Word Family - Combust


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 bustum went from "place for fires" to "place for pyres" to "tomb". Italian busto continued from "tomb" to "statue decorating a grave" to "statue, especially of head and shoulders" to "torso" to "corset".


combust, bust, urn, broil, ember

Full Text

  • Proto-Indo-European *h₁ews- to burn
    • Proto-Indo-European *h₁éwseti primary verb
      • Hellenic *éuhō
        • Classical Greek εὕω heúō I singe
      • Indo-Iranian *Háwšati
        • Indo-Aryan
          • Sanskrit 𑀑𑀱𑀢𑀺 óṣati to burn, to punish, to chastise
      • Italic *ouzō
        • Latin ūrō I burn, I inflame, I annoy, I rage
          • Latin ambūrō I singe, I char "around-burn"
            • Latin *būrō re-analysis from ambūrō
              • Latin combūrō I burn, I burn completely, I cremate
                • Western Romance
                  • Italian comburere to burn
                • Latin combustus burnt up, consumed, cremated
                  • English combust
              • Latin bustum place for burning pyres, tomb, burial mound
                • Western Romance
                  • Italian busto grave, statue decoration of a grave, statue, bust (statue), torso, corset
                    • French buste bust (statue), bust (anatomy), torso
                      • English bust
                      • French bustier
                        • English bustier
          • Latin ūrna urn, water jar made of burnt clay
            • Western Romance
              • French urne
                • English urn
          • Latin urtīca stinging nettle
            • Eastern Romance
              • Romanian urzică nettle
            • Western Romance
              • French ortie nettle
              • Italian ortica nettle, stinging nettle
              • Spanish ortiga nettle
                • Spanish Ortega Nettle (place name, habitational surname)
                  • English Ortega
            • Translingual Urtica taxonomic genus of nettles
          • Latin ustulō I scorch, I burn up
            • Western Romance
              • Old French usler
                • Old French brusler to burn conflation with bruir from Frankish *brōjan, under influence of b- forms of the Latin
                  • French brûler to burn
                    • French crème brûlée
                      • English crème brûlée
                  • English broil
            • Latin perustulō
              • Western Romance
                • Italian brustolare
                  • Italian abbrustolire to roast, to toast
              • Vulgar Latin *brusiāre also conflation with descendant of Germanic *brōjan? or b- forms?
                • Eastern Romance
                  • Dalmatian brusur to burn, to singe, to char
                • Western Romance
                  • Italian bruciàre to burn, to sear
    • Proto-Indo-European *h₁usnós adjective
      • Indo-Iranian *Hušnás
        • Indo-Aryan
          • Sanskrit 𑀉𑀱𑁆𑀡 uṣṇá warm, hot
    • Proto-Indo-European *h₁ewsós result noun
      • Indo-Iranian *Hawšás
        • Indo-Aryan
          • Sanskrit 𑀑𑀱 oṣá combustion, shining
            • Maharashtri
              • Old Marathi 𑘁𑘮 āha heat
    • Proto-Indo-European *h₁owsmos
      • Germanic *aimaz steam, smoke unexpected *-i- instead of *-u-, possibly from *h₂eydʰ- instead
        • North Germanic
          • Old Norse eimr steam, vapor
            • Icelandic eimur steam, vapor
              • Icelandic eimskip steamer, steamboat
    • Proto-Indo-European *h₁usieh₂ō
      • Germanic *uzjȭ fire
        • North Germanic
          • Old Norse yrja
        • Germanic *aimuzjȭ ember, ash, pyre
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse eimyrja embers
              • Icelandic eimyrja
              • Swedish mörja embers, mud
          • West Germanic
            • Old English ǣmyrġe embers, coals
              • English ember


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Collected English words

combust, bust, bustier, urn, Ortega, Urtica, crème brûlée, broil, ember