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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

March 2016

Appendix:Proto-Slavic/tělo: Not an o-stemEdit

In OCS this was an s-stem and must have been in Proto-Slavic. Can someone fix the declension? Benwing2 (talk) 00:18, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Thanks! Benwing2 (talk) 17:15, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

etymology of Latin curtusEdit

According to short, it and curtus come from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker-, but according to curtus, curtus comes from Proto-Indo-European *(s)k(ʷ)Art-, *(s)k(ʷ)Ard- ‎(short). --Espoo (talk) 00:40, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

I don't trust any etymology that uses "A" in a PIE form. *(s)ker- could easily have dental extensions *(s)kerd- (in Germanic) and *(s)kert- (in Italic). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:13, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
De Vaan supports PIE *(s)ker- ‎(shave; scratch off) > *(s)kr̥-tós > PItc *kortos > curtus ‎(mutilated, circumcised; imperfect) (via Pre-Latin *orC to *urC also seen in currō).[1]JohnC5 06:19, 6 March 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “curtus”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, page 158

rain on someone's paradeEdit

I'm trying to reason this idiom semantically: is it from parades getting wet (and often thus the parade is ruined, awkward, cancelled or stuff gets damaged) when performed outside in the rain? Hillcrest98 (talk) 20:56, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Yes. You are ruining the "parade" by being the rain. --WikiTiki89 21:00, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Old Prussian tēr and līguEdit

Anyone know anything about these words? No sources or descendants, so I'm not sure if they belong in the Appendix (or Reconstruction) namespace, or if they existed at all. KarikaSlayer (talk) 23:18, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Mažiulis's Prūsų kalbos etimologijos žodynas ({{R:prg:Mažiulis}}) has ter and ter ains but not ligu. —JohnC5 20:09, 5 March 2016 (UTC)


Semantically fits, but gʰr to fr? Does this really exhibit the irregular sound change like in fundo? Hillcrest98 (talk) 00:07, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Sihler doesn't mention frico, but he does say that word-initial gʰr usually becomes either gr (e.g. gradus < *gʰredʰ-) or r (e.g. rudus < *gʰrewd- or ravus < *gʰrōwo-). So it would have to be an irregular sound change. (He says that gʰ > f before u is regular but that fundo is the only example.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:18, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
De Vaan suuports fricō < PItc *frikāō < a secondary construction from *frī̆āō (whence friō ‎(pulverize, crumble)), a denominal < PIE *bʰriHós ‎(cut) < *bʰreyH- ‎(to cut).[1] If someone pesters me, i will probably make a page for *bʰreyH-. —JohnC5 06:19, 6 March 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “friō, -āre”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, pages 243-244

Latin scalpō, talpa < *skerp-?Edit

Etymologies of several words such as harvest were alluding to a variant *skerp- of the PIE root *kerp-, yet without giving any cognates that would seem to descend from such a form. I've zapped references to this variant from the reflexes for now.

Some weirder examples also turn up. A number of pages were alleging that Latin cassus would derive from the root — a claim that seems to have gotten there thru some kind of a game of broken telephone, based on that sources seem to connect this to careō, for which we currently claim derivation from *(s)ker- rather than (as de Vaan does) from Proto-Italic *kas-.

The words in the header could still use a closer look. talpa has a sourced claim that it might be related to scalpō, which in turn is still claimed to be from *skerp-, but if there's otherwise no evidence for such a form, maybe we should do away with that as well.

There also remains a reference to PIE *skerp- at *sek-, but without any meaning given. --Tropylium (talk) 20:37, 6 March 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology:

From Ancient Greek κόρη ‎(kórē, literally Maiden).

The entry was added complete with the etymology by a notoriously incompetent IP. It's possible they got it from a good source, but they usually make stuff up based on bad guesses. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:46, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

That's the same etymology as Corinne has had since 2007 and Corinna has had since 2008, so either they're all wrong or they're all right. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:44, 8 March 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. According to this Wikipedia article, it doesn't seem like it comes from Japanese. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 15:37, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

@Fumiko Take pinging you as you may have other sources. Wyang (talk) 08:00, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Hanyu Wailaici Cidian (Dictionary of Chinese loanwords) says the word comes from Japanese and ultimately, Ancient Chinese; it quotes Shiji (History Records). ばかFumikotalk 08:10, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Notably, Japanese sources list additional senses of the central deity / deities in Buddhism; the one main god of the eight heavenly gods in ancient China. The latter sense is further corroborated by the 天主 article on the ZH Wikipedia.
As such, the Catholic or Christian senses would be much more recent and would represent a normal and unexceptional repurposing of a term for a similar meaning, and I don't think this would qualify at all as wasei kango. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:36, 23 March 2016 (UTC)


Seeing a PIE root "*arkhein", can someone clean this up? Pretty obviously copied from Etymonline, which doesn't bother with laryngeals. Hillcrest98 (talk) 04:25, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Am I missing something here, or did Etymonline just stick an asterisk on the Ancient Greek infinitive and call it Proto-Indo-European?. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:25, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, doesn't look like a PIE lemma. Obvious Greek infinitive there. Hillcrest98 (talk) 15:05, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
I assume it's a copy/paste error or something on the part of etymonline. --WikiTiki89 14:42, 15 March 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

User:Ninud tagged this. At the time, the etymology was:

From discere, present active infinitive of disco, and the root of puer, pullus.

This is basically what L&S has (here at Perseus), but it seems a bit of a stretch (plus the infinitive is unnecessary).

I replaced it with:

Perhaps from some form of disco + -ulus, but the "p" is unexplained.

Obviously, I'm still not happy with it

Etymonline cites Barnhart and Klein's claim that it's from a lost compound *discipere "to grasp intellectually, analyze thoroughly," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + capere "to take, take hold of". Chuck Entz (talk) 13:48, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

gardalei ("balcony")Edit

This is clearly not a native Veps word on account of its shape (voiced initial consonant, final -ei), but I can't find anything in the translations of balcony that resembles this. It looks like it might be French, but Veps tends to borrow internationalisms through Russian so it is likely present in Russian too in some form. Does anyone have any ideas? —CodeCat 20:49, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

I found one [Finnish ?] source saying it is an alternative form of galdarei, from Russian dialectal (translit.) galderéja, galdaréja, possibly from Dutch galderij, a byform of galerij. I'm really not sure but hope there's something in there that's useful Leasnam (talk) 21:26, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
As Leasnam said, there is a dialectal Russian form галдаре́я ‎(galdaréja), галдере́я ‎(galderéja, balcony) recorded inter alia in Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Karelia, Smolensk, Novgorod and Yaroslavl. It is either an alteration of галере́я ‎(galeréja) by folk etymology under the influence of галде́ть ‎(galdétʹ, to make a din) or reflects the -d- in Dutch. --Vahag (talk) 21:40, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm having trouble tying the ends of the etymology together. галдаре́я ‎(galdaréja) seems like the closest form, but the metathesis that appears in Veps isn't explained. I have two sources with gardalei (with different declensions, though: genitive gardalejan or gardalein) but I find nothing about the unmetathesized galdarei. Most of the Google results are in Basque. —CodeCat 22:42, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
Veps at one point must not have allowed coda /l/ (having vocalized it to /u/), so my guess would be that coda /l/ in Russian was substituted by /r/, followed by dissimilation *gardarei > gardalei. --Tropylium (talk) 01:44, 19 March 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

The original etymology, added by a Japanese IP in December of 2006:

originally is written by mistake, which the sound is "gluk".

I tagged it with rfc because it seemed strange to be discussing pronunciation in a translingual entry, and because it was ungrammatical. It was changed by another IP to:

Originally, this character was written by mistake.

That IP later changed it further, along with some very clear, but unrelated vandalism in the same edits. Once I reverted that, that same IP restored the original etymology. I just reverted it, then realized it was the original etymology. At that point, I figured it was best to get this fixed by verifying the original etymology, rather than tinkering with something I know very little about.

One of the Old Chinese reconstructions given in the Chinese section is close enough to make me think the original IP may have known what they were talking about- however poorly they expressed it.

While I'm at it, I might as well ping @Wyang, in case he doesn't have this watchlisted. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:03, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

甪 is a variant (in some dictionaries, "incorrect") form of (jiǎo). Wyang (talk) 01:08, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
How is the sound "gluk"? Also, can you please provide a reference in the "reference" section? 15:38, 24 March 2016 (UTC)


RFV of the (Old Church Slavonic) etymology:

From Latin Iēsus.

Shouldn't that be Ancient Greek Ἰησοῦς ‎(Iēsoûs)? After all, written OCS was started by Greek missionaries to translate Greek texts. I have no OCS reference material, so I thought I'd check before changing it, even though it seems obvious, and the contributor is known for problematic edits. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:09, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

This anon has been spewing nonsense all over Slavic etymologies. I agree that it almost certainly came directly from Greek. Although, I thought the more common form would have been Їисоусъ ‎(Iisusŭ). --WikiTiki89 14:37, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, definitely. The -и- and probably also the -оу- would prove that, if any phonetic argument were needed; because, of course, it is illogical that Church Slavonic should have borrowed this abundantly important word from Latin instead of Greek. Kolmiel (talk) 21:51, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
The -и- ‎(-i-) does prove it, but the -оу- ‎(-u-) does not, since it was the standard spelling of the /u(ː)/ sound. However, -оу- ‎(-u-) spelling in overall orthography of OCS was in fact borrowed from Greek. In other words, if the word had been borrowed from Latin, the last syllable would still have been spelled -оу- ‎(-u-), but the -ē- would have been borrowed as -е/є/ѥ- ‎(-e/e/je-), or perhaps -ѣ- ‎(-ě-). --WikiTiki89 15:48, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I really don't know anything about Church Slavonic. (I didn't mean to sound as if I did.) I just figured from the Greek and didn't figure quite corretly; but it's also logical because the Greek -ου- had, of course, long been a monophthong. Kolmiel (talk) 02:45, 26 March 2016 (UTC)


@ZxxZxxZ: Judging from the relative earliness of the borrowing, I would have thought this word would have come directly from (some variety of) Persian, and not from Greek. Judging by the definition in the entry ("orchard, grove, fruit garden"), would this make sense semantically and which variety of Persian would it have come from? --WikiTiki89 14:40, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

I have collected the known Iranian forms and the loanwords at Reconstruction:Proto-Iranian/paridaiźa-. It is difficult to determine the exact source of each loanword, but in my opinion Hebrew probably borrowed via Akkadian from an unattested Median form. --Vahag (talk) 07:44, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Median is probably the ultimate source. Also, as far as I know, the s is not an Iranian development here. --Z 09:23, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Now that I think about it, the direct source in Hebrew is probably Aramaic, rather than Akkadian. --WikiTiki89 18:53, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Could be. But the Aramaic is itself borrowed from Akkadian according to DJBA, page 927b, which is borrowed from Median *paridaiza- according to Janda, page 106. --Vahag (talk) 06:08, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
That sounds likely. Aramaic had plenty of contact with Akkadian, and Hebrew had plenty of contact with Aramaic roughly in the period of time this word first appears (Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Nehemiah). --WikiTiki89 15:20, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

*pissiō and *pictōEdit

Does anyone know if these terms should be reconstructed with a long ī? All of the descendants for both words show IPA(key): [i], presumably from Latin ī. I can't find any sources that show Vulgar Latin long vowels for these words, though. KarikaSlayer (talk) 19:43, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

I can't say for sure about the longness of -i-, but the descendants of *pictō are clearly off. Most of them reflect *pinctō instead. —CodeCat 20:54, 22 March 2016 (UTC)


This is compared to δείκνυμι ‎(deíknumi), just as παράδειγμα ‎(parádeigma) is compared to παραδείκνυμι ‎(paradeíknumi). But the root-final consonants don't match; -g- appears in one form, -k- appears in the other. This appears similar to the problem with digitus, where the consonant mismatches that of dīcō in the same way. Are these Greek forms actually from the same root, and is there some sound law that accounts for the voicing? —CodeCat 20:50, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

If you compare all Ancient Greek words ending in -κμα and all Ancient Greek words ending in -γμα, there are exactly two hits for the former and 280 for the latter- that can't be a coincidence. Chuck Entz (talk) 09:17, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Ok, I think that settles it then. Thank you. —CodeCat 15:05, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Didn't see this till now. Yeah, κ ‎(k) in a root regularly assimilates in voice to γ ‎(g) before μ ‎(m) in an ending: δεικ- ‎(deik-) > δέδειγμαι ‎(dédeigmai), τακ- ‎(tak-), root of τάττω ‎(táttō) > τάγμα ‎(tágma). Of course, there's still κμ ‎(km) here and there; not sure in what sort of cases assimilation didn't occur. — Eru·tuon 02:56, 26 March 2016 (UTC)


Etymology is basically missing since the German one points to OHG, not PGM. Old Saxon gisellio points to Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/salō but Sälskup is listed as a descendant at Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/saliz. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 10:23, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

I've created *gasaljô, but I don't know more than that. —CodeCat 19:49, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
I believe this comes from Middle Low German sellschap or German Low German Sellskupp, as a borrowed term Leasnam (talk) 15:46, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Dutch etymologists needed: 'mekaar', 'mekander', 'melkaar', 'melkander', 'malkaar', 'malkander', and the ambiguous relationship between themEdit

Somewhat inexperienced editor here. I will try to describe this problem as clearly as possible. It concerns the following (some archaic, some dialectal, some both) Dutch words, all meaning each other, for which I have been trying to create proper entries (atm they are somewhat messy):


Problem 1: They all ultimately derive from the latter, malkander (alternatively malcander). This much is clear from the sources listed below. However, the exact relationship between these words is unclear. The etymology malkander/malcander > malkaar is well established. The thing is however, melkander could either be

1. An uncontracted (earlier) version of melkaar and be an alternate form of malkander, or

2. A later formation from melkaar through analogy (contamination? not sure of the English word) with malkaar/malkander and elkaar/elkander.

The latter option is a possibility because the former is not sure either: Etymologiebank (see below) has mekaar as a form that derives from malkaar, presumably through melkaar though that is not explicitly stated. Hüning has melcander from the 17th century, so the form is pretty old. But if mekaar derives from malkaar, then melkaar is likely an alternate spelling of malkaar, the etymology of which is clear. Is melkander then the ancestor of melkaar, or a later formation based on it? In other words, is the etymology:






or somehow a combination of both?

And more importantly, how in the name of all that is holy do you present this information succinctly in the etymology section of each entry? Do we then need alternate entries for melkaar and melkander? Do we add the alternate options to see also, synonyms, alternative forms, derived terms, or etymology?

Problem 2: A smaller problem concerning mekander, similar to what was said earlier about melkander. Mekander could either be a formation based on mekaar, or a variation of melkander. There is little on this in the sources I cited. Further help would be appreciated.


I don't know much about Dutch, but in Low German, the two forms malk/melk are distributed based on regional variations in accent/stress, with neither being ancestor to the other. So that's a possibility to consider. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:42, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
ps.: The phænomena in question being that a) in some regions heavy syllables like -lîk trigger an umlaut and b) in some regions some words (malk, man, mar, wan-) get raised in unstressed position, giving melk, men, mer, wen-. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 12:38, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
You can create entries for all forms that are sufficiently attested. I would label all of them alternative forms of mekaar, which is probably the only form that sees some usage in contemporary Dutch. You only have to write one etymology, for the lemma "mekaar" in that case. About the -aar I would simply say that it's a contraction of -ander (from dialects that use aaier < ader via w:North Sea Germanic spirant law). As to "mal-" vs. "mel-" it is most likely that the latter is a conflation with "elkaar", but Korn's argument is also mentionable, provided you can attest mellic as a variant of mallic. You don't have to derive the forms like a family tree. They have probably continuously influenced each other anyway. Kolmiel (talk) 03:01, 26 March 2016 (UTC)


Anyone knowledgeable about Syriac able to confirm that the word sais ("groom; chauffeur") ultimately derives from the Syriac sausi ("to coax"): see Citations:sais? If so, could you please update the "Etymology" section of sais? Thanks. — SMUconlaw (talk) 18:27, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

@Lingo Bingo Dingo, are you able to assist with this? — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:44, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Not really. J. Payne Smith's A Compendious Syriac Dictionary, page 368 indeed has "to coax" as a meaning of ܣܘܣܝ sawsi, a shaphel conjugation of ܐܣܐ asa "to heal". But there are also other meanings listed that may be more relevant ("to tend", "to foster") and I can't actually confirm it's the etymon. According to J. Payne Smith the word ܣܘܣܝܐ susaya "horse" (same page) derives from the same verb, but I wonder whether it isn't related to things like Hebrew סוס instead. Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:51, 31 March 2016 (UTC) ("shaphel" should be "saphel" Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:52, 31 March 2016 (UTC))
Thanks for your views. I guess we'll leave the etymology as it stands for now, then. I also had a look at what the OED says, and it only mentions the Arabic words. — SMUconlaw (talk) 09:20, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Maybe @Wikitiki89 knows more about etymologies involving Syriac and what's possible with them? There's btw also an Arabic سيسي "pony". Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:52, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
The Arabic word probably does not come from Syriac, but is of course cognate to the mentioned Syriac terms. Furthermore, within Syriac the verb s-w-s-y (which is found only in Syriac) does not derive from the noun ܣܘܣܝܐ ‎(sūsyā, horse) (which is found in all dialects of Aramaic). This noun is cognate with Hebrew סוּס ‎(sūs, horse) and the Arabic verb in question here. The would-be equivalent Arabic noun سُوس ‎(sūs, moth-worm) seems to lack the meaning of "horse", despite a plethora of horse-related terms with this root. --WikiTiki89 13:42, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Fascinating! Is it worth adding the cognate terms to the etymology? — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:06, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Probably not to the English word's etymology. They really aren't relevant to English in any way. --WikiTiki89 15:12, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
OK, though I have seen cognate terms in some etymologies before. Thanks also for adding the vowel notation to the Arabic words in the etymology. — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:23, 31 March 2016 (UTC)


According to the entry, the a is long. But such a long vowel couldn't come from the initial laryngeal found in the PIE root. So where does it come from? Is it even from that root at all? Or is the vowel maybe short? —CodeCat 23:55, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

I mistakenly said the word came from *ahwēr, but it turns out Kiparsky actually proposes that derivation in Sonorant Clusters in Greek (in the PIE form *awsēr), and connects it with ἦρι ‎(êri, early), as in ἠριγένεια ‎(ērigéneia), and ἠέριος ‎(ēérios). Then the word would be related to ἠώς ‎(ēṓs, dawn), from the root *h₂ews-.
Oh, I see someone has already updated the page, and Beekes gives the same explanation as Kiparsky. — Eru·tuon 00:40, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
@Erutuon: In truth, Beekes is citing Kiparsky. —JohnC5 01:07, 26 March 2016 (UTC)


The etymology in the English entry says that the Turkish word came from Persian, but the etymology at börek says that it came from Old Turkic. Which one is correct? --WikiTiki89 19:31, 28 March 2016 (UTC)


See also: User talk:Dijan#zaman

Hello. I want discuss origin of this word for Turkish language. zaman meaning in TDK dictionary. TDK - Türk Dil Kurumu (Turkish Language Association) is the official regulatory body of the Turkish language. What you think about? Is it borrowed from Arabic or Persian? --Aabdullayev851 (talk) 18:08, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

The Semitic words are attested all the way in Ge'ez and Biblical Hebrew, so that's probably the ultimate source, with (some of?) the Iranian words listed at زمان being loans from that direction (also Sogdian shows what looks like irregular ž-). This does not however rule out loaning as Semitic → Iranian → Turkish, which might even be more likely in light of the word having been already in Middle Persian. But we would likely need additional comparative or philological evidence on when the word first appears in Turkic. Is it found in Turkmen or in the smaller outlying Oghuz varieties? If yes, that will be an argument in favor of Persian being the immediate origin. --Tropylium (talk) 19:09, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm not an expert on Ge'ez, but the Biblical Hebrew instances are attested in later books, which makes it easily possible that it could have been borrowed from Aramaic, which in turn borrowed from an Iranian language. --WikiTiki89 19:16, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Genesius says that the Biblical Hebrew is from Aramaic, as is the Arabic, and that the ultimate source is Old Persian "zrvan, zrvâna", though the latter is contested with Assyrian being another option. -- It's always possible, however, that the New Persian word is actually a (re-)borrowing from Arabic, even if Arabic has it from Old Persian. Kolmiel (talk) 21:49, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
But Gesenius is not always right about these things. He speculated a lot. However, that is a plausible theory. --WikiTiki89 15:24, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, sure. I just wanted to have mentioned it. This particular etymology seems to have been discussed by some notable orientalists (19th / early 20th century, of course). Also, I don't know to what extent Old Persian zrvan or zrvâna > Modern Persian zamân would be a regular development. I know little about the sound changes in Persian. Kolmiel (talk) 21:50, 5 April 2016 (UTC)


Please see talk:sparerib, where someone has challenged our etymology.​—msh210 (talk) 16:35, 30 March 2016 (UTC)


Is it possible that this comes from a dialectal form of Weizen, rather than from weiß? --WikiTiki89 00:29, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

Almost certainly it comes from that, and Duden marks it as an alt form of Weizenbier. But perhaps it's a reänalysis? @Angr? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:48, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, Duden marks it as meaning Weizenbier, but it doesn't say that it's etymologically from Weizenbier. I can certainly imagine a dialectal form like *Weizbier becoming Weißbier by folk etymology, but I don't know if there's any evidence that that's the actual etymology as opposed to straightforward weiß + Bier. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:54, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
In our entry for wheat, we list the Alemannic German translation Weisse, and at *hwaitijaz, we list Luxembourgish Weess, so I was thinking the Bavarian dialect might have something similar. --WikiTiki89 10:26, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
It's possible. But Grimm's dictionary also says it's simply from weiß ‎(white), pointing specifically to senses pertaining to food that is lighter in color than related foods: "häufig terminologisch zur unterscheidung einer helleren von einer dunkleren sorte derselben ware und allgemeiner zur unterscheidung einer helleren von einer dunkleren gattung derselben art; die entfernung von der reinen farbqualität geht dabei verschieden weit. von hier aus entwickeln sich zahlreiche compositionen; vgl. z. b. weiszer weinweiszwein, weiszes brotweiszbrot, weiszer kohlweiszkohl". Of course weiß and Weizen are etymologically related themselves, but so far no dictionary is claiming that Weißbier is etymologically anything other than weiß + Bier. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:47, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Is Grimm's dictionary generally well-informed about dialectal forms? --WikiTiki89 11:01, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't know. But I still don't want to include an etymology unsupported by published research, however plausible it may seem. Maybe someone somewhere has published the claim that Weißbier is etymologically from Weizenbier, but Duden and Grimm aren't that someone. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:22, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
@Korn, Kolmiel, Matthias Buchmeier, -sche: What do you guys think? --WikiTiki89 12:32, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
It's a southern German variant of Weizen. It's more or less common knowledge in Germany, so I wouldn't think it's wrong. Of course, it might be. But DWB says about "Weizen": Die späteren schreibungen weisze, weisse einerseits, weize, weitze anderseits zeigen frühe verallgemeinerung der durch die westgerman. konsonantenverdoppelung entstandenen formen mit einfachem und mit doppeltem t, s. E. Reuter westgerm. konsonantengem. 77. die formen mit sz sind wesentlich alemannisch, fränkisch, mitteldeutsch, fehlen aber auch bairisch u. schwäbisch nicht; schriftsprachlich sind sie noch im 16. jh. häufig, mundartlich reichen sie bis zur gegenwart. ("The later spellings weisze, weisse on one hand, weize, weitze on the other show an early generalization of the forms with and without doubled t, arisen through West Germanic consonant doubling, see Reuter [source]. The forms with sz are mainly Alemannic, [Upper] Franconian, Central German, but they also occur in Bavarian and Swabian; in the written language they were still common in the 16th century, in the dialects they remain to this day.") So that should settle the deal. Kolmiel (talk) 18:53, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Well no, because it still doesn't say that's the etymology of Weißbier. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:06, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, true. I don't know. What I meant was: All I've ever heard was that it means "wheat beer" and that's it Bavarian. I've heard that many times. So the source I gave proves, at least, that this not just a modern legend. There is a word Weiß/Waiß/Woaß in Upper German meaning "wheat"... But yeah, the rest is still open. Kolmiel (talk) 19:26, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
PS: By the way: It seems to be w:bar:Weißbier in Bavarian, rather than *Woaßbier, which would indeed imply that it's from "white". (OHG -ei- becomes -oa- in Bavarian.) Hmm... Maybe common knowledge is wrong once more. Kolmiel (talk) 19:31, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Okay. What I wrote above seems to have been premature. Mea culpa. Now, I haven't found much that is really etymological literature, but websites about beer generally trace it back to "white". And some of them look quite knowledgeable. Let me say this now: In some dialects "white beer" and "wheat beer" may merge or almost merge. Thence probably the idea, which I really have heard several times, that it actually means "wheat beer". Thence also google hits for "Woaßbier", at least some of which seem to actually be Bavarian, not fake Bavarian. But the original form may indeed be "white beer".Kolmiel (talk) 19:58, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
This all reminds me of the time I was at a barbecue restaurant in Texas where you had your choice of two types of bread. The server asked me, "Do you want white or wheat?" I said, "What?", and she gave me white. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:38, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't know WHAT the gods are trying to tell me with this, but this very week I tried my first Weizen and had one just before I came online here. Incidentally, I also read a bit about beers. This is just anecdotal, though, I claim no expertise. I have never come across a hint that Weißbier is meant to be a dialectal form of Weizenbier. There are Schwarzbier and Dunkelbier, which seem to come up in the same time as Weißbier. The Bavarian forms do hint at "white" and an ordonance from 1612 from the "Fuerstenthumben Obern und Nidern Bayrn" consistently uses "Weiss Bier", inflecting Weiss like an adjective, not like a noun. Seems early enough to me to regard it as the original form. And now excuse me, I have to plan a beer sacrifice to some unknown power guiding me. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 00:45, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
Joachim Heinrich Campe's Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (1811) says it gets its name because it's lighter in colour than Braunbier.
In the Sitzungsberichte der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften from around 1900, Otto Böhtlingk writes of Einige angebliche Volksetymologien including Weissbier und Weissbrot:
"Weissbier mit Paul auf Weizenbier und Weissbrot mit Kluge auf Weizenbrot zurückzuführen, liegt nach meinem Dafürhalten keine zwingende Veranlassung vor. Weissbier steht im Gegensatz zu Braunbier und Weissbrot zu Schwarzbrot. Zudem ist zu bemerken, dass Weizen, wie ich aus Pierers Universal-Lexikon unter dem Artikel „Bier" ersehe, keinen wesentlichen Bestandtheil im Weissbier bildet, und Weizenbier ein besonderes Bier ist, das mit dem Weissbier Nichts zu schaffen hat."
Böhtlingk is referring to Hermann Paul's Deutsches Wörterbuch, which however only says "Weißbier, vielleicht eigentlich = Weizenbier" (at least in the later 1908 edition).
Oskar Reichmann (in Historische Lexikographie, 2012) also considers the "Weizen" theory to be, if not a folk etymology, something that's told to English tourists without regard for its veracity.
- -sche (discuss) 06:29, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

April 2016

siew daiEdit

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

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

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

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

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

χιών, χεῖμα, χειμώνEdit

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

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

parentage between bʰeh₂g- and bʰeh₂ǵos and bōkijǭ and bōksEdit

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

Burmese ဆင် (hcang, 'elephant')Edit

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

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

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

'Elephant, ivory' [OB, Shi].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

-zr- > -br- in ItalicEdit

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

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

Terms derived from *h₁lewdʰ-?Edit

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

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

(Transalpine) GaulishEdit

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

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

Terms derived from PIE *luktó "get light"Edit

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

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


RFV of the etymology.

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

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

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

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

Kabyle isemEdit

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


Discussion moved from WT:RFC.

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


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

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


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

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

انبه and ambaEdit

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

Nomen est omenEdit

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

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

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

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

Latin grossusEdit

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

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

kurtchi - Persian horsemenEdit

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

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

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


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

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

etymology of and cognates to Old Norse verb sløkkvaEdit

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


...which seems implausible to me. Thoughts?

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

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

'Mal' Words for SpeakEdit

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

J'odore (talk)

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

je m'appelleEdit

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

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

argumentum a/e contrarioEdit

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

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


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

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


RFV of the etymology.

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

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

Old Persian 𐏃𐎡𐎯𐎢𐏁 (Indus)Edit

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

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