The study of the history of words including their origins and the changes they've undergone through time.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
26 views

Etymology of Agamemnon and Priam

What is the etymology of the names of the kings from the Iliad? Besides these two, I would be also interested in the etymology of the names of the other heroes from the book, such as Hector and ...
10
votes
2answers
300 views

Why do so many languages have a phase like “so-so”?

Many languages seem to have some sort of repeating and/or singsong equivalent of the phrase so-so: Arabic: نصف نصف (nisf nisf) Chinese: 馬馬虎虎 (mǎma hūhu) Greek: έτσι κι έτσι Hebrew: ...
4
votes
2answers
56 views

Etymology of “ნარიყალა” and “Нарын-Кала”: Mongolian? Turkic?

There are ancient ruins of fortresses in Tbilisi and Derbent which share a name. In Tbilisi there is ნარიყალა Nariqala and in Derbent there is Нарын-Кала Naryn-Kala. The story of the name ნარიყალა ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

original sens of ἑκηβόλος, an epiklesis of Apollon

I was very surprised to learn (in LSJ s.v. ἑκηβόλος) that ἑκηβόλος originally meant "attaining his aim" and not "far-shooter" as I always thought. If the Liddell-Scott-Jones recalls the later ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

Are Armenian գունդ (gund) and Sanskrit गिन्दुक (ginduka) related?

I was just looking at the words for "ball" in many languages. I noticed that Armenian has a word գունդ gund and Hindustani has a word गेंद / گیند gẽnd. I didn't spot any other language with a ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Hebrew to English connection through linguistics?

On the website, "Edenics- Where Language Began" it is mentioned that the Hebrew word 'zinoot'(fornication) a Zayin-mem word have influenced the English sin". Since the z and the s are closely ...
-1
votes
5answers
145 views

Can the Anglo-Saxon words 'sind, sinder, sindon' have origins from older languages?

Examples I have found are: Sindh from India; zindiq(a heretic) from Arabic; and zeen + deen or zin+din (compare to sindon) which is from Hebrew meaning 'leaped the law'; and Sin/Shin is the 21st ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Similar reuse of roots across languages and language families

I have noticed that the Latin vici means both road and conqueror. Interestingly, in Hebrew the root כבש is used for both כביש (road) and for לכבוש (to conquer). I see a few different reasons why this ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Is the Proto-Indo-European “ǵenh₁-” (to produce) related to “gʷḗn” (woman)?

I noticed a possible connection between the Ancient Greek "γυνή" and "γένεσις". I think semantically a relation between the two terms is plausible. Unfortunately I don't know enough about PIE ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Sources for etymologies of Ancient Greek proper names and placenames?

There are good etymological dictionaries for Ancient Greek: if you're searching for the origin of a word, you'll probably find information in Frisk, Chantraine, or Beekes. But if you're looking for ...
6
votes
2answers
205 views

Is “Kent” of Turkic origin or Indo-European?

In Turkish there is this word Kent which means city. Some Turkic city names have this as suffix, like Başkent and Tashkent. In Azerbaijani the same word, with the spelling of Kənd (Kand) means village ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Etymology: Arabic falaha, German pflügen, English to plough

Could there be some connection between Arabic falaha meaning to till the soil and German pflügen, Pflug or English plough, to plough?
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Etymology of Latin suffix -ālis

What is the etymology of the Latin suffix "-ālis" (and related forms like "-āris") as in "nātūrālis"? Do we know any corresponding suffix in other Indo-European languages?
0
votes
0answers
32 views

periodontal v. paredonte

It was a bit surprising to me that even modern medical terms are not all the same across Europe. Periodontal in English is parodonte in French, German and many others. Both peri- and para- are valid ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Etymology of persian دریا

In a poem of Hafez I found a pun based on the double meaning of دریاب, at once the present (or aorist) stem of دریافتن, and another word for دریا, meaning "the sea". Now it would be great to know, ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Use of Arabic script for Farsi

Some of the letters of the Arabic script do not represent any native Persian sounds and thus are used only for Arabic loans. Therefore, e.g., there are four "z"-sounds in the Farsi script, ز ض ظ ذ. ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Some common features of unrelated languages: Turkish and Persian

This is somehow related to the question Are some languages known to have taken grammatical features etc rather than just lexicon from their substrate languages? In the area of today's Turkey, Iran ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Turkish loanwords in persian or the other way round?

It is quite obvious that there are a lot of Persian loanwords in Turkish. Some words, though, I cannot easily figure out which way they travelled. Take for example trk. küçük, frs. kucak. I have ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

What is the etymology of the Hebrew word יָלַד

What is the etymology of the Hebrew word יָלַד, transliterated, yalad. The Hebrew Lexicon offers no etymology. This is an effort to research the linguistics pertaining to a question on BH-SE, How ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

In PIE are words for two and for hate connected?

In PIE we have du̯is twice du̯iteros second du̯oi̯os twofold du̯eiplos double etc, with the root du̯ei̯- At the same time we have: du̯eiros fearful du̯eisos hated with seemingly the same ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

Is there any etymological motivation for “I-slam”, “I-srael”, “Mu-slim” and “I-smael”?

Background Looking at old German orthographies, the long-s (ſ) spelling of the following five words (and I have not found any others so far) contradicts the spelling systematics of all other words: ...
0
votes
0answers
81 views

Is there any borrowing between the word “Park” and the Arabic word “Bark”?

The Arabic word "Bark" comes from the root B-R-K ب ر ك which means stopping, and staying still, and all of its words branches from it. The word "Bark" بَرْك in particular means herd of camels sitting, ...
2
votes
3answers
215 views

Can the word “prairie” be derived from the arabic word “barary”

I've found a great similarity between the two words and their meanings. "Barary" براري in Arabic is the plural form of "Barr-īyah" بَرِّيَّة, from the word "Barr" meaning land, with the nisbah suffix ...
7
votes
1answer
96 views

Diachronic sources of negators

What are some examples of negators that have a known (or even conjectured) etymology? What kinds of non-negative meanings can develop into negative meanings? The etymologizable negators I know of all ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

They for “he/she”

How did the word "they" come to represent "he or she"? For example, "They forgot their coat" can be used to represent a single person of either sex.
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Two words for “now” in Russian [closed]

There are two russian words for "now": сейчас and теперь. How does the use of these words differ? Is one of them more formal than the other? Which one is the most commonly used word? ...
2
votes
3answers
736 views

Online etymology dictionary for Latin

Is there an etymology dictionary for Latin that is available on the Internet? For example, I know of http://etymonline.com/, which is a great resource for English etymology, but I have not been able ...
0
votes
2answers
147 views

Does “and” come from the PIE word for “and”?

From the etymology of and: Old English and, ond, originally meaning "thereupon, next," from Proto-Germanic *unda (cf. Old Saxon endi, Old Frisian anda, Middle Dutch ende, Old High German enti, ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

What is the etymology of the Greek word “σαββατισμός” (sabbatismos)?

This is connected to a question on BH-SE. I have found a little in regard to the etymology of this word. For example, the root is obviously Sabbath. What significance does the greek ending "-ισμός" ...
0
votes
0answers
486 views

Is there any relation between Sanskrit 'kalam' of Kalamasutra and Arabic 'al-kalam'?

In this text, acknowledged by both Theravada and Mahayana traditions as sacred, Buddha gives his speech to Kalamas. According to the dictionaries, the primal Sanskrit meaning of the word कलम (kalama) ...
-2
votes
1answer
105 views

What is the origin of Russian барин ['bа:rʲin]?

The word (pl. баре, ['bа:rʲe]) is roughly rendered into English as 'gentry' meaning 'a noble person without a position at imperial court'. The boyar is possibly not a cognate. What surprises me the ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Wanderwort origins and the Indus Valley Civilization?

I have noticed that there seem to be many words that have travelled the globe due to trade, such as the word orange or rice, which have plausible origins in proto-Dravidian. Meanwhile, it is ...
4
votes
3answers
133 views

Are Mongolian “хан” and “хаан” the same word despite the usually important difference in vowel length?

I've just noticed that if you look in several English and Mongolian dictionaries that the Cyrillic Mongolian word "khan" is given as either "хан" with a short vowel, or "хаан" with a long vowel. (So ...
7
votes
2answers
180 views

Are “nine” and “new” etymologically or historically connected?

Is there a connection between the word "nine" and "new"? The two words are similar in many languages.
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Why do we use “someone” to signify one person?

I can't come up with a better title so let me just say that I'm sorry for misleading you if this question isn't even close to what you expected. First of all my observation: In the three languages ...
8
votes
3answers
222 views

Is دشمن (“enemy” in Persian) borrowed from δυσμενής (“hostile” in ancient Greek)?

A couple of years ago I encountered the world δυσμενής, meaning hostile, in an ancient Greek text I translated. If I recall correctly, this can be pronounced as "dusmenè". This always intrigued me, ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

Is Mongolian “шинэ” / “ᠰᠢᠨ᠎ᠠ”, meaning “new”, a borrowing of Chinese “新”?

I've noticed that the Mongolian word for "new" is "шинэ" (or in traditional script, "ᠰᠢᠨ᠎ᠠ"). Since final vowels are not pronouned it's spoken as "shin". The Han character for "new", "新" is also ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Could Turkish “küçük” and Mongolian “жижиг” be related?

I'm in Mongolia trying to learn some Mongolian and I've come across their cute word for "litlle", "small": жижиг. On previous trips through Turkey I recall learning a similar cute word for "little", ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

Is there a formal classification of types of word origins?

I'm trying to compile a list of possible types of word origins as a preliminary work before trying to design a database of etymological relations between words (mainly for Turkish but the ultimate ...
2
votes
3answers
127 views

etymology - voodoo/jadoo

I just met the persian/hindi word "jadoo". Given its meaning and sound, I would guess that it is etymologically connected to "voodoo", possibly having a common ancestry. I would like to confirm/refute ...
8
votes
1answer
204 views

Does E. day really come from PIE *dʰegʷʰ- (“to burn”)?

day From Middle English day, from Old English dæġ (“day”), from Proto-Germanic *dagaz (“day”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰegʷʰ- (“to burn”). Cognate with West Frisian dei (“day”), Dutch dag ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

Etymology of witness in Hebrew

What are the origins of the Hebrew word pronounced "ed," meaning "witness?" It is spelled ayin daled. Is it related to the ayin daled portion of the word "Le-ad," which means "forever?" Does it ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Are L. domus and L. domō cognates?

domus From Proto-Indo-European *dṓm, from root *demh₂- (“to build”). Cognates include Ancient Greek δόμος (dómos), Albanian dhomë (“a chamber, a room”), Sanskrit दम (dáma) and Proto-Slavic *domъ. ...
6
votes
1answer
102 views

What is the postfix that makes “figurine” diminutive of “figure”?

"figurine" means "little figure". From etymonline: figurine (n.) [Look up figurine at Dictionary.com] 1854, from French figurine (16c.), from Italian figurina, diminutive of figura, from ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Do we know if the Dutch vulgar/slang term “stront” is related to the Italian vulgar/slang term “stronzo”?

I have for years known that there was a Dutch bad word "stront" meaning "shit" but I expected it was spelled "stroent" until I looked it up just now. I have also know the Italian bad word "stronzo" ...
3
votes
0answers
75 views

What's the origin of the Lao (ຈິງໂຈ້) and Thai (จิงโจ้) words for “kangaroo”?

I just found out that the Lao word for "kangaroo" doesn't appear to be a direct loan from English. Both words are pronounced more or less as "ching choh". In fact it doesn't seem to be from French, ...
0
votes
1answer
142 views

The double ⟨l⟩ in Spanish

In Spanish, some words start with the double consonant graphemes ⟨ll⟩ - that have indeed the value of /ʎ/. Is there any language that have a similar pattern (starting with double consonants)? What is ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

Etymology of Japanese no/na/ni/ga?

What is the current accepted origin of the Japanese particles no/na/ni/ga? One account I heard was that all were descended from a common root: an existential verb nu or ni, where ni was the ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the relation between the words “Cossack” and “Kazakh”?

These two words in English would appear to refer to foreign peoples / cultures known to the Rus within recorded history. The Russian wikipedia pages indicate a surface similarity in spelling: ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

What laryngeal should be reconstructed in PIE word for wasp?

I encountered a contradiction between two respectful monographs. Mallory gives the word as h2/3u̯obhseh2 thus excluding h1 while de Vaan gives totally opposite version, h1u̯obhseh2 thus excluding h2 ...