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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← March 2013 · April 2013 · May 2013 → · (current)


Are these related? kika (Swedish) kieken kucken gucken

Yes. Also Dutch kijken and English keek (> peek); although the German kucken, gucken is probably a more distant kinship (if at all). Leasnam (talk) 16:48, 2 April 2013 (UTC)


This appears in several other Germanic languages, like Middle Dutch and Old Norse. That seems to indicate that it may be an inherited Proto-Germanic word, but it may also be a post-Germanic word that was calqued into all the other languages (the days of the week were also borrowed in that way). So I am wondering when this word was first attested in English. Does it appear in Old English? —CodeCat 14:48, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

  • No, according to the OED. (First citation in Trevisa's translation of the Prolicionycion, i.e. probably some time in the 1380s.) Ƿidsiþ 14:54, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

lodestar (n.)

late 14c. (late 13c. as a surname), an old name for the pole star (cf. Old Norse leiðarstjarna) as the star that "leads the way" in navigation; from lode (n.) + star (n.). Figurative use from late 14c.

It appears here and now that ON leiðarstjarna is the oldest of the kins, calques or mimicking memes. The older than that ON, the more unlikely and the more surprising and interesting. Left until then may be only a marginal surprise, uncertainty, or amount of information, if you like.
Granting that and that etymology vitally concerns the evolution of meaning along with culture, then, what would be the use of an awkwardly assumed proto symbolism for them at the moment?
--KYPark (talk) 07:43, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Kind of irrelevant. While it's true that something like this can be obvious in concept (a star that guides), it's quite a different thing if different languages end up using cognates to describe it. The dates of attestation are fairly late, which makes it seem unlikely that these were inherited from Germanic. But if they weren't, then where did these languages calque from? It's possible that they didn't and that they somehow independently came up with the exact same word, but with something like this it seems rather unlikely, so there is probably some common source. So who would have needed such a star most? Sailors... and who among the Germanic people of the time were avid sailors? The Vikings and later the Hanseatic traders. So it's probable that the word originates from there, but I would like to see some sources... —CodeCat 14:24, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
What a speculation you attempt yourself, which you bitterly ascribed to me! May I take this opportunity to advise you to undo all your deletion of my so-called "speculative" stuff "lacking scientific rigour," if you would or should not take too much legal risks? This may be once and for all.
What do you mean by "Kind of irrelevant" at first? Is it an answer to my question at last?
It'd be possible to say figuratively, for example, "You are our proto lodestar" meaning leader. Such'd be Dutch leidster, and your recent split into Etymology 1 and 2 appears too analytic, sophisticated and overdone, as compared with lodestar, esp. in terms of WT integrity. Do you have any supporting evidence?
In Frege's terms, the lodestar or guiding star is the sense (Sinn), whereas the polestar is the reference (Bedeutung). The former is compared with the evening star and the morning star, and the latter with the planet Venus. Then, Dutch poolster is not a good translation of English lodestar, and English polestar is not a good definition of Dutch leidster. Do you agree? Then you may be interested to make some corrections. Then again am I contributing anyway through this discussion?
--KYPark (talk) 17:58, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Your reply doesn't answer my question at all, so it's not very helpful. But the split into etymology 1 and 2 makes perfect sense because the two actually have different pronunciations as well. —CodeCat 18:50, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I always imagine the world, perhaps including the very bright Iowan girl, is watching this public, globally "open forum" and try to do my best to not to make them unhappy. So do you? I doubt you do! I even wonder if you were real CodeCat our proto leader answering or avoiding me. I was extremely puzzled what points and what questions you were talking specially to me, though I refrained from complaints. So I ask you to answer my clear previous questions and points one after another faithfully.
The difference in sounding and meaning is so usual of derivatives from the same origin that the "different pronunciations" cannot undeniably justify your etymological split. Again I ask for any supporting etymological evidence otherwise than the mere split into Entry 1, 2, 3, etc., as usual in dictionaries.
--KYPark (talk) 07:03, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  • @KYPark, your comment is off-base and a bit out of line -- "What a speculation you attempt yourself, which you bitterly ascribed to me!"
One key difference here is that your speculation is only ever speculation -- you do not research, and you reject any suggestions that you should research.
Meanwhile, what CodeCat is doing here is positing a like avenue of research -- i.e., not pure speculation, but rather an attempt at narrowing the field before embarking on a search for actual sources.
I understand that you are sometimes frustrated by our processes here. One key requirement we have for putting information into entries is that the information so added must be verifiable, it must be properly sourced. Pure speculation is not something we do much of here, precisely because it isn't sourced, and therefore isn't usable as entry content.
I hope you understand the difference. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:54, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry but let me move leftmost ...

What do you mean by "research" -- naively search again and again? Otherwise it's you rather than me who "do not research" and science proper of "scientific rigour" (CodeCate). To me, Research and science proper simply begin with reference and end with inference whence. In the process, it applies various scientific methods, say statistics including information theory.


...please provide the evidence.... Otherwise you just sound like the people who thought that the Old Irish name "Eber" sounds like Hebrew "Heber", therefore the Irish language is a dialect of Hebrew.

You are providing lots of coincidences, but no actual evidence that there is a connection, and no demonstrable mechanism by which the connection can have been made.

--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 04:25, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

My cute 말똥구리 (mal-ttong-guri, "mar-dung-gyre") is said to have a huge amount of information, as such a six-fold consilience between Korean and English from end to end of Eurasia is statistically extremely unlikely to happen. Science tells us to believe such a miracle to be a reality where both transliteration and translation must be causally related.

Such is the case with the ideas of 地龍 and 雨龍, exactly consilient with those of earthworm and rainworm, respectively. For what should we simply ignore such a huge amount of information? Such is what you collectively underestimate wholly as "speculation" (generally), "lack of scientific rigour" (CodeCat), little "research" (Eirikr), etc., ironically!

Regardless of history written by liars since Herodotus, Occam's razor prefers less assumptions or hypotheses. I have to do without the PIE hypothesis, for example, to view the world more and better. Perhaps you too! Roughly this is why I have to talk here.

Meanwhile, I seriously advise you to take it very seriously if your blaming me collectively unjustly as if my whole contribution were useless speculation may make a case of evil and illegal cyberbullying, witch-hunt, or the like harassment, as I am quite confident.

I've discussed just one year since last April 10. Recently CodeCat unjustly moved most of my agendas and many people's talks from this public place to my private space. This shows up most of what evil and injustice they have collectively done to me. People of justice would never forgive them. Cheers.

--KYPark (talk) 07:03, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

RFV of the character etymology.

User:Gdbf137 changed the etymology in this edit. I've gone through their edit history (Special:Contributions/Gdbf137) after noticing some troubling signs, and every single edit they've ever done (with the exception of their user & talk pages) has been problematic. All other edits have been reverted or otherwise undone, but the etymology edit for the character is at least believable. Can anyone verify whether it's actually correct? -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 16:39, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Likely incorrect! I'll just sit back and see if and how soon Wiktionary could review and resolve this anomaly. Go ahead, do your best, and good luck!
--KYPark (talk) 08:23, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
The glosses are correct. The second character indeed means big, not man. I don't know about the part after that, I can't really make any sense of it. It should probably be removed or rewritten. —CodeCat 18:53, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
does just mean "big" in modern languages. That said, I've run into sources that state that was originally just a pictogram of a person with their arms stretched out to look as big as possible, so that part of the etym actually had a grain of possible truth to it. However, what I'm not sure about is if has only ever meant "big" and the "person" part is purely the derivational basis. If so, then the etym now at falls apart. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:43, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I read somewhere that was the original form of ("mattress, cushion"), hence the ideogrammic shape. Wyang (talk) 02:57, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
So it's actually a person lying on a mattress and not a compound of characters? —CodeCat 03:15, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes if that theory is correct, which I think is more likely. Wyang (talk) 03:30, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks a lot again anyway, Wyang. I am sure you are here to tell the truth, to get what's ill done undone. --KYPark (talk) 08:47, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Do you think you could find any good sources that corroborate that etymology? I think it would be very good to have in the entry. —CodeCat 13:06, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Wenlin states the following etymology for 因, which comes from Shuowen: A 大 (dà) person lying on a 囗 (wéi) mattress. Now 'mattress' is written 茵 yīn, the original character 因 having been borrowed for the identically pronounced abstract word yīn 'cause'. ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:40, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Walloon and walon

Old High German in runic script? I would love to see a source or citation for that... —CodeCat 13:32, 24 April 2013 (UTC)


There are several etymologies where this is assumed to be cognate with head (said to go back to PIE *kauput- or *káput-) and Sanskrit कपाल (kapāla) (said to be from PIE *kapōlo), with *káput- / *kauput- said to be variants of *kapōlo.

First of all, the PIE forms are inconsistent with the format we use (e for most vowels, w for u, and showing laryngeals where they're assumed to be responsible for vowel length and vowel quality), and possibly just wrong. We don't seem to have any PIE appendix entries to go with this important and basic cognate set.

Second, where does the aspiration in κεφαλή (kephalḗ) come from? The vowels are a bit dodgy, too, but probably explainable via ablaut and the effects of laryngeals. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:49, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure where the aspiration came from. Looking at the Greek form itself, the most obvious origin would be *kebʰ-. But that root violates a constraint for PIE roots, which says that roots can't contain both a voiceless plosive and a voiced aspirate. However, there is a possible way out: w:Grassmann's law says that in a sequence of two aspirates, the first is deaspirated. This sound law remained productive until after the devoicing of aspirates in Greek (compare τίθημι (títhēmi)), so it could have operated in this root as well. This makes it possible to posit *gʰebʰ- instead, which does not violate any constraints. Another possibility would be *ǵʰebʰ-, which would have had the same outcome in Greek, and also *gʰegʷʰ- or *ǵʰegʷʰ- since labiovelars appear usually as labials. —CodeCat 20:10, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
I was tempted to mention Lithuanian/Latvian galva which has the right first consonant, with a labial and an l (metathesis would account for the order), but the labial is a semivowel rather than an aspirated stop. I guess it's day / dies / θεός (theós) all over again... Chuck Entz (talk) 20:54, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

The greek word should be devided, in my view, in ke + fale, the second part being the root to analyse. I'd see a connection with Albanian "ballë" 'forehead', with ke being a prefix. Etimo (talk) 14:56, 8 July 2013 (UTC)


See also: #glaive, halberd, etc.

Which would be the more likely or plausible etymology, long-bearded axe or long-bearded face? --KYPark (talk) 08:50, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

It was named for the Germanic Winnili tribe of Southern Scandinavia, who later came to be known as Longbeards (Longobard). —Stephen (Talk) 10:47, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Legend has it that Winnili got through Vandals to Longbeards. Meanwhile, the last two are famous for conquering North Africa via Iberia, regardless of the time. Do you happen to know if both happen to be the same? Anyway this is not the very question I was asking: why Lombards came to be so called, regardless of Winnili and Vandals. Regards. --KYPark (talk) 13:58, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Maybe because they really did have long beards? —CodeCat 14:24, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Facial beards are more plausible, unless you have texts corroborating the connection with axe beards, or evidence that Longobard axes were any different from those of their contemporaries. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:11, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, considering that other ancient Germanic peoples were so named by weapons (e.g. Saxons < seax "dagger"; Franks < franko "javelin", etc) it's just as plausible that the Longobards were also known by the type of weapon they customarily used. Leasnam (talk) 15:56, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Those "ancient Germanic peoples" might be fairly recent (less than 2000 years ago) groups of henchmen, named for their weapon. -- 21:20, 9 May 2013 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

Until recently, w:García (surname) said etymology was uncertain. Now, thanks to edits of an anonIP, it says it's Basque. Sounds like someone on a crusade — but I don't know whether it's a crusade to spread correct information or a crusade to spread one possibility atthe expense of others. Anyone know?​—msh210 (talk) 23:24, 28 April 2013 (UTC)