Interesting Etymologies

This is our main forum. Here, anything related to languages and linguistics can be discussed.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
Ciarán12
Posts: 3391
Joined: 2011-12-31, 15:23
Real Name: Ciarán
Gender: male
Location: Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)
Country: IE Ireland (Éire / Ireland)

Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-05-22, 7:40

This is sort of an interesting etymology/false friend situation: (pt-BR) naja ("cobra") < Sanskrit nāga < PIE *snog-, *sneg-, whence English "snake", but "snake" in Portuguese is "cobra". So "cobra" means "snake" and "snake" means "cobra".

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23046
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2019-05-22, 20:41

On a similar note, just stumbled across this explanation in the etymology of Latvian vidus "middle":
From Proto-Baltic *widu-, from Proto-Indo-European *widʰu- (“forest, wood”). The semantic change from “forest” to “region, area (between villages)” and to “middle, between” probably comes from a situation in which the areas between villages are mostly occupied by forest (cf. the opposite change, from “middle” to “forest,” in Latvian mežs; these two words, mežs and vidus apparently swapped their meanings).
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

JohnBrooke
Posts: 5
Joined: 2019-04-13, 6:54
Real Name: John Brooke
Gender: male

Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby JohnBrooke » 2019-05-29, 9:33

Origin of the word 'salary' is as follows :

it came from Anglo-Norman French salarie, from Latin salarium, originally denoting a Roman soldier's allowance to buy salt, from sal ‘salt’.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23046
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby linguoboy » 2019-05-29, 15:57

JohnBrooke wrote:it came from Anglo-Norman French salarie, from Latin salarium, originally denoting a Roman soldier's allowance to buy salt, from sal ‘salt’.

You mentioned that already. Aren't there any other etymologies you find interesting?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

JohnBrooke
Posts: 5
Joined: 2019-04-13, 6:54
Real Name: John Brooke
Gender: male

Re: Interesting Etymologies

Postby JohnBrooke » 2019-06-07, 6:03

Etymology of Language :

From Middle English langage, language, from Old French language, from Vulgar Latin *linguāticum, from Latin lingua (“tongue, speech, language”), from Old Latin dingua (“tongue”), from Proto-Indo-European *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s (“tongue, speech, language”). (Source - wiktionary)


Return to “General Language Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest