix was -ende, Then the latter was replaced by the gerund suffix (or perhaps altered under its influence): -inge < -inde < -ende. The change took reportedly place in the Middle English period, beginning in the 13th century in the southern and central parts of England.[12]  --Lambiam 07:21, October 12, 2021 (UTC)
I've heard it claimed that the colloquial pronunciation of -ing as -in’ is the direct descendant of -ende, though I have my doubts, because (1) -in’ is used for the participle as well as the gerund, and (2) -in’ is used on words that have never been participles or gerunds, such as somethin’ and nothin’. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:26, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
That the change appears more often is really no ground to doubt anything. It's rain last week, rain yesterday, thus it can't be rain today!? Superb analogy, but I'd bring an umbrella anyway, an en-infinitive, and n-stems, to be sure. ApisAzuli (talk) 08:08, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Thanks very much for the replies. And would this etymological differentiation of gerunds from participles extend to gerund phrases with objects? For example, presently the sentence "He likes eating chocolate" is under the "gerund" etymology rather than "participle". Is this also correct? Mihia (talk) 08:32, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
    Yes; in "He likes eating chocolate", eating is a gerund, while in "He is eating chocolate" it's a participle. —Mahāgaja · talk 09:34, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
    Rightio, thanks. Just one more thing, if I may. As is presently being discussed at the Tea Room, the present article seems to be making a sense distinction between "true gerunds", as in "She has a habit of sleeping late", and apparently verb-derived "outright noun" -ing forms, as in "The meetings of the Council". Are you (or anyone) aware of any etymological or sense-development angle to such a distinction? I mean, might the "outright noun" sense have developed from the gerund sense, for example? Any ideas? Mihia (talk) 13:11, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
    Oddly enough, mēting is attested in Old English, though we don't have that sense in our entry. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:33, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
I've now added it at mēting. Leasnam (talk) 03:59, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[]
  • FWIW, *-ungō says the suffix can only certainly be reconstructed to Proto-Germanic (potential cognates outside or further back than that are uncertain—and include adjectives meaning things like "foreign", complicating the question of the original part of speech / semantics), but one of the Proto-Germanic words with the suffix which we reconstruct seems very outright-nounal, *wunungō (home, dwelling place), so if outright-nounal use developed from gerundal use, it seems to have developed early on. - -sche (discuss) 17:12, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
    Gerunds are so nounlike it's hardly surprising that they can be used as outright nouns in any language that has them. It doesn't have to happened only once in the history of the Germanic languages. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:28, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Is that your Ernest? If eating chocolate continues the Gerund we should have a eating chocolate contest, not a chocolate eating contest. ApisAzuli (talk) 12:12, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Indeed, "eating chocolate contest" sounds more logical, though not grammatical. I suppose whatever syntactic process is responsible for moving the direct object before the participle in "man-eating tiger" also moves it before the gerund in "chocolate eating contest". —Mahāgaja · talk 17:33, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The gerund can be construed in two ways: verbal and nominal. Verbal would be "eating chocolate" and nominal would be "the eating of chocolate". And the latter then can be rephrased as a compound "chocolate eating", e.g. "Excessive chocolate eating is unhealthy." -- The difference is most palpable in the fact that the verbal construction requires an adverb rather than an adjective: "Eating chocolate excessively is unhealthy." 19:43, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Mahagaja: (Edit conflict) Maybe! The de.WP: Gerundium says something similar, suggesting Middle High German had an intrusive d in what looks like it became the zu-Partizip (cp. Fleischfressende Pflanze, verfressene, die zu Fressen(n/d)e?), French contestant didn't come from nothing and *-ands forms nouns in our PGem, although this is difficult to believe with only two entries in the category and reflexes such as let' s be frie-nds, while I got, of course, no intuitive understanding in the Gothic or Norse categories. That *-nt is associated with Caland is confusing too because I was reading a script instructing that we must heed Meißner’s (1998, p.251) warning: “es ist nicht alles „Caland“, was glänzt”, when supposing that There may be a pre-PIE identity between Caland adjectives and participles in *-nt-, but at the earliest stage we can reconstruct with any certainty they are clearly distinct. (John J. Lowe, Caland Adjectives and Participles in Sanskrit and Proto-Indo-European, 23rd UCLA IEC, 28 October 2011), which is of course a flight of fancy though the problem may be real as we don't clearly distinguish PIE *-nt- or *-(o)nts. ApisAzuli (talk) 05:57, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@ the IP: That's fairly interessing but it only shows that Mahāgaja's argument could be misconstrued to say that that's purely a matter of synchronic syntax. If this was intended it goes to show that the dichotomy in the etymology caters primarily to preconcieved notions from grammar school. Didactic reduction is necessary, but it goes ad absurdum when it denies the etymology. Mihai's inquiry is, effectively, asking us to join the sections, and Mahagaja's argument is seeminglui able to support that notion. ApisAzuli (talk) 06:44, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Romanian asexualitateEdit

@Robbie_SWE: because you might be interested and/or able to help.

It is claimed on Wiktionary that this is a borrowing from English asexuality. This strikes me as odd because both the a- is pronounced differently and so are the endings -ity / -itate. If I had to guess, I'd rather call it a calque. Fytcha (talk) 19:28, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]

I think "borrowing" covers terms borrowed from the written form as well as the pronounced form of a word. Many borrowings from Latin into English were not directly mediated by a spoken form. The difference in the ending does indicate that more processes than just borrowing are involved.--Urszag (talk) 20:31, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Romanian sexualitate is classified as a borrowing of French sexualité, so there was some adaptation, already by then. Wakuran (talk) 20:37, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
When the entry was created, it was said to be from French asexualité; this was changed to English in 2015. I suspect calling it a "borrowing" was a lax/loose usage of "borrowing"; iff the term is from English, it seems to be a calque (as proposed above), using a- (we lack an entry but ro.Wikt has one) + sexualitate. - -sche (discuss) 21:17, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
To give another point of reference: compare German Performance with German Permakultur. In the case of the former term, German speakers try to retain and imitate the original English pronunciation, whereas in the case of the latter, it is pronounced exactly as a native German compound made up of those parts would be pronounced. To me, this strongly points to the fact that the former is a borrowing whereas the latter is a calque. As Romanian asexualitate also falls in the latter category (being pronounced like a native word; no attempt is made to imitate the donor language's phonology), I'd also classify it as a calque. Fytcha (talk) 03:53, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[]
I think we're getting caught up in semantics here – do you define a borrowing as being "language X borrows word A from language Y, but retains spelling and pronunciation"? Cause then we're in big trouble – all our categories beginning with "X terms borrowed from[...]" are wrong then. There's a distinction between words borrowed from a language and loanwords – the latter are never adapted. I see no problem listing asexualitate as borrowed from English or French, but maybe we should add something along the lines of "Borrowed from English asexuality, French asexualité, modelled after heterosexualitate/homosexualitate". Robbie SWE (talk) 08:37, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Robbie_SWE: I think you are right, I was and still am a bit confused about the exact terminology. I simply noticed that Romanian loans of the type of asexualitate (assimilated into the native phonology/morphology) and baseball (imitated) are not differentiated with our current use of {{bor}} which I see as lending to improvement. Mind you I primarily focus on the pronunciation here, the spelling is not so much of concern to me (because that seems to be a conscious choice by human orthographers whereas the phonology is reflective of underlying linguistic processes). According to this chart [13], baseball is a foreign word and asexualitate is a loan rendering. Fytcha (talk) 12:01, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]
This problem is hardly exclusive to Romanian. Ideally we would want some way to distinguish between these two kinds of borrowings. — surjection??⟩ 11:42, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@surjection: I found this chart [14] on Wikipedia which is already much more granular than our current templates. I would be strongly in favor of a proposal that granularizes the currently existing borrowing templates and I would replace {{bor}} with them in the languages I know. Fytcha (talk) 12:05, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Meh. I don't think any of those really match this case. It's more of a case where an internationalism coined in one language is copied into another but by using a third, usually classical, language (Latin, Greek, etc.) as a base and treating the word as if it had been a word from that third language. It's closest to "loan word" in that classification but still not quite the same. — surjection??⟩ 12:36, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Are you talking about the ending -itate? It seems as if that is the main spelling for Romanian words inherited from Latin -itās, and not an attempt to make the word look like a learned Latinate form. Wakuran (talk) 19:41, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]
I was talking more generally. Still, the ending isn't clearly just taken from the English word either, but rather based on how other Latin words are treated, even if the original word didn't exist in Latin but was later built of Latinate elements. — surjection??⟩ 23:38, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Lithuanian gintarasEdit

Many sources hypothesize a connection to Hungarian gyanta, gyantár, but I'm not sure if this is generally accepted. It does seem to be acknowledged that the Slavic words (e.g., янтарь) are borrowed from Baltic. Would it be fair to just write that in the etymology section and call it a day? I don't know how to proceed here. 20:44, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]

What? That a word has been borrowed into another language doesn't clarify the etymology, at all. What do you mean? Wakuran (talk) 21:13, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
  • I do obviously know that the borrowing of a word from language A into language B says nothing about the further etymology of how language A came to have said word. However, I am not sure whether the hypothesis is that the word was borrowed into Baltic from Finno-Ugric, or vice versa, or both borrowed from a common unknown source. In two of those three scenarios, the connection does say something about the origin of the word. Vasmer thinks the connection with Hungarian is wrong anyway. I was just listing it here in case anyone knew more.
  • Other than the Hungarian connection which every resource on this seems to discuss, there are a bunch of other ideas I've been able to find. One is that it derives from *gínˀtei (whence genys (woodpecker)), another derives it from *gúntei (whence ginti (to protect)). A footnote in "Foundations of Baltic Languages" mentions a hypothesis that it derives from the same PIE root as Norse kynda, relating to fire. I can't find the text of the source ("Bemerkungen zu litauisch giñtaras ‘Bernstein’") online. Then there's an idea claiming it is borrowed from Indo-Aryan via Turkic, which I haven't looked into in detail.
  • There is a dubious connection with Phoenician, which the Slovak entry jantár currently mentions. It was previously included on the Lithuanian entry too, but has since been removed.
  • All in all, there's a lot here, but it seems pretty complicated to summarize. 22:45, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[]
In SE Baltic, amber is often driven ashore by waves. A connection with ginti (to drive), dzīt (to drive) seems possible. The -ar- suffix however isn't common and is unproductive in modern Latvian, not sure about Lithuanian. Panya kijivu (talk) 19:27, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]


The ety at childing goes on into detail about "child", but is this necessary? For this, shouldn't it just refer to the article at child? Also, can ety 1 and ety 2 be merged as "essentially the same word" or do we really need two sections for the different use of the suffix (and if so wouldn't this ety split logically need to be replicated across all relevant "-ing" words, such as uprushing, to give a random example -- it seems overkill). I usually don't mess with ety sections as usually I don't know what I'm doing, so perhaps someone else could assess this one. Mihia (talk) 08:37, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Yeah, personally, I'd agree about some trimming. Wakuran (talk) 12:20, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[]
I've trimmed both a bit. Leasnam (talk) 16:51, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[]


Which one is right; this page saying it's from Proto-West Germanic *hwan or the PWG page saying it's from Proto-West Germanic *hwannē? — surjection??⟩ 11:39, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]

@Surjection: If the only attested Old English spellings are hwenne, hwænne, hwonne, then certainly the latter. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:19, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Note that the etymology section for hwænne states, “From Proto-West Germanic *hwannā ”.  --Lambiam 08:36, 15 October 2021 (UTC)[]

ympäri, ymmärtääEdit

Would I be correct in assessing that the former adverb/postposition (from Proto-Finnic *ümpärik) and the latter verb (from Proto-Finnic *ümbärtädäk) are both from a noun *ümpäri (draft) that has not survived as an independent noun in any descendants? — surjection??⟩ 17:58, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Where does Southern Altai (alt) belong?Edit

Our module data places Southern Altai in the Siberian Turkic branch of Turkic. Wikipedia says it belongs to Kipchak, and editors of Proto-Turkic reconstructions agree. What is true? Vox Sciurorum (talk) 11:02, 15 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Seems to be a quite complex issue. [15] Wakuran (talk) 11:40, 15 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Proto-Italic u-stem adjectives?Edit

Per the entry for "brevis" in Michiel de Vaan's Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages, Proto-Indo-European u-stem adjectives were reformed into i-stem adjectives "in the prehistory of Latin". Unfortunately, the exact dating of the change in declension class is not always clearly indicated, but in the case of some words, such as gravis, he states that the transfer to the i-stem class is not shared with Sabellic and therefore should not be reconstructed back to Proto-Italic.

The entry for brevis gives a list of five other relevant words: dulcis, gravis, mollis, suavis, tenuis.

The forms given by de Vaan (who cites the stem, not the full nominative form) that are specifically labeled as "PIt." are as follows:

  • *mreχ-u(-i-)
  • *dulkwi-
  • *gʷra(w)u-, *gʷrau- (also *gʷrauo-, not explicitly marked as a PIt. form, mentioned in the specific context of discussing the derivation of Oscan bravús);
  • *moldu-(i-)
  • *swādu-, *suādu- ("then" *suādwi-, not explicitly marked as a PIt. form)
  • *tn̥(a)u- ("yielding *tn̥(a)ui- > ten(a)u̯i- > tenuis", none of the intermediate steps explicitly labeled as a PIt. form).

The forms that Wiktionary has in Reconstruction:Proto-Italic are as follows: *breɣʷis, *dulkwis, *gʷrawos, *swādwis, *tenwis. All of these entries cite de Vaan as the sole reference, even though only *dulkwis is an actual match to the form de Vaan labels as PIt.

I first ran across this by noticing that the o-stem form *gʷrawos was listed as the ancestor of the Latin i-stem form gravis, which de Vaan never says is the case. As I read the entry, de Vaan implies a development directly from a PIt. u-stem form to an i-stem form: "As with other PIE u-stem adjectives, PIt. *gʷrau- < PIE *gʷreh₂-u- 'heavy' was remade into an i-stem within Italic. In view of the o-stem O. bravús < *gʷrauo- << *gʷrau-, this development must post-date the split of Sabellic and Latino-Faliscan." While I guess a change from an u-stem to o-stem followed by a change of o-stem to i-stem (as in lenis, viridis, hilaris) is possible, we have no citation indicating that this happened.

Therefore, in the Proto-Italic reconstruction space, I believe *gʷrawos at minimum should be replaced with an u-stem form *gʷrawus or *gʷraus. However, I don't know which is preferable. Also, it looks like we possibly don't have any declension table templates for u-stem adjectives in Proto-Italic.

De Vaan indicates that the following forms also existed as u-stems in Proto-Italic: *swādus, *tən(a)us, and possibly *mreɣus, *moldus (I'm not sure how to intepret his "u(-i-)" notation; given that the entry for brevis also lists the steps "*mreǵʰu-i- > *bregʰu̯i- > brevis", de Vaan does seem to consider the i-stem form to date back to Proto-Italic, so maybe there's no need for us to list a Proto-Italic u-stem declension for that stem).

As far as I know, we don't have a reconstruction space for Proto-Sabellic or Proto-Latino-Faliscan, so I'm not sure whether entries should exist for *gʷrawos or *gʷrawis, or if these forms should simply be noted on the page for Proto-Italic gʷra(w)us as the post-Proto-Italic sources of the descendants Osc. bravús and Lat. gravis. --Urszag (talk) 10:32, 17 October 2021 (UTC)[]


RFV of the etymology.

Hello. The currently given source ([16]) does not support the given explanation, which contradicts other sources saying the arabic etymon has the meaning of “chilled” (μουσακάς#Etymology). Grasyop (talk) 10:35, 17 October 2021 (UTC)[]

Well, I now see that مصقعة#Etymology points towards a root meaning simultaneously “to hit, to pound, to freeze” (which are quite different meanings, in my opinion). Grasyop (talk) 10:45, 17 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The Arabic Wikipedia also states that musaq‘a is a corruption of muṣaq‘a, originally so named because the dish is usually served chilled. I find that unconvincing; many dishes are served chilled, and in the sense of having to do something with cold, the root means “freezing”, as in “freeze to death”, and the dish is definitely not served frozen. The Turkish Wikipedia states that the Arabic word mean “watered”. I have no idea what might be the basis of that claim, but it is equally semantically implausible.  --Lambiam 07:47, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]

English flint, Russian плита, Ancient Greek πλίνθοςEdit

Currently the entry flint claims that flint < Proto-Indo-European *splind- (to split) and πλίνθος < Proto-Indo-European *(s)plei- (to split). I am not sure if these are supposed to be the same root or not.

Meanwhile the entry πλίνθος claims that the origin of the Greek term may not be Indo-European at all, and says nothing about potential PIE roots.

Vasmer claims that Russian плита is related to πλίνθος and flint, if not a borrowing from Greek. But the entry on плита instead claims that the ultimate origin of плита and its Slavic cognates is Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂- (thin, flat).

This is all very confusing and inconsistent. From reading the entries, it is not clear which of these words are related to each other, if any, or what the ultimate root(s) are. Maybe that reflects the fact that the etymology is uncertain, but we could at least update the sections to be more consistent about that. 00:39, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]

There's no one PIE source that can give all of these. The t of the Germanic word has to go back to a PIE *d; the t of the Slavic word has to go back to *t, and the th of the Greek word (if it's IE at all) has to go back to *. Also, the Slavic word doesn't have a nasal in (the Russian reflexes of the nasalized vowels are я and у. So if these are indeed all from the same PIE root *(s)pley-, it would have to have different extensions, *pli-n-d- in Germanic, *pley-t- in Slavic, and *pli-n-dʰ- in Greek. This situation isn't actually particularly unlikely, but it does make claims of relatedness a little more difficult. On the other hand, the ending -νθος is prototypical of non-IE loanwords in Greek, which is probably why our entry assumes that πλίνθος is non-IE. —Mahāgaja · talk 06:52, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The current claim that Russian плита (plita) and Proto-Slavic *plita come from Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁-, on the other hand, does seem unlikely, as there's no way to get the vocalism to work. PIE *eh₁ gave Proto-Slavic , not *i. —Mahāgaja · talk 06:55, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
The primary meaning of πλίνθος (plínthos), a block-shaped brick, makes derivation from a root meaning “to split” somewhat implausible. If pressed to suggest a PIE root, I’d say that *pleh₁- (to fill) seems more plausible. However, also then, -ινθ- remains unexplained.  --Lambiam 07:08, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Thanks for the responses. Does the etymology flint < Proto-Germanic *flintaz < PIE *splind- seem plausible at least? 07:42, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
It would have to be from PIE *plind-, but if the root has an s-mobile that's not a problem. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:33, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Lambiam: that has the same problem as getting Russian плита (plita) from *pleh₁-: there's no way to get the vowel from that root. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:37, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
(I think you mean *pleh₂-.) As I wrote, this fanciful theory leaves the larger part, -ινθ-, which includes the vowel, unexplained. If an explanation is found, like from an as of yet undiscovered PIE suffix *-índʰ- :), it might also explain the vowel.  --Lambiam 16:02, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
@Lambiam: You're the one who wrote, "If pressed to suggest a PIE root, I’d say that *pleh₁- (to fill) seems more plausible", but in fact there's no way to get i vocalism from either *pleh₁- (to fill) or *pleh₂- (flat), so they're both out. Even a suffix like *-índʰ- probably wouldn't get us πλίνθος (plínthos) because of the laryngeals: *pl̥Híndʰos would probably give *παλίνθος (*palínthos), not πλίνθος (plínthos). —Mahāgaja · talk 17:04, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Given the magical properties of flintstone, a comparison to Blitz (flash) and light is in order. There must be a reason why some rock is deemed blind. ApisAzuli (talk) 19:26, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Thanks, Mahāgaja, for the deconstruction of this backlog. There are just bare Indo-European etymologies in Latin, Greek, Russian entries coming from sources predating the laryngeal theory, IP, and hence wrong ones. Especially those with claimed s mobile are often suspicious. Correspondingly there is often the situation that no better has been proposed since then either and newer sources just repeat the old ones without admitting that they are middling. Considerations of foreign origins on the other hand are way too seldom.
I have the suspicion that Ancient Greek πλίνθος (plínthos) is an Iranian or rather Anatolian borrowing equalling Classical Syriac ܦܠܙܐ(plezzā), based on the Greek meaning of “an ingot of metal”; a Near Eastern wanderword, with various etymologies suggested at Old Georgian პილენძი (ṗilenʒi) (a “Semitic” ultimate derivation is baseless, strike that). Fay Freak (talk) 16:24, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
Words spread along with technologies. Latin tegula ("roof tile") spread to give us Hungarian tégla ("brick"), Latvian ķieģelis ("brick", via Low German), Turkish tuğla ("brick"), Finnish tiili ("brick"), Portuguese tijolo ("brick"), English tile and so on.
Asserting Proto-Slavic or older origins of плита would mean that the other half of Europe had knowledge of bricks/similar technology all along but for some reason (taboo?) refused to use them. That would require extraordinary evidence. In absence thereof, I'd rather assume Byzantine Greek borrowing. Panya kijivu (talk) 19:34, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
I don’t understand your formulated reasoning but indeed Boryś, Wiesław (2005), “płyta”, in Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego (in Polish), Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, →ISBN, page 447b says that the East Slavic term, from the Ukrainian vocalism of which the Polish has been borrowed, is “likely a borrowing from Ancient Greek πλίνθος (plínthos), although a cognate relation has been afforded”. This does not exclude the word having been present in Proto-Slavic though; so Melnychuk, O. S., editor (1982–2012), “пли́та́”, in Етимологічний словник української мови [Etymological Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language] (in Ukrainian), Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, page IV explicitly assumes псл. *plita but likewise a borrowing from the Greek (which is feminine!). Fay Freak (talk) 19:58, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]
For context, I know bare words which are only retained in East Slavic and mainly Great Russian but still presumably were Proto-Slavic: мизги́рь (mizgírʹ), по́лба (pólba), белу́га (belúga) (against *vyzъ). @Voltaigne: Ukrainian word please ❣️ Fay Freak (talk) 20:14, 18 October 2021 (UTC)[]