The Russian name of "comma" is "запятая zapjatája" which is cognate to english "to spin"(a yarn) The Russian name of "full stop" is "точка tóčka" which is cognate to "ткать tkatʹ" (to weave) The question is whether the form of a comma is somehow related with the procce of spinning a yarn? Are "comma" names in other languages somehow related with yarn? [![enter image description here][1]][1] enter image description here

1 Answer 1


No connection with yarn even in Russian: запятая 'comma' is derived from запинаться 'to stammer, to stutter' in the meaning of making a pause, and точка 'period' is from тыкать 'to poke, to pierce' describing the manner it is written. Mind that the shape of the comma in your image is taken from a modern typeface, other typefaces have it different. As for the origin of the classic shape of the comma used today, it is descended from /, a diagonal slash used in the 13th-17th centuries to represent a pause.

The fact that some meanings of the roots used in Russian words for 'comma' and 'period' are connected with weaving is a mere coincidence.

  • As I previously said запинаться is cognate to "spin". As I know people spin yarn.
    – Peter
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:09
  • "тыкать " is from "тъкать" but not vice versa, so "точка" is from "тъкать". ы is a elongated version of ъ. moreover "запинаться" is from "запятая" more precisely from "запяти" but not vice versa
    – Peter
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:11
  • The root of "запятая" doesn't mean "to stammer" but "to stretch" see "распятый" ksana-k.ru/dict/stsl/sl0576.png
    – Peter
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:19
  • @Peter - Note: compare распять - распинать - распинаться with запять - запинать - запинаться. The Russian word for 'comma' is as much connected with yarn making as the Russian word for 'to crucify' does. The words are really cognates, but there's no connection between the shape of the comma and spinning yarn. The root of "запятая" doesn't mean "to stammer" but the word запинаться from which "запятая" is derived does mean "to stammer".
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:35
  • As I previously said "запинаться" is derived from verb "запяти" past participle "запятая" but not vice versa because "я" is from "en", "e" before sonoric r, l, n turn into "ь" compare дьрати, бьрати and only then "ь" elongates into "и". In total en > ьн > ин
    – Peter
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:53

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