Could Old Slavonic nouns “шкурка” (shkurka) and “корица”(koritsa) be derived from Italian “scorza”(En. peel)?

I have already looked them up in M. Vasmer's "Etymological dictionary of Russian language" and got no result.

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    For what is worth, Italian scorza ultimately comes from Latin scortum ("skin"), which according to de Vaan comes from PIE *sk(o)rt-o ("cutting") Feb 18, 2019 at 19:52
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    Re: "Could Old Slavonic be derived from Italian?": A question for you: the first recorded uses of Italian scorza occur in the fourteenth century. When was Old Slavonic spoken?
    – Alex B.
    Feb 18, 2019 at 21:23
  • @AlexB. The Old Slavonic is a literary language (not verbal). Until the beginning of the eighteenth century (on the Russian territories leastwise)
    – user23897
    Feb 18, 2019 at 21:31
  • I see. Well, everything is clear to me now. Take care!
    – Alex B.
    Feb 18, 2019 at 22:16
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    @prostorech You've asked several questions now about "Old Slavonic", but all the words you cite are Russian instead. Which do you mean?
    – Draconis
    Feb 19, 2019 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


Derived from Italian? Almost certainly not. Old Slavonic fossilized long before modern Italian came about, so I wouldn't expect loanwords from modern Italian to appear. The words you cite are also Russian forms, and I can't find any evidence of them being the same in Old Church Slavonic.

However, these words do all come from the same Proto-Indo-European root, to the best of my understanding. PIE had a root *k-r meaning something like "cut"; you sometimes see it with an extra *s- stuck on the beginning, which is a common PIE phenomenon called "S-mobile". The version with the *s- is the ancestor of English "scrape", "sharp", and "(in)scribe", all through different paths.

Now, many I-E languages derived their word for "skin" from this root. In Latin, that word was scortum; in Slavic, both kora and skora appear (one meaning "bark", the other meaning "skin"). Italian scorza comes from the former, Russian korica and škurka from the latter.

(P.S. škurka seems to have come through Polish on its way to Russian, and gained an extra diminutive -ka; the native Old Church Slavonic form was skora.)


Could Old Slavonic nouns “шкурка” (shkurka) and “корица”(koritsa) be derived from Italian “scorza”(En. peel)?

No. All these words independently came to the languages in question from PIE (through different stages, of course).

As for the history of Russian шкура, there are some discussions on that. Some scholars say that it has not been borrowed and looks like a phonetic transformation скора > скура > шкура (N. Shansky), others suggest this path: шкура < скора < Proto-Slavic *съкора < verb *съ-чер-ти 'cut off' (A. Shaposhnikov; probably, which is called groundless by Vasmer: "Реконструкция праформы *съкора (Соболевский, РФВ 67, 212 и сл.) не является обоснованной.") and, in the end, we have Vasmer's supposition that it is a Polish loanword as /о/ -> /у/ (/o/ -> /u/) is difficult to explain using Russian phonetic proccesses.

Anyway, Russian шкурка is derived right from Russian шкура. This is a really regular and productive model, compare: каша — кашка, картина — картинка.

By the way, Italian and Russian words are IE cognates (PIE *(s)ker-: *(s)kor-).

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