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A drawer is something one draws out of a piece of furniture. Likewise in French with tiroir coming from the verb tirer and in Japanese 引き出し from 引く. Is there a word for such a phenomenon: several languages naming the same object (or concept) following the same pattern?

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    When one language borrows the metaphor from another, but uses its own lexicon to build the new word, that is called a calque. But I don't know a word for when several languages independent (as far as we know) come up with a form of expression. A well known case is count and its congeners, which have meanings around both numbering, and telling a story. This is true in French as well, but also in German (and in fact the word tell, related to German Zahlen, also has both meanings, though the number meaning only survives in a few words in English). Also in Russian and Hebrew! – Colin Fine Apr 16 at 10:18
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    @ColinFine Your comment should be an answer. – jknappen Apr 16 at 10:23
  • @ColinFine In my example there is a self-evident logic, unlike in the case of 'count'. So these may be deemed different phenomena. – Mathieu Bouville Apr 16 at 11:08
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    In English and French you "draw" a "drawer". In German you "push" (schieben) a "Schublade". – fdb Apr 16 at 11:13
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    @jknappen: I didn't make it an answer because a) it doesn't answer the question,and b) I didn't include any references. – Colin Fine Apr 16 at 15:56

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