I was just looking at the words for "ball" in many languages.

I noticed that Armenian has a word գունդ gund and Hindustani has a word गेंद / گیند gẽnd.

I didn't spot any other language with a similar word, including Greek and Persian. The etymology of the latter word is given as Sanskrit गिन्दुक ginduka.

I realize the rate of coincidence is high in such short words and that the languages have other words in the semantic area of "orb", "sphere", etc. But the fact that they're both Indo-European and the lack of other languages with similar words made me wonder.

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    By the way, Sanskrit and Armenian have over 5000 root-words, not just words! And Armenian alphabet has natural root, do u think that the Armenians have one of the oldest alphabet but no language, u're wrong, it's older than sanskrit itself narinnamkn.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/…
    – user5498
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 15:03
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    For all it's worth, 'gund' means more like 'lump' in Armenian. 'Ball', as in 'playing ball' is 'gndak'.
    – img
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 0:28

6 Answers 6


Hindi gẽd does indeed descend from Skt. genduka-. The latter is considered to be a loan from Dravidian (see Turner 4248). Armenian gund is a borrowing from Parthian or Persian gund < Iranian *gṛnda-. In Middle and New Persian gund is attested only in the meaning ‘testicle’. So the answer to your question is that they are probably not related.

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    Now you made me wonder if "gonad" is related! Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 22:27
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    “gonad” is a modern scientific coinage (first attestation in the OED is from 1880), formed from Greek γονή, γόνος ‘generation’, which belongs with the IE “genus, kin” etc. family. So not related.
    – fdb
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 22:35
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    Interestingly, English Wiktionary now says that Old Armenian got the word from a Middle Persian word for testicle. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 3:51

Highly unlikely. Where PIE /*g *gw/ had shifted to /g/ in Sanskrit, they had shifted to /k/ in Armenian. Also, Armenian /u/ comes from PIE /*ō *u *uH/, so the vowels don't line up. It might, on the other hand, be a borrowing from an Iranian language into Armenian, but they are not native cognates.

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    The Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Inherited Lexicon by Martirosyan has 961 entries.
    – fdb
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 22:21
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    @ColinFine: Oh - inherited from PIE? So the majority of the Armenian lexicon has been innovated or borrowed? Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 4:03
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    Yes. That is why it took so long for Armenian to be recognised as IE.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 8:20
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    I do not think that anyone ever doubted that Armenian is Indo-European. The mistake of the first Indo-Europeanists was that they thought that it belonged to the Iranian branch of Indo-European. It was Hübschmann who first established that Armenian is a separate branch of IE with many Iranian loanwords.
    – fdb
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 11:58
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    @Narine_Makyan Do you have any references to support this?
    – robert
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 15:23

Another language with a similar word is Hungarian, my native language. The word is "gömb" ("ö" is pronounced roughly similar to the "e" in "the") and it means sphere. It, too, is similar to the first half of the Armenian word գմբեթ (gmbeth) which has a somewhat similar meaning (dome). BTW, there are surprisingly many similarities (stronger ones than the two I just mentioned) between Armenian and Hungarian language the reason of which I don't know...

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    Yes Armenian and Hungarian are both fascinating languages of peoples whose histories are full of amazing adventures. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 3:43

I am pretty sure that Hindi gẽd descending from Skt. genduka- has a common origin with Parthian or Persian gund (avest. gunda "ball of dough", pers. gondeh "a lump of dough") which has been borrowed in Armenian in the forme of gunt and gentak "ball" In my opinion, the phonological and semantic similarities are strong enough to rule out the alleged dravidian origin of Skt. genduka-

Here are the references : EDP 146, POK 394, HRN 209 See : https://archive.org/stream/AnEtymologicalDictionaryOfPersianEnglishAndOtherIndo-europeanLanguages/EtymologicalDictionary-persian-english#page/n11/mode/1up

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    Skt. genduka- cannot derive from *gṛnda-.
    – fdb
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 13:59

I don't know how this is possible, but Kannada has the same word "gundu"... I came across another word that is very similar. "Yeradu" in Kannada means two, and I learnt it is "Yeraku" in Armenian. I don't believe in the language family classification anymore. There are also many things in common between Sanskrit(Indo-European) and Kannada(Dravidian). There is, in fact, a book in Kannada that debunks the language theory formulated. I wish I remembered its name exactly. Maybe this leads to some ground-breaking discovery.

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    This could be a comment, if there weren't so many maybe's and forgotten things in it, but it is not sufficient as an answer. Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 21:59
  • Kannada has borrowed lots of words from Sanskrit, just the way it is borrowing words from English now. Trying to figure out the evolution of language families involves a lot multi-disciplinary effort, and can't be "debunked" on the basis of a handful of false cognates.
    – prash
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 18:47
  • note, false cognate here means borrowing.
    – vectory
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 5:55

Now gu or goo as a phoneme with meaning in say an a priori language which I posit Armenian is. The guttural ‘g’ gives us words like ‘good’ for seed ,’ged’ for dot and ‘goollies’ for testicles. Now ‘goond’ in Armenian is a hard lump under the skin and extended to any lump anywhere. Now Sanskrit in its written form is relatively late but it’s influence on all PIE a priori languages from 3000BCE on was through the chanted word songs stories all regarding mostly the power of the free spirit on and over matter. The Armenian Highlands is where the Indian minstrels came to and with them brought the logos the word and civilization. My mother told me as she sang a lullaby which was while liberating me from my swaddling clothes explained the true meaning of the word freedom. Acad. Yes the Armenian Highlands were civilized by the Hentig as the Armenians call them and the Stork which is the symbol of Armenia is also an Indian loan word but that another day. A free mind, a free soul absorbed the light.🙏

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