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I'm doubtful of the English origin of Gujarati ઇસ્પિતાલ (ɪspɪt̪aːl). I believe this may actually be from the Old (or Middle?) Portuguese espital. My reasons are:

  • The dental (t̪); most loans from English that contain a t (alveolar) become a retroflex (ʈ) in Gujarati. Ex. કીટલી (kiːʈliː) from kettle, ટિકિટ (ʈɪkɪʈ) from ticket, etc. However, it is a regular result from Portuguese words (which also have dentals or alveolars) (Ex. ઇસ્પાત (ɪspaːt̪) from espada (steel))
  • The initial (ɪ) is a regular result of Portuguese words with a leading e (Ex. ઇસ્પાત (ɪspaːt̪) from espada (steel), ઇસ્ત્રી (ɪst̪riː) from estirar (to iron)). The leading ho in the British English would probably result in a Gujarati (h)aː.
  • Finally, the stress in espital would fall on the final a, resulting in the lengthened found in the Gujarati. The stress in the English would be on the first syllable, lengthening that one in Gujarati.

Does anyone disagree or have other information on the topic? DerekWinters (talk) 17:11, 4 June 2014 (UTC)


Please see Talk:gappen. (I'm posting a pointer here because comments on isolated talk pages often go unnoticed.) - -sche (discuss) 01:11, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

I think the poster is right. The sources collected at are usually reliable, in particular M. Philippa's dictionary ({{R:Philippa EWN 2009}}). —CodeCat 09:03, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
It's also really hard to see how ganef could become gappen. Yes, in the history of Hebrew *np became pp while *nep became nef, but that's surely irrelevant for a borrowing from Yiddish into Dutch. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:53, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Also, here the original Hebrew has b/v, not p. --WikiTiki89 19:20, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Gender of Slavic and Nordic herring

Russian сельдь (selʹdʹ) is feminine, while other Slavic languages have it as masculine, for example, Polish śledź, Serbo-Croatian слеђ. Lithuanian silkė and Latvian siļķe both seem to be masculine, but we don't have entries for them. Nordic languages have it either as common gender, such as Swedish sill, or feminine, such as Norwegian sild and Icelandic síld. Our Proto-Germanic entry *sīlą claims it was neuter. I assume the Proto-Slavic form would have been *seldь and probably would have been masculine. The questions are, why does Russian have it as feminine? Why do we reconstruct neuter for Proto-Germanic when the Nordic languages have it as feminine? What was the gender in Old Norse (if it was not attested, then we should probably remove the mention in the etymology section of the Icelandic entry)? And finally, why does the Balto-Slavic gender differ from the Germanic gender? --WikiTiki89 19:18, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

The Serbo-Croatian form can't be descended from the same form as the Russian. đ/ђ exclusively derives from Proto-Slavic *ď < *dj, but this would give ž in Russian. —CodeCat 19:28, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh... Maybe they were reborrowed from West Slavic? --WikiTiki89 20:35, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Aren't most nouns that end in soft consonants feminine in Russian? Maybe this one became feminine over time by analogy. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:33, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Re: Aren't most nouns that end in soft consonants feminine in Russian? No, there are many masculines that end in soft consonants - конь (konʹ), я́корь (jákorʹ), дождь (doždʹ), пень (penʹ), зверь (zverʹ), день (denʹ), па́рень (párenʹ), я́сень (jásenʹ). With hissing consonants "ь" is used to distinguish feminines from masculine. Is that's why you probably think that only feminines can end in "ь"? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 12:47, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
I didn't say only feminines can end in ь, I just said most nouns ending in ь are feminine. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:28, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't know the statistics, but it feels like it's about half-and-half. But I'm sure there could have been quite a bit of confusion back and forth. --WikiTiki89 20:35, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
There are two different types of soft consonant. There is the "historically soft" type, which include j, š, č, ž, c, nj, lj, rj, not all of which are considered soft in modern Russian. Then there's the type that is palatalised in modern Russian because of a historical following front yer vowel, which did not palatalise the consonant in Proto-Slavic but did so only later in Old East Slavic. The nouns ending in the historically soft consonants are a different type from the nouns ending in "modern" soft consonants. The former belong to the Slavic soft o-stem nouns, while the latter are i-stem nouns. Soft o-stem nouns are masculine, while i-stem nouns are generally feminine (Proto-Slavic had some masculine i-stem nouns too, but these have been converted to o-stems in most Slavic languages, with some remnants). In this case, сельдь (selʹdʹ) is an i-stem. —CodeCat 22:27, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Interestingly, *lososь (salmon) is also a masculine i-stem. --WikiTiki89 02:43, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
I think Lithuanian silkė is feminine. --Fsojic (talk) 22:32, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, my source for that was very untrustworthy and I know very little about those languages. Of course that makes me less sure of the Proto-Slavic gender. --WikiTiki89 02:43, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
I can confirm that silkė is feminine, as is siļķe. Interestingly, Cleasby-Vigfusson and Köbler both say Old Norse síl is neuter (Köbler glosses it as the Tobias fish, apparently erroneously), while síld is feminine. - -sche (discuss) 22:48, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
síld looks somewhat suspicious, because Germanic does not normally have "overlong" syllables consisting of a long vowel and two consonants, especially not if the first consonant is a sonorant (see w:Osthoff's law). So the only explanation that I know of is if there was historically an intervening vowel which underwent regular syncopation in Old Norse: *sīlVd-. —CodeCat 23:08, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Alf Torp's old (1906) Etymologisk ordbog over det norske og det danske sprog says of síld "fra nord. stammer russ. selĭdĭ, seledka, lit. silkė, silkis (gjennem lilleruss.), opreus. sylecke, finsk silli". Max Vasmer also seems to considers the Russian word to represent a borrowing from Norse. (And we currently treat Finnish silli a loan from Swedish.)
On Usenet, someone claims that de Vries suggests that síld and síl might derive from "parallel forms *sīðlō and *sīþlō[,] from *seitlo, connected with Lat. <saeculum>"; someone with access to de Vries' work could check this (it sounds strange to me). Köbler, and our entry [[sile]], derive the Norse words from a feminine proto-Germanic root *sīlō. - -sche (discuss) 03:57, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
-þl- and -dl- do not normally become -ld in Old Norse. Compare *nēþlō for a parallel. The -ld- of Old Norse can only be explained as being inherited from -lVd-, or possibly -lVþ- (if the change -lþ- > -ll- occurred before syncope). So *sīlō cannot be the original source of this word, it would give Old Norse *síl. —CodeCat 10:18, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
It did give Old Norse síl, síl is one of the attested Norse words/forms. (What is our source for *sīlą?) - -sche (discuss) 16:52, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
But was it feminine? A hypothetical *sīlō would regularly become síl in Old Norse, but decline as a feminine ō-stem. Although, it's also possible that u-mutation would occur here, resulting in sýl. I don't know how systematic u-mutation of long í was. —CodeCat 17:01, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
To expand on my earlier mention of Vasmer: he writes that not only the Russian word but also the Lithuanian and Latvian words were borrowed from Scandinavian, with the borrowing into Russian occurring in or before the 12th century "невероятно посредство саам. тер. sildte, вопреки Итконену"(!). - -sche (discuss) 05:52, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Someone requested the page from de Vries on síld and síl. Enjoy. --Vahag (talk) 06:57, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Citing that and Vasmer, I've added an etymology section to сельдь (selʹdʹ). - -sche (discuss) 20:04, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

sain, saining

Do these English and Scots words derive from Latin via Old English, or via Old Irish? Please join in the discussion on Talk:saining. - -sche (discuss) 20:04, 8 June 2014 (UTC)


I'm having a rather hard time believing that the Persian نیلوفر (nīlūfar) came from the Sanskrit नीलोत्पल (nīlotpala) as there seem to be far too many letter discrepancies for it to have been borrowed. Unless the Persian term here is a reborrowing from Arabic (which can't handle the 'p'). Also, are there any attested intermediates between the Arabic and the English terms? Medieval Latin is mentioned in the etymology but no term is given. DerekWinters (talk) 22:32, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

I have created नीलोत्पल (nīlotpala). Look at the Descendants section. --Vahag (talk) 09:01, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for making this. I added some terms as well. However, I just have a few questions. Is an Ancient Greek term from Arabic possible chronologically? Also, the Byzantine Greek νούφαρο page states that it comes from an earlier νενούφαρο. Could this be a valid intermediate? And finally, I have a Pashto نيلوفر (nilofar) but I don't know where it would go. DerekWinters (talk) 18:03, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
The etymology in νούφαρο (noúfaro) was copied from Λεξικό της Kοινής Nεοελληνικής. I don't think it is reliable and I do not find νενούφαρο in any dictionary. Borrowing from Arabic نوفر(nūfar) is much more likely, as indeed stated by three sources: To Mείζoν Eλληνικό Λεξικό, Mέγα Λεξικό της Ελληνικής γλώσσας and Πολυλεξικό. As for Ancient Greek νοῦφαρ (noûphar), it is attested only in Aristotle and is glossed in one Russian dictionary as “a kind of medicinal plant”. I do not know enough about the chronology of Arabic borrowings in Greek to comment. Pashto نيلوفر(nilofar) should probably go under Persian. --Vahag (talk) 21:13, 13 June 2014 (UTC)


Could somebody check what Mallory really says, please? The Ugaritic loanword claim makes no sense at all. Geographically who knows, but how can a PIE word be borrowed from a language first attested in the 14th century BC?! --Florian Blaschke (talk) 11:31, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

From this edit summary, it appears that the claim is originally from Szemerényi, not Mallory. What gives?! --Florian Blaschke (talk) 11:37, 14 June 2014 (UTC)


Isn't hormone derived directly from ὁρμάω, ὁρμῶ and not from the noun ὁρμή? The form is pretty obviously the present participle ὁρμῶν, and the French link given in the article derives it from the participle rather than the derived noun as well. --Blarkh (talk) 11:09, 15 June 2014 (UTC)


I don't believe it is possible for the Spanish alcanfor to derive from the Arabic كافور (kāfūr). However, the initial al- does seem to indicate an Arabic borrowing. Does anyone know of any Arabic and/or Andalusian Arabic term that may be a predecessor? 05:31, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

This is borrowed from attested Andalusian Arabic [script needed] (alkafúr), according to most sources. --Vahag (talk) 09:17, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Why do you think it isn't possible for it to derive from كَافُور(kāfūr)? Is it because of the extra -n-? --WikiTiki89 14:01, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry this is late, but yes, I didn't believe it to be from Arabic also because on the camphor page itself it states that the Medieval Latin term is camphora is also from Arabic, and I felt there may have been an intermediate. DerekWinters (talk) 03:16, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh and also, on the camphor page, it states that the Middle Persian term derived from the Malay kapur, and while the phonology seems adequate, the time period seems terribly off. Perhaps a Kawi or Old Malay word? I also believe that Persian traders didn't much come to Southeast Asia, but more Arabic traders did, as there are few if any Persian loanwords in these languages. Would a Pali or Prakrit language have possibly given derivation to the Middle Persian 𐭪𐭠𐭬𐭥𐭫 (kāpūr)?
Also, I believe I read somewhere that many regional words were taken into Pali and the Prakrit languages of the era and then, as Sanskrit was also used concurrently, the word was adopted into Sanskrit as well, but that because of the well known sound changes between Sanskrit and the Prakrits, the Sanskrit speakers added a hypercorrected 'r' in between. This may be the result of the Sanskrit कर्पुर (karpura). I believe it is good to note that the camphor laurel is not found on the Indian subcontinent natively —This unsigned comment was added by DerekWinters (talkcontribs).
According to latest research (Mayrhofer), the word is of Austronesian origin (not modern Malay, of course). Sanskrit borrowed it, as did Middle Persian and Arabic. Mayrhofer says the variation kar- : kam- : ka- observed in the descendants should be explained by prefix-variation in Austronesian. The borrowing routes require further research, but I have built a tentative list in kapur. --Vahag (talk) 11:08, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
Austronesian sounds pretty reasonable. However, I think it's unlikely that Medieval Latin borrowed directly from the Austronesian ancestor(s). Also, if alcanfor (Spanish) can derive from alkafúr (Andalusian) with a euphonic 'n', then it seems then more likely that the Middle Persian lent to the Byzantine Greek which in turn underwent an 'm' insertion (probably euphonically), which was then borrowed into Medieval Latin, leading to the entire host of European words (save the Iberian and a few others perhaps). And even if the ka- and kam- are just variations (which is possible), the kar- does not seem to be viable, as there seem to be no Austronesian or Austoasiatic daughters that demonstrate it. Only Sanskrit, which has been known to add in a hypercorrect 'r' when borrowing from its daughter languages to make the word sound more Sanskrit. The daughter languages were spoken concurrently, and the sound changes that occurred were known by the upper class which spoke both. The Prakrits simplified all of the conjuncts. This might help: Sorry about my Indic rant, I'm really into those languages right now. But otherwise, I think we're pretty good with camphor. Should we move the whole descendants list under the Proto-Austronesian *qapuR? DerekWinters (talk) 17:25, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think Medieval Latin and Byzantine Greek were borrowed directly from Austronesian, but since I had contradicting sources on the intermediaries, I preferred not to make any bold statements. Yes, we should move the descendants to *qapuR (lime, calcium). I have asked Wyang to provide sources on the latter, before it is created. --Vahag (talk) 19:07, 19 June 2014 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

Am I descending into pareidolia, or is there a connection to molāris or some other derivative of molō? After all, there's not much distance, semantically, between "grind up" and "destroy" (the phrase "run through the mill" also comes to mind).

The arrangement of senses within the different etymologies needs to be cleaned up, too. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:47, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

A more prosaic explanation might be muller (grinding stone for preparing paints and powders) and mull (pulverize, grind up thoroughly). also has a sense of mull "to make a mess or failure of", and a broader sense of muller "any of various mechanical devices for grinding", both of which we currently lack. In any case, the pronunciation with a /ʌ/ speaks against derivation from Müller, as does (as noted in the entry) the early attestation of the term. - -sche (discuss) 15:34, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I've modified the entry to note the various theories, including derivation from either or two Germans or derivation from Romani. - -sche (discuss) 05:48, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


Did this have a by-form *edъnъ? The West Slavic forms look like they come from *edъnъ. I see OCS has a by-form ѥдьнъ (jedĭnŭ), but that would give palatalized consonants in West Slavic (Polish *jedzien instead of jeden; Lower Sorbian *jeźen instead of jaden, etc.). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:54, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

All the South Slavic forms are consistent with ѥдьнъ (jedĭnŭ). Maybe Proto-West Slavic developed *edъnъ, in the same manor that South Slavic developed ѥдьнъ (jedĭnŭ). What does Upper Sorbian jedyn indicate? --WikiTiki89 21:38, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
There are other unusual things about this word as well. It's one of the words that shows alternation between initial o- and e-. This alternation occurs in several words in the Baltic group as well, and is (as far as I know) reconstructed back to Proto-Balto-Slavic times, although the exact conditioning of the alternation is still not known. This means, in any case, that *odinъ must be reconstructed as an alternative form within Proto-Slavic. —CodeCat 22:09, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I thought the e- > o- change was just in East Slavic, compare олень (olenʹ) < *elenь and озеро (ozero) < *ezero. --WikiTiki89 22:28, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
There's a bit more at w:Proto-Balto-Slavic language#Alternations. —CodeCat 22:36, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't know that much about Upper Sorbian, but AFAICT jedyn would actually have to come from *edynъ, which only Bulgarian еди́н (edín) is consistent with and which no other language requires (since the Bulgarian can also come from *edinъ). The Bulgarian isn't actually consistent with *edьnъ, is it? Wouldn't that have given *еден or *едън? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:07, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you're right about Bulgarian. I overlooked it when I said that, but it is still consistent with *edinъ, which we know existed. As a side note, Ukrainian один (odyn) is also consistent with but does not require *edynъ. Also note that English one also had an anomalous sound change. --WikiTiki89 14:18, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Also note Polish jedynka which also points to *edynъ. It seems that in West Slavic, the palatalization was simply lost. --WikiTiki89 14:20, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
The difference between y and i in Proto-Slavic wasn't one of palatalisation. The palatalisation was simply an allophonic consequence of a following front vowel. i was front, y was centre or maybe back. Etymologically, Slavic y goes back to pre-Slavic ū, or in some cases ūn or even ъj > yj. —CodeCat 15:05, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
In Proto-Slavic sure, but by Proto-West Slavic there was a correlation of front vowels with palatalized consonants and back vowels with nonpalatalized consonants. So say PS had two by-forms *edinъ and *edьnъ, which normally should have given *jedʲinъ and *jedʲьnъ in PWS. Then if for whatever sporadic, unlautgesetzlich reason, PWS decided to depalatalize the d in this one word, the syllable harmony rules would automatically back the vowels to accommodate the depalatalized d, yielding *jedynъ and *jedъnъ, from which all our West Slavic forms can (and some must) derive. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:36, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
What he^ said. --WikiTiki89 14:24, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Riemen and remenʹ

I assume that the similarity in form and meaning between German Riemen and Russian реме́нь (reménʹ) is not a coincidence. Is the Germanic word a loanword from Slavic, or is the Slavic word a loanword from Germanic? Or are they both descended from a PIE word, or both borrowed from some third language? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:14, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Some old Russian dictionaries (e.g. Chudinov's) do derive the Slavic word from Germanic, but Vasmer writes: "Праслав. *rеmу, род. п. *rеmеnе. Ввиду ст.-слав. примеров [...] заимствование из герм. (ср. д.-в.-н. riumо "ремень", ср.-в.-н. rieme) невозможно. В противном случае ожидалось бы *rjumenь." — "Proto-Slav. *remy, gen. *remene. In light of OCS examples [...] a borrowing from Germ. (cf. OHG riumo "ремень", cf. [MHG?] rieme) is impossible. Otherwise, one would expect *rjumen."
In turn, Pfeifer and Köbler trace the German word straight back through Proto-Germanic to a Proto-Indo-European root *reu̯ə-, related to Russian рыть (rytʹ).
- -sche (discuss) 20:04, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Is it possible to derive it from Middle Low German rēme? —CodeCat 21:32, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Kluge gives Western Germanic *reumōn and Old English rēoma (beside Old High German riomo and Old Saxon riomo), but doesn't derive it from PIE. —Blarkh (talk) 08:56, 3 July 2014 (UTC)


I just recently created a page on the Gujarati લાજવર્દ (lājvard) and I had assumed up until today that it had derived from the Sanskrit राजावर्त (rājāvarta) even though some of the sound changes were a bit strange. However, today I found that it most probably comes from the Persian لاژورد (lāžaward) or some related form, itself from Lajward, a place in Turkestan (as noted by under the word azure). My question here is that can anyone identify the relationship between the Persian term here and the Sanskrit term given above?

The sources I have say that the Persian is from the Sanskrit (which would be I believe somewhat consistent with known sound changes) while another states the opposite noting that the stone is not native to India.

Also, many sources use राजवर्त (rājavarta) and लाजवर्त (lājavarta) instead of राजावर्त (rājāvarta) which is used in some dictionaries and the Hindi and Marathi wikipedias. Normally, I would believe the dictionaries, but the first two seem more likely in light of the Persian term to be the real words, or all three may simply be variations of one another. Please help. Smettems (talk) 05:10, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

(pinging: Vahag, ZxxZxxZ, Dijan from workgroup ira) Team Iranica, let's sexify لاجورد(lâjvard). --Vahag (talk) 06:34, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Ok, لاجورد(lâjvard) is ready for viewing. Sanskrit rājāvarta-, rājavarta-, lājavarta- are all attested variants. They are borrowed from Persian and reshaped folk-etymologically under the influence of राज (rāja), राजन् (rājan, king). See Mayrhofer. The Gujarati form is probably directly from Persian. --Vahag (talk) 09:48, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Conjugation of *směati

If someone knows, please put the conjugation table for *směati (*smějǫ/*směaxъ), its table could also be used for verbs such as *grěati, *sěati, *lěati... 07:48, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

*směati or *smě(j)ati

*směati or *smě(j)ati? Did Proto-Slavic had a sliding j between ě and -ati? Some reconstruct as *směati others as *smějati or *smьjati, the last is most likely incorrect, because ě is definitely in.

Wiktionary:About Proto-Slavic says not to include prothetic j and v in page names, so I'd say the same should apply to predictable hiatus-breaking j as well. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:16, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Are there any modern Slavic languages that don't have the internal /j/ in this word? (Not counting the regular elision in West Slavic) --WikiTiki89 21:29, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Polish and Slovak; OCS had směati, smiěti, směěti. So is *směati better then *smějati? I would say that j wasn't in in the first place, or it was insecure. Une nymphe (talk) 21:33, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
In West Slavic languages, such as Polish and Slovak, elision of /j/ is a regular phenomenon, even if it was there in the first place, which is why they shouldn't be counted. --WikiTiki89 21:53, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
But Polish has sprzyjać and nawijać so not true. Especially Polish should be used as an example. Une nymphe (talk) 02:22, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Compare also Polish siać from *sě(j)ati. There is clearly elision here, so you can't say it's proof that the lack of /j/ survived. --WikiTiki89 16:46, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
This is proof, where j originally didn't existed there Polish has elision siać from *sěati, śmiać from *směati, ziać from *zěati... but (s)przyjać from *prijati, nawijać from *navijati, pijać from *pijati.... So you see there where j is in Proto-Slavic there Polish has j, but there where is ěa, Polish has ia. This is more than a proof to me of primal nonexistence of j in words such as *směati, *sěati, *věati, *zěati, *lěati... because if there were j Polish would have śmiejać, siejać, ziejać... or śmijać, sijać, zijać... Une nymphe (talk) 19:13, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
There's a detail you overlook here. The lack of -j- always occurs in verbs that originally had -ě-, while Polish keeps -j- when it's preceded by -y- or -i-. So your proof is not really proof until it can be ruled out that this is not a regular rule of sound change. —CodeCat 19:28, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
What is with Polish klej from *klějь? or with present śmieję from śmiać... See also where j is original it stays, and therefore no elision. Une nymphe (talk) 20:25, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Here are some examples of regular loss of intervocalic /j/: pas < *pojasъ, bać < *bojati. --WikiTiki89 20:36, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
But, this is also present in other Slavic tongs. So not limited to Polish. And also pas is from *pasъ and bać is from *bati. So I'm not really sure about that this is some proof. Une nymphe (talk) 20:43, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

What is with j in *dojiti? Polish, Russian and OCS have oi (but OCS does not have j, so hence) not oji. Une nymphe (talk) 21:42, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

But morphology is different: *směati is made of smě-ati whilst *dojiti from doj-iti.
It should be noted that in Old Church Slavonic, usage of iotated letters was inconsistent, and ě often stood for ja, but never for a. So the form směěti unambiguously points to *smějati. smiěti seems like it should be read likewise, as *smijati. This looks a lot like the Ijekavian/Ikavian Serbo-Croatian reflex, smijati. —CodeCat 22:40, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

*smijati, or *smьjati couldn't be, the frain is whether is *směati or smějati? Morphologically j is phonetic later add, I would also say that this isn't like *pьjati, *pijati which is made of *pьj-ati; cognate with *pojь, from where is clear that j isn't present in *směati. Une nymphe (talk) 01:09, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I think the answer is pretty simple: It started out as *směati and later became smějati, probably still in Proto-Slavic. --WikiTiki89 01:36, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
It wouldn't if ě sounded like /ai̯/ then j wouldn't be needed. So j was added when ě started to shift. Une nymphe (talk) 02:09, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Not necessarily. /ai̯aː/ > /eːaː/ is easily possible. --WikiTiki89 02:13, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
A pre-Slavic -ajā- would become -oja- in Proto-Slavic anyway. Compare the difference between infinitive *-ovati (< *-aw-ātei) and present *-uje- (< *-au-je-). —CodeCat 11:44, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Similar to imperfect of *byti where we have *běaxъ, *běaše.... Also j isn't present. I would leave *směati and perhaps put smějati as alternative, like *nečьto, *něčьto or mьčь, *mečь for an example. Une nymphe (talk) 02:00, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

But the imperfect is never written with -ěě- as far as I know, which indicates that, uniquely, there really was a hiatus in this case. —CodeCat 02:05, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, probably later shift, otherwise elision would not had happened. Une nymphe (talk) 02:10, 27 June 2014 (UTC)


Someone has tagged three etymologies with rfv-etymology. I clicked "+", which brought me here. The three etymologies are the following ones:

My expectation is that the etymologies will be removed in a month or so unless sourcing is provided. I expect the result to be archived at Talk:kibosh, or at least linked to from Talk:kibosh. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:41, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Mr. OED says: "Origin obscure. (It has been stated to be Yiddish or Anglo-Hebraic: see N. & Q. 9th ser. VII. 10.)" (I have no idea what N. & Q. is). --WikiTiki89 17:56, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
w:Notes and Queries Chuck Entz (talk) 18:03, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I think I found the right issue, but you need a subscription to read it, which I don't have. --WikiTiki89 18:09, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  Leo Rosten's New Joys of Yiddish (2010, →ISBN has the following summary of other dictionaries' theories:


  • The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology [...] says kibosh is of uncertain origin.
  • Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, third edition (1966), says that kibosh's ancestry is unknown.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary laconically says that kibosh is of "heraldic" origin—which is of no help.
  • Eric Partridge, in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1961), agrees with the OED (above) but says that "to put the kibosh on", meaning to seal the doom of, comes from Yiddish. Why, I don't know; he offers no evidence.
  • Padraic Colum, the Irish poet, asserts that kibosh comes from Irish Gaelic cie báis, meaning "cap of death".
  • [... Rosten then discredits the suggestion that kibosh is an abbreviation of a Yiddish or Hebrew phrase for "18 British shekels". ...]
  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language says of kibosh: "earlier ... kybosh, prob. Yid.?", which puts it indecisively and proceeds to cite Germanic possibilities I find no more impressive. (Why should kiebe, which means "carrion" in Middle High German, lead to kibosh?)
  • H. L. Mencken [...] did not stick his neck out anent kibosh's parentage [...].
  • William and Mary Morris, in their Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1962), repeat the Yiddish-origin and the Gaelic-origin attributions [...].
  • [...]
  • Julian Franklyn, author of A Dictionary of Rhyming Slang (1960), suggests that kibosh originated in the heraldic caboshed or caboched.
The last of those may explain what the OED meant when it said the word was 'heraldic'.
I would remove the mention of Hebrew and add a note to the effect of "Sometimes ascribed, unconvincingly, to Yiddish." - -sche (discuss) 18:47, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
The Slang Dictionary (1870) says "Kibosh also means one shilling and sixpence.", which is also confirmed by some other 19th century sources I found, but the OED does not have this sense, and I don't know how to go about look for citations. This 1874 edition of Notes and Queries says "but this word ["bosh"] is probably an abbreviation of the slang term kibosh or kybosh, doubtless corrupted from cui bono.*", which I think is an unlikely theory, but the footnote says "* In the sense of 1s. 6d., kibosh has been derived from the Hebrew.", so at least that one sense (if it in fact existed) is derived from Hebrew, and it is possible that the main sense is derived from the monetary sense. --WikiTiki89 19:27, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not yet convinced this derives from Hebrew; one source may say it (or some sense of it) does, but other sources have a number of other theories, asserted with equal confidence...
Rosten's comments on the 'British coins' theory, which I mostly left out of the blockquote above, are:

In Phrase and Word Origins, Alfred. H. Holt says that a ‘Mr. Loewe, who ought to know,’ traces kibosh to a Yiddish word ‘formed from four consonants, representing eighteen pence. When, at a small auction, an eager bidder jumped his offer to eighteen pence, he was said to have “put the kibosh” on his fellow-bidders.’
But I have not the faintest notion what those ‘four consonants’ could be or why they represented ‘eighteen-pence.’
One suggestion is that kibosh is an acronym composed of the initial letters of three Yiddish words for ‘18 British coins.’ In Hebrew, chai was often used to signify 18; the sh might by the initial sound of the word shekel; but this linguistic reconstruction falls down on the ‘b’ sound. It might stand for ‘British,’ but would not the acronym then be ‘kibrosh?’
The number 18 possessed magical properties, since the letter equivalents formed the word life. Thus, by extension, its use could presumably put the ‘hex’ on an opponent.

But a search for google books:"put the kibosh" bid, restricted to pre-1900 works, turns up nothing. (Post-1900, it turns up hits where someone stopped a bid by putting the kibosh on it, i.e. the usual meaning, which doesn't help to verify the connection to British coins or bidding.) - -sche (discuss) 02:26, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
As for Padraic Colum's suggestion, cie is not a possible spelling of a word in any variety of Gaelic. The Irish word for death cap (as in the mushroom) is caidhp bháis (pronounced /kəɪpˠ wɑːʃ/), but the basis for claiming this is the source of kybosh seems to be mostly wishful thinking. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:28, 28 June 2014 (UTC)


Proto-Slavic words with *šč like *ščit, *ešče, *-išče... I was wondering if there was perhaps t instead of č, so *št? OCS has just that štit, ješte, -ište... This would have much more sense, because č or k wouldn't shift to t, while t would shift to č, or am I wrong? Une nymphe (talk) 19:44, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

The regular outcome of -šče- in OCS and modern Bulgarian is -šte- (written -щє-). This -šče- can come from a variety of pre-Slavic sources, including: -ske-, -skje-, -skja- (= -skjo-), -stje-, -stja- (= -stjo-). —CodeCat 20:08, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
The change of [ʃtʃ] to [ʃt] is not phonologically unlikely at all; it's straightforward cluster simplification and/or dissimilation. It's important to remember that OCS is not Proto-Slavic; there are sound changes that OCS went through that make it distinct from Proto-Slavic, and *šč > št is one of them. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:20, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
What about Čakavian where is šć not šč? This would be if Proto-Slavic had stj or štj, perhaps similar with *notjь, where even older form is *noktjь, so it is posible that older form of *šč is is *skt or smomething like that, and then *št and then *šč. 23:06, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Does Čakavian also have šč, alongside šć? If so, is there a regular correspondence with Pre-Slavic sequences? —CodeCat 23:57, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
piščan from *pěščnъ as far as I know, and similar words.