This is again a memory refreshing question.

I am looking for a specific kinship term that is considered to be inherited into a Scandinavian dialect despite the fact that no other Germanic language has any attestation of it. Its closest cognates are found in the Indo-iranian languages (or more specifically, Iranian, if I remember right).

I remember having read about it and a longer argument was made in favour of its inheritance, but I have forgotten both the reference where I read about it and the term itself.

I'd like to know the term which can be a handle to find more information, naming a reference for it is a clear bonus.

  • 2
    Perhaps ON afi ‘grandfather’ < *h₂eu̯h₂(os)? I don’t have my Germanic etymological dictionary at hand, but I don’t think that etymon has any other Germanic cognates, though there are of course other closer cognates than Iranian (Latin avus, etc.). Aug 10 at 9:08
  • This is in fact a good suggestion, but the term in my mind is different: The dialect is closer to present (19th or 20th century) and it was a kind of complicated term, probably involving in-laws. Aug 10 at 9:17
  • You don't mean morbror and farbror, do you? They're textbook examples of a kinship distinction English doesn't have, between paternal and maternal uncles.
    – jlawler
    Aug 10 at 18:57
  • 1
    @jlawler They’re not inherited, though: they’re transparent compounds coined within (proto-)Scandinavian. Aug 10 at 20:34
  • What about Edda? (Edda can be the name of the poetic works, or it can mean great-grandmother. According to Norwegian Wikipedia, there is a theory that it's related to the Sanskrit word "Veda")
    – OmarL
    Aug 17 at 9:42


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy