Questions tagged [etymology]

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

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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: ...
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0answers
37 views

What type of semantic shift did 'unless' undergo, when 'on less than' shifted to signify 'if not'?

unless (conj.) mid-15c., earlier onlesse, from (not) on lesse (than) "(not) on a less compelling condition (than);" see less. The first syllable originally on, but the negative connotation and the ...
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0answers
108 views
+50

Which semantic shift befits the legal meaning of 'consideration'?

If I had to guess from Typology by Blank (1999), specialization of meaning? Frederick Pollock. Principles Of Contract. (1902) p. 170. p. 220/400 here.         The name of ...
2
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3answers
166 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 ...
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1answer
39 views

[?]finding roots and cognates online

im studying linguistics and i wanna 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 word2 ...
3
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3answers
137 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 ...
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1answer
643 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
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0answers
64 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
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2answers
296 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 ...
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1answer
63 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, ...
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1answer
361 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 ...
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2answers
125 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 ...
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1answer
92 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 ...
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1answer
79 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 ...
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1answer
81 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), ...
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2answers
49 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. ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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4answers
132 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 ...
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1answer
48 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
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1answer
116 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 -...
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1answer
67 views

Do reborrowings and neologisms statistically help the communicative function of the languages or do the cause more confusion?

Rephrasing do reborrowings and neologisms help or bedim the communications? I am making the distinction of instantaneous or contemporary communications(especialy for scientific use and social) and ...
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1answer
84 views

Etymology of Romanian “amor” (cf. “iubire”)

I found it interesting to learn that Romanian borrowed this word from a Slavic language as well as the verb "a iubi". I also discovered that the word "amor" is present in Romanian but apparently it ...
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2answers
128 views

what makes the link between the right/left hands,north/south directions and the duality good-bad

Background : I used to think that employing the word "right" to speak about good thinks was only an arabic culture trait - for instance the Quran describes good people with the expression "people of ...
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1answer
136 views

Etymology of impersonal pronoun “one”

The 'impersonal' pronoun in Germanic and Romance languages seems to come from one of two paths: Cognate with the word for 'man' Proto-Germanic: *mann- Dutch: men German: man Old English: man (< ...
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2answers
141 views

Are there other languages, besides Old Slavonic, with adjectives ending with pronoun?

Are there other languages, besides Old Slavonic, with adjectives ending with pronoun, e.g. добрый /dobryj/ he who is good; доброе /dobrojo/ it which is good; добрую /dobruju/ she who is good; добрыя /...
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1answer
67 views

The Proto-Germanic vowel “e” changes to the English “i”

What is the name of a sound shift law under which the Proto-Germanic vowel "e" changes to the English "i", e.g. *fehtaną (fechten) -> fight; *rehtaz (recht) -> right
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1answer
102 views

What is 'OE Gloss.'?

I'm not a linguistics student, so my bad if this is actually very obvious/can be found online (I tried. Really.), but what is, exactly, the OE Gloss.? All I could find is that it means Old English ...
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1answer
59 views

Are the Old Slavonic noun “дщерь” /dshcher' ''/ (En. daughter) and the English noun “daughter” to be related in any way? [closed]

Are the Old Slavonic noun “дщерь” /dshcher' ''/ (En. daughter) and the English noun “daughter” to be related in any way?
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1answer
92 views

Are the Russian noun “пламя” /plamya'/ (En. flame) and the German noun “Flamme” to be related? [closed]

Are the Russian noun “пламя” /plamya'/ (En. flame) and the German noun “Flamme” to be related by analogy with “пихта” /pikhta/ (En. fir-tree) -> Fichte
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2answers
85 views

Are the Russian noun “мрак” /mrak'/ (En. darkness) and the English noun “mirk” to be related in any way? [closed]

Are the Russian noun “мрак” /mrak'/ (En. darkness) and the English noun “mirk” to be related in any way?
2
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4answers
99 views

Words which originate in superstition/myth [closed]

I'm interested in words, from any language, whose etymological origin 'exposes' superstitious or scientifically obsolete beliefs. For example, the English disaster comes from Latin dis- + astro, ...
2
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1answer
100 views

What's the reason behind the aternation of vowel in the Proto-Germanic suffix “-ungō”/“-ingō”?

I noticed that the form with the u vowel was kept only in High German. All other germanic languages use the form with i,such as Dutch and English. Why is that?Is this the result of some sort of sound ...
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1answer
85 views

How “üçün” is Turkic but “çün” is Iranic?

Azerbaijani: çün Persian: çun Means: because Origin: Persian Azerbaijani: üçün üç+ün old-Turkic: uçun Means: because of Origin: old-Turkic So, can somebody explain how this is possible? More ...
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1answer
86 views

Turkic etymology dictionary

Is there a new Turkic etymology dictionary? I don't want something like Nişanyan which all Turkic words are Sogdian or Persian origin. I want something that analyses the words using true rules not ...
2
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0answers
59 views

What term predated “even” when referring to numbers? [closed]

In doing some poking around in etymologies, I noticed that while "odd" in the sense of "odd number" is attested as early as c.1300 (and is in fact the original sense of the term), "even" in the sense ...
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2answers
100 views

Are Old Slavonic “шкурка” and “корица” related to Italian “scorza”?

Could Old Slavonic nouns “шкурка” (shkurka) and “корица”(koritsa) be derived from Italian “scorza”(En. peel)? I have already looked them up in M. Vasmer's "Etymological dictionary of Russian language"...
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1answer
65 views

Could speakings “Старый Свет”, “Новый Свет” and “Конец Света” have common historical origin? [closed]

Could speakings "Старый Свет"(En. Old World), "Новый Свет"(En. New World) and "Конец Света"(En. end of the world) have common historical origin? based on the fact that: the Americas (New World) was ...
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1answer
72 views

Parabens vs. parabéns [closed]

Is there an etymological link between the word parabens in English (ex. Soap without parabens) and parabéns (congratulations) in Portuguese?
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2answers
145 views

Is Old Slavonic “тесто” related to Latin “tiesta”? [closed]

Could the Old Slavonic noun тесто (t'esto) 'dough' be derived from Latin tiesta 'baked clay', (Sp. tiesto)? Notice: spelling of the words and their similar meanings hinted me that they may be related....
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1answer
195 views

Are the Old Slavonic interrogative particle “еда” and verb “быти” to be related in any way?

Are the Old Slavonic interrogative particle "еда (ʲeda)" and verb "быти (byti)" to be related in any way? For example, on the basis of: existence the following present forms of the verb: есмь (ʲesm'...
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98 views

What is the etymology of “Tarim” as in “Tarim Basin” and does it relate to Tocharian?

I was trying to obtain a proper etymology for the name "Tarim" and found it rather difficult. The Wiktionary page only lists the modern Turkish word tarım meaning agriculture, so was the Wikipedia ...
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2answers
65 views

“program” Equivalent in Arabic [closed]

Program and programming language don't have a known translation in Arabic. برمجة and برنامج are used, even though they aren't Arabic. Is there a native word that can be used instead?
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1answer
214 views

Which came first in Greek: λήθη, or Λήθη the proper noun?

i.e. λήθη: a noun meaning oblivion or concealment, and Λήθη: a proper noun referring to a river in Greek myth. My question is this: is this noun a reference to the mythological river, or was the name ...
7
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1answer
209 views

Etymology of Latin infinitive verb endings

I was wondering, what the etymology of Latin infinitive verb endings -are, -ere and -ire was. I assume they are Indo-European, but I haven't found any information about it.
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1answer
60 views

Arabic word for door from root d-l-t or d-l-th

I know that the Hebrew letter 'daleth' originates from the word for 'door', indeed the Modern Hebrew word for door is 'dalet'. Is there an Arabic word for door from this same root - d-l-t or d-l-th? ...
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2answers
157 views

Which word came first: 'cabbage' or 'cherub' in hebrew?

In modern Hebrew, כרוב means "cabbage", besides the biblical meaning "cherub". Are these meanings related in any way?
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2answers
62 views

Why is “index” as a noun pluralized as “indices” while the present tense verb is “indexes”? [closed]

What is the reason behind this? Do the noun and the verb have different derivations?
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1answer
72 views

Hand gesture - Patting

I apologize if the following question is off-topic on this site. Some time ago, I was sitting at a table in a cafeteria/canteen. A few tables away, I saw someone I knew. This person also saw me and ...
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1answer
116 views

PIE Etymology of Ger *heute* “today” vs Lt *hodie*, Sanskr *adja* etc

This question about Top of the morning got me thinking. Most west european words for today are akin, said to be influenced by Latin hodie1. But Sanskrit adja, from * PIE *h₁e-dy-és, *h₁é (“this”, and ...
6
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2answers
131 views

Why do some (usually, first ones) ordinal numbers seem completely different from corresponding cardinals?

I've noticed that in some (all? most?) languages, ordinal for 1 and 2 are completely different (i.e., not derived) from corresponding cardinals: English One/Two/Three vs First/Second/Third is a bad ...