The word for 'good' in Anatolian IE languages looks like this:

Hittite: āššu
Luwian: wāšu
Palaic: wāšu 'goods'
Lydian: wiśśi

I have seen so many questionmarks regarding it's Indo-European reconstruction, which make me wonder whether those words are Indo-European or inherited by a pre-IE substrate. I know Greek has ἐύς and Illyrian ves- (in PN Vescleves), but those are languages from the "neighbourhood". My question is: Do we have other cognates within Indo-European or is my substrate hypothesis plausible?

  • 1
    "The Sanskrit sú did not convince me." Can you give us more details why you find it unconvincing.
    – Alex B.
    Dec 18, 2016 at 21:11
  • @AlexB. Is there a reason why h1oh1 > Ø in h1oh1s-u- (which is questionable)? Even if there is and I am not aware of it, I don't know if it would convincingly answer the question.
    – Midas
    Dec 18, 2016 at 21:22
  • 2
    PIE *HC- > Sanskrit Ø; Greek e/a/o; Hittite a, h, Ø (Beekes 2011: 147).
    – Alex B.
    Dec 19, 2016 at 2:08
  • 1
    I am not claiming anything but Slavic (eg ru.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/вещь) is superficially similar. I cannot think of a cognate in Armenian but anyway it would be possible just a borrowing. Dec 19, 2016 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


IE *h1(e)su- accounts reasonably well for ἐύς m, ἐύ n., as well as for Skt. su- and for Hitt. āššu-. The final -ς of ἐύς is simply the case ending for the nom. s.

The Luvian etc. forms look more like Skt vasu-, Av. vohu- and their cognates, IE *uesu-.

  • I remembered also the Illyrian personal name Vescleves, where vesu stands for 'good'. Do we have anything in Germanic, Italic and Celtic languages?
    – Midas
    Dec 19, 2016 at 6:34
  • 1
    @Midas. Beekes mentions also Irish feb "eminence" < *uesu-.
    – fdb
    Dec 19, 2016 at 10:31
  • 1
    There's also a Gallaecian name -so either Hispano-Celtic or Lusitanian, but in any case in the westernmost extreme of the ancient distribution of Indo-European languages-: VESUCLOTI, a composite (gen.): < *wesu-kleut- "(he who have) good fame". Dec 19, 2016 at 16:02
  • Correct link: ifc.dpz.es/recursos/publicaciones/26/22/06vallejo.pdf (p. 104). Dec 19, 2016 at 16:08
  • @fdb Please update your post with the latest suggestions. I think we have enough parallels that speak for an IE origin. I would gladly mark this post as the final answer.
    – Midas
    Dec 20, 2016 at 7:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.