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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

April 2016

siew daiEdit

RFV of the etymology. Read somewhere that it comes from Hokkien, Foochow or Hainanese instead of Cantonese. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 09:14, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

Hokkien native speaker tells me that it's not Hokkien for sure, and probably Cantonese. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:33, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Research online suggests Foochow. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:40, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
I asked a HK Cantonese speaker and they wrote: "siew dai : I don't think I've heard of this term, however, after googling I somehow think it might originate from Fuzhou dialect and used more often by Chinese in SE Asia. It means less sweet like you said. In HK we use siew tim (tim = sweet in Cantonese)." However, I suspect my friend may have come across the same internet sources as User:Metaknowledge|Μετάknowledge. Corroboration by a Fuzhou dialect speaker would be useful. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 05:18, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
@Wyang You seem to be the only active user who knows Fuzhounese. Do you know anything about this? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:18, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Fuzhou dialect does not seem to have this. is ‹ciēu› ("few", colloquial) [t͡siu³³], ‹siēu› ("few", literary), ‹siéu› ("young"), is ‹diĕng› [tieŋ⁵⁵], and is ‹tòng› [tʰouŋ⁵³], and there seems to be no other expression similar in pronunciation to siew dai. The only explanation in Fuzhou dialect is this is a corrupted form of 少甜 (ciēu-diĕng) [t͡siu³³⁻²¹ (t-)lieŋ⁵⁵], but this may be a bit far-fetched. It is possible that this is dialectal Min Dong, but I consulted a Min reference book and the affricate initial [t͡s] for (shǎo) in colloquial readings is observed across Min Dong dialects.
There is a possibility that this may be from Min Bei instead. For example, 南平 has the following pronunciations: (siau3) and (daiŋ2). Wyang (talk) 11:27, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
@Wyang, thanks for your input! So it seems like we've eliminated Cantonese, Hokkien or Fuzhou. Although Min Bei (or Min Zhong Sanming dialect /ʃiɯ²¹ taiŋ⁴¹/) does look close, I don't know if it's likely, since Min Bei (or Min Zhong) is one of the rarer varieties of Chinese in SE Asia. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 15:44, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. Wyang (talk) 22:40, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
It might be Singaporean Hokkien - which is what a number of local speakers told me last night when I asked. I will consult with a few more today. Teochew is another possibility which I will pursue. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 00:11, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
To return to the Cantonese hypothesis. The pronunciation of 底 in Cantonese is dai2 - so matches, as does 少 siu2, so perhaps it is just a case of local Singapore Cantonese differing from present-day HK and Guangdong Cantonese. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 09:29, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
This is the only source that I can find explaining it with Cantonese. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 14:49, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

My current working theory is that it may be Singapore Cantonese, and also Singapore Hokkien, borrowed from Cantonese. My reasoning is that in HK and Guangdong they don't generally serve coffee Malay-style - i.e. kopi, kopi kosong, kopi siew dai, kopi ka dai, kopi gau, etc. with (or specified without) condensed milk, therefore there is no need for the term siew dai in those dialects of Cantonese where coffee is sweetened by sugar. Also, as with any other languages, there must be borrowings between the Chineses, including the Chineses of Singapore. This would account for why some informants say siew dai is Hokkien, since it is used in Hokkien sentences when ordering coffee here in Singapore. After checking dictionaries of Mandarin, Teochew, Foochow, Hakka, and Cantonese, the only one in which 底 is pronounced similar to 'dai' is Cantonese. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 01:55, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

@Sonofcawdrey Not to dismiss your theory, but just to clarify, in Hong Kong and Macau, although sugar is the usual way to sweeten coffee, condensed milk is also used in what is called 啡走. Also, AFAIK, 底 in Hakka is also "dai", and in Teochew it's "doi", which is sort of close. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:23, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
Ah, you know more about coffee drinking in HK/Macau than me. As for Hakka I used McGiver (1904) who gave khi, and , and for Teochew I used Goddard (1888) who gave `ti. So, yes, my data may be out of date. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 02:37, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, the problem maybe there are different pronunciations due to different dialects or different contexts (e.g. literary vs. vernacular). From this Taiwanese Hakka dictionary, 底 is pronounced "dai" in the Sixian and Hailu dialects, but "de" in Dapu, Raoping and Zhao'an dialects. From this Hakka dictionary, it's "dai" in most dialects, including prominent ones like Meixian and Huiyang, and "dei" or "de" in others. From this Teochew dictionary, it's "doi" in the vernacular and "di" in literary. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:49, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
@Justinrleung Okay, I've cut to the chase and altered the etymology to reflect the mystery we've unearthed. Do you think this is sufficient? - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:29, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
@Sonofcawdrey I think it looks fine now, except the romanizations given are still in Cantonese, so should we mention Cantonese in the etymology as well? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 19:26, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
@Justinrleung Yes, you're right ... had that as an afterthought. Anyhow, I've fixed it again, and it is a little lengthy, but that at least reflects the complexity of the situation. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 23:57, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
@Sonofcawdrey Great, I think it's good for now, unless we have any new evidence. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:21, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Have removed from entry.- Sonofcawdrey (talk) 01:17, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

χιών, χεῖμα, χειμώνEdit

For these I created the noun *ǵʰéyōm, with a source. But I'm puzzled as to how these three Greek forms relate to the PIE noun. Does anyone know? Any etymological sources that cover it? —CodeCat 01:16, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

*-om > -on; *-m[e]n > -ma. I can't say the specific descent, whether PIE > PIE > Gr or PIE > Gr > Gr. Lysdexia (talk) 20:57, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

parentage between bʰeh₂g- and bʰeh₂ǵos and bōkijǭ and bōksEdit

Which of the first two stems came first and did the other descend from that? Did the fourth stem descend from the third or first stem instead of the next stem? If so, can one put in the Germanic reflexes under the first stem unto book? Lysdexia (talk) 20:50, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

The first stem should further come from bʰāǵʰus like bʰewgʰ-. Lysdexia (talk) 22:23, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
A terminological quibble: *bʰeh₂g- is a stem, but *bʰeh₂ǵos has an ending added to the stem, making it a complete word. Without looking at the entries to check, I would assume that *bōks came from both: directly from *bʰeh₂ǵos, but, since *bʰeh₂ǵos is derived from *bʰeh₂g-, from *bʰeh₂g- as well. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:01, 2 April 2016 (UTC)


This is said to be from *bʰreg-, which is corroborated by De Vaan. But the -a- is left unexplained. The zero-grade form *bʰr̥-n-g- of a nasal-infix present would not give the Latin form, but rather something like *forngō, with the cluster presumably simplified in some way. The past participle, from *bʰr̥g-tós, would give *forctus. —CodeCat 22:40, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

Like you said, zero grade would regularly give us forms with "for-", which evidently isn't the case. If we go for a non-zero-grade, it looks like to me that we need a laryngeal for this guy. Hillcrest98 (talk) 23:55, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure there's a way to add a laryngeal to make this work. —JohnC5 05:31, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Scratch that, I'll trust your suggestion. Hillcrest98 (talk) 12:13, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Taking several comments by Sihler together (§§100.c, 124, 454.B.a), he discusses unexplained instances in which > an as opposed to en (apparently some argue this is the regular outcome before vowels). He claims that frangō is a “conflation of two well-attested and synonymous roots, *bʰreǵ- and *bʰeng-”, going on in a footnote to say that the latter root contained an n, not a nasal infix, based on Indic evidence. All of this taken together, I think he is suggesting something like **bʰrn̥G- > PI *frangō > L frangō. I'm startled De Vaan does not go into greater detail. —JohnC5 01:54, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
According to a rule I've seen Schrijver report for *m̥ǵh₂nós > magnus: *R̥D > RaD (as if thru *R̥Tʼ > *R̥HD?), PIE *bʰr̥g- would give *frag-, missing only the nasal infix. --Tropylium (talk) 17:48, 4 April 2016 (UTC) 
I believe the rule to which you are referring (*R̥D > *RaD) only occurs word initially and might be stated as *#R̥D > #RaD. —JohnC5 18:26, 4 April 2016 (UTC)


As discussed on the Wikipedia talk page of this name, a friend and I find it unlikely that "Schuyler" would have meant "scholar, student". We can't find any sources supporting that claim. Instead, almost everything seems to point to the meaning "someone who takes shelter" or "someone who lurks", with "creditor" being a second option. The reasoning is as follows:

  • When we read it, it sounds like /sxœy̯lər/, which would be the agent noun of "schuilen".
  • The surname Schuyler is not currently used in the Netherlands. (source: [1])
  • The surname Schuyler seems to be a corruption of Schuylder. (example: Philip Pieterse Schuyler's mother's maiden name was Van Schuylder)
  • The word "schuylder" can be found in a Dutch poem from that time period, where it seems to take the meaning "(there) lurked".
  • The word "schuylder" can be found multiple times in records from around 1440 of the magistrates' court of Helmond ([2] [3] [4]), where it takes the meaning "creditor".

I have no idea how the etymology could be definitely confirmed, but "scholar, student" seems purely based on what the American English pronunciation sounds like to American English ears. --Rhymoid (talk) 19:04, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

The literal meaning would indeed be "hider, someone who seeks refuge" from schuilen (uy is just a dated spelling of ui). And this makes more sense than one would immediately think, because the northern Netherlands were an asylum for Calvinist Protestants from throughout Europe, and vice versa Catholics from the northern Netherlands sought asylum in the south. The word schuilen is indeed used in this context: hidden non-Calvinist churches in Calvinist areas were called schuilkerk ("refuge church, hide church"). The alternation between Schuyler and Schuylder is of no concern: Dutch had a general tendency to insert -d- between -ler, for example "miller" is mulder in Dutch. --- Of course, all of this doesn't yet make it definite, just probable. Kolmiel (talk) 16:32, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
P.S. I accidently skipped what you said about actual attestations in the sense of "creditor". In that case it would belong with schuld ("debt"). That's also possible, but the uy would be dialectal in this case. I consider it less likely. But again: it's all just reasoning. Kolmiel (talk) 00:53, 10 April 2016 (UTC)


Illūc ‎(adverb) says it derives from an older form illōc ‎(adverb), from illūc ‎(pronoun form), the ablative of illic. Was the ablative of illic also formerly (sometimes) spelled illōc? Or was illōc ‎(adverb) influenced by the usage "illūc locō"? Or why did illūc ‎(pronoun form), in becoming illūc ‎(adverb), take a detour through illōc? PS we're missing an "inflected form of" section on illuc. - -sche (discuss) 19:13, 4 April 2016 (UTC)


We say this is possibly from Etruscan, but Wikipedia says it's from naevus and was borrowed into Etruscan. Either way, the name is attested in Etruscan (so just move it to "Descendants" if it's not the etymon). - -sche (discuss) 19:44, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Burmese ဆင် (hcang, 'elephant')Edit

@Alifshinobi, Wyang, and anyone else who may know: is Burmese ဆင် ‎(hcang, elephant) a loanword from a Tai language and thus ultimately from Proto-Tai *ɟa:ŋᶜ? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:40, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

The argument on that page is that Sinitic borrowed the word from Tai-Kadai, based on the fact that elephants are far more likely to be seen in SE Asia than in NE Asia. I'm not sure I find that convincing, given that even basic words like "three" were borrowed from Sinitic into Tai-Kadai. Then there are also words like Mongolian заан ‎(zaan) that probably fit in (old borrowings from Sinitic?). I can't answer the question, but I felt it was worth bringing up the further complexity. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:12, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
The current etymology at Proto-Tai *ɟa:ŋᶜ was added by User:Георг Ангкар, and possibly used Axel Schuessler's ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese (2007) as reference. The relevant paragraph therein on Chinese (xiàng) is below:

(zjaŋ)B LH ziɑŋb, OCM *s-jaŋʔ ? or *ziɑŋ ?, OCB *zaŋʔ

'Elephant, ivory' [OB, Shi].

[T] MTang ziaŋ < ONW zaŋ — [D] M-Xiàmén lit. tsʰiũC2, col. sioŋC2

[E] Area word (Norman 1988: 19): PTai *ǰaŋC, Saek saaŋC2 < z- 'elephant'; MK- PMonic *ciiŋ, PSemai *ciigŋ (-ii- instead of -a- is unexpected: Diffloth 1984: 63); TB-PLB *tsaŋ 'elephant' > WB chaŋA (-> Haka Chin siaŋ 'royal, governmental' from WB siaŋ-pahraŋ 'elephant lord', a royal title [F. K. Lehman 1963, The Structure of Chin Society, Illinois Stud. in Anthrop. no. 3: 39]); Lepcha tyaŋ-mo, Yidu Luoba ɑ33-tɑŋ55 [Zang-Mian no, 309].

Since it is hard to believe that people all over SE Asia and as far away as the Himalayan foothills would borrow a word for an indigenous animal from Northern China, the Chinese must have been the ones who borrowed this general area word like → hǔ1 'tiger' and → sì4 'wild buffalo'; the latter has the same rare OC initial as xiàng, Under these circumstances, xiàng prob. did not have an OC L-like initial. Furthermore, Boodberg (1937: 363) cites variants which may confirm a sibilant / affricate: an alternative word for 'elephant' zāng-yá 藏牙 [tsɑŋ-ŋa] (lit. 'bury tooth'), and a place name associated with elephants qiāng-wú 槍吾 [tsʰiɑŋ-ŋɑ] (lit. 'pointed tooth'?). Xiàng is not cognate to → yù25 'elephant', nor is WT glaŋ 'ox' related which is cognate to → gāng5 .
I'm not convinced by this etymology. It seems to rely on the assertions that elephants are not indigenous to the Sinitic homeland, and that this word is attested rather late, both of which are not correct. Archaeology shows that elephants were abundant in northern China in the earliest archaeological and literary records of Chinese civilisation (Mark Elvin's "The Retreat of the Elephants" - diagram). The character itself is attested in the oracle bone script with the same meaning.
Shorto's Mon-Khmer Etymological Dictionary (2006) has the following paragraph on this area word:
520 *[ ]ciiŋ elephant. A: (Mon, Katuic, Central Aslian) Old Mon cīṅ /ciŋ/, Modern Mon coiŋ, Kuy (ʔaː)ciːɲ, Bru ʔaciaŋ, Central Sakai chi‘k. Not explicable from Burmese chaṅ, on which see Benedict 1972 133 & n. 362; Shorto 1971 under the entry ciṅ1. (Skeat & Blagden 1906 E 49.)
With regard to the Burmese word, what is known is it can be reconstructed at the Proto-Lolo-Burmese level as *tsaŋ ("elephant"), and is cognate with Proto-Karen *k-chaŋᴬ ("elephant", > S'gaw Karen ကဆီ). This etymon may have been borrowed from a neighbouring Tai-Kadai or Austroasiatic language, although its tone (A) does not match the tones in Chinese and Thai (both B).
As for the Thai word, Pittayaporn believes ultimately it is borrowed from Chinese, specifically Early Middle Chinese. Pittayaporn (2009), in his reconstruction of Proto-Tai, says:
This etymon is reconstructible at the PT, though ultimately from xiàng ‘elephant’ (MC zjaŋB; LH ziɑŋB; OC *s-jaŋʔ). Wuming (Zhuang) /ɕiəŋC2/, Yongbei /tsɯ:ŋC2/, Lianshan /θe:ŋC2/ among others are later Mandarin loan from the same Chinese etymon.
Compare the semantically related Sinitic loanword in Thai: (, “tooth; tusk”) > งา ‎(ngaa, tusk). Wolfgang Behr's "'To Translate' is 'To Exchange'" (2004) provides an excellent discussion on the attestation and reconstruction of :
xiang 象 'to outline, depict, delineate, represent, map'

Xiang is reconstructed as *bzaŋʔ by Baxter, but Sagart has convincingly argued that Baxter's Old Chinese initial *z- should generally be rejected in favour of *s- + [-nasal]-clusters, although he does not reconstruct this particular word. Even if conclusive xiesheng-information is lacking in this short series (GSR 728), it is clear from borrowings of the homographic word 'elephant', that we will have to posit a lateral cluster initial for xiang. Both semantic fields 'elephant; tusk' and 'to outline, delineate, represent, map' are found from the earliest layers of the edited literature onwards, whereas only the first meaning is amply attested in oracle bone inscriptions. It occurs only once, in a late mid-Western Zhou bronze inscription, as an attributive in the gift-list expression xiang mi 象弭 'ivory bow ends'. Schuessler considers xiang (< OC *s-ljaŋʔ) to be a loan from an Austroasiatic language into Old Chinese and Written Tibetan glaṅ 'bull, ox; elephant', then from Old Chinese into Tai-Kadai, from Tai-Kadai into Tibeto-Burman, and finally from there back into Proto-Monic *ciiŋ 'elephant'. Peiros and Starostin straightforwardly reconstruct Sino-Tibetan *lǎŋH 'a big animal (ox, elephant)' on the strength of the Old Chinese and Written Tibetan forms, as well as Jingpo u-taŋ 'bullock, steer'.

Notice also that it is now sometimes assumed that the Common Slavic word *slonъ, underlying Russian slon 'elephant', was borrowed from an unspecified Sino-Tibetan source. Needless to say, that the archaeological and geographical frame for the necessary contacts between Austroasiatic and Slavic speakers during the early bronze age, remains a moot question.

Coming back to the question of the initial in xiang 'to outline, depict, delineate, represent, map' with its allograph xiang , first attested in the Chu silk manuscript, an argument for a lateral initial can also be made on the strength of yang < OC *blaŋ-s, 'appearance, model, type'. The character, although found with this meaning only since the early medieval period, must certainly belong to the word-family of xiang 象~像. In view of its internal and external connections, xiang < *s-laŋ-ʔ 'to represent' might therefore be construed as an *s-prefixed denominative derivation from an underlying nominal base, which was in turn marked as deverbal by the 'exoactive' *-s-suffix formation, which gave rise to the Middle Chinese departing tone.
Old Chinese is reconstructed as *ljaŋʔ by Zhengzhang Shangfang, and *s.[d]aŋʔ by Baxter and Sagart (square brackets [] indicate uncertain identity). The reasons given by Baxter and Sagart (2014) are:
Clear examples of *s.d- and *s.dz- are difficult to find: a possible example of *s.d- is

(565) *s.[d]aŋʔ > zjangX > xiàng 'elephant', pMǐn *dzh-, Xiàmén /tsʰiũ 6/; Proto-Tai *ɟa:ŋᶜ (Pittayaporn 2009: 327), Proto-Lakkia *dza:ŋᶜ (L-Thongkum 1992: 60); pMien *ɣji̯ɔŋB (the initial is unexplained), Proto-Vietic *ʔa-ɟa:ŋ

The Proto-Mǐn reflex *dzh- is explained if we assume that Proto-Mǐn still had *s-d- at the time of the first devoicing in dialects like Xiàmén, so the *d- was protected from that devoicing (which gave voiceless unaspirated reflexes); then we have *s-d- > *zd- > *dz- > *dzʱ- > [tsʰ]- by the second devoicing.
In all, it appears that Chinese (*C.laŋʔ, "elephant") is cognate with Proto-Tibeto-Burman *glaŋʔ ("ox, bull; elephant"). Chinese underwent the sound changes: *C.laŋʔ (OC) > ziɑŋB (Late Han) > zɨaŋB (Early MC) > sʱiaŋB (Late MC) > sjàŋ (Early Mandarin) > xiàng (Modern Mandarin). During Late Han or Early Middle Chinese, it was borrowed into Proto-Vietic as Proto-Vietic *ʔa-ɟa:ŋ ‎(elephant), coexisting with Proto-Vietic *-vɔːj ‎(elephant). During Early Middle Chinese, either the Chinese or the Vietic word was borrowed into Tai-Kadai as Proto-Tai *ɟa:ŋᶜ, and subsequently a branch of Tibeto-Burman borrowed it as Proto-Lolo-Burmese *tsaŋ ("elephant"). PLB then loaned it into Proto-Monic *ciiŋ "elephant". Wyang (talk) 02:49, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Wow, thank you for that comprehensive if slightly overwhelming answer. I've tried to boil it down to 25 words or less at ဆင်#Etymology; please take a look and see if I've summarized it correctly. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:37, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that is a very concise summary. Wyang (talk) 07:47, 6 April 2016 (UTC)


Is yrke a cognate of work? I was very surprised to notice it's not in the Svenska Akademiens Ordbok. --Espoo (talk) 05:03, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

It looks like it, yes, from Proto-Germanic *wurkiją. —CodeCat 22:50, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Could you add that, please? I'm not sure how to because I'm confused as to how that form relates to the Proto-Germanic and PIE forms listed for work. --Espoo (talk) 05:14, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I've created an entry from the words I could find. If anyone knows anymore descendants, please add them. —CodeCat 17:30, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for creating the entry *wurkiją, but I'm still confused as to how that Proto-Germanic form relates to the Proto-Germanic and PIE forms given as the etymons of work. --Espoo (talk) 03:59, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

-zr- > -br- in ItalicEdit

Currently we have entries that have -zr-, such as *kerazrom (cerebrum). But the w:Proto-Italic entry says that the change to -ðr- already happened in Proto-Italic. If that's the case, then there ought to be examples with -fr- in the other Italic languages. Are there any? Which standard should we maintain for Proto-Italic? —CodeCat 22:43, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Closes thing I can find in de Vaan is lat. vafer as a dialectal variant of vabrum. Paradebeispiel cases like cerebrum, crabro, sobrinus, tenebrae apparently have no attested cognates elsewhere in Italic.
Proto-Italic status regardless kinda follows from relative chronology, since the change feeds into *ðr > br (and similarly *sr > *θr into *θ > f). --Tropylium (talk) 00:59, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
That's a good point. sr > θr must be of Proto-Italic date at least if it happened in parallel to zr > ðr. However, while Venetic does not preserve lone initial θ in any case (it shifts to f just like in the rest of Italic), I just recently found out that Venetic does not have *ðr > *βr, at least if "louderobos" is an indication (vs Latin līber). So the sound changes are not exactly parallel: Venetic has θ > f, but it doesn't have ðr > βr. It might stand to reason that it also preserves θr, though we have no attestations of that. —CodeCat 01:31, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Terms derived from *h₁lewdʰ-?Edit

In his book, Ringe mentions a root verb *h₁ludʰét ‎(arrive), presumably from a root *h₁lewdʰ-. But I'm not able to find any terms derived from this verb, or even from the root. We do have an entry for *h₁lewdʰ-, but that has an entirely different meaning from the one Ringe gives, and it is an imperfective rather than a perfective verb, judging by the derivations. Can anyone find any descendants? —CodeCat 17:23, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

ἤλυθε, ἤλυθεν ‎(ḗluthe, ḗluthen), the Epic aorist of ἔρχομαι ‎(érkhomai). Also Old Irish luid ‎(went) and Tocharian A läc ‎(went). Jasanoff (Hittite and the Indo-European Verb p. 223) calls *h₁ludʰ-é/ó- "easily the best-established thematic aorist in the PIE lexicon". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:09, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Ringe says something similar about it. That's why I wanted it included, but I had trouble finding descendants and I stick by my personal rule (maybe we should make it a policy) that reconstructions must have either descendants or derived terms. —CodeCat 18:43, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I've created the entry now. —CodeCat 18:50, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
It's already linked to from ἦλθον ‎(êlthon). I don't know whether it was only aorist in PIE; Greek has it also in the future and perfect, but in Irish it's only in the preterite (from the aorist). I don't know about Tocharian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:54, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
That's really a matter of derivations, which we place on the root. Present, aorist and perfect were still individual verbs in PIE, the development towards a "paradigm"-type verb system with all three integrated into one was only just starting to occur by that time. —CodeCat 18:57, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

(Transalpine) GaulishEdit

The language code xtg words with {{etyl}} but not with {{m}}. Do we not allow Gaulish reconstructions in etymologies? I know nothing about the language—I'm just copying the etymology of bale and balle from Wiktionnaire. If we don't use it, should I just skip the etymology, or do we call it something else here? Andrew Sheedy (talk) 20:44, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

We consider them dialects of just Gaulish, code cel-gau. —CodeCat 20:47, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

Terms derived from PIE *luktó "get light"Edit

Ringe mentions the deponent aorist *luktó ‎(to get light), from the root *lewk-. Is anyone able to find descendants of this, so an entry can be created for it? —CodeCat 15:50, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

  • MW (p.881/3, रुच) has the Rigvedic रुचे ‎(rucé), which would be exactly the correct form given Sanskrit's substitution of -e < *-to; though I can't tell what the inflection is meant to be.
  • The Iranian branch seems to be of no help, providing nearly nothing outside of causative-iterative (which also abound in Sanskrit, Slavic, Hittite, and Latin).
  • Kloekhorst says the Hittite verb *lukk- was originally middle only and says specifically “The form lukta (OS) must reflect *léuk-to (or, less likely, *luktó?),…”. That could make 𒇻𒊌𒋫 ‎(lu-uk-ta, /lukta/, 3.sg.pres.mid.) part of this proposed paradigm.
  • LIV points to Tocharian A lyokät, for which I can offer little analysis except that Adams seems to have a lot of medio-passive formations in the past.
All together, I don't know. It certainly seemed to prefer the medio-passive, have an athematic conjugation, and have perfective reflexes. I notice that λεύσσω ‎(leússō) (which Beekes assigns to a full-grade *-ye- present found nowhere else in PIE) possesses no perfective forms and may speak to a full recreation of the paradigm. Indeed very few of the root inflections seem to survive outside of Anatolian, Tocharian, and Indo-Iranian, whereas secondary and innovative formations dominate the remaining branches. This might point to some irregularity in the original conjugation like a perfective medio-passive root. Alternatively, I might just be tired and babbling idly. —JohnC5 04:35, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
@CodeCat: Thoughts? —JohnC5 04:33, 14 April 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

I initially reverted this because phrases such as "Historical linguists agree", "loanwords from Semitic Ṭībat or Tūbātt (Arabic: طيبة، توبات ; Hebrew: טובּה, טובּת)", and "itself deriving from Turkic Töbäd/Töpüt, literally: "The Heights" (plural of töbän)", led me to think this was a case of someone with no knowledge of historical linguistics regurgitating garbled bits of etymologies from other sources. After all, the forms given aren't from "Semitic" or "Turkic", because those aren't languages, and the words cited can't be Proto-Semitic or Proto-Turkic. Large and necessary chunks of information are simply missing. The fact that the references are partly mangled didn't help.

After seeing the edit history of w:Tibet, though, it seemed like there might be something to the etymology there that this etymology was obviously copied from, even if the copy is a bit of a mess- I'm skeptical, but this is out of my area of experience.

Is there any information in reliable references about the etymology of the word, and does it corroborate any of this? Chuck Entz (talk) 22:22, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

It appears to come from Oriens (Journal of the International Society for Oriental Research: 1994), Volume 34 here, pages 558–559. —Stephen (Talk) 04:36, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but Google Books doesn't show me those pages, and I'm not sure I'm qualified to assess the validity of anything therein. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:00, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

Kabyle isemEdit

Do we have a source or some other proof that this is a loanword from Arabic? It's definitely possible, but *(ʔi)sim is also reconstructed for Afro-Asiatic. So it might be inherited. Kolmiel (talk) 16:18, 13 April 2016 (UTC)


The etymology of Ordos needs a bit of a cleanup. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:48, 13 April 2016 (UTC)


The etymology for 拍拼 doesn't seem reliable, since the term is not exclusive to Taiwan, but is also used in Fujian (Xiamen, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou). Also, itself already means "to work hard; to strive". I think it's a stretch to attribute this word to beating and cleaning. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:38, 14 April 2016 (UTC)


RFV for the etymology. This does appear to be Mandarin, nor even local Singaporean Mandarin. Neither does it seem to be Hokkien or Cantonese. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 00:15, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

According to this (in the comments), maybe it's from Teochew 老爺老爷 (lao6 ia5), but I don't see the connection. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:35, 15 April 2016 (UTC)


Ringe reconstructs this with a final -s, the usual nominative ending. But nouns ending in -h₂ drop this ending in the vast majority of cases (which is why the ā-stem nouns of the later languages don't have it). The descendants of this term don't seem to show any trace of the ending either. So I can't for the life of me figure out why Ringe adds it. Anyone have any idea? Should we move it to the s-less form? —CodeCat 00:44, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

De Vaan doesn't have the s. I'd always wondered why this term had it. I know of no explanation for it. —JohnC5 04:50, 15 April 2016 (UTC)


Discussion moved from WT:RFC.

Recent changes to the Spanish etymology section made the entry messy. In addition to this, no sources were provided to the affirmation that an Arabic origin of the term is today discredited. --Robbie SWE (talk) 09:58, 8 April 2016 (UTC)


According to http://www.dwds.de/?qu=Finger a different etymology is possible (kann auf eine Bildung mit ie. ro- Suffix zur ie. Form des Zahlworts fünf (s. d.) zurückgehen, so daß ie. *penku̯ro- anzusetzen wäre, das dann für ‘einen aus der Gesamtheit der fünf Finger’ gelten würde. Aber auch Anschluß an die Verbalwurzel von fangen (germ. *fanhan ‘fassen, ergreifen’) mit einem Ansatz ie. *penkro- ist möglich.), but i can't add it because i don't understand what is meant with "ansatz". --Espoo (talk) 03:37, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Ansatz here means "postulation", a postulated form in a reconstructed language. Kolmiel (talk) 18:43, 17 April 2016 (UTC)


Interestingly, linguistics at the time when the letter F of the Grimm dictionary was written (http://woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/?lemma=Finger) thought this a plausible etymology: "finn. käsi bindet sich mit hri capere". What is meant with "hri"? --Espoo (talk) 05:07, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Due to the non-italic script, "hri" must be an example word from some language, of which Latin "capere" is the gloss. I have no clue what language that would be, however. One might think about a misspelling of Latin hir, but that word means "hand" not "take". If no one can help you and you're really interested in this, it would be worthwhile to look at a hardcopy, because "hri" might be a mis-digitalization of something completely different. Kolmiel (talk) 18:55, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Given the earlier reference also to χείρ ‎(kheír), a misformatted reference to hir seems the most likely. PIE *ǵʰesr- has often enough been compared with PU *käte, though the match is fairly poor (once the later sibilation in käsi and kéz is discounted). --Tropylium (talk) 20:37, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

انبه and ambaEdit

Something tells me that while these are probably related to Sanskrit आम्र ‎(āmra), they probably don't come from Sanskrit, but rather from another Indian language. --WikiTiki89 18:00, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Nomen est omenEdit

I can find modern use of the Latin nomen est omen in a few cultures (e.g. Dutch, Finnish, German, English), but was it actually used by the ancient Romans? The modern use seems to differ from what the wiktionary entry provides as origin:

The origin of this saying is attributed to the Roman playwright Plautus. In his play "Persa" the slave Toxilus lures his owner Dordalus to buy an expensive slave-girl named Lucris ‎(“profits”) saying "Nomen atque omen quantivis iam est preti "

Plautus uses "atque" instead of "est". Did the Romans use "nomen est omen" as an expression? Did they use "nomen atque omen"? Or neither and is this a much later invention? Did the Roman believe in the concept of 'your destiny lies within your name'? Edwininlondon (talk) 18:33, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

The structures of the two sentences are different. Word-by word translations: "Nomen ‎(name) atque ‎(and) omen ‎(omen) quantivis ‎(at whatever cost) iam ‎(already) est ‎(is) preti ‎(of price, worth)" vs. "Nomen ‎(name) est ‎(is) omen ‎(omen)." --Hekaheka (talk) 04:20, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
So if it is not from Plautus, where did nomen est omen originate from? Is it a Middle Ages invention? Edwininlondon (talk) 08:12, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
English is full of proverbs and pithy sayings that are misquotations or paraphrases of quotations, why shouldn't Latin be? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:05, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
I see. Is there any evidence of the Romans using it as a proverb? Edwininlondon (talk) 18:19, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
No idea, but keep in mind Latin survived the Ancient Romans by many centuries. It could be first attested in Late Latin, Medieval Latin, Renaissance Latin, or New Latin and still count as Latin. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:43, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
The earliest citation I can find is:
  • 1848, Ernst Keil, Der Leuchtthurm; Monatsschrift:
    ... 1840 wurde von Kalbfell (nomen est omen!) in Reutlingen, dem Bedürfniß feiner Landsleute entgegen zu kommen, ...
- -sche (discuss) 02:17, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
This is from 1585: [5]. The quote is right above the yellow highlight. --Hekaheka (talk) 12:22, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Latin grossusEdit

Three years ago some of you guys came to the conclusion (correct, I think) that this word should not be derived from Old High German. However, our etymologies for English gross and for gros in several languages still use this etymology. They should be corrected, too. Kolmiel (talk) 23:09, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

if you look through Special:WhatLinksHere/grossus, you can find at least a couple of other instances. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:17, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

kurtchi - Persian horsemenEdit

I am fighting to fight the proper etymon for kurtchis and would like some help.

  • it has the meaning of "persian noble/elite horseman"
  • my guess: it comes from Turkish or Persian.

Can someone help ? --Diligent (talk) 14:48, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


@Erutuon This says it comes from the root *gʷeh₂-, but it could just as easily come from *gʷem- instead like the present βαίνω ‎(baínō), as both the laryngeal and the syllabic sonorant would give -a- in Ancient Greek. Is there any way to tell which of the two possibilities it is? —CodeCat 19:12, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

@CodeCat: Hmm, you're right, the form is ambiguous: it could represent the root of the present stem βαν ‎(ban) or the aorist stem βᾱ/βα ‎(bā/ba). I didn't have a source; I guess I assumed it was based on the zero-grade of the aorist stem, and analogous to φατός ‎(phatós) from φημί ‎(phēmí).
One reason for my assumption is that it would be the most obvious synchronic analysis, and the most likely etymology if the word were coined later than PIE, but it could just as easily have been inherited from PIE and derived from the zero-grade of the present stem.
Another reason is that the aorist root may be more productive, since it clearly yields the perfect βέβηκα ‎(bébēka), and may also yield the future βήσομαι ‎(bḗsomai), though this could also be a result of the present root. In the case of the present, the development would be *ban-s-omai > (compensatory lengthening) βᾱ́σομαι ‎(bā́somai) > (Attic-Ionic vowel shift) βήσομαι ‎(bḗsomai); in the case of the aorist stem, *bā-s-omai > βᾱ́σομαι ‎(bā́somai) > βήσομαι ‎(bḗsomai). So the aorist root may be more productive than the present. It is also more transparent, since the future at least appears to originate directly from the aorist, if you don't know anything about compensatory lengthening and Proto-Hellenic palatalization. So, it seemed plausible to assume the aorist root also served as the base for βάσις ‎(básis) and βατός ‎(batós), or that in the minds of speakers of the language, forms that actually developed from the root of the present were reanalyzed as deriving from the aorist. However, this is all speculation and perhaps not what the scholarly sources say. — Eru·tuon 03:06, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

etymology of and cognates to Old Norse verb sløkkvaEdit

Cannot find anything on Internet. Perhaps Proto-Germanic *slankwijaną ? -- 19:24, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, too fast on the keyboard. [6] -- 19:28, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
sløkkva (also sløkva and slekkja (with loss of -w-)) appears to stem from *slakwijaną ‎(to delete; erradicate; clear; silence), the causative of *slekwaną ‎(to extinguish; go out, strong verb). Hope this helps Leasnam (talk) 17:16, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Also, the two verbs above seem to only be attested in Old Norse (--hence, also in daughter languages of Old Norse, and in English as borrowings: slock, slocken). Leasnam (talk) 17:19, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Since labiovelars were one phoneme, would this not trigger the nonsyllabic Sievers' law variant, *slakwjaną? Velars are geminated by a following -j- in Old Norse, so this seems to give evidence for that. —CodeCat 17:42, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, if that is the case then it would. Thank you Leasnam (talk) 17:50, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I'd like to be sure, though. Are there other examples of -kwj- in Germanic? —CodeCat 17:58, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't see any in any of our entries; and the sources I use do not always adhere to Siever's, so if I made any, I'm sure they would be -kwij- :( Leasnam (talk) 18:17, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I was wondering: Is that always true regarding the gemination in Old Norse due to *-kj-? For instance *þakjaną gave þekja and not *þekkja, and *wakjaną > vekja? -- 18:19, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Levelling. The 2nd and 3rd person forms did not have -j- in Proto-Germanic, nor did the imperative or any of the past tense forms. So these could have been a source of analogy to level out the gemination. —CodeCat 19:38, 21 April 2016 (UTC)


My reading of https://books.google.com/books?id=giMRAQAAMAAJ&vq=hygge&pg=PA315#v=snippet&q=hygge&f=false is that hygge is:

From Old Norse hugga ‎(to comfort, console) (c.f. hug)

per my edit https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=hygge&oldid=38029745

But an IP removed it with edit comment "that's incorrect" and puts:

From Old Danish hyggæ, from Old Norse hyggja ‎(to think), from Proto-Germanic *hugjaną ‎(to think, reconsider).


...which seems implausible to me. Thoughts?

Talk to SageGreenRider 00:56, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

If it's from hugga, where did the y come from? —CodeCat 01:14, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't know how it came to be. I only read the source https://books.google.com/books?id=giMRAQAAMAAJ&vq=hygge&pg=PA315#v=snippet&q=hygge&f=false and it mentions hugyan etc. Plus "cosiness" seems logically closer to "comfort" than "thinking" IMHO.Talk to SageGreenRider 01:21, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not at all fluent in Danish, but it looks to me like the source you linked to may agree with the IP's version, once you allow for differences in orthography. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:36, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
And yet verheugen comes eventually from the noun *hugiz, related to the verb *hugjaną. —CodeCat 01:36, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Maybe. But "y" in Scandinavian often transliterate to "u" as in village "-bu" is English "-by" ,. What does "cosiness' have to do with "thinking" ? Talk to SageGreenRider 01:43, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
One could ask the same about verheugen with respect to being happy and glad, which is why I brought it up. It's not such a stretch. —CodeCat 02:03, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
The Old Norse verb hugga would yield Danish *hugge or possibly even *hogge. As CodeCat pointed out, the y has to be explained with one possibility by the i-mutation, which holds true in this case. The etymology of the term is explicitly sourced by [7] and [8]. -- 07:12, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

'Mal' Words for SpeakEdit

The Russian page for Молва (with related words like молвить) claims the word may have a relationship with Latin promulgare. It is related to other Slavic words like Czech "mluva" and Bulgarian "мълва". But the similarity to a bunch of Germanic words stood out to me. Dutch and German "melden", Icelandic "mál", Norse "mæla". The Germanic words all seem to have/had a "d" before or after the "l", the Slavic a "w" and the seemingly isolated Latin a "g". But maybe these final consonants are later additions to a common 'm*l' root? (Maybe earlier additions, but I'm thinking Vulgar Latin adding icare to verb roots which in some Romance would turn to "g" and could be shared from there. Are there classical instances of "promulgare"?) (Germanic could have added a dental as a noun suffix and created a verb from there.) (Slavic??? related to ба noun suffix??)

J'odore (talk)

From this, it's pretty clear to me that the Latin term isn't related here. However, the Germanic and Slavic might be. I'm not familiar enough with the reflexes between Germanic and Slavic; the Germanic þ might be equivalent with the Slavic v, but another user better versed in PIE would be better suited to answering this. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 08:23, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Germanic þ is definitely not equivalent with Slavic v; it can only match with Slavic t. Still, in principle the basic root could be the same, but with different consonant extensions in Germanic and Slavic (*mel-t- in Germanic, *mel-w- in Slavic). That sort of thing is quite common in Indo-European. However, Germanic *melþōną cannot come from PIE *meldʰ- (which would give something like *meld-/mald-/muld- in Germanic) as our entry currently claims, but only from PIE *melt-. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:09, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
The Germanic *melþōną is related to Russian молить ‎(molitʹ), from PSlv *modliti by metathesis. *maþlą is uncertain. It may come from PIE *mōt- ‎(to meet; encounter). Leasnam (talk) 17:07, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
If it is, then the Germanic has to be *meldōną, not *melþōną. All the attested forms have d anyway, it looks like. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:34, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
-lþ- > -ld- is a regular change in West Germanic. We'd need a non-West-Germanic descendant. —CodeCat 17:49, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
What about OHG meldōn? We'd expect that to be *meltōn, wouldn't we? But it's only attested with a -d-. I've been wondering about this before. The German standard dictionaries derive it from Germanic *meld- without explaining it. However, there is also OHG sculd, which would have to be *scult, but isn't. This might mean that OHG had occasional irregular revoicing (or lack of consonant shift) in Germanic -ld-. Or am I missing something? Is Grammatischer Wechsel involved? Kolmiel (talk) 19:16, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Apparently, the change happened at a point where OHG had already undergone the change of d > t. So it's an areal change, but it appears to have happened before most written records. One exception I know of is the 6th century Old Dutch phrase maltho thi afrio lito. —CodeCat 19:31, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, that makes sense. Otherwise PG *-lþ- would have yielded OHG **-lt-. But I mean concerning the question whether it's *meldōną or *melþōną. OHG meldōn would speak (to me) in favour of the latter, but the literature says it's the former. An irregularity? Or can it be something else? Kolmiel (talk) 20:16, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Compare also [9]. Philippa gives PG *meld-, not *melþ-. Same in the German dictionaries. De Vries says "etymologie onzeker". Kolmiel (talk) 20:19, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Well then those etymologies are just wrong. OHG meldon can't come from *meldōną. Compare a word that actually does have -ld-, namely *haldaną. The OHG descendant has, predictably, -lt-. —CodeCat 21:15, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
I know how everything developed in OHG, that's why I said it would have to be irregular. But the fact is that both German standard dictionaries (Kluge and Pfeiffer) derive it from that, as does the current Dutch standard dictionary (Philippa). Did they all just not notice? I find it hard to believe that. And what about OHG sculd? This is also exclusively attested with a -d-. Can you explain that? Kolmiel (talk) 12:15, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Old High German didn't invariably have sculd, we also find scult (the expected outcome). I cannot offer an explanation, but could this possibly be dialectal variation or earlier attestation ? Leasnam (talk) 15:39, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, uninflected scult, particularly in somewhat later OHG, means little because this will be due to final devoicing. You'd need an inflected form with scult- or scult in a very old text that doesn't otherwise show final devoicing. As far as I know, nothing of this kind is attested. The form sculd is 8th century, that's as early as it gets. Uninflected scult is attested, but the inflected forms invariably have -d-. I'm not aware of any exception. Kolmiel (talk) 14:03, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

je m'appelleEdit

The etymology for je m'appelle seems to complicated. Wouldn't it be enough to mention something about "s'appeler" instead of overly analyzing each morpheme? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 00:25, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Agree, it's bloated. I cut it out and instead linked to s'appeler. It's already decomposed under the "Phrase" header anyway. Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:01, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

argumentum a/e contrarioEdit

In some languages, the form argumentum a contrario is used, in others argumentum e contrario. Does anyone know why and what the original form was? --Espoo (talk) 20:09, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

I think there could be two separate words here. I might not be on target, but: "a" is a short form of ab. The "e" is a short form of ex. Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:31, 26 April 2016 (UTC)


Glosses *peh₂- as "to feed, to graze". Is this a different root, or another sense of the same root ("to protect")? DTLHS (talk) 03:20, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

It's another sense of the same root. "Protector" came to mean "shepherd", which was then reinterpreted as "feeder, grazer". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:52, 27 April 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

It looks like the obvious etymology is wrong, and an IP has added multiple paragraphs to explain why. Can someone concisely make sense out of this? Chuck Entz (talk) 12:40, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

The etymology the IP added comes from http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/wentelteefje if that helps. —CodeCat 14:09, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
I was aware of that, but is there any way it could be converted to a Wiktionary-style etymology, rather than a three-paragraph plain-text mini-essay with no formatting of any kind, let alone categorization? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:00, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Old Persian 𐏃𐎡𐎯𐎢𐏁 (Indus)Edit

What is the š in 𐏃𐎡𐎯𐎢𐏁 ‎(hinduš)? It appears neither in the etyma, nor in any of the descendants? --WikiTiki89 21:58, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

The RUKI rule. —CodeCat 22:06, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
@CodeCat: That really doesn't answer my question. If the š came from s, then where did the s come from in the first place? None of the etyma or descendants have a final sibilant (other than obviously Greek and Latin, where it marks the nominative case). --WikiTiki89 22:12, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Don't the Indo-Iranian languages have the same nominative -s? —CodeCat 22:13, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
If they do, then that answers my question. I don't know enough. But then why does the reconstruction Proto-Indo-Iranian *sindhu lack an -s? --WikiTiki89 22:14, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
My guess is that it's because PII reconstructions use the bare stem as the lemma form for nominals, like Sanskrit lemmas, and I think also Avestan lemmas. —CodeCat 22:18, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Ok. Then why don't we indicate that with a hyphen (*sindhu-) like we do with other reconstructed languages? And does that mean that none of our Sanskrit noun lemmas are actually real words? --WikiTiki89 22:23, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Pretty much. That's the norm in Sanskrit dictionaries though. Ask User:Aryamanarora. —CodeCat 22:35, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
But shouldn't we use hyphens for Proto-Indo-Iranian? And is this the norm in Sanskrit dictionaries written in Devanagari? Because I feel like leaving off the ending makes more sense in Latin script than it does in Devanagari, but I could be wrong. --WikiTiki89 22:53, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
In Devanagari, the final consonant of the nominative is a special sign called visarga, not a real letter. So it is somewhat understandable that it's left out. But you should really ask User:Aryamanarora, they know much more about Indo-Iranian than I do. —CodeCat 00:01, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
It's more complicated than that: the underlying final s is affected by sandhi, so you have to know what sounds follow to know whether the surface form is going to be a visarga (sort of like a final -h) or an s. Maybe someday someone will have the inclination/bot resources to create an -s and a -visarga sandhi-form entry for every thematic root that takes a final -s. For now, though, the root is the most important form, because all the dictionaries I've seen list entries by the root. The one I'm most familiar with, the huge Monier Williams one, has a combination of Devanagari and Latin scripts, but always lists terms by roots, whether in Devanagari or Latin.
It's not just the final -s either. Sanskrit has a very complex system of internal and external sandhi that affects a large percentage of the terms, and the rules interact with each other. A word can vary so much with the combined effects of inflectional endings, affixes, and sounds in nearby words that it can be impossible to recognize that the different forms are all the same word without working out the sandhi first. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:50, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
It is Indo-Iranian *sindhuš – *sindhu- is the stem. In Classical Sanskrit, nominative singular *-s became -ः ‎(-ḥ). We should make PII terms in nominative singular form, in accordance with PIE standards. —Aryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 14:02, 28 April 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology:

  • From Proto-Finnic *kakra, compare Karelian kakra, Livonian kagr, Estonian kaer. Borrowed from a Germanic original akin to Old Gutnish hagri, dialectal Swedish hagre. Old Norse hafri, despite its similarity, does not appear to be directly related.

A Swedish IP removed the last sentence (added by User:Tropylium in 2009) as dubious. I reverted them, but this hinges on areas beyond my expertise.

The whole subject of European terms for oats seems rather murky: you have Latin avena, which our etymology claims is from a non-Indo-European substrate word, and cites Lithuanian aviža, Latvian auzas, and Proto-Slavic *ovьsъ as cognates. Then there's Proto-Germanic *habrô, which our etymology derives from Proto-Indo-European *kapro- ‎(goat).

I would note that the Balto-Slavic group look like there might have been a satemized palato-alveolar in their history somewhere, in which case they would seem to be candidates for the source of this term, and less likely to be cognates of the Latin term (I'm a bit out of my depth here, so I could be totally wrong). It's interesting that all of these terms with a possible second velar are in the same geographical area.

I would also note that there might be some sort of folk-etymological influence involved in the Proto-Germanic term, with perhaps even a merger of an unrelated substrate term and the PIE term for goat.

The Balto-Slavic terms don't look inherited to me. The consonants (ž, z, s) don't match. —CodeCat 20:31, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
What exactly requires verification (as opposed to simple referencing)? This etymology has been standard issue for the last 250 years in pretty much any work treating Germanic loanwords in Finnic. E.g. {{R:fi:SSA}} comments (my translation):
"Nowadays the predominant belief might be [lienee] that these germ. words [hagre etc.] are related to dialectal Norwegian hagr ‎(horse's tail hairs) and of different origin from Swedish etc. havre < haƀran-."
The reference for the 'horse's tail' etymology seems to be {{R:non:AEW}}. I'm not going to claim in a Finnish etym section though that *hagran- and *habrô would have to be unrelated: hence merely "does not appear to be directly related".
— If we wanted to connect the two 'oat' groups, I don't see how taking the BSl forms back to *h₂ewiǵʰ- (as per {{R:Derksen 2008}}) helps, since the PIE-PGmc correspondences here appear to be *h₂ >> *h, *w >> *b/*g and *ǵ >> *z. The first correspondence, yes, could be handled thru early loaning to Uralic (*h₂ → *k), then Uralic → pre-Grimm's Law Germanic (*k → *k > *h), but the third correspondence by contrast needs direct loaning from Balto-Slavic to Germanic: Proto-Finnic had no **z, and also has initial stress, meaning Verner's Law cannot be invoked either after loaning to Germanic. And the second will be an even worse problem.
--Tropylium (talk) 22:14, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

May 2016


On Wikipedia, the third paragraph gives some interesting story of the etymology:

The name Yukon, or ųųg han, is a blend of the words in the Gwich'in phrase chųų gąįį han, which means white water river and refers to the visual effect of glacial silt in the Yukon River.[6][7] The blend omits the consonant “ch” and the vowels “ąįį.”[8] In 1843, the Holikachuks had told the Russians that their name for the river was Yukkhana and that this name meant big river.[9] Although it did serve as the name, Yukkhana does not correspond to a Holikachuk phrase that means big river.[10][11] The Holikachuks had borrowed the upriver language name and conflated its meaning with the meaning of Kuigpak, the Yup’ik name for the same river.[12] Two years later, the Gwich’ins told the Hudson’s Bay Company that their name for the river was Yukon and that the name meant white water river.[6] White water river in fact corresponds to Gwich’in words that can be blended to form Yukon.[7]

Does it check out? The footnotes of the WP article extensively discuss this.

Should we replace the current WT etymology if it does? Hillcrest98 (talk) 04:28, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

I don’t know about the details such as dates, but I recognize the words chųų gąįį hän from their similarity to Navajo ( łigai). —Stephen (Talk) 16:09, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

The ambiguous Proto-Semitic cardinal *waḥad-Edit

Recently I added *waḥad- to the Reconstruction namespace, based on the article I added as a reference for the entry. This article - in my view, convincingly - disproves the idea that it was used as a cardinal number in Proto-Semitic, and argues for an original adjectival sense which was later largely lost as it supplanted an earlier Proto-Semitic cardinal in most Semitic languages. However, as the author points out, the idea of it being a numeral does still exist among some etymologists. So I was unsure whether or not I should include both senses and add a NB to the bottom, as I have done, or whether one of the senses should be omitted, or maybe some other solution to clear up this ambiguity. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 14:57, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm wondering if there's a big difference between "adjective" and "numeral" in this case? Arabic wāḥid, at least, is grammatically an adjective that can be translated with "a single" just as well as "one". I mean, it's possible that this root has displaced some other Proto-Semitic numeral, but I don't think its own grammatical function has really changed. -- But anyway: The Arabic واحِد ‎(wāḥid) doesn't even seem to be a descendent of this etymon, just from the same root. Maybe أحد ‎(aḥad) is the right one? Kolmiel (talk) 18:13, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Wilson-Wright lists both واحِد ‎(wāḥid) and أحد ‎(aḥad) as reflexes of *waḥad. Anyhow, his point, which I am not sure what to do with here on Wiktionary, was really that in Proto-Semitic *waḥad was not at all (contrary to what he presents as the common view - I am no Semitist so I cannot verify that that is indeed the common view, but I'll take his word and credentials for it) used as a numeral, but rather exclusively as an adjective meaning lone. Which brings me to the issue of how to convey that in the lemma. 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 18:36, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Kolmiel, and he is right about أَحَد ‎(ʾaḥad) being the Arabic descendant, not وَاحِد ‎(wāḥid); the latter is most likely related, but it is a different form. In fact I think we should reconstruct it as *ʾaḥad-, since none of the descendants have initial w- (except for the parenthesized w- in Akkadian, which I would like to know more about). --WikiTiki89 18:40, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, I went based off the article, but again, I have no further sources. You can read it here: http://jss.oxfordjournals.org/content/59/1/1 - I think it isn't behind a paywall. Anyhow, I don't know enough about the history of Semitic languages to add much more beyond this, so I'll leave it to you. 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 18:45, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
@Rathersilly: Can you provide the quote that says that وَاحِد ‎(wāḥid) is reflex of *waḥad-? The article you link to is behind a paywall for me at least (although the abstract is free). --WikiTiki89 18:50, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
@WikiTiki89 - http://i.imgur.com/YKNPBu0.png Here is the page off which I based its descendants. I can hook you up with the full thing via PM if you like? 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 18:55, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Wait, are messages even a thing on this website. I am so bad at this. It says messages in my top right though, so sending them must be possible. Sigh. 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 19:01, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
PMing is done through email (Special:EmailUser). I sent you an email, all you have to do is reply. The messages in the top right are just when someone posts on your talk page (which is not private). --WikiTiki89 19:09, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Oh, gotcha. תהנה. 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 19:21, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
So that does not exactly say that وَاحِد ‎(wāḥid) is a direct reflex of *waḥad-, but rather a derivative, fit to the pattern of the active participle. So we should treat it as a derivative rather than a descendant. I also strongly believe that we should use the reconstruction *ʾaḥad- as the lemma, since the w- > ʾ- change must have happened in Proto-Semitic or earlier. --WikiTiki89 19:53, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Doesn't table 2 list وَاحِد ‎(wāḥid) as a reflex, or am I misreading? 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 17:29, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
It does, but it cannot phonologically be a direct descendant and later on it says (on page 10): "Only Arabic attests wāḥid, which is vocalized like a participle. Here the principle of parsimony comes into play. It would be easier for Arabic to develop a bi-form by analogy with the participle than for the majority of the West Semitic languages to independently innovate a new, unmotivated form." --WikiTiki89 17:37, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Touché. I had missed that. 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 19:19, 3 May 2016 (UTC)


Greek etymology added in diff needs Greek script if OK. - -sche (discuss) 05:42, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

It seems to be pure speculation, but not implausible. I've stripped it down and added the Greek script. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:54, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Second element in Gothic compound 𐌱𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌲𐍃𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃?Edit

Was wondering if anyone knows what the second part of this compound is? It obviously means something along the lines of 'wall', as Streitberg has the translation of the compound as 'Stadtmauer', but I can't think of a cognate - 'waddjus' is quite far off any Germanic variation of 'wall' I've seen. 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 17:30, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

We have an entry 𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃 ‎(waddjus). Winfred Philipp Lehmann's Gothic Etymological Dictionary defines -waddjus as "wall", naming several compounds in appears in. He mentions, presumably as a list of cognates and non-cognates, "OI veggr stm wall. Not here OE wāg, OFris wāch, OS wēgos pl stm wall, but rather to root of *waihsta". (Compare our entries Veggr and væg and vägg.) He traces it to a Proto-Germanic root "wayyu [...] 'woven wall, wattle'". - -sche (discuss) 17:48, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
Interesting. But should we keep 𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃 ‎(waddjus), which doesn't appear to be attested outside of compounds, in the mainspace, or should it be a Reconstruction? As was done with *ᚾᚨᚢᛞᛁᛉ ‎(*naudiz). 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 17:56, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
Hard to say. The argument for naudiz not to be in mainspace is partly that it's only attested as a medial element of a compound, so in theory the paradigm is reconstructed based on PGmc; if waddjus is attested as the final element of a compound and its meaning within the compound is clear, it doesn't seem inappropriate to keep it in mainspace. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:13, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
waddjus is attested AFAICT only in 𐌱𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌲𐍃𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃 ‎(baurgswaddjus), 𐌲𐍂𐌿𐌽𐌳𐌿𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃 ‎(grunduwaddjus), and 𐌼𐌹𐌳𐌲𐌰𐍂𐌳𐌹𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃 ‎(midgardiwaddjus). I'd be in favor of moving 𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃 ‎(waddjus) to *𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃 ‎(*waddjus) since it's unattested by itself. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:17, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
I also think so, honestly. Also, quick question - 𐌼𐌹𐌳𐌲𐌰𐍂𐌳𐌹𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿𐍃 ‎(midgardiwaddjus) is only attested in acc. sing., should I create the entry for a nom. sing form or only for the acc. sing 𐌼𐌹𐌳𐌲𐌰𐍂𐌳𐌹𐍅𐌰𐌳𐌳𐌾𐌿 ‎(midgardiwaddju)? 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 18:34, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
For Gothic we've always created the lemma form, even when the word is actually attested only in an inflected form—at least in cases where the lemma form is obvious. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:05, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
I see, and have created the lemma form. Is there an easy way for people to find the lemma forms from looking for the non-lemma forms though? I know that some people managed to automate the creation of Latin inflected form entries for example which makes this very easy, but nothing of the sort seems to exist for Gothic. (P.S. sorry for bombarding you and others with questions, I'm still learning how to most efficiently edit here) 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 19:45, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
For Gothic, the only inflected forms I would bother creating are the attested ones, unlike Latin where we create all inflected forms. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:48, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
Also, I don't know if the nominative plural of -waddjus is ever attested, but I'm willing to bet €10 it wasn't *-waddjjus. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:52, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
It isn't attested in a plural, we just have some singulars (nom., and acc.). Honestly not too sure how the plural would be formed, all considered. It definitely is a feminine u-stem, but jj does sound very strange indeed! Maybe -eis? Either way, I'm not sure how I'd make this clear in the template. 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 20:04, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
The question extends to Proto-Germanic too. The hypothetical ancestor would be *wajjiwiz which is equally suspicious, as the combination -ji- didn't normally occur in Germanic, it was simplified to -i-, but then you'd still have *wajiwiz? Would it be simplified a second time? There simply aren't enough cases of -jj- to tell us what happens in this case, it's quite a rare phoneme. —CodeCat 20:22, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
Not that I know anything, but it could be that the gemination of -jji- resisted simplification. --WikiTiki89 20:32, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
If I were designing Gothic, I would make the plural waddijus or waddjus (identical to the singular), but in fact there are very few nouns in -jus and none of them appear to be attested in the nominative plural. @CodeCat: why is the PGmc nominative plural ending *-iwiz anyway? Doesn't it come from PIE *-ewes? Why wasn't it *-ewez? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:26, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
Unstressed e becomes i in Germanic. You can see this in the -os/-es- nouns, which appear in Germanic with -az/-iz-. —CodeCat 19:33, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

bordello / brothelEdit

Is it really true that these both come from the same PIE etymon? This is currently claimed in these lemmas' articles but neither the other word nor the common origin is mentioned in either article. --Espoo (talk) 13:27, 5 May 2016 (UTC)


The word protaspis is scheduled to be Word of the Day on 22 May. I took a stab at adding an etymology, and would be glad if someone would check it. You may also want to add etymologies for the related words holaspis and meraspis. Thanks. — SMUconlaw (talk) 19:04, 5 May 2016 (UTC)


I'm not familiar with Central Franconian, but in Prumm, the etymology says "From Central Franconian *prūma", with *prūma pointing to Old High German. Should it be "From Old High German *prūma"? It's getting categorized to CAT:English terms derived from Central Franconian, so this needs to be fixed. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 02:52, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

I don't know much about Central Franconian either, but it was obvious that the "goh" was merely omitted from the etyl template. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:14, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes. Thanks for spotting that. Kolmiel (talk) 19:54, 8 May 2016 (UTC)


I can't think of what this would be from. Is it an eponym? DTLHS (talk) 21:42, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Related to Sanskrit चन्द्र ‎(candra)? DTLHS (talk) 22:04, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
According to various sources on the web, it's from a w:Kunza language name meaning something like "place of" "departure"/"liftoff"/"taking flight"/"ascension" (Spanish "lugar de inicio"/“lugar de despegue”/“el lugar de partida”/"plataforma de despegue"). Chuck Entz (talk) 22:53, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
I can't seem to find any linguistically-rigorous sources but this PDF (p. 10) goes into the most detail of the sources I've looked at. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:01, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

eng:elite hel:ηλίθιος ?Edit

I was wondering if these are related and if so why the common meaning is almost opposite. Greek ηλίθιος [elithios] translates pretty much into 'stupid', 'lack of intelligence' including 'Idiot' in German. I'm not sure how this could end up in the context of 'social elite', 'political elite'. Wiktionary refers to old French and Latin, but totally omits Greek.

You already got your answer. Our etymology for elite doesn't mention the Greek because it's not related. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:48, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
I understand that proving a non-relationship is a bit more difficult that a existing relationship, but your answer is a bit like 'the fox reporting that the hen house is safe'. Why would the Greek version have not leaked into Latin (as many words did)? Tknorr4711 (talk) 15:16, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
One would have to have something like *elitus in Latin, but the expected outcome of ηλίθιος ‎(ēlíthios) would be *elithius or *elitius. There doesn't seem to be evidence for any of those. The most plausible derivation is via some Vulgar Latin form derived from ēlēctus ‎(chosen, elected), the perfect participle of ēligō ‎(choose, elect), which is itself from ex ‎(out of, from) + legō ‎(choose, select, appoint). A superficial resemblance isn't enough to make an etymology out of- they happen all the time, and they usually mean nothing. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:10, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic "welcome"Edit

Trying to puzzle out the precise proto-form(s) (if any) of this. It's listed on English welcome as *weljakwumô (normalized *wiljakumô).

I just updated this at welcome. It should be *wiljakwumô/*wiljakumô Leasnam (talk) 16:39, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

It looks like we might be looking at two proto-forms:

  1. *wiljakumô from the stems of *wiljaną + *kwemaną with n-stem adjective endings, yielding German willkommen, West Frisian wolkom (showing contamination with the causative like German wollen)
  2. *welakumô or *welkumô from *wela + stem of *kwemaną, yielding Danish velkommen, Icelandic velkomin, Swedish välkommen, English "welcome" (from North Germanic according to this source), and the source of various calques including a presumed Vulgar Latin *bene venito, *bene venuto, which yielded French bienvenue, Spanish bienvenido, Italian benvenuto, etc. Other possible calques include Finnish tervetuloa, Greek καλώς ορίσατε ‎(kalós orísate) (probably from a Romance language), Albanian mirë se vjen.

I'm also having a hard time finding any sources on the subject (too much contamination from the English word). KarikaSlayer (talk) 03:47, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

The Frisian example might point to either; *wela is recorded as wol continuously from early on along the coast. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 12:24, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
The Old English form was wilcuma, Middle Dutch has welcome, wellecome, willecome (of which welkom survives today). —CodeCat 16:27, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
Old High German has willikwemo, williquemo, willikomo (the first 2 with asteriks--not sure if these are non-nominative attestations) Leasnam (talk) 16:45, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
Middle and Modern English Corpus Linguistics: A Multi-dimensional Approach lists the form with *wilja- (spelled as *welja-) as the original, with later assimilation to *wel- (at least in English). It also says that *kumô or *kwumô (which may have actually been *kwemô assuming the OHG forms with -que- are original and not by analogy with the verb) was a deverbal noun meaning "guest". KarikaSlayer (talk) 17:35, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
I believe OHG forms in -que- are the result of analogy with the verb. They are relatively late appearing. Leasnam (talk) 20:11, 10 May 2016 (UTC)


We have: A compound of spit +‎ fire as a euphemistic rendition of shitfire, from Spanish cacafuego ("braggart") with the literal translation of "fireshitter".

Online Ety. Dict. has "1610s, "a cannon," from spit (v.) + fire (n.); c. 1600 as an adjective. Meaning "irascible, passionate person" is from 1670s. Replaced earlier shitfire (similar formation in Florentine cacafuoco)."

Is our etymology credible? The "euphemism" stuff looks like a misinterpretation of the OnlineEtyD version. Does the OED have something on this? DCDuring TALK 23:39, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Nope. OED just says it's from the verb spit, i.e., literally something that spits out fire. — SMUconlaw (talk) 14:22, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Reality check: User:ManoochEdit

This morning (Pacific time) I noticed a series of additions to etymologies by this user which were unformatted, and which mostly consisted of mentioning Persian terms that sort of resembled the terms in question but were usually not actually related, along with a motley assortment of other terms in various languages.

For instance, at Old Portuguese marido, the etymology:

was "expanded" to include:

  • MAN (a male person) :
Persian : mard , old Persian : martya (, Armenian : mard = husband , Italian : marito = husband , Spanish : marido= husband ,in Persian too mard means husband or man of the house

Given that the edits were all in good faith, and that they didn't take it very well when I asked them not to "add any more stuff to etymologies" (I was running late, so my wording wasn't particularly diplomatic), I though I would get a second opinion just to be safe: was I justified in reverting all their additions to etymologies (see Special:Contributions/Manooch), and was there a better way to handle this (see User talk:Manooch)? Chuck Entz (talk) 03:19, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

He's just bullshitting, so some of the cognates are in fact related and many are not. It doesn't improve the entry any and he shows a long history of completely ignoring reality & formatting, so you're completely justified in removing all his edits. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:29, 11 May 2016 (UTC)


Is w:Central Atlas Tamazight the standard language for common Berber words? Berber languages like Kabyle, Tashelhit and Tarifit all use the same word. I changed it to 'Borrowing from Berber' instead since the word goes further back to this parent language, but it was reverted. -- Ajellid-n-arif (talk) 15:05, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Berber is too broad a group. In fact, Berber isn't a language, it is a group of very many languages. It's only the Northern Berber languages that use this term with this pronunciation. Anyway, the English word ultimately can only come from one of them. --WikiTiki89 15:12, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Arabic بلد (balad)Edit

Our entry for بَلَد ‎(balad, country) currently says it is from Greek παλάτιον ‎(palátion), in turn from Latin palatium. This seemed convincing enough for me until I encountered the Ugaritic entry 𐎁𐎍𐎄 ‎(bld, homeland). Could this mean that the Arabic word is native Semitic after all? --WikiTiki89 19:20, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

According to my sources, the reflex of palatium in Arabic is بلاط ‎(balāṭ, palace). --Vahag (talk) 19:35, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
@Ferhengvan: It seems you were the one who added this etymology (diff). Do you remember where you found it? --WikiTiki89 18:29, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
Ferhengvan is notoriously unreliable. I have removed the etymology until he provides a serious source. --Vahag (talk) 21:03, 16 May 2016 (UTC)


From WP:

"When Weiss became a professional magician he began calling himself "Harry Houdini", after the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, after reading Robert-Houdin's autobiography in 1890. Weiss incorrectly believed that an i at the end of a name meant "like" in French."

Where would Houdini get the incorrect intuition from... The only suffix popping into my head is the Latin genitive ending. Or it could be he just pulled the idea out of his butt. We might never know. Hillcrest98 (talk) 16:12, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

  • I think Weiss's family background was Hungarian -- he was born in Budapest, at any rate. -i is a common adjectivizing suffix in Hungarian; perhaps that's where it came from? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:58, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
Given the semantics and Houdini's origin, quite plausible! Hillcrest98 (talk) 00:44, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
Makes sense. At any rate, the outcome Houdini sounds and looks markedly Arabic to me. I always thought he was Lebanese or something, until recently... Kolmiel (talk) 23:15, 13 May 2016 (UTC)


The etymology sections looks repetitive at first glance, particularly because no actual "candidates" are mentioned: Both etymologies lead to a Old Norse word that is also the origin of "to craze". Kolmiel (talk) 20:25, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

I don't think WikiAnswers is itself a reliable source. Hillcrest98 (talk) 00:46, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
The problem with copypasting text from sources (aside from the obvious copyright issues) is that you're stuck with the format of the source. The WikiAnswers quote seems to be mostly copied from Etymonline, including some parts that aren't quoted in our etymology because they're under craze instead of crazy. If it weren't for the rearranging, it would probably be too useless to quote.
We should remove both quotes, not least because they clutter the etymology with things like information on w:Crazy Horse, but leave out important information like the Middle English verb crāsen, and the Old French verb crasir that it apparently came from (as mentioned in this Middle English Dictionary entry), and that it could be ultimately from some other Germanic source (it just happens that the Old Norse term seems to be the only one that left any trace). It's also of interest that crash is probably related, likely as a blend of the Middle English verb with one of at least couple other verbs. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:57, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Inconsistency in Old Saxon thiusEdit

Listed as descending from Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/þus, but then why does it have /iy/? I remember someone writing that it was the instrumental form of these#Old Saxon, which we also seem to say at thus#English. At the same time we list the instrumental as thîs. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 10:45, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

This might just be a typo?! The Old Saxon cognate is "thus" according to this: [10]. I'm also not sure that the word was an instrumental at all. Several of these Dutch sources say it has the "adverb-forming ending -s". And then we say that "thius" is the Nom. sg. f. form. Kolmiel (talk) 14:08, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
PS: Note that the letters i and u are next to each other on the keyboard. Kolmiel (talk) 14:14, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
PPS: Now I see that in OHG der the masculine sg. instrumental is also the same as the feminine sg. nominative... So maybe "thius" is indeed an instrumental? But that doesn't make it a descendant of Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/þus. Kolmiel (talk) 14:23, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Danish "pant"Edit

In the Translations section of the English noun "mortgage", the Danish equivalent is given as "pant", but the entry for "pant" has no Danish part.

I have added it to Wiktionary:Requested entries (Danish) for you. Someone with knowledge of Danish could add the relevant part in the future, I myself don't know the first thing about Danish grammar or I would add it myself. The Danish word definitely exists, though, you can find it in many sources. — Kleio (t · c) 17:01, 18 May 2016 (UTC)


Is this actually from adveniō, or was it formed by prefixing ventō? —CodeCat 18:25, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Also a similar question for adversō, advectō. —CodeCat 18:27, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

A short answer:
I think all three are very likely frequentatives of prefixed verbs, not prefixed frequentatives. A general reason may or may not be found, but vento is too rare to have formed advento. Advecto is used in a sense that is specialised and interchangeable with adveho, to which vecto is not relevant, whereas adverso is used in a formulated phrase (animum adverso) which is normally formulated with adverto. Both of these latter words are rare enough that these usages are a little studied, in different ways. The latter two words do not seem to me to have independent lexical force in the limited existing corpus.
A longer answer with slightly more justification:
Advento is almost certainly the frequentative of advenio, as venio is less a word in its own right than perhaps an extremely rare form of ventito, which is widely used. The print editions of Lewis and Short mark it with an asterisk, which unfortunately does not appear in the referenced on-line version. As the prefatory materials write: `a star before a word denotes that it is found but once.' Unfortunately, I have had trouble quickly deciphering the single citation, I think to Varro, albeit I am not sure to which text. While the sense given of vento is literally frequentative, advento is only loosely frequentative in sense, as it can be used intensively or nearly inchoatively. Advento does not annex a sense of `ad-' to vento or ventito, but the loosely frequentative or intensive sense is quite consistent with how advenio is used. The Wiktionary entry could be ideally augmented to reflect this wider usage of advenio than currently implied.
One would make an opposite argument for advecto. It is itself marked as an hapax legomenon in the printed editions of Lewis and Short. The citation is to Tacitus, who writes that Tiberius addiditque quibus ex provinciis quanto maiorem quam Augustus rei frumentariae copiam advectaret, that is, Tiberius observed in how much greater measure than Augustus he imported the supply of grain from the provinces. Veho, vecto, and adveho, unlike advecto and vento, are common words. But Tacitus is obviously using advectaret as an intensive form of adveho, not as a neologism involving ad- prefaced to vecto, for adveho is regularly used to speak of the import of grain (see Livy 2.52: Urbi cum pace laxior etiam annona rediit, et advecto ex Campania frumento, or, To the city, with peace, came easier food prices, and with grain imported from Campania...). Vecto and veho do not have this sense. But whether this is a common silver-age intensification or a studied usage of Tacitus is speculative to conjecture. The sense of the sentence in Tacitus is transparent, as are many of the amusing likely coinages in Catullus, along the lines of cuniculosus, semirasus, semilautus, ecfututus, or reglutino.
Adverso is also likely a simple use of the frequentative. The only L&S citation is to Plautus, although the word is not marked as an hapax legomenon. The Plautus reference is simply, animum advorsavi, which is obviously an intensification of animum advertavi, or simply, to use the verb which contracted the non-frequentative form of this expression, animadverti. Verso also has a sense of thinking, but to combine it with animum seems at once redundant and unpleasantly transitive.
One might make an argument that frequentatives, inchoatives, mediatives, and desideratives in general are more generative than the directional prefixes, ad-, in-, ex-, sub-, super-, etc. for verbs, because the directionally prefixed verbs are very often not of transparent meaning: eicio is to wreck a ship; subsido is to run one aground; adicio is to outbid someone in an auction. In Catullus, for example, the verbs which are hapax legomena are all pre-, con-, re- or per- prefixed, all prefixes of intensity rather than direction, with the exception of ex- in ecfutatus, which is used intensively. It seems, only to reflect informally on the poetic force one may feel in novel words, that the intensive prefixes are more generative still than the aspectual suffixes, perhaps because their meanings are still more transparent, and so can give more to a sentence than a new word would perforce borrow. But I am not sure, if looking for a rule, these reminiscences will form one. Perhaps there are grammarians who have discussed this or studied it with some energy. One regrets this is perhaps a desultory fraction of an answer one might seek.
Isomorphyc (talk) 13:34, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
@Isomorphyc Thank you for your elaborate explanation! It is very useful. I wonder if you could have a look at concursō too? —CodeCat 16:15, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
You're welcome. For these four words, all four are well attested, and concurso is generally used as an intensification of curso, not a frequentative of concurro, as can clearly be seen in any example. But if you look at substantives, concursus can be either a crowd or a fight, and since it derives from concurso it implies both constructions were in some sense admissible, even if the verb is normally reserved for fighting, and flocking is saved for concurro, whose substantive is different-- concursio. I think one can open to some ambiguity, but as you've found, it quite often pays to ask this question.
Isomorphyc (talk) 18:25, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
I've added/fixed up the etymologies of the four verbs based on your advice. Thank you! —CodeCat 19:16, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
I've edited curso a bit, I hope you don't mind! I know -to is the usual form and -so is a change for sound, but it looked a bit odd. If my edit is inconsistent with how these etymologies should look please feel free to revert or edit as appropriate. I admit I am afraid I've abused the templates trying to give unnecessary information. Thanks. Isomorphyc (talk) 20:47, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
The suffix is just -tō, not -sō. The latter is just an automatic allomorph of the former, just like au- is not a separate prefix from ab-. And there's no such thing as "cur-". —CodeCat 21:17, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
You're right, it's not an improvement. And I love your new revision of -to. It resolves the concern I had. Isomorphyc (talk) 21:31, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Lv laiva, Lt laivasEdit

"However, since this etymology within Finnic is controversial, (…)"

This is somewhat unclear: what exactly is supposed to be controversial here (per LEV I presume)? Finnic *laiva seems like a perfect source for these Baltic words, and its Germanic loan origin is considered well established. --Tropylium (talk) 22:09, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

I don't think the LEV is always universally trustworthy, but it doesn't seem to be a perfectly clear case. For more scholarly opinions, see here (assuming you can read Lithuanian). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:26, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
I do not read Lithuanian, but the source you've linked seems to refer to a different, long outdated Germanic etymology (from *hlaiwą ‎(tomb)), which indeed would not trump anything.
My point is precisely that this does in fact strike me as perfectly clear; the alleged IE etymology for the Baltic words seems to require multiple layers of ad hoc derivative processes and offers nothing especially attractive (except, perhaps, the ability to deny Uralic loanwords in Lithuanian). --Tropylium (talk) 16:40, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't know. Maybe they really are all biased; is there some etymological dictionary that's more recent? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:00, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

δηλέομαι and deleoEdit

Are these words cognates? --Espoo (talk

I've looked in several sources and can't find any anterior etymology of either of these words. Maybe the Latin is a loanword from the Greek? Otherwise, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:47, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't have materials in front of me at the moment (I had meant to update the entries but forgot), so this is just what I recall at the moment, but De Vaan reconstructs dēleō from *h₃elh₁- ‎(to destroy) as a prefixed causative PIE *h₃olh₁-éye-ti (whence also Ancient Greek ὄλλυμι ‎(óllumi, to wreck, to destroy), Hittite [script needed] ‎(hu-ul-la-a-i, he defeated, destroyed)) > PI *dē + *ol-eō > dēleō. He also rejects several other hypotheses which I do not recall, but δηλέομαι was not among them. Beekes discusses several theories for δηλέομαι but claims that the matter is unresolved, pointing to the ablaut being very strange, and thus declares it un-Indo-European and perhaps Pre-Greek. Again, he makes no mention of dēleō. I'll try to update these later. —JohnC5 15:18, 23 May 2016 (UTC)


@kc kennylau apparently inserted his own etymology to cancer. Can anyone verify (or Kenny explain), because many people think it's from καρκίνος and it's still καρκίνος in the English section. Hillcrest98 (talk) 00:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

That etymology is from De Vaan, Kenny just didn't source it. —CodeCat 01:09, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, should I align the English entry with De Vaan's? Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:37, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't know. I personally find De Vaan's etymology a bit weird in this case. That doesn't mean the one we have in the English entry is better, though. But I've yet to see an etymology that really makes sense to me. That's just me though. —CodeCat 01:42, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
καρκίνος fits semantically but gives phonological trouble to derive straight from it. While De Vaan claims disassimilation and weird semantics, associating crab arms with circles and enclosures (???). Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:49, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

-ēscō in LatinEdit

Would the -ēscō suffix serve better as -scō? The vowel is inherited from the verb, when it exists, and the equivalent Greek ending does not impose a vowel. One finds calēscō, but labascō and dormīscō. -īscō is hyperlinked as a variant stem, but -ascō is not. I believe all of the deponents are -īscor with the sole exception of īrāscor, which does not derive directly from a verb (I am excluding nāscor which might have been originally inchoative but predates Latin). Apologies if this discussion has already taken place; I was not able to find it. Isomorphyc (talk) 17:09, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Not all verbs with -ēscō are derived from existing -eō stative verbs. Some are derived directly from adjectives. So this suffix is productive, at least. Etymologically of course, the suffix is a combination of -eō and -scō. Not sure if there are any cases of -īscō and -āscō not suffixed to verbs of the corresponding conjugation. —CodeCat 17:53, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I've cleared out all the verbs from the -ēscō and -īscō categories that were derived from 2nd and 4th conjugation verbs. As expected, there's a fair number of words that are derived from -ēscō with no intermediate stative verb. But there's also a single -īscō verb that I can't figure out. —CodeCat 19:02, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
You are extremely fast. Are you certain about the quantity in -āscō? I reverted my change on labascō because Wiktionary omits the macron on purpurasco and inveterasco (but not veterāsco), and I thought there might have been a reason. There is no macron in L&S (on-line or print), but I had originally assumed that was because it would be obvious. I'll add the macrons to the other two verbs if you agree they are simply missing.
Derivation from adjectives and nouns is a separate issue from productivity, though -sco is the most productive of the suffixes. According to A&G, all of the verb suffixes were originally denominative in origin, and the derivations from verbs came later; though I understand there might be newer information available. This is why I am uncomfortable with the suffix entry texts which imply derivation can only be from verbs, given cavillor < cavilla, focila < focus. Unless you are implying this verb > verb is the only still productive use of the suffix? For irasco < iro, I have had trouble convincing myself that the verb iro exists, which is why I preferred the noun derivation, also in A&G. I don't want to edit your edit, but are you quite comfortable with this?
Isomorphyc (talk) 19:43, 24 May 2016 (UT)
It's the opposite; derivation from verb roots is the most original use. See *-sḱéti. If the vowel in the -ascō verbs is short, then it needs to be explained why the vowel shortened, because it's derived from a verb with a final long ā (i.e. 1st conjugation), purpurō, inveterō. —CodeCat 20:06, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
For purpurasco and inveterasco, do you know of an explanation, however, for the short vowel? So far as I can tell you are agreeing with me, and I can't think of a reason for it to shorten.
For arcessō, lacessō, and the cēdō family, you are arguing against derivation from the present stem. I know A&G is a century old; is the current view that -essō never forms against the supine stem?
Isomorphyc (talk) 20:41, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Only suffixes beginning with -t- form against the supine stem, which itself has a suffix beginning with -t-. All others use the present stem generally. I have no explanation for the short a, I think it should be long, but I wonder why it's labelled short by some sources. —CodeCat 20:55, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
De Vaan has it as long... —JohnC5 21:01, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Excellent, thank you. Isomorphyc (talk) 21:15, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Is it possible to make pressō use the affix template for -iō given the derivation is through the supine? Anything I can think of doing looks strange, but it would be nice to have it in the appropriate etymological lists. Isomorphyc (talk) 21:25, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Where is the -iō in pressō? —CodeCat 21:36, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, typo. I meant -tō. Isomorphyc (talk) 21:43, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I added the etymology, and clarified the participle since -mt- > -ss- is not exactly a regular change in the participle. —CodeCat 21:49, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. Isomorphyc (talk) 21:51, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


The RAE derives this from Latin *gemellāre ‎(to make equal), from gemellus ‎(twin). How did "to make equal" shift in meaning to become "to nick, to dent"? DTLHS (talk) 17:58, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

It seems pretty unusual too that the initial syllable should be lost. Circeus (talk) 22:20, 25 May 2016 (UTC)


The claimed IE origin is so surprising, even shocking, and in contradiction of everything to be found in common sources that this sort of info should not be added without providing a reference. Otherwise almost anyone who knows Finnish and definitely almost any Finn who sees it will simply delete it because they will assume it's vandalism. --Espoo (talk) 19:25, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

There is a reference, listed at Proto-Finnic *sakna, which can be read here. I have no idea whether it is at all trustworthy; it certainly raises some red flags that I can see. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:56, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
User:Tropylium added the etymology and references there. I would consider him a trustworthy authority on Uralic. —CodeCat 19:59, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
The etymology presented here is fairly new (2008), so a lack of recognition in earlier sources is natural. I suppose it also depends on a number of new results in Germanic linguistics, e.g. the resurfacing of w:Kluge's law. I am not sure offhand what red flags @Metaknowledge is seeing — it's a mainstream peer-reviewed source from an established loanword researcher, at minimum.
There might well be a question of referencing though. Should we place references relating to partly-inherited words on our mainspace entries for each individual descendant, or keep them on the proto-language entry? If the latter, should we keep details on such etymologies to minimum on the mainspace entries, and should we have notes along the lines of "see *sakna for more"? The former in turn would probably run into too much duplicate work to be doable in every case, but perhaps some cases could call for clearer measures. --Tropylium (talk) 12:40, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
The writing felt very strange to me for academia, but I'll trust you on this. I'm simply more used to the more formal linguistic literature, rather than philology. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:20, 25 May 2016 (UTC)


What is the etymology of this suffix? I'm inclined to think that it's in origin a desiderative of some sort (PIE *-(h₁)seti), but I have no idea otherwise. —CodeCat 21:00, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Wikipedia has an interesting etymology on it. Can someone add it? -Xbony2 (talk) 23:10, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

It's just some creative proposals, hardly anything definite. —CodeCat 00:48, 25 May 2016 (UTC)


On Wikipedia, the stone family is split into three: haitz, aizkora, and the others. It attributes Larry Trask as support. Add this to the Basque entries? Hillcrest98 (talk) 01:31, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Trask is much more likely to be right than casual proponents of ancient origins. In his History of Basque he is dismissive. He says aizkora is straightforwardly from Latin asciola (which we lack an entry for) < ascia. It was possibly contaminated by the other tool names, which also include haizter ‎(shears) and haiztur ‎(tongs). As he remarks: Stone tongs? The tool names, but not their supposed basis haitz ‎(stone), contain an /n/ in some dialects. --Hiztegilari (talk) 09:34, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
asciola (which I'm not sure is attested, so it could be *asciola) has another reflex in Spanish azuela. KarikaSlayer (talk) 15:50, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Created a page at Reconstruction:Latin/asciola, correct any errors if you find any; or if the premise is wrong, vent it back at me. Hillcrest98 (talk) 23:31, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

PIE for Atmen vs Sanskrit atman Pokorny's ēt-mén- 526Edit

While in आत्मन्#Etymology, from *ētmen- says it is a cognate of Atmen, but this Atmen states that comes from *h₁eh₁tmén-, what's the real PIE or one comes from another? utexas Sobreira (talk) 13:05, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Pokorny doesn't use laryngeals or stress marks in his transcriptions, so his *ētmen- is equivalent to *h₁eh₁tmén-. Which looks very odd; it must be some sort of reduplicated noun (rare but not nonexistent) from a root *h₁et-. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:36, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
So the Sanskrit आत्मन् ‎(ātmán) and Germanic *ēþmaz look like a collective *h₁éh₁tmō ~ *h₁h₁tm̥nés of an unattested neuter in *h₁éh₁tmn̥ ~ *h₁h₁tméns. As to the root *h₁eh₁t- being reduplicated, I have no notion. —JohnC5 14:56, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
It's just that usually PIE roots don't repeat the same consonant except by reduplication (one exception may be s, but even then evidence is scanty). There aren't roots like ×pept- or ×nent- or ×lelt-, so ×h₁eh₁t- would also be unexpected. The only other reduplicated noun I can think of off the top of my head is *kʷékʷlos from *kʷel-. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
I think some (Beekes?) have analyzed *mḗms ‎(meat) as reduplicated as well. I'm also not near my PIE materials, so I have not idea why *h₂/₃eh₁t- isn't also an option. —JohnC5 15:17, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Those would have given Germanic *ō instead of *ē₁, wouldn't they? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:27, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Does the onset laryngeal take precedence? I dunno. Actually I guess that makes sense, because one would cause coloration eventually. —JohnC5 15:44, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Something else to consider: German Atem indicates a Proto-Germanic *ēdmaz with a voiced consonant. Are the other Germanic forms compatible with such a form? —CodeCat 18:11, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
There's Dutch adem and the Low German loan Odem, but they're not really of any use to my knowledge since they both merged their reflexes of *þ and *d. KarikaSlayer (talk) 18:38, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
But Old Saxon had āthom and Old English had ǣþm, both of which can only be from *ēþmaz, not *ēdmaz. Perhaps there was a Verner's alternation going on that got leveled out differently in different languages. Is the word attested in Gothic or Norse? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:43, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
If we take the collective *h₁éh₁tmō ~ *h₁h₁tméns to be correct, that would create a an environment for Verner's alternation, correct? —JohnC5 19:38, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
I guess, yeah. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:06, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Unless this is a unique sound change, something like þm > tm in OHG? Are there counterexamples? —CodeCat 20:12, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Ok, Kroonen has *ēþman- ~ *ēdman- (giving OE ǣþm, OFri ēthma, OS āthum, Du adem, asem, OHG ātum, MHG ātem, G Atem) and lists only Sanskrit as a cognate. He says specifically:
“The Sanskrit paradigm nom. ātmā́, loc. ātmáni ~ tmán(i) points to an ablauting paradigm *h₁éh₁t-mōn, loc.*h₁h₁t-mén-(i). Apparently, the accentual mobility was preserved in Germanic, cf. OE ǣþm < *ēþma vs. OHG ātum < *ēdma-. With the same root, cf. *ēþrō- ~ *ēdrō- ‘vein, etc.’.”
He seems to think *h₁eh₁t- is a normal root appearing in ἦτορ ‎(êtor) and ǣdre. —JohnC5 20:41, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Oh, Jeez, what have I done? Only one day and look how many contributions. Thanks a lot User:Angr, User:JohnC5, User:CodeCat, User:KarikaSlayer but I am already lost after the first answer. I'm just slowly introducing myself in PIE, I cannot tell so much one thing from another. I didn't even remember about the lack of laryngeals in Pokorny. But anyway, as we say in my mother language "I rise my hat": I am honoured of being with you guys. When I grow up, I wanna be and know like you... Sobreira (talk) 11:16, 26 May 2016 (UTC)


Currently, the entry says that this word comes from Min Nan . However, it doesn't seem likely, since 硬 is rarely read as gēng, but as ngē. There are two words that are more likely to be the etymon:

  1. (kēng) - to support; to prop up
  2. (keng)

Which one is more likely to be the etymon? — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 18:32, 25 May 2016 (UTC)


We claim this derives from Middle English bergh, from Old English. However, the only citation under the first sense is a recent one in a German context, where it could easily be borrowing the German word. (The second sense is obviously a shortening of iceberg, from Dutch or German, as noted by Dictionary.com; Century even explicitly says the iceberg sense is "Not from AS. beorg, a hill, which gives E. barrow, a mound (but cf. bergh).") Is there evidence to confirm our claim that berg is a native continuation of Middle English bergh? Incidentally, Century says that a homograph berg, from Norse berg = Danish bjerg (etc), meant "a rock" in Shetland. I don't know if that's attestable. - -sche (discuss) 03:21, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

In fact, I'd say the citation given isn't even referring to mountains per se, but to towns whose names end in -berg. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:31, 26 May 2016 (UTC)