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Chinese 林檎, Japanese りんご, Korean 능금 (Middle Korean 니ᇰ금)Edit

Are りんご ringo and 능금 neung-geum (니ᇰ금 ning-geum) vernacular descendants of 林檎?

They are exceedingly similar to the "expected" readings of ringon and lim-geum.

w:ja:林檎#和名・漢名 is vague, as is w:ko:능금나무#이름. —Suzukaze-c 06:51, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

According to the Japanese Wikipedia, 林檎 (りんご) (ringo) originally meant Malus asiatica. 능금 (neunggeum) still means it. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 09:54, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

one upEdit

I think that we have two different things merged here, as if they were the same.

One is a backformation from one-upsmanship, which is ultimately a derivative of an older "one up", meaning (think in sports, for instance) "one point above one's opponent".

The other is, I would assume, a derivative of 「ワンアップ」. Perhaps it is older than I think, but since I recall "extra man/ship/whatever" being more common ages ago (although "extra life" remains pretty common), I wouldn't think so.

These ought to be under different etymology sections, I think. Tharthan (talk) 01:57, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

chop, chap, Dutch kappen, German kappenEdit

We need to have our etymology sections be consistent. I haven't found much mention elsewhere of an Old English *ċeappian (although perhaps I am not looking in the right places), and the most that I have found (and not even every source makes this connection, although I agree that it is very plausible indeed) merely supports a link between the English words and Dutch kappen.

Can we straighten out our etymology sections for these words? Tharthan (talk) 14:37, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Kluge/Seebold (23rd edition, s.v. kappen) says the German term is borrowed from dum and the further etym unknown. It then suggests a connection with a Middle Latin cappare (without asterisk, but cf. capar) from cappo ("capon"). Regarding the special sense "to castrate" the Middle Latin word must have had I don´t find this very convincing. --Akletos (talk) 08:35, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
The one thing that's certain about these words' etymologies is that they are uncertain. I know most of this was my doing, but maybe it's best to keep it simple and trace each language's word to its earliest attestation, and then leave it at "of uncertain origin". Then comparisons can be added, similar to how the Middle Dutch cappen shows it (?) Leasnam (talk) 22:23, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
What I find interesting about Middle English chappen₁ is that it is intransitive ("to split or burst open, chap"), in the way a piece of fruit or one's skin will crack open. Choppen (var. chappen₂) is transitive: "to strike, slash, hack, cut, mince". I wonder, are they really the same word ? Leasnam (talk) 22:42, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
For ME choppen/chappen to have gotten its initial ch- it must either be inherited from OE (whence *ċeappian = MD cappen) or borrowed from an Old French word beginning with ch-: chapuier ("to cut, strike"), chapuisier ("to tailor, chop [wood]"). Leasnam (talk) 23:50, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Romanian lostrițăEdit

Romanian lostriță (Danube salmon) is usually considered a Slavic borrowing: compare the descendants of *lososь, to which the by-form lostosă comes especially close. But how can we explain the differences in forms? What about the -t-? Some of the endings look like Slavic *-ica. @Word dewd544, Robbie SWE, Torvalu4. --Vahag (talk) 18:31, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

@Vahagn Petrosyan, several older Romanian dictionaries provide Slavic *lososĭ as the origin, but they also mention that further information about its morphological development is unclear. I also find the -t- problematic and hard to explain. The diminutive suffix -iță is to some extent Slavic and it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that the origin is lostrut (a regional variant) + -iță. --Robbie SWE (talk) 18:50, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
This lostrut looks like a hybrid of *lososь (note the short forms Serbo-Croatian lȍs, Old East Slavic лосъ (losŭ)) and Latin tructa (trout). --Vahag (talk) 18:59, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Hmm, interdasting. So it might be a blend? Wouldn't be the first time. --Robbie SWE (talk) 19:33, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
This book discusses precisely this question, but I have no access to it. --Vahag (talk) 14:12, 6 September 2019 (UTC)


Why aren't univerbations categorised as compounds? --Akletos (talk) 08:17, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

There is no sharp line dividing the two categories, but there are some important differences. To start, most linguist consider a term like science fiction a compound, more specifically a compound noun. But it is not a univerbation. A univerbation starts its life as a collocation of words having their normal meanings and functions; a sum-of-parts so to say. But then it becomes a fixed expression that detaches itself from its original syntactic analysis and is no longer understood the way it originally was, often also changing its spelling in the process, including being written as a single word. For an example, take Middle English leste, the ancestor of present-day English lest. It was formed as a univerbation of les te; Middle-English speakers understood the first component (meaning “less”), but not the second, a mutated remnant from Old English. Old French des ore mais became French désormais; the original middle component became obsolete, and the final one lost its original meaning, making the original collocation incomprehensible. When an alarm is sounded, originally from Italian all’arme, you probably won’t start looking for your arms, and neither will Italians. Originally an interjection, it has become a noun.  --Lambiam 09:55, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for your detailed answer, @Lambiam, it I didn't want to say that all compounds are univerbations, but thought of univerbations as a special category of compounds. The strongest case for your point of view, I believe, are borrowings across language boundaries (in the end this applies to ME leste, too). We should put aside En "alarm" because it's ultimately a borrowing of (the predecessor of) Italian allarme which should still be transparent to Italians, but one could think of Fr vasistas or Pl wihajster, where a German phrase was borrowed into the neighbouring languages as a single word not analysable in the respective target language. I can understand if we don't want to call those terms "compounds" (although I think one could maintain that those are borrowings of presumed German univerbations (and therefore compounds), not univerbations themselves), but I think we shouldn't make it that complicated to categorise It asciugamano (and other transparent terms) as a compound:
{{univerbation|it}} of {{compound|it|asciugare|...|mano}}
Is it possible to make categorising univerbations as compounds the default setting for template:unviverbation and to allow to "turn off" that auto-categorisation in cases where it doesn't seem approbriate? --Akletos (talk) 11:54, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
To start with the last point: yes, that is technically possible, but I am not convinced it is desirable. It would put many things automatically and indiscriminately in a “compound” category; are you sure it is reasonable to classify بَاب as an Arabic compound word? If anything, the default should be to leave the effect as it is, with an explicit parameter compcat=1 and an optional pos=... to turn on categorization as a compound. The English word alarm is not itself a univerbation; it is simply a loanword. But in Italian, allarme, even if perhaps still transparently constituted, definitely is a univerbation: what originally was an interjection turned into a noun, becoming so thoroughly lexicalized that it now has the plural allarmi, even though historically arme was already plural.  --Lambiam 13:20, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam, thanks again; I don't think that we hold that different positions. I think our definition of compound differs: I'd say: Two or more words put together into one word make a compound; presumably, this definition would be too broad in your view. What you said about alarm is exactly what I was trying to say: allarme is, in Italian (or in a predecessor of it), an univerbation of the prepositional phrase all'arme. I'd say it can therefore be analysed as a compound of alle + arme. Accordingly, I would decribe ME leste as "borrowing" of the OE "compound" les+te; (Let's leave aside the problems that arise with the periodisation of languages.); even if leste didn't exist in OE, the ME speakers assumed it did and used it as such; so I would say the ME speakers formed (without knowing it) an "OE" compound les + te and borrowed it into their "ME". The same with Ar بَاب: At some stage in the history of the Arabic language (I don't know how it is periodicised) speakers assumed that the phrase بَاءَ‎ (bāʾa) بِ‎ (bi) is one word and "borrowed" it as such into their version of Arabic; so, no, it's not an Modern Arabic compound (and no Modern Arabic univerbation, either), but it is (in my opinion) an Old/Middle/Whatever Arabic compound assumed to exist by speakers of another version of Arabic that became a Modern Arabic word. But this interpretation of univerbations as compunds is not that important, I think. What matters to me is to make the use of templates easier, whatever we take as default setting. --Akletos (talk) 15:00, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Romanian sutăEdit


despite accounting the proposed etymologies as partially intriguing about the opinion shift from Proto-Slavic to a substrate language, I sincerely got back to Proto-Slavic *sъto. Ensuing, I will reason why I would particularly dismiss the tracing to a substrate language like Thracian, Dacian, Proto-Albanian or, utterly conjectural, Scythian in order to have a complete view.

Firstly, I held that Thracian might actually have possessed a valid etymon for sută because, according to phonological research, Proto-Indo-European syllabic [m̥] developed into Thracian [un]. The vowel [o] turned into [a]. Also, [ḱ] was fricativized into [s]. Hence, I achieved the Thracian reconstruction *suntam from Proto-Indo-European *ḱm̥tóm. Now, however, I considered that the consonantal cluster [nt] has always been conserved in Romanian like in sunt from Latin sunt or frunte from Latin frons, frontem. Maybe, it could have been a particular Thracian dialect in which the consonant [n] in *suntam would have been nasalized and thus lost. Apart from that, maybe it originated from Thracian but it was influenced by Proto-Slavic and thus the nasal disappeared overall. These concessions, however, make a Thracian root less likely.

I would put to question as well how the numeral of hundred, originating in Latin centum and Thracian *suntam, could have persisted twice from the time of Vulgar Latin on up to the modern Aromanian language. The nowadays terms are tsentu, tsendu and sutã, thus providing the evidence of the double numeral. It is more probable that sutã was introduced along with Proto-Slavic and thus both numerals were able to endure as at least one numeral dates back to a later time around the Early Middle Ages and, hence, sutã was less targettable and affectable by disappearance throughout the course of time and its vocabulary changements. The explanation about Aromanian sutã applies as well for Romanian due to there being solely Proto-Romanian as a unified language during that time of borrowing.

A rather hypothetical aspect of this argumentation is as well the lesser influence of Slavic languages on Aromanian. For instance, yinghits as Aromanian numeral for twenty persisted whereas its Romanian equivalent must have vanished, being supplanted by douăzeci, which exactly mirrors the Slavic numeral and counting system by doubling the base number of ten like in Bulgarian два́десет (dvádeset). The missing supplantation of tsentu, tsendu would have to be explained by the borrowing having occurred later on from Proto-Slavic.

Dacian and Scythian have to be dismissed because syllabic Proto-Indo-European [m̥] turns into [a], also shown for Scythian by Proto-Iranian *ĉatám. The necessary rendering of [a] as [u] in Romanian is not imaginable.

Proto-Albanian needs to be discarded as well because [m̥] developed into [a], probably resulting in Proto-Albanian *dzatam. Neither [a] could ever be shifted to [u] in a Romanian outcome. Also, Proto-Albanian [dz] would have changed likely into [z] instead of [s].

Adding to that, Old Church Slavonic съто (sŭto) is phonetically even visibly closer to Romanian sută and, for this sake, it may have been a borrowing from Proto-Slavic. HeliosX (talk) 13:54, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

You make some good points. However, it's worth pointing out that it's not Wiktionary's aim to become an authority on etymology. Saying that "Theory A is more/less plausible than theory B" can therefore be considered as doing just that. Don't get me wrong, you seem very knowledgeable, but some of the changes you suggest (and some which you have already done, which I unfortunately had to undo) can be considered as controversial by experts who have studied the subject. There's nothing wrong in presenting which theories exist about the origins of specific words, but favouring one over the other is not advisory especially if no secondary sources are provided. For instance we've had a lot of problems with Albanian – some users favour a Proto-Albanian or Illyrian origin, while others believe that a Latin or Slavic source is more plausible. This has resulted in a never-ending edit war.
When it comes to the subject of Romanian numerals, I always found it odd that nobody considers a possible Latin influence. Taking into consideration that Latin cardinal numerals ūndecim, duodecim, trēdecim, etc., practically mean "one (and/over) ten", "two (and/over) ten", "three (and/over) ten", why couldn't they be a factor here? Not denying the influence of a Slavic counting system, but I believe it's ill-advised to be too absolutist in this regard. --Robbie SWE (talk) 17:44, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Russian бадья is ultimately from Persian بادیه?Edit

Per Vasmer Russian бадья́ (badʹjá) is ultimately from Persian بادیه(bâdye, a capacious earthen vessel, in which wine is kept; a large deep jug, cup, bowl; a desert). The Persian spelling can be found here but it seems not very common and we don't have an entry for it. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:42, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

@Atitarev With names of vessels one always has to expect that back in the day there were other vessels and thus names which have since fallen out of use; and for Arabic-script languages terms that have fallen out of use we have only small corpora to check. Arabic بَاطِيَة(bāṭiya) seems also likely not used anymore; the rest of the cognates is extinct languages. It’s also hard to ascertain what kind of vessels where really meant: no usage, no images. Fay Freak (talk) 12:03, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
There is Turkish badya, a portable wide and shallow tub. The Turkish Wiktionary states that it comes from Pontian while TDK simply says “Greek”, but according to Nişanyan it is from Arabic باطية(bāṭiya), which we say is borrowed from Aramaic while Nişanyan derives it from Ancient Greek ποτήριον (potḗrion) – which phonetically seems a bit of a stretch. We give Persian بادیه‎ and Ancient Greek βατιάκη (batiákē) as cognates.  --Lambiam 15:00, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Turkish Wiktionary constantly calls words from Greek “from Pontic”, I don’t know why. Dictionaries for Ottoman Turkish already deem this بادیا(badya) to be from Persian بادیه(bâdye). Nişanyan tends to assume Greek or Latin origins, like Westerners are slanted since yore by reason of their education towards them (with many absurd derivations from Greek or Latin being a sport until the early 20th century), apparently because Nişanyan too is better-informed in them than in Ancient Mesopotamian languages, the forms of which he frequently misses. Arabic بَاطِيَة(bāṭiya) directly corresponds to the Aramaic form bāṭīṯā, because the ṯ is only the feminine ending in Aramaic corresponding to ـَة(-a) in Arabic, and the trailing ā is the ending of the emphatic state. Fay Freak (talk) 15:51, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Etymology of slabaEdit

The entry at slaba is lacking etymology information. It suggests it might be related to slobber or to Latinate saliva. What do we know? MGorrone (talk) 14:09, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

There may also be a relation with archaic English slab, “mud, sludge”.  --Lambiam 14:33, 7 September 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Added by an anon. Tagged but not listed. Not sure if the whole etymology or just part is being requested for. Leasnam (talk) 06:37, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Old French oilEdit

I've tried reworking it to incorporate the etymology on oui, but I don't really have realiable and up-to-date French etymology sources at hand. Can somebody lend a hand? In particular I'm wondering about those o-je etc examples that I couldn't find an interpretation of in the French thesaurus. Also the emphatic pleonasm hypothesis is entirely my own, albeit informed by things like ecce illum > cel, cil. Brutal Russian (talk) 13:47, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Question - is it correct to list several words under a single template call to avoid having the language name before each one: Old French o, ou, oc? Brutal Russian (talk) 17:24, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Sure, but why not just use {{m}} instead? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:15, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
I thought {{cog}} added some categories, but it don't. Oh well. Brutal Russian (talk) 20:52, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
{{cog}} is used precisely because it doesn't add categories- who would want categories at the bottom of the page for every language mentioned in a cognate list ("hey, you have a Spanish cognate, but you left out [pick one] Portuguese/Mirandese/Galician/Asturian/Leonese/Ladino/Catalan/Occitan, etc. I'll add it.")? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
No, it's not correct. You should use {{m}} for any subsequent ones. Whenever several links appear in a single parameter, they are interpreted as a single term, so {{m|fro|o, ou, oc}} would be construed as an Old French phrase consisting of three words and punctuation, not three individual Old French words. —Rua (mew) 11:29, 13 September 2019 (UTC)


The Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek mentioned that schildpad derived via late Middle Dutch (late 15th century) from Middle Low German schildpadde. The more recent Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands omits such a mention, but perhaps that was only done to save space. Does anyone know when the Middle Low German is attested? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 07:37, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

The online Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek at the “Geïntegreerde Taalbank” does not mention Middle Low German at its lemma schiltpadde. According to the Duden, the second component of High German Schildpatte comes from Low German padde; perhaps that leads to a trail.  --Lambiam 13:22, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Schiller & Lübben include it, with a 15th century reference. [1] ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:03, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Now the question is, is the Middle Low German really the origin from which the word moved westwards, or was this a synchronous development, the languages involved being part of the West Germanic dialect continuum? The mere fact that a word is attested slightly earlier at one side of an imaginary border is hardly conclusive evidence that it originated there.  --Lambiam 08:07, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
It seems that in High German the word dates to the late fifteenth century. So the Middle Low German term is apparently the oldest of the three. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:21, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam I've added the Middle Low German as a cognate rather than an etymon. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:45, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

primum mobileEdit

The term primum mobile is a calque of an Arabic term al-muḥarrik al-awwal. Could someone kindly provide the Arabic script? Thanks. — SGconlaw (talk) 08:14, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

I have added Arabic script. I don't see how to hyperlink the components in script form; we should be able to have امحرك الأوّل. (I don’t know why the pipe is needed either.)  --Lambiam 10:12, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. It's a bit difficult to add the brackets because of the right-to-left nature of the Arabic text, but what I did was to type the brackets first and then cut and paste the Arabic text in them. Also, I copied the versions of the words from their respective entries with the vowel signs added so that the template would provide an automatic transliteration. Have a look and see if what I did was correct. — SGconlaw (talk) 10:20, 11 September 2019 (UTC)


Etymology 3: “Clipping of engagement”. Really?  --Lambiam 13:43, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Most sources say "unknown". I find this fascinating, yet it's difficult to resolve the change from /ɡeid͡ʒ/ to /ɡɪɡ/ Leasnam (talk) 22:43, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
Some sources point to a use in a 1908 book where the term means “job”, but in the context it has the sense of (regular) professional occupation, not the sense of a one-time engagement to play at a particular venue in which it emerged in the twenties among jazz musicians. Others seek to interpret the word as another sense of gig, etymology 1 (from Middle English gige (fiddle)), but the sense development remains unexplained. Finally, some insist it is an acronym for “God is Good”, but that looks like a posh backronym.  --Lambiam 14:45, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
This odd etymology was added by anon (talk) in this edit on September 1, 2019. That edit drastically restructured the entry, and now the caption on the image of the boat incorrectly suggests that the boat sense is somehow related to military demerits.
I'm more inclined to view this as hogswallop inflicted by a possibly-well-meaning-but-mistaken, or by a possibly-malicious-and-trolling, anonymous editor, and worthy of a reversion. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:00, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
I’ve gone ahead and reverted the change. Also then it remains unclear if the etymology section is satisfactory, in the absence of a trail connecting Middle English gige or *gygge to Modern English gig.  --Lambiam 22:06, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Bedouin (Tent-dwellers) from Beth = House?Edit

I recently heard a talk about Bedouins and realized that the Hebrew word BETH could be part of the etymology for this word. When I looked it up here, it referenced a French etymology. If it is possible that the word came from a semitic word (Arabic or Hebrew) why would the etymology not mention it ? Is it an "obvious" thing that I wasn't aware of? Jawitkien (talk) 15:38, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Then better forget what you realized. The etymology on bedouin tells you which Arabic words it comes from. Although بَيْت(bayt, house) means “tent” amongst Bedouins I don’t see a relation. Fay Freak (talk) 17:09, 12 September 2019 (UTC)


This refers to a German word Diet that isn't in any dictionary i consulted and doesn't refer to the word deutsch. --Espoo (talk) 22:04, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

It was extinct mostly everywhere as of 1500. Copiously quoted in the Frühneuhochdeutsches Wörterbuch, and also a bit in Grimm. Fay Freak (talk) 22:27, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

RFV: PIE pe(i)- / peH2Edit

Can πάθος (páthos)/πᾰ́σχω (páskhō) and LA patior come from the same PIE? Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:11, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

According to the etymology section of πένθος (pénthos), πάθος and πᾰ́σχω go back on the PIE root *kʷendʰ-, whereas patior is derived from Proto-Indo-European *ph₁-tós, participle of *peh₁- (to hurt).  --Lambiam 12:25, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam PIE Kw > GRC P? Such a change is what was surprising for me, but I trust you. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 17:46, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
I merely reported what our etymology sections state. But here are some more PIE kʷ > GRC π cases: *kʷel- > πέλω (a.o.); *kʷer- > πέλωρ; *kʷoynéh₂ > ποινή; *kʷís > ποῖος (a.o.); *kʷóteros > πότερος.  --Lambiam 20:14, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
@Lambian No doubt, it's in w:Ancient_Greek#Differences_from_Proto-Indo-European, with the alternative example of ποῦ (poû)/LA quo, and in w:Proto-Greek_language#Proto-Greek_changes with *h₁éḱwos > Mycenaean i-qo /íkkʷos/, Attic híppos, Aeolic íkkos, LA equus (unless w:boukólos rule), and in w:Proto-Greek language#Other Post-Proto-Greek changes for general labiovelars ("All remaining labiovelars became labials, original kʷ kʷʰ gʷ becoming p ph b respectively", unless previously or otherwise in dentals, I would add), with the example pémptos "fifth" < *pénkʷtos. Thanks. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:26, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
The Greek words in question could as easily share a root with Skt. bādhá ("pain, grief, annoyance, molestation"), etc. Hölderlin2019 (talk) 02:02, 24 September 2019 (UTC)


Might we be able to get a citation for the late Old English term mentioned in the etymology? Tharthan (talk) 18:59, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Just to be clear, I'm not doubting its existence. I'm simply saying that a citation would be good. Tharthan (talk) 23:11, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
It's mentioned in the expected places: the Middle English dictionary entry includes an etymology that agrees with this and gives 12th-century quotes from the Peterborough Chronicle, which are early Middle English, but might be argued to be late, late, late Old English. Bosworth Toller has an entry for market on page 671, quoting from a charter of Edward the Confessor- so definitely pre-Conquest. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:07, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps we ought to put one of those as a reference next to the Old English word, then. Tharthan (talk) 18:34, 19 September 2019 (UTC)


Isn't this a loan from German Chromatogramm? The German term was invented first by Tsvet before the English equivalent appeared in Martin et al. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 03:02, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

The 1906 article in which Tsvet is said to have used the German term is online here, but I was unsuccessful in accessing it. Merriam-Webster concurs that the English term is borrowed from German and was introduced by Tsvet in that article.  --Lambiam 20:00, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

RfV: LA (*)wardoEdit

wardo and *wardo? Documented or not, but not both, at least with the same language label. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:54, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Documented. After Edward the Black had died, Bishop Thomas Brinton punned in his sermon: Edwardus, dum vixit, nos wardavit.
Some people assume by default that Vulgar Latin entries are unattested, which is stupid, beginning with the definition of what is Vulgar Latin, which they of course define in a way where it always hasn’t attested what it supposedly contains. Move all from the Reconstruction space “Vulgar” entry to the mainspace “Medieval” one! @Victar who created the latter and later. You can then have the label “Vulgar Latin” in that Medieval Latin entry additionally. Fay Freak (talk) 01:14, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I think what happened was that created the attested entry without realizing there was a reconstructed entry. I want to say I started a discussion on it, but I don't recall. --{{victar|talk}} 01:27, 20 September 2019 (UTC)


Regarding the term that this is a variant of (rather than this one):

Which part of the term is in doubt? The first element, or the second? Tharthan (talk) 18:48, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Where was it said that something related to this term may be in doubt?  --Lambiam 19:06, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Sorry. I ought to have been more specific.
Not this term, but the term that it is a variant of (see the etymology section). Is the first element of that term what is causing the problem for etymologists, or is the latter part truly unknown, too? "wallop" seems pretty straightforward to me, irrespective of which sense (of the same word) is being used. 02:16, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
If you mean codswallop, why not link directly to it? Looking at the etymology section over there, I’d say all parts are in doubt. Quoting The Phrase Finder, one of the sources from the references section: “The most likely explanation is that it is a made-up nonsense word that just sounds right for its meaning.”  --Lambiam 04:51, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Really? Huh.
So the belief is that it is essentially one of those words that only resembles an actual compound word, and that neither of the two elements are actually what they appear to be?
I mean, I could see if someone had said that it was formed on the basis of "swill" and "wallop", with a somewhat coarse-ish notion for its first element (compare other common colloquial words for nonsense). But the thought that it is just one of those nonsense words is somewhat surprising to me. Tharthan (talk) 06:33, 20 September 2019 (UTC)


skald#Old Norse connects Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/skeldaną with Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/sekʷ-. If this is a possibility at all (regarding the phonological development), can it be sourced? Greetings --Akletos (talk) 08:51, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

PS. Could be something similar to *skʷ-e-tlo-m found in Celtic languages. --Akletos (talk) 08:58, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
@Akletos: I reworked both pages so that they are sourced. You can take a look if you like. 𐌷𐌻𐌿𐌳𐌰𐍅𐌹𐌲𐍃 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐌹𐌲𐌲𐍃 (talk) 01:17, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
@Holodwig21: Thank you very much! That's why I love en:wiktionary. --Akletos (talk) 06:43, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

gunung and its cognatesEdit

The translation for the word mountain in some of the Malayo-Polynesian languages are as follow:

How to reconstruct the ancestor word from these cognates? Zulfadli51 (talk) 09:17, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

You would have to know the regular sound correspondences between these languages to do it right (I don't). But there a few things about this that make me nervous:
  1. These are all in the same geographical area, so common borrowing, a common substrate and/or borrowing between languages would need to be ruled out.
  2. There are no references at all in any of the etymologies.
  3. No part of this is even mentioned in Blust's Austronesian Comparative Dictionary. That work has methodological problems, but is very thorough in its collection of data.
  4. Our etymologies include a Proto-Malayo-Polynesian reconstruction. It's true that there's no universally-accepted genetic subgroup that includes all of these, but the geographical proximity muddies the waters too much to make a Proto-Malayo-Polynesian reconstruction safe. It would be nice to have evidence from Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian and the Philippines, if nothing else.
The etymologies were added by User:Amir Hamzah 2008, who is familiar with the languages in the area and no doubt had access to local academic sources, but this looks a lot like a best guess. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:05, 21 September 2019 (UTC)


The etymology section of English prosper states that Latin prosperus comes “from prō + spēbus, ablative of spēs”. The etymology section of Latin prosperus, on the other hand, states that the term comes “[f]rom Proto-Italic *prosparos, from Proto-Indo-European *speh₁- (to succeed) (whence spēs)”.

At least one of these two theories is not quite right.  --Lambiam 23:10, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

As far as I know there's no sound regular change that could convert Latin "b" to Latin "r". Latin "s" to Latin "r", on the other hand, is well known. Latin spēro derives from Proto-Indo-European *speh₁- by that route, and lists Latin prospēro as a derived term.
De Vaan gives the verb as a derivative of the adjective. As to a supposed etymon “pro spebus”, apart from the implausible sound change, the syntactic and semantic change from a prepositional phrase meaning “for (the sake of) hopes” to an adjective meaning “prosperous” is hard to explain.  --Lambiam 09:44, 23 September 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Was added by an IP. – Jberkel 06:46, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

ⵜⴰⵛⵍⵃⵉⵢⵜ (Tašəlḥiyt) is the endonym of the Tashelhit language, aka Shilha. The autonym of the Shilha people is ⵉⵛⵍⵃⵉⵢⵏ (Išəlḥien). The root of these terms is the etymon of (Moroccan) Arabic Šəlḥa, whence both Chleuh and Shilha. Shilha is a Berber language, which is in another language family than Arabic. The non-Latin script is the Tifinagh abjad.  --Lambiam 10:17, 23 September 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. Given that Diana is the Roman goddess of the hunt and archery, isn't this word more likely to come from her name than from día (day), which seems to have no semantic connection at all? —Mahāgaja · talk 16:58, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

  • @Mahagaja: DRAE (DLE) of Royal Academy says from día. This also, and w:Diana_(mythology)#Etymology kind of agrees: I would say From día via Diana. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:32, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
    I don’t get this. The Latin proper noun Diana is older than Spanish día. I also do not see that the Diccionario Etimológico español en línea or the Wikipedia article agree. The latter suggests a relation with Latin dia (divine), whereas Spanish día stems from Latin diēs (day). Certainly in the sense “reveille” (toque de diana), the connection with Spanish día (day) is somewhat obvious. Unless diana in the sense of “bullseye” can be shown to have a different etymology, I think the current one is fine.  --Lambiam 13:50, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
    I forgot about the "reveille" sense. That does seem likely to come from día. Perhaps the two meanings do have different etymologies, but none of the lemmings listed so far says they do, so maybe that's a limb we shouldn't go out on. —Mahāgaja · talk 17:40, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Mahagaja: I don't have it here with me now, but Pastor & Roberts list día, diana, dios and divino under the same PIE dyew-*deiw. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 12:55, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Sobreira: yeah, but both día and the goddess's name come from that root, so that doesn't really help decide the origin of the word meaning "bullseye, archery target". —Mahāgaja · talk 13:13, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Mahagaja:: Now I have it with me. It reads:
PIE *deiw-, "shine (and sky, god)" next step last
noun PIE deiwos SANS. devah., "god"
LA deus, "god"
LA divus, "divine"
0-grade & suff. *diw-yo- prop. noun LA Diana IT diana, "morning trumpet" > ES diana, "id."
variant *dyeu-, "Jove"(?) LA Iovis ES Jove(?)
ES jueves
ES jovial
PIE vocat. *dyeu-pəter- ES Júpiter
ES jupiterino
GRC Ζεύς GRC Διός + κόοροι, "sons" > ES Dióscuros
variant *dyē- LA dies ES día
ES diurno
ES cotidiano
ES hoy
ES hodierno
ES jornada
ES jornal
ES mediodía
ES meridiano
variant *deiə- GRC ψυχή + δῆλος, "visible" ES psicodélico

I couldn't find diana "target". I hope it useful. Imma check Coromines. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:04, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

Coromines speaks only about the meaning "reveille" via IT, under día, not about "bullseye". Incidentally, diana in PT (<SANSCR) is the 7th stage of yoga before samádi (Houaiss). Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 09:15, 3 October 2019 (UTC)


  • The current etymology contradicts that of irascor#Latin.
  • iratus "Perfect active participle of īrāscor."
  • irascor "Back-formation from īrātus, as though it were the participle of a first-conjugation verb, with inchoative -scō added."

ᾨδή (talk)

DeVaan, Etymological dictionary..., p.309: "The adj. īrātus was formed directly from īrā [sic]; the verb īrāsci, on the other hand, cannot be derived from the noun, and must be a backformation to īrātus." That iratus is ppart of irascor is not totally wrong, though; but it is not correct as its etymology. --Akletos (talk) 20:35, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
(Partim) mea culpa. I think I have now   redressed this.  --Lambiam

incorrect link generation and incorrect auto-redirectEdit

The template küken (on Küken) produces the incorrect link, which is blue, instead of the correct linküken#Middle_Low_German , which should be red and shouldn't auto-redirect to Küken. --Espoo (talk) 03:45, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

We do not have a single Middle Low German lemma that has an umlaut. Obviously there is no standard MLG orthography; the closest may be the orthography used by Agathe Lasch in her 1914 Mittelniederdeutsche grammatik, where she writes: Der umlaut ist nur da bezeichnet, wo er, möglichst durch belege, gesichert erschien. (Vorwort, Seite VII). So perhaps the link should be to Middle Low German kuken.  --Lambiam 11:58, 24 September 2019 (UTC)


Can someone please explain what "By regular sound changes it should have become Modern English *chichen; the reason it didn't is unknown." on means? Is this an indication that *kukkīną is more likely than *kiukīną as the origin? --Espoo (talk) 04:38, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Not sure what they mean. My guess would be that it's possible that what they mean is that this word was not inherited from either *kukkīną or *kiukīną, because the first would have produced OE *cyċċen (compare tiċċen) and the latter *ċīeċċen/*ċȳċċen. But perhaps what they mean instead is that it may have developed later from Proto-OE *kuk/*keuk/*kiuk + *-in (= OE coc/*ċyc + -en), and because it was a later formation may have escaped the palatisation which typically occurs in OE when going from PGmc to OE (?). Leasnam (talk) 05:07, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
The use of “unknown“ applied to “reason” means that the author does not aim to imply a “because”. The article states that the etymon of the Modern English word is Old English cicen. So then, one would wonder, why did this not regularly develop into *chichen? Good question. Why indeed? We don’t know. Your theory is as good as anyone else’s.  --Lambiam 11:04, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
OE cicen would have already been one or the other: it would have already been /ˈt͡ʃiken/ or /ˈt͡ʃit͡ʃen/. The author implies that OE cicen was somehow /ˈkiken/ and in the process of becoming Middle then Modern English should have turned into /ˈt͡ʃit͡ʃen/ but for some unknown reason did not. Palatisation of /k/ before i/j was not regularly taking place in Old to Middle English, but much earlier from PGmc to Old English. Leasnam (talk) 05:07, 25 September 2019 (UTC)
And if the source really is *kukkīną, then we would expect the Old English to be *cyċċen (i.e. /ˈkyttʃen/) and the modern English reflex to be kitchen. —Mahāgaja · talk 19:50, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
Yep, that is correct. Which is why this word is an enigma. Cross contamination between the two PGmc words cannot fully be ruled out either (compare screech and shriek). Leasnam (talk) 22:21, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps *kukinǭ developing into cyċen kept *kukkīną from occupying the same phonetic spot. Kind of like the Pauli exclusion principle.  --Lambiam 23:39, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
I suppose that's conceivable, but the usual response when a language is at risk of generating potentially ambiguous homophones is to replace one of them with an entirely different word. Consider Gascon Occitan, where cattus (cat) and gallus (rooster) became homophones. "One can well imagine the ambiguities that this merger must have brought about, especially in a farming context where it makes a considerable difference whether it is the cat or the rooster that has entered the hen house." [2] As a result, various different words for "rooster" replaced the original word. Thus I suspect English would have simply replaced either "kitchen" or "chicken" with a different word rather than keeping them separate by irregular implementation of phonological rules. —Mahāgaja · talk 13:57, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
For an example of an expected sound change being resisted to avoid homonymy, observed in a major Japanese dialect that formed the basis for Standard Japanese, see here.  --Lambiam 19:58, 30 September 2019 (UTC)


One recent etymological dictionary states this form derives from dialectal Hollandic karnde melk, with a dialectal past participle. I don't see why that would be very likely given the Middle Dutch form, but does anyone have any opinions on it? The WNT says karn + melk, while our entry previously gave karnen + melk. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:35, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Our entry taptemelk explains it as a univerbation of (ge)tapte +‎ melk, where the absence of ge- “may indicate a West Frisian or North Hollandic origin”. So perhaps karnemelk arose as a univerbation of (ge)karnde +‎ melk, with elision of the /d/. But it seems more plausible to me that karndemelk, if attested, was a parallel North Hollandic form. The Bouc vanden ambachten (ca. 1340 to 1370) from Bruges in Flanders contains the sentence Ende soe vercoopt soete melc ende kernemelc, die soe keerent. ([3]).  --Lambiam 12:41, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

gold in them thar hillsEdit

Our entry identifies “there’s gold in them thar hills” as a catchphrase of one of the characters in Twain’s novel The American Claimant. Problem is, I can’t seem to spot any occurrences of the phrase in the alleged source; only one occurrence of “there’s millions in it”. So what is the real origin?  --Lambiam 16:35, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Persian سبز (sabz)Edit

Desperately need info about this one. Anybody got any leads: Avestan cognate? Any relation to PIE *ǵʰelh₃-? Kielbasa1 (talk) 02:34, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

See {{R:sa:KEWA|page=319|vol=III}} for the origin. --Vahag (talk) 08:52, 27 September 2019 (UTC)


According to the English Wiktionary, related to κακός (kakós, “bad, evil”). Is there a source for this? What could be the reason for this etymology or, more logically, does this indicate he wasn't originally a positive figure? According to the Greek Wiktionary, from χείρ (kheír, "hand"). --Espoo (talk) 16:10, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

(@Kwékwlos) Our entry χείρων (kheírōn) with a lower-case χ says: “Irregular comparative of κακός (kakós, bad), from χερ- + comparative suffix -yων”. See LSJ. It seems implausible (to me) that this is related to the name of the centaur. The usual suspects say: “unknown”. This article seems to argue that we have a folk-etymological adaptation to χείρ (kheír), but I cannot quite figure out what it is trying to say.  --Lambiam 17:39, 27 September 2019 (UTC)


The German Wiktionary says: seit der Ilias bezeugt; die Etymologie ist nicht geklärt; vielleicht besteht eine etymologische Verwandtschaft zu altawestisch kasu- ‚klein‘, woraus sich eine indogermanische Wurzel *kaḱ- oder *knḱ- herleiten ließe; anderseits könnte auch eine Verwandtschaft zu litauisch Template:Ü ‚schmerzen‘ und gotisch Template:Üt ‚Hunger‘ bestehen; schließlich könnte es sich um eine Entlehnung aus dem Vorgriechischen handeln[1][2] --Espoo (talk) 09:28, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Attempting to use the equivalent templates here:
  • Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010), “κακός”, in Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), volume I, with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 619–620
  • Chantraine, Pierre (1968–1980), “κακός”, in Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque (in French), Paris: Klincksieck, page 482
The invisible Lithuanian and Gothic terms are kenkti and 𐌷𐌿𐌷𐍂𐌿𐍃 (huhrus).  --Lambiam 10:53, 28 September 2019 (UTC)