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According to the Russian Wiktionary (source: G. P. Tsyganenko etymological dictionary), the term is derived from German via Polish - German Schweizer and Polish Szwajcar. According to the entry In the feudal Germany, Swiss soldiers were often used as mercenaries and were often employed as guardsmen. Cf. modern Russian word for Swiss man: швейца́рец (švejcárec) (only different in the ending). Calling German and Polish speakers @-sche, Angr, Kephir. Does the etymology seem plausible to you, were German and Polish words used in the sense of "janitor, doorman, usher"? Certainly, Swiss people are not common guest workers (gastarbeiters) in modern Russia, not in the menial jobs, anyway. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:07, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

I can see User:-sche has updated Szwajcar (Polish wiki also has "najemny żołnierz ze Szwajcarii" - "(hist.) hired soldier from Switzerland"). The German Wiktionary also has "Türhüter (beim Papst)" - "doorkeeper/guard by the Pope" for Schweizer. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:22, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I would guess that it is alluding to the Swiss Guard. --WikiTiki89 02:33, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Swiss people historically found employment in Germany (and elsewhere) as mercenaries, house guards, and doormen, and so Schweizer came to mean not only "Swiss person" but also "doorman", and Szwajcar came to also refer to [Swiss] mercenaries. ("Doorman" is actually the only meaning listed in the 1908 edition of Hermann Paul's Deutsches Wörterbuch, possibly because Paul considered the literal meaning obvious. I don't like when lexicographers do that.) And yes, German lent the word to Polish and Polish lent it to Russian. By the way, ru.Wikt says that швейцар means specifically "a uniformed doorman in a wealthy home or institution"; is "janitor" a separate sense, or is the meaning of the word just rather broad? Nevermind, see my edit to the entry. - -sche (discuss) 02:34, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I included "janitor" since it also means "doorman" but yes, "швейцар" is normally a uniformed doorman". Well, only well-off people hire doormen, so the second part is kind of obvious. In short, "швейцар" is a full equivalent of "doorman" these days, uniformed or not, in a rich or a poor home. (I typed my answer to your question before you crossed it out.)--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:47, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
OK. I dropped 'janitor' from the list of meanings because in the US, a janitor isn't a doorman but rather a worker who empties trash cans and mops floors. - -sche (discuss) 02:58, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Unlike German and Polish, Russian "швейцар" is an indoor worker (never a gatekeeper) and doesn't have the meaning of (armed) "guard". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:12, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I find Polish szwajcar (doorman), with small letter, in many standard Polish dictionaries, marked as “dated”. For the sense development see Černyx, referenced in швейцар. --Vahag (talk) 07:06, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Vahagn. Could you make շվեյցար (šveycʿar)? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:09, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Sure. Looks like the word has been borrowed all over the USSR. --Vahag (talk) 07:41, 2 December 2014 (UTC)


The etymology currently states, "from Cariban chico", but does not specify which Cariban language. Etymonline says possibly Carib, but possibly Wolof or Yoruba. MW10 says Carib at chigoe but Wolof at jigger, and derives chigger from both of those. The OED says "West Indian" but maybe from French, Spanish, or a creole thereof; that entry, however, hasn't been updated since the first edition. Might this warrant an "uncertain"? Cnilep (talk) 04:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

I think French, Spanish and creoles are just intermediaries. Century 1911 gives alternative spellings chigo, chegoe, chigga, chiggre, jigger. Spellings 1 & 3 look possibly Spanish; 2 & 4 possibly French (= French chique); 5 possibly English. Any of them could be corresponding Creoles. They also point to "West Indian or S. Amer. origin". This vagueness is common for taxonomic and vernacular names for living things and the possibility of African influence arises often for New World living things where slaves were present, though some dispute the likelihood in most cases. The uncertainty is not quite the same as complete ignorance, however. I assume you would have the text talk about the possibilities, but categorize it as uncertain. DCDuring TALK 01:16, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
chique” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language). tab 2 also suggests a Caribbean source. DCDuring TALK 01:21, 7 December 2014 (UTC)


This LiveScience article ([1]) uses "betel" in an unfamiliar way:


ancient Mesopotamian gods, which were typically depicted as "betels" — stones or meteorites


. The word page shows nothing and Google searches have been unhelpful. Can anyone shed light on this?--Auric (talk) 19:31, 2 December 2014 (UTC)


The Ukrainian word "rada" (рада) and the Dutch/Afrikaans word "raad" both mean "council" and "advice". Do they have a common origin - i.e. is the Ukrainian word a Dutch loanword? Do they have their origins in the Proto-Germanic "*rēdaz"? FokkerTISM (talk) 12:05, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

According to rada#English, the Polish word rada is a loanword from Middle Low German rât, which in turn is cognate with the Dutch word. Assuming the word was borrowed into Polish before any other Slavic language, the Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Belarusian words would then be borrowings from Polish. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:43, 3 December 2014 (UTC)


I can't find the supposed Late Latin etymon laura (in an applicable sense) between the English laura and the Ancient Greek λαύρα (laúra) in L&S, Gaffiot, the OLD, or Niermeyer. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:27, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

See laura in Hofmann's Lexicon Universale. --Vahag (talk) 21:57, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
@Vahag: Thank you. I've now added an entry for that sense and have removed the {{rfv-etym|lang=en}} from the English etymology. I don't suppose there's a version of Hofmann's Lexicon Universale that's searchable by headword, is there? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:06, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
There is headword-searchable version for GoldenDict. I have uploaded it here. --Vahag (talk) 15:21, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
@Vahag: Oh, lovely! The most I was hoping for was an interface like the one for Gaffiot’s Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français; selectable and copyable entry text is a big bonus. Thank you very much. The one shortcoming is that the page number isn't indicated in the entries; referencing entries on Wiktionary will therefore by slightly laborious. Still, that is a small matter; thank you again. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:59, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
If you like that, here are some more out-of-copyright la and grc dictionaries in the same format. --Vahag (talk) 20:17, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Excellent. Thank you so much for bringing GoldenDict and that content to my attention. It's a boon. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:16, 7 December 2014 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Middle French économiste (household manager). The Trésor de langue française informatisé says first attested 1767, which is about 150 years into the modern French period. A Google Book search only finds false positives; books purporting to be from the 16th century which when you check turn out to be from the 20th century. Renard Migrant (talk) 00:35, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

It looks like there are two words here, an earlier one meaning "household manager", and then later, either a re-formation from economy +‎ -ist or a new sense applied to the existing word meaning "someone who studies the economy" in the modern sense. At least in English, it appears we revamped the old word. I dont know about the French. Leasnam (talk) 04:18, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I wonder too if this might not be one of the many words borrowed into English, given new meaning, and then exported again to other languages with the new signification...can anyone verify this to be the case? Leasnam (talk) 04:31, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
While you may be right, I can't find economiste in any Middle French sources. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:25, 13 December 2014 (UTC)


I think we need to add a source for that Italian briga ; intuitively, I'd say it is a br- Celtic variant of latin fr- frango, frio => break, briser

  • Occitan briga has the meaning of "crum" (a little broken piece)
  • brigada has the military meaning of "section"
  • brigante, the one of "breaker" see casseur "hooligan".


While the ultimate source of the word is, of course, indeed Latin, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru suggests that its borrowing into Welsh is via the path Latin > Old French > English > Welsh (1567). I propose reflecting this in the text of the item. -- Focalist (talk) 15:46, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

That seems very likely. If it had gone straight from Latin into Welsh during the days of the Roman Empire, it would have wound up looking more like *cynnefnio or something. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:05, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Diolch am y golygiad / Thanks for the edit, Angr. -- Focalist (talk) 20:01, 11 December 2014 (UTC)


Would love to know the etymology of this bizarre term which is not in my Oxford. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:09, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

What's bizarre about it? Obviously it is from trans- (beyond) + Oxus (Amu Darya), thus “the lands beyond Amu Darya”. --Vahag (talk) 13:50, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Good to know it comes so easily to you. Would you mind adding that etymology to the entry? Many thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:22, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
I have read a lot of Classical literature, that's why. --Vahag (talk) 16:38, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Is it exactly as Vahag says or is it trans- +‎ Oxiana? Oxiana occurs in a work of Ptolemy and appears in historical works in English. oxianus is used as a specific epithet for species discovered in or near Persia/Iran. It is not in Lewis & Short, though Oxus is. DCDuring TALK 16:45, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Trans- + Oxiana would mean "beyond Oxiana", but Transoxiana is not beyond Oxiana, it is a part of Oxiana. The same way, Transcaucasia is from trans- + Caucasus (not Caucasia). Other similar examples: Transalpine Gaul, Transjurane, Transnistria. The second part is usually a river or a mountain. --Vahag (talk) 18:13, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. DCDuring TALK 19:20, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

乒乓 and 乒乒乓乓

According to the etymology section of 乒乒乓乓, this word is first attested in the Ming Dynasty and derived by reduplication from 乒乓. But the etymology section of 乒乓 says that 乒乓 is first attested in the Qing Dynasty. The Ming Dynasty was before the Qing Dynasty, so if all of this is correct, "乒乒乓乓" is attested before "乒乓", which seems surprising. Is there an error here, or is the reduplicated form really attested before the basic form? And if there isn't an error, can anyone provide evidence for the Ming Dynasty attestation of "乒乒乓乓", and for the statement that "乒乓" isn't attested until the Qing Dynasty? (Pinging User:Wyang, who added both etymology sections.) —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 22:33, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

For some reason, the pinging was not working. Thanks for the comments. I looked up the term in the corpus of Classical Chinese literature and it seems both started to be used in the Ming era. I've modified the entry. Wyang (talk) 04:24, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

apple-pie order

RFV of the etymology. Lexicografía (talkcontribs) in this edit added the current etymology. I've tried to improve the style to make it sound less like a university essay (Wiktionary is not an academic paper). I'm also suspicious because in the next edit he/she changed nappe pliée to nappe plié, which is wrong, see nappe it's feminine. Can anyone source these two proposed origins, or is unknown a better etymology? Better unknown than a completely made-up etymology. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:19, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

We have some more extreme folk and other etymologies on talk pages. See Lord willing and the creek don't rise and, especially its talk page. It is possible and desirable to educate users by explaining one's reasoning. DCDuring TALK 18:59, 17 December 2014 (UTC)


The entry buoy and the Appendix entry on PGM *baukną claim the Middle Dutch word 'boeye' derives from PGM *baukaną, which would require a change from [k] to [w] or [j], which the respective entries declare to have happened in either Middle French or Middle Dutch. The entry boei on the other hand claims 'boeye' to come from Latin boia. The latter seems more reasonable to me, as a change from /k/ to /∅/ is nothing I ever heard of in Dutch; but my knowledge of Old and Mi ddle French is very much zero. Either must be wrong, it would be nice if someone could clear that situation up. Korn (talk) 09:49, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

boei from *baukną is just plainly wrong. The form boken is still attested in Middle Dutch, and is the real descendant, but eventually yielded to baken, from Frisian. —CodeCat 15:12, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Derivation from boia is the older of the two views of it. I dont know...semantically this just seems too much of a stretch because not all buoys are tethered (--according to this view, would we actually be calling the 'buoy' itself a "tether", "strap", "fetter", or "chain" (?) because it's nothing of the sort)...but all buoys do signal. And keep in mind, this is a nautical term...taken from the speech of sailors...and a corruption (possibly also a diminutive) of what would be the correct form at that time, bōken... I dont see this as a stretch by any means. Leasnam (talk) 07:30, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
But it would be very much an ad-hoc explanation, so it is not very convincing. —CodeCat 15:25, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
The entry at boei should really be split into 2 Etymologies...the senses and current etymology on page are correct for sense 2 ("shackle"); the etymology of sense 1 ("buoy") is missing, and probably should include both theories herein mentioned. Leasnam (talk) 20:10, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure a split is reasonable. All Middle Low German variants of the word mean both 'floating beacon' and 'tether' and show the typical signs of a French loan word. Further, Dutch, Low German, and Middle Frisian as far as I know, have no known instance of deletion of unvoiced plosives. And lastly, standard Dutch /u/ (spelled oe) is a normal reflex of Latin ō, whereas a similar (not identical) pronunciation of PGM *au is much rarer. For the reasons given I'm removing all references to the *baukaną etymology until someone provides a cite. Korn (talk) 10:36, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Etymologiebank (M Philippa cites) splits them into 2 distinct words, 2 separate etymologies: citing that the etymology of the "floating beacon" word is uncertain and may come through Old French from Frankish, or it may be a special use of the "shackle" sense. It is unclear. also cites both, as does CNRTL, so keep those references handy as it is easily cited by many dictionaries, English and French...Leasnam (talk) 11:37, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Does anyone have any insight or information on the likelihood that Middle Dutch boeye is a derivative (diminutive) of bōde "warning, omen, sign, herald, messenger" (i.e. < *bōdje)? Leasnam (talk) 08:50, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Etymology of Bad Citation

Discussion moved from Wiktionary:Tea room/2014/December#Etymology of Bad Citation.

Etymology given (for etymology #1) has no citations, for an otherwise contentious etymology. Should be removed or cite a dictionary. —This unsigned comment was added by Telmac (talkcontribs).

I've moved this to the correct venue for such questions. As to the merits: the New Oxford American Dictionary app on my computer has the same etymology, but preceded by "Perhaps...". Even if it can be referenced with stronger wording, I think we should follow suit. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:47, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Danke, dass ihr auf meinen Schatz so gut aufgepasst habt! Moni

Gern geschehen!