Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2014/September - Wiktionary, the free dictionary (2024)

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discussion rooms: TearoomEtym.scr.InfodeskBeerparlourGreasepit ← August2014 · September2014 · October2014 → · (current)


  • 1 Finnish, Estonian on and related forms
  • 2 mieszkanie, משכן
  • 3 Why does Ancient Greek θυγάτηρ have penultimate stress?
  • 4 dhe
  • 5 rhyme
  • 6 -wad
  • 7 moonrunes

All Finnic languages inherited the Proto-Finnic copula *oldak, which also has cognates outside Finnic. But in all the Finnic languages, the third-person singular form is irregular. The regular form would be *olebi, but no descendant form of that is attested in any language (the regular descendant would be Finnish *olee, Estonian *oleb). Instead, forms appear like Finnish on, Estonian on, Karelian on, Livonian um, Veps om, Votic on, Võro om/um. Although unsourced, we also have an entry for Finnish ompi, which seems to be an older form.

What is curious about the attested forms is that they don't seem to come from the same root *ole- that the rest of the verb descends from. Finnish ompi instead reflects a bare root *on- or *om- plus the third-person singular ending, which has otherwise evolved into a copy of the preceding vowel in Finnish (but not most other Finnic languages). Võro om must reflect a root *om- with no ending, as Võro does not use the same third-person singular ending *-pi that the other Finnic languages do. What is striking about some of the forms is that they have final -m, which normally becomes -n in Finnic. It's possible that this change only applied in multisyllable words; Finnic has very few monosyllabic words that could have escaped analogical changes to endings, so that's hard to check.

So the question is where did this irregular form come from? Is a root *om- actually reconstructable? —CodeCat 20:23, 1 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

The Proto-Finnic form must have indeed been *om, apparently from earlier *omi, per the Veps interrogative form omik 'is there?'. The Finnish dialectal forms olee, olevat.
Lauri Hakulinen suggests that *om(i) is perhaps originally from *oma 'own' (< *wo-ma?). It may in turn be an old infinitive or infinitive of the copula (much like the other 3rd person forms being originally participles), though this would require that PU *wolə- (or, *walə-, as most non-Finnic languages point to) is actually originally a derivative *wo-lə-.
The 3PP can be reconstructed as *omak or *omat (Veps oma, South Estonian ommaq). In Finnish/Karelian/Ingrian and, IIRC, Votic this has been contaminated with the regular 3PP -vat to produce ovat.
--Tropylium (talk) 21:39, 8 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

mieszkanie, משכן

Can we get etymologies for these two terms? Kephir has expressed doubt that they are unrelated. DTLHS (talk) 16:44, 6 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

מִשְׁכָּן (mishkán) is a native Hebrew word. I very much doubt that mieszkanie is related. Where/when did User:Kephir express this doubt? --WikiTiki89 19:48, 6 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Wiktionary:Foreign_Word_of_the_Day/Focus_weeks#Same_meanings_in_different_languages DTLHS (talk) 20:03, 6 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
@Kephir The Hebrew word is from the Bible, i.e. before even Proto-Slavic existed. According to Słownik Etymologiczny Języka Polskiego, mieszkanie is from the verb mieszkać, which is from Proto-Slavic *mešьkati, from *měšati (> mieszać), although I am doubtful of the last step because I am unaware of any alternation of *e and . Although, Old East Slavic had мѣшкати (měškati), so maybe it is the reconstruction *mešьkati that is wrong. --WikiTiki89 20:19, 6 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Length alternations were actually productive in Proto-Balto-Slavic and early Slavic. So the e~ě alternation is not unusual at all. There are also words with o~a, ь~i and ъ~y alternations. —CodeCat 20:48, 6 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Why does Ancient Greek θυγάτηρ have penultimate stress?

The middle -a- in this word stems from a PIE laryngeal. But laryngeals were not semivowels, and could never be stressed, so it's odd that this syllable bears stress in Ancient Greek. Does anyone know why it does not have final stress like the PIE reconstruction does? —CodeCat 18:48, 8 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I would guess that it had the accent on the initial syllable at some point, but the "η" is a long vowel, and that forces the accent forward to the penult. If I read the L & S entry at Perseus correctly, there were, indeed, forms in the Iliad with an initial accent. Why there was this variation, and why it didn't keep the accent from PIE, I'll leave to someone who knows more than I do. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:57, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Or it's the PIE reconstruction that's wrong/incomplete. I did find one source that reconstructed an ablauting *dʰwégh₂tr̥ ~ *dʰugh₂tér- based on Anatolian evidence and corroborated by Greek. —CodeCat 01:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • Relevant paper: The accentuation of the PIE word for 'daughter'. Anatolian forms reflect an earlier stage - Proto-Indo-Hittite and technically shouldn't even be listed at *dʰugh₂tḗr. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 19:26, 13 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
    • Yes that's the source I was referring to. But that's just one source; is there more about it? —CodeCat 19:50, 13 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
      No. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 11:29, 22 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]


Can anyone confirm or deny the accuracy of diff? (Note that it used "el" where it meant "sq".) Also diff while you're at it. - -sche (discuss) 22:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

The first looks like utter bullsh*t. I don't have a feel for the bullsh*t level of the second one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:20, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Agree, the first is bs. The second seems likely. —Stephen (Talk) 11:05, 22 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]


RFV of the etymology.

I was under the impression that this was derived from Old French via Middle English, with which the New Oxford American Dictionary on my computer and etymonline agree. The derivation from Old English in our etymology is certainly plausible, but what is it based on? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:16, 21 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

This doesn't answer your question, but I'd reckon that it was probably more of a conflation than anything else. Rīm gave the word presence in the language, but its original meaning of "number" didn't last very long into the Modern English period. On the other hand, the current meaning of rhyme is well and sound, which begs the question: After the Norman Conquest, was "rhyme" constantly under the influence of its French cognate? Tharthan (talk) 02:38, 21 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Some dictionaries, namely Century, have the Old English derivation; which I believe, they have it picking up some influence from the Old French word, and then through attrition loss of the older original sense. Leasnam (talk) 04:01, 22 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]


The entry for the suffix -wad contains no etymology, but the etymology of tightwad says, "From tight + wad. Unrelated to -wad." It is likely, though, that -wad is a back-formation from tightwad or something similar. OED suggests that the wad in both tightwad and dickwad / f*ckwad come from the same headword, glossed as "a bundle" (inter alia). OED gives three other headwords for wad, all obsolete: a straight line (in surveying), black lead, or danger (attested only in the idiom "there lyeth a wad").

By the way, while I'm here, although "blow/shoot one's wad" is used to mean ejacul*te, the phrase in its original usage is, I believe, related to "have shot one's bolt". In this case "wad" is may refer to part of a bullet cartridge, paralleling bolt "a short, stout arrow". Cnilep (talk) 05:10, 22 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

  • The firearms etymology would make sense, inasmuch as muzzle-loading firearms would be loaded as a single shot, finishing with the wadding to hold everything in the barrel. Having shot one's wad, the firearm would require time-consuming reloading before being functional again. The analogy to male genitalia is pretty straightforward. ‑‑EiríkrÚtlendiTalaviðmig 23:21, 21 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]


Is this actually derived from Tolkien's work or something? I saw something on b.g.c that is connected to The Hobbit discussing "moon runes", an Elvish writing system. This seems plausible, and much better than the silly 'moon' + 'runes' etym we have atm. User: PalkiaX50 talk to meh 01:11, 28 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

More to the point: does the current definition exist at all? Everything I see in Books and Groups looks like something from Tolkien's legendarium, with no trace of "An incomprehensible writing script. Usually used to refer to Chinese characters, Hiragana, Katakana or any other East Asian writing script." The one exception is a book called "Remembering the Kanji", but the word isn't visible to the preview, so I can only guess at the context. There seems to be some web usage, but not durably-archived. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:57, 28 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I've seen it used ironically (i.e. the person wasn't actually a Japanophobe or w/e you would call them, or anything similar...almost the opposite in fact) at least once in the past on a Facebook "community page" not that can be taken as a source per CFI, unfortunately.
EDIT: Perhaps it might be citable in some online "CFI-worthy" source? User: PalkiaX50 talk to meh 10:56, 28 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I thought "moon speak" came from an old anime that had a group of people on the moon that had their own language or something like that. I could be wrong, though. Tharthan (talk) 16:59, 28 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Tolkien used "moon-letters" in The Hobbit as the name of a kind of hidden writing (p. 49 of the 1966 3rd ed.: "Moon-letters are rune-letters, but you cannot see them"), but some derivative works use moon-runes (e.g. Rateliffe 2011, The History of the Hobbit, "...the first draft of both the visible message on the map and what became the moon-runes passage..."). The "moonrunes = Japanese script" usage can be found on the Internets, often accompanied by one of two speculative etymologies: the Japanese comic Turn-A-Gundam features people living on the moon, ergo Japanese is "moonspeak" (e.g. Moonspeak at Know Your Meme); or less commonly the metaphorical distance between Japan and the US or UK makes "moonland" apt slang for Japan (e.g. Moonland at Urban Dictionary). I know of no reliable sources that support either etymology, though. Nor am I convinced that moonrunes is attested over a sufficient period to satisfy CFI. Cnilep (talk) 00:35, 7 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

This discussion may have gotten lost with the change of months. I've taken it on myself to create moon rune; the singular form with the space seems to have as many or more attestations as the run-together form. I can only find the sense given at moonrunes going back a year or two, but older uses appear in fantasy novels and video games where the word means either "magic objects" or "writing" associated with the moon. Cnilep (talk) 01:03, 21 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2014/September - Wiktionary, the free dictionary (2024)


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