Word Family - Elephant

October theme: Ancient Borrowings 𒅴

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ivory, elephant

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  • Proto-Afro-Asiatic *leb-
    • Chadic
      • West Chadic
        • Tangale labata elephant
    • Egyptian 𓍋𓃀𓅱 ābu elephant, ivory usually with determiner suffix 𓃰 or 𓌟 to distinguish between "elephant" and "ivory"
      • Coptic ⲓⲏⲃ yēb elephant
        • Latin ebur ivory
          • French ivoire ivory
            • English ivory
          • Italian avorio ivory
          • Irish eabhar ivory
      • Sanskrit 𑀇𑀪 ibha elephant rare; 𑀳𑀲𑁆𑀢𑀺𑀦𑁆 hastin is more common
      • Egyptian 𓅮𓍋𓃀𓅱𓃰 pir-ābu the elephant
        • Akkadian 𒄠𒋛 pīru elephant
          • Aramaic 𐡐𐡉𐡋𐡀 pīlā elephant
            • Hebrew פִּיל píl elephant
          • Elamite 𒉿𒊑𒌝𒈾 pi-ri-um-na ivory
          • Persian پیل pīl elephant
            • Ossetian пыл pyl elephant
            • Georgian სპილო sṗilo elephant
            • Armenian փիղ pʿił elephant, bishop chess piece
            • Arabic فِيل fīl elephant, bishop chess piece
              • Persian فیل fil elephant, bishop chess piece [1]
              • Ottoman Turkish فیل fil elephant
                • Turkish fil elephant, bishop chess piece
                • Serbo-Croatian фи̏л fȉl elephant regional
              • Spanish alfil bishop chess piece
              • Old Norse fíll elephant
                • Icelandic fíll elephant
              • Arabic عَظْم اَلْفِيل ʿaẓm al-fīl ivory, elephant bone
                • Spanish marfil ivory
    • Berber *eḷu elephant
      • Tuareg êlu elephant
      • Mycenaean Greek 𐀁𐀩𐀞 e-re-pa [2]
        • Ancient Greek ἐλέφᾱς eléphās elephant, ivory
          • Latin elephās elephant, ivory
            • Latin elephāns elephant, ivory variant, also elephantus
              • Western Romance
                • Old French olifan elephant, ivory
                  • Middle English olifant elephant, ivory
                • Italian elefante elephant
                • Spanish elefante elephant
                  • Tagalog elepante elephant
              • French éléphant elephant
                • English elephant
                  • Welsh eliffant elephant
                • Irish eilifint elephant
              • Germanic *elpanduz elephant, camel [3]
                • East Germanic
                  • Gothic
                    • Visigothic 𐌿𐌻𐌱𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐍃 ulbandus camel
                    • Slavic *velьb(l)ǫdъ camel
                      • East Slavic
                        • Russian верблю́д verbljúd camel
                      • South Slavic
                        • Old Church Slavonic вельбѫдъ velĭbǫdŭ camel
                      • West Slavic
                        • Polish wielbłąd camel
                • North Germanic
                  • Old Norse úlfaldi camel
                    • Icelandic úlfaldi camel
                • West Germanic
                  • Old English elpend elephant
                  • Old English olfend camel
                  • Old High German hëlfant
                    • Yiddish העלפֿאַנד helfand elephant

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Collected English words

ivory, elephant

Footnotes

  1. ^

    Note Persian فیل fil is borrowed back from Arabic after Arabic borrowed it from Persian پیل pīl. There are many words like that in Persian, due to the historical reversal of the prestige relationship between the two languages.

  2. ^

    Greek 𐀁𐀩𐀞/ἐλέφᾱς eléphās is apparently a compound of Berber *eḷu plus Egyptian ābu, both from the Afro-Asiatic *leb.

  3. ^

    The early Germanics did not have a lot of direct contact with elephants or camels, and did not distinguish between them using *elpanduz for both.

    I like how Old English, Middle English, and Modern English all have words for "elephant" derived from the same Latin, but by three separate paths.