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Latin, I think —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Chuck Entz has now written the etymology. —Lbdñk, 20:40, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Etymology of Latin nullibi (nowhere)Edit

Is this Latin word from nūllus (no, none) +‎ ubi (where)? —Lbdñk||🙊🙉🙈| 20:20, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

@Lbdñk: Either that or nūllus + ibī. —Mahāgaja · talk 06:57, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, @Mahagaja: the latter etymology that you suggested (i.e., suffixed with ibī) is correct, as shown here[1]. However, all Latin words derived from nūllus but nullibi retain the long vowel (ū); so could you account for this odd one out? —Lbdñk, 17:33, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lbdñk: Is there evidence the u is short in nullibi? Or have we simply failed to mark it long in our entry? —Mahāgaja · talk 19:30, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
@Mahagaja: Charlton T. Lewis, An Elementary Latin Dictionary is known to mark the long vowels correctly as against the other references that we have here for Latin. However, sadly, it does not inhold nullibi. And other references, though having this word, are not serious with vowel lengths. Though I think it should be ū. —Lbdñk, 20:09, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lbdñk: I also have the problem that my dictionaries either don't mark long vowels in closed syllables or else don't list nullibi, but I agree that this word is extremely likely to have ū. By the way, I'm not getting your pings, and I don't know why. —Mahāgaja · talk 21:33, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

@Aearthrise, do you not think the word nullibi should have a long u? Thanks! —Lbdñk, 17:28, 5 June 2019 (UTC)


Where does the u- come from? Wouldn't *escire be phonologically expected? —Mahāgaja · talk 06:55, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

I've always been puzzled by this. @Word dewd544? Canonicalization (talk) 22:26, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
There is an older variant of the word found as escire actually. And if you look at the conjugation, certain forms begin with es-. The conjugated forms with accent or emphasis on the ending begin with the stem us- while the ones with the emphasis on the initial stem begin with es-. For example, èsco, èsci, èsce, usciamo, uscite, èscono. As to why uscire emerged in the first place.. I'm not sure but I think it may have had influence from uscio (door). Word dewd544 (talk) 04:38, 20 June 2019 (UTC)


The etymology of kun is apparently wrong, except perhaps for the dialectal use as a pronoun meaning joka, which is listed incorrectly under the entry for the conjunction. The Finnish Wiktionary claims that the word derives from kuin. --Espoo (talk) 01:05, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

@Espoo kun doesn't come from kuin, rather they come from the same source as they are both instructive forms of the pronominal stem ku- (nominative kuka). kun is the singular instructive while kuin is the plural instructive. It seems that the two were originally simply variants of each other with kuin being more popular, but when the language was standardized, they were artificially separated (compare vain ~ vaan). — surjection?〉 07:57, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the interesting info! I did some research and the Nykysuomen etym. sanakirja indirectly says ("kieliopillisesti ajatellen ikivanhasta pronominivartalosta ku- muodostettu") and (according to the Finnish Wiktionary) Hakulinen apparently directly says that kun is an artificially created variant of kuin that did not really exist before the 19th century. So even though kun can be gramatically analyzed as the instructive case of ku-, it did not actually develop from that.
And the dialectal use of kun as a pronoun meaning joka should not be listed under the entry for the conjunction. --Espoo (talk) 19:45, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
kun is attested from the 18th century at least: "Minä olen mies, ja en minä ole mies, mutta kun multa pää poikkileikataan, nijn minä wasta miehexi tulen, ...", from Suomalaiset Arwotuxet compiled by Christfried Ganander (1741-1790). Either case I would fail to see why such an "artificial" word would be created. I can agree that the modern distinctions between kun and kuin are artificial, though. The instructive case explanation is the one that makes the morphological sense, since it was often used to derive conjunctions and such words. — surjection?〉 10:34, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Worth noting that Karelian has kun and ku, considered by Karjalan kielen sanakirja to be variants of kuin, and EES lists many Finnic languages with corresponding words for kun and kuin, often in the forms ku(n) and kui(n) (Ingrian: ku, kui, Ludian: ku, kui, Veps: ku, kui), most of them being variants of each other, which further proves that the two 1. were originally variants and 2. are both probably organic rather than artificially created. — surjection?〉 10:45, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

ixnay, amscrayEdit

I know that it was formed in the area of childhood colloquiality, but do we have any idea where the -ay comes from, ultimately?

Pig Latin may not be connected to Latin, but could there have been some attempt to imitate a Latin sound (or a sound that was popularly perceived to be Latin-sounding) early on?

With Dog Latin, Shakespeare had:

"[...]thou hast it ad dunghill"

"[...]false Latin; dunghill for unguem."


Perhaps the shifting (or removal) of the first letter of a word already existed then conceptually in argot-esque speech (or the like). Or perhaps this was actually ad unguem being misheard as "ad dunguem", hence "ad dung(h)ill". I don't know, but if it is that old, perhaps the whole "-ay" bit is also very old as well.

In addition, the Wikipedia article mentions (in addition to the previous) that there is an 1866 attestation of a "Hog Latin" that had:

‘Wig-ge you-ge go-ge wig-ge me-ge?’ ("Will you go with me?")

‘No-ge, I-ge wo-ge.’ ("No, I won't.")

I ask this because I happened to respond to someone in Pig Latin on a forum earlier, and this question came to mind. Tharthan (talk) 03:09, 5 June 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Google Books offers results from the 19th century for dysphemism, but not for dysphémisme, where the oldest hits are from just after 1900. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:17, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

The Online Etymological Dictionary says it was "rediscovered" in 1933 from the French word. I interpret that to mean it was coined in English in the 19th century but didn't catch on; then the French word was coined in 1927 and the English word resurrected in 1933 as a borrowing of the French. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:45, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
That seems possible, though the chronology must be different from what the Online Etymological Dictionary gives: 1906 French, 1921 English] ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:17, 11 June 2019 (UTC)


Wikipedia has stated that the etymology for “pogue” is deficient. How’s about this?: The taxonomic name of the North American oppossum’s genus is pogoensis (sp?). I think it has something to do with a Latin word meaning stick, specifically, a stick upon which meat is skewered to cook and/or eat. North American oppossums are famous for their semi-prehensile tails, that is, tails which they are able to briefly wrap around a tree branch to suspend themselves in order to escape predators. The hanging oppossum may have recalled skewered meat to European explorers. “Pogo” was the eponymous main character of the 20th-century American newspaper comic strip by Walter Kelly. Kelly was fond of etymological humor and Pogo was most commonly duplicated as an easy going fellow who carried all his belongings with him, wrapped in a tied kerchief at the end of a stick carried on his shoulder. Helpful I hope. —This unsigned comment was added by Gary beachum (talkcontribs).

Just off the top of my head:
  1. This is Wiktionary, not Wikipedia
  2. The North American opossum is Didelphis virginiana
  3. -ensis is a Latin suffix added to words for places
I haven't bothered to look up Latin words for sticks, but I would be astonished if there's anything to this.
Let me guess: you wanted to work Pogo into the etymology, so you decided to make something up and see if anyone would notice. Either that, or you're trolling. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:25, 10 June 2019 (UTC)


How can this neologism be of related derivation to both German sonder- (which is related to English "sunder") and French sonder which is a verb derived from a Germanic language word relating to water. These words are not related in the slightest, so I don't know what our etymology section is talking about. Tharthan (talk) 16:04, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Related to is an unfortunate choice of words. Apparently the coiner was inspired by these two etymologically entirely unrelated words, or, if you prefer, the coinage was informed by them (sense 5).  --Lambiam 17:42, 10 June 2019 (UTC)


A one-time contributor has added "koolt" to the etymology. It is used as an alternative form, but is there any basis to having an English term "koolt" at the origin of this? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:54, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Clearly nonsense; I've removed it. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:02, 9 July 2019 (UTC)


When did the sense 'wolf' arise?

The word is a native Vietnamese word, having been inherited from Proto-Vietic, where the word meant "dhole". All cognates of the Vietnamese word, including Muong khỏl, mean 'dhole'. See [2]. As wild Canis lupus has never lived in Vietnam, the sense 'wolf' is thus fairly recent (presumably no earlier than the 20th century). However, the word sói is now understood among most Vietnamese speakers to refer to Canis lupus, so the Vietnamese for 'dhole' most commonly used in publications is sói đỏ (red "wolf") or sói lửa (fire "wolf").

The sense "Siamese jackal" is present because I saw the term used on the Vietnamese Wikipedia as well as some Vietnamese news sites in reference to the jackal. --Corsicanwarrah (talk) 11:52, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

stoop (the verb)Edit

Why wasn't this impacted by the Great Vowel Shift? Its Dutch cognate underwent the typical (comparable) shift.

In cases like room, there was no shift because that particular environment (before "m"), and with "beetle", there seems to have been particular desire to keep the pronunciation.

What's the reason in this case? Are coop and droop similar cases? Tharthan (talk) 05:12, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

English to this day has a phonotactic constraint against /aʊ/ before noncoronal consonants. Old English ū (and u in an open syllable where pre-GVS lengthening is expected) always becomes /uː/, /ʊ/ or /ʌ/ before a labial or velar consonant. You noticed stoop and room; there's also dove, thumb, brook. —Mahāgaja · talk 12:14, 15 June 2019 (UTC)


The origin is probably Tamil. I'd try something but working with non-Roman alphabets is above my pay grade. --I learned some phrases (talk) 12:33, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Tamil is not even written using an alphabet, but with an abugida. In Tamil script this is பதம், which is not obvious – the usual transliteration method would give patam.  --Lambiam 20:03, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
According to w:Tamil phonology, there's an intervocalic allophone [ð], so I don't see a problem getting from Tamil patam to an English loan padam. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:06, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

nucha (Latin)Edit

The OED suggests nucha was borrowed from Arabic نُخَاع(nuḵāʿ) (as indicated in our entry), and additionally "confused with nuqra nape of the neck". Any idea what that latter word might be? — SGconlaw (talk) 16:23, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

نُقْرَة(nuqra) which allegedly means “hollow of the neck”, “creux au bas de l’occiput”, “scrobs in occipitis inferiore parte (ubi desinit pars protuberantior occipitis)”, and even “the cavity of the eye” and “the orifice of the anus”. Wasn’t aware that there are hollows on people’s necks. (According to worse dictionaries and mentioners, it just means “neck”.) More at Joseph Hyrtl who translates then as “Nackengrube” and “Hinterhauptgrube” – don’t know what that is. From the descriptions I find in the books with this German, and they give various Latin names like “fossa nuchae” and “Fossa occipitis media” in addition to the strange enough medieval ones like “interscalpium”, maybe it is the condyloid fossa? Fay Freak (talk) 08:10, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. Will add that to the nucha etymology. (By the way, there seems to be a typo at نُقْرَة(nuqra): "hollow of the backneck"?) — SGconlaw (talk) 10:54, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
@Sgconlaw No, I have found that backneck is a word. neckback is also a word. Fay Freak (talk) 12:19, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Gee, that’s got to be a pretty rare word. I’d suggest using simpler language. — SGconlaw (talk) 12:52, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
“Nackengrube” and “Hinterhauptgrube” literally mean “neck groove” and “back-of-the-head groove”. You can find your groove back if you feel your nape with a finger a bit higher up, where the skull is already beginning. It is the area between the left and right parts of the upper trapezius. If you then move your finger transversely, you will feel a shallow depression in the middle. In most people this is covered by hair and therefore not readily visible, but in some people with a shaved-up nape it can actually be quite prominent.  --Lambiam 20:30, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Is "finding your groove back" anything like "getting your groove back"? Tharthan (talk) 03:58, 19 June 2019 (UTC)


If this is from Old French gargun, then how is this composed? Onomatopoeic "garg-" + -on (the French diminutive suffix?) Tharthan (talk) 04:12, 17 June 2019 (UTC)


Just curiosity. Does the etymology for this two very-different-organ related senses of the same suffix mean that the Greek supposed the ability of inteligence to dwell in the chest? Wasn't it the pneuma? Wasn't it the heart? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 14:24, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

The basic meaning of πνεῦμα (pneûma) in relation to the human body is “breath”, which by extension means “life” – as long as someone is breathing, they aren’t quite dead, yet. Aristotle famously thought that the function of the brain was to keep our heads cool – like a heat-exchanging radiator for cooling the blood. That kind of leaves only the “upperbelly” for the more elevated aspects of mind, those that are higher than our visceral emotions. I don’t know if any ancient philosopher ever seriously considered the question how human intelligence came about and whether it had an identifiable anatomical seat.  --Lambiam 19:58, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Click onwards to φρήν for some explanation... AnonMoos (talk) 07:27, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Merci. But it was that mix of having both sense 2 for emotions and s. 3 for intellect that made me confused. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 10:01, 24 June 2019 (UTC)


Regarding the etymology section, can we get a citation for Old English rōsmarim? I can't seem to find any attestations of that through a swift search. Tharthan (talk) 17:05, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

MED [[3]], which is a byform of ME rosemarie Leasnam (talk) 03:09, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
None of the 15 quotations have rosmarim.  --Lambiam 19:20, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
The ME entry is for rosmarin(e), which has OE rōsmarim listed in its etymology section. Leasnam (talk) 02:45, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I get it now. The verification is for the Old English word rōsmarim. Hrmmm, okay, lemme search....Leasnam (talk) 02:47, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I found a quote that uses rosmarinum (a.k.a.) "rosmarim": Ðeós wyrt, ðe man rosmarinum [MS. rosmarim], and óðrum naman boðen, nemneþ, byþ cenned on sandigum landum, granted it seems somewhat mention-y, but it could be a word borrowed into OE. Outside of this, I can only find this [[4]] (which is not a quote), which lists rōsmarīn. Leasnam (talk) 02:55, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I suppose that here “[MS. rosmarim]” is an editorial annotation stating that the manuscript has rosmarim, which should be read as rosmarinum, the accusative of rosmarinus. If the manuscript is like so many other late-medieval manuscripts, it freely uses scribal abbreviations for Latin words, usually indicated with a tilde over the letter preceding an omitted n, like rosmarĩm; the educated reader would know that this abbreviates rosmarinum. I bet that if we had a scan of the ms., this is what will be seen.  --Lambiam 23:13, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Here you can see that in an Old English herbarium – possibly the same one as used by Bosworth and Cockayne – a standard formula is used of the form “Ðeos wyrt þe man ⟨Latin name in the accusative⟩ oþrum naman ⟨Anglo-Saxon vernacular name⟩ nemneþ.” So rosmarĩm is Latin, not Old English.  --Lambiam 23:36, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
What is given as the Old English word for this there, then? Tharthan (talk) 02:32, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
It's boðen. Leasnam (talk) 03:35, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Good to know. It's a shame that it wasn't present in Old English (as far as we know), but I'm glad that this was able to be cleared up. Tharthan (talk) 03:46, 20 June 2019 (UTC)


Something tells me that definition 1 and definition 2 are not instances of the same word. Just a feeling that I have. Of course, if the etymology section is incorrect, then perhaps I am wrong. But as it stands, it doesn't make sense. Tharthan (talk) 04:58, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

The architectural sense is relatively new (mid 19th C.). I have added an image of a poppy seedhead.
I am also reminded of the Australian(?) reference to tall poppy (ie, the one most likely to get the flower/seedhead lopped off). DCDuring (talk) 11:54, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

ibhaloni, isikoloEdit

These are said to be borrowed from English, but Afrikaans might be a likelier origin as <o> doesn't usually seem to be the result of English /u(ː)/ in other borrowings, where the outcome is typically <u>. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:00, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

@Metaknowledge Could you have a look at this? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 12:26, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lingo Bingo Dingo, Smashhoof: LBD, I suspect you're right here, but I am not confident — perhaps Smashhoof can help. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:26, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lingo Bingo Dingo, Metaknowledge Yeah, I'm pretty confident those are from Afrikaans. isikolo is from Afrikaans skool (as well as Zulu isikole, and Swazi/Phuthi sikolo from the same source). I don't know the Afrikaans word for "balloon", but Dutch does seem to have a mid vowel. Smashhoof (talk) 05:50, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
@Smashhoof, Metaknowledge Afrikaans for "balloon" is apparently ballon, with <o> a mid back vowel. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 07:19, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

History of motorwayEdit

An anon has changed the etymology of motorway: from a calque of German Autobahn to a calque of Italian autostrada. As far as I know, Germany was first with that kind of infrastructure so it's not that farfetched to believe that the original etymology was correct. Are there any sources that can shed some light on the subject? --Robbie SWE (talk) 17:41, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Google Books Ngram Viewer sees some uses in 1854 before the term takes off in the 1930s, when these things are really getting built. GBS also gives some 19th-century hits. I see no strong reason to assume that the term is a calque; it seems to me a straightforward alteration of carriageway to identify the kind of carriages for which a highway is designed.  --Lambiam 00:00, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
I seriously doubt that any 19th century use (at least as early as 1854) is genuine and not misdatings / scannos. DTLHS (talk) 00:05, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster has dated its oldest attestation to 1897 and I see you have found a slightly older one, which would make a calque from German or Italian extremely unlikely. Apart from that English motor is hardly a great match for Auto/auto. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 06:54, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Exactly what evidence is there for calling it a calque at all? I would also like some sources. Not that it's definitive, but the earliest uses are all from the United States. DTLHS (talk) 00:15, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

The TLFi says French autoroute is a calque from Italian autostrada:

Before that, that autostrade is a borrowing:

"Empr. à l'ital. autostrada subst. fém. « id. » mot forgé en 1924 (Panzini, Dizionario moderno delle parole che non si trovano nei dizionari comuni con un'Appendice di ottomila voci nuovamente compilata da B. Migliorini, Milano, 1950 ds Batt. : Autostrada, via unicamente adibita per autoveicoli. Il primo tronco fu inaugurato in Italia nel settembre 1925 : la parola era comparsa nel 1924)" Canonicalization (talk) 08:44, 20 June 2019 (UTC)


According to the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española, the term archipiélago comes from Italian arcipelago, which according to its own entry on Wiktionary, comes from another Greek word, not the one displayed on the archipiélago entry. Can someone confirm any of them? Pablussky (talk) 22:18, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2018/September § archipelago Canonicalization (talk) 22:22, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I don’t know what the theory that Italian arcipelago may be an alteration of Ancient Greek Αἰγαῖον πέλαγος (Aigaîon pélagos) is based on. Le Trésor states that the Italian word is a loan of Byzantine Greek *ἀρχιπέλαγος (*arkhipélagos), and that the Byzantine Greek word is a cross of Αἰγαῖον πέλαγος (Aigaîon pélagos) with the prefix ἀρχι- (arkhi-) – at least, according to Devoto, Avviamento alla etimologia italiana. If we accept the hypothesis that the Byzantine Greeks used the term ἀρχιπέλαγος (arkhipélagos) for the Aegean Sea, there is still no reason to see this as some form of contamination; the Greek word literally means “main sea”, so it may have been a sum-of-parts designation for the sea that is indeed, from the Greek point of view, the main sea.  --Lambiam 00:35, 20 June 2019 (UTC)


Any particular reason why the Proto-Germanic "d" is still present in the modern German word? Tharthan (talk) 03:58, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

It could be influence from Low German, the modern German Low German word is Linde. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 07:07, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
It's a sporadic sound change dating to Middle German, google "Mittelhochdeutsch Lenisirung". Crom daba (talk) 13:18, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

slug (the verb)Edit

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary and the Online Etymology Dictionary (at the very least) consider the verb to be of different derivation than the creature.

Ought we to consider including this? Tharthan (talk) 07:46, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

It also seems unlikely to me that all the noun senses have one and the same etymology.  --Lambiam 08:30, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
slug” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019. suggests the development of the main senses or both parts of speech from the same source. DCDuring (talk) 16:04, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
That is not what I read there.  --Lambiam 22:28, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
Post in haste, take it back at leisure: you're right. DCDuring (talk) 22:59, 23 June 2019 (UTC)


Is this ultimately a derivative of German jucken, through Juckerspiel (which is held to be the game's ancestor)? Or have we all been euchred out of an explanation? Tharthan (talk) 08:19, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Apparently, the etymology of the Jucker component of Juckerspiel is unclear. No plausible relationship to the German verb jucken has been proposed. The Wikipedia article Joker (playing card) states that “it is believed” that the name of the joker playing card comes from Jucker – an etymology not referenced in our entry.  --Lambiam 08:25, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

etymology of husting(s)Edit

nvg Boudewijn van der Drift

Is that a question? Or a statement?  --Lambiam 08:05, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
We have the etymology at husting, but not at the other lemma entry at hustings. DCDuring (talk) 15:58, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

RFV: omphacomelEdit

From Ancient Greek ὄμφαξ (ómphax, unripe fruit, especially grapes) and Latin mel (honey). Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:47, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

I think this comes by straightforward borrowings via Latin omphacomel from Ancient Greek ὀμφακόμελι (omphakómeli), from ὄμφαξ (ómphax) +‎ μέλι (méli). References: [5], [6].  --Lambiam 10:20, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Done. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 08:22, 27 June 2019 (UTC)


Was the diminutive mentioned (-ke) also productive in English? Probably from *lunk (< *lumpke), a diminutive of lump +‎ head. --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:28, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Probably not, unless obscurely in some English dialect. It features in a few words of Dutch or Flemish origin (cf. hunk); however English chunk might possibly indicate the suffix's use in English. The pairs hump - hunk, lump - lunk, chump - chunk (and even assibilated variants like hunch, lunch, -) suggest that the -k and -ch in these words may be relics of a former suffix, likely Middle English -ken, -chen. The words are so familiar in nature that it's likely they didn't get recorded until long after they had degraded into their present forms, leaving scant to no record of their development or relation to one another (if any such relation actually even exists) Leasnam (talk) 19:33, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Dutch -ke comes from earlier Dutch -ken, which survives dialectically (as in manneken). The English suffix -kin for forming diminutives possibly goes back on (Middle) Dutch -ken; it was somewhat productive. There is a German diminutive Lümpchen from Lump +‎ -chen, meaning “little cad” – not so much questioning someone’s intelligence, but rather their character.  --Lambiam 00:05, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Century says this at their etymology of lunch: "A var. of lump, as bunch of bump and hunch of hump". Goodness gracious me, man, just whose character are you questioning ? Leasnam (talk) 01:38, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
Oh I-get-it, I-get-it, you're referring to the hypothesised mention of -ke in the etymology at lunkhead. No, that's not a character issue. Nor is it an intelligence issue. I actually believe that this is one possibility (and it makes reasonable sense to me) of how this word may have become altered from lump, based on analogy with hunk and hump, which does have a slightly better written record, but still even that's only hypothetical. I've re-worded the etymology so that it doesn't create a fictitious suffix. Yeah, that was a wrong call :| Leasnam (talk) 02:43, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

Etymology of ratEdit

The etymology at rat has at the very end: This requires a Proto-Indo-European etymon in final *t, and is hence incompatible with the usual derivation from Proto-Indo-European *reh₁d- (“to scrape”). Is this a true statement ? Isn't there one theory that postulates that PIE -dn- can become -tt- in Germanic in certain situations (cf. *puttaz < *budnós; *prattuz < *brodnó-, etc.) ? If this is the case, would not PIE *roh₁dnós become *rattaz ? NM, I believe this statement (above) only pertains to Kroonen's account of a *raþō - *ruttaz alternation. However, should we still show that *rattaz, *rattō likely descends from *reh₁d- ? Leasnam (talk) 04:35, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

I've re-added it, since we show the Gmc word at the PIE entry. Leasnam (talk) 04:59, 28 June 2019 (UTC)


The etymology has: s- +‎ brodo (soup) +‎ -are, but where does the l in sbrodolare come from ? Leasnam (talk) 17:18, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

Note that sbrodolare exists next to sbrodare. There are several verbs that have, next to the expected versions on -are, also a variant on -olare, such as affusolare next to affusare, and arricciolare next to arricciare. In the last case there coexists a variant ricciolo next to riccio, so one may analyze arricciolare as a- + ricciolo + -are – although it is conceivable that the noun ricciolo is a back-formation from the verb. There is also a rare noun fusolo, meaning “shaft”, seen e.g. here as a translation of German Welle. But there is no noun brodolo, although I see the word used here as an adjective, apparently meaning (metaphorically) “soupy”. Purely speculatively, it seems possible to me that an epenthetic l was inserted as being more euphonic, influenced by the many verbs that happen to end in -olare.  --Lambiam 17:43, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

Ancient Greek μικρόςEdit

Wouldn't this be better explained as a substrate word because of the variants (smikros, mikkos) and that PIE sm- became m- in Greek?

I am not aware of any parallel sound change to mikros > mikkos in the Greek dialects.

RubixLang (talk) 20:19, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

Beekes (Pre-Greek) states: “The variations σμ- / μ- and κκ- / κ- point to Pre-Greek origin”. The online Greek-English etymological dictionary, quoting various authors, presents a mixed case: the variant σμικρός (smikrós) is called “clearly older”; on the other hand, the ρ is explained as arising by analogy with μακρός (makrós). It seems there is no consensus; the PIE hypothesis can neither be conclusively embraced nor rejected.  --Lambiam 14:06, 3 July 2019 (:UTC)
There's Proto-Germanic *smikraz, which would be a perfect cognate only if it wasn't for Grimm's law, whose existence we oddly ignore ... --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:09, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
The PIE root for *smikraz is *smēyg-, from *smēy-, so this seems okay. If the Greek word is related, it must be at the *smēy- node. Leasnam (talk) 20:51, 11 July 2019 (UTC)