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  1. Word Family - Kai

    Introduction

    A quick Austronesian word family inspired by my friend Kai's birthday: Malayo-Polynesian *tasik: "sea, coastal water, saltwater, tide" -> Hawaiʻian kai: "sea, saltwater, coast, tide".

    The Oceanic compound *taqu-tasi: "expert sailor" (lit. "sea-able, sea-knowing") is such a cool word, I included Austronesian *tsaqu: "to know how, to be able", too …

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  2. Word Family - Silhouette

    Introduction

    Étienne de Silhouette, a French politician of Basque ancestry, was the Controller-General of Finances under Louis XV in 1759. His measures to curb the national debt, notably by imposing new taxes on the rich and the nobility prompted a backlash and ultimately his dismissal after less than a year …

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  3. Word Family - Letter

    Introduction

    There are two words from Sumerian whose descendants are still used all over the world today: gi: "reed"—what they wrote with—and dub: "tablet"—what they wrote on.

    Just in case you wonder how important Sumerian writing was in world history.

    The word tablet (Latin tabula) is probably …

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  4. Word Family - Brother

    Teaser

    brother, pal, friar

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *bʰréh₂tēr brother
      • Anatolian
        • Lydian 𐤡𐤭𐤠𐤱𐤭𐤳𐤦𐤳 brafrsis brother, community member
      • Pre-Armenian *rbayr regular *Br → *rB metathesis
        • Old Armenian եղբայր ełbayr brother
          • Armenian եղբայր ełbayr brother
      • Balto-Slavic *brā́ˀtē
        • East Baltic *brote
          • East Baltic *broterė́lis diminutive
          • Lithuanian brólis brother
        • Slavic *bràtrъ
          • East Slavic братъ …
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  5. Word Family - Autism

    Introduction

    Proto-Indo-European *h₂ew: "away from, since, again" cannot be formally tied to *h₂epó: "off, away", but the similarity is suggestive. Perhaps Pre-Proto-Indo-European *b became either *p (by fortition) or *w (by lenition) in almost all cases, accounting for the paucity of *b in PIE.

    In any case, the later (re …

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  6. Word Family - Dragon

    Introduction

    Dragon tears.

    The etymology of dragon (Classical Greek δράκων drákōn) is not certain, but is traditionally linked to δέρκομαι dérkomai: "to see, to watch".

    "Derkomai…really?" Not so odd: The aorist active participle (m.) of δέρκομαι dérkomai is δρακών drakṓn—the only difference from δράκων drákōn is the placement …

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  7. Word Family - Hawaii

    Introduction

    Dr. Melenaite Taumoefolau makes a compelling and intriguing argument: that Nuclear Polynesian *sawaiki: "traditional/mythological homeland"—whence Hawaii—may be a cognate of *sau ʔariki borrowed from the Tongic branch into Nuclear Polynesian. (Note that *sawaiki can only be reconstructed to NP, it is not present in Tongic or …

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  8. Word Family - Karma

    Teaser

    terahertz, Britain, Stepanakert, Paris, karma

    Full Text

    • Early Proto-Indo-European
      • Anatolian
        • Hittite 𒆪𒂊𒅕𒍣 ku-e-er-zi cuts, cuts up, cuts off
        • Cuneiform Luwian 𒆪𒉿𒅈𒋾 ku-wa-ar-ti to cut
          • Cuneiform Luwian 𒆳𒊭𒀸𒊭𒀭 kur-ša-aš-ša-an (military) division?
      • Proto-Indo-European *kʷer- to do, to make, to build, to cause by magic
        • Proto-Indo-European *kʷért root perfective
          • Celtic *kʷert
            • Brythonic …
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  9. Word Family - Penny

    Introduction

    The Mystery of the Penny.

    I've got three families, each a possible origin for West Germanic *panning: "penny", possible borrowings from either Latin patina: "pan" (via variants *patna, *panna), Latin pannus: "cloth, or—less realistically—Punic 𐤐𐤍 pene: "face".

    I prefer the explanation that the first pennies were small …

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  10. Word Family - Cis

    Introduction

    The attempt to brand cis(gender) as a slur is not truly about the word itself—they wouldn't be any happier with any other word that was used for the same meaning—but an attempt to deny the very category of "cisgender" and thus by extension the existence of …

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  11. Word Family - Tambourine

    Introduction

    There are two west Asian wander words for musical instruments: *pandVr- and tabVr-. *pandVr- mostly means a stringed instrument, and tabVr- mostly means a kind of drum, but that is not consistent.

    The *p-d and *t-b could possibly be metathesis of place of articulation, while leaving voicing in place …

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  12. Word Family - Vet

    Introduction

    I've included (possibly) two families again in this one, Proto-Indo-European *wet-: "year, year-old" and Proto-Indo-European *wósr̥: "spring (season)". There's no formal connection, but it's not hard to imagine on either the phonetic or the semantic level.

    Acrostatic *ó-r̥ nouns like *wósr̥ are from very early PIE. You could imagine …

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  13. Word Family - Cook

    Teaser

    cook, coach, quiche, cake, kitchen, culinary, apricot, Pepsi, biscuit, Budapest

    Full Text

    • Early Proto-Indo-European
      • Anatolian *pekʷ- to pound, to crack grain
        • Hittite pakkušš- to pound, to crack, to crush, to grind
          • Hittite 𒉺𒀝𒋗𒉿𒀭 pa-ak-šu-wa-an cracked? ground? (of grain)
          • Hittite 𒉺𒀝𒆪𒍑𒋗𒅈 pa-ak-ku-uš-šu-ar a tool for crushing grain
        • Lydian 𐤥𐤹𐤡𐤠𐤲𐤶𐤫𐤯 wćpaqẽnt …
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  14. Word Family - Elf

    Teaser

    albino, auburn, daub, oaf, elf, Alfred, Oberon, Elbe, Arpad, Alps

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂elbʰós white
      • Anatolian *albós
        • Hittite 𒀠𒉺𒀸 alpas cloud
      • Hellenic *alpʰós
        • Classical Greek ἀλφός alphós alphos, leprosy with white lesions
          • Latin alphos
            • English alphos
      • Italic *alβos white
        • Latin albus white, bright, pale, gray, fortunate
          • Central Romance
            • Dalmatian …
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  15. Three Kings Day

    Three Kings Day

    It's the Twelfth Day of Christmas, also called Epiphany or Three Kings Day!

    In the European tradition, the Three Kings are named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar.

    Melchior

    "Melchior" is apparently Hebrew מלכיאור melek-i-ʾór: "King of Light". Or possibly an Akkadian or Aramaic name king of something else …

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  16. Word Family - Hibernate

    Teaser

    Himalaya(s), chimera, hibernate, Zima

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰey- winter
      • Proto-Indo-European ǵʰéyōm winter, snow, frost, a year
        • Anatolian
          • Hittite 𒄀𒈠𒀭 giman winter
        • Old Armenian ձիւն jiwn snow
          • Armenian ձյուն jyun snow
        • Germanic *gōį̄
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse gói late winter
              • Icelandic góa month name in traditional calendar (Feb/Mar …
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  17. Word Family - Ahmose

    Introduction

    This word for "moon" is wide spread through Afro-Asiatic and specifically Semitic languages. The one exception is Arabic which uses قمر qamar for moon, instead of the expected *war(i)ḵ. The origin of qamar is unsolved.

    Though Arabic may have borrowed the word tārīk: "date, time, time-keeping" from …

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  18. Word Family - Odin

    Teaser

    Odin, Wednesday, Vatican

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *weh₂t- excited, inspired, possessed, raging
      • Proto-Indo-European *wéh₂tos
        • Germanic *wōdaz
          • East Germanic
            • Gothic 𐍅𐍉𐌳𐍃 wōds possessed (as by a demon)
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse óðr mad, furious, inspired
              • Old Norse Óðr Divinity name: husband of Freja [1]
              • Icelandic óður furious, frantic, crazy
          • West Germanic …
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  19. Word Family - Tongue

    Introduction

    In which linguistics should probably be *dinguistics.

    Armenian լեզու lezu, Lithuanian liežùvis, and Latin lingua (all "tongue") are modified from their expected reflexes of *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s by association with *leyǵʰ-: "to lick". The expected words would be Armenian *tezu, Lithuanian *iežùvis, and Latin dingua (attested in Old Latin).

    Though …

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  20. Timeline of Major Script Groups

    Timeline of Major Script Groups

    It's UN International Literacy Day!

    This timeline shows a very compressed history of writing, organized into major groups of scripts.

    Independent Invention

    While many writing systems have been invented over the millennia, very few of them were ever created completely from scratch by people who …

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  21. Word Family - Wolf

    Teaser

    wolf, wolframite, Ralph, Raoul, lycanthrope, lupus

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *welkʷ- dangerous?, wild?
      • Proto-Indo-European *wl̥kʷós
        • Anatolian
          • Hittite 𒉿𒀠𒆪𒉿𒀸 walkuwa-
        • Celtic *ulk(ʷ)os evil, bad or from *h₁elk-: "wound"
          • Old Irish olc evil
            • Irish olc evil, bad, grudge, misfortune, unfortunate
          • Lepontic 𐌖𐌋𐌊𐌏𐌔 ulkos Evil? Wolf? (personal name) [1]
        • Indo-Iranian …
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  22. Word Family - Work

    Teaser

    work, wrought, boulevard, energy, argon, allergy, Demiurge, liturgy, metallurgy, surgeon, organic organize

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *werǵ- to make
      • Proto-Indo-European *wérǵeti makes
        • Albanian argëtój I entertain, I amuse
        • Celtic *wregeti does, makes
          • Brythonic *gwrėɣɨd
            • Welsh gwneud doing, making
            • Pictish ᚒᚏᚏᚐᚉᚈ urract he made
          • Old Irish fairged
      • Proto-Indo-European *wr̥ǵti
        • Indo-Iranian …
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  23. Word Family - Beryl

    Teaser

    Bangalore, Pavuluri Ganitamu, beryl, brilliant

    Full Text

    • Dravidian *ūr village, settlement
      • Central Dravidian
        • Kolami ūr village
      • Northern Dravidian
        • Brahui ارآ urā house [1]
      • Southern Dravidian
        • Kannada ಊರು ūru town, city, dwelling
          • Kannada ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು beṅgaḷūru place name: ?-Town
            • English Bangalore
        • Tamil ஊர் ūr town, village, dwelling, place
          • Tamil …
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  24. Word Family - Emerald

    Introduction

    Both Classical Sanskrit 𑀫𑀭𑀓𑀢 marakata: "emerald" and Classical Greek μᾰ́ραγδος máragdos: "emerald" appear to be borrowed from a source like *maraktV.

    This is presumably a form closely related to the Phoenician brqt and Hebrew baréket: "emerald", from *b-r-ḳ: "shining, sparkling". Akkadian cognate baraqu: "shine" instead might have had …

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  25. Living Languages of the Americas

    Living Languages of the Americas

    The American Indigenous languages from the US and Canada are mostly extinct, dying, or spoken by relatively tiny remaining communities. It is easy to assume the same about Central and South America, and to think of some of the well-known historical peoples—like "Incas", "Aztecs …

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  26. Word Family - Warm

    Teaser

    fermentation, thermos, warm, petit four, furnace, gore, frantic, adrenaline

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *gʷʰer- warm, hot
      • Proto-Indo-European *gʷʰéreti warms root imperfective
        • Pre-Albanian *džera
          • Pre-Albanian *džernja
            • Albanian ziej I boil, I cook
        • Celtic *gʷereti warms
          • Celtic *uɸo-gʷereti
          • Old Irish fo·geir to heat, to warm, to inflame, to irritate
        • Hellenic *kʷʰérō …
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  27. Word Family - Turtle

    Introduction

    Turtledoves are not named after turtles, in fact "turtle" has meant the bird for longer than it meant the reptile.

    In Middle English tortu meant "turtle" (from Latin tortuca) and turtel mean "turtledove" (from Latin turtur), then they collapsed into "turtle". The modern meaning of "turtle" won out, and …

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  28. Word Family - Scarab

    Introduction

    A whole pile of words for things with shells and exoskeletons built on something like *kar-

    Some of these are probably each of

    1. Wander words for crabs from an unknown substrate
    2. Derivations from possible Proto-Indo-European roots *krew-, *kh₂er-, (s)ker-, and/or *(s)kerp- with meanings related to "hard …
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  29. Word Family - Combust

    Introduction

    In which we go from Latin ūrō: "I burn" to English bust: "upper torso", with very little semantic or phonological similarity.

    Latin ūrō: "I burn" picks up an extra b- in many inflected forms based on re-analysis of amb-ūrō, leading to Latin bustum: "place for fires".

    Then semantically Latin …

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  30. Word Family - Violet

    Introduction

    A Mediterranean/Caucasian substrate word approximately like *wion: "violet (flower)", was borrowed into Hellenic, Iranian, and Italic.

    Greek Ionia is probably not related, since the Mycenaean shows 𐀂𐀊𐀺𐀚 i-ja-wo-ne for "Ionians" with digamma in a different position than the *wion expected for "violet" , and Egyptian 𓇌𓅱𓈖𓏭𓉻𓂝𓏛 ywnj-ꜥꜣ supports that …

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  31. Word Family - Bikini

    Teaser

    Bikini, Niue

    Full Text

    • Austronesian ñiuʀ coconut [1]
      • Malayo-Polynesian *niuʀ coconut
        • Bornean
          • Barito
            • Malagasy voanio coconut compound with "fruit"
        • Chamorro niyok
        • Malayo-Sumbawan
          • Chamic *laʔur
            • Acehnese u coconut
            • Tsat lu³³ coconut
          • Malayic *ñiur
            • Malay nyiur coconut
        • Philippine
          • Central Philippine
            • Tagalog niyog coconut
          • Ilokano niog coconut
          • Sangir niuhe' coconut
        • Timoric
          • Tetun …
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  32. Word Family - Arctic

    Introduction

    Here I'm following Blažek's compelling argument (2017) to derive *h₂ŕ̥Tḱos from *h₂r̥dh₂éḱh₃-s: "bee-eater", similar to many later words for bear that mean things like "honey eater", "honey pig", "thief of bees", "bee bear", "bee wolf", … . This instead of the traditional connection to Sanskrit 𑀭𑀓𑁆𑀱𑀲𑁆 rákṣas and …

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  33. Word Family - Five

    Introduction

    I've been doing Word Families for 5 years! In that time, I have made 150 families! So this week is *pénkʷe: "five".

    The *p-kʷ sequence in *pénkʷe leads to a set highly divergent forms. *kʷ is a highly variable sound on its own, becoming /kw/, /w/, /ʍ/, /k/, /t …

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  34. Word Family - Yesterday

    Introduction

    In which yes- and -day in yesterday are the same root.

    • PIE *dʰǵʰes-tero-dʰoǵʰes
    • Germ. *(d)ges-tera-dagaz
    • OE ġes-ter-dæġ
    • English yes-ter-day

    "The day that’s the other day"

    Germanic *dagaz is often explained as being from *dʰegʷʰ-: "to burn", but the loss of labialization would be irregular, and the semantic …

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  35. Word Family - Nebula

    Teaser

    nephology, Niflheim, Nibelungenlied, nebula

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *nebʰ- cloudy, misty, damp [1]
      • Proto-Indo-European *nébʰos cloud, mist, moisture
        • Anatolian *nébos
          • Hittite 𒉈𒂊𒁉𒅖 nēpis sky, heaven
          • Luwic
            • Cuneiform Luwian 𒋫𒀊𒉺𒀸𒊭 tappassa sky, heaven
            • Lycian 𐊗𐊀𐊂𐊀𐊛𐊀𐊈𐊀 tabahaza
        • Pre-Armenian *m̥bʰos
          • Old Armenian ամպ amp cloud
            • Armenian ամպ amp cloud
        • Balto-Slavic *nébas cloud …
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  36. Word Family - Aloha

    Introduction

    Love, compassion, and pity to Tonga and the city of Nuku'alofa.

    Teaser

    Nukuʻalofa, aloha

    Full Text

    • Austronesian *ʔalep to beckon, to wave
      • Pazeh m-arep to beckon
      • Malayo-Polynesian
        • Chamorro alof to beckon
        • Philippine
          • Tagalog ayap to call, to summon
        • Oceanic *ʔalop
          • Fijian yalo
          • Polynesian *ta-ʔalo
            • Tongan ta-'alo to beckon
            • Nuclear …
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  37. Word Family - Mlk

    Introduction

    MLK is King

    (Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday Bonus)

    Full Text

    • Semitic *m-l-k-
      • Semitic *malk-
        • Central Semitic
          • Arabic مَلِك malik king, monarch
            • Pashto ملک malik king
            • Persian ملک malek king
            • Arabic مَلِك Malik King (personal name)
              • English Malik
          • Northwest Semitic
            • Aramaic מַלְכ …
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  38. Word Family - Year

    Introduction

    The PIE word *yóh₁r̥: "year" becomes both the native English "year" and also the Latinate "hour". Fascinatingly, Greek ὥρᾱ hṓrā (whence the Latin) is also borrowed, post-Alexander, into Classical Sanskrit along with the Hellenistic-Babylonian astronomy/astrology, eventually giving such descendants as Thai โหร hǒon: "astrologer, prophet, magician"!

    Teaser

    year …

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  39. Word Family - Fee

    Teaser

    fee, feudal, cyclops, peculiar, fight, Shadowfax

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *peḱ- wool, livestock, wealth
      • Proto-Indo-European *péḱu
        • Old Armenian ասու asu fleece, wool
          • Armenian ասր asr fine fleece
        • Balto-Slavic *péku
          • East Baltic
            • Lithuanian pẽkus
          • West Baltic
            • Old Prussian pecku cattle
        • Germanic *fehu wealth, cattle, the rune ᚠ
          • East Germanic
            • Gothic 𐍆𐌰𐌹𐌷𐌿 …
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  40. Word Family - Heron

    Introduction

    I've been thinking about herons and egrets a lot recently. For the past year or so, our morning walk goes by a half mile of drainage ditch with an amazing variety of water birds. We regularly see 4 different species of heron: great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret …

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  41. Word Family - Tangata

    Teaser

    Taiwan, Kanak

    Full Text

    • Austronesian *tsau person, human
      • Basay tau person, human
      • Paiwan tsau-tsau person, human
      • Puyuma ṭau person, human
      • Siray tau person, human
        • Siray Tayuan
          • Dutch Tayouan Taiwan archaic
            • English Tayuan
            • Hokkien 臺灣 Tâi-oân Taiwan, Tainan
              • Mandarin 臺灣 Táiwān Taiwan
                • English Taiwan
              • Mandarin 臺南 Tainan …
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  42. Hades - Supergiant Games

    Introduction

    I had a lot of fun playing Supergiant Games's Hades recently, so I put together a run down of word family information for the names in the game, organized according to the in-game Codex! (Minus the Fables section, which is more spoiler-y and generally less etymologically interesting.)

    This will …

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  43. N-O-T

    The short, simple English word not is a contraction of an Old English phrase "not ever a thing".

    ne: "not"

    ā: "ever"

    wiht: "creature, person, thing"

    (Or really, a West Germanic contraction, it also gives German nicht and Dutch niet).

    Equivalent to Germanic *ne-aiwa-wihtã or Proto-Indo-European *ne-h₂óyu-wektom.

    Similarly, never is …

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  44. Word Family - Hard

    Introduction

    Democracy is Hard.

    Teaser

    Hippocratic Oath, democracy, hard, Richard

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *kret- strength, power
      • Proto-Indo-European *krétus
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek κρατύς kratús
        • Indo-Iranian *krátuš power, capability, intelligence
          • Indo-Aryan *krátuṣ
            • Sanskrit क्रतु krátu intelligence, plan, power, ability
          • Iranian *xrátuh
          • Avestan 𐬑𐬭𐬀𐬙𐬎 xratu intelligence, thought, guidance
          • Western Iranian
            • Northwestern Iranian …
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  45. Word Family - Gossamer

    Introduction

    The period of unseasonably hot weather after an initial autumn cooling—now often called "Indian summer"—was previously called "goose summer" in English because it corresponds with the beginning of goose hunting season. Compare Irish fómhar beag na ngéanna: "warm period in Autumn (Indian summer)", literally "little autumn of …

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  46. Word Family - Beirut

    Introduction

    Beirut in my thoughts today.

    Beirut, "memory", "epicenter"

    Full Text

    • Semitic *biʔr- well, spring
      • Central Semitic
        • Arabic
          • Classical Arabic بِئْر biʾr well, spring
            • Classical Arabic بُؤْرَة buʾra focus, epicenter
          • Egyptian Arabic بير bīr well, shaft, manhole
          • Maghrebi Arabic
            • Maltese bir well
          • Peninsular Arabic
            • Hijazi …
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  47. Word Family - Gold

    Introduction

    The colors white, gold, yellow, yellow-green, green, sky blue, and navy blue in various languages. And the chemical elements chlorine, gold and arsenic in English.

    Teaser

    chlorine, yellow, cholera, Glasgow, lapis lazuli, gold, yield, guild, arsenic

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃- yellow, green
      • Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰélh₃yeti becomes yellow-green
        • Balto-Slavic
          • East Baltic …
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  48. Word Family - Justice

    Introduction

    June is for Justice. Justice is Life. ✊🏿✊🏽✊🏼 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

    Teaser

    hygiene, forever, not, age, eternal, medieval, young, rejuvenate, junior, jury, injury, prejudice, justice

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂ey- life, age, vital, eternal
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₂óyu
        • Old Armenian այո ayo yes "on my life??"
          • Armenian այո ayo yes
        • Indo-Iranian *Hā́yu lifetime, life
          • Indo-Aryan …
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  49. Word Family - Vicinity

    Teaser

    economy, vicinity, village, New York, sandwich

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *weyḱ- settlement, to settle
      • Proto-Indo-European *wiḱéti settles, joins settlement
        • Balto-Slavic
          • East Baltic
            • Lithuanian viešė́ti to visit [1]
        • Indo-Iranian *wićáti
          • Indo-Aryan *wiśáti
            • Sanskrit 𑀯𑀺𑀰𑀢𑀺 viśáti enters
      • Proto-Indo-European *wewóyḱe is settled, is part of a settlement stative
        • Indo-Iranian *wawáyća
          • Indo-Aryan …
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  50. Word Family - Four

    April theme: 🦠

    Introduction

    *kʷetwer- is too long for a root. The feminine root suggests that there may have been an original root of just *kʷet-. There are also several reasons to believe that none of this is the original word for four:

    • Hittite's word for "four", meyawes, is unrelated (Hittite …
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  51. Word Family - Pandemic

    Theme: 🦠

    Introduction

    Demon Pandemic Zeitgeist Time

    Teaser

    democracy, pandemic, zeitgeist, time, demon

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *deh₂- to share, to divide
      • Proto-Indo-European *dh₂yéti divides
        • Albanian daj I divide
        • Hellenic *dayomai
          • Ancient Greek δαίομαι daíomai to divide, to distribute
        • Indo-Iranian *dáyatay
          • Indo-Aryan *dáyatay
            • Sanskrit दयते dáyate to divide, to take part in …
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  52. Word Family - Isolate

    Theme: 🦠

    Introduction

    Celtic, Greek, and Latin each have words for "island" that involve /n/ and /s/ and cannot be completely explained. One possibility is that they are all borrowings from the same non-Indo-European source.

    Even if those three are all connected, it would still be beyond credibility for Malayo-Polynesian *nusa …

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  53. Word Family - Warlock

    Introduction

    "Warlock" originally meant "oathbreaker", a compound of *wērō: "truth, oath" and *lugô: "liar". Here I have the families for both pieces of the compound.

    There also used to be a related word in Old English þēodloga, which I am quite fond of. It would have been thedelock in English …

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  54. Word Family - Lion

    December theme: Lions 🦁

    Introduction

    It has long been noted that the Ancient Greek λέων léon: "lion" (whence the word for lion in nearly all Balto-Slavic, Germanic, and Italic languages, as well as a few others) looks almost like it comes from Semitic *labu, but not quite. Pre-Classical Greek would be …

    read more
  55. Word Family - Check

    Introduction

    All English meanings of "check" derive from the chess term:

    checklist, checkup, checks and balances, checkers, checking account, checkered past, …

    All of them.

    Teaser

    check, chess, checkers, shah, Xerxes

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *tek- to reach for, to take, to obtain, to receive
      • Proto-Indo-European *téketi primary imperfective
        • Balto-Slavic *tektei
          • Lithuanian …
    read more
  56. Word Family - Path

    Introduction

    One day, I picked up my phone to look up the etymology of Pontic, but got distracted and looked up the etymology of path first. And it turned out they were the same!

    But wait, how does that work, cause Grimm's Law? Germanic *paþaz is apparently a borrowing from …

    read more
  57. Word Family - Crystal

    Introduction

    Indo-European seems to have had two words for "blood" *krewh₂-: "spilled blood, blood outside the body" (with extended meanings of bloodshed and cruelty) contrasts to *h₁ésh₂r̥: "flowing blood, living blood" (with extended meanings of family).

    The root *krews- is probably a derived root, and means "to harden, to coagulate …

    read more
  58. Kalevakirjat

    (Tegurala introduction: I have a D&D setting I have developed, which I call Tegurala. When I started working on it, I decided to use real world languages for the fantasy languages, for naming language consistency without having to create a bunch of new ConLangs. Giants use Uralic languages)

    The …

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  59. Word Family - Camel

    June theme: Domestic Animals 🐕

    Teaser

    camel, gamma

    Full Text

    • Semitic *gamal- camel
      • Central Semitic
        • Arabic جمل jámal camel
          • Maltese ġemel camel
        • Northwest Semitic
          • Aramaic
            • Classical Syriac ܓܡܠܐ gamlā’ camel
          • Canaanite
            • Hebrew גמל gamal camel
            • Phoenician
              • Ancient Greek κάμηλος kámēlos camel
                • Greek καμήλα kamíla camel
                • Latin camēlus camel
                  • Old French
                    • English …
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  60. Word Family - Cow

    June theme: Domestic Animals 🐕

    Introduction

    Proto-Indo-European has *gʷṓws: "cow, cattle" and *woḱéh₂: "(female) cow". The expected feminine of the *gʷṓws would be something like **gʷow(s)éh₂. *woḱéh₂ looks similar, but not quite there.

    Sino-Tibetan *ŋwa: "cattle, ox" is also highly reminiscent of *gʷṓws. If there was a Central Asian …

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  61. Word Family - Swine

    June theme: Domestic Animals 🐕

    Introduction

    I present two families for "pig" here, partly because Armenian խոզ xoz is derivable from either family (see footnote [1])

    Family 1, Indo-European *suH- pig, sow?", possibly related to Akkadian 𒊺𒄷𒌑 še-hu-u₂ and Sumerian 𒋚 šah; and family 2, Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰóryos: "pig", probably central PIE …

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  62. Word Family - Canine

    June theme: Domestic Animals 🐕

    Introduction

    I get a little speculative here, if not downright provocative. There are words for dog all over Eurasia that recall each other. These could be onomatopoeic, but they do not much resemble the common forms you find in words that actually used as dog sound …

    read more
  63. Word Family - Olive

    May theme: Plants 🌱

    Introduction

    In which "olive oil" is redundant.

    The Greek and Armenian words are often interpreted as being from a Mediterranean substrate word. But then there's the Slavic *lȏjь: "tallow, suet" and Old Chinese lɯw: "oil, grease", which is plausibly from the Tocharian equivalent of Slavic *lȏjь, and …

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  64. Word Family - Pterodactyl

    April theme: Dinosaurs and Friends🦕

    Introduction

    Pterodactyl. Two cool realizations about Greek "pter-". 1) "Helicopter" is so strongly segmented as "heli-copter" in English, it's fun to realize that the Greek construction is actually "helico-pter": "twisting (helix) wing". 2) More recently I realized it's an awesome example of Grimm's Law: apply …

    read more
  65. Word Family - Weasel

    Teaser

    virus, weasel, bison

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *weys- slime, poison, flow, melt
      • Proto-Indo-European *wisós action noun, zero-grade variant
        • Hellenic *wihós
          • Ancient Greek ῑ̓ός īós poison, venom
            • Greek ιός iós venom, virus
        • Indo-Iranian *wišás
          • Indo-Aryan *wíṣas
            • Dardic *biṣá
              • Kalasha biṣ poison
            • Sanskrit विष viṣá poison, venom, bane
              • Sauraseni 𑀯 …
    read more
  66. Word Family - Egypt

    December theme: Pre-Classical Mediterranean 🏝

    Teaser

    Ptah, Egypt, Hephaestus

    Full Text

    • Afro-Asiatic *ptḥ to create?, to begin?
      • Egyptian ptḥ Ptah, self-created divinity of craft and creation
        • English Ptah
        • Egyptian ḥwt-kꜣ-ptḥ Temple of the Soul of Ptah, Memphis
          • Mycenaean Greek *ai-ku-pi-to
            • Ancient Greek Αἴγυπτος Aíguptos Egypt, the Nile
              • Latin Aegyptus Egypt
                • Western …
    read more
  67. Word Family - Phoenix

    December theme: Pre-Classical Mediterranean 🏝️

    Introduction

    Next week, the sister of Phoenix.

    Teaser

    Phoenicia, phoenix, Tisiphone

    Full Text

    • Egyptian fnḫ carpenter, woodcutter
      • Egyptian fnḫw woodcutters, Canaanites, Syrians [1]
        • Mycenaean Greek 𐀡𐀛𐀑𐀍 po-ni-ki-jo trade commodity of some sort [2]
          • Ancient Greek φοῖνῐξ phoînix Phoenician, purple or crimson, date palm, a guitar-like instrument …
    read more
  68. Word Family - Greek

    December theme: Pre-Classical Mediterranean 🏝️

    Teaser

    Greek, Charles, corn, grain, grenade

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *ǵerh₂- to grow old, to mature
      • Proto-Indo-European *ǵerh₂e-ti primary verb
        • Balto-Slavic
          • Slavic *zьrěti to ripen
            • East Slavic
              • Russian зреть zretʹ to ripen, to mature
              • Ukrainian зрі́ти zríty to ripen, to grow, to form
            • South Slavic
              • Serbo-Croatian …
    read more
  69. Word Family - Venom

    November theme: Spiders 🕷️

    Teaser

    win, wish, Venus, Darwin, vanadium, venom, wonder, winsome

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- to love, to want
      • Proto-Indo-European *wn̥h₁néwti?
        • Germanic *winnaną to strive, to work, to gain, to win
          • East Germanic
            • Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌽𐌽𐌰𐌽 winnan to suffer
              • Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌽𐌽𐌰 winna suffering, passion, the letter 𐍅
          • North Germanic …
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  70. Word Family - Witch

    Introduction

    Bonus word family for Halloween by special request from my 4 year old: "witch" from *weyk-: "to separate, to choose, to consecrate".

    *weyk- looks like an extended root implying *wey-, but I can't find any clear evidence for that root. If it is an extension of *wey-, a zero-grade …

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  71. Word Family - Moon

    October theme: Nighttime 🌃

    Teaser

    maroon, measure, meal, moon, month, semester, Medusa, medicine, mode, modern, modest, mold

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *meh₁- to measure
      • Proto-Indo-European *miméh₁ti reduplicate imperfective
        • Indo-Iranian *mimáHti
          • Indo-Aryan
            • Sanskrit 𑀫𑀺𑀫𑀻𑀢𑁂 mimīte to measure, to mark off
          • Iranian
            • Avestan 𐬟𐬭𐬀𐬨𐬍𐬨𐬀𐬚𐬁
      • Proto-Indo-European *moh₁ros big, great
        • Celtic *māros big, great …
    read more
  72. Word Family - Star

    October theme: Nighttime 🌃

    Teaser

    atrium, arid, Astarte, star, disaster, ash, amaretto, ephemeral

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂eh₁- to be warm
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₂éh₁tis a warming abstract/action noun
        • Celtic *ātis furnace, kiln
          • Old Irish áith oven, grain kiln
            • Irish áith kiln
          • Celtic *ātinos
            • Brythonic *ọdɨn
              • Cornish *oden
                • Cornish odencolc lime-kiln
              • Welsh odyn …
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  73. Word Family - Sleep

    October theme: Nighttime 🌃

    Teaser

    sleep, avalanche, lip, lobe

    Full Text

    • ?
      • Proto-Indo-European *(s)leh₂b- to hang loosely, to be weak, lip, to lick
        • Proto-Indo-European *(s)leh₂be-ti to fall down? to relax? primary verb
          • Germanic *slēpaną to sleep
            • East Germanic
              • Gothic 𐍃𐌻𐌴𐍀𐌰𐌽 slēpan to sleep
                • Crimean Gothic schlipen to sleep
            • West Germanic …
    read more
  74. Word Family - Persimmon

    October theme: Indigenous Peoples Day

    Teaser

    Saskatoon, persimmon

    Full Text

    • Algic *mene berry
      • Yurok menomen Juneberry
      • Algonquian *mi·na berry
        • Arapaho biino chokecherry
          • Arapaho biinehe' cherry
          • Arapaho biisib peach, plum
        • Blackfoot ᒍᐡ min' berry
        • Cheyenne mene berry, fruit
        • Central Algonquian
          • Cree ᒦᓂᐢ miinis (wild) berry or fruit
            • Cree ᒥᓵᐢᑲᐧᑑᒥᐣ misa …
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  75. Word Family - Night

    October theme: Nighttime 🌃

    Teaser

    naga, naked, gym, night, nocturnal

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *negʷ- bare
      • Proto-Indo-European *nogʷó-s naked thing, naked one noun
        • Balto-Slavic *nōˀgás naked
          • Lithuanian núogas naked
          • Slavic *nȃgъ naked
            • East Slavic
              • Russian наго́й nagój naked
            • South Slavic
              • Serbo-Croatian наг nag naked
            • West Slavic
              • Polish nagi naked
        • Indo-Iranian *nāgás …
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  76. Word Family - Downtown

    September theme: Community 🏘️

    Introduction

    The Celtic word *dūnom: "hill fort" was borrowed into Germanic twice, once as "hill" and once as "fort".

    The first time was borrowed before the completion of Grimm's Law, so Grimm's Law changed the *d to *t for Germanic *tūną: "enclosure", which eventually gave English "town …

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  77. Word Family - Folk

    September theme: Community 🏘️

    Teaser

    complete, supply, full, poly-, folk

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁ to fill
      • Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁-ti
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek πλῆτο plêto
      • Proto-Indo-European pleh₁st sigma perfective
        • Proto-Indo-European *h₁n̥-pleh₁st in-fill (perfective)
          • Indo-Iranian *HápraHt
            • Indo-Aryan
              • Sanskrit अप्रात् áprāt to fill
      • Proto-Indo-European *pípleh₁-ti reduplicate imperfective
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek πίμπλημι pímplēmi …
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  78. Word Family - Guest

    September theme: Community 🏘️

    Introduction

    This word for "guest"/"host" is restricted to the Late Northwest Indo-European languages, appearing—as far as I know—only in Balto-Slavic, Germanic, and Italic, plus a single personal name in Lepontic (Celtic). It seems to be cognate to a word for "to eat" which is …

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  79. Tengwar for Te Reo (Māori)

    Tengwar for Te Reo

           

    "My language is my treasure and my prized ornament."

    This page describes a counter-factual in which the Tengwar writing system (from Tolkien's Middle-Earth) is instead a native writing system—called Tuʻara—developed by speakers of Polynesian languages.

    I developed it primarily for use in my D …

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  80. Word Family - Android

    August theme: Science Fiction 🤖

    Teaser

    android, Andromeda, Alexander, Nero, Andrew

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂nḗr (adult/married) man
      • Proto-Albanian *nera
        • Old Albanian njer
          • Albanian njeri man
      • Hellenic *anḗr
        • Classical Greek ἀνήρ anḗr (adult) man, husband, mortal
          • Greek άνδρας ándras (adult) man, husband
          • Classical Greek ἀνδρο- andro-
            • English andro-
              • English android
                • English …
    read more
  81. Word Family - Robot

    August theme: Science fiction 🤖

    Teaser

    orphan, robot

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₃erbʰ- to be part of (a group or family)?, to owe allegiance to?, to change owernship?
      • Anatolian
        • Hittite ḫarp- to associate with, to go over to, to change allegiance
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₃orbʰyo-m inheritance? plural: *h₃orbʰyéh₂
        • Celtic *orbyom inheritance plural: *orbyā
          • Old …
    read more
  82. Word Family - Minaret

    July theme: Architecture 🏛️

    Introduction

    For the end of my architecture theme month, I've put together a collection a few small-but-interesting families with architecture words that I did preliminary research on, before concluding each was too small to a weekly family on its own.

    Teaser

    minaret

    adobe

    arrow, arch

    Full Text …

    read more
  83. Word Family - Column

    July theme: Architecture 🏛️

    Teaser

    excel, column, hill

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European kelH- to rise, to be tall
      • Proto-Indo-European *kl̥néH-ti ne- imperfective
        • Italic *kelnō
          • Latin *cellō to rise
            • Latin excellō I elevate, I raise up, I rise, I exult, I excel
              • Western Romance
                • French exceller to excel
                  • English excel
                • Italian eccellere …
    read more
  84. Word Family - Door

    July theme: Architecture 🏛️

    Teaser

    door, hors d'oeuvre, foreign, forest, Dvorak

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *dʰwer- door, gate
      • Proto-Indo-European *dʰwṓr door Gen. *dʰurés
        • Anatolian
          • Hittite *durza
            • Hittite 𒀭𒄙𒍝 an-dur-za indoors
        • Pre-Albanian *dœrə
          • Albanian derë door, home, family
        • Armenian
          • Old Armenian դուռն duṙn door, entrance, mountain pass, palace, court, retinue
            • Armenian դուռ duṙ …
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  85. Frithugairns at Adrianople

    Wed 27 June 2018

    In my undergraduate Early Medieval Europe class at university, one of the assignments was a fictional source document. I wrote a piece of a fictional Visigothic epic about the Battle of Adrianople that had been preserved in a Spanish monastery.

    Frithugairns at Adrianople

    Introduction

    This fragment of the Frithugairns at …

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  86. Word Family - Embassy

    June theme: Celtic Iron Age

    Introduction

    Apologies for the sketchy nature. This one exploded on me in several different ways.

    1. Prior to working on this family, I knew that "ambassador"/"embassy" was from Gaulish via Latin, and I had connected that to the story Livy tells about the Battle of …
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  87. Word Family - Celts

    June theme: Celtic Iron Age

    Introduction

    June's theme is linguistic effects of the Celtic Hegemony of the early Iron Age. The rest of the month will focus on words that were borrowed from Gaulish into Latin (things like very iconic Latin word gladius being borrowed from Gaulish, which appears in …

    read more
  88. Word Family - Daughter

    May theme: kinship terms 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

    Teaser

    female, doe, filial, Tethys, daughter

    Full Text

    • Teaser: female, doe, filial, Tethys, daughter
    • startbody
    • Proto-Indo-European *dʰewgʰ- to produce, to be strong, to be fruitful, to give milk
      • Proto-Indo-European *dʰéwgʰ-ti primary verb form
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek τεύχω teúkhō
        • Indo-Iranian *dáwgdʰi to milk
          • Iranian *dáwgdi
            • Western Iranian …
    read more
  89. Word Family - Moa

    Teaser

    moa

    Full Text

    • Sino-Austronesian
      • Austronesian *manuk bird
        • Malayo-Polynesian
          • Bajau memanuk bird
          • Javanese manuk bird
          • Malayic *manuk
            • Malay manuk bird, chicken
          • Philippine
            • Tagalog manók chicken
          • Oceanic
            • Micronesian
              • Chuukese machang bird
              • Kiribati man bird
            • Polynesian *manu bird
              • Tongan manupuna bird
              • Nuclear Polynesian
                • Samoan manu bird
                • Eastern Polynesian
                  • Rapa Nui manu bird …
    read more
  90. Healy-Price Family Tree

    Thu 12 April 2018

    Healy-Price Family Tree

    The Healy-Price extended family tree, with consanguine, affine, and fictive family.

    Spoiler warning: major and minor spoilers from throughout the InCryptid books and short stories.

    Version 2: Updated through Tricks for Free.

    Healy-Price Extended Family Tree

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  91. Word Family - Avian

    Introduction

    Proto-Indo-European *h₂éwis: "bird" and Proto-Indo-European *h₂ówis: "sheep" appear to be umlaut variants, presumably through the more sparsely attested root *h₂ew-: "to put on clothes, to cover". *h₂éwis: "bird" would be from a passive participle, "a clothed (in feathers)". *h₂ówis: "sheep" from an active participle, "a clother (in wool)".

    Teaser …

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  92. Why "wh-"? Why not?

    In English, constituent question words are often called wh-words: what, when, where, which, why, whether. All these are spelled with a w and pronounced with a w (the h is pronounced in some dialects and not others). This is not coincidence.

    The primary interrogative particle in Proto-Indo-European is *kʷ- …

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  93. Word Family - Bee

    March theme: Bees

    Teaser

    La bohème, bee, antisphexish

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *bʰewh₂- to hit, to strike
      • Proto-Indo-European *bʰewh₂ti primary verb
        • Proto-Albanian *bajā
          • Albanian bahe sling
        • Balto-Slavic
          • Lithuanian bausti to chastise, to punish
        • Celtic
          • Old Irish fo-botha threaten lit. "under-*beat"
        • Italic
          • Latin *fūtō
            • Latin confūtō
              • Western Romance
                • French
                  • English confute …
    read more
  94. Word Family - Snow

    February theme: Weather ⛈️

    Teaser

    Nevada, snow

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *sneygʷʰ- to snow
      • Proto-Indo-European *snigʷʰ(e)ti (it) snows imperfective [1]
        • Balto-Slavic *snigtei
          • East Baltic
            • Lithuanian snigti to snow
          • Finnic *niɣatta to snow? [2]
            • Finnic *niɣatos snow drift action result noun
              • Finnish nietos snow drift
        • Hellenic
          • Classical Greek νίφω níphō to …
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  95. US Presidential Elections PCA

    Sun 18 February 2018

    US Election Principal Component Analysis

    Summary: While the alliance of US states to particular parties fluctuates, regional voting blocks are much more persistent. The primary regional voting blocks are Union North vs. Confederate South and Urban East vs. Rural West.

    Skip to Methodology

    Data Visualizations

    Maps

    Principal Component 1

    Map of Principal Component 1

    Principal …

    read more
  96. Word Family - Taran

    February theme: Weather ⛈️

    Teaser

    stun, tornado, detonate, Thor, thunder, blunderbus

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *(s)tenh₂- thunder, to be loud, to resound [1]
      • Proto-Indo-European *(s)ténh₂eti thunders, resounds
        • Balto-Slavic
          • Lithuanian steneti
          • Slavic *stenàti to groan, to moan
            • East Slavic стенати stenati
              • Russian стена́ть stenátʹ to groan, to moan (archaic)
            • South …
    read more
  97. Word Family - Duke

    January theme: Aristocratic Titles 👑

    Introduction

    Germanic really went to town with this root, creating a bunch of morphological forms that aren't attested in any other branches, and in a few cases I can't even relate them to any standard derivational forms I know in either PIE or Proto-Germanic.

    Teaser

    wanton …

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  98. Word Family - Rex

    December theme: Religion 📿

    Introduction

    This is the family that no matter how long I work on it, it's never done. That's what I get for trying to explore the possibility that two extremely important and productive roots may be connected: *h₂er-, related to cosmic order, and *h₃reǵ-, related to societal …

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  99. Word Family - Geyser

    December theme: Religion 📿

    Introduction

    This root has been reconstructed as *ǵʰew-, *ǵʰewH-, *gewH, *gʷewH, *gʷewh₂, with different combinations of the definitions I've listed, but:

    • While it's an unusual amount of variation in the phonological reconstruction, they're all still awfully similar.
    • Looking at any two of "pour", "cry", "libate", "invoke" they …
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  100. Word Family - Bid

    December theme: Religion 📿

    Introduction

    *bʰewdʰ- vs. *gʷʰedʰ-: two families that end up being super confusing in Germanic languages, since *bʰ and *gʷʰ merge at the beginning of a word. In English, they end up being homophones with complementary/opposite meanings: "offer" vs. "ask for".

    I had to do these two …

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  101. Word Family - Diurnal

    December theme: Religion 📿

    Introduction

    We start religion words with *dyḗwos ph₂tḗr, Old Father Shining-Sky himself.

    Interestingly English "day" is not from this root, despite similarity to many IE words for day, e.g. Latin diēs, etc. Germanic d corresponds to Latin f (PIE ); Latin d corresponds to Germanic t …

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  102. Word Family - Nectar

    November theme: Mes de Muertos 💀

    Teaser

    innocent, noxious, necromancer, nectar

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *neḱ- to perish, to disappear
      • Proto-Indo-European *néḱyeti perishes, disappears imperfective
        • Indo-Iranian *náĉyati
          • Indo-Aryan
            • Dardic
              • Kashmiri نَشُن naśun to be destroyed, to disappear, to wear away
            • Sanskrit 𑀦𑀰𑁆𑀬𑀢𑀺 naśyati to be lost, to perish, to …
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  103. Word Family - Death

    November theme: Mes de Muertos 💀

    Introduction

    A root meaning "to run, to depart" can be reconstructed from Hellenic and Indo-Iranian. But in Northwest branches, Balto-Slavic, Celtic, Germanic, and possibly Italic, there is a phonologically identical root meaning "to die". So it's probably a euphemism coined in a Late Northwest Indo-European …

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  104. Word Family - Quick

    November theme: Mes de Muertos 💀

    Teaser

    quick, biology, vitamin, zoology, hygiene

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *gʷeyh₃- to live
      • Proto-Indo-European *gʷíh₃weti to be alive
        • Balto-Slavic
          • East Baltic
            • Lithuanian gyventi to live, to inhabit
          • Slavic *žiti
            • East Slavic
              • Russian жить žitʹ to live, to reside
            • South Slavic
              • Old Church Slavonic жити žiti to …
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  105. Word Family - Lily

    October theme: Ancient Borrowings 𒅴

    Introduction

    tulips and lilies from Egyptian

    Teaser

    Full Text

    • Afro-Asiatic *ḥrr
      • Egyptian 𓁷:𓂋-𓂋:𓏏-𓆰 ḥrrt flower, blossom
        • Egyptian 𓁹-𓁷:𓂋-𓂋:𓏏-𓆰 jrj-ḥrrt to blossom lit. "make-flower" or "do-flower"
        • Demotic Egyptian ḥrrj flower
          • Coptic ϩⲣⲏⲣⲉ hrēre flower
          • Fayyumic Coptic ϩⲗⲏⲣⲓ hlēri flower
            • Classical Greek λείριον …
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  106. Word Family - Elephant

    October theme: Ancient Borrowings 𒅴

    Teaser

    ivory, elephant

    Full Text

    • 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 …
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  107. Word Family - Tepid

    September theme: Fire 🔥

    Teaser

    Tbilisi, tepid

    Full Text

    • ? Unknown original source [1]
      • Proto-Afro-Asiatic *dp- heat, fire, steam [1]
        • Chadic
          • Hausa dafa to cook
        • Cushitic *daf- steam, sweat
          • Gedeo daffa sweat
          • Oromo damfa steam
            • Oromo damfisa boil, heat in water
        • Semitic *d-p-ʔ- heat, be warm
          • Central Semitic
            • Arabic دفئ dāfiʾ warm …
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  108. Word Family - Aidan

    September theme: Fire 🔥

    Teaser

    ether, Aidan, edifice, anneal, estivation

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂eydʰ- ignite, fire
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₂éydʰ-eti burning, igniting primary verb
        • Indo-Iranian *Háydʰati
          • Indo-Aryan
            • Sanskrit 𑀏𑀥𑀢𑁂 édhate to spread, to grow, to increase, to prosper
        • Hellenic
          • Classical Greek αἴθω aíthō To kindle, to light, to burn
            • Classical Greek αἴθων a …
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  109. Word Family - Fire

    September theme: Fire 🔥

    Introduction

    *péh₂wr̥ means "fire" as an inanimate substance (grammatically neuter), as opposed to *h₁n̥gʷnis, which is animate, elemental fire (grammatically animate in earlier PIE, masculine in later PIE).

    *péh₂wr̥ is though to contain the (é)-wr̥ suffix that derives nouns from roots, though there are no …

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  110. Word Family - Ignite

    September theme: Fire 🔥

    Introduction

    Proto-Indo-European had (at least) two words *h₁n̥gʷnis: "fire" (grammatically animate) and *péh₂wr̥ (grammatically inanimate).

    Effectively all descendants of *h₁engʷ- have lost the labialization, so distinguishing it from reconstructed **h₁eng- is not immediately obivous. It mostly survives only in languages that merge *g and *gʷ (Balto-Slavic …

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  111. Word Family - Aqua

    August theme: Elements So Slow 🌎🌊

    Teaser

    Avon, Punjab, island, Scandinavia, aquarium, sewer, sober

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂ep- water, body of water
      • Anatolian *h₂epo river
        • Hittite *hapa river
          • Hittite 𒄩𒉺𒀀 ḫa-pa-a toward the river
      • Balto-Slavic
        • Lithuanian ùpė river
      • Celtic *abonā river
        • Brythonic *aβon
          • Cumbric *avon
            • Cumbric *Ir Avon Fresh-Water or Green-River …
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  112. Word Family - Earth

    August theme: Earth and Water 🌎🌊

    Introduction

    Semtic *ʾartɬʼ-: "earth" and Proto-Indo-European *h₁erTeH: "earth". I connect these for several reasons (beyond the obvious). First, there are several indicators that *h₁ was pronounced as a glottal stop, including a number of other words that are apparent correspondences between PIE *h₁ and Semitic …

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  113. Word Family - Human

    August theme: Earth and Water 🌎🌊

    Teaser

    chthonic, algorithm, humus, Demeter, Gaea, George, geometry, chameleon, camomile, humility, Daoine Sidhe, human

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *dʰéǵʰm̥ earth singular
      • Anatolian
        • Hittite 𒋼𒂊𒃷 te-e-kán / tēkan earth
      • Proto-Indo-European *dʰǵʰōm the earth, the lands collective
      • Albanian dhe earth
      • Anatolian
        • Hittite *tagān
          • Hittite ta-ga-an-zi-pa-aš earth-goddess
      • Balto-Slavic *źemē earth …
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  114. Word Family - Edge

    Teaser

    oxygen, acid, eager, vinegar, tear, lachrymose, edge, axe, hammer, hear, acoustic, coin, cuneiform, cone

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱ- sharp
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₂oḱós sharp
        • Hellenic
          • Classical Greek ὀξύς oxús sharp, pointed, clever, swift
            • French oxygène oxygen Greek technical formation "sharp-forming", for oxygen's role in forming acids
              • English oxygen
              • Translingual O
            • Classical …
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  115. Word Family - Seven

    July theme: Miscellaneous 🔨

    Introduction

    For 2017-07-07, I just had to do "seven".

    All words mean "seven" unless otherwise specified.

    It may seems strange to see the word for "seven" borrowed around between so many different language families, when the numbers 1-10 are so highly conserved in descendants of (post-Anatolian) Proto-Indo-European …

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  116. Word Family - Avatar

    June theme: Pride In Words 🏳️‍🌈

    Teaser

    avatar, trans-, tradition, nectar, thorough

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *terh₂- to cross over, pass through, overcome
      • Proto-Indo-European *térh₂eti primary verb form
        • Indo-Iranian *tárHati
          • Indo-Aryan *tárHati
            • Sanskrit तरति tarati pass over, float, swim
              • Sauraseni *tiradi
                • Madhya
                  • Hindi तैरना tairnā to float
          • Iranian *tárHatī
            • Avestan titarat …
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  117. Word Family - Queer

    June theme: Pride In Words 🏳️‍🌈

    Teaser

    torque, torch, queer, intricate

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *terkʷ- to turn
      • Proto-Indo-European *terkʷti
        • Anatolian
          • Hittite 𒋻𒆪𒉿𒀭𒍣 tarku-zi performs a round dance, dances in twisting manner
      • Proto-Indo-European *terkʷeti
        • Albanian tjerr I spin
        • Hellenic
          • Mycenaean Greek *to-ro-qe
            • Mycenaean Greek 𐀵𐀫𐀤𐀍𐀕𐀜 to-ro-qe-jo-me-no ?
            • Mycenaean Greek 𐀁𐀵𐀫𐀣𐀲 e-to-ro-qa-ta oar holder …
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  118. Word Family - Two

    June theme: Pride In Words 🏳️‍🌈

    Teaser

    two, neodymium, duet, biceps, bi-, biscuit, duplicate, Maldives, doppelganger, icosahedron, twin, nonbinary

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *dwóh₁ two
      • Old Armenian երկու erku two [1]
        • Old Armenian կրկին krkin double, doubled, iterated
          • Armenian կրկին krkin double, again, once more
        • Armenian երկու erku two
      • Italic *duō two …
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  119. Word Family - Thread

    May theme: Cloth 👘

    Teaser

    throw, dreidel, tribade, attrition, thresh, tour, turn, tournament, thread, detergent

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *terh₁- to rub, turn
      • Proto-Indo-European *terh₁ti
        • Balto-Slavic
          • Lithuanian trinti to rub
          • Slavic *tèrti to rub
            • East Slavic
              • Russian тере́ть terétʹ to rub, to polish, to grind
            • South Slavic
              • Serbo-Croatian тр̏ти tȑti …
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  120. Word Family - Fabric

    May theme: Cloth 👘

    Introduction

    A small family, apparently from *dʰeh₂bʰ-: "fit together, fitting, make".

    Germanic *(ge)dabaną: "to fit, to be fitting" and Balto-Slavic forms like Lithuanian dabinti: "to decorate, to beautify" and Slavic *dobrъ: "good" are almost certainly related to each other. Likewise Latin faber: "craftsman, maker, smith" and …

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  121. Word Family - Silk

    May theme: Cloth 👘

    Teaser

    silk, 絲

    Full Text

    • Old Chinese *slɯ silk, fine thread
      • Middle Chinese silk, fine thread
        • Mandarin silk, fine thread
        • Cantonese si1 silk, fine thread
        • Korean sil thread
        • Vietnamese raw silk, thread
      • Taiwanese si silk, fine thread
      • Ancient Greek Σήρ …
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  122. Word Family - Cloth

    May theme: Cloth 👘

    Teaser

    clay, glue, cloth, cloud, child

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *gleh₁- ball up, amass
      • Proto-Indo-European *gleh₁y- to smear, to stick, to glue
        • Proto-Indo-European *gléh₁iti
          • Proto-Albanian *en-gleita
            • Albanian ngjit stick, glue, adhere
        • Proto-Indo-European *gloh₁iyós sticky
          • Germanic *klajjaz clay
            • Old English clǣġ clay
              • English clay
              • English clog
          • Balto-Slavic
            • Slavic
              • East …
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  123. Word Family - Text

    March theme: Cloth 👘

    Teaser

    subtle, text, technology, dachshund, city, haunt, position

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *teḱ- to beget, to bring forth, to generate
      • Proto-Indo-European *téḱnom begotten
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek τέκνον téknon child, descendant, young animal
            • Greek τέκνο tékno offspring, child
      • Proto-Indo-European *títḱe-ti Reduplicated thematic verb form
        • Hellenic *tíktō
          • Ancient Greek τίκτω …
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  124. Word Family - Easter

    Teaser

    Eärendil, Easter, air, soar, east, Austria, Australia, early, Erigeron

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂ews- dawn, east
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₂éwsōs Divinity of Dawn
        • Germanic *auzi
          • Germanic *Auziwandilaz Bright-Wanderer, Dawn-Wanderer, Morning Star personal name [1]
            • East Germanic
              • Gothic 𐌰𐌿𐌶𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌹𐌻 auzandil morning star (Venus), Lucifer
            • North Germanic
              • Old Norse Aurvandil
            • West Germanic
              • Old English …
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  125. Word Family - Cavalry

    March theme: Horses

    Teaser

    capercaillie, chivalry, cavalier, cavalry

    Full Text

    • ??
      • Turkic
        • Old Turkish käväl horse? [1]
        • Persian ?
        • Proto-Slavic *kobyla mare (female horse)
          • Russian кобы́ла kobýla mare
          • Polish kobyła mare
      • Saka kabä
      • Ancient Greek καβάλλης kabállēs nag, pony
      • Proto-Celtic *capallos
        • Brythonic *kappilos horse
          • Welsh ceffyl horse
            • English Cavall [2]
            • English …
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  126. Word Family - Equus

    March theme: March of Horses 🐎

    Teaser

    hippopotamus, equestrian, zebra

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₁eḱ- swift, fast [1]
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₁oh₁ḱus a *o-∅-us reduplicative adjective form
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek ὠκῠ́ς ōkús fast, swift
            • Ancient Greek ποδώκης podṓkēs swift-footed
            • Ancient Greek ὠκῠ́ροος ōkúroos swift-flowing
              • Ancient Greek Ὠκυρόη Ōkuróē Swift-Flowing (personal name …
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  127. Word Family - Smile

    Teaser

    mirror, admire, miracle, Miranda, smile

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *smey- to laugh, to be glad
      • Proto-Indo-European *sméyeti primry verb
        • Balto-Slavic
          • Lithuanian smiêt to laugh
          • Slavic *smьjàti to laugh
            • East Slavic
              • Russian смеяться smejátʹsja to laugh, to mock
            • South Slavic
              • Serbo-Croatian смѝјати smìjati to laugh
            • West Slavic
              • Polish śmiaćsię to laugh …
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  128. ElfQuest Reading Guide

    Introduction

    ElfQuest is comic series that has been being published since 1978. It is considered a landmark in independent comic publishing, and has had a dedicated fan base for 40 years. ElfQuest has also had a deep influence on me, in many channels. I'm not going to try to explain …

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  129. The Annotated Capernaum

    Mon 02 December 2013

    (Transferred from my old WordPress)

    Capernaum is a poem by Lewis Spence, which was set to music by Ed Miller and appears on his album, Border Background (1989). Miller’s arrangement is also the title song on the Tannahill Weaver’s album, Capernaum (1994).

    I own both of those albums …

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