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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

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etymology of French comment


The entry for French comment itself states that the second syllable is the French suffix -ment. However, the entry for comme states that the second syllable of comment is the conjunction et. (Both entries agree that the first syllable of comment is comme.)

Bizarrely, both claims are cited to the same work. This can't be right. What's going on? 12:15, 1 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

The second element of comme (not of comment) is etymologically et. That is, Latin quomo(do) + et > French comme, also Italian come. To that combination was later added the adverbial suffix -ment in French, hence comment. Nicodene (talk) 21:25, 1 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
In that case, the entry for comme appears to be clearly wrong? It says " 12:18, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
"Later the conjunction et was added to com, resulting in comment." This is very explicit and directly contradicts what you're saying here. Perhaps it should be changed? 12:20, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Sorted. Nicodene (talk) 21:01, 16 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

etymology of English grovious


Does anyone know or have any ideas on where this word came from? Could it possibly be related to grievous? Cheebow8 (talk) 16:53, 1 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Let's take a step back. Does an adjective *grovious even exist? Nicodene (talk) 21:27, 1 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
You're right about the smudged E's, and thus, the word never existed. How can its deletion occur with haste? Cheebow8 (talk) 23:37, 1 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Probably the fastest way would be replacing my {{rfd}} with a simple {{d}}. Nicodene (talk) 03:29, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Deleted as an entry created in error. — Sgconlaw (talk) 04:49, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Etymology of Spanish proteles


According to the entry for Spanish proteles, "From New Latin proteles, from Ancient Greek πρῶτος (prôtos) + τέλειος (téleios)."

Are we sure this is the right etymology? Seraphinanewt (talk) 17:23, 1 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Certainly the Spanish name comes from the genus name Proteles. w:Aardwolf § Etymology, citing Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals, says this comes from πρῶτος (prôtos) + τέλειος (téleios), but one would expect that to give *Prototelius or the like. Merriam-Webster, on the other hand, gives the more plausible etymology προ- (pro-) + -τελής (-telḗs), and in fact there is an Ancient Greek word προτελής (protelḗs). Unfortunately, it's an adjective meaning "offered before a wedding ceremony" (referring to an animal sacrifice) and has nothing to do with aardwolves or hyenas at all. But it's possible some Enlightenment-era biologist re-coined pro-teles to mean "complete in front", possibly without even knowing the original Greek word (which is a rather obscure hapax legomenon). —Mahāgaja · talk 19:23, 1 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



I cant find this word on the web except in dictionaries. merriam-webster 1913 defines it very similarly to the more common word melinite, except that it derives it from Greek méli "honey" instead of mēlinos "quince-colored". mel-enite would be quite a weird derivation from méli and melinite definitely looks more like quinces than honey, so I would assume that melenite is just a misidentification of melinite; could we just make it an alternative form entry of melinite? Anatol Rath (talk) 10:33, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



I was curious about the name, and went digging. w:Jean_Sibelius#Life says it a Latinization of Sibbe, a family estate. This turns out to be Sibbo (Swedish) or w:Sipoo (Finnish), which are pet-forms of Sigfrid, w:Sigfrid of Sweden being the patron saint. 04:56, 3 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

{{R:fi:SPNK}} derives the personal name Sibbe not from Sigfrid but from Old Swedish Sighbjörn (> modern rare Sigbjörn). --Tropylium (talk) 10:57, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Russian разрез


Could Russian разре́з ("cut, section") be from Proto-Slavic *rězati ("to cut, slice")? Seraphinanewt (talk) 13:36, 3 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Seraphinanewt Added the etymology. Vininn126 (talk) 13:38, 3 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Tea room? Seraphim. 2607:FB90:3529:365:747C:B7FF:FE06:42ED 01:29, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

a*teri*k in etymologies


The following entries need fixing, I don't like the * in the etymology section

links to *eggle

with *voicen P. Sovjunk (talk) 17:35, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

These seem fine to me. What's bothering you about them? —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 17:02, 6 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree it's weird to provide a link to Reconstruction:English/voicen, as it is not really a reconstructed form. It's not like we believe that voicen formerly existed or currently exists but happens to be unattested. It's different with *eggle; since eggler and eggling themselves are archaic, it is possible that eggle existed at the time but isn't attested. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:34, 6 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm agnostic about whether *voicen exists but happens to be unattested. If you think it exists, writing "*voicen" is the correct way if saying so. If you don't, then we need a better account of the form voicening. Perhaps it arose in analogy to words like softening, lengthening. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 18:01, 6 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I do think analogy is a better explanation, especially using lengthening since length and voice are both nouns (length : lengthening :: voice : X = voicening). I'm tempted to just call it a mistake as the actual word is voicing. —Mahāgaja · talk 20:06, 6 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree with Mahagaja. I have also labelled it nonstandard, and would consider labelling it a non-native speakers' error (most of the hits seem to be by non-native speakers) or even a misspelling (one work does use "voicening" multiple times, but others use it only once and otherwise consistently use "voicing"). - -sche (discuss) 15:00, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Origin of becocked


I'm pretty sure the term is ultimately related to German kacken, but I'm not sure whether bekackte or bekackt are a match semantically since we don't have those entries. Could a German speaker give their input? Maybe @Fay Freak, Jberkel. Ioaxxere (talk) 18:00, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Added the entries, the adjective is quite common, not so much in print. Jberkel 18:40, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
An alternative form, becacked, also exists. I've added it. Leasnam (talk) 22:51, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm finding cites for becack'd dating back to 1711; and it seems this is a tense of the verb becack (to cover or smear with cack (shite)), which goes back in English to 1598; so the German may merely be a cognate. Leasnam (talk) 22:54, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Based on the spelling of becocked I would say this was indeed from Yiddish/German. I'll create a separate entry for becacked. Leasnam (talk) 23:04, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Then there's cacked up, which seems to be closer to this than plain cacked.Chuck Entz (talk) 02:29, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks everyone! Ioaxxere (talk) 15:45, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply


  1. When is Palestine (in any pronunciation) first attested in English? On the citations page, I put a use from 1650, but I can find French books using it even earlier. I can find some modern books which imply the term existed in Middle English: did it, in some spelling?
  2. What's the history of the pronunciation /ˈpæləˌstiːn/ used for some US places named Palestine? Was it formerly also used for the pronunciation of the Middle Eastern area?

- -sche (discuss) 22:36, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

It's attested in Old English as Palestina. Leasnam (talk) 22:48, 4 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
The MED doesn't have an entry for it, but under Jeuerī(e n. 2.a it has a quote: (a1398) *Trev.Barth.(Add 27944)166a/b : "Samaria is a cuntre of palestyne and..is to Jewriward [L iudee vicina]." Chuck Entz (talk) 01:00, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thank you both; I've add those missing links between the Latin and modern English to our entry. Interestingly, the 1909 OED does not have either Palestine (which tracks, because it seems to exclude placenames, e.g. it has Panama only as the attributive for things relating to Panama) or Palestinian (for reasons unclear to me, as they have e.g. Peruvian), and Etymonline, perhaps because it draws on the OED, therefore claims the term was "revived" by the British in 1920, but this must be wrong given all the use before 1900. - -sche (discuss) 14:49, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
For the pronunciation, so far what I've found is /aɪ/. Baldwin's 1851 Geographical Pronunciation has Pal'es-tīne, and though he never explains his notation beyond saying ī is "long" (ambiguous as some people use that to mean /iː/ and some to mean /aɪ/, and the other words he notates with -tīne have both, e.g. Argentine), Goodrich's 1856 Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of the English uses "ī" here but in other words, which have /i(ː)/, uses the respelling "ee", which means I take their "long i" to mean the diphthong rather than a long i. And Funk and March's 1897 Standard Dictionary of the English Language confirm, respelling it "pal'es-tain". I wonder if the US pronunciation is a spelling pronunciation by the original settlers, a vowel shift that happened over time, or a shift that made to distinguish it from the Middle Eastern place. I spot a Jewish News Syndicate article asserting Today's residents pronounce East Palestine “Palesteen,” but the original settlers undoubtedly pronounced it the more common way. but if that's based on anything other than gut feeling or guesswork, they don't seem to cite it. - -sche (discuss) 14:56, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@-sche: my understanding is that there was a lag between migration to those areas and the setting up of schools, so most of the early population would have been farmers with no formal education. Under such circumstances, if it wasn't in the Bible or a few other sources that were commonly available they would have had to figure out for themselves how such vocabulary would be pronounced- so my money is on spelling pronunciation. This isn't the first such ad-hoc-sounding pronunciation of a small town named after a well known place that I've encountered, but I can't think of another one off the top of my head. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:27, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@-sche: Is it possible that the US place names are conserving a pre-Great Vowel Shift pronunciation? Maybe the original settlers were from Northern England or Scotland. But if I had to guess I would say that /iː/ is a spelling pronunciation. Palestine was probably a very obscure word prior to c. 1900 so I doubt the pronunciation was even consistent. Ioaxxere (talk) 15:45, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
@-sche: The current version of OED Online only lists attributive uses of the word. However, it notes in the etymology that Palestine as a place name is found from Late Middle English onwards; before that, as Leasnam pointed out, the Latinate form Palestina was used. — Sgconlaw (talk) 20:50, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

līso (Old High German)


Origin? 15:13, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Added @līso. Leasnam (talk) 17:31, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
No article on līsī yet, 21:36, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
For OHG no, but please see Proto-West Germanic *līs(ī) Leasnam (talk) 22:29, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Latvian pārmaiņa


Is it related to Russian перемена? Shoshin000 (talk) 16:04, 5 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



Despite the rather detailed information already present, which is generally well done (I'd change a few stylistic things but w/e), I marked this with {{etystub}} because I'm seeing a lot of conflicting information.

When checking Polish dictionaries, Boryś and Mańczak both claim this is internal derivation, ultimately from the same etymon (nagrodzić). The shift of grodzić > nagrodzić is baffling me a bit, but I think {{R:pl:WSEHJP}} might give some explanation. Bańkowski seems to waver, he says it seems somewhat like Proto-Slavic, but as we can see a lot of forms might be borrowings. Furthermore, the earliest attestastion for Polish is 16th century, so Middle Polish, which while possible for some inherited terms, does reduce the chances. @AshFox @IYI681 and @Sławobóg, input requested! Vininn126 (talk) 15:37, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Just for information, Old Ruthenian нагрода (nahroda) is first attested in 1614. AshFox (talk) 16:02, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
That would certainly point to a Middle Polish, in my opinion. Especially with the sound laws. So that seems solid. Vininn126 (talk) 16:06, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
It is possible that it is an internal post Proto-Slavic derivation. Back when I created the page, I didn't take EssJa into consideration, a mistake on its own, it's not listed there, so that lends credibility to it. IYI681 (talk) 16:05, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I've updated the Polish entry nagroda for now - someone let me know if something looks wrong. Vininn126 (talk) 18:37, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I also saw that the paragraph in the reconstruction is now handled by the Russian etymology. My intention is that it should be clearer now, there's no need to have it twice. Vininn126 (talk) 18:53, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
One thing that could be could is moving the semantic shift information from the Polish entry to the PS entry, if that's something we believe. Vininn126 (talk) 18:56, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



Origins of Dutch/German word? 17:12, 7 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Will someone respond? 14:00, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Etymologies added. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 12:57, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

English 'quad'


At present English quad is divided into four etymologies, but one is dubious and the other three are all rather similar.

In 2016 @Equinox changed Etymology 1 from "pertaining to 4" to "Latin". While quattuor is Latin for 4, and these English words are at least indirectly related to it, I don't know that they come directly from Latin and not from, say Italian quattro, Old French quatre, or even other English words such as quartet or the like.

Etymology 2 is given as "Clippings" (of various English words), while Etymology 3 is "Abbreviation" (of two English words). Is it fair to say that e.g. quad from quad bike is an abbreviation and not a clipping, while the opposite is true of quadcopter? Maybe so, but they are pretty similar. Likewise, while Etymology 4 is specifically from quadrat, it is shortened from that word, or in the words of the OED, "Formed within English, by clipping or shortening. Shortened < quadrat n. (originally as a graphic abbreviation)" (emphasis added). Maybe all of these senses should be grouped by the word they are clipped / abbreviated / shortened from (per Etymology 4)? Or would that just create an excess of sections with one or two senses each?

Fun fact: quad from quadrat is the oldest Latin-related (probably via French or Italian) quad in the OED (c. 1781), but there are three homographs from Old English: variants of hwæt (what), cwæþ (quoth, said), and cwead (excrement). Cnilep (talk) 06:11, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

The words in Etymology 1 are all likely to be clippings of quadruple or quadruplet in my opinion. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:29, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I doubt that there are any definitions of quad as an adjective that attestably meet the requirements to be considered adjectives, rather than attributive use of a noun. Some may not be attestable at all. DCDuring (talk) 18:05, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Here's what I'm thinking: put these into a single etymology section and organize them chronologically, mentioning the (known or probable) English etymon in the definition. The etymology would be something like, "Shortened, via clipping or abbreviation, from various English terms. Ultimately related to Latin quattuor “4”. See quadri-, quadruple." Then noun glosses would be something like:
  1. (typography) Originally abbreviation of obsolete quadrat. [from 1780s]
    1. A blank metal block used to fill short lines of type.
    2. (slang) A joke used to fill time.
    3. (phototypesetting and digital typesetting) A keyboard command which aligns text with the left or right margin.
  2. (colloquial) A quadrangle, a square courtyard. [from 1780s]
  3. (colloquial) A horse, from colloquial or humorous quadruped specifically for horse. [from 1850s]
Opinions? Cnilep (talk) 02:18, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
This seems sensible to me. If necessary any relatively long information like what is present about the typography senses can still be in the etymology, introduced like "The typography senses are from..." or something. - -sche (discuss) 02:50, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Done ―Cnilep (talk) 03:13, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



A suggested etymology is Phoenician 𐤏𐤋𐤉𐤑 𐤏𐤁𐤀 (ʿlyṣ ʿbʾ /⁠ʿaliṣ-ʿuboʾ⁠/, “safe harbour”), but I can't find such words anywhere...any Phoenician specialists out there who can testify to ʿaliṣ-ʿuboʾ? I would like to propose another solution, but I'd like to hear from the experts first. 16:01, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

I have come across ܒܐ (ʿubbā), which might be interpreted as "harbour". עלי could be translated as "superior", but the "s" is still a problem. 19:01, 8 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
The Celts were early established here, so I would like to suggest Proto-Celtic *lussus (“medicinal herb, vegetable”) + Proto-Celtic *bonus (“base”), the Welsh equivalent being llys (“plant”) + bôn (“base”). Thus "settlement with medicinal herbs". This would also fit with the name Lisso/Lucio once given to the River Tagus. Any thoughts? 15:13, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I have posted this, I will be interested in any comments. 19:46, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I appload your creativity. Unfortunately, these kind of theories are almost always wrong. It is extremely speculative and there is no indication whatsoever that it may be true. At least for "safe harbour" we can say that, indeed, Lisbon was built on the location of a safe harbour ("safe" as in "sheltered"). The word *lussus isn't attested in any other place name or personal name. The element *bonus is more promising as there are lots of such placenames attested. On the other hand, we're not even sure the area was Celtic. The biggest problem is that *lussu-bonus doesn't account for the classical name Olisīpō (and similar) at all. The only sounds that match are l and s. The sounds O, i, ī, p, and ō don't. The declension type is also wrong: u-stem vs. n-stem. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 20:42, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Wikipedia shows the coast as occupied by Celts. As to -ppo, the Romans could have mistaken -bon for a third declension noun like Cato. 15:52, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Please don't add your own original research to our etymology entries. Brusquedandelion (talk) 15:52, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Looking through this editor's other contributions, I notice that while some (especially minor changes, linking, etc) look fine, many of the substantive additions have been reverted by more knowledgeable users. IP, please be more careful. - -sche (discuss) 16:13, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



How do people feel about this? I was under the impression that we do normally include macrons when mentioning Latin words in etymologies, and that we try to use more specific templates than {{der}} when possible. (OTOH the "possibly" Gluepix added and P Aculeius removed does indeed seem to be unneeded.) Is there a better template than {{lbor}}? - -sche (discuss) 02:47, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

We absolutely use macrons when mentioning Latin words in etymologies, translation sections, or anywhere at all really. Our entry aborigines#Latin says that the derivation from ab origine is a folk etymology, so that "possibly" should probably be replaced with a "not". —Mahāgaja · talk 12:01, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
OK. I've opted to just direct people (from both this capitalized entry and English aborigines) to the Latin entry, so as to only have to hash out the ety in one place; apparently it's unclear whether it's a folk ety. - -sche (discuss) 14:51, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



Do you know the origin of this Indonesian word? Or at least you have a theory about it. Berbuah salak (talk) 23:25, 9 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

The second syllable seems to derive from Arabic غُلّ (ḡull). Not sure about the front part, but the full word could be a corrupted form of the phrase bi l-ḡull. Austronesier (talk) 17:11, 14 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



Does anybody know the origin of this German word? 20:10, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Added. Fay Freak (talk) 21:40, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



@Lambiam, Lingo Bingo Dingo, Thadh, Mnemosientje: Nl.wikt says this is a borrowing from Low German. Is it a doublet of onbeschaafd? PUC19:59, 10 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

The dominant hypothesis is that it is an alteration of onbeschaafd, but other theories have been advanced. I don’t know what the concrete evidence is that this is a Low German term. Clearly, onbeschaafd is on- + the past participle of the verb schaven. Is there a Low German counterpart schoffen?  --Lambiam 10:42, 11 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
This hypothesis seems preferred by Van der Sijs. [1] ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 20:40, 11 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Apparently a Low German word unbeschuft has been recorded. But how can we be sure this was not borrowed from Dutch?  --Lambiam 08:08, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



The protist Ancistrum is the type genus of the family Ancistridae. But the meaning of Ancistrum is not clear. I believe it derives from the ancient Greek ἀγκιστρεύω / ankistrévo, "fish hook". Do you have another opinion on the matter? Gerardgiraud (talk) 18:42, 11 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

The most likely source would be Ancient Greek ἄγκιστρον (ánkistron, fish hook) (Latin -um and Ancient Greek -ον are closely related). Ancient Greek ἀγκιστρεύω (ankistreúō) is a verb derived from the noun. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:55, 11 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
See the original description, which says "(du grec ἀγκίστρον, crampon.)". Apparently the Ancient Greek term could also refer to other types of hooks. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:08, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



plima (плима) from root -pl cognate with плно (old serbian dialects), cognate with plus (latin), πολύς (old greek) 15:27, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



I want to know the origin of this Dutch suffix. 20:51, 12 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

While I don't know the answer, it is undoubtedly cognate to the German suffix -ste.  --Lambiam 04:55, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
It's actually an interesting question, because the only form at CAT:Proto-Germanic ordinal numbers with an st in the suffix is *furistaz (first), which etymologically is the superlative suffix equivalent to ‑est. I suppose in Dutch and German it was reinterpreted as an ordinal suffix and spread to all the numbers ending in ‑zig/‑tig as well as hundert/honderd, tausend/duizend, and all the big numbers ending in -illion. —Mahāgaja · talk 06:20, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Update: I'm aware that the German and Dutch words for 'first' actually come from Proto-West Germanic *airist, but as that also ends in the superlative suffix, my point stands. —Mahāgaja · talk 11:21, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Proto-Germanic *gurą


Could *gurą be derived not from *gʷʰer- "hot", but *ǵʰer- "bowels, intestines"?

It seems to be closer semantically.

I guess the morphology is PIE added -om (in zero-grade?). Aspets (talk) 19:15, 13 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

That does indeed seem more likely. Especially if the correct form of the latter root is *ǵʰerH-, which I believe. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 14:32, 15 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
It might seem more likely, but I think the connection to *gʷʰer- is probably accurate. Polish 'gorący' from Psl. *gorǫťь is almost certainly cognate and retains an identical semantic meaning the original PIE root. Most descendants of ǵʰer- describe human anatomy or some sort of tube, not the contents within. I think that if we were looking at a *hypothetical* Pgmc. *gurǫ̂ "of the intestines", then it might be a better case. Liminal Thulean (talk) 21:56, 19 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Etymology of Arabic رسغ


I saw a youtuber with a pretty high following suggesting that this is the root word for the english word "wrist".

I understand that wrist has a completely different etymology, and he's obviously wrong, but I'm curious. Could help prevent linguistic disinformation. 11:45, 14 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

So, to fill the empty Arabic etymology section, I pulled an explanation out of my sleeves for the internet users. After deriving roots from other roots for over half a decade now, it was intuitive to me. Fay Freak (talk) 12:30, 14 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

mauen German


Origin? There is no Middle German entry for māwen yet 18:59, 16 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

I'd say it's onomatopoetic, obviously. Wakuran (talk) 22:24, 16 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
The Middle High German is mouen. mawen is Middle Low German. Etymology has been corrected and expanded. Leasnam (talk) 23:42, 16 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



This word looks like a native word, but I don't know the etymology. Do you know the etymology? Or at least have a theory about it. Berbuah salak (talk) 14:02, 17 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Berbuah salak: I have added a "shallow" etymology. The term is shared between Malay/Indonesian, Sundanese and Javanese, but fortunately, the devoicing of the final stop makes the direction of borrowing obivous at least for Malay. I'm undecided about Sundanese or Javanese as source. In the case of Jav → Snd, Snd would have neutralized the Jav dental–postalveolar contrast; in the case of Snd → Jav, the default nativization is Snd ⟨d⟩ → Jav ⟨dh⟩ in non-final and Snd ⟨d⟩ → Jav ⟨d⟩ in final position. So both scenarios are likely. As for the "deep" etymology, I have no idea about it yet. –Austronesier (talk) 11:58, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



Lacks an etymology and I am thinking this may be a germanic loan. Pgm. *Skellanan perhaps from Old Norse "skjalla" or Old English "scillan"? Seems to be basically synonymous with Irish / Gàidhlig "fuaim" but This word is apparently not found in Irish. Liminal Thulean (talk) 11:42, 19 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

You're probably right. Old Norse skjalla seems the more likely source, as Old English scillan was pronounced with a /ʃ/. Still, I'd expect the form to be *sgeal, not sgal. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 14:14, 19 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
On a side note, it is skyawl, skyaul, skyowl in Scots. Leasnam (talk) 04:17, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

hun (Dutch)


Origin? 12:31, 19 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Added. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 13:41, 19 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
On a possibly related note, I see that Dutch uses "hen" as a gender-neutral pronoun, like Swedish and Norwegian. Would that be a borrowing from Swedish or Finnish, or is it an independent development? (It might be national pride, but I find it a much better word than the occasionally confusing singular they that's predominantly used in English...) Wakuran (talk) 20:03, 19 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm not well-informed about 3sg gender-neutral pronouns in Dutch. I don't recall ever hearing them in use. They certainly haven't gained traction the way they have in Sweden. According to Genderneutrale_voornaamwoorden#Nederlands this usage of hen is inspired by English they, although unlike English there is no history of the use of plural pronouns in the singular and in Dutch you're also supposed to use a singular verb with singular hen. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 12:59, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
As far as I know, singular they was never used to address individuals in the history of English, either. It's just an indirect, impersonal usage that has been reinterpreted, anyway. Wakuran (talk) 13:44, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
"to address individuals" is not the right choice of words in any case, unless you're talking about expression like "You there!", so I'm not sure what you mean. My understanding was that "they" could always be used to refer to a specific person of unknown or contextually irrelevant gender which to the best of my knowledge is impossible in Dutch. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 16:10, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I meant that the historic usage was indirect and impersonal (or rather indefinite, I guess). The usage of singular they to refer to a specific person, often by individual choice, is recent. As the usage is modern already in English, it's no real argument for why it couldn't be borrowed into Dutch. [2] Wakuran (talk) 23:24, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
The point of the comparison to English was that the shift for English was small, as it already had singular they in certain cases, and therefore easier to overcome when compared to the shift for Dutch, which never had singular hen/hun/ze/etc. in any case. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 23:54, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't fully agree, but let's agree to disagree, I guess. Wakuran (talk) 10:06, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Alright. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 10:16, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
This article says Swedish inspired it, as you suggested. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 16:38, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Okay, thanks. The phonetic connection to 'hun' might have played a part as well, it seems. (Such as in how Swedish 'hen' was partially borrowed from Finnish 'hän', but reinterpreted in analogy with 'han' and 'hon'.) Wakuran (talk) 23:24, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



Which "blind" does this come from? None of them make sense in the etymology Denazz (talk) 09:03, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

It's a protein involved in the development of muscles and eyes. Flies without the muscleblind gene have defects in muscle development and photoreceptors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3315501/ Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:04, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Etymology of German Amtsleiter


Does anyone know the etymology of Amtsleiter? I couldn't find anything online. Seraphinanewt (talk) 12:47, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Aside from the obvious Amts + Leiter (Etymology 2)? Chuck Entz (talk) 13:06, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Or more specifically Amt +‎ -s- +‎ Leiter.  --Lambiam 09:07, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

haar (Dutch pronoun)


Origin? 20:39, 20 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

What do you mean? All four Dutch entries already have etymologies. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 00:01, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Please create a article on the Latin word fotrum. I already have made a request. 17:37, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
??? Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 17:42, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Read the Latin requested entries the term evolved to become German Futtaral . 17:54, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Since this has nothing to do with Dutch haar you should start a new topic for that. You might also consider using a less demanding tone when interacting with other users. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 21:12, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
For what it's worth, "fotrum", also "fodrum", is from Proto-West Germanic *fōdr. Compare Old French fuerre (modern French fourreau). 18:56, 24 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Pound PIE root


pound § Etymology 1 states that it's derived from *spend- (to pull, stretch), but it's *(s)pend- that means pulling or stretching. *spend- means libating or pouring. I think that *(s)pend- may have been the intended link, but I'm not sure. Jlwoodwa (talk) 19:47, 21 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Fixed. Безименен (talk) 21:20, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

gara-gara (Indonesian)


Does anyone know or have a theory regarding the etymology of this word? It looks like a native word formed from repetition of the word gara. But when I searched for that word (gara) on the KBBI website, it had a quite different meaning to it (gara-gara). Berbuah salak (talk) 12:39, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

duka (Sundanese)


Does anyone here know about the etymology for the word duka in Sundanese? It basically means 'in ignorance' or most notably the phrase 'I don't know'. Based on many words that I've come across in languages, it might come from the Sanskrit word duhkha (sorrow). I think since 'not knowing or being ignorant=not enlightened=sorrowful' (I don't know where that saying comes from, I think it goes on like that or something), it makes sense for the meaning to change. What do you think? Udaradingin (talk) 16:23, 22 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Udaradingin: You're right about this. The connection is even more apparent in Javanese where you have the same two seemingly remotely related meaning: Javanese duka is the krama andhap word corresponding to ngoko embuh ('I don't know'), and is actually a clipped form of duka dalem '[lit.] my sorrow'. So saying duka originally expressed an apology for not being able to provide the requested information. I assume that this practice and the term originated in Javanese and later spread to Sundanese, as with many words and expressions belonging to the krama = lemes speech level.
Btw, you would have seen the connection on the page for duka itself weren't it for the utterly weird practice of some editors to reduce Javanese (and also Sundanese and Balinese) entries in Latin script to become mere "Romanizations" (NB without even a gloss) of Carakan main entries. All regional languages are written in Latin script in daily practice, and only few speakers of those languages are fully competent in their respecitive heritage scripts. This is as absurd as reducing all Vietnamese quoc ngu entries to "Romanizations" and using chu nom forms as main entries instead. I'll have to bring this to the Beer Parlour some time. –Austronesier (talk) 19:47, 24 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Etymology of Malayalam തനിച്ച്?


Does anyone have an idea about the etymology of തനിച്ച് (taniccŭ, "alone, by oneself")? Seraphinanewt (talk) 15:29, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

According to this source, From Proto-Dravidian *tan + -iccŭ (which I believe is a past tense marker?). PortalandPortal2Rocks (talk) 07:32, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

PIE *h₂rew- 'to radiate'?


In Armenian (cf. Old Armenian արև (arew, sun)), Indo-Aryan (cf. Sanskrit रवि (ravi, solar deity)), perhaps Anatolian (cf. Hittite 𒄩𒊒𒉿𒈾𒀀𒄑𒍣 (ha-ru-wa-na-a-iz-zi, [it] gets bright)), there is evidence for pIE root *h₂rew- (to radiate). Does this data suffice to reconstruct the IE root? In particular, is the Hittite verb secure enough? It resembles the Luwian word for 'road', which Kloekhorst derives from *h₃er- (to rise) instead. Безименен (talk) 21:13, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Kümmel, Martin Joachim (2011–2023) Addenda und Corrigenda zu LIV²[3], page 38 has added the root. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 22:40, 23 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



Not gonna lie, I'm thinking another copyright trap again. Looking up מאָרקען (morken) on the CYED just links me back to אָפּמאָרקען (opmorken). The closest word I could find that has a reliable etymology is סמאַרקען (smarken) or סמאָרקען (smorken, to blow one's nose), but that has a drastically different meaning to opmorken. It's currently the daily word on the CYED if you're interested, but here's a screenshot of the section for future reference. Insaneguy1083 (talk) 11:28, 25 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Update: can't find it on the CEYD or JNW either. Insaneguy1083 (talk) 11:30, 25 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Google gives a few hits for unmarked מארקען (marken), but they are either in Hebrew or generally appear to be impromptu neologisms based on English mark. Insaneguy1083 (talk) 11:36, 25 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

may (Tagalog)


Does Spanish word hay somehow related to the Tagalog word "may"? Klama Di Kaoa (talk) 08:01, 26 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

No, and neither does Welsh mae. —Mahāgaja · talk 15:00, 26 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

dayung (Indonesian)


On the KBBI website, this word is said to be a loan from Old Javanese ḍayuṅ, but I kinda doubt it because this word could be a native word, because it has a final syllable that rhymes with the words payung, gayung, and duyung. Do you agree that this word is a loan from Old Javanese? Or do you have another theory regarding the etymology of this word? Berbuah salak (talk) 12:13, 27 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Berbuah salak: Next to Old Javanese ḍayuṅ there is also rayuṅ in Zoetmulder's dictionary. The regular correspondence between OJv r- and Malay d- suggests that this was inherited from a mid-level proto-language (replacing the Proto-Malayo-Polynesian forms *bəʀsay and *aluja). Alternatively, Malay could have borrowed the word from the OJv variant form ḍayuṅ. To stay on the safe side (as with so many Malay-Sundanese-Javanese (near-)identity correspondences), we should just say "Compare with..." with a mention-template; a cognate-template would be wrong if we can't exclude borrowing in either direction. –Austronesier (talk) 19:08, 27 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

skobeloff (English)


From what I was able to find, it either comes from the Russian word for a kind of bird, the French "caboche", meaning head, or from the uniform of Aleksey Arakcheyev. Which is it? 17:11, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

I had never heard of Skobeloff, before, but apparently it's mostly used to refer to a variant of a teal- / turquoise- / cyan-like color. The name itself is a rare name found at least in USA. It's also very similar to Russian Skobelev, which apparently would be derived from a Russian word for 'dog'. Wakuran (talk) 10:18, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



The current etymology opens

From Proto-Semitic *ʿakbar- (mouse) mingled with عُرْقُوب (ʕurqūb, hamstring, Achilles tendon) from *ʿarqūb- (hamstring, Achilles tendon) […]

This "mingling" is unbelievable. Contamination between two quadriliterals with initial /ʕ/ is supposed to have produced a word with final /ʕ/? Where is the /j/ supposed to have come from, given neither parent has one?

If this isn't just nonsense, can we add e.g. some posited intermediate forms to show what's supposed to be going on? 4pq1injbok (talk) 17:16, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

@4pq1injbok: It’s called a “blend” in more frequent linguistic language.
  • The ya- is a residual suffix in zoology and botany, as in يَنْبُوع (yanbūʕ) and يَحْبُور (yaḥbūr), which wasn’t productive in Classical Arabic any more, or at least no regular part of the grammar, hence it estranges you. There can be no reasonable doubt this is the same prefix. So it can be made more explicit in the etymology.
Both Proto-Semitic reconstructions boast general acceptance,
  • Militarev, Alexander, Kogan, Leonid (2005) “ˁakbar-”, in Semitic Etymological Dictionary, volume II: Animal Names, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, →ISBN, page 47 No. 30 for the mouse word (found sparsely as عَكْبَر (ʕakbar) and synonymous to يَرْبُوع (yarbūʕ) acc. to Hommel, Fritz (1879) Die Namen der Säugethiere bei den südsemitischen Völkern als Beiträge zur arabischen und äthiopischen Lexicographie, zur semitischen Kulturforschung und Sprachvergleichung und zur Geschichte der Mittelmeerfauna. Mit steter Berücksichtigung auch der assyrischen und hebräischen Thiernamen und geographischen und literaturgeschichtlichen Excursen[4] (in German), Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, page 338, I find use in a magazine 1995 for voles, beside personal names)
  • and you know عَرْقُوب (ʕarqūb, Achilles tendon), another such mingling, Militarev, Alexander, Kogan, Leonid (2000) “ˁarḳūb-”, in Semitic Etymological Dictionary, volumes I: Anatomy of Man and Animals, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, →ISBN, pages 22–23 No. 21 etymologized as said in the Wiktionary mainspace.
  • Militarev, Alexander, Kogan, Leonid (2005) Semitic Etymological Dictionary, volume II: Animal Names, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, →ISBN, page 320 No. 251 they have a separate reconstruction *yarbVˁ- for يَرْبُوع (yarbūʕ) ‘kind of rodent’ by comparison to Eblaite 𒀀𒊏𒅤𒌝 (a-ra-bù-um /⁠ʔarrabuʕum⁠/) and Akkadian arrabum (dormouse? jerboa?) , which is quite at loss, not generally entertained in Assyriologist literature (could they be ع ر ب (ʕ-r-b) from the animal passing through fields etc.?), and yet they “cf.” to it on the mouse entry (in the book only, not SED online) and hence twine يَرْبُوع (yarbūʕ) and *ʕakbar-.
So what is reasoned on Wiktionary is the best you get. The etymology was discovered by looking at the animal jerboa, a mouse with jumping tendons; quite fast so, while filling the Arabic fauna coverage of Wiktionary. If you overthink the complications of steps it does not become true, yet note that the designations of such fleeting small animals are often disfigurations. {{unknown}} is also justified. Fay Freak (talk) 18:33, 28 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Galician baduar


Does anyone know the etymology of Galician baduar ("to babble, speak nonsense")? It may be a stretch, but could it be related to Frence badouillard ("reveller, partygoer")? Seraphinanewt (talk) 15:20, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Projecting it back into ‘Vulgar Latin’ gives us *batulāre, which looks like a verb based on the (rare) Late Latin batulus, from the Greek βάταλος. Nicodene (talk) 00:33, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



According to most theories, this word is related to Meluḫḫa, however I feel it might have some connection with the Sanskrit root mlai- (म्लै), which has been linked on Wiktionary to मलीयस् and कु-मार, where it is said to mean, "to fade, whither, decay" or "dirty, filthy", etc.

So, is it possible that म्लेच्छ (mleccha) "barbarian" comes from म्लै- (mlai-) "filthy; decaying"? Or is it merely a borrowing of Meluḫḫa?

Or does mlai- come from some Harappan word like *m(i)yal- or something, which gave rise to both mleccha and Meluḫḫa?

Please clarify. 16:47, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

I think this should count as unknown. Mayrhofer (Vol. 2, p. 389) suggests Latin blaesus (lisping, stammering). The root म्लै (mlai) seems to be a Middle Indic variant of म्ला (mlā) (p. 388), so it can hardly account for the much older म्लेच्छ (mleccha). —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 21:01, 29 May 2024 (UTC)Reply



I'm at my wit's end here. I've written all I've got in the Etymology section. Insaneguy1083 (talk) 04:42, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Insaneguy1083: The etymology dictionary https://verbum.by/esbm/sutnasc suggests that сутнасць is a deformed Russian word, which displaced the native word існасць (https://verbum.by/esbm/isnasc https://verbum.by/hsbm/isnost) in the beginning of the 20th century. But I'm very incompetent in anything related to etymology and have no information to share other than the links to these dictionary entries. --Ssvb (talk) 01:56, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Yiddish plural -ach


In Yiddish, nouns ending in the Germanic diminutive -el typically take a plural inflection -ach: פֿערדל > פֿערדלעך etc. I've found two explanations for this, but both of them only on very unreliable-looking forums. One says it is a German dialect plural inflection, but I doubt that, since I am fairly well travelled in German and have never heard it. None of the German plurals are even similar enough that a plausible soundshift could get you there. The other explanation says it is a Russian plural inflection, but I can only find this as the instrumental case, which sounds unlikely. Doric Loon (talk) 10:16, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Our entry ־לעך#Etymology 2 says it's from Middle High German -lech, which is both singular and plural, but has apparently become just plural not only in Yiddish but also in some varieties of East Franconian. See the dialect map at the Sprechender Sprachatlas von Bayern: open "Sonstiges" above the map toward the bottom and click on "Diminutivendung in 'Hündchen!/-lein'". In Lower Franconia you see some instances of -lich written in red; the note says that text written in red denotes plural forms that deviate from the singular. This explanation is way more likely than the suggestion that it comes from the Russian prepositional (not instrumental) plural ending -ах (-ax)Mahāgaja · talk 17:02, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, it's definitely a Germanic ending found in German dialects. I would guess that the ch-part is the same as that in -chen (Proto-Germanic *-ik-). Slavic influence could maximally have influenced the restriction to the plural (in adjectives this -ch appears also in the genitive and accusative plural). I think it's possible, but not necessary. It's just as plausible that there were two competing forms and ultimately the "longer" one became the plural of the "shorter" one. 18:49, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
It would be worthwhile for someone who knows more about Yiddish than me to look into whether ־לעך (-lekh) is present in the earliest stages of Yiddish, before speakers moved to Eastern Europe and came into contact with Slavic. —Mahāgaja · talk 18:58, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks everyone. The entries at ־לעך amd -lech are very clear and have the answers I was looking for. And unexpected, because I have read Dürer, but didn't twig to this. Also, the information is well sourced, so that is great. Mahagaja is right that it would be useful to have a note on when this first appeared in Yiddish, but at least we have a date for the German precursor.
So the info I was looking for was there all the time, but since you would expect ־עך (if you use the singular as a starting-point), finding ־לעך is not exactly intuitive. Can I suggest that we need a link to ־לעך from either פֿערדל or פֿערדלעך, and other similar words? Is there an approved way to do this? (Better to put an etymology section in the entry on the plural, or since it's almost just a redirect, put the etymology of the plural together with that of the singular in a single discussion?) I'll be glad to do this. Doric Loon (talk) 07:51, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Of course we can add an etymology section to all plurals saying "From {{af|yi|פֿערד|־לעך}}" etc., even though we normally don't do that for nonlemma forms using productive inflectional endings. We can also create an entry for ־עך (-ekh) explaining that although it can be interpreted as a plural ending that gets added to ־ל (-l), etymologically it's actually ־לעך (-lekh) and to see that entry for more. —Mahāgaja · talk 08:57, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply
Super, thanks. I'll add that. Doric Loon (talk) 09:35, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



What is the origin of this word (maṭar)?

According to translations of pea, the Bengali and Marathi words for this are মটর (moṭor) and मटार (maṭār) respectively, which are clearly cognates.

What could be the possible origin of these reflexes? 15:30, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

English and Scots "maun" (must)


It would seem that these are one and the same word, yet we derive the English from the plural of "may" and the Scots from Old Norse "munu". Maybe both could be from a confluence of these two influences? 18:51, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Perhaps so. The etymology given for the Scots entry looks better as things are though, as it's consistent with the clearly related Northern English dialect word mun. --Overlordnat1 (talk) 06:42, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
As Scandinavian languages usually have a greater overlap for words meaning may and must, I'd argue Scandinavian influence sounds likely. In many varieties, the cognate for "may" might mean both "may" and "must", depending on context. Now, "munu" is from another root, but it still follows the semantic pattern. Wakuran (talk) 14:27, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Surely this is a diminutive of chop rather than from chew+gobble? In support of this hypothesis I can not only draw your attention to the etymologies of dribble and nibble and perhaps kibble but I also know someone originally from Leicester who says chop to refer to barbers cutting hair and chobble to refer to them finely cutting the hair after ‘chopping’ off the large strands to begin with. It only refers to noisily chewing things like boiled sweets in the West Mids though. The admittedly unreliable Urban Dictionary claims the word is used in Southern England to mean ‘to chatter’, which also ties in with the ‘chop’ meaning (though this is less clear, as it could be that the chatterers are metaphorically ‘chewing’ or ‘gobbling’ the air, rather than ‘chopping’ it with their teeth. Overlordnat1 (talk) 19:36, 30 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

I’ve now added this possibility to the entry and shall remove the RFE tag in a few days from now if no one wants to comment further on this. Overlordnat1 (talk) 10:01, 19 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Etymology needs better format.Denazz (talk) 10:56, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Belarusian -ці


As seen in Category:Belarusian terms suffixed with -ці. In fact, if it always comes after -сь (-sʹ), could we not consider -сьці (-sʹci) as a separate particle? Insaneguy1083 (talk) 19:32, 31 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Insaneguy1083: There are also words like паўзці. --Ssvb (talk) 01:43, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's...a verb infinitive ending though. With clear cognates in Russian -ти́ (-tí) and Ukrainian -ти́ (-tý). -ці (-ci) is absolutely not a suffix in the case of паўзці (paŭzci), or other verbs ending in -ці (-ci) like падысці (padysci). We're discussing -ці (-ci) in its capacity of forming adverbs with the sense of "some", and how AFAICT it seems to always follow -сь (-sʹ). Insaneguy1083 (talk) 02:00, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

skjerel and skjerd (Norwegian)


Any clues? They two look like related to each other and look like English shrew, but how do we know that they are related? A paper about Sami borrowings in northern Norwegian dialects mentions that skjerel may be a borrowing from Sami language. Also, Jamtish tjervel seems to be related, but again not for sure. Tollef Salemann (talk) 15:24, 19 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



The protist Cyclidium is the type genus of the family Cyclidiidae. A priori it comes from the latin cyclus (circle), but I don't see anything circular in that protist. Have you another idea ? Gerardgiraud (talk) 15:30, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Cyclidium looks like the straightforward Latinization of an Ancient Greek word *κυκλίδιον (kuklídion), which could be a learned neologism formed from κύκλος (kúklos) +‎ -ίδιον (-ídion), which speakers of Ancient Greek would have understood to mean “little circle”, or, more generally, “little round thing”. I don't know what Müller saw, but in some preparations the appearance is rather round.[5]  --Lambiam 19:26, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Gerardgiraud: Ancient Greek κύκλος (kúklos) can also refer to a wheel. Does it have anything like spokes or revolve like a wheel would? Chuck Entz (talk) 20:16, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Müller's original description here, says "Vermis inconspicuus simplicissimus pellucidus, complanatus orbicularis, vel ovatus (i.e. flattened circular, or ovate)." Gerardgiraud (talk) 13:33, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The use of vel suggests that Müller considered complanatus orbicularis and ovatus to be synonymous. He adds Danish names, for Cyclidium bulla BOBLE-RUNDEREN, which may mean something like “the bubble rounder” (Latin bulla means “bubble”). All other Cyclidia he describes are assigned a Danish name of the form XXX-RUNDEREN. I don’t find a singular noun Runder in any Danish dictionary, so I’m not quite sure how to explain these Danish names.  --Lambiam 11:03, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I guess that in Danish, the -er-ending might not necessarily indicate a doer, but can also just be a noun ending, like a "roundie". Then, I'm also a bit baffled by the coinage, anyway. Wakuran (talk) 15:56, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

auto da fe


Why was the term for this concept borrowed from Portuguese rather than, say, Spanish (auto de fe, which the TLFi actually says is the etymon of French autodafé) or Italian (atto di fede)? PUC15:38, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Port wine became very popular in England in the 18th century, when, due to the Anglo-French wars, French wine could not be imported. England had much stronger ties with Portugal then than with Spain, even though Spain too sided with Great-Britain.
The Online Etymology Dictionary forwards the theory that the Portuguese form took hold in English through popular accounts of the executions following the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Our article does not mention executions, but that on the Portuguese Wikipedia relates that the Inquisition burned an effigy of Francisco Xavier de Oliveira in an auto-da-fé. The Inquisition had condemned Oliveira in absentia (he lived in London) for publishing a pamphlet reportedly ascribing the earthquake to God's wrath for Portugal's Catholicism and its support for the Inquisition.  --Lambiam 11:31, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Anyone fancy cleaning up the etymology that was just added (judging correctness, adding Hebrew script, etc)? - -sche (discuss) 18:46, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

This actually comes from the Hebrew scriptures. Here's an example from 1 Samuel 12 that I think shows what's really going on:
וּבְנֵ֥י עֵלִ֖י בְּנֵ֣י בְלִיָּ֑עַל לֹ֥א יָדְע֖וּ אֶת־יְהוָֽה׃ (Hebrew)
Καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ Ηλι τοῦ ἱερέως υἱοὶ λοιμοὶ οὐκ εἰδότες τὸν κύριον. (Septuagint Ancient Greek)
porro filii Heli filii Belial nescientes Dominum (Latin Vulgate)
Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. (King James Version)
Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD. (New Revised Standard Version)
The Hebrew בליעל (b'liya'al) בני (b'ney) seems to be analyzable as "sons(of)" ["without"-"use"]. The Septuagint translates the second word as Ancient Greek λοιμοὶ (loimoì), a word for pestilence or pest. The Vulgate interprets it as a name, and the KJV follows suit. I included the NRSV to show how a modern Protestant translation treats it. Hebrew doesn't have a lot of morphology for adjectives and adjectival nouns, so having a noun phrase followed by a noun in the construct case followed by a compound adjective with nothing in between doesn't surprise me. I would interpret the Hebrew as saying "The sons of Eli were sons of worthlessness [no-good men]".
We thus have a Hebrew figure of speech meaning "no good" (of men) (the female equivalent also occurs) being misinterpreted as "sons of Belial". That would be like interpreting "bitch" in "son of a bitch" as literally meaning "demon". Such is the nature of medieval biblical scholarship...
Anyway, that's my best guess. I'm not sure how to write this up in the entry. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:37, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Fine, and thank you! My father was both a Greek and Hebrew scholar. Andrew H. Gray 17:16, 21 June 2024 (UTC) Andrew H. Gray 17:16, 21 June 2024 (UTC)
What Hebrew noun corresponds to use in this term, by itself, without בְּלִי? The entry mentions “ya-al”, which suggests יָעַל. There is יֹעַל (yo'al, he is made efficient), but this is a verb form.  --Lambiam 12:37, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Is the Celtic kaletos ety added here correct? I can't find any works supporting or even mentioning a connection to kaletos, and the cited paper merely argues that derivation from Calidones is "a strong candidate", not that it definitely does come from kaletos. See Wiktionary:Etymology_scriptorium/2024/May#Lisbon for background; many other etys by this user have had to be reverted as incorrect or spurious. - -sche (discuss) 16:20, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The same author (Andrew Jennings) has also published (according to his homepage) an article called "Hjaltland Revisited: The Place-name Shetland and its Celtic Origin", which implies that he believes the hypothesis (or did back in 2011). If there's no evidence of anyone else believing this, then we shouldn't put too much weight on what appears to be a fringe suggestion. I can't tell if the paper linked at the bottom of the entry has ever been published in a peer-reviewed journal or if it's only been uploaded to academia.edu by the author. It doesn't seem to have any date of publication. —Mahāgaja · talk 20:33, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Searching for Shetland+Caledones is bringing up as little as searching for Shetland+kaletos did—only Jennings, AFAICT—so I've attributed his view to him; no objection if you or anyone else want(s) to reduce its prominence even further (say, move the whole suggestion to Further reading, or remove it). - -sche (discuss) 20:55, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I read the article. It is the author's preferred explanation and I find it a sound argument. The article was published in volume 87 of Norna-rapperter, which is peer-reviewed. The volume is titled Etymologiens plass i navneforskningen. Although I can't find it online, not even a table of contents, it must have appeared in it because there is what this review has to say about it:
Andrew Jennings bespricht die Möglichkeiten, das Erstglied des Namens Shetland auf eine Bezeichnung für die ursprünglichen keltischen Einwohner zurückzuführen.
Andrew Jennings discusses the possibilities to trace the first part of the name Shetland back to its original Celtic inhabitants.
I had already removed the mention of *kaletos because it is tentative and not important to the line of argument in the article. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 21:16, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Were the original inhabitants of Shetland even Celtic? I don't think Goidelic speakers ever settled there; are there traces of Pictish in the archipelago? —Mahāgaja · talk 15:20, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Jennings doesn't voice an opinion, but he discusses all the possibilities. He just calls them the pre-Norse inhabitants. That they were Celtic is an inferral of the reviewer. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 15:40, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
William Watson thought so in 1926, and he has a lot of academic standing. Watson argued for a *cat- origin rather than a *kalet- origin, but the Celtic origin of Shetland has been the mainstream view there for a century.
Watson, William J.; (1994), The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland, Edinburgh, Birlinn, →ISBN, First published 1926. 02:43, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Just noting I have restricted the IP from editing content pages (they can still edit discussion pages) for reasons explained at Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup#Special:Contributions/ Other edits need to be checked. - -sche (discuss) 22:37, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Specifically, where Latin forestis comes from. I'm not all that enamoured with the Latin-internal explanation, as far as the semantics are concerned, but at least it would explain the form forestis. Germanic seems more promising, though I don't understand @Leasnam's deriving the word specifically from Proto-West Germanic *furhiþi when that would not explain the /st/ in both Latin and Germanic forms like Forst. Coromines & Pascual (cited on the Latin entry) describe the origin as ‘perhaps from a Frankish *forhist, a collective of/from *forha "pine"’. I can't seem to find a Germanic collective suffix like -hist, so I don't know what to make of this. Whatever this source has in mind, if it does explain the form *forhist then that would strike me as the best proposed etymology. Also it'd be nice to account for the gender mismatch between Latin~Romance (feminine) and Germanic (masculine) if possible.

Paging @Sokkjo as well. Nicodene (talk) 20:37, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Old High German has both forst m and forsti f (> Middle High German vorste f, perhaps > German Förste (plural)). The Proto-(West) Germanic *forhist has been around for some time if I'm not mistaken, and yes supposes an ending of -ist (not -hist, the h being part of the stem), but where this -ist comes from is also a mystery. If Latin foresta comes from Proto-West Germanic *forhu, the how is really unknown. The nearest thing is Old English fyrhþ and fyrhþe from Proto-West Germanic *furhiþi. I'm not saying definitively that I stand on this as a theory, but it hypothetically might possibly be arrived at (with lots of luck and magic), IF *furhiþi goes into Latin as *forisi- then back into Old High German where an excrescent -t is added then BACK into Latin...it'd be a mess. But thoughts are welcome Leasnam (talk) 22:22, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Nicodene: I think a Germanic etymology is the only reasonable explanation. Germanic does insert *s before *þ/t in some environments, but I think most likely is that WG *furhiþi merged with *hursti to form Continental WG *fur(h)isti. -- Sokkjō 22:06, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
So a sort of blend. Interesting. Perhaps that deserves an entry of its own. What might explain the modern Germanic forms being masculine? Nicodene (talk) 22:19, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Blended *fur(h)isti is also possible, and may alternatively be a blend of *furhu + *hursti (literally fir-thicket). The fact that Old High German forsti is feminine also agrees with *hursti f, and Old High German hurst is both m and f, a-decl and i- Leasnam (talk) 22:26, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Interesting. I should’ve checked the gender of the descendants of *hursti.
It sounds like we all think *furhisti is the best (or least problematic) proposal? As for the *furhu + *hursti explanation, I don’t see how it is accounting for the first *i of *furhisti. Nicodene (talk) 22:55, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Good point. *furhiþi makes more sense. Leasnam (talk) 23:13, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Unless it derives from a consonant-stem Proto-West Germanic *furh (> Old English furh/fyrh), which I see we don't have (yet). Leasnam (talk) 23:31, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Shall we create an entry *fur(h)isti, then? The descendants seem to justify the form, and different possible explanations can always be mentioned in the etymology. Nicodene (talk) 23:39, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I have no objection :) Leasnam (talk) 23:50, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Indeed, a Germanic origin is likely considering it was first used in Francia. Any explanation should also account for the fact that Latin forestis specifically meant “king's forest”. I can't find a reference for this, but I wonder if the Latin is instead based on Proto-Germanic *furistaz (first, ruler), perhaps a contamination of an adjective Proto-West Germanic *furistī (royal, the king's) and *furhiþi (forest).
Also, important for the derivation from *furhiþi + *hursti, I can't find the spelling <forhist> in althochdeutsches Wörterbuch. Does a Germanic form with <h> really exist? —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 21:04, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Caoimhin ceallach I've not been able to locate any forms showing a reflex of */x/, which does seem problematic for the aforementioned theories.
I've no objection to adding your *furistī theory to the entry *furhisti and perhaps even renaming the entry as such, depending on what the other resident Germanicists think. Nicodene (talk) 08:46, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hungarian törpe ("dwarf")


Does anyone know the etymology of Hungarian törpe ("dwarfish, miniature; dwarf")? Seraphinanewt (talk) 13:08, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

If my understanding is correct, per the entry in Kiss Gábor's Etimologiai Szótár, it seems this is derived from obsolete verb töpik meaning something like "to wither up", by the addition of a frequentative -r suffix. We see a reflection of the resulting töpör- stem in reflexive / intransitive verb töpörödik (to shrivel, to shrink, see also the entry in the A magyar nyelv értelmező szótára). The term törpe arose as the present participle of the töpör- stem, by means of reduction of the second vowel to töpr-; addition of the (now-obsolete / dialectal) present participle suffix -e to töpre; then metathesis of the "p" and "r" to current form törpe.
That said, I don't entirely trust my grasp of the Hungarian, so I'll leave it to others more knowledgeable than I am to double-check the above and update the törpe entry as appropriate. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:24, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



It may be an easy one to solve, but I couldn't find any specific reliable data as for the 1st element of the brand name Nupedia. (This was the project Wikipedia grew out from.)

A project presentation probably written by co-founder Larry Sanger suggests (without explicitly stating it) a derivation from the yod-dropped pronunciation of new – /nu(ː?)/.

Joseph Janes from University of Washington derives it from GNU in a 2015 podcast, but I think chronology makes this unlikely, see e.g. w:GNE (encyclopedia).

Anyone has reliable information in sight? Javítgató (talk) 16:55, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

A quote from How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia: “The computing power and capital to take on new projects at Bomis made it the right time to fulfill a dream of Wales's: creating an online encyclopedia. He wanted to call it Nupedia, again sticking with a GNU-inspired name, but without wanting to step on Stallman’s toes.”[6] The book has a foreword by Wales, and the introduction states that the book would not have been possible without extensive interviews with “the principal enablers of Wikipedia”, including Wales.  --Lambiam 11:45, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Any relation between German fordern and fördern?


I dimly recall reading years ago something about German verb pairs centering around an umlauting mechanism, where the (usually transitive) one of the pair reflected some kind of ancient causal suffix or infix. Pairs like German fahren (to go somewhere, intransitive) and führen (to lead, transitive).

  • Is my memory correct on this kind of mechanism in certain German verbs?
  • Is this relevant for German fordern (to demand, to require) and fördern (to support, to move something forward, to encourage)?
  • Even if not relevant, are fordern and fördern related? If so, how?

‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:49, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

From what I can make out, both are related to words like fore and further. Wakuran (talk) 20:18, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
We actually have entries for both verbs' Proto-West Germanic ancestors: *forþ(a)rōn for fordern and *furþrijan for fördern. They are related, because they both go back ultimately to Proto-Germanic *furþą (forward), but they're not an intransitive/causative transitive pair (not least because they're both transitive). —Mahāgaja · talk 20:44, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thank you both!
@Mahagaja, setting aside this particular verb pair, is my memory about umlaut and a causative element at all on the mark, as part of the derivation of certain German verbs? Or have I gotten my wires crossed? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 00:41, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Eirikr: fall and fell are one example. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:10, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
See also soak/suck, flay/fly, lay/lie, sit/set, sprint from Proto-Germanic *sprantijaną, lead from Proto-Germanic *laidijaną, twinge from Proto-Germanic *twangijaną, as well as Proto-Germanic *-janą. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:31, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, a lot of pairs like that in German. They're most apparent in the basic verbs used to describe placement and position: legen/liegen (equivalent to lay/lie), setzen/sitzen (set/sit), Quite often, subsequent linguistic evolution mean this isn't immediately clear - see the long etymology on hängen (where the umlauted forms have merged in the present tense, but not the past forms)
My favourite pair is schwimmen (to swim, to float) and schwemmen (to wash something away, derived as "to cause to swim"). Smurrayinchester (talk) 06:21, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
My favorite is drink/drench (= cause to drink), which corresponds to trinken/tränken. One pair that's still transparently intransitive/causative is ertrinken (to drown, intransitive)/ertränken (to drown, transitive). The PIE causative suffix *-éyeti took the o-grade of the root, which became a in Germanic, which was then umlauted, which is why so many of these causatives or former causatives still have /ɛ/-vocalism to this day: fell/fällen, set/setzen, legen (with secondary lengthening), hängen, schwemmen, drench/(er)tränken. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:54, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

hawk, hock (cough)


We give hawk ("try to cough up something from one's throat") as onomatopoeic, whereas we give hock ("cough heavily, especially causing uvular frication") as a variant of hack ultimately from PGmc. hakkōną ("chop, hoe"). I suspect hawk and hock are actually related to each other. Merriam-Webster gives hawk as "imitative", and hock as a variant of hawk (see their entries, but also this discussion of hawk-vs-hock). [] - -sche (discuss) 00:32, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

if MW is right then we should probably move hack (cough) out of the entry because it seems most likely to be imitative too. Soap 20:03, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
When you say we should ‘remove hack out of the entry’, are you suggesting that we should remove the ‘cough’ sense of the word hack from etymology 1 at the hack entry itself, perhaps creating a new etymology in the process, or are you referring to a different entry altogether? Overlordnat1 (talk) 05:12, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
yes, remove it and add a new etymology for it as a variant of hock or perhaps hawk, as i find it unlikely the semantics shifted from the physical motion to the sound effect independently. (But if even a single other dictionary DOES say it happened independently then we can go with that.) Soap 05:29, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Good point, I think it would be safest to move the "cough" sense to its own etymology section and then explain the possible origins there (that it could be from the "chop/cut" sense, or could be imitative); I'll do that. Etymonline says the "cough" sense of hack is attested since 1802, "perhaps from hack (v.1) on the notion of being done with difficulty, or else imitative"; v.1 is the "cut/chop" verb, which they say is attested "with a notion of 'get through by some effort,'" since 1955, from hack after "keep working away at" which is from the 14th century. We should also examine to what extent hawk, hock and hack have different definitions, vs should be harmonized. - -sche (discuss) 05:58, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That sounds like a sensible approach. We could also do with adding some pronunciations and maybe regional tags as to ‘hawk/hock a loogie’ sounds very American, unlike to ‘hack up phlegm’ (often a precursor to ‘flobbing’). Also the pronunciation can vary wildly - some people actually say the words as ‘hock’ or ‘hawk’ but others say both as ‘hahk’ or say ‘hock’ (and occasionally ‘hawk’) so that it sounds closer to ‘hack’ in any case. Could flob come from phlegm+gob instead of simply being imitative btw? Overlordnat1 (talk) 06:47, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Etymology of "Alatri", "Alatrium", "Aletrium"


Clearly the word Alatri is the regular Alatrese development for what would have given Italian Alatrio (Alatrese has ´-i where Italian has ´-io, ´-ia, ´-i(i) or ´-ie), so Alātrium, a variant of Alētrium, but where does the Latin name Alētrium, whence Ancient Greek Ἀλέτριον (Alétrion), come from?

Antonio Sciarretta proposes that "The name seems to be built with an IE suffix *-ter-, which denotes an agent. Thus, the stem could be derived from the IE root *al- 'to grow, nourish', or even from a parallel root with a meaning 'to grind', from which the Armenian word alauri 'mill', originally reconstructed as *alatrio-".

Is this true? LorenzoF06 (talk) 13:38, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



just hoping someone can help with what i gather is meant to be a silly word ... Allerwertester ... it means bum, bottom, ass, rear end, but i cant really figure out what speech register it belongs to other than that it's obviously not vulgar. Google Translate says it means "best regards" and that sort of looks right for a literal translation of aller + wertester but it won't back-translate English "best regards" into anything even close to Allerwertester, space or no space. so Im hoping a native speaker here or a well-acquainted learner can give us a better etymology than the redlink we have right now. Best regards, Soap 19:58, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Not necessarily a native speaker, but the classifier "colloquial, humorous" looks about right. I'd say that it literally means something like "the most valuable", "the most worthy", but the exact connotations and semantic history eludes me. Wakuran (talk) 22:14, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Correct. The literal meaning is "most worthy one", which was originally a polite address. For the further development, I would say that in polite speech it can be a bit awkward to mention other persons' body parts, especially of course with women. So I suppose people would add "your most worthy" when they had to refer to a lady's body parts for some reason. I could easily imagine a polite 19th-century gentleman say something like "Meine Dame, seien Sie vorsichtig, dass Sie sich nicht Ihr allerwertestes Bein stoßen!" (My lady, please be careful lest you should bruise your most worthy leg!), because only mentioning the leg would touch on the indelicate. And then obviously the need for such euphemism was even stronger in case of the bottom. -- In terms of contemporary style I would call it "colloquial, euphemistic, humorous" along with DWDS (umgangssprachlich, verhüllend, scherzhaft). 07:18, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
so it's a nominalized adjective, not a re-singularized plural noun? OK. Even that much wasn't clear to me from my limited knowledge of German and Google Translate's attempt at figuring it out. If I decapitalize it on GTrans the meaning changes completely. Could we rewrite the etymology to say it's a nominalized adjective (even though we don't list that adjective yet), with a meaning like "most worthy"? Thanks, Soap 08:37, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The declension is exactly as one expects for a nominalized adjective, with strong/weak/mixed declensions. Without much effort I also find neuter nominalizations with apparently the same sense (Versorge Dein Allerwertestes mit Feuchtigkeit). For a literal translation, most precious seems better (to me) than most worthy, which would correspond to *Allerwürdigster, as in, Wer kann die Glorie Deiner Würde, o Allerwürdigster, erreichen?[7] As always, take good care of your most precious.  --Lambiam 09:17, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, may be better :) As I said, I translated it quite literally. 11:38, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Although on second thought neither is perfect. "Wert" is not the same as "wertvoll". It kinda unites the meanings of "worthy" and "precious". 12:01, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Some dictionaries make a clear distinction between worthy of and just worthy, e.g. Collins. Merriam-Webster even has separate entries: worthy of, worthy.  --Lambiam 19:40, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



RFV of the etymology. @Benwing2 in diff removed the references I added, and called them "garbage etymology." Now there are no sources. Please also update Wikipedia if the source was wrong. 00:17, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Clearly, Plutarch cannot be considered an authority on Latin etymology. The source that was removed, The principal roots of the Greek tongue, a text from 1859, is also not up to present-day etymological standards. The etymology given for ovation (sheep   f. ὄϊς  ιος whence ovation) seems to imply that Latin ovis comes from Ancient Greek ὄϊς (óïs). These two terms are cognates, but only by having a common PIE ancestor. Claiming a Greek root for ovation is about as absurd as claiming that English ewe has a Greek root. The book is full of bloopers, such as deriving bias from βία (bía, bodily strength). De Vaan, who is an authority, does not even mention the imagined connection to ovis, but only remarks that the similar Ancient Greek verb εὐάζω (euázō, to cry in honour of Dionysus) comes from words like εὐαί (euaí), thereby suggesting that the Latin verb may have a similar onomatopoeic origin. If true, we can only guess what the Latin jubilant cry was.  --Lambiam 08:52, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Walde-Hoffmann goes a bit further by deriving it and εὐάζω (euázō) from Proto-Indo-European *ew-eh₂-ye-ti (literally to do "ew"). It seems fine, so I don't know why De Vaan doesn't follow it. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 12:14, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Walde-Hoffman writes, “aus *eu̯āi̯ō”.  --Lambiam 08:35, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Same thing. = *eh₂ pre-Laryngeal Theory. —Caoimhin ceallach (talk) 13:56, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Oh sorry. I mistook it for a reliable and authoritative source just because it was a published book. I didn't read more than that page and the cover when copying from Wikipedia. Removed from Wikipedia. 12:38, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

soutien-gorge, soutien


The descendants list (of various descendants that look about like soutien, with no hint of gorge, and mean "bra") is currently divided between the two entries, some on one and some on the other, some on both. I suspect they should all be on one page, either all derived from soutien (which has the right form, but as our entry currently stands, not the right sense—maybe it's missing a sense for use as a clipping of soutien-gorge?), or all derived from soutien-gorge (which has the right sense, but the languages must've all clipped off the second part)... - -sche (discuss) 16:00, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

As soutien would basically just mean support in French, it'd appear as if the word was widely borrowed with the second part clipped. I can't find any evidence that soutien ever has been widely used with the sense bra in French. Wakuran (talk) 17:45, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
French soutien is also attested in that sense, but it's informal and not super common imo. PUC20:22, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I couldn't find a source for that. I didn't see any listing in any major dictionaries. Not sure if it would be due mostly to rarity or poor searching. Wakuran (talk) 22:14, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

פּאָטעפֿאַלנאָסט, פּאָטעפֿאַלנע


Still thinking about these. I mean, I've found 5 whole dictionaries with this root at this point, both European and American dictionaries. Am I missing something here? Insaneguy1083 (talk) 15:09, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Also, used by Sholem Aleykhem. Tollef Salemann (talk) 16:24, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Even if we assume that po- is just a prefix, this word is still mysterious. Tollef Salemann (talk) 16:36, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The only thing I can ascertain from this is that פּאָטעפֿאַלנאָסט (potefalnost) was probably derived from פּאָטעפֿאַלנע (potefalne), since East Slavic and Polish have a regular pattern of deriving such abstract nouns (-(н)ость (-(n)ostʹ)) from adjectives (-(н)ы (-(n)y)). In addition, the alternate forms suggest that this probably has non-negligibly unstressed vowels which is more typical of Russian or Belarusian than other Slavic languages. But that's all I got. I did find Тофалары, but that's a group of people in Irkutsk. What the hell would that have to do with Yiddish or even Jews?? Insaneguy1083 (talk) 17:20, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
-nost is surely Slavic and it is no problem to have both -nost and po- in a same word. Am sure it has nothing to do with Tofalars, but rather some Slavic or German word. F can sometimes interchange with KH in Russian and Ukrainian dialects, but "potekhalnost" is not a word neither in no language. @Vahagn Petrosyan it can not be related to Tefal (some people use it on their frypans), because Tefal was not existing in the times of Sholem Aleykhem, but honestly am was also thinking about it LOL. Can this word (ot its root) be from Hebrew? Like, תפל or טפל? Tollef Salemann (talk) 19:09, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Initially, I'd have guessed that it could have been a Slavic-Germanic merger with a variant of German Teufel, but looking it up, it appears as if the Yiddish variant is טײַוול (tayvl), so it's most likely just a shot in the dark. Besides, the Devil might be less significant in Jewish circles than in Christian, anyway. Wakuran (talk) 11:53, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Θούλη, Thule


I am exploring Thule, from Θούλη (Thoúlē), and I wish to bring up the idea that Proto-Celtic *tullos (perforated) (referring to the ragged shorelines of islands in that area) might be a possibility. Celtic languages have been spoken in that area since ancient times, and Celtic initial-mutation could account for the alternation between Θ- and T-. 16:38, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Sorry, where exactly are you saying Celtic languages have been spoken since ancient times? —Mahāgaja · talk 16:42, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Celtic languages have been spoken in Britain since at leat 500 BCE, and probably before w:Insular_Celts#Linguistics. Thule is likely to have described a vague and extensive area - most of the northern North Atlantic has "perforated coasts". The name Ultima Thule would be given to the furthest known bit at any given time. 17:39, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The first account using the name, the travelogue On The Ocean by Pytheas, was written around 325 BCE. (Unfortunately, the work was lost; the earliest surviving text using the name is The Histories, written by Polybius c. 140 BCE, who is sceptical of Pytheas's account.) We don't know how Proto-Celtic was pronounced, but it was no longer spoken when Polybius was travelling. A Celtic language was then probably spoken in the southern part of Britain; it is not clear how far north it had spread. At that time, Ancient Greek Θούλη was still pronounced /tʰúː.lɛː/, with an aspirated /tʰ/ as in some pronunciations of tea, not with a /θ/ as in thin. Nothing suggests a leniting mutation.  --Lambiam 17:28, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
We don't know where Thule even was. Nicodene (talk) 17:30, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If it comes to that, Pytheas and Polybius didn't know where it was either. —Mahāgaja · talk 20:54, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes. Nicodene (talk) 21:46, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It was not necessary to know precisely where it was to name a general area. 04:17, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Sw pömsa "sleep" and pömsig "sleepy"


this is a companion post to the RFV i posted earlier today, but since this involves a separate word i figured it would be best to post here too. basically my question is, whether this word family is

  1. a well-known children's language game (similar to Pig Latin and jeringonza) involving transformations like C1VC2C3-INFL > pVC2C1-INFL, which also produces other words,
  2. a once-off formation that does come from sömn ~ sömnig but isnt an active word formation process even among small children, or
  3. a word in its own right, that has nothing to do with sömn.

The question of how it got to mean "sexually exhausted" will probably be answered if and only if we can find actual citable use with that meaning, which i hope others will help with at RFV. Best regards, Soap 12:38, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Likely #3. I don't know of any common Swedish language games that would produce pöms- from sömn-. The sound -Vms- is fairly common among imitative words in Swedish, though, such as mums (yum), plums (splash), bums (immediately), grums (dregs), gramse (angry, grumpy), vimsig (scatterbrained) and trams/ flams/ jams (silliness, nonsense). Wakuran (talk) 17:48, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
There apparently exists a similar language game, P-språket, (P-language) but there, 'sömn' would become 'söpömn', also, the Disney comic character Eega Beeva speaks similarly, but in that case, 'sömn' would become 'psömn'. From what I can find out, pömsig is dialectal and/ or baby talk. Wakuran (talk) 23:26, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
According to this site, the word was popularized through a 60s' comedy sketch, which sounds plausible, but might require a better source. [8] Wakuran (talk) 15:37, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Pøms in Norwegian Glomdal dialect means a woman shoe of some kind. Also, should try to check out this word in Knoparmoj dictionaries and others jargons alike. Tollef Salemann (talk) 10:36, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I suspect that comes from German Pumps, from English pumps. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:40, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Sounds likely, cf. køntri from country (music genre). Wakuran (talk) 14:10, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Oh yes of course! Tollef Salemann (talk) 16:02, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Ideas? More specifically, where the palatalization may have come from w.r.t. (possible) cognates like Russian вон (von)? Insaneguy1083 (talk) 02:05, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

English Khitan


We currently say this was borrowed directly from Khitan 𘱿𘲫 (*qid ún) under influence from Chinese 契丹 (Qìdān), presumably as some kind of learned borrowing from the reconstruction, but the linked source doesn't really support that, as the reconstructed endonym would give something like Khitai. I can think of one instance where a reconstructed endonym has become the predominant term - Jurchen - and Khitai may be another instance, but it seems more likely to me that Khitan is simply a learned borrowing from Middle Chinese 契丹 (kʰɨt̚ tɑn). I appreciate the line is quite blurry, though, since we're dealing with a Middle Chinese transcription of a Khitan term. Theknightwho (talk) 12:40, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Such words are copied around by historians, journalists and other lesser-educated people, without investigating the linguistic points of departure, which is what we do as a first reflex to make sense of the world, and memorize the polyglot knowledge orderly. For them it contains -an from Latin -ānus as much as does Mayan, dovetailing with Cathayan in previous historic accounts. **Khitanan only exists not due to silliness. What the question then is, is indeed blurry. Fay Freak (talk) 17:35, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

paramodita (Old Sundanese)


Paramodita roughly means 'happiness' or 'delighted' in Old Sundanese according to (Coolsma, 1913). And I am very sure that this comes from Sanskrit, considering how classic the word is (dated from Carita Waruga Guru in late 1600s) and how it sounds very Sanskrit-y. From what I've searched, this might came from Sanskrit प्र- (pra-) and Sanskrit मृडति (mṛḍati), based on the Pali pamudita and Javanese pramudita. What do you think? Udaradingin (talk) 15:45, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Japanese しまうた


@Fish bowl I did not find it in 奄美方言分類辞典 (Amami Yamatohama dialect [ryn]), or just about most Ryukyuan dictionaries I have. It only exists in Taketomi dictionary 竹富方言辞典 as ɕimautə and in the Hatoma dictionary 鳩間方言辞典 as ɕìmáʔùtà. Both refer to a folk song from Okinawa. I believe it is a recent local innovation, deriving from shima "community" and uta "song". Chuterix (talk) 01:56, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Most Ryukyuan dialects tend to use sima as meaning "community", not just "island". Chuterix (talk) 01:56, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Interesting, especially since the Japanese Wikipedia describes the term as originating from the Amami region, and since it seems to be one of the major cultural exports. Thanks for looking it up for me. —Fish bowl (talk) 02:41, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Indonesian layung


Layung means 'the reddish afterglow of sunset'. Perhaps this may be related to lembayung (violet). What do you think?

Udaradingin (talk) 02:13, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Why derived and not borrowed?


I wonder what's the distinction that make most words borrowed from Arabic go to the derived Category:Turkish_terms_derived_from_Arabic and only very few go to the Category:Turkish_terms_borrowed_from_Arabic Munzirtaha (talk) 23:59, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Munzirtaha probably because they were either borrowed from some other language, which got them (directly or indirectly) from Arabic, or inherited from Ottoman Turkish, which got them them (directly or indirectly) from Arabic. We only use "borrowed" to refer to a language getting a term directly from the other language. If you think about it, there's a big difference between a word like Turkish gitar, which came from Spanish (probably by way of French), which borrowed it from Arabic maybe half a millenium ago, and Turkish Dübey, which was borrowed directly from modern Arabic by modern Turkish speakers. Both were borrowed from Arabic and ended up in Turkish, but only the second counts as being a Turkish borrowing from Arabic.
If you think about it, the Turkish people have been in contact with people speaking Arabic or using Arabic words in other languages for so long that it would be really surprising if they hadn't picked up most of their Arabic vocabulary long before the creation of modern Turkish. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:09, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I should add that all terms that come from other languages go into the "derived from" categories, including those that are also in the "borrowed from" categories. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:19, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the reply. In this entry e.g. sur Inherited from Ottoman Turkish سور, from Arabic سُور (sūr). I meant to say the Ottoman Turkish is borrowed from Arabic not that the modern Turkish is borrowed from Arabic. Is this syntax correct? Or the order doesn't imply such a thing. What if I want to say word1 is borrowed from word2 or word3 where the order is not relevant? Is there a documentation for this? Munzirtaha (talk) 12:06, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The Turkish < Ottoman Turkish stage would be inheritance, but the borrowing template would only be used on the Ottoman Turkish entry, not the modern Turkish one. {{bor}} and the "borrowed" category are only for direct borrowings, with no intermediary, even an older stage of the same language (if we treat it as a separate language on en.wikt). I'm not sure about your given example of word1 < word2 or word3 - do you have an example? Is it a case where it's not known which source is the correct one? — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 13:10, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. An example is the Ottoman Turkish word ابراش which has two different meanings and seems to be borrowed from two Arabic words أبرش and أبرص. The 1st. meaning is a color and the 2nd. is a disease. Don't quote me for this since I am not an authority by any mean. So, assuming I understand the references correctly, what's the correct way to write this? Munzirtaha (talk) 20:12, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Homonymous terms with different etymologies get two separate entries on the same page, with headings Etymology 1 and Etymology 2.
Do you have a source for Arabic أبرص meaning a disease (presumably scabies). At our page for Turkish abraş we only give the adjective, the colour sense (“dapple”), but in Ottoman Turkish the sense was more generally “speckled” and could also mean “leprous” (of a skin), so it is a small step from there to a disease characterized by a mottled skin.  --Lambiam 20:59, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Actually أبرص is one with leprous disease and the two words sounds similar. What kind of source do you need? If you understand Arabic, check any Arabic dictionary (Kamus) for it. Now for the abraş entry, it's me who added it. But my question here is because I felt I did something wrong when I wrote "Inherited from Ottoman Turkish ابراش, from Ottoman Turkish ابرش". I now feel like I should say "Inherited from Ottoman Turkish ابراش or from Ottoman Turkish ابرش" or may be I should says "from ابراش or ابرش". Being new here, I need to know the correct syntax Munzirtaha (talk) 21:31, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Ottoman Turkish was hardly a spoken language, and inasmuch as it was spoken, it was mostly not by native speakers, who spoke a language closer to both Old Anatolian Turkish and present-day Turkish, grammatically and lexically. There is no corpus of written texts in this language. For example, izlemek survived from Old Anatolian Turkish to modern Turkish; the Ottoman Turkish verb was تعقیب ایتمك (tʿaḳib itmek), which became takip etmek. For non-religious terms coming from Arabic, it is a safe bet though that they entered the modern Turkish lexicon from Ottoman Turkish, often with Classical Persian as a stepping stone. Hardly any Turk would have known the meaning of Ottoman Turkish عكس‌عمل, via Persian from Arabic عَكْس (ʕaks) + ال (al-) + عَمَل (ʕamal), which became Turkish aksülamel but led a dictionary-only existence.  --Lambiam 20:32, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks all, but if I understand you correctly then all the entries at https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Turkish_terms_borrowed_from_Arabic is wrongly categories as borrowed where they are actually derived. Because most if not all of them are not borrowed to the modern Turkish directly but through Ottoman Turkish at least, long ago. Am I right? Munzirtaha (talk) 17:44, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If two terms are homonyms but have different etymologies, we consider them to be different terms, listing them under separate Etymology headings, like Old French aloer § Etymology 1 (from Latin allaudāre) and aloer § Etymology 2 (from Latin allocāre). Very rarely, a term has dual etymological ancestry, resulting from the melding of two borrowed or inherited different terms, like these two Old French terms merged in Anglo-Norman, inherited on English as English allow. Such rarities apart, a term that is not newly coined is either inherited from an ancestor language, or borrowed from third language. So in an etymological chain, the first step is then either {{inh}} or {{bor}}. If it is {{inh}}, this step can be followed by a possibly lengthy sequence of further {{inh}} steps. After that, it can only be {{der}}.
Conventionally, if a modern Turkish term is attested in Ottoman Turkish, we say it is inherited from Ottoman Turkish, even if this may not be the whole story. For example, Turks who did not know Ottoman Turkish would nevertheless greet people with selamünaleyküm. Since “kaba Türkçe” has not been deemed worthy of being recorded, we have no reasonable alternative. In any case, it was not borrowed into modern Turkish.
It becomes problematic if a modern Turkish term clearly derives from Arabic but is not attested in Ottoman Turkish. We cannot know if it was inherited from earlier Anatolian Turkish, bypassing the Ottoman transmogrification. Also in this case, the only option is {{der}}. An exception is formed by terms that were recently borrowed, such as intifada  --Lambiam 11:25, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I tried to add the Arabic root to aksülamel, though I understand it's not used nowadays. I don't understand why it's removed and whether I have done something wrong. I tried to contact the user who removed it but he doesn't respond till now. Can you please advice what's the problem? Munzirtaha (talk) 21:50, 19 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It is a term in Persian, fabricated by univerbation from Arabic components. Inasmuch as عكس العمل has a meaning in Arabic, it means something like “reverse work”, but it is not a term for a specific concept such as “reaction”.  --Lambiam 10:23, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



When was Antarctica discovered? Your first impression will be to say to me: "Google it my bro, it's like 1820 by some sailor." Yeah, I get that somebody saw something in 1820. I get that the Wilkes expedition discovered coastline in the 1840's. But couldn't those guys have been seeing a mere big island, as far as they knew? When was a solid concept of the modern scientific notion of the "Continent of Antarctica" in the works or actually established, such that citations we can find will be connected to the real actual concept of the real continent? I've got a book from 1891 by a respected geographer cited at Antarctica who was really doubting what Antarctica really was- was it a continent that had been bona fide established like the other continents? He writes: "The five largest islands or peninsulas in which the crests of the World Ridges break through the uniform covering of the hydrosphere are termed continents, and designated by the names Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, and Australia. They are distinguished from other islands and peninsulas by size alone, Australia being ten times larger than New Guinea, and Africa ten times larger than Arabia, these being the greatest island and peninsula not called continents. The elevated region round the South Pole is crowned by the unexplored and scarcely discovered continent of Antarctica." after listing five continents two sentences earlier. You'd think he'd include Antarctica as a sixth continent if it had been scientifically established. I draw attention to the words "scarcely discovered". --Geographyinitiative (talk) 12:17, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Geographyinitiative: this seems like something you should ask at "w:Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities", as it's not etymology-related. — Sgconlaw (talk) 12:57, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Apologies for my poor phrasing. The origin of the scientific sense is an etymology question, right? Geographyinitiative (talk) 13:07, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Geographyinitiative: actually I don’t really see how this is an etymology issue. It seems more like just trying to establish when a particular sense of the word came into use. — Sgconlaw (talk) 05:45, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Be cause in 1891 they still had no clue about 60% of the coastlines, so many English maps from before 1900 are not using the name Antarctica at all (sadly, i cant find so many non-English maps from this time). Many maps (until 1890-s!) have ocean instead of land in the South Pole area, even when it is known about land around it. So your question is very fair. Tollef Salemann (talk) 13:08, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Is this an issue of the etymology of the term? The Spanish explorers who named the North-American peninsula California believed it was an island. But the indigenous people had known for ages that it is a peninsula. So when was California “discovered”? When Francisco de Ulloa found out it was not an island, did he “rediscover” California?  --Lambiam 19:37, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Good point! Tollef Salemann (talk) 20:03, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
According to Dubrovin (Территориальное деление Антарктиды), the Antarctic peninsula was thought as an island archpelago until some expedition in 1937, but still was shown on maps as an island in early 1940-s. Also, see Buache who divided the main land of Antarctica into two parts (the one of them is shown as part of Australia pr New Zealand). Tollef Salemann (talk) 09:15, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The term "Antarctica" as referring to the southernmost continent originates, as per the OED, in 1594. The earliest quote that establishes Antarctica as a sort-of-real-continent would be around or later than the 1850s, when ships when circling the new area. CitationsFreak (talk) 05:07, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Geographyinitiative: Perhaps of interest: [9] [10]. Ioaxxere (talk) 17:31, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, I think those by Ioaxxere are a separate sense: a mythological southern continent. So maybe this is a tea riom discussion??? Geographyinitiative (talk) 18:26, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Seems like the same kinda story as with Anian strait, but if Anian strait has changed its name after its real discovering, the Antarctica is still named the same. Tollef Salemann (talk) 18:36, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

bull session


Etymology? PUC18:10, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

One is on the page, short for bull and/or bullsh*t session - a session where people sit around and (talk) bullsh*t...(?) Leasnam (talk) 01:39, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Are you perhaps alluding to the origin of bull (frivolous talk) (perhaps from Middle English boule) ? — This unsigned comment was added by Leasnam (talkcontribs) at 01:54, 16 June 2024 (UTC).Reply
One could say that bull is {{combining form of}} of bullshit. Fay Freak (talk) 02:04, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Arabic بور#Etymology 5


Is Arabic بُور (būr, port, harbor) a loanword from French port? —Mahāgaja · talk 13:49, 20 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

English commonious


I came across this recently and initially assumed it was a printing error for commodious (as it means exactly the same thing), but it turned out to be really easy to cite. No other dictionary has an entry for it, and I suspect it probably originated as a misconstruction, but I don't know. Theknightwho (talk) 06:25, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I think you're right that it's a misconstruction. Probably commodious blended with harmonious or something like that. —Mahāgaja · talk 07:48, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, I think you're right. It looks like melonious (melodious) has been used in the same way ([11] [12] [13]), though that one's also developed a humorous "melon-like" sense as well. Along with commonious, it looks like the misconstructed form starts appearing in print during the second half of the 19th century, though I've not checked in any detail; it could just be that the mass-proliferation of printed matter made it more visible, which is supported by the fact that a disproportionate number of hits for both are in newspaper classifieds (i.e. they've been sent in by ordinary people). Theknightwho (talk) 22:32, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The possibility of assimilation also comes to mind.
  • Phonological: both commodius and melodious have a preceding /m/, and the nasal counterpart to /d/ is /n/.
  • Lexical: words ending in -onious occur more frequently than words ending in -odious.
Nicodene (talk) 23:05, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Please leave the etymology as it was last edited, which is far better than my improvement. Reverting it to either of the past two edits in that section shall be pure vandalism; I can state that as being an etymology analyst. I would even suggest that it be locked as it is of this time. Andrew H. Gray 15:50, 21 June 2024 (UTC) Andrew H. Gray 15:50, 21 June 2024 (UTC)

English sandilla


An obsolete(?) term for watermelon, clearly related to Spanish sandía (watermelon). Is this borrowed from an old Spanish spelling, or is something else going on here?

On a separate note, should the label "US" be changed to "California" (or even "Southern California")? Of the four cites, the two which don't provide a gloss after using are both from SoCal, and - in the 1909 case - it's used in a pun in the LA Times, suggesting many people had everyday familiarity with the term.

I can't find much from after that point, though I haven't looked all that hard. @Chuck Entz might be able to assist? Theknightwho (talk) 13:17, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

As the -ll- is just pronounced similarly to the English "y sound", I guess it could have been either an English hypercorrection or a Spanish dialectal diminutive. Wakuran (talk) 18:05, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Donkey - separate senses?


Currently the "Donkey" page has several senses for the word, but to me, number 5 and number 7 seem much too similar to each other:

- (naval slang, dated) A box or chest, especially a toolbox.

- British sea term for a sailor's storage chest.

I don't know either sense, but I suggest that more information be added to show clearly why they are not the same thing, or that they be merged. TooManyFingers (talk) 14:40, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



I have some issues with "equivalent to theo +‎ -log.", as "theo" does not mean "god" in English, so this surface analysis would be invalid. [Saviourofthe] ୨୧ 17:32, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

It LOOKS to me as if, instead of "theo" plus "log", it should be "theology" minus "y". But I have no proper evidence. TooManyFingers (talk) 17:42, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I added a hyphen to theo, so it links to theo-. Wakuran (talk) 18:08, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Etymology of saxosus


This is missing. Thank you. Duchuyfootball (talk) 06:01, 23 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

فسقية and fıskiye (Arabic or Turkish origin)


Hi! Is Turkish fıskiye of Arabic or Turkish origin? The ending suffix -iye is definitely of Arabic origin but the rest is confusing. Nişanyan suggests that it is derived from the word fış or fıs, both from onomatopoeic origin as in "fışır fışır"/"fısır fısır" or "fışkırmak", and adds that "Modern Arapça fisḳiyya (aynı anlamda) Türkçeden alıntı olmalıdır" which translates to: "Modern Arabic 'fisḳiyya (of the same meaning) should be a borrowing from Turkish" . However TDK suggests that its borrowed from Arabic فسقية (fisqiyya), which is derived from فسق meaning "to come out of one's shell (for a ripe date)". Both origins are pretty solid I believe so I have to ask. In support of the Turkic origin, fış is directly related to a violent gushing out of water (as in fışkırmak) while Arabic origin is about coming out of shell (I don't know Arabic nor am I a linguist so take that with a grain of salt). Also there's a widespread variant of the word which is fışkiye which resembles fışkır- (this might also be caused by the confusion with fışkırmak) . The word may be confused with an Arabic origin which effected the Turkish pronunciation, or it may be derived from fıs instead of fış, both meaning the same thing. However Arabic origin also makes a lot of sense. For starters it's rare for Turkish to use an Arabic suffix on a word of Turkish origin. Moreover I heard that Arabic is a highly poetic language so "coming out of shell" might be used in a figurative way. I can't make any more claims on Arabic since I know nothing about it. Thanks in advance! Kakaeater (talk) 01:53, 24 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Here it says the ultimate root is Proto-Indo-European *smel- (to burn, smoke, smoulder; tar, pitch). However, in its etymon of Proto-West Germanic *smallijan (to glow, burn, smoulder), the ultimate root is Proto-Indo-European *(s)meld- (to burn, smoulder, smoke; tar, pitch). Which one is correct, or both are (*smel- is linked to *(s)meld- anyway)? Additionally, the only sense given in the root *(s)meld- is "to soften, to melt", which seems hardly related to any of the senses above. Duchuyfootball (talk) 05:50, 24 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Seems to be more or less the same etymology given at Etymonline (with a caveat that it is uncertain). Proto-Germanic *reukaną shows a similar semantic shift from smoke to smell. Wakuran (talk) 11:04, 24 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's beside the point. I'm confused that ultimate PIE root seems different. Also, while PWG *smallijan says that it's from PIE *(s)meld-, the PIE root itself does not include PWG *smallijan as a descendant. Duchuyfootball (talk) 04:26, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Etymology of Portuguese Antártida, Russian Антаркти́да (Antarktída), Swedish Antarktis, etc.


I stumbled across the etymology for Polish Antarktyda: "Internationalism; compare English Antarctica." This is also the exact same explanation offered at Polish Antarktyka. The few analogous entries in other languages which attempt any further explanation just derive it vaguely from Latin or Greek and leave it at that, without any mention of the change (or constancy) in form. Whilst none of these statements are exactly wrong, I find it quite unsatisfying since I am interested to know how and when the 'd' got there and why it doesn't appear to just be an alternation since many languages appear to have both forms with a distinction in meaning). This 'd' is obversvable in a wide variety of languages globally, admittedly a large chunk of which likely borrowed it directly from a regional/colonial lingua franca such as Russian, Spanish or Portuguese, just as the spread of the 'c/k/que' form was surely helped by English and French in the modern period. According to Antarctica#Translations, approximately 50 languages have the 'd' form, whereas approximately 120 have a variant of the 'c/k' form. Around 10 languages in that list have both terms (and this number may be actually much higher since I already several missing during my digging around the site), with around two thirds of those containing qualifiers indicating that the 'd' form signifies the continent (i.e. Antarctica) and 'c/k' form the region (i.e. the Antarctic).

Since it is technically a prefixed term, perhaps one could look at words for the Arctic using a 'd' form. The only ones I could find are: Italian Artide m (alongside Artico m), Catalan Àrtida f (alongside Àrtic m), Czech Arktida f, Slovak Arktída f. This may have already been touched on here at WT.

I think it would be interesting to attempt to narrow down: a) approximately when the term in -d first appeared b) whether the continent/region distinction always existed or arose later, and c) its likely source, i.e. if it's (New) Latin, what is the relevant suffix which could account for the -d (or -is, see below), or if it is an early modern Romance formation/dialectal alternation, which varieties could be likely candidates for a form *antarctida and which at the same time could have spawned a far flung global borrowing spree? The only modern Romance lects I could find which still preserve the word internal -ct- are Romanian and Aragonese, both admittedly unlikely candidates as the ultimate source. That said, I'm not familiar enough with historical sound changes here to be able to make any judgement.

As for the actual data, it is notable that Slavic languages appear to be approximately divisible into thirds: one third with 'd' form (mainly West Slavic), one third with 'k' form (Sorbian + most of South Slavic), one third with both (bit of everything, but especially East Slavic). For the Romance languages the situation is more interesting. Whilst I presume that our coverage is far form complete, going off the information we do have, it appears that despite 'c/k' form being in the clear majority worldwide, and also the only form we have listed for the Latin ancestor, the 'd' form appears to be dominant within the Romance family. I note that many languages also have related words in 'c' (such as Spanish antártico (adj)), and it is quite possible that many languages may have/have had both and we just don't have a record of this yet.

We also have the two forms in German, where, at least in strict usage, 's' is for the region and 'k' is for the continent (an apparent reversal of case in Slavic):

Hungarian has the same two forms Antarktisz vs. Antarktika but it's unclear whether or not there is any difference in meaning. Pfeifer claims that the Arktis / Antarktis first appeared in 19th c. German. One can speculate that they probably spread from there into neighbouring languages in northern European (Scandinavian, Finnish, Estonian, Võro and Northern Sami) as well as Hungarian in central Europe, however the etymology at Swedish Antarktis derives it straight from New Latin without any explanation for the ending or why it appears in so many languages in exactly the same derivation (which exception of Hungarian, which however reflects the s pronunciation). Are we simply missing a New Latin form here?

Depending on what arises from this discussion, it may be worth consolidating the translations at Antarctic and Antarctica on the relevant page and perhaps also linking to each translation section (for translations referring to the region, see here) since it appears most entries are merely ending up at Antarctica. Helrasincke (talk) 12:10, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

How are we distinguishing between the ’region/ecozone’ of Antarctica and the ‘continent’ of Antarctica? We make no such distinction at Antarctica itself, despite doing so for the German, Russian and Polish translations. Overlordnat1 (talk) 13:31, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Neo-Latin has had both Antarctis and Antarctida as variants of the name. Compare Atlantis and Atlantida, from the Greek nominative and accusative respectively. Nicodene (talk) 13:44, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The various -ica tails ultimately come from the Ancient Greek suffix -ικός (-ikós), used to form the adjective ἀρκτικός (arktikós), used in πόλος ἀρκτικός (pólos arktikós) (North Pole), with the counterpart πόλος ἀνταρκτικός (pólos antarktikós) (South Pole – the pole opposite the μεγάλη ἄρκτος (megálē árktos) and μικρά ἄρκτος (mikrá árktos), the Great Bear and the Little Bear). Of course, the Ancient Greeks had no notion of a continent there. Likewise, the -ida tails ultimately come from the Ancient Greek suffix -ις (-is), with stem -ιδ- (-id-), which can be used to form nouns for regions, as in Ἀτλαντίς (Atlantís) from Ἄτλας (Átlas) +‎ -ις (-is). For an earlier discussion, see Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2017/April § Антарктика/Антарктида.  --Lambiam 17:05, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply