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  1. 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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  2. 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 …
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  3. Word Family - Arctic

    Introduction

    Here I'm following Blažek's compelling argument (2017) to derive *h₂ŕ̥Tk̑os 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 …

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  4. 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 faihu property …
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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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 camel
                    • French chameau camel
                      • Haitian …
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  8. 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 …

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  9. 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 dialect (Greek …

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  10. 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 …

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  11. Word Family - Stegosaurus

    April theme: Dinosaurs and Friends🦕

    Teaser

    steganography, detect, Stegosaurus, thug, thatch, deck

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *(s)teg- to cover s-mobile root
      • Proto-Indo-European *(s)tég-eti primary verb
        • Balto-Slavic
          • Lithuanian stíegti to roof, to thatch
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek στέγω stégō to cover, to wrap, to make watertight
            • Ancient Greek στέγη stégē roof, cover, shelter …
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  12. Word Family - Triceratops

    April theme: Dinosaurs and Friends🦕

    Teaser

    horn, unicorn, cheer, migraine, carrot, Triceratops

    Full Text

    • Proto-Afro-Asiatic
      • Egyptian *qar- horn
        • Egyptian qr.tj horns (dual)
      • Semitic *qarn- horn
        • Central Semitic
          • Arabic قَرْن qarn horn, century
            • Maltese qarn horn
          • Northwest Semitic
            • Aramaic קַרְנָא
            • Canaanite
              • Hebrew קֶרֶן qéren horn, antler, light beam, corner, keratin
                • Hebrew חַד קֶרֶן ẖad-qéren unicorn …
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  13. 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 𑀯𑀺𑀲 visa
                • Madhya
                  • Hindi …
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  14. Word Family - Attercop

    November theme: Spiders 🕷

    Teaser

    edema, Oedipus, oat, atter, attercop

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂eyd- to swell, abcess, tumor
      • Proto-Indo-European h₂oydéy-eti
        • Old Armenian այտնում aytnum to swell, to be inflamed, to be bloated
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek οἰδέω I swell, I become swollen
            • Ancient Greek οἴδημᾰ oídēma a swelling, a tumor
              • English edema
      • Proto-Indo-European …
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  15. Word Family - Venom

    November theme: Spiders 🕷️

    Teaser

    win, wish, Venus, venom, wonder, winsome

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- to love
      • Proto-Indo-European *wn̥h₁néw-ti? variant ne imperfective
        • Germanic *winnanã 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
            • Old Norse vinna …
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  16. Word Family - Moa

    Teaser

    moa,manuk

    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 …
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  17. 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 …

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  18. 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 ivory
            • Irish eabhar ivory
        • Sanskrit …
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  19. 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 tíktō …
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  20. Word Family - Cat

    April theme: Miscellaneous light and cat words 🦁

    Teaser

    cat,caterpillar

    Full Text

    • Egyptian *Caw [1]
      • Coptic ϣⲁⲩ šau cat dialectic
      • Egyptian *Cawt female cat with regular feminine -t
        • Aramaic qaṭṭu cat
          • Arabic قِطّ qiṭṭ cat
          • Hebrew חָתוּל khatúl cat
          • Old Armenian կատու katu cat
            • Armenian կատու katu cat
          • Georgian კატა ḳaṭa cat
          • Byzantine Greek …
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  21. 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 Cabal …
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  22. 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), river divinity …
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