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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 2018


From modern Greek? DTLHS (talk) 07:33, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

Unlikely, especially since it's cited in polytonic. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:51, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
More like confusion due to the use of "Greek" to also refer to Ancient Greek (as noted in Greek itself), while on Wiktionary we only define Greek as Modern Greek and Ancient Greek is treated separately. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 21:59, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes. As someone who studied classics, I'm one of the people who tends to contrast Greek with Modern Greek, and once I made some laugh out loud by (unintentionally) saying, "I've never been to Modern Greece." —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:05, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

Istriot and its place in the Romance familyEdit

Is anyone particularly knowledgeable about this obscure and almost extinct language? There are rather few good resources on it that I can find. Even though I've added a lot of words, now that we're doing inherited vs borrowed there are complications. I realize there's no way to know for sure which ones were inherited vs. borrowed from a nearby Romance language like Venetian. There isn't any actual scholarly agreement about where exactly Istriot fits among the Romance families. There seem to be three main possibilities and theories about it:

one, that it is closely related to or even an early offshoot of Venetian (even though there are tons of words that are very close or essentially the same as Venetian, this may be due to loans from it as it was an influential and powerful language in the Adriatic region, and there are some other problems with this though, with the existence of words and features that don't fit into this paradigm);

two, that it is closely related to Friulian/Ladin and is actually a Rhaeto-Romance language, and one strongly influenced arealy by nearby Venetian and a little Dalmatian; there are some aspects of the language that pull it toward Friulian rather than Venetian

three, that it is part of the same sub-family as the now-extinct Dalmatian language (there are a few cases of similar developments between the two, like certain diphthongs I believe, but this seems to be a relatively small set of words; however, it's not impossible that these words may represent the very base core vocabulary for Istriot, whereas most of the rest was loans/influence from other regional Romance languages)

Two of the above families are technically part of the larger Italo-Dalmatian one (though Venetian is occasionally put into Gallo-Romance). It seems like it could just be a mixture or hybrid language of several others. Anyone have any idea what the really basal/core vocab is for this language? Or is there no point in really trying, and we should just use the 'der' template for all of them to be safe? Word dewd544 (talk) 23:12, 1 April 2018 (UTC)


The second etymology suggested origin from either the pig in a poke trick or from suckener. I added reference to OED, which simply treats this a figurative usage of "one that sucks", and etymonline, which specifies either figurative reference to suckling animals or to fish. I didn't see either of the other etymologies in any of the published dictionaries I looked at, but I only looked at a few. Cnilep (talk) 04:32, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

I believe it is derived from a rather old slur that only happened to converge to the current form, but I have nothing to back this up (I frequently ignore these hunches of mine due to the disregard these are met with, thanks a lot). An explanation related to "to suck" could be found in blood sucker, leech. Rhyminreason (talk) 19:05, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
Since sources for the speculative etymology seems not to be forthcoming, and since another user has added essentially the same definition under Etymology 1, I am removing Etymology 2. Feel free to reverse my actions if they are deemed hasty. Cnilep (talk) 06:14, 9 May 2018 (UTC)


OK, let me try this again. I'd like to have Alanic xln renamed to Sarmato-Alanic and have entries use xln-pro. Alanic and Sarmatian (which has no language code otherwise) occupy a dialect continuum, and neither might be the direct ancestor of Ossetian or Jassic. Alanic would then be made into an etymology-only code, xln-ala. Alternatively, a new language code could be created, ira-sma-pro, and xln removed all together, but I think the former the better option. @-sche, Tropylium --Victar (talk) 20:30, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

There are a couple problems here that I see just from a brief reading of the discussion. You want us to change to a name that is very rarely used instead of a more common one, and also switch to considering it a protolanguage rather than an attested one, despite the fact that it is actually attested (yes, we do that for Proto-Norse, but it is not ideal and is in large part because, as is relevant here, we try to use the most commonly used names where possible). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:19, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, @Metaknowledge. 99% of the entries I'll be entering will be reconstructions, and most will be derived from Ossetian, not Alanic or Sarmatian borrowing. I think there is a ton of precedence for using alternative names for codes on wikt, but I'll concede that I can't think of any example of using the language code of a dialect to refer to a whole dialect family. I'm not opposed to using ira-sma-pro instead, but I do still think then the xln code should be discontinued, because Alanic, Sarmatian and Proto-Ossetic should all be under the same code. --Victar (talk) 04:13, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
To give an example of what I had in mind for formatting descendant trees:
* Sarmato-Alanic {{l|xln-pro}}
*: Alanic: {{l|xln-ala}}
*: Sarmatian: {{l|xln-sar}}
** Ossetian: {{l|os}}
--Victar (talk) 04:22, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
The proportion that are reconstructions is irrelevant unless it's 100%. When we have mainspace entries, we should avoid assigning them to protolanguages (which are technically hypotheses) wherever possible. We always try to use to the most common, unambiguous name possible, and if you know of any exceptions, we should see if they ought to be fixed. Basically, I think you're conflating the needs of descendant trees and the criteria for determining what ought to be a separate language. Bear in mind that regardless of what codes and names are, you can always structure descendant trees to show distinct dialects or sublects (Crom daba has done this quite fruitfully). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:48, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge, I think you're missing the point of my need. I want to create reconstructions of Proto-Ossetic and Sarmatian. Sarmatian and Alanic are well established as two separate dialects. --Victar (talk) 04:59, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
And if they're dialects, they shouldn't have separate codes. Remember, you can still give them separate lines and reconstructions, when and where those are supported by scholarly sources, regardless of the situation with codes. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:18, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Exactly, @Metaknowledge, which is why Alanic shouldn't have its own code. --Victar (talk) 07:37, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Then why did your example above have them with two different codes? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:22, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I tried to indicate xln-ala and xln-sar where etymology-only codes by the dash in them, but I guess that wasn't clear (though I did make that point in my opening statement). We also have oos for Old/Proto-Ossentic, which we could used instead for parent of Alanic/Sarmatian/Ossentic. We currently list it below xln, and I've always considered it a stage between, yet MultiTree seems to use it as their catch-all. Again though, I'm not opposed to using a new ira-sma-pro code. --Victar (talk) 17:34, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
We create etymology-only codes for etymology sections. If there's a language that derives terms from both Alanic and Sarmatian with a meaningful difference between the two, then those codes should exist, but we shouldn't create them just for descendant lists, which can be freely formatted. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:39, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Here's a different idea. Alanic and Sarmatian are both barely attested; from my brief reading of the literature, it seems to be unclear whether or not they represent dialects or fully separate speech communities, and whether they represent the ancestor of Ossetian or a close relative (and given the timescales over which they are attested, they cannot be the same thing as a protolanguage, which is a hypothesis of the most recent common ancestor). The resultant action would be to have separate codes for Alanic, Sarmatian, and Proto-Ossetic, with the former two only in mainspace (in original script, e.g. Greek) and the latter only in Reconstruction space (in normalised form). As always, you can format descendant lists however you like. Does that seem like it would make sense? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:39, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: No, I don't agree with that solution. Whether they exhibit the same exact timeframe is irrelevant and labeling Sarmatian and Ossetic as Alanic is inaccurate. What my sources are reconstructing is a common ancestor of all three of these dialectal branches. See --Victar (talk) 19:01, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Your response is confusing; I did not suggest labelling Sarmatian and Ossetic as Alanic (in fact, I suggested separating all three), and I was under the impression that Proto-Ossetic is the unattested ancestor of all these languages. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:30, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Am I understanding this correctly that it is similar to the problem that he have had/are having with Sanskrit and the Prakrits, namely that there is a dialectal continuum between Sarmatian, Alanic, and the unattested ancestor of Ossetian? —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 19:24, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@JohnC5: Not exactly. Sarmatian, Alanic and Ossentic are all largely unattested dialects form a single language of the Middle Iranian period. So what I'm suggesting is that we unify them under a single code and name, and have the dialects differentiated only by etymology-only codes. I'm recommending the name Sarmato-Alanic, which is what I mostly see in literature when referring to them as a whole, but if I had to choose to unify them under one name out of the three, it would be Ossetic, being the only one with modern descendents. What code we use, be it a repurposed one, or a new one, doesn't matter to me. --Victar (talk) 20:26, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: Would you support the idea of unifying Sarmatian and Alanic under Old Ossetic oos (as per MultiTree) with both reconstructed and mainspain entries, and making xln an etymology only code? That should resolve your Proto-Norse argumentment. --Victar (talk) 22:37, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
I see that the name "Old Ossetic" is broadly attested (when spelt correctly), and many sources seem to equate it with Alanic, but that doesn't mean Sarmatian should necessarily be merged as well. If they are indeed dialects as you claimed, then that would be perfectly fine. WP cites EB for the following: "The languages of the Scytho-Sarmatian inscription may represent dialects of a language family of which Modern Ossetian is a continuation, but does not simply represent the same language at an earlier time." If that is true, then Sarmatian should be kept separate. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:29, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge, there is no code for Sarmatian. If we put Alanic under Old Ossetic as part of a dialectal continuum, Sarmatian, as a dialect thought to be very similar to Alanic, should unequivocally be included. Otherwise it defeats the point. --Victar (talk) 23:49, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
I would be in favor of Old Ossetic for the continuum of Alanic and Ossetic and, if it can be demonstrated as true, Sarmatian. In what way can we adjudicate this Sarmatian situation? As mentioned before, I'm getting a little bit frustrated at continuously running across this "continuum problem" (attested languages descending from unattested near neighbors). There's been a fair amount of research saying that the phylogeny of language change tends to be binary in nature, but that depends on how you look at language continua versus dialectally diverse super-languages. I'd be interested to think about the principled use of language continua in our language data (like "oss-cnt" or the like), not just the "substrata" we use in the etymology-only language data. The question is in the utility of such a demarcation, but the inherent assumption of our current n-ary (or perhaps my theoretically binary) branching system tends to omit this subtlety of language change because frequently these continua are not protolanguages and exist clearly in the data... I dunno. —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 00:07, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
Ignoring John's tangent... I know there is no code for Sarmatian. That's immaterial; we can make one if we deem it necessary. You claim that Sarmatian is very similar to Alanic, to the point of being a continuum; I know little about this, but found a scholarly source that claims otherwise. Can you respond to that with actual evidence? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:16, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
@JohnC5, Metaknowledge:
  1. "Sarmatian and Alanic represent a dialect continuum" and "it is difficult to draw the line between Sarmatian and Alanic".[S 1]
  2. "Ossetic [...] is the last remnant of the essentially unknown Middle Iranian dialect area that included Sarmatian, and is said to descend from Alanic."[S 2]
  3. "[Ossetic] is the sole surviving descendant of the Northeast Iranian dialects of the ancient Scythians and Sarmatians and medieval Alans".[S 3]
  4. "Deine klare linguistische Scheidung zwischen Sarmatisch und Alanisch aufgrund der Materiallage nicht möglich ist"[S 4]
Even if Alanic and Sarmatian were divergent enough to call separate languages, that distinction isn't apparent in the little material we have, so to reconstruct them separately at this time would be folly. --Victar (talk) 01:20, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, that seems like good evidence for merger. I am now satisfied with having "Old Ossetic" as an L2 header with categorising context labels for the dialects. I would like to wait a couple of days just in case anyone raises an objection, so please ping me with a reminder. Also, please clarify if there are any etymology sections that need to distinguish between the dialects; if not, we can dispense with etymology-only codes and simply remove xln. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:44, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Metaknowledge, if you have a moment, I would appreciate you making these changes. Thanks. --Victar (talk) 03:10, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

@Victar, could you please respond to the query in the last sentence of my last comment? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:39, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge, yes, need the etymology-only codes as well, not for the linguist distinction, really, but for the historical one, i.e. the names of Alanic kings. --Victar (talk) 04:44, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  Done. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:33, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Changes look good. Thanks, @Metaknowledge! --Victar (talk) 05:35, 16 April 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Novák, Ľubomír (2013) Problem of Archaism and Innovation in the Eastern Iranian Languages (PhD dissertation)[1], Prague: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, filozofická fakulta
  2. ^ Fortson, Benjamin W. (2010) Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, second edition, Oxford: Blackwell
  3. ^ Kim, Ronald (2013), “On the Historical Phonology of Ossetic: The Origin of the Oblique Case Suffix”, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 123.1[2]
  4. ^ Schmitt, Rüdiger (1989) Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum[3], Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, →ISBN

Circular etymologiesEdit

bunny (in the sense of rabbit): "Probably from bun (“rabbit”) +‎ -y"
bun (in the sense of rabbit): "From bunny?"

Mihia (talk) 20:57, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

Etymonline says bunny is from bun, which is of obscure origin but may be from Scots bun (tail of a hare) or French bon (good) or a Scandinavian source. AHD also gives the "tail of a hare" hypothesis. Eric Partridge in Origins says that Scottish bun may be from Scottish Gaelic bun (bottom, butt, stub). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:06, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
Which sound laws are supposed at play in the change from the Proto-Indo-European root to Proto-Celtic to Old Irish, whence the Scottish?
Our etymologies don't typically mention sound laws, but this one currently doesn't name the Proto-Celtic form either and the linked reference is a dictionary without etymologic info (as far as I could decipher). Pinging @MDCorebear (a.k.a. @Reidca), who added the text. Rhyminreason (talk) 20:33, 8 April 2018 (UTC)

Are these buns the same as bonns? At least now they are doubling each other, except that the latter links the Proto-Celtic form, explains it and uses the right PIE notation. Guldrelokk (talk) 15:55, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Old Irish and thus Scottish Gaelic bun can't come from Proto-Celtic *bundos because of the lenis n (not nn), but maybe they can still come somehow from the same ultimate root. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:03, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Just looked it up in {{R:cel:Matasovic 2009}}; he reconstructs Proto-Celtic *bonus (foundation, base, butt) and offers no PIE etymology for it. So I guess he doesn't think it's related to *bundos and *bʰudʰmḗn and bottom. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:40, 16 April 2018 (UTC)


Are Ety 1 and Ety 2 really distinct enough to warrant separate headings? Mihia (talk) 13:35, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

This seems to be something like a doublet, two words (in this case, with the same orthographic form and just slightly different pronunciation) that were borrowed separately from more or less the same source. At least, the OED says that the adjective was borrowed from Latin in late Middle English, while the verb is "Of multiple origins. Partly a borrowing from Latin. Partly formed within English" with possible influence from Middle French. Both MW10 and Etymology Online likewise list two separate etymologies, but each is said to come from Latin to Middle English at around the same time. Random House, on the other hand, seems to have only one etymology. Cnilep (talk) 01:34, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

RFV: Middle English -s adverbial genitive > modern -enceEdit

Can anyone correct me if I'm wrong or improve? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 11:48, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

It's certainly not the source of the suffix -ence that we have entry for. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 13:13, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
It seems like they meant the -ce in whence, hence, etc. --WikiTiki89 13:57, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Don't we normally just show the direct descendants, in this case thence, hence, and whence and not their derived terms, eg, henceforth? DCDuring (talk) 15:22, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Probably. --WikiTiki89 15:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:48, 18 April 2018 (UTC)


It says that this is derived from Middle English wraulen / wrawlen. Is the change/simplification wr → w regular? Wouldn't [wɹ]/[wr] → [ɹ̠ʷ] have been regular? Tharthan (talk) 23:26, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

It IS irregular. See the etymology of caterwaul, which I think (back-)influenced this word Leasnam (talk) 00:27, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Balto-Slavic *seš- to Proto-Slavic *šestь, confused.Edit

How did the *š (maybe *ś?) and the *s switch places? Was it accidental? I'm no linguist, only amateurishly reading up on Proto-Slavic, but this confuses me. Dreigorich (talk) 22:02, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Maybe the stem is *śeś- in PBS, according tošestъ? Dreigorich (talk) 22:08, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

The PIE numeral seems to have had variant forms. *šestь, šešì, षष् (ṣaṣ) (the onset cluster is preserved in MIA forms, which have ch- < *kṣ-), شش‎ are all explainable as having effects of the RUKI law, they could all be regular developments were they from *kseḱs; 𐬑𐬴𐬎𐬎𐬀𐬱‎ (xṣ̌uuaš‎) points to both *k- and *-w- (seen in some other branches), so some reconstruct *ksweḱs as the original proto-term. PBS six is *(k)šeś then, and its outcomes are all normal. Others just assume a bunch of non-regular developments in a wide variety of languages (like *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s perhaps?). Whatever seems more reasonable to you. Guldrelokk (talk) 05:44, 16 April 2018 (UTC)


How is it a calque from ἐθνικός (ethnikós)? The Russian word means "tongue", the Greek word "tribe, country, nation". --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 12:32, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

Added by User:Wanjuscha. In OCS ѩзꙑкъ (językŭ) also means "tribe". In Russian, it's only preserved in the fixed term при́тча во язы́цех (prítča vo jazýcex), which even follows OCS grammar. In modern Russian язы́к (jazýk) can only mean 1. "tongue", 2. "language". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:43, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Does Ancient Greek ἐθνικός (ethnikós) mean "pagan"? Otherwise it's still not a calque. --WikiTiki89 15:41, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
It does indeed. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 21:31, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Russian wiktionary usually notes the Greek word that the OCS word was used to translate, Wanjuscha probably took to mean it was a calque (it probably is in some similar cases). Crom daba (talk) 22:40, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
язы́чник (jazýčnik) is in Max Vasmer. It IS a calque of ἐθνικός (ethnikós). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:37, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes; Latin gentīlis has borrowed its "pagan" sense from it. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 09:09, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Though I wonder where the pagan sense of the Greek word comes from; could it be a calque from Hebrew? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 09:12, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
That's very likely. --WikiTiki89 13:57, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Incidentally, in all of these cases, if the word existed previously and took on a new meaning because of the influence of a different language, they are technically {{semantic loan}}s, not {{calque}}s (which are new coinages). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:26, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

無名指, безымянный палецEdit

Both of these words for the ring finger refer to namelessness. Is there any connection here? DTLHS (talk) 21:34, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

Similar words appear in other languages, like Finnish nimetön and Sanskrit अनामिका (anāmikā). There's nameless finger as well. (I think @Equinox is right on Talk:nameless finger. See this article.) — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 22:31, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Equinox is definitely right on the talk page; even the source that was quoted in the entry, on which the misidentification with the middle finger was apparently based, goes on to say ‘The nameless finger is that which is next to the little finger’ a paragraph later. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 23:02, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Isolated talk-page comments always get attention eventually. Thanks chums. Equinox 00:21, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
This is extremely weird, does anyone have an explanation? Guldrelokk (talk) 06:05, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Interesting discussion here. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 06:38, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Chinese 無名指 is native. Attested in Mencius (c. 300 BC): 今有無名,屈而不信,非疾痛害事也,如有能信之者,則不遠秦楚之路,為指之不若人也。 (Here is a man whose nameless finger is bent and cannot be stretched out straight. It is not painful, nor does it incommode his business, and yet if there be any one who can make it straight, he will not think the way from Qin to Chu far to go to him; because his finger is not like the finger of other people.) Annotation of that same passage by Zhao Qi (108–201 AD): 無名,手之第四指也。蓋以其餘指,皆有名,無名指者,非手之用指也。 (The nameless finger is the fourth finger on the hand. Named as such since the remaining fingers all bear names, and the nameless finger is not a finger with much use on the hand.) The case described in Mencius above may be a variant of the ulnar claw hand in modern medicine. Wyang (talk) 06:39, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

etymology of nomenEdit

I strongly disagree with the wording of the etymology section "From Proto-Indo-European *h₁nómn̥ (“name”). The long ō (and spurious g in compounds) is from false association with gnōscō (“know, recognize”)."

We have at least two sources which recognize that it is (g)nosco + men

  • Michel Bréal et Anatole Bailly, Dictionnaire étymologique latin, Hachette, Paris, 1885
  • Charlton T. Lewis et Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1879

They should be stated and put forth as a first etymology.

In my humble opinion, and given the compounds agnomen, cognomen, it MUST be (g)nosco + men and - maybe, secondarily - assimilation with INE-PIE *h₁nómn̥

What is interesting is the comment from Bréal & Bailly on the sense "people" (nomen Romanum, the Roman nation) and we have two semantic evolutions:

  • recognition, sign of recognition => name
  • known persons (French connaissance : knowledge & acquaintance), people we know
    C. Octavium in familiam nomenque adoptavit C. Octavius was "recognized as" family member
    Crispum C. Sallustius in nomen ascivit - id.

The Latin *(g)nomen is closer - IMHO - not to INE-PIE *h₁nómn̥ but to znamę (*(g)nosco <=> znati

we have the nearly exact semantic equivalents (here in Czech)

  • znamení, sign, something which allows recognition
  • známý, known, a know person, an acquaintance

--Diligent (talk) 21:16, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Unfortunately, you are relying on obsolete sources. As a general rule of thumb, don't trust Latin etymology claims made before the 20th century. The etymology as it stands is correct, and if you compare the evidence (cognates in other Italic languages) instead of relying on intuition, which can easily lead you astray, you will see this. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:22, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Would *gnosc-men > *gnōmen make sense within Latin at least? I think this is phonologically clear, not sure about the morphology. It would not be inconceivable that there were at some pre-Latin stage both *nō̆men 'name' and *gnōmen 'known', and that some of the less obvious usages of nōmen directly continue the second.
The long vowel, as an aside, is these days often derived also by reconstructing instead *Hnéh₃mn̥, which also helps with Germanic *namô. --Tropylium (talk) 21:32, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
Not much, it doesn't, since the a of Germanic *namô can't go back to eh₃ but only to a short vowel like o or interconsonantal H. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 11:15, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

See Reconstruction talk:Proto-Indo-European/h₁nómn̥ --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 21:37, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


RFV of etymology 1. Wyang (talk) 00:26, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


Is there any more detail to be had as to why the Old English word for father was selected to refer to this? Were the birds called this in Old English? - -sche (discuss) 08:04, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

This is a modern coinage. The best I can figure out from the explanation in West Frisian Dutch in the original article (the relevant part is on p.7 of the pdf), they chose an old West Frisian word for ancestor or progenitor, and decided that the Old English word would be the closest equivalent for English. Possibly relevant: in the English article, it says that the faeder's plumage is probably the original male plumage from before the normal male ruff evolved the exaggerated ornamentation known today. Chuck Entz (talk) 09:31, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

himmel etc.Edit

The recent anon may have been pretty uncivil about these, but they have a point: modern Scandinavian has loads of (Old) Low German loanwords, and this definitely appears to be one of them. This is sourcable for at least Swedish on a quick checkup. Would anyone have any factual objections to stating the same about the others, too? I think the claim that these "derive from Old Norse but are influenced by German" would at minimum need citations as well. --Tropylium (talk) 20:31, 15 April 2018 (UTC)

Grim ReaperEdit

It's a good thing I checked before just writing grim +‎ reaper, because I ended up having to do a lot of research about this, and it's definitely more than just a sum of its parts. The reaper part isn't that complicated, at least relative to grim. I'm pretty confident that "reaper" comes from a metaphor comparing collecting souls to reaping grain, since the Grim Reaper carries a scythe. This metaphor arose during the outbreak of the Black Plague, and was connected to the depiction of Father Time with a scythe, which came from a conflation of the Greek gods Chronos (time) and Cronus (the harvest, carried a scythe), but that's probably unnecessary extra detail. I can't figure out for sure where "grim" comes from, though. "Grim" as relating to death might come from Grímr or Grímnir, two of the names of Odin (a Norse god representing death) which meant "Masked/Hooded One." There's a word in Old English, grima (mask, helmet/visor, or ghost/apparition), that's related to this. Grim was also a word in Old English, and meant "fierce" or "terrible." "Grim Reaper" isn't attested before 1872 on Google books, but "grim Death" is used starting in the 1600s, and it seems "grim" was often used to refer to or describe the personification of death for quite some time before "reaper" was added. I can't really find many uses of "grim" connected to the personification of death that go back before the 1600s, except for this one Shakespeare quote from the poem "Venus and Adonis":

Look how the world's poor people are amaz'd
At apparitions, signs and prodigies,
Whereupon, with fearful eyes, they long have gaz'd,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies :
So she, at these sad signs, draws up her breath
And sighing it again, exclaims on death.
Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Hateful divorce of love (thus chides she death)
Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost thou (925-933)

(Notice that death is referred to as "grim" and also said to be a ghost. It also mentions apparitions, which is one of the Old English definitions of grima, but I don't think apparition is used in reference to death here, although I'm not sure.) Google books doesn't have much stuff from before the 1600s, though, so I'm not sure if "grim" actually wasn't used in association with Death before then or if it's just not on Google books. However, I did find one and only one website (of doubtful credibility) that said that "the Grim" was a common name for death going back to the 13th century, but the page didn't cite any sources, and I can't confirm it with Google books because searches for "the Grim" just turn up books with sentences like "the grim [noun]." Right now, I think that the "grim" in Grim Reaper is either an obsolete kind-of loanword from Old Norse "Grímr" or "Grímnir," the names for Odin meaning masked or hooded, or just a conversion of the meanings of the Old English noun grima to the adjective grim, but both of these would require a second sense of Old English grim meaning either "masked/hooded" or maybe "ghostly." Unless we can confirm that "grim" was related to death going back this far, all of this stuff is irrelevant. Can someone who knows more about Old or Middle English give me their opinion on whether this is a possibility? Also, is anyone able to verify whether "grim" or "the Grim" were at all related to the personification of death before the 1600s, or at least direct me to somewhere where I can find out? I have a bunch of links from Google Books I can put here if anyone wants to look, and if you want more etymology information for "grim" or related terms, see grim, grima, *grimmaz, *grīmô, grime, grimace, and grimoire (maybe). —Globins 02:20, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

The articles grime and grim give different roots, so for masked there is also "grimmr", grimace to compare. I would compare "grammar" (from graph, cf. scrape, scratch, carve, etc.), too. If graph is related to gram-, the perhaps scribe is a hint at grim- in a similar meaning? Thoth, an Egyptian diety of death, was pictured as a scribe along with the "book of death", after all. At least, Terry Prattchett picked that up in his stories with "Death", but I don't know whether that's in direct analogy to egyptian mystics (as with the "Ankh" lending it's name to a city) or just indirectly, mediated by Old or Middle English folklore. Rhyminreason (talk) 14:32, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
PS: Your quote seems to attribute Shakespear to the 10th centuty, confusingly.
PPS: G-Books won't be much help for "Old English", if you search with the "english" setting. also consider pseudo latin for mystic texts (as if to appear ancient, or international). Anyway, it only goes back to 1500. For such early dates, the database is highly likely severely incomplete, I guess. Rhyminreason (talk) 14:39, 17 April 2018 (UTC)
In the quote I was showing the line numbers of the poem, not the years. Also, I did some more research, and I found out that Shakespeare used the phrase "grim death" in The Taming of the Shrew ("Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image"), Edward III ("...Nor half a halfpenny to shun grim death"), and King Lear ("And pale grim death doth wait upon my steps"), which suggests that the expression probably already existed at the time. These probably use the "fierce/cruel" sense of "grim." I also found one source that claims that Shakespeare coined "grim death." I looked through the Old English text of Beowulf and found many uses of "grim" (as well as grima) but none of them mentioned death, so I think it's reasonable to assume that "grim death" wasn't used until Middle English at the earliest, but at the latest some time before Shakespeare. —Globins 02:47, 18 April 2018 (UTC)
I found a relevant quote from earlier than Shakespear:
  • "Grimmiger tilger aller lande, schedlicher echter aller werlte, freissamer morder aller guten leute, ir Tot, euch sei verfluchet!" (author unknown - Der Ackermann aus Böhmen. early 15th century)
Cf. grimmig, tilgen and Tod.
There's an english wikipedia article, the german one has the quote ([de], [en]).
Considering Beowulf, could gren- become grim in ME by sound laws? Following one theory on the etymology of w:Grendel, Grinning Death would be relevant considering the ambiguous nature of the vanitas symbolism.
Also ambiguous, an Ackermann (acres man) uses a scythe. Rhyminreason (talk) 17:39, 19 April 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 04:44, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

@Poketalker, Eirikr. —Suzukaze-c 05:38, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
Looks like Carl Daniels entered the original incorrect etymology more than 11 years ago, likely based on a naive analysis of the spelling. A check of JA sources shows that the 足袋 spelling is wholly unrelated to the derivation.
I'll have a go at fixing the entry. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:42, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
By any chance, is there an early attestation of the "foot + bag" kanji spelling? ~ POKéTalker (ŦC) 21:42, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
If the Japanese Britannica is anything to go by, regulations arose during the late Ashikaga period (late 1200s, early 1300s) on when people could wear tabi, but it's not clear to me if that entry's mention of 足袋御免 (tabi gomen, literally tabi permission) is a spelling from that period.
Searching the online corpus provided by the University of Virginia, the earliest I found was in 好色五人女 (Kōshoku Gonin Onna, “Five Lustful Women”), apparently dating originally to 1686.
According to the JA WP article, the 足袋 spelling appears in the 11th century, but the text explains that the reading at that time is uncertain. There also aren't any sources listed, so I cannot evaluate the claim myself. I therefore chose to omit this from our entry. If you can find a source, feel free to add the information. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:48, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

米國, 米国Edit

RFV of the etymology. It seems it is firstly used in Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms, see [4].--Zcreator alt (talk) 11:01, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Ugh. Our existing dubious derivation was added in June 2010 by Spencer.vdm (talkcontribs), who has a grand total of 45 Wikipedia edits, and three Wiktionary edits. Their last MediaWiki-site edit ever was the incorrect 米国 (Beikoku, USA) etymology.
@Zcreator alt, please update the relevant entries with the much-more-academic research you've found. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:59, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Old French miracleEdit

The etymology used to say "borrowed from Latin". I removed the word "borrowed", because I'm not sure how we know that. What would the outcome have been of an inherited Latin mīrāculum? Would it not have been the same? --WikiTiki89 13:35, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Never mind. There was Old French mirail (see fr:mirail). --WikiTiki89 13:41, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

Hawaiian and Maori ū, Proto-Polynesian derivationsEdit

An anon recently changed the etymon at Hawaiian ū and Maori ū from Proto-Polynesian *huhu to Proto-Polynesian *susu. The Hawaiian entry at Wehewehe specifically gives the source as the former, with /h/ rather than /s/. Does anyone have access to other references that could elucidate which is correct, Wehewehe or the anon? For reference, it's clear from the text of the print dictionary that they're using PPN to mean "Proto-Polynesian". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:46, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

Maybe @Metaknowledge might know something. --WikiTiki89 17:32, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr Thanks for the ping, Wikitiki. The anon is right, and Wehewehe is wrong. Never trust their PPn reconstructions; they reconstruct based solely on Hawaiian. In this case, *h and *s remain unmerged in Hawaiian, but because *h produces Ø, an exceptional deletion of either phoneme would make the Hawaiian evidence appear to support *h. There is no need to go down such a path, because we have other Polynesian languages that maintain them unmerged and do not undergo a deletion, like Samoan, which clearly points to *susu. That's just to show that internal evidence requires this — but the clincher is the outgroups (e.g. Malay susu), which then predict this from the higher-level reconstructions as well. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:51, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. "they reconstruct based solely on Hawaiian" -- oofda, that's quite a flaw in methodology.
So if I've understood this correctly, any *huhu form is, at oldest, an Eastern Polynesian innovation? Or if Rapa Nui has /s/, then Central Eastern Polynesian? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:53, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Rapa Nui does not have /s/ in this word. So yes, we could reconstruct an Eastern Polynesian *huhu, but I see it as being more parsimonious to posit an exceptional deletion in Eastern Polynesian. Either way, I suppose it deserves a mention in the entry. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:44, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Thank you again. I realize I was unclear -- I wasn't advocating for an additional step in the etymology so much as just trying to increase my own understanding. That said, /s//∅/ obsolete or nonstandard characters (∅), invalid IPA characters (∅) seems a bit odd as a one-step phonetic development, whereas /s//h//∅/ obsolete or nonstandard characters (∅), invalid IPA characters (∅) makes more sense (to me, anyway), so perhaps there's value in adding something about that. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:25, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
There clearly has to be a separate *huhu stage; the question seems to be if this was regular development from *susu and later irregular deletion of the resulting new *h, or if there was first irregular Eastern Polynesian lenition and later regular deletion of old *h. (Even regular explanations would be theoretically possible — e.g. dissimilation to something like *suhu, then assimilation from that to *huhu; but that would require supporting data.) --Tropylium (talk) 11:50, 21 April 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

This is an essay, not an etymology, and an IP just removed the Sumerian part of it with an edit comment say it wasn't true. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:00, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

I've removed that first paragraph which wasn't even about the word. For the rest, @Vahagn Petrosyan? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:29, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
See Asatrian, page 22ff for the scholarly etymology. I am not willing to summarize it here myself. --Vahag (talk) 19:36, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
So, the claim is that in 600 CE "kwrt" designated nomads, or other social status, not ethnicity, and that term likely derived from a name of the Kyrtian, a tribe as far as I can tell, not from the Karduch. And beyond that, reconstruction was impossible.
Without reading its sources, the reason against a relation of "Kurd" to the Karduchoi would be that the Cyrtii are simply preferred (now I mixed upthe English and Greek designations, like the author did). Whether the designations could have a common origin is illusive, there and, I guess, in the other sources as well. The mentioned source, "Cambridge History of Iran .." (see Asatrian p. 25), holding on to the idea, if that's still the case, is enough reason to ask for caution. There's the general problem, that nomadic nature complicates the search sufficiently.
It's not clear, to me, why e.g. "kwrt" from 600 CE (cf. p. 23), if designating nomads, should not at the same time have ethnic connotations; After all, ethnicity is pretty hard to define. While the Iranians might have arrived later, that alone doesn't rule out ancestry of "(Indo European)" descent to the "Kyrtians, as well as the Karduchs" (p. 27). According to footnote 33, the author doesn't actually know what language they spoke, so the apparently different origin of the Proto-Kurdish dialects is fairly irrelevant. And that "the ethnonyms of these two people escape any interpretation on Indo-Europan (Iranian) linguistic grounds" is a fair warning, but hypothetical. On the other hand, if their original language is not known, a common origin can't be ruled out, once more.
Overall, a name as Origin is not satisfying, because that name then is still unexplained. What was that about Sumerian clay tablets, as per the first IP edit, which a second IP edit removed? w:Kurds even sources such a claim, but mentions that the link to the Kurds is not secure. More importantly, I find the link that was removed from our etymology to Sumerian "kur" as Mountain interesting, which we don't actually have there. Rhyminreason (talk) 23:54, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *ulbanduz, *elpanduz (camel) and Gothic 𐌿𐌻𐌱𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐍃 (ulbandus)Edit

So *ulbanduz is a good morphological match for Gothic ulbandus, but not a single published source seems to even mention this as a possible PGmc form. (Re: sources I've found and used, see the references at 𐌿𐌻𐌱𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐍃 (ulbandus) as well as Kroonen - who doesn't list any PGmc word for camel, it seems - and Köbler.) I've found the etymology of the Gothic word to be very uncertain and mired with problems (it isn't even claimed by all sources to be an inheritance from Proto-Germanic at all and literally every theory seems rather speculative in some way or another), so to keep the Proto-Germanic entry as it is (it seems so sure of itself! even without sources..!) may be a bit misleading. Should *ulbanduz be kept despite the lack of sources, and if so, should it be edited somehow to reflect its uncertain status? Beyond the Gothic word, I am not competent enough at historical linguistics to judge whether the other descendants listed at *ulbanduz might formally match that reconstruction.

The only PGmc reconstruction I've found is in Lehmann (and Köbler, who refers back to Lehmann), who claims *elpandus (= our *elpanduz, I guess?) as the Proto-Germanic etymon. Regrettably, that reconstruction doesn't really match the Gothic form at all (as others, e.g. Jaan Puhvel, have pointed out; see refs at the got. entry). It seems like *elpanduz could at most explain the West-Germanic forms. Should the entry have a {{lb|gem-pro|West-Germanic}} label? especially as we're claiming it derives from Late Latin!

Anyway, this has all been very confusing. What do y'all think? — Mnemosientje (t · c) 21:26, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

There’s some additional discussion that might be relevant on pages 13 and 20 in this paper, although I guess it mostly follows Puhvel. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 10:06, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Roots meaning bend, "shelter"Edit

I was just reading camp, campus, and Swe. kur and have to ask whether those are related by their roots, and if someone can please fix those, while we are at it. Not to mention that I'd like to know whether those roots could be related to "Kurd". Rhyminreason (talk) 23:57, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

Is מאָנאַט a loanword from German?Edit

@Metaknowledge, Sije, Wikitiki89 and anyone else who knows about Yiddish etymologies: Yiddish מאָנאַט (monat) looks and feels to me like a loanword from German rather than an inherited term from Old High German; can anyone confirm or deny? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:32, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to believe that it was borrowed. If it was borrowed, it was borrowed before the time that secular intellectual Yiddish became a thing (I find cites as far back as 1795). --WikiTiki89 16:05, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Are the vowels consistent with its being inherited? I would have expected something like *מוינעט (*moynet) from an inherited term. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:11, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Well the first vowel is. In fact it's in Standard German where the first vowel is suspicious for an inherited term. Perhaps the Standard German form was borrowed from a dialect? --WikiTiki89 16:13, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
The first vowel is normal in Standard German; OHG ā becomes /oː/ before n in Monat, Mond, Mohn, ohne, etc. Since the latter two are מאָן (mon) and אָן (on) in Yiddish, I guess the vowel of the first syllable of מאָנאַט (monat) is regular too. But what about the second syllable? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 17:23, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! That explains a lot. I have no idea what happened to the second syllable. It must have been reduced to schwa, but then it inexplicably changed to a? --WikiTiki89 17:41, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Well, that's evidence for its being a borrowing rather than an inheritance, isn't it? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:02, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
No, because it's just as puzzling in Standard German. Other languages also have an inexplicable (or seemingly inexplicable) short a: Old English mōnaþ, Old Frisian mōnath, Old Norse mánaðr. --WikiTiki89 19:11, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything inexplicable about an unstressed long vowel becoming short; that's just the weight-to-stress principle asserting itself. There are other German words with unstressed that do not get reduced to schwa, e.g. Heimat, but neither of my Yiddish dictionaries lists a cognate of that. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 20:17, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Well it's not just that it becomes short, that I don't have an issue with. It's why it becomes a (i.e. instead of o) that I don't understand. Anyway, Heimat would probably have been a good parallel if it only had a Yiddish equivalent. --WikiTiki89 20:53, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja, Metaknowledge: I found something on where the a comes from. For each of the words listed there, these are the ones for which I found a Yiddish equivalent:
German Yiddish Middle High German Note
Balsam באַלזאַם (balzam) balsam, balsem a in Yiddish
Brosam, Brosame ברויז (broyz) brōsem, brōsme not helpful
Eidam איידעם (eydem) eidem e in Yiddish
Monat מאָנאַט (monat) mānōt a in Yiddish
fruchtbar פֿרוכטבאַר (frukhtbar) vruhtbære not helpful (claimed to be a modern borrowing)
I would say it's inconclusive whether the a could be native Yiddish. One thing I'd like to know is how this word was spelled in its earliest attestations (like 1590 and 1660). --WikiTiki89 19:34, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
OK I did some research and I found that in Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller's (d. 1654) Yid. translation of אורחות חיים (Day 4 No. 54 republished 1985 "כמו שהודפס בפראג שנת שפ"ו ובמץ תקכ"ז") it's spelled מאניט. --Sije (talk) 21:43, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
@Sije: What conclusion can we draw from that? Does this mean that מאניט represents /ˈmɔnət/ and is inherited, while מאָנאַט (monat) has /a/ in the second syllable under the influence of the German word, perhaps? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:08, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps. (Sorry but I'm not really that great in analyzing etymologies.) --Sije (talk) 22:14, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, מאניט represents mōnət /ˈmɔːnət/ (which would be modern **מאָנעט (**monet)). As for the story it tells, here are some possibilities:
  • מאָנאַט (monat) could have evolved from מאניט independently of but parallel to the equivalent change in German.
  • מאָנאַט (monat) could be a Standard-German-influenced spelling of an inherited *מאָנעט (*monet) from מאניט.
  • מאָנאַט (monat) could be a recent borrowing from Standard German after מאניט was lost.
And in turn, we still have no way of knowing whether מאניט represents an inherited form or a borrowing from that time period itself. Either option can combine with any of the above three options. --WikiTiki89 22:22, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
I wish @Kolmiel were around to help. This word is definitely a borrowing, and by sifting through Google Books, I even find some hypotheses surrounding its borrowing: Wexler's Slavic nonsense, a possible but as far as I know unsupported idea that it was borrowed to distinguish secular months from the Jewish ones, etc. As for the origin of the German word, I can't shed any light on that, but it seems irrelevant to the Yiddish word. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:29, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Based on what do you say it's definitely a borrowing? --WikiTiki89 16:46, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
The shape of the word is weird, and there is strong scholarly support. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:50, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
The "shape" of the word is just as weird in Standard German. Can you link to the strong scholarly support? --WikiTiki89 17:41, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Not now. Try looking for yourself. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:52, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
It's not urgent. I just won't believe it until I see it. (And I did try looking myself and it doesn't seem that anyone says anything conclusive.) Another thing to consider is that there is no clear distinction between so-called "inheritance" and "borrowing" in early Yiddish, and from what I found in the scholarly sources you seem to mention this word is attested as far back as 1590. And then even if it is a borrowing, it would have been from Standard Middle High German or very early Standard Modern German, and before ān merged with ōn (or from a dialect where that didn't happen). --WikiTiki89 18:04, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
Is "Monade", monad, Lt. "monas", AGr. μονάς (monás) relevant at all? See w:Monad_(Gnosticism); means unit. 12:34, 25 April 2018 (UTC)(and because I can't contain myself: The greek is also distantly related to "mahnen" (remind, demand, reprimand, a form of corrective measure). Rhyminreason (talk) 12:36, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it's relevant, but who knows. --WikiTiki89 14:15, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
No, it's not relevant. Ancient Greek μονάς (monás) means "alone", and a monad is a single thing. mahnen is unrelated to either, but it's related to mind. The word in question is related to Latin mēnsis, though I'm not sure where the "þ" in Proto-Germanic *mēnōþs came from (I would guess it's some kind of suffix). To save you the trouble, it's also unrelated to mouth, money, mound, mint, mandrill, mined, mandate, and dozens of words in unrelated languages. I would also add maunder, but it's a good description of what I'm responding to. Why do you constantly feel compelled to redefine well-known words, ignore well-known and widely accepted etymologies, and burden us with having to explain to you in detail why water is wet and pigs don't fly? Chuck Entz (talk) 17:25, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: The reason it could in theory be relevant is simply due to the superficial similarity of the words Monade and Monat, the former could hypothetically have influenced the a vowel of the latter. I find it unlikely, but it's not a super crazy theory. --WikiTiki89 18:09, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

precover (etymology 2)Edit

Is this pre- + discover? pre- + recover? Something else? DTLHS (talk) 23:32, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Precovery asserts the noun is from both, short for "pre-discovery recovery". - -sche (discuss) 17:44, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

this too shall passEdit

Requesting verification that this is from Persian. DTLHS (talk) 03:40, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

As best I can tell, an English translation of a Persian story containing the adage [is said to have] popularized it, although roughly the same sentiment can be found in English as far back as Old English. At best this would seem to be a calque. - -sche (discuss) 17:48, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of amazeEdit

The page for amaze claims that it comes from a Middle English verb amasen, in turn from āmasian. This all sounds fairly straightforwards at first, but soon encounters difficulties in that there is no attestation AFAIK of any of the forms of amasen other than the past participle amased (reasonably common) and the present participle amasing (pretty rare).

This could be attributed to a lack of evidence, but amased is pretty common, so one would expect some actual finite forms (e.g. amasest, amased(e), amase, amaseth) to be attested if it actually functioned as a verb in Middle English, or even the infinitive amasen to appear at some point. Other sources mention a verb amasen, ([5] [6]) but they seem to extrapolating from the participles as no quotes of these missing forms exist. Any thoughts? --Hazarasp (talk) 13:58, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

Middle English is not as well attested compared with other languages of the same era, like middle Dutch. This is because the languages mostly written in England at the time were French and Latin. The forms amased and especially a-masynge are in fact attestations of the verb. Along with the related verbs ME masen, OE āmasian, and ModE amaze it suggests that the ME verb most likely existed, even though it is not recorded in any other forms. We can mark the infinitive with an asterisk, but in doing so we might have to do this with many other ME verbs as well. IMO, I don't see the extrapolation of the verb to be a major problem. Leasnam (talk) 14:17, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

Finnish kunta - vandalism?Edit

Or does the editor of this and this have very surprising new knowledge not in and contradicting Häkkinen? --Espoo (talk) 20:44, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

Not quite vandalism, but a known problem user who felt compelled to treat every vaguely-similar non-Finnish word as either a cognate or a false cognate of Finnish words. They started out as Liedes, then they got blocked and they switched to IP editing, which we've been blocking. I think we have everything pretty much under control going forward, but they left a lot of edits and not all of them have been checked. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:09, 28 April 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

This Māori entry was created by a Malaysian IP, apparently solely to link to from the etymology at Malay kutuk. It does seem to be a real word ( has an entry), but the entries in online etymology databases for the Māori term and the Malay term don't seem to be aware of this correspondence (Blust has problems with his theory and methodology, but is pretty thorough). I don't have the sources to properly judge the validity of etymologies such as this, but it seems like a bit of a stretch- and this IP is adding lots of them. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:41, 28 April 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the Old Irish etymology. Seems a priori unlikely, but stranger things have happened. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:22, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

Matasović seems to consider them cognates. (Also Etymonline, which I know is not inherently reliable in itself but which can provide leads to look into, cites de Vaan for at least some of the possible cognates of Latin ren that it lists, although maybe not for this one; someone would have to check de Vaan and find out.) - -sche (discuss) 15:45, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Matasovic considers it a possibility, but only if ren has a different etymology from the one we currently give it. I've added his etymology with the source now. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:56, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

Etymology of Ancient Greek σάκοςEdit

According to, the origin of the Ancient Greek σᾰ́κος is the PIE *twak-, hide. Caeruleancentaur (talk) 18:38, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

Which of all those databases says that? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:13, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
Beekes also cites this etymology as traditional, he connects it to Semitic though (I find the original etymology better though). Crom daba (talk) 21:04, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
What's the source for the PIE root *twak- or *twek-? I suppose that both aspects of the current etymology edition could be true, not "alternative". That is, the common root of σᾰ́κος and σάκκος could be old; *twek- (*twak-) could be an intermediate root to σᾰ́κος. Both words, the shield and sack senses, could have converged again because of overlapping meaning. After all, a shield suspended from a spear balanced on the shoulders would be akin to a sack carried the same way.
starling is not going to be accepted as a source, but they often cite others. Rhyminreason (talk) 09:51, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

May 2018

Etymology of écharpeEdit

I just looked this word up, and the page only gives écharpe<escharpe (MF). Loading escharpe, I see no etymon, but the OF section below gives escharpe<skreppa (Old Norse), and it is only natural to assume the missing link and conclude écharpe<escharpe (MF)<escharpe (OF)<skreppa. Then I looked up sciarpa to see if it was cognate, and I found sciarpa<écharpe<*skrippa (Frakish). So the questions are:

  1. Firstly, which is right: écharpe<escharpe (MF)<escharpe (OF)<skreppa or écharpe<escharpe (MF)<escharpe (OF)<*skrippa (Frankish)?
  2. Are the Frankish and Old Norse terms related, perhaps one a borrowing for the other?
  3. Are the OF and MF identical terms escharpe related, or is the MF term from Frankish and the OF term from ON, with the OF term dying out and the MF arising afterwards?

MGorrone (talk) 15:24, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

I've expanded the etymology at écharpe. I'm also finding seemingly conflicting origins. I have a tendency to think that this might be two words: one meaning "scarf, bandolier, sash, baldric" and another meaning "satchel, bag, scrip", but I am not sure yet... Leasnam (talk) 02:20, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
fr.wt links it to Latin: "De vieux-francique *skirpja « sacoche, panier de jonc », du latin scirpus". Note *skirpja marked as reconstructed. Pondering the previous σᾰ́κος thread I came to consider an influence of a meaning patchwork, made of clippings, scraps, rags, i.e. cut waste cloth, because of the Egyptian "sꜣgꜣ" - inferior kind of cloth, most likely sackcloth linked from σάκκος. And hence an influence of a root meaning cut, which fit OH so well, because "shield", the gloss of the Greek term, goes back to *(s)kelH- (“to cut”), and "Verschnitt" on the other hand is German for scraps (maybe more specific), where "Schnitt" is akin to "schneiden" (to cut). So I suppose
Scrap, from Old Norse skrapa might be relevant, here, if only because it sounds similar to ON skreppa.
For the German perspective: The latter glosses to slip, but it's not easy to see how that might be related to the various meanings of the noun slip to left over fabrics. There's also the "Schlapphut", today understood to be akin to "schlaff" (opposite of stiff, rigid, strong + hat), schlapp says as much. For slab in turn (as if slap) we have "4. An outside piece taken from a log or timber when sawing it into boards, planks, etc." Case closed. Almost. Someone else will have to pick up the slack and plug the holes and errors in this argument (pun intended, I'm really sorry, but I hope this helps).
The gist is anyhow, that sack, basket, etc. are Wanderwords important in international trade, so a single origin is hard to prove.
I wonder how you would justify "more likely from Old Norse" @Leasnam. Rhyminreason (talk) 10:48, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
Well, Old Norse skreppa meaning "to slip" as in "to fall on a slippery surface" is a different word. What is relevant here is the feminine noun skreppa meaning "scrip, bag". The "more likely" would apply only to the Old French word escherpe "bag, satchel" leading to the English word scrip meaning "bag, satchel". IF there is a different Old French word, escherpe that leads to the French word écharpe "scarf" then perhaps "more likely from Old Norse" wouldn't apply to that word, if it's not the selfsame word. I've removed that blurb from the etymology Leasnam (talk) 14:17, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
CNRTL does link the modern French word to the Old French word meaning "satchel, saddle-bag, scrip", so it does appear to be one word. Sense development from "large basket made of bullrushes" via a hypothetical Frankish borrowing (I assume in order to preserve the form of the word) is more fraught with complications than a borrowing from Old Norse meaning "scrip, bag" IMO Leasnam (talk) 14:29, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

why is police a plurale tantum?Edit

Having to say "the police are..." instead of "**the police is..." has always bugged me. Where does that usage come from? --Per utramque cavernam 08:53, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

I suppose it comes from the fact that the term refers to a group of people. In British English it's parallel to constructions like "the audience are", "the staff are", etc., but what's weird is the ungrammaticality of *"the police is" even in American English (where "the audience is", "the staff is" etc. are normal). What trips me up is remembering to say "Die Polizei ist" rather than *"Die Polizei sind" when I'm speaking German. (I have the same problem remembering not to say *"Meine Brille sind", *"Meine Hose sind", or *"Diese Schere sind", to be honest.) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:49, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: Thanks. I didn't know audience and staff tend to be used like that too. Pesky pluralia tantum! --Per utramque cavernam 11:32, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I've seen police, audience and staff used primarily in the singular. At least that's how I use it, but I am not a native. I would have thought the /s/ ending facilitates the impression of a plural form, but staff doesn't fit that idea. So I guess the staff is more frequently seen as a singular entity.
"The police is/are coming" gives a 1/40 ratio on g-books. "The police is/are" only gives a 1/4 ratio, and prior to ca. 1900 a prevalence of "is". Most those results might be irrelevant, e.g. the verb might not relate to the police but a different part of the sentence. But I did not bother to check (the doubt arose later). Rhyminreason (talk) 00:20, 7 May 2018 (UTC)


This is in reference to the horse disease. Conversation moved from the Tea Room:

@DTLHS, I wouldn't say that the horse disease is a separate etymology. It's called "strangles" because it strangles the horse. -Stelio (talk) 07:32, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
They are separate etymologies- the horse disease word was formed much later than the verb / noun inflections, within English, even if they ultimately have the same source. DTLHS (talk) 16:18, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
This reminds me of the debate over whether a verb derived from a homographic noun (for example) is a separate etymology... a question about which there is debate. - -sche (discuss) 04:27, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
This isn't discussed on WT:ELE or WT:ELY. What is the cut-off for considering whether two senses of the same word are separate etymologies? For example computer as a person's role is 17C whereas the electronic tool is 20C, but they are listed under the same etymology. Strangles as a horse disease goes back to 13C, as per the following citation. -Stelio (talk) 09:11, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • R. Paillot; M. R. Lopez‐Alvarez; J. R. Newton; A. S. Waller (March 2017), “Strangles: A modern clinical view from the 17th century”, in Equine Veterinary Journal, volume 49, issue 2, DOI:10.1111/evj.12659, ISSN 0425-1644, page 141:

    Strangles remains one of the most frequently diagnosed infectious diseases of horses worldwide and is responsible for significant welfare and economic cost. It was first described by Jordanus Rufus of Calabria, a knight of Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, King of Naples and Sicily, circa 1251.

Digging further, I've found a copy of the original 1251 text. So the etymology I've got so far is:

from Old French [] (between 1256 and 1300, Jordanus Rufus, La marechaucie des chevaux)
from Medieval Latin strangulionis (1251, Jordanus Rufus, de medicina equorum)
  • I can't get the Old French term though. The contents of La marechaucie des chevaux is included in Tony Hunt's Old French medical texts, a copy of which is in the open archive of the Wellcome Library (History of Medicine, Shelfmark BN.CA.36) in Euston. But I'm not planning to be back in London for a while.
  • And presumably it goes from Old French into Middle English before it reaches Modern English. But I haven't got a Middle English citation to confirm the spelling.

So this confirms DTLHS's stance of the disease name being of a different etymology, yes? And without the intervening words, what can be included in the entry's etymology section? -Stelio (talk) 13:57, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

I find it interesting that the Portuguese translation in the entry is garrotilho, following the disease manifestation rather than the Latin word. I've put in {{t-needed}} for a few more languages. DCDuring (talk) 17:29, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
I've fill in some translations. Here are some more, but I'm not sufficiently comfortable with these languages to add them myself. -Stelio (talk) 08:33, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Interesting that a few, not all, of these use the concept of strangulation, though just Italian seems to use Latin strangulatio. To me that indicates that the horse disease definition of strangles might derive from the verb fairly directly. I haven't found any evidence of a Latin (or Ancient Greek) word for the horse disease, but the Oxford Latin Dictionary or similar from Europe might help. DCDuring (talk) 16:05, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
You won't get a Latin or Ancient Greek term for this disease (beyond the Medieval Latin noted above) because it was first documented in 1251, according to all professional veterinary sources. -Stelio (talk) 07:46, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
And you won't get an Old French intermediary, if that was just using the Pseudo Latin. The ellipsis in the quote is curious, anyway. I wouldn't be too surprised if the quote was literal. Rhyminreason (talk) 09:13, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
That's not a quote; those are my own notes. :-) Jordanus Rufus wrote de medicina equorum (dated to 1251) in which he describes strangulionis in Medieval Latin. Then Jordanus Rufus also published La marechaucie des chevaux (some time between 1256 and 1300) in Old French (so his own translation). I haven't been able to see a copy of the text of that book yet to confirm what the wording he used was, hence "[...]". After that point, I don't have an English citation until the 1700s (see citation on bastard strangles). -Stelio (talk) 11:40, 10 May 2018 (UTC)


The etymology uses the ambiguous term “Scottish”. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:58, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

It may be impossible to tell the difference between derivation from Scots and derivation from an identical Scottish English word. If so, I think it would be simpler to say English broadened the use of one of its own (English) words, rather than involving another language. - -sche (discuss) 17:36, 5 May 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. 蕳砃 is not a native Min Nan word; it is definitely borrowed from Malay, not the other way around. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 03:06, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

Slav, Sclavus, σκλάβοςEdit

Especially following some referenced(!) edits to some of them today (see diff), these give different etymologies. (slave did, too, until I cut its etymology off at Latin and put a "see there".) Perhaps we want to mention all of the theories (at least, any that are plausible) in one place and point the other entries towards it. - -sche (discuss) 08:27, 7 May 2018 (UTC)


The etymology given (from Indonesian makan) appears dubious to me. If true, the expression niets te makken would originally mean "nothing to eat". None of the examples I can find suggest indigence, like penniless people going hungry – merely an inability to afford modestly luxurious expenses.  --Lambiam 19:24, 7 May 2018 (UTC)

FWIW, the Dutch Wiktionary entry seems to source this from Yiddish instead of Indonesian. I'm inclined to agree with that derivation, rather than from an Indonesian term meaning to eat. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:53, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
Digging into the history of the makken entry, the Indonesian connection came with the creation of the page in 2007, when the sense was simply given as to eat -- the same as the purported Indonesian etymon, makan. It looks like the sense was updated later to align with what Dutch sources say, but the etymology was only updated to match our templating and formatting conventions, without any alignment with other sources.
There is a wide semantic difference between to eat and the meaning of the specific set phrasing in which makken appears -- niets te makken hebben, “to have nothing to spend, to have no influence” -- making the initial entry sense and derivation appear to be either a flat-out mistake, or perhaps a sense limited to the specific sociolect of Indonesian speakers of Dutch.
I've done some research in Dutch sources, turning up no clear leads aside from the purported Yiddish connection in the NL WT entry at [[nl:makken]] (presumably deriving from מאַכן (makhn)?). However, I have little experience with this and I am sure I'm limited in what I can find. I hope others can delve in and ferret out the full derivation. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:54, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
Yiddish כ tends to become Dutch ch or g (brooche, chrein, gappen, and so on), and the jump in meaning ("make" → "spend") is considerable, so I also have my doubts on a Yiddish origin. I've removed the dubious etymology.  --Lambiam 14:51, 26 May 2018 (UTC)

Proto-Celtic *glastosEdit

Does it come from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃- ?

Conceivably. I'll see what Matasovic says when I get a chance. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:59, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
He says probably so. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 18:41, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

English sog ~ Icelandic saggi etc.Edit

The former claims to be of unknown origin, but sure looks like it could be a Scandinavian loan. seaw lists several other Scand. forms related to the Ic. --Tropylium (talk) 19:06, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Century in 1911 already connected this to Icelandic söggr, although modern dictionaries I checked either have no entry or say only "unclear". - -sche (discuss) 22:26, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Old East Slavic мѫжьщинаEdit

According to Max Vasmer Russian мужчи́на (mužčína) is inherited from Old East Slavic мѫжьщина (mǫžĭščina). (For some reason he uses 16th century Russian spelling мущи́на (muščína)). мѫжьщина doesn't seem to be attested and there are other theories. Belarusian мужчы́на (mužčýna) must have inherited from the same source or re-borrowed from Russian. (Notifying Benwing2, Cinemantique, KoreanQuoter, Useigor, Wanjuscha, Wikitiki89, Stephen G. Brown): : Do you have any suggestions about what to do with мѫжьщина? Also @Per utramque cavernam, Vahagn Petrosyan might be interested. BTW, pls advise if you want to be included/excluded from the Russian notification group in Module:workgroup ping/data. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:44, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

@Atitarev: You can include me in the notification group. --Per utramque cavernam 11:42, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
See also Talk:мужчина. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:45, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: This is what the asterisk is for: Old East Slavic *мѫжьщина (*mǫžĭščina). But how do we know it wasn't Old East Slavic *мѫжьчина (*mǫžĭčina)? --WikiTiki89 15:09, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89:: Good question. I also suspected it was from OCS. Another theory is it was from mężczyna via Belarusian. Both мужчи́на (mužčína) and же́нщина (žénščina) are from adjectives in Proto-Slavic + *-ina. I wonder if *ženьščina is a correct reconstruction. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:23, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Never mind, Old East Slavic *мѫжьщина (*mǫžĭščina) makes more sense, since it is *mǫžь + *-ьskъ + *-ina. The Russian and Belarusian forms both make perfect sense as well, so I don't know what the confusion is about. --WikiTiki89 20:17, 11 May 2018 (UTC)


Can anyone improve or narrow down the etymology on this term (beyond a compound of wag + pastie)? I've found a few sources that try to give an explanation (copied into the talk page) but none of them agree and I can't find any other sources to support any of these interpretations. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 12:16, 10 May 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Can somebody create a "reference" section and put a citation please? Cause I can't seem to find any sources of this etymology. Johnny Shiz (talk) 20:14, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

It's mentioned on the ZH WP page, at zh:w:眼鏡#历史. That section has two reference links, which might be a good place to start. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:19, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Cited. Wyang (talk) 00:09, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

(mochi, mochii)Edit

Is (mochi, glutinous rice) is the origin for (mochi, glutinous rice cake), or is the rice cake derived from a shortening of 餅飯 (mochi-ii, literally rice cake + cooked rice grains), as in mochii? ~ POKéTalker) 06:01, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Per the KDJ, (mochi) is a shift from older (mochii, historical mochipi), in turn a shift from 糯飯 (mochi ii, historical mochi ipi), referring to (ii, cooked grains) made from (mochi, glutinous rice).
The DJR entry for (mochii) here similarly notes a shift from older mochi ipi, though they spell the older mochi with the same kanji as the later derivation.
The DJS entry here agrees with the KDJ.
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:11, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
There's a bit of confusion: there exists also 餅飯, also spelled mochi-ii but literally "cooked glutinous rice + cooked grains" (four instances of that). Is it a later derivation from (mochi) and/or the same as cooked rice cakes, even though adding another (ii)? ~ POKéTalker) 03:53, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
餅飯 (mochi ii, ancient mochi ipi) appears to be an alternative form of 糯飯 (mochi ii, ancient mochi ipi), specific to the sense of mochi, as in the glutinous pounded rice dough. This term is not a later derivation of modern (mochi), but instead the etymon:
  • 糯飯 (mochi ii, historical hiragana もちいひ)餅飯 (mochi ii, historical hiragana もちいひ) (mochii, historical hiragana もちひ) (mochi)
‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:46, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
All done, amo and kachin included. ~ POKéTalker) 06:54, 14 May 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. ばかFumikotalk 11:36, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

It must be from the Portuguese Timóteo, as is the case with many early western, let alone biblical, borrowings of Japanese. It may also be the Latin Timotheus or one of its inflectional forms. The 1936 平凡社大辞典 mentions Timotheos next to the headword without explanation, but probably not as the etymology. Nardog (talk) 14:08, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
While Portuguese is indeed the most likely historical candidate donor language, a straight borrowing from PT would have maintained the "o" on the end. What would cause this to fall out??
The Latin genitive Tīmotheī and vocative Tīmothee look like they have the right phonetics to produce JA Temote, but a borrowing straight from Latin is unlikely.
Rather that no sources that we've been able to locate give any details on the precise derivation of the term, and how it arrived in Japanese as Temote, the derivation is unclear. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:09, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
@ばかFumiko, please do not re-insert your own emotionally-charged editorializing. Please also do not again remove the [[Saint]] from the gloss -- this term is specifically referring to Saint Timothy. The modern given name Timothy is rendered in Japanese as ティモシー (Timoshī), not テモテ (Temote). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:57, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
@Eirikr How about you stop your editorializing? It's strange to me that while I'm obligated to provide sources for edits on Wikipedia, otherwise they'll easily be subject to removal, a frigging admin on Wiktionary is allowed to have free reign to throw around unverified claims which are clearly his own original research as a matter of course. Secondly, the label "biblical" denotes the fact that it's not the English name, but the biblical individuals (including that saint). ばかFumikotalk 02:56, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Fumiko here. To say the origin is "unclear" implies that we, not just those here on Wiktionary but scholars in general, have not figured it out yet; but we (those on Wiktionary) don't know if that's true. And the direct translation of "Saint Timothy" would be "聖テモテ". The label helps the reader identify the sense—compare ミカエル, パウロ, ペトロ. Nardog (talk) 04:44, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Simply omitting any such note implies that the entry editors have done no research. I've spent some time looking into this, and no source I've found describes how this term entered into Japanese, nor why it manifests as Temote instead of the expected Temoteo (assuming a Portuguese source). The wording I added ("The route of borrowing and the reason for the phonetic transition to Temote is unclear") was intended to convey exactly that: the details are unclear, as no resources consulted include any such detail. This note is not intended as commentary or editorializing, but rather as an objective statement of what I've found. If that should be reworded, I'm open to suggestion, but I do think we need to say something about this.
Regarding the sense line, ミカエル (Mikaeru) and パウロ (Pauro) have multiple other possible referents, and indeed the JA WP has disambig pages for these (ja:w:ミカエル_(曖昧さ回避), ja:w:パウロ_(曖昧さ回避)). With just the biblical label and a link through to [[Timothy]], readers might be misled into thinking that テモテ (Temote) has a broader range of meanings. From what I can find, テモテ (Temote) refers pretty exclusively to one specific individual, Saint Timothy. Incidentally, the situation is similar for ペトロ (Petoro): the JA term appears to refer specifically to the saint, while the EN term has a broader range of meanings. We would do our readers a disservice if we do not make that clear. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:25, 18 May 2018 (UTC)


Surely this is attested in Classical Chinese? Probably not strictly wasei kango. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:57, 12 May 2018 (UTC)


No etymology given. 16:59, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Done, but I'm only pushing the problem back further. Per utramque cavernam 14:31, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Undone. How can you possibly know whether основа or основать came first? --WikiTiki89 15:01, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't know. I've readded a more cautious etymology. --Per utramque cavernam 15:06, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

By the way, I've always assumed a "deverbal" was a noun derived from a verb by disfixation; it seems counterintuitive to me to call terminaison a "deverbal" of terminer. Am I wrong? @Wikitiki89, Mahagaja? --Per utramque cavernam 15:13, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

I'm not aware of that restriction. I thought a deverbal was any non-verb derived from a verb. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 15:17, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: Mh, all right. I'll have to find a new name for CAT:Deverbals by language and {{deverbal}} then, because my goal is to gather a very specific subset of disfixed deverbals, not every word derived from a verb there's out there. (CAT:French disfixed words sounds weird...) --Per utramque cavernam 16:19, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
@Benwing2: Hello. I remember you expressing some interest in the {{deverbal}} template. Were you interested in all deverbals at large, or only in disfixed nominal deverbals such as those I've gathered at CAT:French deverbals or CAT:Russian deverbals? --Per utramque cavernam 19:16, 26 May 2018 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. ばかFumikotalk 01:40, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

  • Regarding sense development, 草履 (zōri) are sandals made from straw originally, and this matches the spelling, (grass) + (footwear).
  • Regarding the reading, the KDJ describes this as originally sauri (equating to modern sōri), the regular on'yomi. The zōri reading would then be a shift from sōri by simply adding voicing, not an unusual change in Japanese terms.
The KDJ, Daijirin, and Daijisen include a reading jōri, presumably as a less-regular shift form zōri. The Daijirin and Daijisen entries include the detail that this reading was attested in the 1603 Nippo Jisho Japanese-Portugese dictionary. Any reading jōri would have been spelled giǒri in the Portuguese orthography of the time, and notably, there is no such entry -- it would appear on this page towards the top of the right-hand column, between giôqiǒ (modern romaji jōkyō, 濃香) and giǒrocu (modern romaji jōroku, probably 丈六). The zǒri entry here towards the bottom of the left column states:

Zǒri. Commummente ſe diz, Iǒri. Calçado feiso da palha, junco, ou qualquer outra [illegible]

I suppose it's possible the Paris edition available on Google includes a typo, and Iǒri should instead be Giǒri. Does anyone have access to another edition of the Nippo Jisho for confirmation? Or any other JA source describing the origin of the purported jōri reading? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:51, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

time paradoxEdit

Excuse me etymologists, I am a mere copier of my dictionary sources: again, and again, problem with gkm=Medieval Greek: Impossible:

  • {calque|gkm|la|
  • {bor|gkm|la
  • {inh|gkm|grc

Instead, I have to send all mediaeval words to ancient categories, with ancient greek borrowing from latin!
P.S. And I cannot find {loanword|... e.g. ντετερμινισμός (Determinismus).
Can anybody help? Thank you. sarri.greek (talk) 12:45, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Template:bor is to be used for loans.
A mere ancient/modern distinction seems a bit bcoarse, indeed. Rhyminreason (talk) 00:16, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
See WT:AGRC: "Ancient Greek includes all forms of Greek from the invention of the Greek alphabet in the 8th century BC through the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD, including Classical Greek, Koine Greek, and Byzantine Greek (also called Medieval Greek)." You can use gkm to indicate Medieval Greek as the source of an etymology, but any word attested before 1453 is considered Ancient Greek. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 07:45, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
-loanword=sorry @Rhyminreason: my brain stuck, thought bor.exact+inflectional endings was some special Cat.
-Μεγάλε Maha! @Mahagaja: I know, I know... This is precicely the paradox: 10th century = ancient... sarri.greek (talk) 09:46, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
@Sarri.greek: It's just a label. Don't take it too literally! You can always put {{lb|grc|Medieval Greek}} or {{lb|grc|Byzantine}} on it to clarify the time period it's used in. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 09:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
New discovery: the ancient greeks sang Christian κοντάκια!! They can now be found in Categories ancient lemmas, ancient nouns, ancient neuter nouns... Formerly MeGr, but now Angr... sarri.greek (talk) 10:25, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the language spanned quite a time period.
The prevailing view so far has been that the varieties spoken in the ancient period and the variety spoken in the middle ages are not sufficiently different to require treating them as different languages. Compare Hebrew, treated as one language. Or Moldavian or Croatian, whose speakers are sometimes miffed at what we call their language on here. The downside of using a name some people are initially confused by is outweighed by the upside of not duplicating massive amounts of content across such similar varieties of the language. - -sche (discuss) 14:02, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
I do thank you @-sche: for your paregoric, but practical analysis. I was looking for a solution with less, much less implications: just excluding some words from ancient categories; not making new ones. A Mediaeval Cat already exists and is sufficient. I just cannot take the words OFF the ancient ones. I was hoping there were some kind of template for narrowing, not expanding the inclusion in categories. Same problem with greek words spellt in polytonic script: thousands of them, as written before 1982. We do not want them duplicating the existing modern monotonic greek lemmata in all subcategories. A template telling the word: go to one and only one category, would be ideal. sarri.greek (talk) 15:21, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Since "Ancient Greek" is the name we give to all 22 centuries from 750 BC to AD 1453, it makes sense that CAT:Ancient Greek lemmas (and so on) contains words from that entire timespan. If we had a CAT:Classical Greek it would make sense to exclude post-Classical terms from it, but we don't. (We do, however, have CAT:Post-classical Ancient Greek, which has only 2 entries in it. Shouldn't they be moved to CAT:Koine Greek and/or CAT:Byzantine Greek and the rather useless category deleted?) —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 16:46, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
The way it is used in those two entries looks legit to me. Why not just put Byzantine and Koine under Classical? Crom daba (talk) 20:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
@Crom daba: It's not erroneous, it's just not helpful to have two entries in a catchall "post-classical" category when everything else post-classical is either Koine or Byzantine or both. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 21:32, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Could CAT:Ancient Greek lemmas have subcategories, technically? Rhyminreason (talk) 10:00, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
It already does, they're listed at the top. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 19:53, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
I've deleted the category, moving the two entries into the other categories. It is added by the label "post-Classical", so we'll have to watch out for new uses. We should update Module:labels to allow labels to display and function differently depending on language code (this would also help with Doric Greek vs Doric Scots), so the label could categorize as "post-Classical" for Latin and Old Armenian, but "Koine" + "Byzantine" for Ancient Greek. - -sche (discuss) 21:13, 16 May 2018 (UTC)

Bástya (Hungarian) vs. bastion (English / French) vs. Башня (Russian): etymology? Are they cognates?Edit

The three words in the title are similar in sound and meaning, so I was wondering whether they are related in any way. The etymology sections apart from bastion are empty, so where do bástya and башня come from? I suspect the Russian word may not be a cognate becsuse of the n which in the others is a t, but the other two? Also, are there other cognates to these in other languages? For example, does башня have cognates in other Slavic languages? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

On a quick check-up, at least the Hungarian supposedly comes through Italian bastia. This gives an etymology seemingly completely different from the French — but then the Latin verb bastiō that the latter refers to turns out to be indeed a late Germanism. (It has a Classical pronunciation given though, which seems a bit anachronistic.) --Tropylium (talk) 10:37, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
To expand on that, bastia says bastia (Italian) < *bastjan (OHG) < *bastijaną (PG), bastion traces it to OF bastille, then bastille gives the Modern French term as from Latin bastilia, plural of bastile, which comes from bastio, and that verb is from Frankish *bastijan, from the same PG term, giving the chain bastion<bastille<bastile<bastio<*bastijan<*bastijaną, which would make the terms cognate. So if all the above is correct, and bástya is from Italian bastia, we have cognates. MGorrone (talk) 13:45, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
I have added a referenced etymology (Vasmer). Yes, Russian ба́шня (bášnja, tower) was borrowed from Italian bastia via Polish baszta or Czech bašta. There's also a doublet from French - бастио́н (bastión, bastion). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:54, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Why did the t become n in Russian? I assume there's nothing phonotactically wrong with a hypothetical *ба́штя, is there? Is there some similar word with n that bastia got confused with? —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:34, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
It was Old East Slavic башта (bašta). No idea why it was passed on differently. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:39, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Actually, the same source says -nja was added as a Slavic suffix -> baš(t)nja: башта -> баш(т)ня [7]. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:45, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
-ion and -nja#Serbo-Croation, supposing that's comparable to ня, are both deverbal suffixes. Does that hint at a parallel development?
Could the loss of t be due to orrthographic mishaps, in a way that ш would have been read as sht? Rhyminreason (talk) 10:12, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure for Russian, but at least in Serbo-Croatian, stn goes to sn regularly. Crom daba (talk) 11:32, 16 May 2018 (UTC)


Tagged but not listed. Nardog (talk) 01:57, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

My IP edit; forgot to use the "sort=" feature, sorry about that. Expanded, but would like to think about the "Fuyuki" given name. The entry looks good (to me) now. ~ POKéTalker) 02:49, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

海原 (unabara)Edit

Compound of (umi, sea, ocean) + (na, Old Japanese possessive particle) + (hara, plain)? ~ POKéTalker) 01:36, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

  • Exactly. KDJ lists exactly that. appears in a few compounds as una. The u is parsed as “sea, ocean”, and the na as the alternative to regular particle (no). There's even 海原 (unohara) as the ancient Eastern Japanese version of 海原 (unabara), clearly manifesting the (no).
For that matter, (umi) is parseable as u “sea, ocean” + mi “water”.
HTH, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:43, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the confirmation; 海上 (unakami), 海境 (unasaka), 海路 (unaji), and 海底 (unazoko) seem to have a similar shift. ~ POKéTalker) 06:51, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
This probably has wider ramifications, but why is the OJ pronunciation given with h- throughout and not as p- > ɸ-? For that matter, medial -ɸ- usually goes to -w-, so I would have assumed that rendaku happened here already by the p- stage. --Tropylium (talk) 12:03, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

(unagi, munagi)Edit

Is the shift from mu-u- a normal Old to Middle Japanese shift, and any earliest attestation of modern unagi? ~ POKéTalker) 06:51, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

It's not "normal" as in, it's not something that happens consistently. However, it isn't an unusual shift. See also (ume, ancient mume), (uma, ancient muma), and even the shift from suppositional mu to u (and thence to modern / -yō). FWIW, the Gogen Allguide entry suggests a derivation from (ancient reading mu, “body”) + nagi, a hypothetical inflection of the root for naga “long”. The Nihonjiten entry suggests the same, as well as a few other theories. The KDJ doesn't give any derivation beyond just OJP, providing a citation from the Man'yōshū. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 05:48, 21 May 2018 (UTC)


What's origin of Arabic أُسْطُول‎ (ʾusṭūl, fleet)? It seems to be cognate with Greek στόλος (stólos, fleet). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:15, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Shelomo Dov Goitein says in A Mediterranean Society: volume I (1967) that "usṭūl [...] is derived from Greek stolos, 'fleet,'" although "in the Arabic of that period" he is writing of, which seems to be the 1000s-1300s, it designated one heavy warship rather than a fleet. Manwel Mifsud, in Loan Verbs in Maltese: A Descriptive and Comparative Study (1995), agrees with this derivation ("/ʾusṭūl/ 'fleet' < Gr στόλος") and says the loan is "of very old origin". - -sche (discuss) 15:32, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
@-sche: Thanks! --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:59, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
That's an interesting quote but how old exactly is very old, anyway? Rhyminreason (talk) 00:19, 20 May 2018 (UTC)


@Tropylium, Hekaheka, are these edits valid or is this the problematic Finnish philologist from before? (If the latter, the edits could just be nuked to save time.) - -sche (discuss) 21:23, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Please also take a look at Special:Contributions/, e.g. diff. - -sche (discuss) 21:30, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Whichever the case, I think we've cleaned up most of the former already, where required. --Tropylium (talk) 17:14, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
Seem very much like it. A block or two could be in order. (I would recommend blocks for both IPs) SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 09:15, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
Found another one: Special:Contributions/ SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 13:14, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
The range Special:Contributions/ seems particularly active. It's one of the ranges of a mobile operator (Telia) in Finland, so blocking it may incur some collateral damage. The 84. one in turn is probably a broadband connection of some kind. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 13:34, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
For the record, I also support blocking the original account indef. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 14:30, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
I however wouldn't probably support mass reverting or nuking the edits - some edits are actually productive, but the editor has shown that they have no intention to stop adding clearly incorrect folk etymologies to some entries. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 18:15, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Another range? Special:Contributions/ SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 19:10, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Yep, another mixture of probably well-intentioned edits some of which are badly garbled enough to be effectively vandalism anyway — e.g. mass-changing all adverbs suffixed with -ti to say that they are "abessive like inflection" even though they're derived terms and not inflected forms. --Tropylium (talk) 12:33, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

From mancus#Latin 'handless' to PIEEdit

In etym, it reads from Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/man- 'hand' (+ko), which redirects to Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/mon- 'man, person', nothing to do with the other meaning. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 22:05, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Fixed. It's from the same source as manus (hand). —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 22:38, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Japanese words purportedly from Hebrew? (comparison)Edit

This may interest anyone who has a liking of comparative linguistics. From the theory that the Japanese came from one of the ten lost tribes of Israel, just found this YouTube video from 2011: this video (start at 12:26) gives us some Japanese words that are similarly sounding from Hebrew ones (possibly the ultimate derivation?).

The terms in question from the video are:

To begin with, in my opinion, there is no way these words actually were derived from Hebrew (from the differing pronunciations), given there is no evidence (yet, probably) on their derivation from said language. Just posting this to make you aware. If I missed something, or this has been already discussed somewhere else, please notify me. Domo, ~ POKéTalker) 14:20, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

🙄 As long as no one actually enters these "etymologies" into our entries we're OK. —Mahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 14:22, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
All languages have words that coincidentally both sound similar and have similar meanings. Anyone who knows anything knows that a few coincidences are usually nothing more than coincidences. Keep in mind the birthday paradox. --WikiTiki89 14:58, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
書く (kaku, to write) is cognate with 掻く (kaku, to scratch), and probably also cognate with 掛く (kaku, to catch on something; to cover over the top of something; to hang something).
住む (sumu, to dwell in a place) is cognate with various other sumu verbs, with a core meaning of "to settle" -- be it in a place, or accounts, or transactions between people, or a matter under discussion.
滅ぶ (horobu, to fall; to perish, to die out) is element horo + suffix bu "seems like, becomes like, behaves like". Horo appears in horohoro "scatteringly", and with voicing as boroboro "raggedly, tatteredly, crumblingly".
祓う (harau, to purify) is cognate with 払う (harau, to sweep away; to pull taut; to pay out), and derives from 張る (haru, to be taut), 貼る (haru, to paste or stick onto something, by spreading the flat object taut when laying it onto the surface) + repetitive / iterative suffix (fu), modern . Also cognate with 孕む (haramu, to be pregnant, i.e. to have a full and taut belly).
拍手 (hakushu, to clap) is clearly a compound.
Cheers, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:12, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Biting the flame bait, I have to say the birthday problem is not really relevant here at all. The linked probability calculation is stretching the imagination. The fallacy is the assumption that we had perfectly quantified information, either way.
The real mistake is the heavily implied verdict that the claim must be wrong. The chance to find random matches as high as 50% (which, as the text freely admits would include mutually exclusive matches) given the necessary leeway only means that the chance simply isn't significant. Rhyminreason (talk) 05:15, 24 May 2018 (UTC) (redacted)
Which just shows that you have no clue what you're talking about, and why your comments are such a waste of time to read. I don't mean that as an insult, but as a literal statement of fact. If you accept any superficial resemblance as persuasive, you spend a lot of time trying (and failing) to make sense out of random noise. There are observable forces at work in language change, and not taking them into account keeps you from truly understanding anything. There are always exceptions, but they're exceptional- most of the data will fit. Having felt the force of gravity and seen its effects, I know not to expect rocks to fall upwards: I will first look for their source uphill, rather than downhill. Overall patterns are what to look for, not individual resemblances. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:02, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for all your comments. In later parts, there's also other terms: the ソーラン節 (Sōran-bushi), and the sumo terms hakkeyoi/hakkiyoi and sumo itself:

More information on ancient Japan and ancient Israelite comparisons, including words (in Japanese). There's lots of interesting resources on the web, including the katakana parallels to the Hebrew/some Aramaic alphabet. Still, it's good to say they're only coincidences at best. ~ POKéTalker) 03:30, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Just watch Pokemon, buddy, we are building a dictionary here. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 09:40, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Goodness, that's harsh. If I am not mistaken, Poketalker has already acknowledged that it's unlikely to be true and is just posting this for the heck of it. —Suzukaze-c 17:11, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Russian кувалда, “sledgehammer”Edit

ru.wikt says this is a borrowing from Belarusian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer), and that the Belarusian word is itself a borrowing from Polish kowadło (anvil). But Belarusian also has the word кава́дла (kavádla, anvil), which I assumed is borrowed from that very same Polish word kowadło when I created the entry. Now I don't know if I was right to make that assumption, but Belarusian кава́дла (kavádla) seems closer both phonetically and semantically to kowadło than кува́лда (kuválda) is.

Does anybody know what's up here? Does Belarusian have two different loans from the same Polish etymon? --Per utramque cavernam 15:47, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

@Per utramque cavernam: It seems Russian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) was metathetically borrowed from Polish kowadło via Belarusian or Ukrainian. The Russian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) gradually changed: ковадло->ковалдо->ковалда->кувалда and changed the meaning. Ukrainian and Belarusian later re-borrowed the term from Russian with the same modern sense. Another theory is кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) was formed by ку- (ku-) + вали́ть (valítʹ, to fell, to knock down). The Ukrainian source is Етимологічний словник української мови. Not sure if it's the source for the last theory (prefix) or both (+ Polish "anvil"). The part that Belarusian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) and Ukrainian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) re-borrowed it from Russian is more or less certain - Ukrainian and Russian sources agree. The terms Ukrainian кова́дло (kovádlo, anvil) and Belarusian кава́дла (kavádla, anvil) were borrowed from Polish. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:51, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: All right, thanks. I think the etymology of the Polish kowadło is sure: Proto-Slavic *kovati + *-dlo.
So the only uncertainty left is the etymology of Russian кува́лда (kuválda). I'm not knowledgeable at all, but that Vasmer theory that it's from ку- (ku-) + вали́ть (valítʹ) is strange, no? What's that prefix? And -да is not a suffix (per Talk:-ба), is it? All in all, that would be a weird formation. --Per utramque cavernam 08:17, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam: Yes, I don't like the prefix theory either. The travel from Polish kowadło (anvil) (ковадло->ковалдо->ковалда->кувалда) to Russian кува́лда (kuválda, sledgehammer) makes much more sense to me. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:12, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
@Atitarev: Yes, I find it more convincing too. Last question: кова́дло (kovádlo) doesn't exist at all in Russian? --Per utramque cavernam 10:54, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
@Per utramque cavernam:: All dictionaries and Google books searches return only Ukrainian results. It's hard to establish with certainty, if it was ever Russian. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:08, 25 May 2018 (UTC)


Currently split into two etymologies. Aren't these similar enough to fall under one etymology heading? IMO separate headings should be used only for unrelated words. Any fine detail of derivation paths of different parts of speech can be covered under the one heading, as necessary. I think that splitting entries like this over multiple etymology headings is counterintuitive and confusing for ordinary users. Mihia (talk) 22:19, 25 May 2018 (UTC)