Word Family - Singh

January theme: Lions 🦁


Singh, Sinhala, Singapore, shih tzu

Full Text

  • Central Asian substrate *sVrng-??
    • Late Indo-European dialect *sinǵʰos
      • Armenian ինձ inj panther
        • Armenian ընձառյուծ ənjaṙyuc leopard
      • Indo-Aryan *sinȷ́ʰás [1]
        • Indo-Aryan
          • Sanskrit 𑀲𑀺𑀁𑀳 sĩhá lion, hero [2]
            • Maharashtri 𑀲𑀺𑀁𑀖 sĩgha
              • Tamil சிங்கம் ciṅkam lion, Leo
            • Sauraseni
              • Madhya
                • Hindi सिंघ sĩgh lion
            • Pali 𑀲𑀻𑀳 sīha lion
              • Old Khmer
                • Khmer សីហៈ səyhaʾ lion
                • Khmer សីហា səyhaa August via Leo?
                • Thai สีห์ sǐi lion
            • Hindi सिंह sĩh lion, Leo
            • Khmer សឹង្ហ səng lion
            • Malay singa lion
            • Punjabi ਸਿੰਘ sĩgh lion, Singh (Sikh surname)
              • English Singh
            • Telugu సింహము sĩhamu lion, Leo
            • Thai སེངྒེ sengge lion
            • Sanskrit 𑀲𑀺𑀁𑀳𑀮 sĩhala Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan "of/with the lions"
              • Elu
                • Sinhala සිංහල sĩhala Sinhala
                  • English Sinhala
            • Sanskrit 𑀲𑀺𑀁𑀳𑀧𑀼𑀭 sĩhá-pura Singapore lit. "Lion-City" [3]
              • Malay Singapura Singapore lit. "Lion-City"
                • English Singapore
    • Iranian *šarguh [1]
      • Northern Iranian
        • Khotani sarau lion
        • Sogdian šrγω lion
        • Old Chinese *sri
          • Middle Chinese lion
            • Mandarin shī lion
            • Wu sr lion
            • Yue si1 lion
          • Old Chinese *sri *ʔslɯʔ lit. "lion child"
            • Middle Chinese 獅子 lion (cub), bodhisattva
              • Mandarin 獅子 shízi
                • Mandarin 獅子狗 shīzigǒu pekingese, shih tsu lit. "lion-cub-dog"
                  • English shih tzu
              • Japanese 獅子 shishi lion
              • Korean 사자 saja lion
              • Vietnamese sư tử lion
          • Old Chinese *djaɡ sri (*ʔslɯʔ) lit. "stone lion (child
            • Middle Chinese 石獅(子) foo dog
              • Mandarin 石獅(子) shíshī(zi)
      • Western Iranian
        • Northwestern Iranian
          • Kurdish şêr lion
          • Parthian 𐫢𐫡𐫃 šrg lion
        • Old Persian *šagra
          • Persian شیر šêr
    • Pre-Tocharian *sīǵeǵo?
      • Tocharian
        • Arshian ṣiśäk lion
        • Kushean ṣecake lion
    • Sino-Tibetan
      • Old Chinese *swar ŋe
        • Middle Chinese 狻猊 *suɑn ŋei
          • Mandarin 狻猊 suān ní lion, lion-dragon
          • Yue 狻猊 yun1 ngai4 lion, lion-dragon
        • Min 狻猊 suêng1 ngi5 lion, lion-dragon
      • Tibeto-Burman
        • Burmese ခြင်္သေ့ chindhe lion
        • Tibetan སེང་གེ seng ge lion


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Collected English words

Singh, Sinhala, Singapore, shih tzu


  1. ^

    Iranian *šarguh is formally derivable from Indo-Iranian *(C)šargus, but I haven't found any indication of it in Indo-Aryan. Likewise, Indo-Aryan *sinȷ́ʰás can be formally derived from Indo-Iranian *sinźʰás from PIE *sinǵʰos, but there is no Iranian descendant of that form. So they probably represent separate borrowings of the wanderwort.

    Though, interesting note, if Iranian *šarguh was derived from a borrowing into Indo-Iranian, it would appear to have had an extra consonant in the initial cluster, probably *kš-, which would make it look an awful lot like a BMAC borrowing.

  2. ^

    Though Sanskrit 𑀲𑀺𑀁𑀳: "lion" is siṃhá in standard transliteration, the 𑀁 (or anusvara) is really a diacritic marking either an undetermined nasal N takes on the place of the following consonant, or nasalization on the preceding vowel. I feel it is more accurate in general, and especially more useful in this particular context, to transliterate it as a tilde diacritic (◌̃).

    Also, the h is really /ɦ/, a sound transliterated as g from some languages, which helps make sense of why it looks like Indo-Aryan j part of -ȷ́ʰ- disappeared in Sanskrit, and then came back as g(h) in some later forms.

    So, once we've determined the Sanskrit transliteration of "siṃhá" is misleading, the Swahili simba: "lion" is not as similar as it looks. The Swahili is from Proto-Bantu *ǹcímbá: "wild feline, lion, leopard", and Proto-Bantu is unlikely to be from a Central Asian substrate!

  3. ^

    The Sanskrit pura: "city" in sĩhá-pura (Singapore) is a reflex of the same IE as Greek polis: "city" (whence English "metropolis", "policy", and "police").