I found a source which gives the PIE origin: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/ielex/X/P1589.html But it only lists Slavic reflexes. Are there related words in Persian or Sanskrit?

Wikipedia claims the name of the Indian goddess Radha is related https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radha#Etymology, but gives no source for this claim.


2 Answers 2


As so often, Wikipedia is completely wrong about this. The Sanskrit name Rādhā cannot possibly be related to Persian rād “generous”. Indo-Iranian post-vocalic dh becomes y in Persian, not d.

  • Got it, thanks. But can the Persian rād be related to Slavic radъ? Mar 26, 2016 at 11:39
  • 2
    No, for the same reason. Slavic -d cannot correspond to Persian -d after vowels.
    – fdb
    Mar 26, 2016 at 16:54

The etymology of Slavic root is also unclear. Vasmer writes that Greek sources give the following versions of the names of Slavic princes: ᾽Αρδάγαστος, ᾽Αρδαμέρι, which are evidently the versions of Slavic names Radogostь "happy with guests" and Radoměrь respectively.

This hints the root had something before the r-. Some link it to Greek root ἔρως "love" which in turn also has obscure etymology.

If this theory wrong, then possible cognates (according to Vasmer) are Anglo-Saxon rǿtu "joy" and Old Islandic rǿtask.

Note by the way, that PIE prohibited roots starting with r- altogether, a rule about which Vasmer (and Pokorny) could not know.


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