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Etymology scriptorium

Welcome to the Etymology scriptorium. This is the place to cogitate on etymological aspects of the Wiktionary entries.

October 2019

nociceptive - no etymology on page

from Latin noc?re, prefixed to receptor, with the standard -or/ive ending: elector - elective; descriptor - descriptive, ... --This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 00:15, 3 October 2019 (UTC).

Contrary to the "no etymology on page" @DCDuring added to the header, there is actually an etymology on the page (recently added after the {{rfe}}), but it doesn't match the above:
Latin noc?re + English (abbrev.) (re)ceptive
The one above seems to be modified from the etymology at nociceptor
From Latin noc?re ("to hurt") + contracted form of (re)ceptor
There are problems with all of these. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:33, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz Did I edit that page? I recall looking for Latin etymology, but not finding any. Was an edit of mine that I don't remember rolled back? DCDuring (talk) 03:42, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Oh, right. I put wikilink brackets around nociceptive on this page in this diff]. I didn't think I'd made any other changes. DCDuring (talk) 03:46, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
My mistake- that wording was in the original header as added by the anon. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:20, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
The term was coined by Charles Sherrington, who spelled this and analogous terms with a hyphen: noci-ceptive. This is just one of quite a few of his coinages formed with the triad of suffixes -ceptive, -ceptor and -ception, which he applied to extero-, intero-, musculo-, noci-, proprio-, tango-, and thermo-. It looks like proprio-ceptive may have been the first one published, but I cannot check this.  --Lambiam 21:05, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

police state

Could this be a calque of German Polizeistaat? The German apparently dates to the first part of the 19th century, but became particularly prominent during the revolutions of 1848. I can't find anything in English that clearly predates 1848 (all the earlier hits are either misdated or things like "X of (the) police, state(s)"). Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 10:56, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

The oldest ones I found, not counting duplicates, were: 1852 (spelled "police-state" with a hyphen; translated from German), 1853 (spelled "police State" with a capital "S"; translated from German), 1874 (spelled again with a hyphen; translated from German). This evidence supports the thesis.  --Lambiam 00:00, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
From what I know about how Germans make up words and how English made up words, it is likely. Germany is where one has systematized Staatswissenschaften, and the English systems of philosophy were largely an Abklatsch of the German one, compare only British idealism, particularly in making comprehensive pictures of society. Both the concept of the night watchman state is calqued from German and communism has been most notoriously described in German, just to sketch a bit. But from the start of the World War I the Empire rather swept the extensive dependence of British thought upon Germany under the carpet, rebranding herself by relabelling the past "continental philosophy". There are surely many known and established terms buried in the English dictionaries from the hundred years before 1914 that have yet to be uncovered as calques from German. It is a neglected discipline since unlike with what we commonly know as borrowing and which bewrays its history by its phonological shape one needs to be a kind of a historian of ideas to discover the calques. Fay Freak (talk) 00:37, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

RFV of the etymology. More specifically to an obscure side point that's really about Old Persian/Avestan, not Arabic:

  • The sense of religious creed or a system of religious rules is borrowed directly from Middle Persian (d?n), which is from Old Persian [script needed] (d?n) which underwent influence from Akkadian when the Achaemenid Empire incorporated its Semitic kingdoms; the term already having a predecessor with a religious sense in Avestan (da?n?),akin to Sanskrit (dhy?na)(dhy?na)

The last part was changed by a Canadian IP (who's also edited a couple of Persian entries) from:

Avestan (da?n?), which is possibly from Elamite (/d?n/), itself potentially developing from the Akkadian legal sense; religious obligation to deities, the system or conduct of the priesthood regarding divinities.

I reverted it before I realized that it wasn't talking about the Semitic part of the derivation. I know very little about Middle Persian etymology, so I thought it would be a good idea to check whether this is at all plausible, since my revert marked it as patrolled and took it off the radar. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:06, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

The derivation from Middle Persian from Avestan and even from Elamite is already sourced, below with Arthur Jeffery, who also cites other scholars. And again with Johnny Cheung. Note that almost every foreign word in the Qurn is treated by Arthur Jeffery's 1938 book (with but obscure additions by Margoliouth 1939). The IP's addition that Avestan (da?n?) is akin to Sanskrit (dhy?na) is a good point and worth mention. It does not rule out influence by Elamite (/d?n/), in which form ever - but nothing as far back as the second millenium BC is that clear. I will formulate the paragraph shrewdly, both should be mentioned. Fay Freak (talk) 11:38, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks, all, for dealing with this. --{{victar|talk}} 05:07, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Possibly related to Chinese ? The Japanese term can be also written as kanji , which is a homophone of using on'yomi readings. This can be seen especially in early works, like ?. (talk) 09:08, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

The Kotobank page has many relevant entries. The Japanese popflock.com resource article also has a section on the history of shogi. And there's also the Gogen-Allguide entry.
The broad consensus, inasmuch as there is one, is that chess originated in India, made it to China (possibly via Persia, where apparently they've found flat chess pieces?) where it was called some variation of or , then either it came to Japan and eventually was relabeled (sh?gi), or came via Korea where that spelling may have first appeared and then made it to Japan.
HTH, -- Eiríkr Útlendi |Tala við mig 05:37, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
@Eirikr: Interesting. This means that could have been ateji, and that shogi have taken the name of pieces from a Persian branch chess but the movement of pieces from the Southeast Asian branch. (talk) 07:47, 9 October 2019 (UTC)


how does the form durst come about from dare + -est? --Backinstadiums (talk) 12:12, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

It doesn't. It is the Modern English descendant of Old English dorste, which was one past tense form of Old English durran. Tharthan (talk) 21:38, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
I.e. like must is actually the past of mote. Fay Freak (talk) 19:42, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

tangle, entangle

Merriam-Webster claims that tangle was originally a shortened form of entangle, which it claims is derived from Anglo-French (vague phrasing, there) entagler ["to implicate, to prosecute (for)"].

Does this have any merit? Tharthan (talk) 19:58, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

I see something else: "Middle English tanglen, tagilen, probably short for entanglen, from Anglo-French entagler, entangler to prosecute (for), implicate".  --Lambiam 21:56, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't know what merit it has. I cannot find a reference to Middle French entangler or entagler in the Dictionnaire du Moyen Français located here [[1]], neither in Old French here [[2]]. Would this term have originally come into Anglo-French and Middle English near the same time, from the same Scandinavian source ? Leasnam (talk) 22:49, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, sorry Lambiam. "entanble" was a typo. I meant to say "entangle". Notice how close "G" and "B" are on a QWERTY keyboard. I have now fixed that unintended error. Tharthan (talk) 23:27, 7 October 2019 (UTC)


I noticed a curious etymology for this word elsewhere:

"1665-75; variant of dial. (k)nidge, akin to Old English cnucian, cnocian to knock"

It seems that there is a good bit of disagreement about the etymology of this word. Might this be worth looking into? Tharthan (talk) 15:05, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

We do have an entry for Old English cnocian, with descendant knock. We also have an entry for (Modern) English nidge, "to dress the face of (a stone) with a sharp-pointed hammer", without etymological info. Finally, we have Scots knidge, "to rub, squeeze, press with the knee", again without etymological info (but presumably related to English knee).  --Lambiam 17:27, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Do you think, then, that it is worth mentioning in nudge's etymology section? Tharthan (talk) 23:24, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
In principle we mention all credible or widespread popular etymologies, preferably referencing sources for theories that are not well known, but IMO we should refrain from publicizing fringe theories by amateur would-be etymologists.  --Lambiam 15:36, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
That is a good, prudential judgement. My thought after having seeing that there is disagreement about the etymology of this word, and also seeing the proposed "variant of (k)nidge" origin in one location, was that perhaps we ought to look into how probable our own given etymology is for this word. Tharthan (talk) 19:38, 9 October 2019 (UTC)


Due to the prevalence of wine-whine merging dialects, this is often written as "wiz" or "whiz". As such, I have to wonder: could this be partially from whizbang (sense 3)? Tharthan (talk) 05:08, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Which sense/meaning of wiz are you inquiring about ? Leasnam (talk) 00:00, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Etymology 1, sense 1.
And, again, I'm not suggesting that our etymology is erroneous. I am suggesting that the usage of "whiz" for "whizbang" (sense 3) may well have contributed to the current word. Tharthan (talk) 04:55, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
No further thought on this?
It seems probable, no? Tharthan (talk) 13:01, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Some connection seems plausible, but directionality is hard to tell; it might also be that sense 3 of whizbang is rather due to w(h)iz. --Tropylium (talk) 18:10, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
@Leasnam, Tropylium What are the odds of that? Tharthan (talk) 23:44, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
A glance at Google NGram tells an interesting story: [[3]]. Most dictionaries cite c. 1902 as the first recorded use of wiz in its current sense, but whizbang doesn't appear till 1915 with the sense of "something conspicuous for noise, speed, excellence, or a startling effect". Similarity in form and meaning might simply be coincidental. Leasnam (talk) 01:52, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Vietnamese female name ?ào

Currently, the page on ?ào gives "from ?" as the etymology. For the family name sense that makes sense. But isn't the female name sense more likely to come from MuDavid (talk) 07:13, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Pinging @Fumiko Take, who added the etymology in the first place. MuDavid (talk) 07:25, 11 October 2019 (UTC)


We somewhat recently evaluated the etymology, and as a result added several alternative theories. HOWEVER, it is very clear that the word descends from Middle English nasti, being attested since the late 14c (c. 1390), and with that being said I believe the following theories should be removed:

  • Dutch nestig ("dirty", literally "like a bird's nest"). - "Dutch" didn't exist at the time.
  • Other suggestions include Old High German naz ("wet"), hardening of English nesh(y) ("soft"), or alteration of English naughty. - Just...No.
  • Modern use of the word is sometimes attributed to the popular and often derogatory 19th century American political cartoons of Thomas Nast, but the word predates him. - word existed before Thomas Nast was born.

Leasnam (talk) 23:50, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

The modern Dutch word occurs with the spelling nestich in Middle Dutch; the Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek states that the term is probably cognate with English nasty. The OED supports the Dutch etymon. So this theory should not be discarded lightly. Furthermore, if we remove well-documented theories put forward by respectable sources, users are certain to keep adding them. If any such theories have convincingly been discredited, I think it is better to mention this rather than remove them.  --Lambiam 11:40, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Middle Dutch nestig, nistich doesn't seem (to me) to derive from the word for "nest", as it doesn't mean "like a nest" but rather "nasty, dirty, ugly, bad", which nests are not...birds usually keep them fairly tidy. The word might actually be cognate with the Middle English word. I've updated the entry. I'm fine with leaving the others for their informative value. Leasnam (talk) 21:11, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
@Leasnam, the Middelnederlandisch Woordenboek also doesn't derive this from nest. From the link provided by Lambiam:

Waarschijnlijk heeft het woord niets met nest, vogelnest, te maken, maar is het één in oorsprong met eng. nasty, vuil, smerig, ook onaangenaam. Daarnaast oeng. nast, vuiligheid, slik (Hall.).

The word probably has nothing to do with nest, "bird's nest", but has the same origin as English nasty, "foul, grubby, also unpleasant". In addition Old English nast, "filth, mud" (Hall.).

So our Dutch reference traces both the Middle Dutch term and the English term to Old English nast. I'm not that up on Old English, but perhaps this provides a useful clue? -- Eiríkr Útlendi |Tala við mig 21:29, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks Eirikr ! though I wasn't able to find nast (or n?st, næst, etc.) in Old or Middle English with that meaning. I'll keep looking. Leasnam (talk) 22:04, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Poking around in Duden for any likely cognates, I did stumble across German naschen and then English relative nesh. Both refer to something soft, which could fit the purported older nast sense of "mud". But then again, both the DE and EN terms point to older forms with medial /-sk-/, not /-st-/. How likely is any such /-sk-/ -> /-st-/ shift? -- Eiríkr Útlendi |Tala við mig 22:33, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but it looks on the surface to me that the root might be Proto-Germanic *nataz ("wet"), which possibly gave rise to *natskaz ("watered, slick, muddy ?") => *naskaz (?) I would consider naschen and nesh to be unrelated to anything from *nataz, as those roots have an initial *hn- (*hnaskuz) Leasnam (talk) 01:01, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

sexy time

I thought sexy time ~ sexytime or sexy times ~ sexytimes originates from the Borat film. Am I wrong? I can't find any evidence against: all the citations we have, and all the relevant Urban Dictionary entries I've found, (usually well) postdate the film, or even credit it directly. Oh wait: I've found a 2006 entry on Urban Dictionary that precedes the film but credits the Borat character, and a 2005 entry that precedes the film but not the character's appearance on US television ... hm ... so I think the term is strongly associated with the Borat character, and was at least popularised if not coined by him. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:56, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

The term was apparently used in an 18 June 2003 post on a site dedicated to the Borat character.  --Lambiam 08:48, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! That seems to confirm that the term goes back to the Borat character and was popularised by the film. Shouldn't we note that? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:19, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I think that in general we should identify the coiner of a term when known, for which the etymology section is the appropriate spot. We even have a newly minted {{coin}} for that. The fact that all older uses of "sexy time" are associated with Borat makes it a virtual certainty that indeed Baron Cohen (in his incarnation as Borat Sagdiyev) coined the term already in his appearances in Da Ali G Show.  --Lambiam 23:04, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
It is used in this sketch around 6:40, that according to Wikipedia was aired on 21 February 2003. Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 06:52, 21 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks @Lambiam, Lingo Bingo Dingo, I've edited the entry accordingly. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:53, 21 October 2019 (UTC)

West Frisian duit

Several etymological dictionaries mention West Frisian duit (easily attestable) as a cognate of Dutch duit, strongly suggesting that it wasn't borrowed from (modern) Dutch. It is also often mentioned as conjecture that the words in both languages may have been borrowed from Old Norse during the Early Middle Ages. Does anyone know whether the West Frisian term can be traced to Old Frisian? @Leasnam, Rua Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 09:51, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

It contains a phoneme that occurs only in terms borrowed from Dutch, so if it's not borrowed, there needs to be an explanation for the non-native phoneme. --Rua (mew) 16:50, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
According to Pfeifer, Middle Dutch duit is merely cognate with Old Norse þveiti, not borrowed. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:10, 21 October 2019 (UTC)


Do we have any idea where this comes from?

Is it simply an expressive coinage, or similar? Tharthan (talk) 13:02, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

I don't know if this contributed in any form, but kangeroo is an old-fashioned spelling of "kangaroo", and there are monkey species referred to as wanderoo. As an obvious addition, an old word is slitheroo, used by Kipling in his 1897 novel Captains Courageous (see also the supplement to the 1910 Century Dictionary); however, this was a verb, not a noun, and the suffix was actually -oo here. I may be mistaken, but I think that, next to snackeroo (described here as Australian slang for "something especially good", "a sure winner" - not "a little bite"), switcheroo was one of the first -eroo nouns. In this 1965 SF story (unfortunately snippet view only) one of the characters does not know what a "switcheroo" is.  --Lambiam 21:32, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Our entry gives 1889 for first attestation of buckaroo (alt. buckeroo), which we say is from Spanish vaquero. DCDuring (talk) 22:30, 15 October 2019 (UTC)


From the RFE banner in selderij: Where did the /d/ come from? It's a good question. All etymological dictionaries state that it is a borrowing from 17th century French (céleri), but did /d/ epenthesis between /l/ and /r/ operate that late or is its presence the result of analogy? Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 09:03, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

From Middle Dutch and Middle Low German to Dutch and Low German one swayed between -ld- and -ll- in general, like helden became hellen, and when everything became -ll- one corrected up some of these to -ld- even if they did not have it originally. Typical for Low German/Dutch. Fay Freak (talk) 11:21, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
The form heller for Dutch helder is attested as late as 1657. It seems that Middle Dutch mulre "miller" only solidified into mulder with its epenthetic /d/ in Modern Dutch; Kiliaan (1599) still lists the form moller. Likewise, the form solre for Modern Dutch zolder is reportedly still occasionally found in the 16th century. And the transition from Low German Daler to Dutch daalder also took place in the 16th century.  --Lambiam 10:58, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
The ultimate origin of this epenthetic -d-, a well-known phenomenon, is thought to be in oblique forms where -lr- > -ldr- is a quite unremarkable development, though mulre indicates that this -d- was not yet there in Middle Dutch. See, however, Wikipedia.
By the way, I wonder why mulder is not covered by us at all. The only mention I can find is in the etymology section of miller. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:50, 22 October 2019 (UTC)
Mulder nowadays isn't the main term for "miller" anymore, though it is still present in many dialects. Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 10:30, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
To reiterate, the question was about the end date of d epenthesis. But I think the current etymology more or less works. Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 10:30, 30 October 2019 (UTC)

cerulean, hoar

The etymology at cerulean says "cognate to Old English h?r. More at hoar", but none of those entries link to a common ancestor. Ultimateria (talk) 17:59, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

An earlier version said "from Latin caeruleus ("dark blue"), from Proto-Indo-European *y(w)-, *?y?(w)- ("grey"). Cognate with ...", so at that time there was a connection. This was inconsistent with the etymology later provided at caeruleus, and so an editor changed this a few months ago to "from Latin caeruleus ("blue"), from caelum ("sky, heaven") +‎ -uleus (diminutive suffix). Cognate with ..." - thereby breaking the alleged PIE connection.  --Lambiam 21:23, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
So it was wrong before and now it's right? We can remove the English/Old English connection? Ultimateria (talk) 15:47, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
There can be little doubt that Latin caeruleus derives from the noun caelum meaning "sky". The etymology we have now for the latter allows no cognacy with har/hoar and is in line with the etymology preferred by De Vaan, although he presents it together with other theories and hedges it with words like "may" and "possibly" - nothing sounding as definitive as how we present it. But nothing hoary to be found there, also not as an alternative theory.  --Lambiam 22:31, 18 October 2019 (UTC)


I looked in a few dictionaries and lexica and didn't find a reference to a Doric Greek form (káleos) corresponding to Attic Greek (k?leos) in the LSJ, or an indication that Latin cale? was derived from it. It's improbable because the Doric would probably have a long vowel (? (kleos)), which disagrees with the Latin short vowel. That part of the etymology was added way back in 2007. Still, I'm curious if this etymology has any source whatsoever. -- Eru·tuon 18:20, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Apart from phonetic considerations, it is also unlikely that the verb cale? ("to be hot") was a borrowing of a noun. There is a verb (k?lé?) ("to beguile, especially by music" - like Orpheus), which is an unlikely etymon for semantic reasons.  --Lambiam 20:45, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

walrus (Dutch)

Are there any references available for the apparent theory that Dutch walrus could also be from wal + reus? It isn't in any of the etymological dictionaries here and seems rather fanciful. Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 07:38, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

Good catch. Looks like a too-clever-by-half paraetymology.
I just checked; it was inserted in this edit by User:Morgengave. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:01, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

-h- instead of -g- in Gothic -ags

So on the page for Gothic "-" this is displayed: (This etymology is missing. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: "why -h-?")

The reason is known but I am not totally sure how best to word it for the etymology section of this page.

The reason is as follows: - is of course a variant of -(?) and it is a matter of stress in the PIE word. It can be summed as working just like Verner's Law, where - < PGmc *-agaz < PIE *-kós/?os and - < PGmc *-ahaz < PIE *-kos.

You are right, Verner alternants always throw me off for some reason. Thank you, I have fixed it. -- Mnemosientje (t · c) 17:28, 24 October 2019 (UTC)


The descendants list in this Spanish entry has at least a couple misplaced Portuguese loans, though there are some cases where it's not at all clear which language they came from. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:00, 23 October 2019 (UTC)


@Justinrleung Related to ? (péng)? rr?or1? 13:11, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

a little bird told me

The etymology is awfully long. Canonicalization (talk) 17:08, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

RFV of the etymology: Blend of + . -- justin(r)leung (t...) | c=> } 16:58, 25 October 2019 (UTC)

@Justinrleung? is restricted to white people. Apparently or is involved. Also those who say do not necessarily mean are idiots (), but sometimes rather hypocrites. -- Huhu9001 (talk) 04:42, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

Arabic letters

Can someone clean up the writing style of ?‎'s Arabic etymology? Personally I'm unable to parse the whole thing properly, and I'm also not too clear myself on the history involved, so I don't want to accidentally trim necessary info.

Additionally, the following letters all previously had etymologies written by the same user, using a single sentence and substituting in the pertinent letters mad-libs-style.

Using ?‎ as an example, I changed the overall template from...

?(?) distinguished by a point, written with that sign before the invention of such points (in rasm) because the scribes understood that Arabic /x/ is represented in Nabataean words that are by their lineage related to the Arabic words that have /x/ in them by /?/ written by the Nabataean ?(?), from which the Arabic ?(?) for /?/ descends.


Derived from ?(?), and originally written as such (in rasm) by analogy with Nabatean tradition, as Nabatean cognates of Arabic words with /x/ were indiscriminately spelled using ?(?).

Can I get a double-check confirming that I preserved the original meaning well enough? Is it necessary to re-add the note at the end that Arabic ?(?) itself descends from ?(?)? M. I. Wright (talk) 20:23, 26 October 2019 (UTC)

You have preserved the original meaning. I should know since I have written the etymologies. You are doing great in preserving content. I focussed somewhat strongly on the mental states the scribes where in, trying to make it clear how aware they were about the relations of the Arabic language and script to the Aramaic language and script, on which there is this excellent piece by Werner Diem basically explaining the same thing but much more profuse. The ?(s) is special - the etymology explains why samekh (?) died out in Arabic and shin () is used for /s/ - and I needed many runs to formulate it as it is in order to incorporate all information explicitly (as well as to understand what Diem wrote about it, which I essentially made as concise as I could, and people can't imagine how complicated that article was, and I have read it being a German natively). I see room for improvement, Imma try a bit. Fay Freak (talk)
@M. I. Wright Done. Fay Freak (talk) 21:06, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
@M. I. Wright, Fay Freak I put the extra explanation in a collapsable table (do we have a basic, non-section-specific table?), since I think it is interesting, but is a bit overwhelming on first sight. Hopefully that's alright with you. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:43, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
Oh, the rewrite is a lot clearer to follow, and the table looks like a clean solution to me! Thanks, both! M. I. Wright (talk) 23:27, 26 October 2019 (UTC)

Etymology of 'ruction'

Discussion moved from Wiktionary talk:Tea room.

I was curious about the word 'ruction', Wiktionary has no etymology. I have no formal training in the field, but it occurs to me it could simply be from the same root as eruct, to belch or burp.

@BooksXYZ I moved your discussion here. We typically don't use the talk pages of community discussion pages to talk about entries. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:32, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
The hypothesis would be that ruction was formed from the Latin verb ructo, or by apheresis from *eruction, a noun corresponding to eruct. However, the corresponding Latin nouns are ructatio[4] and eructatio[5], giving rise to English ructation and eructation. So this seems unlikely.  --Lambiam 08:30, 28 October 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology.

@Lingosaurus attempted to tag this for deletion with a popflock.com resource template on the grounds "False content, origin of word not Sanskrit, questionable IPA. Better source already on Wiktionary (?#Urdu)". Since Wiktionary is organized by spelling and language rather than topic, and this is an English, rather than Urdu entry, we can't do that. We should, however, verify the etymology and otherwise clean up this old, fossilized interwiki. I wasn't able to find the supposed Sanskrit etymon in Monier-Williams, but my Sanskrit is a bit rusty after three decades... Chuck Entz (talk) 13:42, 28 October 2019 (UTC)

I can see the name is used in India, but is there any evidence it is used by "many ... Pacific Ocean persons"? BTW, "Chirag" is apparently also the name of a Nakh-Daghestanian language.  --Lambiam 10:04, 29 October 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. In Hokkien, ? is not usually read as Liông when it's a surname. -- justin(r)leung (t...) | c=> } 22:42, 28 October 2019 (UTC)

sloep (Dutch)

The etymology of Dutch sloep differs drastically from the EWN, who strongly argue for a borrowing from French chaloupe (which must be Middle French). Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 10:25, 30 October 2019 (UTC)

I see that the corresponding Dutch Wiktionary entry at nl:sloep gives a different source the Chronologisch woordenboek, but ultimately the same date of 1588 as the ENW entry. (NB: The C.w. source might also be the source for the ENW, can't tell for certain.)
Meanwhile, our entry has no sources, and derives noun sloep from verb sloepen -- which term we don't have, and ultimately neither does the Dutch Wiktionary, nor the Chronologisch woodenboek, nor the Dutch Language Union's official Dutch dictionary, nor the ENW. The most these other sources show is sloepen as the plural of sloep, which we do have.
It looks to me like our etym for sloep is bogus, and predicated on a non-existent word. -- Eiríkr Útlendi |Tala við mig 17:50, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
According to the etymology section for "chaloupe" in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language), the Dutch etymological dictionaries of De Vries relate the noun sloep to the verb sluipen, not *sloepen. Our entry chaloupe mentions Dutch sloep as a possible etymon, something Le Trésor considers unlikely, not only because sloep is attested only considerably later, but also on phonetic grounds. The figurative use of a dialectal form chalope meaning "nutshell" seems perfectly plausible to me; compare the figurative use of Dutch notendop and German Nussschale. Given the closeness, both in form and in meaning, between Dutch sloep and French chaloupe, it appears unlikely these are unrelated, and then, for a variety of reasons (dating, phonetics, etymon), the transfer from French to Dutch is the far more likely direction.  --Lambiam 09:13, 31 October 2019 (UTC)


Hello ! I've made extensive modifications to the etymology at chagrin, bringing it in line with what it says in CNRTL here [[6]]. I've looked at the Century etymology, and I have some issues with it. I can only find a single use of Old French chagrin (as chagrine paresce 1389) where it is an adjective. Otherwise, the noun doesn't appear till the Middle French period (so I'm not sure which Old French changin Century is seeing). The CNRTL seems to distinguish the two senses as different words, a chagrin¹ for the "shagreen" sense, and a chagrin³ for the "distress" sense. I have left ours under a single etymology for the time being. Leasnam (talk) 03:34, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

November 2019


The etymology reads: "possibly a calque of English self-absorbed." Though the chronology fits, I'm sceptical about this. Ingenomen and absorbed are not really good analogies, and the Dutch phrase met zichzelf ingenomen, from ingenomen zijn met X, is attested as early as the mid 18th century (though the main text is a translation from English, the extremely long biographical foreword is mostly absent in the English version). Any thoughts? Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 12:10, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

Does Dutch zelfingenomen really mean "self-absorbed"? I think it is related to the adjective innemend, "charming" (not listed as an adjective here), from the verb innemen, "to conquer" - specifically by breaking through the defences, hence figuratively "to conquer by charm". People who are zelfingenomen are charmed by themselves.  --Lambiam 07:05, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
The formation of the word appears to fit a pattern:
  • door zichzelf benoemd -> zelfbenoemd
  • van zichzelf bewust -> zelfbewust
  • met zichzelf ingenomen -> zelfingenomen
  • door zichzelf uitgeroepen -> zelfuitgeroepen
  • door zichzelf verklaard -> zelfverklaard
  • door zichzelf verkozen -> zelfverkozen
  • van zichzelf verzekerd -> zelfverzekerd
  • van zichzelf voldaan -> zelfvoldaan
 --Lambiam 06:28, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
I have changed the definition to "self-complacent, self-satisfied, smug" and removed the calque theory.  --Lambiam 16:02, 6 November 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. -- justin(r)leung (t...) | c=> } 01:52, 3 November 2019 (UTC)


For this word did the noun really come from the verb? Is there a source that supports this? The etymologies were divided back in March 2017 by @Leasnam, and before that they were just all under the first etymology. Century lumps the adjective and noun together under one etymology. Also, the MEC says the noun comes from the adjective.[7] (I don't know how authoritative their etymologies are.) If those are correct I would think etym 3 should be recombined with etym 1. -Mike (talk) 05:26, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

It seems to me that some current noun uses come from the Middle English noun (to bring into the open) and some others from the modern English adjective (the open championship -> the open). We currently only list a Middle English adjective open (as well as an Old English one), but no such noun or verb. I see no reason to doubt the Middle English Compendium. Etymologically, in Proto-Germanic, the verb is derived from the adjective.  --Lambiam 06:56, 4 November 2019 (UTC)


"Glyph origin: Ideogrammic compound (): ? ("pot") + ? ("basic") - a basic (humble) pot." Tagged since October 17, 2016, but not listed.  --Lambiam 07:11, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

@Lambiam: Looks like folk etymology to me. ? is acting as a phonetic component according to Zhengzhang Shangfang. I've revised the glyph origin. -- justin(r)leung (t...) | c=> } 20:38, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

RFV: LA rhonch- < GRC /

Is the different vowel a mark of PoS? Sobreira (parlez) 09:33, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

L&S and Bailly only have (rhénkhos) as a variant of (rhénkos), but give the verb ? (rhonkiá?) () as a Dorian variant of (rhénk?). Also, (rhonkhasmós) is given as a synonym of . Unless stated otherwise, the POS is Noun for all variants.  --Lambiam 10:42, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
Those are different ablaut grades. The best known example of ablaut is in inflection, where different parts of the paradigm in many Indo-European languages sometimes use different ablaut grades. In English we have sing (present), sang (simple past) and sung (past participle). I don't know why the ablaut grades are different between the different Ancient Greek dialects, but the dialects that colonized parts of Italy were mostly different from the Attic dialect that became dominant in Greece itself. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:50, 5 November 2019 (UTC)


City http://www.defaultlogic.com/dictionary?s=%CE%9A%CF%81%CF%8C%CF%84%CF%89%CE%BD

Plant http://www.defaultlogic.com/dictionary?s=%CE%BA%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%84%CF%8E%CE%BD


RFV of the etymology.

tagged but not listed Leasnam (talk) 21:45, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

I've edited it since the tag was added. Leasnam (talk) 21:46, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

Hebrew as feminine of

I'm aware that the use of ‎ to mean non-Jew, often assumed to be a semantic loan from Yiddish, was in fact used as early as Maimonides as well as by the Sephardi Joseph Karo.

However, I am less sure about the origin of the feminine equivalent, whether it originated in Rabbinic Hebrew or whether it first appeared in Yiddish. My guess is that it's obvious enough to have originated independently of Yiddish, and that even Yiddish speakers forming the feminine with -e would have had a Hebrew prototype in mind (otherwise you would expect a more Yiddish feminine form, as in (khaverte)), but I am going to be searching for textual evidence in rabbinic literature as well as in the non-rabbinic literature of Muslim and Christian Spain, and would appreciate help with this. (Fintsternish), she/her (talk) 09:16, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

active shooter

1. Are etymologies like that allowed in the first place and what is it exactly supposed to convey? 2. In any case, I think this sense is early 2000s at the latest, probably becoming current in the wake of the Columbine shooting. Perhaps a 1999 cite can be found in a media corpus. Google results before 2000 are completely unreliable however. Lingo BingoDingo (talk) 12:14, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

It creates the incorrect suggestion that the term was coined in the October 2008 booklet. Here is a police use from May 2007.  --Lambiam 22:45, 11 November 2019 (UTC)
This Word document, which uses the term in the first paragraph of the Introduction, is from March 2004.  --Lambiam 11:40, 12 November 2019 (UTC)
And here we see a use in a 2000 issue of Soldiers of Fortune, probably the April issue. (Quote: 'The term "Active Shooter" is defined in a recent Illinois Tactical Officers Association newsletter as, "one or more subjects who participate in a random or systematic shooting spree, demonstrating their intent to continuously harm others. Their overriding objective appears to be that of mass murder, rather than other criminal conduct such as robbery, hostage taking, etc."'.)  --Lambiam 12:04, 12 November 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology:

  • Latin annona ("corn, grain; means of subsistence")

As an IP has pointed out on the talk page, Wikipedia, citing a book called "Florida Ethnobotany", traces it to a Taino word, annon or anón, which we have as a Spanish entry. The DRAE entry for anón says "De or. caribe", which complicates things: "caribe" could mean either "Caribbean" or "Carib". If the latter is meant, that conflicts with Wikipedia, since Taino is an Arawakan language unrelated to Carib. Taxonomicaly, the name traces back to Carl Linnaeus, in his 1753 edition of Species Plantarum. It's interesting to note that the names he cites are all with one "n". Perhaps he changed the spelling on the assumption that the word originally came from Latin. Chuck Entz (talk) 09:25, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

The Spanish term anona has (according to the DRAE), next to the sense of a tree (or its fruit) in the family Annonaceae, also the obsolete sense of "provision of victuals". There can be little doubt that the latter sense descends from Latin ann?na, as does Italian annona; see Praefectus annonae on Wikipedia. It seems plausible to me that Linnaeus "corrected" the Spanish spelling in coming up with his Neo-Latin Annona. It seems somewhat less plausible - although not entirely unthinkable - that he thought the botanical sense came from the other sense, what with the rather considerable semantic distance between "provision of victuals" and "sugar-apple". Curiously, the 1911 Century Dictionary has the spelling Anona.  --Lambiam 11:11, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Script hybrid

How do you think about these characters if they were going to exist in Unicode: my tweet with 3 pics. --Octahedron80 (talk) 03:09, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

lose face

A calque of Chinese? Why? Canonicalization (talk) 13:43, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

Why not ? Leasnam (talk) 23:15, 14 November 2019 (UTC)
But why specifically from / (di?li?n) and not (also) from (di? miànzi)?  --Lambiam 06:32, 15 November 2019 (UTC)


RFV of the etymology. @Mlgc1998 -- justin(r)leung (t...) | c=> } 18:38, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *gallô

RFE for this entry and *gall?. A lot of sources 1234 (ish) seem to think that this is from Proto-Indo-European *elh?- ("green, yellow"). I noticed someone tried to add this etymology but it was quickly reverted. Does it not work? Or maybe it was because that editor was just an IP and didn't cite a source...

Further confusing things is the relationship between *gallô and *gall? (are they alternate forms?) but that's a different question I suppose. DJ K-Çel (talk) 21:52, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

It was reverted because the IPA put a Proto-Indo-European form as an Ancient Greek word and used {{etyl}}, well and maybe the formal explanation wasn't really there either. Connecting to random roots is easy. Fay Freak (talk) 01:36, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
I've moved *gall? to *gall?, since the West Germanic descendants are weak. I've also added the descendants of *gallô to *gall?. I think we can delete *gallô. Leasnam (talk) 07:23, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

The Levantine interjection ? (?ayy!), verbalizing a sigh of relief. Is it by any chance related to (?ayr)? (I'm thinking of elongation along the lines of ? (?ayyyyyyyr...) perhaps leading to eventual apocope of the /r/.) M. I. Wright (talk) 00:21, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

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