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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

November 2017


Seems that this Chinese lemma has 2 different etymologies, and they may be out of Sinitic. It must be interesting. Dokurrat (talk) 12:51, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

What in the Sam Hill, expression.Edit

I'm thinking that the expression may come from the Celtic name for Halloween, which is Samhain. To Whit: What in the Samhain.

I think you're mispronouncing that word. It doesn't actually sound like "Sam Hill" and there's no /h/ sound. Listen to our audio clip in the entry. Equinox 20:32, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Im familiar with it, but uncertain as to origin. Seems maybe a minced oath form of hell, but that doesn't explain the "sam" part. See also the expressions with "tarnation", as the culture seems the same - Oakie Americana.-Booksnarky (talk) 04:44, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

आड़ू, آڑو, ਆੜੂ, and آڙوEdit

These four words all mean peach and are all pronounced āṛū. Obviously, there is most likely a relation between these words, but I can't find any reliable sources on their etymology, or any sources at all, for that matter. Does anyone have more information on the subject? Aamri2 (talk) 19:16, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

@Aamri2: A hypothetical Proto-Indo-Aryan *āḍu- has been reconstructed by the Indologist Ralph Lilley Turner. See Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages for more cognates. Apparently, it may be an Iranian borrowing. —Aryaman (मुझसे बात करो) 19:29, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
@Aryamanarora: Thank you. That dictionary will come in handy, once I can make more sense of it. As well, thank you for making the edits to the pages. Aamri2 (talk) 23:08, 4 November 2017 (UTC)


Right now it's missing an etymology. I'm 99% sure it's just taken from ἀλλότριος (allótrios, foreign) + -morph. Can I add it? --2601:246:C602:67B3:F520:5E6A:3B4B:E98E 21:41, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Yes, go ahead. --Barytonesis (talk) 21:43, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Polish sukaEdit

The etymology section says this is inherited from Proto-Slavic *sǫka, but it can't be, can it? Wouldn't the inherited term have to be *sęka or *sąka? If so, then suka must be borrowed from some other Slavic language (almost any other Slavic language besides Slovene), right? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:38, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

That's well spotted, you're probably right. —Rua (mew) 14:39, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I had forgotten that I had already asked this at Reconstruction talk:Proto-Slavic/sǫka almost 2 years ago. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:41, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Kashubian and Polabian; can sëka and sauko be inherited? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:44, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Vladimir Orel has a book on Albanian etymologies listed on-line where he mentiones shakë (bitch, female dog) as a borrowing from a scythian dialect, cognate with ir.*spaka (< rus.sobaka). Gives three cognates: Pers.sak, N.Pers.säg, Tadjic sag, etc.

I think the term is inherited in Albanian, not borrowed. For an iranian *spaka is easy to imagine an original proto-form *svaka. See these exemples and many others: Av. spā (dog) and sanscrit śván (dog, houn), Av. aspa (horse; kurd hesp, esp) and Sanscrit अश्व (áśva, horse < IE *h₁éḱwos). Sanscrict stays faithful to /v/ from IE *w, but for avestan and other iranian dialects *v becomes /b/ or /p/. In my grammatical book is called 'betacisation', I don't know how is called in English.

*soka must be a parallel form for satem dialects, from IE *ḱwóns (dog, hound), whitout *w.

Why I think shakë is inherited in Albanian and not borrowed? First of all, they have a cognate, samë (dog excrement). Secondly, Albanian, and probably thracian also, eliminates the glide *w from it's inherited lexicon (ex: alb.derë, sl.*dvь̃rь = eng. door) and it fits their specific transformations. Alternation between /s/ and /sh/ is rare but not uncommon. An example I remember is shutë (female deer), variable for the correct and etymological form sutë.

I'm referring to /s/ that, in it's inherited vocabulary, comes from two older affricates,  [t͡ʃ] and [ts], both representing either IE  *k' or a specific suffix, -tja. Albanian has some complicated rules of transformation.ëë above page 408, but it's not a great copy:

There is also a bad spirit in Romanian called Samca (var.Sanca), rarely represented with the appearance of a huge dog, but not always. It is considered a slavic borrowing.

Sorin5780 (talk) 11:35, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

German AusdruckEdit

could it be a calque from expression/espressione in a romance language . thank you. --2A02:2788:A4:F44:401C:A4FB:C091:D24A 18:14, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

I've always assumed it is, yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:10, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Albanian ashkëEdit

Not to open up another one of these topics again, but how reliable is the work of Vladimir Orel in general, since he's used as a citation for many etymologies in Albanian entries, many of which other users and I believe are dubious? From what I've read, a fair amount of his work is controversial; he was prolific and apparently did work on quite a wide variety of languages, even attempting to write on the topic of Nostratic, but his main interest was Balto-Slavic languages and some other IE families.

Anyway, my main question was about this specific entry for now. Most other sources, including etymological dictionaries for Romance languages themselves, have this as a descendant of Latin esca. It undergoes the appropriate sound shifts into Albanian and corresponds exactly to the meaning found in all other Romance derivatives.. i.e. that of tinder/touchwood; eshkë actually means mushroom used as tinder, which is found in Romanian iască as well. And we can see the likely semantic shift from what in Latin was originally "food" or "bait" to this meaning. The coincidence is too much for it to be separately derived from a completely different root in Indo-European, in this case allegedly the root of 'axis'. I feel like this linguist was a little too determined to find direct Indo-European roots for many Albanian terms, often putting out erroneous etymologies. But I think that as soon as I modify that etymology, some Albanian nationalist will come and revert it or add more spurious sources. Word dewd544 (talk) 18:27, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

@Vahagn Petrosyan? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:08, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I have cleaned up ashkë, eshkë and eshke. --Vahag (talk) 19:14, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
Ah, that makes more sense. I had a suspicion that the two words may have actually been different as well. I meant to mainly talk about eshkë then (which certainly does correspond to Lat. esca and is the form most of the dictionaries I saw referred to), but ashkë had a slightly inaccurate or misleading definition on here, which threw me off. Thanks. Word dewd544 (talk) 23:49, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
I can add to this that there is a town in Croatia called Jaska. Now, some things remain unclear, e.g. the Croatian Language Portal merely states that it is an old name for Jastrebarsko, a bigger near town. I know for a fact that these are separate, however, Jastrebarsko contains jastreb (hawk; falcon), but etymologically speaking, jaska is much more appropriate for said meaning. --FeliSoul (talk) 14:14, 9 December 2017 (UTC)


I can't seem to semantically derive Sense 3 from senses 1 and 2. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 03:11, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

I've read somewhere that the Medieval Latin word was influenced by German and this is where the meanings "thick, great", etc. come from. Not sure how true that is, but it seems to make sense. Leasnam (talk) 15:05, 9 November 2017 (UTC)


The etymology conflicts with the example given on Template:compound. The one on the page is bar + tender, but the one on the template page is bar + tend + -er and specifically says that it's not bar + tender. Globins (talk) 05:12, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

@Nbarth added that line to the template documentation back in 2014: [1]. Personally, I prefer bar + tender. BigDom 14:20, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Sorry about this, and thanks for contacting me; fixed!
This was due to a too-strict reading of "from bar (n.2) + agent noun of tend (v.2)", which implies no intermediate form. As one can see from the agent noun tender was in use, and thus it should be bar + tender. This affected 3 pages (also tender), all fixed now:
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 14:28, 20 November 2017 (UTC)


The entry gives a theory that this Vietnamese word comes form Chinese . Is that possible? I see various Chu Nom forms given; does this imply that “bạc” may be attested quite early? As for 鉑 as platinum in Chinese, can it be attested in pre-modern times? @Wyang. Dokurrat (talk) 13:40, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

@Wyang, do you have anything to add here? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:23, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
@Dokurrat, Eirikr I don't think VN bạc is from Chinese 鉑 as the time frames do not match. This is quite complicated. There are a number of words:
  1. (“metal foil”) < (MC bwɑk̚, “metal foil”) < (MC bwɑk̚, “thin”);
  2. (, “platinum”) < (bái, “white”);
  3. Proto-Vietic *baːk (white) < (OC *braːɡ, “white”); and
  4. General MK *prak ("silver") ~ (OC *braːɡ, “white”).
Vietnamese bạc is unlikely to be from #1 and #2. IMO #4 is the most likely. Mark Alves is of the opinion that Vietnamese bạc (silver) is from (MC bˠæk̚, “white”), paralleling Vietnamese vàng (gold) (OC *ɡʷaːŋ, “yellow”). Wyang (talk) 23:26, 10 November 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology (glyph origin). Dokurrat (talk) 14:01, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

"Lua error: French is not an ancestor of Haitian Creole"Edit

I tried to use {{inh}} at adaptasyon and I got this error. Is this an oversight or intentional? I wouldn't consider it borrowed. Ultimateria (talk) 18:01, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

The way that creoles, pidgins, and mixed languages form is not conducive to our current system. Haitian Creole is not exactly a descendant of French, because if you just let French evolve, you wouldn't get a creole. But by no means is it a borrowing, either. This is one of many cases where there is no template more appropriate to use than {{der}}. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:07, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Pidgins and creoles neither exactly borrow nor exactly inherit vocabulary from their lexifier languages, so {{der}} is really the only template appropriate in most cases. That said, however, it is possible for a creole to borrow words from other languages, including their lexifier language, for example technical terms and other learnèd vocabulary. In fact, I suspect that Haitian Creole adaptasyon is a loanword from French (i.e. it was deliberately taken from French rather than belonging to the everyday vocabulary of the first Haitian Creole speakers), just as French adaptation itself is indeed a loanword from Medieval Latin adaptātiō, and not an inheritance. I suppose it's also possible for a creole to inherit words from the pidgin that it evolved from, but I don't know whether we have separate codes for any pidgin/creole pairs in a mother/daughter relationship. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:36, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I would consider all terms in a pidgin borrowed. They do come from another language, after all. The difference is that the borrowing is what creates this new language. The speakers of the pidgin fall back to their native languages for terms, which are then used by others and thus enter the pidgin. —Rua (mew) 19:52, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

Proto-Slavic/sъcati vs. Proto-Slavic/sьcatiEdit

Should Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/sъcati be deleted or redirected to Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/sьcati? I find the latter in multiple sources but not the former. --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:01, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like reasonable grounds for deleting, esp. when the entry was created by a drive-by anon. --Tropylium (talk) 21:12, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
And the reason itself why the entry is wrong is particularly that only with ь the progressive palatalization rule can have the effect of making a ⟨с⟩ out of a ⟨k­⟩, not with ъ. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 00:22, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I've made the redirect and used {{attention}} to draw attention to differences between the two pages' descendants lists. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:14, 18 November 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Dokurrat (talk) 05:54, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

TLFi etymologiesEdit

I've run into a few entries on the mostly authoritative Tresor de la Langue Francaise Informatisee dictionary that had some puzzling information in the etymology sections. Like for bailli, where it lists it as a borrowing from Latin bajulivum (we have it as Vulgar Latin *baiulivus here)... whereas the related bailler is not indicated as a borrowing. There were about a dozen or so other entries among the hundreds I've been through that also had some confusing information in the etymologies, mostly concerning seemingly popular words that they described as borrowed, like how atteindre was supposedly borrowed (empr.) from Vulgar Latin *attangere, and they don't really delve into more of an explanation why they think it's a borrowing exactly. And borrowing from an unattested Vulgar Latin term is a bit odd in of itself. Does anyone know why they may be listed as such?

I can't remember the other examples off the top of my head right now, but in those cases I ended up mentioning in the etymology sections here that they may have been borrowed (according to the TLFi)... even though otherwise they seem to be inherited as far as phonetics go. Not sure if it's the date that's the issue (but for most of them they were still attested by 1100 or the 11th century, if not earlier).

A resource I found on Old French on the other hand, along with a few linguistic essays I browsed through, seemed to accept several of the terms seen as borrowed by the French academy's dictionary as inherited (not necessarily the specific ones I was talking about above). I noticed there was also a case where the TLFi failed to mention an obviously borrowed word like hypnotique was a borrowing, but so far that's the only one I found. Overall it's still pretty much the most reliable resource we have on French etymologies, but I just wanted to see if anyone had any ideas about this. I'm not enough of an expert to contradict them, but on occasion even sources like this may not be totally accurate or may just be missing some info... I know the Spanish RAE has actually made many inaccuracies, but the TLFi seems to hold their work to a higher or more rigorous standard. Word dewd544 (talk) 00:44, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Edit- to add to that, I recently noticed bave is also listed as being borrowed from a Vulgar Latin *baba in that dictionary. Not sure if that means it's because it was altered from the Old French form beve, because afterward it says the modern form is a result of being influenced by the derived verb baver... Word dewd544 (talk) 02:22, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Etymology of the Navajo word níłtsą́ (rain)Edit

In the etymology section of the entry níłtsą́ a derivation from the root -TSʼĄʼ ("to trickle, accumulate in a trickle") is proposed. This root is also attested in other Athabaskan languages, e.g. Hupa -tsʼaʼ (leak out (of water)), Carrier -tsʼaʼ (to be viscous) and Chipewyan -tθʼał (to be watery). However YM (1992) lists níłtsą́ under a different root, namely -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ ("to rain, raindrops fall"). In my opinion the latter etymology makes more sense. Apart from the semantic association, there are two basic considerations that make me think the word níłtsą́ should be related to the root -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ rather than -TSʼĄʼ:

  1. The root -TSʼĄʼ has an ejective alveolar affricate, while níłtsą́ displays its aspirated counterpart. I don't know of any phonological or morphophonemic rule in Navajo according to which an ejective consonant could lose its glottalic exponent, i.e. Cʔ → C. It is true that stem variations in Navajo are for the most part unpredictable, however these changes generally involve quality, quantity, nasality or tone of the radical vowel and/or alterations of the syllabic coda of the root, but not initial consonants. Sometimes classifiers -ł-, -l and -d- can alter the first consonant of the stem, nevertheless this alteration only affects the [+/- voiced] feature, in the case of -l- and -ł-, or triggers the D-effect, in the case of -d-, but it doesn't affect the [+/- ejective] feature.
  2. Formally, níłtsą́ is a noun derived from an homophone verb form meaning "there is rain, it's rainy", hence "rain". Nominal forms like this one normally come from a verb conjugated in the Neuter aspect, see e.g. names of colors: łichííʼ ((it is) red, Neuter Imperfective), dootłʼizh ((it is) blue-green, Neuter Perfective), etc., and atmospheric terms like níłchʼi (wind, wind blows, Neuter Perfective). Interestingly, the last example I've given shows a close resemblance to níłtsą́ in the structure: both have the modal/adjectival ni- prefix, the classifier -ł- (here thematic) and a Neuter Perfective stem. In YM's Analytical Lexicon of Navajo, the root -TSʼĄʼ (to trickle) has the following stem set:
TRANS -tsʼąąh -tsʼąʼ -tsʼąął -tsʼąʼ -tsʼąąh
NEUT -tsʼąʼ
So, as one can see, the Neuter Perfective stem of this root is -tsʼąʼ instead of -tsą́. However, if we assume níłtsą́ derives from the root -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ (rain falls), we get the right form, the Neuter Perfective stem of this root is in fact -tsą́.

For these reasons I reckon the correct etymology of níłtsą́ (rain) relates to the root -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ. What do you think? Should we change what's written in the etymology section for this word? — Sorjam (talk) 15:13, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 03:13, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
@Eirikr, Stephen G. Brown Chuck Entz (talk) 03:24, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
níłtsą́ is from -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ. Pre-Proto-Athabaskan *kan, Proto-Athabaskan *kʸan. -TSĄ́Ą́ʼ is cognate with -TSĄĄD (belly, become pregnant). —Stephen (Talk) 04:27, 21 November 2017 (UTC)


What's the etymology of this? Are there cognates in other Germanic languages? Teepok (talk) 05:41, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

It appears that all the "magic" words derive from the verb tsjoene, which itself derived from Old Frisian tiōna, tiūna (to use, damage, injure), related to the archaic English word teen (harm, injury). Leasnam (talk) 00:02, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
As far as cognates, yes. In addition to English teen, there is Icelandic tjón (damage, loss) Leasnam (talk) 00:22, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed reply. I saw tsjoenderij featured on the main page and wondered. Teepok (talk) 06:18, 23 November 2017 (UTC)


Would be glad for some assistance with the etymology of rantistirion. The Greek word for the term appears to be Ancient Greek ραντιστήρι (rantistḗri), but that may not be accurate as it does not explain the -ion ending of the English word. — SGconlaw (talk) 08:42, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

According to {{R:LBG}}, the Byzantine word is actually ῥαντιστήριον (rhantistḗrion). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:53, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! — SGconlaw (talk) 02:24, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
@Mahagaja, would you happen to know how the Greek word is pronounced? — SGconlaw (talk) 15:04, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw: According to {{grc-IPA}}, from the 4th century onward it's /ran.tisˈti.ri.on/, though at some point that first /t/ became a /d/ because it occurs after /n/. I'm not sure when that change happened, though. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:07, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm trying to determine how it would be pronounced in English. I'm presuming it wouldn't be too different. — SGconlaw (talk) 17:23, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Derivative or borrowEdit

Hello. I want learn what is difference between derivative or borrow? --Drabdullayev17 (talk) 12:00, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

For the meaning of a borrowing, you may find "Appendix:Glossary#loanword" helpful. We don't have a definition of a derivative there, though. — SGconlaw (talk) 17:26, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

different gender of German Tal, Swedish dalEdit

What explanation is there for this extremely rare difference in gender of cognates?

Should dalaz be added to Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/dalą#Derived_terms? --Espoo (talk) 16:47, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Template:goh-noun doesn't explain how to add more than one gender. --Espoo (talk) 17:57, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

There's a bunch of words, mostly a-stems, that appear with different genders in different branches. I don't really know why that is, nor if there is any kind of systematic difference, like whether one branch always has masculine while the other always has neuter. This seems like something linguistis might have looked into. —Rua (mew) 18:02, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
I was under the impression that gender is extremely stable across different branches. How big of a group are a stems? --Espoo (talk) 18:11, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Category:Proto-Germanic a-stem nouns. They make up the majority of masculine and neuter nouns. —Rua (mew) 18:13, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Also, gender is less stable than you might think. Middle Dutch is full of nouns that have a different gender than they had in earlier Germanic. nāme is masculine or feminine in Middle Dutch, but *namô is neuter. —Rua (mew) 18:16, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Could you please give an estimate of how big that bunch of a-stems is that have different genders in different branches? Have you seen many? All i've noticed so far is that German nouns seem to almost always have the same gender as their Swedish and French cognates. --Espoo (talk) 18:28, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
We haven't really made a systematic inventory, and given how many a-stems there are, finding them might take a while. I think it would be a good idea though. —Rua (mew) 18:43, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
@Leasnam What do you think of making a systematic inventory of these? Do you want to help out? We probably want to rename the pages as well, replacing -ą and -az with a simple -a- to indicate the ambiguity. —Rua (mew) 18:46, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
I think an inventory could be of use, and I would love to assist sure Leasnam (talk) 03:18, 24 November 2017 (UTC)


Anyone got any ideas on what the prefix is? The ant page seems to imply a similar meaning to ex. 19:10, 24 November 2017 (UTC)


Needs an explanation for the /a/ < o. Anti-Gamz Dust (There's Hillcrest!) 19:37, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

It's a proposed variant/extension of Thurneysen-Havet's law (which states *owV > /awV/, as in octavus, lavō): *a > /o/ in open syllables adjacent to a bilabial. I'm not sure about "needing" an explanation, though: we are a dictionary, not a source on historical phonology. (This topic should probably be mentioned in w:History of Latin, though.) --Tropylium (talk) 11:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)


Was the modern English term really inherited from Old English? It looks like one of those borrowed terms that refer specifically to Anglo-Saxon society, like sceat, burh and fyrd. — Ungoliant (falai) 19:24, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

I think that's correct. The OED has no quotations for it between 1050 and 1861. — Eru·tuon 20:32, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
I've changed it to use {{bor}}. — Kleio (t · c) 20:39, 25 November 2017 (UTC)


Gynecologists are familiar with colposcopy, colpocleisis, colpotomy, colprctomy, etc. All refer to procedures an anatomic structures related to the vagina. So, an etymology referencing gap, gulf, opening, womb are all correct - referencing vagina. —This unsigned comment was added by 2600:387:9:5::66 (talk).

@2600:387:9:5::66 Absolutely. I've created colpo- now. Wyang (talk) 22:03, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

The correct naming of Etymology ScriptoriumEdit

In short - shouldn't "Etymology Scriptorium" be named "Scriptorium Etymologensis" instead?

To keep it simple, of course. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 19:23, 26 November 2017 (UTC).

Nah. — Kleio (t · c) 19:45, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
If anything, it would definitely be Scriptorium Etymologicum, but nah. —*i̯óh₁nC[5] 19:53, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
This is en.wikt so the "rooms" are named in English. See English entry at scriptorium. Equinox 21:34, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
Was thinking the same thing Equinox. mellohi... 01:49, 27 November 2017 (UTC)


I reconstructed this particular word this way because of a comment in Matasovic 2009 in which he thinks that the word could be connected to στέργω by assuming a back-formation from a consonant stem in -g. I personally agree, as it could explain the masculine gender in the Welsh descendant. Is this okay? mellohi... 01:54, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

  • I think it would be better to have the page at Reconstruction:Proto-Celtic/sterkā, which is the form that can actually be reconstructed from the attested forms, and then mention the hypothesis that it's a reformation of an earlier *sterxs in the Etymology section. I would favor moving the current page to Reconstruction:Proto-Celtic/sterkā but keeping the hard redirect. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 10:46, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
    • Done. But how do you suppose that the word turned masculine in Welsh? Though I'll concede that it was feminine before. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 13:26, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
      • Who knows? Sometimes languages reassign gender based on synonyms or antonyms (e.g. German Antwort (answer) shifted from neuter to feminine because Frage (question) is feminine), so maybe serch became masculine because cariad is masculine. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:33, 27 November 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Who is the source language ? Dokurrat (talk) 17:19, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

@Dokurrat, it's hard to say definitively. English, Russian and Azeri seem to be the most likely source languages. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:25, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
@Justinrleung: I think the from-English claim need evidence. It was a Soviet Union republic and I really don't see how this China Mainland term is derived from English. Dokurrat (talk) 03:59, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang: Any thoughts? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:03, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@Justinrleung, Dokurrat Haven't had much luck finding the etymology either, but I do agree that Russian is a more likely source. Wyang (talk) 11:25, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@Wyang, Dokurrat: I'm not sure if this would help, but just putting this out there: w:zh:Wikipedia:外語譯音表/俄語 would give 阿澤(?)拜占, and w:zh:Wikipedia:外語譯音表/英語 would give 阿澤拜章. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 14:03, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
@Justinrleung: These two Mainland-oriented transliteration guides are seemingly not enforced upon USSR republic names. Эстония/Estonia is 愛沙尼亞, not *埃斯托尼亞(either Russian or English), Грузия is 格魯吉亞, not *格魯濟亞(Russian, English n/a), Казахстан/Kazakhstan is 哈薩克斯坦, not *卡扎赫斯坦(Russian) or *卡澤克斯坦 (English). Dokurrat (talk) 14:29, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

обувь - can anyone translate the Russian etymological information and add it?Edit

The term lacks an etymology in the English Wiktionary, but the Russian Wiktionary gives the following:

Происходит от гл. обувать (обуть), далее из праслав. *ob-uti, от кот. в числе прочего произошли: др.-русск., ст.-слав. обоути (ὑποδεῖσθαι — Супр.), укр. обу́ти, белор. обу́ць, болг. обу́я, сербохорв. о̀бути, о̀буjе̑м, словенск. obúti, obȗjem, чешск. obouti, obuji, словацк. оbut᾽, польск. obuć, obuję, в.-луж. wobuč, н.-луж. hobuś. Праслав. *ob-uti наряду с *jьz-uti (см. изу́ть) родственно лит. aũti, aunù, aviaũ «носить обувь, обувать(ся)», араũti «обуваться», латышск. àut, àunu «обувать», авест. аоɵrа- «башмак», лит. auklė̃ ж. «портянка», лат. ехuō, -еrе «разувать, снимать», induō, -еrе «надевать», sub-ūcula «нижнее платье», арм. aganim «надеваю». Праслав. *obutъ, русск. обу́т и т. д. образованы точно так же, как лит. àр-аutаs — то же. Использованы данные словаря М. Фасмера. См. Список литературы.

I don't know what this means, so if anyone familiar with Russian etymology can decipher this, feel free to add it in the English Wiktionary. 02:20, 28 November 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

According to this [[2]] it is correct Leasnam (talk) 20:28, 28 November 2017 (UTC)


Needs a source that specifically says so. Nothing personal, I'm just very skeptical about this historically-deduced kind of information. ばかFumikotalk 16:05, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

For those interested, please also see Talk:堕天使 where I attempted to explain the history. Note also that the disputed text clearly explains "probably" not "definitely". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:24, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Old French etymologiesEdit

Is anyone an expert on French phonological evolution? What's the deal with avouer (O.Fr. avoer) and avo(u)chier (and also vochier/voucher)? Again TLFi says avouer is a borrowing, although it doesn't look like one. Could it also be a matter of the Old Northern French/Norman dialect for voucher and such? Obviously the modern French forms with -voquer are learned borrowings but I'm not sure what the deal is with the others. There's also this entry, but I'm not sure how to interpret it. Word dewd544 (talk) 23:16, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

@Word dewd544: Mglovesfun/Renard Migrant still edits on fr.wikt, maybe we can ask him there? --Barytonesis (talk) 22:10, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's a good idea. It seems he actually edited the page on the above-mentioned word on their Wiktionary. Word dewd544 (talk) 00:05, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

December 2017

Russian 'sorok', Armenian 'čork', Persian 'čârak', Turkic 'kırk'Edit

It is discussed since at least two centuries: Russian sorok 'forty' seems to be a Tataric intrusion between IE 'thirty' and IE 'fifty'.

Armenian čork 'four' highly resembles Russian sorok 'forty', Persian چارک‏ (čârak) "qaurter", and it's alleged centum-Turkic counterpart kırk 'forty'. But Chuvash is out of every context, when all other Turkic languages have dört/tört ("four"), the Chuvash language has тӑват (tăvat ~ spoken as tauat "four") which is quite similar to PIE *kʷet- 'four', just that the PIE *k turned into a Chuvash *t. The Chuvash form is the only Turkic form which highly resembles Italic quadri- 'quarter', from the same PIE root *kʷet-.

This must be solved, because it is very interesting. Is it IE, Turkic or maybe even Nostratic? What are your opinions? Does anybody have books or academic publications regarding this issue?

Btw, here is a similar case with Russian собака (sobaka), Median σπάκα (spaka), Turkic köpek, all meaning 'dog'. Compare PIE root *ḱwṓ and its relation to PST *d-kʷəj-n, while PST even preserved the centum and satem prefixes *d-k. ToB commented on it as well. --2A02:908:B36:A1C0:0:0:0:1 17:04, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

Turkic *ȫ is reflected as Chuvash -ӑва- in many words, and disappearance of *r preconsonantally is also found in other words, it is without reasonable doubt cognate with other Turkic four words.
As for Armenian, our page seems to imply that it is regularly derived from the PIE word. I'm not sure about the details, but I know that *-s corresponds usually to -kʿ and that *kʷ is palatalized into čʿ, I don't know what's the regular outcome of *-tw- is but *t is generally unstable so maybe it contracted into o, thus I'd wager that it is inherited from PIE.
As for сорок, I think that any similarity to *kɨrk is coincidental, the Greek and the Scandinavian etymologies offered in Vasmer both seem more promising. Crom daba (talk) 00:39, 2 December 2017 (UTC)


Seemingly a non-Sino-Tibetan loanword. Hope someone can dig out its etymology. Dokurrat (talk) 16:42, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

It's most likely from Zhuang, which uses the same character in Sawndip. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 20:08, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
@Dokurrat, confirmed with Xinhua Zidian (10th ed.). — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:30, 8 December 2017 (UTC)


This Swahili word meaning "cardamom" is really bothering me. It clearly is related to the terms I see in Indian languages, but Hindi and Gujarati don't match up quite well enough phonetically. (I'd be curious if Kutchi is a better fit.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 08:11, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

@Metaknowledge: Tamil ஏலக்காய் (ēlakkāy), Malayalam ഏലക്കായ് (ēlakkāy)? Maybe it's of Dravidian origin? —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 00:30, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Is there a Proto-Dravidian term? I think the Sanskrit एला (elā) is also of Dravidian origin. DerekWinters (talk) 00:50, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: Sanskrit also has diminutive एलीका (elīkā, small cardamom). --Victar (talk) 01:25, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the cognates. None of them seem like a great match in terms of phonetics or history, so I'm still at a loss. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:22, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: Sanskrit एला (elā) > एलीका (elīkā, small cardamom) > Hindi [Term?]? > Swahili iliki seems very compelling to me. @AryamanA, what are your thoughts? --Victar (talk) 21:01, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
That would be potentially compelling if it didn't have an imaginary step. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:12, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: It's enough to say "perhaps ultimately from {{der|sw|sa|एलीका|t=small cardamom}}". Incomplete, yes, but an etymology nonetheless. --Victar (talk) 22:50, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@Victar: (I wrote a response twice and I got an invalid API token error, so I'm going to make this short) Hindi इलायची (ilāyacī) is not from Sanskrit, it's < Persian < Dravidian. I think the Swahili term is borrowed directly from Dravidian (although maybe it could have been a Wanderwort given its spread into Iranian). —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 23:23, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@AryamanA: Ah, OK. So, perhaps: Ultimately from Proto-Dravidian *ēlakāy (cardamom fruit) (compare Kannada ಏಲಕ್ಕಿ (ēlakki)), from *ēla (cardamom plant) +‎ *kāy (fruit). The etymology of mango is similar, from Proto-Dravidian *mā-ng-kāy. --Victar (talk) 02:28, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
@Victar: Yes, exactly! btw, if you ever want to learn about Proto-Dravidian, this is a wonderful book. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 02:34, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
@AryamanA: Thanks! I was reading A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Or South-Indian Family of Languages. --Victar (talk) 02:38, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
@Victar: Dravidian linguistics has come far since then; for example, the "discovery" of the North Dravidian languages (as far north as Brahui in Pakistan) has aided the comparative process immensely. It's definitely still in its infancy, less developed than Indo-Iranian studies, and mainstream Indology still focuses a lot more on Indo-Aryan peoples. @माधवपंडित probably can help as a native Kannada speaker. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 02:42, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge I've compiled a list of descendants from the Proto-Dravidian *ēlakāy. Punjabi ਇਲੈਚੀ (ilēcī) looks like the closest match. --Victar (talk) 17:11, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Yah welcome. --Victar (talk) 02:11, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
See also this, page 83b. --Vahag (talk) 17:59, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
It says "Ind", but does that mean "Indo-Aryan" or "Indian"? —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 14:36, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
It means "Indian (Hindi, Gujerati, etc.)". --Vahag (talk) 15:53, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

PIE *kʷis > *kʷísEdit

Correct me if I'm wrong, but *kʷis should be moved to *kʷís. If no one objects, can someone run a bot to point all links to the new entry page? --Victar (talk) 00:02, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

If you just move it and keep the redirect, there's no need for a bot to change existing pages. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:36, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Why do we need to mark accents on monosyllabic PIE words? --Tropylium (talk) 13:58, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@Tropylium: Sanskrit किः (kíḥ) exhibits the accent, as do all other PIE pronouns: *éǵh₂, *túh₂, *swé, *só, *éy. --Victar (talk) 18:36, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't answer the question. There's nowhere else for the accent to go, so it's superfluous to mark. --Tropylium (talk) 18:56, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@Tropylium: Call it a stylistic preference than, if that better suits you. --Victar (talk) 19:07, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
If you assume that every word must have an accent then yes, it's superfluous. But what if there is a distinction between accented and accentless, as appears to be the case for certain function words in PIE? Proto-Germanic *immi and *sindi must come from accentless forms. —Rua (mew) 19:18, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
I still think it would be preferable for us to treat PIE accent as a strippable diacritic, like pitch accent marks in Serbo-Croatian or macrons in Latin and Old English. Then we could write {{m|ine-pro|*kʷís}} if we wanted to and it would still link to *kʷis. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:43, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Oh, that's a better idea. Accents are clearly relevant info in general, but I also see word-level reconstructions without accents quite often, which can make linking them more work than necessary. (And, obviously, we don't always have enough information to reconstruct the PIE accent.) --Tropylium (talk) 09:58, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: I could just do that. --Victar (talk) 18:36, 7 December 2017 (UTC)


The current-listed Chinese sense smells like a neologism to me. Is that sense a neologism? (How early can that sense be attested?) Dokurrat (talk) 18:29, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

جيب,‎ جیبEdit

Who has borrowed from whom?

The word is old in Arabic, it is used as “neckline” and “opening in garment” in the Qur'an. Thinking about the raiments the Arabs wore, the meaning “pocket” could easily have developed from this; a word “gayb” meaning “pocket” is given as Ge'ez from Arabic by Wolf Leslau. Whereas the Persian is stated to be from an unattested Middle Persian – btw there is a transcription needed in the Persian entry. Sounds like an invention of Indo-Europeanists. diff has removed all the etymologies from the Arabic. However some words still refer to the Arabic as origin, as ჯიბე (ǯibe). And Petar Skok says the word is ultimately from Arabic. However I do not know what or whom to trust. I am confused. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 20:06, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

e in the descendants reflects /eː/ in Persian, which suggests it is probably a genuine Persian word. --Z 20:29, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
I also thought that. Arabic /aj/ can come from that vowel in Persian. But do we have two words in Arabic then or one? Is it that a “neckline” word mixed its semantic range into the “pocket” word or do we have one word with an “opening in garment“ meaning from the beginning from which more special meanings derive, “pocket” in Persian and Arabic, which alone has been given to Geʿez, and “neckline”, “hollow” and “bosom”, “sinus” in Arabic?
However still it is disturbing that in Arabic the word is so early while the Persian claims a non-attested predecessor (still the transliteration of the Modern Persian is lacking as I write; I could think it is not current which is why the Persian editors do not know its transliteration). Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 20:42, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
The connection to Polish szew and Russian шов (šov) seems very dubious to me. These come from the verb Proto-Slavic *šiti, which according to the current etymology section comes from Proto-Balto-Slavic *sjū́ˀtei, from Proto-Indo-European *syuh₁-. --WikiTiki89 20:48, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Right, Persian ǰ comes from PIE /ɡ/ as I see. The etymology in the Persian looks nonsensical this way. I’d like to know who has set this etymology into the world. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 21:34, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
diff by @Irman has. No hits on Google Books for this or similar etymology, though PIE guys are assiduous and have like reconstructed all IE languages, unlike it is for Semitic. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 21:39, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
I'd go with Arabic, I've flipped through some Iranic material I have and found nothing in Gharib (Sogdian), Benzing (Kwarezmian), Morgenstierne (Pashto), Mayrhofer...
Connection with šav is of course total nonsense as noted above. Crom daba (talk) 23:06, 7 December 2017 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup#araba.

An anon added an alternative etymology which doesn't look right to me. I'm no expert, but the new etymology needs verification and most of all a cleanup. --Robbie SWE (talk) 18:28, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

See Fedotov's Etimologicheskij Slovar' Chuvashkogo Jazyka Tom II page 284 --2001:A98:C060:80:7070:6FDD:6A44:22CC 11:42, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Wiktionary doesn't accept Altaic, but we do mention it. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:52, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
'Altaic' doesn't need to imply a genetic connection, merely that it belongs to a prehistoric layer of shared Turco-Mongolo-Tungusic lexicon.
However in this case, the comparison with Mongolian араа (araa) is spurious, the meaning of the word is 'cogwheel' not 'wheel' and it proceeds from the sense 'tooth'.
The Chuvash form is real and it should date to before the 13th century judging by the raising of *a, but it isn't attested in Old Turkic.
@ZxxZxxZ, Palaestrator verborum, do you have anything on the etymology of عرابه, عربة. ?
Crom daba (talk) 23:08, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
The Arabic عَرَبَة (ʿaraba) exhibits a perfectly clear native pattern and a cogent derivation; it is a singulative noun (ـَة (-a)) formed of a verbal noun عَرَب (ʿarab), عَرْب (ʿarb) from عَرَبَ (ʿaraba, to be fledged, to flow sharply), and also the primitive meaning of عَرَبَة (ʿaraba) is swift river. From there chariots moving forward like a river. See the root in Freytag’s lexicon:
Freytag, Georg (1835), “عَرَبَ”, in Lexicon arabico-latinum praesertim ex Djeuharii Firuzabadiique et aliorum Arabum operibus adhibitis Golii quoque et aliorum libris confectum (in Latin), volume 3, Halle: C. A. Schwetschke, page 129
The other languages show the specialization typical for loanwoards. But more important from the semantic side is: It is unconceivable why the Arabs should have borrowed the word for “wain”. Because how did the Arabs live in relation to the exterior world? By caravans. The Arabs are the people one regards if one thinks about commerce by carriages. They have invented own words from their own sources because this is how they have lived before presumable contacts.
And I have the word in other semitic languages: Remarkably Akkadian with the same developments 𒆭𒊏 (erēbu, to come in, specifically of money, goods, caravan, month, season, water: to come in , to arrive , to flow in (?)) – this is now listed at غَرَبَ (ḡaraba) instead, and the dictionary lists for Akkadian also “9) sun: to set”. This is an interesting mixup in the languages or dictionaries of *ʿaraba- and *ġaraba- that should be disentangled – the Ugaritic 𐎓𐎗𐎁 (ʿrb, enter) listed at غَرَبَ (ḡaraba) seems misplaced as in Ugaritic the two consonants do not merge, the meanings in the entry are contradictory. @Wikitiki89 @Crom daba. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 00:25, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
That's very informative, thank you. I consider the Altaic proposition falsified. Crom daba (talk) 01:01, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

Susan and related words (zšn, שושן, ܫܘܫܢܬܐ, سوسن, շուշան, etc.)Edit

We seem to have two competing hypotheses of the origin of these words circulating on Wiktionary: one claiming an origin from Egyptian zšn and one from Proto-Semitic *šūšān-.

  • Regarding the former hypothesis (origin from Egyptian), this apparently goes back to this 1892 paper by Adolf Erman. Erman simply comments, ‘Die sem. Worte sind entlehnt zu einer Zeit, als das ägypt. Wort schon wie im Kopt. šôšĕn lautete.’ So this would have be a rather late borrowing into Semitic, sometime during or after Late Egyptian (post-1300 BCE or so, possibly later). Is such a date plausible? Are the Semitic words attested earlier than this? (Also in support of this hypothesis is Černý, referencing this paper.)
  • Regarding the latter hypothesis (origin from Semitic), unfortunately I’m not very familiar with the Semitistic literature; any help/sources/info would be appreciated. Presumably the Egyptian word would in this case be cognate via Proto-Afro-Asiatic *susan-. Proto-Semitic *š, however, is generally not considered to regularly correspond to Egyptian z or š but only to s, making cognacy unlikely. Perhaps the Egyptian word was an early borrowing? It would have to be a prehistoric one if so, since zšn is already attested in the Old Kingdom. Tracing back the sound changes in Coptic ϣⲱϣⲉⲛ (šōšen) implies Old Egyptian */ˈzaːçVn/ (with unknown short vowel V), which seems a rather poor fit for a borrowing from Proto-Semitic *šūšān-. So I’m not sure what to make of this. Would the similarity of ϣⲱϣⲉⲛ (šōšen) to the Semitic words just be a coincidence?

All in all, very puzzling. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 08:20, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

As another point of interest, the Akkadian term 𒋗𒊭𒉡 (šūšanu) given at *šūšān- is claimed by the the Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago to originally mean ‘horse trainer, groom for horses’ and to be a loan from Indo-Iranian aśva-śani, so it likely shouldn’t be on that page at all. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 13:49, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, after digging around a bit, I’ve found that the source of the Proto-Semitic etymology is StarLing, who in turn gets it from Orel and Stolbova’s Hamito-Semitic Etymological Dictionary, that the Akkadian word was mistranscribed, and that even there in Orel and Stolbova it suggests the Semitic was possibly borrowed from Egyptian. Orel and Stolbova attribute the š in the Egyptian word to dissimilation. All very well, but they mistakenly write the z in the Egyptian word as an s, which wasn’t the case until Middle Egyptian. With an original z instead of an s (as attested in Old Egyptian), the possibility of deriving this from a Proto-Afro-Asiatic *susan- is not really there. Given all the above problems with connecting the Egyptian with the Semitic if the former isn’t a borrowing, the most likely option seems to be that it is one. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 16:19, 13 December 2017 (UTC)


Dubious etymology. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:42, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

Concur; it's garbage. I'm going to replace it with something from Beekes 2009. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 19:54, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
@Hillcrest98: thank you. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:24, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

Italian palancaEdit

What's the semantic link between "money" and "board"? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 22:34, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

My first association (helped by superficial similarity) is with bank, which went through shelf > table > money change's table > bank > money (slang), perhaps skipping the bank sense in this case, but this is just guesswork. Crom daba (talk) 09:44, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam: The semantic connexion is coincidental; please see the updated etymologies. Isomorphyc (talk) 14:27, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Democracy is simply "people-think" as in "consensus" ?Edit

Demos is clearly "people" in the Eleni. What about -cracia/-cracy? Its actual meaning seems to be vaguely defined. Similar in form to -gracia, as in grace. One definition points to an idea of substance at the literal root of cracia. In essence its just what people think, isn't it? Where substance is a lateral reference to thinking. -Booksnarky (talk) 06:13, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

@Booksnarky: This is a dictionary, not an encyclopedia or a public forum. If you want to know what democracy is, read definitions first, then some other materials of your choice. If you're not happy with our definitions, you can discuss them at WT:RFT. It's a wrong place for your philosophical questions, that's why it was removed earlier. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:20, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
@Booksnarky: What the people want to say to you: You either know English badly or are not very smart. If you would deal more with philosophy, you would not talk about things like “idea of substance”, “in essence”, “lateral reference to thinking”. That’s not how people think. So please read some philosophy. Read George Berkeley or David Hume for example, to name some English-language philosophers. Really, do it, it helps. Palaestrator verborum (loquier) 06:03, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Read the etymology at democracy, which clearly explains that democracy means "rule by the people". It looks to me like you're ignoring the actual etymology (by pretending that things are "vaguely defined") so you can speculate without interference from the facts. The history of language and words is a fascinating subject, but it won't tell you anything about what people mean when they say something, nor will it lead you to any deeper meanings underlying what people think. There are plenty of examples such as "nice" where the meaning has changed beyond recognition from what etymology would suggest. You're basically using the wrong tool for the job and looking in the wrong place. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:29, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
The request was for the etymology of -cracy/-cracia/-crasia. The pat definition of "rule by the people" doesn't address the decomposition of democracy and its containment of /-crasia. Thank you for the serious responses. And I "know English" fine-ly, thanks, and don't honor the incivility.Booksnarky (talk) 04:49, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
@Booksnarky: See -cracy. It's from Ancient Greek -κρατία (-kratía). —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 12:15, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
The palatalization of the t in such environments and the transformation of -ia to y is the expected outcome in the transition from Latin to Old French, and these words ending in -cracy regularly have corresponding words ending in -crat and -cratic. As I said, this is all very basic and well established- you just choose to ignore the obvious. Being able to speak modern Greek doesn't give you a license to rewrite the history and usage of words derived from Ancient Greek. As for the quality of your English: it's not nearly as good as you think it is, and the fact that you use words in ways that nobody else does adds a layer of gibberish that makes it harder for others to understand you. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:14, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Can you provide a source, off hand or in a few days, for the theorem that there was some palatization of t in /-crasia from /-kratia? Its interesting, that sound transformation happened here without semantic transformation, and needs documentation. -Booksnarky (talk) 08:09, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

nước miếngEdit

RFV of the etymology. ばかFumikotalk 20:50, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

@Fumiko Take, PhanAnh123 Some relevant discussions I found:
  1. “Tiêng (?) nước tôi - Tiếng Việt mến yêu”, Kiến thức ngày nay, số 926, ngày 1-5-2016, tr. 11-12.
    Đồng hóa là hiện tượng hai âm khác nhau nhưng đứng gần nhau, âm này đã bị âm kia đồng hóa, là làm cho âm này giống với nó, như chỉ trỏ thành chỉ chỏ, rũ liệt thành rũ riệt (đống hóa âm đầu), phản ánh thành phả ảnh, tự vẫn thành tự vận, nước miệng thành nước miếng (đồng hóa thanh điệu), y nguyên thành y nguy, cà dái dê thành cà dế dê (đồng hóa vần).
  2. Nguyễn Cung Thông, “Tản Mạn Về Tiếng Việt ― Hiện Tượng Đồng Hoá Âm Thanh” (phần 1)
    Ngoài ra một dạng chữ Nôm dùng 𠰘 chỉ miệng cũng như miếng (nước miếng), do đó ta có cơ sở để đề nghị nước miếng là nước miệng, nhưng đã bị ảnh hưởng của thanh sắc (nước) để cho ra dạng nước miếng hiện nay.
Not sure if they are reliable, but may be helpful. Wyang (talk) 14:35, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
The first one cite some instances that might be considered "common misspelling" (chỉ chỏ, phản ảnh) and it doesn't cite any other source; itself seems to be an excerpt, but no original author's name is given. The second seems a little more convincing, although as many references as it cites (and as terribly unreadable as it is), none is credited as directly proving the theory it offers. The given etymology does seem probable though, although I'm still curious if it has any link to miếng. Not to discredit @PhanAnh123 entirely, but he seems to make sloppy errors (like the typical Southerners' confusion between hỏi and ngã) quite often. ばかFumikotalk 15:01, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
I think PhanAnh123 probably has a source when he wrote the etymology. He does err occasionally (like all of us!), but he has been instrumental in expanding the Proto-Vietic/PMK etymology and Vietnamese language coverage here. I quite like his work, finding his etymologies oftentimes a pleasure to read. Wyang (talk) 15:32, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Chill out, I of all people should know that humans make mistakes. It's just that his mistakes are often so fundamental that they make me doubt his judgment. Think of it like this, if a guy who said "for all intensive purposes" made bold claims about the English language, would you find it doubtful? ばかFumikotalk 17:22, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Fumiko-san, I think your criticism is too harsh. Please raise any fundamental error when you see them so that they can be avoided in the future. Feedback on the things only, not people. The etymology here doesn’t at all look implausible to me, in fact it is quite likely correct. User:PhanAnh123: Please discuss the source if you can. Please don’t be discouraged. Wyang (talk) 04:58, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Category:Thai terms derived from HainaneseEdit

@Octahedron80, Iudexvivorum, how do you know that these terms are specifically from Hainanese and not any other variety of Chinese? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:25, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

@Justinrleung: Personally, I rely on these notes. --iudexvivorum (talk) 00:11, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
As above. However, if it seemed to relate with many cognates, it could be superseded by Middle/Old Chinese. (So it would disappear from the Hainanese category.) --Octahedron80 (talk) 03:06, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
@Octahedron80, Iudexvivorum: Alright, thanks! — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:06, 14 December 2017 (UTC)


This entry lacks an etymology. The word seems to originate with a Texas company that registered it as a US trademark in 1980. Is this considered a sufficient etymology? Or does the etymology section need to document how this company derived the name (e.g., as a variant on cosy, as the page currently speculates)? 2605:A601:4100:3300:2306:3E9B:EE82:C306 02:05, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

PIE transcription cleanupEdit

Anyone up for the following project: as long as Index:Proto-Indo-European is not updated (going on 5 years now), it might be a good idea to go through the lists manually to:

  1. mark incorrect transcription,
  2. fix descendants that link to these,
  3. strikeout entries that are no longer linked to.

A few common errors that can be semi-mechanically weeded out:

  • Missing hyphens for roots: CVC for CVC-
  • Aspirates: bh, dh, gh for , ,
  • Semivowels: i, u, ei, eu etc. for y, w, ey, ew etc.
  • Seṭ roots: CVCə for CVCH (specifying CHCh₁, CVCh₂, CVCh₃ requires more care though)

There are further issues, but this would do for starters. --Tropylium (talk) 10:17, 14 December 2017 (UTC)


@Stephen G. Brown: RFV of the etymology. Derivation from Spanish vaca seems unlikely on phonological grounds: why would the Spanish /a/ vowel become an /e/ vowel, and where does the -shii come from? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 12:37, 15 December 2017 (UTC)