A gândi is in modern Romanian the common/main form of the verb "to think", based on the noun gând ("thought"). It is considered of Hungarian origin, from "gond".
I don't want to bluntly dismiss the Hungarian ultimate origin. But the word in Hungarian is signaled of unknown origin, which for any etymologist is not an answer and begs for further investigation — something which I have tried to do below. - To farther illustrate my logic: Hungarian word
furulya (flute) is surely of Romanian origin. Why sure? Because it is present in Albanian. But its origin is disputed, either Latin or of Balkan substrate. That's what I was imagining for
It is common, even obligatory, for the etymology of Romanian words that don't have a clear Latin or Slavic root, to look next at the Albanian-Romanian linguistic connection. In this case, where a word has a Hungarian connection, but one that involves ultimately an unknown origin, it is only normal to check that Balkan relation too, whether on a Latin etymological branch or not.
— "Gând" has taken precedence over the blatantly Latin a cugeta (to think, cogitate), cuget (mind, faculty of thought), now more of literary/poetic or archaic use, so that cugetare means "cogitation" as "aphorism", "apothegm". Somewhat frequent still are cugetat/necugetat (wise/foolish).—
gând= thought, intention, preoccupation, representation, mental state
gândire = noun: theory, thought (as in ”gândirea marxistă”=Marxist thought)
gânditor = adjective: thoughtful, noun: thinker
pe negândite = adverb: without thinking, improvised, without letting/having time to think
pe gânduri, as in a sta/cădea pe gânduri=to ”be, stay/fall” on thoughts=to be/become thoughtful, anxious
a (se) îngândura = to become reflexive, anxious
îngândurat = adjective: reflexive, anxious, thoughtful, preoccupied, ”full of thoughts”
îngândurare = anxiety, concern
There is no officially accepted complete etymological dictionary of Romanian for the moment, only personal works, but there seems to be a consensus that the Romanian “thought”/gând is of Hungarian origin ,from gond.
gond = "trouble", "preoccupation", (rare, archaic) "care" — leading to:
gondos (os=with) – careful
gondtalan (talan=less) – careless
gondatlan (atlan=without) – carefree
gondoz (-oz – verb-forming suffix) – to take care, tend
gondnok (-nok – noun-forming suffix) – caretaker, guardian
- gondol: to think, consider, believe, guess – exactly the sense of the Romanian gând
— So that, the Cartesian cogito ergo sum is translated with the same root in Romanian (“gândesc, deci exist”) and Hungarian (“gondolkodom, tehát vagyok”)!
In both languages the verb is based on the noun. In Hungarian it is said to be of unknown origin, in Romanian it is said of Hungarian origin.
But there is clearly a common root. If the root is not Hungarian (Hun. gond > Rom. gând), then it must be Romanian (gând > gond), apparently still with an unknown origin, which for Romanian usually leads to the search for a substrate, Balkan (possibly Thracian-Dacian) origin, and/or an Albanian origin.
What strikes me in the case of Romanian words of clear Hungarian origin is that the Hungarian root-form is much more productive (e.g. Romanian fel) or the Hungarian word is itself based on Hungarian elements that are absent in Romanian —like Romanian oraș, ”city” < Hun. város=vár, “castle” + -os, derivative noun-forming suffix, alcătui ”to put together”, cheltui, ”to spend” etc.
Gond is not like that.
As for possible Albanian relations of gând, there seem to be some traces:
In Albanian there is:
- gënjej = to lie, to deceive – from Vulgar Latin ingannō, from Latin ganniō. Compare Romanian îngâna (to mimic, mock, deceive, hum or murmur in order to mimic, to mockingly imitate) hence:
- gënjeshtër – noun: deceit, lie
- gënjeshtar = liar
- zhgënjej = to disappoint, disenchant, disillusion
Romanian form for “(to) lie” is (a) minți, noun: minciună, mincinos/mincinoasă (liar, masc./fem.) with equivalents in all Romance (Ital. mentire, Fr. mentir etc), from Latin mentior < mens, mentis, which in Albanian has given mend/mendje= "mind, thought, think" and mendoj = “to think” (hence mendoj, pra jam = “I think, therefore I am”). - That is related to or descending from Proto-Italic mentjōr, denominal verb from mens,mentis (“mind”). The meaning "to lie" stems from a semantic shift "to be inventive, have second thoughts" > "to lie, conjure up".
Romanian follows this common Romance semantic shift (think>lie - mens/mentis > mentior) while Albanian doesn’t, and the elements of that shift (“think” and “lie”) end up different in the two languages. Thus,
English think and lie are:
- In Romanian: gând(i) and minți
- In Albanian: mend(oj) and gënjej
Some shift seems to have taken place here, so that there is a cross-correspondence between Romanian “lie” and Albanian “think”, and between Romanian “think” and Albanian “lie”. The first is no surprise, the two forms (minți and mendoj) have the same Latin root (mens/mentis), the different meanings being the result of the common Romance semantic shift that Romanian has followed while Albanian has avoided. But what about the second correspondence? That could be a shear coincidence, where it not for the fact that the two elements (gândi and gënjej) are paralleled by the other two.
What are the chances that the Romanian gând(i) is a result of a semantic shift from the Albanian term?
(In that case, it would mean that Hungarian ”to think” is ultimately of Latin origin: gond < Rom. gând < Alb. gënjej < Vulg. Lat. ingannō < Lat. ganniō!)