Word Family - Check


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

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

All of them.


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 tèkti to fall, to happen, to fall on
    • Proto-Indo-European *tkéyeti intransitive imperfective?
      • Indo-Iranian *kšáyati to possess, to rule
        • Indo-Aryan
          • Sanskrit क्षयति kṣáyati to possess, to rule, to destroy, to burn
        • Indo-Iranian *kšatríyas possessor, ruler
          • Indo-Aryan *kšatríyas
            • Sanskrit क्षत्रिय kṣatriya military aristocratic caste
              • Sauraseni 𑀔𑀢𑁆𑀢𑀺𑀅 khattia
                • Punjabi ਖੱਤਰੀ khatrī
                  • English Khatri
                  • Hindi खत्री khatrī
              • Middle Chinese 剎帝利 chatdeili kshatriya
                • Mandarin 剎帝利 chàdìlì kshatriya
              • English kshatriya
              • Hindi क्षत्रिय kṣatriy
              • Indonesian kesatria knight, hero
              • Thai กษัตริย์ gà-sàt kshatriya, king
        • Iranian *xšaθríyah
          • Western Iranian
            • Old Persian 𐎧𐏁𐎠𐎹𐎰𐎡𐎹 xšāyaθiya king [1]
              • Persian شاه šâh king, shah, check [2]
                • Arabic شَاه šāh shah, (chess) king, check
                  • Vulgar Latin *scaccus check
                    • Western Romance
                      • Old French eschec check
                        • French échec check, failure
                        • Dutch schaak check, chess
                        • English check
                        • Old French eschés checks, chess game
                          • French échecs chess
                          • English chess
                      • Italian scacco chess piece, chess square, check
                        • Italian scacci chess
                    • Vulgar Latin *scaccarium chessboard lit. "place for shahs"
                      • Western Romance
                        • Old French escheker chessboard, checker pattern, accountant's (checkered) table
                          • French échiquier chessboard, treasury, exchequer
                          • English checker
                            • English checkers
                            • English check
                          • English exchequer
                          • English check
                        • Spanish escaque checkerboard
                • English shah
                • Persian شاه مات šâh mât checkmate lit. "The king is stupified/ambushed/abandoned"
                  • Arabic شَاهُ مَاتَ šāhu māta checkmate
                    • Old French eschec (et) mat checkmate
                      • French échec et mat checkmate
                      • English checkmate
                    • Italian scacco matto checkmate
                • Persian پادشاه pâdešâh Padishah lit. "master-king" [3]
                  • English Padishah
              • Old Persian 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 Xšayāršā King-Hero (personal name)
                • Ancient Greek Ξέρξης Xérxēs
                  • Latin Xerxes
                    • English Xerxes
        • Indo-Iranian *kšatrám kingdom, dominion, rule
          • Indo-Aryan *kṣatrám
            • Sanskrit क्षत्र kṣatrá power, kingdom, government
          • Iranian *xšaθram
            • Avestan 𐬑𐬱𐬀𐬚𐬭𐬀 xšaθra control, authority, power
            • Western Iranian
              • Old Persian 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶 xšaçam kingdom, kingship, realm, reign
                • Old Persian 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎱𐎠𐎺𐎠 xšaçapāvā satrap, governor, viceroy lit. "kingdom-protector"
                  • Ancient Greek σᾰτράπης satrápēs satrap, governor
                    • Latin satrapēs satrap, governor
                      • English satrap
                • Old Persian 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 Artaxšaçā Truth-Kingdom (personal name)
                  • Persian اردشیر Ardešir
                  • Ancient Greek Ἀρταξέρξης Artaxérxēs refashioned after Ξέρξης Xérxēs [4]
                    • Latin Artaxerxes
                      • English Artaxerxes
    • Proto-Indo-European *tékō noun
      • Celtic
        • Old Irish techt possessions, property
      • Germanic *þegō a receiving, acceptance, a taking
        • West Germanic
          • Old English *þegu
            • Old English bēorþegu beer-drinking


Image is a visual representation of the text content above.

Collected English words

Khatri, kshatriya, check, chess, checker, checkers, check, exchequer, check, shah, checkmate, Padishah, Xerxes, satrap, Artaxerxes


  1. ^

    Old Persian 𐎧𐏁𐎠𐎹𐎰𐎡𐎹 (xšāyaθiya, "king") is the full phonetic spelling, is also written with the logogram 𐏋.

  2. ^

    Persians introduced calling out checks in chess (or rather, in shatranj), to prevent games ending unsatisfyingly because one player simply missed that their king was in danger. "Shah!" ~ "(Watch your) King!".

    The similarity between shah: "king" (basis of more western names of chess) and chaturanga: "four parts" (basis of more eastern names of chess) is apparently coincidental. But there may have been some influence from shah in Middle Persian's adaption of the Sanskrit chaturanga.

  3. ^

    پادشاه pâdešâh: "Padishah, Master-King", pad(i): "master" is the same "master" as in Italic *hostipotis: "guest-master, host", whence "hospitality, host" and as in Greek δεσπότης despotes: "house-master, slave-owner", whence "despot".

  4. ^

    I'd never looked at the original Old Persian of Artaxerxes. I did not realize until now that "Artaxerxes" does not actually incorporate the name "Xerxes" in the origina (though they are from the same root)