Tagged Questions

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

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3
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1answer
38 views

Can words have multiple, different origins

In the yoga context, it is common for gurus to give multiple origins of a specific word in order to 'dig' a deep meaning. For example, let us take the word मान्त्र. Here is a first explanation ...
4
votes
2answers
37 views

Help me unpack this Classical Greek word? [closed]

ἁλιπτοίητος Liddell and Scott seem somewhat uncertain how this links to other Greek words, though they affirm the reading as "driven by fear across the sea." My Greek is rusty, and I don't know that ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Might Mongolian “хэл” and Proto-Fiinic “*keeli” be related?

I was just listening to some Mongolian and it struck me that the word for "language", хэл, is quite similar to the Estonian word for "language", keel. I know it's not accepted that these languages ...
1
vote
0answers
76 views

Is there a compilation of the various etymologies of the words for “library” across Europe?

The various European languages (as a geographic entity, and excluding the Uralics) present an interesting distribution in their words for "library". In particular, English, Irish, Welsh, Basque, ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

Is Ursus arctos a tautology?

It seems that the both words in Latin name for brown bear, ursus arctos originate from the Proto-Indo-European word a̯rtcos, "bear". Is this a tautology?
2
votes
0answers
41 views

On the etymology of Ankara / Phrygian Άγκυρα

I am wondering whether the Phrygian city "Ankara" (today capital of Turkey) meant really "anchor" in Phrygian? We know it means anchor in Greek, a sibling language to Phrygian with many isoglosses, ...
0
votes
0answers
93 views

Translation of “Beowulf”

In the brief span of time I have studied this ancient poem, particularly verses 1829-30, I have read several translations. While observing each individual rendering of the text, it was evident to me ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Etymology of Ancient Greek deictic -ī

In Ancient Greek, a deictic particle -ī can be attached to demonstratives to strengthen the "this here" meaning: e.g. houtos "this one", houtosī "this one right here". What is the origin of this -ī? ...
6
votes
1answer
83 views

“Torpedo compartment” for glove compartment?

In Turkish, the glove compartment of a car is called "torpido gözü", the literal translation of which is "torpedo compartment". None of the dictionaries I have access to has an etymology for the ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Meaning of the root “ject”

What does the root "ject" mean? It occurs in words such as "subject", "object", "project", "injection", "surjection", "bijection". As far as I know these words came to English from French and, in ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Is there a PIE feminising noun suffix?

I was wondering whether anyone knows the Proto-Indo-European equivalent of the Greek suffixes -ina (-ίνα) or -issa (-ισσα), or whether PIE has any different feminising suffixes that work similarly?
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Are “arithmetic” and “rhythm” related?

The online etymology dictionary says that arithmetic comes from Greek arithmos, from PIE *re(i)- "to reason, count" and gives as cognates English "read", Old High German "rim" "number", Old Irish rim ...
5
votes
1answer
76 views

-anus vs. -inus in (Classical) Latin

Latin has some suffixes that turn nouns into adjectives. But there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to which suffixes get applied to which nouns. For example: felis->felinus canis->caninus ...
-1
votes
2answers
110 views

Word elements relating to ancient deities [closed]

Are there word elements, including suffixes, from Old English or other languages that have been linked to their ancient deities and the people that served them, to which these elements are still in ...
-3
votes
1answer
90 views

Why is October the tenth month even though Octo means eight?

And it's not only that! Novem is Latin for nine, and Decem is ten, and yet the months are eleventh and twelfth respectively. What's the origin of that? Why are the months called the way the are ...
2
votes
2answers
136 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
327 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
61 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
59 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
111 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
82 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
167 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
77 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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
61 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
239 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
136 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
106 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
67 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
81 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
118 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
73 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
117 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
250 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
204 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
91 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
249 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
106 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
115 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.
2
votes
2answers
108 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
1k 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
162 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
141 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
637 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
108 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
63 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
146 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
202 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
122 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 ...