I first got the idea of Latin mus- = mouse = thief from this list

My primary question here is whether someone can confirm this, because I have not found any direct words in Latin that indicates that mus- = thief. Where did the editor get this idea from?

I wondered what Tolkien and the Beowulf Poet meant by the central symbol of thief and burglar. Then I realized, if Latin "mus-"="thief", which also is the root of "mouse", the Anglo-Saxon word which has cognate from ancient Sanskrit word musha meaning thief (and mouse).

  • Moses is Hebraic and means "he who takes away", "The Extractor"
  • Mouse: "takes away goods from the house", and is a kenning for thief
  • Muse is one who extracts from the Gods
  • Moss: life "extracted" from stone (poetically)
  • Mosquito: little thief
  • Mist: extracted/vaporized water
  • Mosque: place of extraction (from matter/ego)

I realize this might sound crazy and far-fetched, but it was put together in non-scholarly haste.

  • 4
    Latin mus doesn't mean ‘thief’ which is fur in Latin. The connection of ‘mouse’ and ‘thief’ is found only in Sanskrit where both words have roots which are similar, but not identical: ‘mouse’ is मूषक (mūṣaka) / मूषिक (mūṣika) with the root मूष् (mūṣ) and ‘thief’ मांषक (māṇṣaka) with the root मुष् (muṣ) as in मुष्णाति (muṣṇāti) ‘he steals’. The words of Semitic origin ‘Moses’ and ‘mosque’ are not connected with the rest. All of your question really sounds crazy, far-fetched, and very non-scholarly.
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 14, 2021 at 12:11
  • 2
    Hehe, it looks like Wiki quickly take into account our discussion in here. :-)
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 14, 2021 at 12:35
  • I'm fairly positive muse has nothing to do with any form of extraction, although the etymology of the word is not certain as of now. Some claim it comes from the verb μω, meaning to learn about or research, or from the word μας/μους meaning evolving, participating. Another possible root is the verb μάω-μω, aka to yearn for or to strive for. No extraction here. Sources (translated) 1, 2
    – Zap
    Jun 15, 2021 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


Mūs in Latin does not mean "thief", but only "mouse". (The Latin word for "thief" is fūr.) This word comes from an Indo-European word *mūs or *muHs, which is also the origin of the English word mouse.

However, there may be a connection between the Indo-European word and the notion "thief": there is a reconstructed Indo-European root *meusH- meaning "steal" (which yields the Sanskrit "thief" word you cite), and some scholars believe the "mouse" word comes from this root, so that the original meaning of "mouse" in Proto-Indo-European was "thief". This connection is uncertain, though.

The rest of the words you cite are pretty certainly unrelated. You can look up their etymologies online and see that none of them are derived from the Indo-European forms above.

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