Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.

Questions tagged [etymology]

The study of the history of words including their origins and the changes they've undergone through time.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5
votes
1answer
435 views

What is the meaning of the Latin names of grammatical cases (in general, not in Latin)?

I cannot find any source explaining the Latin names of grammatical cases. I am especially curious in the names of the less common cases, like in Finnish: nominative genitive accusative partitive ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Why does anger has something to do with spleen in both Chinese and English?

The English word spleen has two meanings in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, an organ near the stomach which produces and cleans the body's blood. a feeling of anger and disagreement. ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

*h₁éḱwos > ἵππος, (Aeolian) ἴκκος

(in short) What's the epigraphical support to the Aeolian word ἴκκος ? I can't find it in the (very limited) data I can consult. (full story) The history of the Greek word ἵππος ("horse") can be ...
-2
votes
0answers
73 views

Can English “dream” be a cognate to Latin “dormatio” and Russian “dröma” “sleep”?

I could not find any relevant information on the internet except the PIE had the root dre- for sleep (Vasmer)
-3
votes
2answers
116 views

What is the Proto-Indo-European root word for electricity?

When I looked at Wiktionary for the word electricity, I saw that it came from the Ancient Greek word "elektron", and saw that it was possibly from Sanskrit ulka, which came from what appears to be *...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Did the word circle come from the PIE word *kr-kr, which was said to be the Proto-Indo-European word for circular?

When I was reading on Wiktionary, I found something interesting. The word for circle was traced back to a Greek word which was said to be "of Pre-Greek origin". However, I read about the word carcer, ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Why is it “untenable” and not “untainable” in English?

I am aware that words like "obtain," "retain," and "contain" are related to the root "tenere" meaning "to have." What (if anything) determines if the "ten" goes to "tain" in English? We have words ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Are there any Latin and (ancient) Hebrew words with common origins?

More generally, is there any compelling evidence for any common roots between early Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic languages? There are almost necessarily some words that are not too dissimilar ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Where did the word ending ar er ir in Spanish come fom?

When I was learning Spanish, I came across the fact that Spanish verbs have three classes: AR, ER, and IR. I notice that more of them have the AR verb ending. The verb endings are the same in Latin, ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Why can Japanese Godan verbs only have nine possible consonant sounds before the final -u?

The dictionary form of Japanese verbs always ends in a -u syllable. Ichidan (one row or single-step in German) verbs will always end in -る (-ru, e.g. 食べる, taberu, to eat) while godan (five rows or ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

How might one swear in Proto-Indo-European?

Proto-Indo-European is an interesting topic. I'm fascinated by how it spread. But, I wonder how to use curse words. These words, like others, will probably be reconstructed from other languages: Latin,...
-4
votes
1answer
43 views

The “plague” and its transmission by “fleas”, or “flies”

"fly", Ger "Fliege" (the insect drosophila) could theoretically reflect an earlier *plag. It is linked with "to fly" though, to nobody's surprise. Old English flȳġe, flēoge (“a fly”), from Proto-...
7
votes
1answer
81 views

Practical ways to verify etymology

What online resources are available to trace back the origins of words? Ideally, this would be a searchable web dictionary like Wiktionary but listing the etymological chain along with some sort of ...
3
votes
1answer
354 views

Does Gothic “Þrabōn” exist?

Does Gothic "Þrabōn" exist? Vasmer mentioned that. http://www.wulfila.be/gothic/browse/search/?find=%C3%BErab&mode=3
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Could the latin word terrere be related to the Hebrew word תִּירָא (tira)?

The English word "terror" is derived from the Latin "terrere", meaning "frighten". I noticed in reading a passage in Isaiah the Hebrew equivalent of "don't be afraid" which is אַל־תִּירָא ('al tira' - ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Does etymology have any role in everyday speech?

Does etymology have any role in everyday speech? For example, do common language practices preserve semantic connotations that are influenced by etymology? A simple example from Oxford Dictionary of ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Do words Deus and idea share the root? [closed]

https://www.etymonline.com/word/idea gives the definition of the idea as "archetype, concept of a thing in the mind of God," I was wondering if they come from the same word.
0
votes
1answer
111 views

wo where, who wer, da there, the der [closed]

Are German wo and English who, German wer and English where, German da and English the, German der and English there from the same origin?
3
votes
1answer
307 views

Etymology of “Talo” (Finnish for “house”). Can it be a cognate of Thalamus?

The word Talo in Finnish means house. According to the wiktionary, it might be etymologically related to talas (boat-shelter). I was wondering if the word might have a common etymology with Greek ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is “dyadic” the only word with the prefix “dy-” for “two”?

I learned that the word "dyadic", a word opposed to monadic, is written with a y. My etymology sources indicates it comes from "Dyad", which means "pair", "couple", "double". However, every other ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Is Latin “ulula” cognate with hindi उल्लू (“ullu”)?

Hindi उल्लू /ʊl.luː/ (derived from Sanskrit उलूक /uluːka/) appears superficially very similar to Latin ulula (both meaning "owl"). Are these words cognate?
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Understanding the etymology of Persian “farāmoş”, to forget

I'm having a hard time understanding the etymology of the Persian verb farâmuš kardan, meaning to forget in Persian. The infnitive kardan is often used to make verbs from nouns and adjectives, so for ...
-3
votes
1answer
103 views

How did the cross-linguistic univerbation 'nothing/not/none/no + less' semantically shift to signify 'despite'?

Several European languages have (false?) cognate adverbs with the meaning of 'nevertheless' (and 'nonetheless') built from words meaning "nothing/not/none/no" and "less". despite something that ...
3
votes
2answers
86 views

Etymology of the word “šowhar” in Persian

I am looking for etymology of the word شوهر in Persian language, I looked in wiktionary and two other dictionaries but found nothing. šowhar means "husband" in modern persian. https://en.wiktionary....
3
votes
1answer
73 views

What is a good etymological dictionary for the Persian language?

There are dozens of etymological dictionaries for Persian, has somebody compared them, and if yes could you recommend me a good one?
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Was there a Proto-Germannic root of “miskunn”

I was not able to find an etymology of ON "miskunn" within PrG. Is the first syllable a prefix "mis-" indicating any "wrong kunn, lack of kunn" or a deformed "midi-" as in E "com-passion", G "Mit-leid"...
2
votes
3answers
176 views

Common root 'to gather' and 'together'

I just saw this insightful and touching video by John Green where he makes the connection between 'to gather' and 'together'. One could say "let's gather at the bus stop" for instance, causing the ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

How did 'sitting' semantically shift to mean 'properness'?

What semantic notions underlie 'sit' and 'properness'? The following words for propriety hail from the Proto-Indo-European *sed- like Spanish & Portugese sentar French seoir English 'sit well' ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

What semantic notions underlie PIE *meh₂d- ('wet') and Proto-Germanic *matōną, *matjaną (“to feed, eat”)?

I was reading the etymology of amadouer when I lighted on these attested morphemes: Etymology From Middle French amadouer (“to coax, lure”), from a- + *madouer (“to lure, give food to”), from ...
1
vote
3answers
329 views

Is the Malay “garam” (salt) related to the Latin “garum” (fish sauce)?

The Malay/Indonesian word for salt garam is surprisingly similar to the Latin word for the Roman fish sauce garum. Since garum was made from fermented salted fish, is there an etymological ...
7
votes
1answer
165 views

Are English 'gay' and Norwegian 'gøy' cognates?

Norwegian gøy means "fun" in both Bokmål and Nynorsk. Does this word have anything to do with English gay? Wiktionary says gay comes ultimately from Proto-Germanic ganhuz "sudden" via Old French gai ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

The Methatesis in “scope” vs “to show”

I would like to hear some ideas that can explain Greek *σκέπτομαι, σκοπός "watcher, look-out, spy, mark, goal" from Proto-Indo-European *skep-ye-, from a metathesis of *speḱ-. Cognate to ...
-2
votes
3answers
166 views

Why is the word “idiot” so similar between multiple languages?

Weird question, granted, but I was just looking around on Google Translate and I noticed that the word "idiot" is basically the same across quite a few languages, here are a few examples: Italian: ...
2
votes
3answers
217 views

good references for old indo-European languages

what enjoy the most is to trace back the words right to their origin. i had little study on Mazandarani(tabari\tapuri) dialect spoken is Mazandaran province of Iran. traced back some words to their ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Finding roots and cognates online

I'm studying linguistics and I want to know if there's an option for having several translations at once? For example, I enter "word" as an English entry and I get the below output: German: word1 ...
4
votes
3answers
157 views

Is there a specific linguistic term for the following practice of constructing new words/characters?

I have in mind examples such as the Scheingallizismus (lit. appearance of Gallicism) in German which are words/phrases constructed from French origins but are themselves unknown in French speaking ...
0
votes
1answer
662 views

What is the name of this Middle English letter?

The meaning of the depicted letter, in my opinion, is "and", but what is its (page 61) Mk.1:15 name?
4
votes
0answers
91 views

Relation between keltoi and galatai?

The ancient Greeks used both words and appeared to have originated both. The first form appears first in 517BC by Hecateus of Milietus. The word is still known in the 12th century AD where it's used ...
4
votes
2answers
327 views

from ekwos to ippo : transition from kw to p in greek

I can't understand how the transition from kappa-digamma to pi-pi happened in the transition from ekwos (same etymology as latin equus) to ippo. I mean how did the prononciation change ? Because is ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Etymological connection between “uncus” and “unguis”

The Latin words uncus (hook) and unguis (claw, fingernail) appear very phonologically similar to me, and semantically I can see why 'hook' and 'claw' could derive from the same source. However, ...
13
votes
1answer
386 views

Relations between 'knee' and 'generation'

Recently, a question was asked about the possibility of the words knee and generation being cognates. Unfortunately, that question is rather unclear, so I'm asking this as a separate post. The words ...
-5
votes
2answers
142 views

Are the English word knee and the word generation cognate? [closed]

Are the English word knee and the English word generation cognate because of the Latin word genu "knee" in the Genetive case has the form genus and this is the case birth (the generation of the new ...
-5
votes
1answer
110 views

Are the German words wer/was “who/what” derived from the q. word wo “where” + pns. er/es “he/it” by analogy with the Old Slavonic koi/chto “who/what”?

Are the German words wer "who" / was "what" derived from the question word wo "where" + pronouns er "he" / es "it": by analogy with the Old Slavonic [which could inherited this thing (feature) from ...
-8
votes
1answer
99 views

Are the Latin word “octo” is derived from the serial number of the letter “h” in the alpabet? [closed]

Are the Latin word "octo" is derived from the serial number of the letter "h" in the alpabet? The latin words "veho" and "traho" transform into the latin words "vecto" and "tracto" respectively by ...
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

Are Old Slavonic verb рещи (reshchi) “to say, to command” cognates with PIE: [h₃reǵ]?

Can anybody please explain to me why the Old Slavonic verb рещи (reshchi) "to say, to command" does not reflect PIE: h₃reǵ (related Terms: нарещи (nareshchi), изрещи (izreshchi), пророк (prorok), ...
-2
votes
2answers
54 views

What natural symbolic representations could be used for Mathematical constants?

We know mathematics is a language by itself. But to evoke any constants or any arbitrary values as such to solve anything, prior knowledge of a particular symbol and its usage must be understood. ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Why do we write read for both present and past tense, but we pronounce them differently? [duplicate]

read verb \ ˈrēd \ read\ ˈred \ The words have the same spelling, but they are pronounced differently, and one of the words is pronounced exactly the same as a color’s name, “red,” yet its ...
1
vote
4answers
154 views

Is there a link between the words red and bread?

While this might sound random at first, I noticed that it works in multiple languages: Danish: brød (bread) = b + rød German: Brot = b + rot English: bread (spoken language) = b + red Is this a ...
-3
votes
1answer
50 views

Research in psychiatry

My research is not linguistics pers se, it is placed in psychiatry, and my problem and question is the French etymology concerning the word psychiatry in French
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Where did Irish “-acht” come from?

Modern Irish has a suffix -acht (allomorphs -ocht, -eacht, -cht, probably others) that forms abstract nouns. For example, beo "alive" → beocht "life, vital spirit". Since we also see Scottish Gaelic -...