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Russian бульба cognate with Greek βολβός ?

Good night,

do you think these terms are cognates ?

Thank you. Regards, --Fsojic (talk) 23:16, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

First, a little lesson in English: good night is what you say when someone is leaving. Good evening is probably what you wanted to say (a completely understandable error).
Thank you, I am never sure when I can use good night, good evening and so on ! --Fsojic (talk) 13:29, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't know remember enough about Slavic sound correspondences to rule out common inheritance, but it's the kind of word that gets borrowed a lot between languages, and its connection with a plant introduced from elsewhere within the past few centuries (the potato), makes me suspect even more that it may be a borrowing. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:44, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
I would say most likely Russian (and then Belarusian and Ukrainian) borrowed it from French bulbe, which ultimately comes from the Greek. --WikiTiki89 20:04, 3 November 2012 (UTC)


Our current etymology seems to have been first added by an anon in this diff and it contradicts Online Etymology Dictionary. --WikiTiki89 14:09, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

The Dutch etymology dictionary says that the word is not attested until early modern Dutch, but there is a late Middle English attestation as well. It suggests that the Dutch word is possibly borrowed from English, rather than the other way around, but that the Scandinavian terms probably come via Dutch or Low German. —CodeCat 14:18, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
That's pretty much what the Online Etymology Dictionary (I really want to abbreviate that, but "OED" is very misleading) says. I just wonder where this anon got his information. --WikiTiki89 14:25, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
OEtD? —CodeCat 14:32, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
That anon was me (before I created an account). I got the etymology more or less from Century Dict. Leasnam (talk) 20:15, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
The experts seem to be baffled by the origins of various versions of this word. The big OED (Oxford English Dictionary) thinks that it might go back to "Old English flacg ‘cataplasma’ (Wright-Wülcker 386) and flage, recorded in 1139 as an English name for a baby's garment", but also offers other possibilities. Dbfirs 21:49, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


This seems like it is probably the 2nd conjugation participle -atus + -icum. If that is so, are there also varieties from the other conjugations? —CodeCat 19:18, 7 November 2012 (UTC)


This seems like it ought to be a pun of some kind... why else would they coin a word such as this? I came across atterrir as a likely source, but I don't know if it is true. Does anyone know? —CodeCat 00:41, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't know, but it could also be some kind of punning reference to avenir and Vénus- even though the meanings aren't even remotely analogous. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:37, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
avenir isn't even a verb though, at least not according to our entry. —CodeCat 01:41, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I keep thinking about the w:George Carlin suggestion that there should be something called "cheese fon-don't" for people who don't like cheese fondue- puns don't have to make sense. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:03, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Maybe not, but atterrir seems much more likely as a source than avenir. —CodeCat 02:07, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
It was probably on the analogy of alunir (see etymology there), which was itself from the idea of atterrir (literally, to "earth"). This, that and the other (talk) 10:25, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, I remember a huge discussion about the term amarsissage on fr.wikipedia see here. And a verb avenir exists, but only at the past participle, avenu (and has actually been replaced by advenir). amarsir definitely doesn't come from it. --Fsojic (talk) 00:25, 20 November 2012 (UTC)


I see the marks of several competing etymologies at dodo#Etymology and w:Dodo that point to various words in European languages, native terms, onomatopoeia, and other sources. Should we list every one of these etymologies, or are there some that can be eliminated? Etymonline unambiguously claims that it's from Portuguese doudo, but are they necessarily correct? What does the OED say? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:43, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

The OED says "Portuguese doudo simpleton, fool, as adj. silly." and cites a letter written on June 18th, 1628, from Emmanuel Altham (1600 – 1635) to Sir Edward Altham (published in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society in 1874 page 448) "A strange fowle: which I had at the Iland mauritius called by ye portingalls a DoDo.". This origin is later confirmed by w:Sir Thomas Herbert, 1st Baronet in the 1638 edition of A relation of some yeares travaile into Afrique, Asia, Indies (page 347): "DoDo ... a Portuguize name it is, and has reference to her simplenes". The other suggestions in Wikipedia seem to be etymologies of "Dodar". Dbfirs 12:30, 20 December 2012 (UTC)


Yiddish for "cabbage" - I can't find anything, not even a single cognate, in any language. Anyone have a lead? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:09, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

I image it's from Old High German krūt, cognate to German Kraut. Is there reason to think otherwise? - -sche (discuss) 21:17, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
That's pretty funny — I saw Kohl and thought that was it for German (royt kroyt sounds a lot better than Rotkohl...). Thank you for rescuing me from my epic fail. While you're at it, what is the difference between Kohl and Kraut? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:23, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Kraut literally applies to greens or herbs of any kind, but also can mean cabbage. Kohl refers specifically to cabbage (I'm not sure if it also refers to cole crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc.). Chuck Entz (talk) 21:40, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
No problem, that's what WT:ES is for. And yes, a Kraut is a "useful plant", in contrast to an Unkraut = "useless plant, weed". In the south of the German Sprachraum, the preeminent useful plant is Kohl, hence Kraut can also mean "cabbage" there. Other members of the genus Brassica are also kinds of Kohl: broccoli rabé is Stängelkohl, there's w:Kohlrabi, etc. (Incidentally, I was wondering just yesterday what the "cole" in "cole slaw" was. Now I know.) In the northwest, "Kraut" can refer to a sort of fruit syrup, which I'll have to see about adding to our entry. - -sche (discuss) 22:13, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:23, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
The kraut in sauerkraut is specifically cabbage, but in the plural, Kräuter means herbs as a group. —Angr 00:44, 19 November 2012 (UTC)


It is not really a question, but I would just say I find funny the similarity between again and against compared with German wieder (again) and wider (against). --Fsojic (talk) 00:12, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

buckle gives a very different etymology for etymology 1, and derives it from (Older) French boucler, itself from Latin. Obviously these two etymologies can't both be right, but it's possible that the Germanic verb (listed in the current etymology) interfered with the French loanword and caused conflation of the two meanings somehow. Does anyone know more? —CodeCat 01:01, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

The verb etymology in Etymology 2 is basically the same as Etymonline's etymology for Etymology 2. When Leasnam (talkcontribs) added Etymology 1 in this edit, they moved it to Etymology 2, where it didn't belong.
The derivation of {term|bocler|lang=fro}} in the sense of "bulge, curl" in the etymologies looks a little suspicious. Is it possible that it was really a Germanic borrowing? Or is it possible that there was borrowing the other way? The presence of both voiced and unvoiced forms in buck Etymology 2 (Verner's Law?), and both etymologies for bow muddle things up even further. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:11, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Verner's law causes alternation between h and g, not between k and g. There are some cases of alternation between a single voiced consonant and a geminated voiceless plosive; they are not fully understood but are thought to be the result of a still-controversial sound law called w:Kluge's law. On the other hand, for bok notes that the gemination is also present in the Celtic forms and even a Sanskrit cognate, which have no such law. —CodeCat 19:33, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

семя (semja) and семья (semʹja)

Good evening. It seems that these terms come from two completely different roots. Is it correct ?

Thank you, --Fsojic (talk) 17:11, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Quite right. For the former, refer to PIE *séh₁mn̥; for the latter, *ḱóymos. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:46, 21 November 2012 (UTC)


Can anyone work out the etymology of this word? Neither we nor the Norwegian Wiktionarians have an entry for rak, the first thing it refers to, and the Norse word it refers to (rakr) does not derive from Low German or Dutch. The Norse verb reikna (which has the variant spelling rakna) does derive from Middle (not modern!) Low German, but the etymology doesn't mention it. - -sche (discuss) 06:14, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

I've reformatted it to assume that the Norwegian verb came from the Norse verb, rather than from a noun. - -sche (discuss) 08:46, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Hindi, Urdu, and other modern Indo-Aryan Indian languages and Sanskrit

This may have been brought up before, and I'm not sure if it goes here best or in the policy section, but what's the official policy for handling Etymologies and Descendants when it comes to languages like Hindi and Sanskrit? Some believe that Hindi and such should count as essentially being descended from Sanskrit, but technically it seems they are descended from other vernacular Middle Indo-Aryan "Prakrit" languages, and whether these came from what is regarded as actual Sanskrit or from other earlier vernacular languages closely related to it spoken around the same time is still debated somewhat from what I've read. I suppose it has some similarities to the situation with Latin; the Romance languages are descended from vernacular, popular Vulgar Latin as spoken by the people as opposed to the literary Classical Latin, and Sanskrit seems to hold a similar place as a special language like that. But of course Romance language words are still listed as descending from Latin, and it's not exactly the same situation. So should Hindi words (unless in the many cases where they are explicitly borrowed from Sanskrit) be listed alongside Sanskrit as opposed to actually descended from it? Thanks Word dewd544 (talk) 18:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Romance languages technically descend from Old Latin, and the equivalent for Sanskrit is Vedic Sanskrit. But I don't know if it really makes a difference. Are there any modern words that descended, without a doubt, not from classical Sanskrit but from a stage before it? —CodeCat 19:27, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
It seems to be almost universal practice among dictionaries to use Sanskrit as a stand-in for Old Indic, with maybe a paragraph or a footnote somewhere to inform readers of that fact, just as classical Latin is used as a stand-in for whatever combination of vernaculars gave rise to the Romance languages and the Wessex dialect is used as a stand-in for the dialects that gave rise to Middle English and Modern English.
With the extreme unevenness of attestation of ancient dialects, I don't see much choice: the alternative would start to resemble all the fine-print legal disclaimers that you see in some print advertising: your mileage may vary, this may be a different dialect than the actual one that it really came from, void where prohibited by law, etc. It should say something about it in WT:ASA and other relevant places, but it would seem a bit much to have it everywhere.
Any time you have an artificially preserved standard language like Sanskrit or Latin, there's bound to be some confusion, since the "parent" language and its "descendants" may coexist for centuries, and a term may even go back further in the vernacular than in the standard (I believe Latin aurantius is such a case). I just don't think we even know enough about the history of most terms to be sufficiently accurate with our disclaimers to make it worth the clutter most of the time. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:18, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
In a way, you could even argue that English is not really one language. Yet it would be hard, if not impossible in some circumstances, to say which specific kind of English a word in a language came from. Even if you could narrow it down to, say, a small village in East Anglia, there would still be several registers within the language there, one of which would be "standard formal written English". No doubt Sanskrit was the Old Indic equivalent of that. —CodeCat 22:34, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
I think the closest thing we have in English is biblical/King-James-Version speech. It's full of fossilized Early Modern English archaicisms that no one would use except in prayers and religious discussions or sermons: a very specific register that's kept unchanged because of its religious associations. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:07, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with what's been said. I guess there's not much that can really be done about it, because putting a little note or disclaimer on each etymology or page would be going overboard and clutter things too much I think, and deriving them directly from Vedic Sanskrit isn't the best solution either. I suppose the same could go for the Romani language? It may seem somewhat strange to some to have it it listed as being descended from Sanskrit, but it's the closest thing there is, since there isn't Old Indic as a language here. By the way, I've noticed a few etymologies just skip the Sanskrit "stage" and go straight to Proto-Indo-Iranian, but is this a good idea?

Word dewd544 (talk) 01:06, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

But anyway I agree with putting a note either in the about Sanskrit page or for Hindi about the technical fact regarding these "descendant" languages. Otherwise it would seem to contradict what is said in the sister project, Wikipedia in statements like "Along with other Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Bengali evolved circa 1000–1200 AD from the Magadhi Prakrit, which developed from a dialect or group of dialects that were close to, but different from, Vedic and Classical Sanskrit." on the Bengali language page, and "The Indo-Aryan languages are commonly assigned to three major groups - Old, Middle and New Indo-Aryan. And a number of their morphophonological and lexical features betray the fact that they are not direct continuations of Ṛgvedic Sanskrit, the main base of 'Classical' Sanskrit; rather they descend from dialects which, despite many similarities, were different from Ṛgvedic and in some regards even more archaic. MIA languages, though individually distinct, share features of phonology and morphology which characterize them as parallel descendants of Old Indo-Aryan. Various sound changes are typical of the MIA phonology" on the Magadhi Prakrit page, both of which are cited with reputable sources. So at least some seem to think that it doesn't even apply that Vedic Sanskrit was truly an ancestor to these languages, let alone classical Sanskrit Word dewd544 (talk) 07:18, 1 December 2012 (UTC)