Word Family - Taran

February theme: Weather ⛈️


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 Slavic
            • Bulgarian сте́на sténa
            • Serbo-Croatian стењати stenjati to groan, to moan
      • Hellenic
        • Classical Greek στένω steno I am loud
      • Indo-Iranian
        • Indo-Aryan
          • Sanskrit 𑀲𑁆𑀢𑀦𑀢𑀺 stánati resounds, thunders, roars
    • Proto-Indo-European *stonh₂éyeti?
      • Germanic *stunōną to groan, to crash
        • West Germanic
          • Old English (ġe)stunian to make a loud sound, to crash, to strike with a loud sound, to confound, to astonish, to stupify
            • English stun
            • Old English *āstunian
              • Middle English astonen to astonish
                • English astonish
                • Middle English astoned
                  • English astound
          • Old High German
            • German stöhnen moan, groan
          • Frankish *stunōn
            • Dutch steunen to moan, to groan, to hold up, to support
              • Dutch steunbeer buttress lit. "support boar"
            • Old French estoner
              • French étonner to surprise
              • Middle English astonen to astonish
                • English astonish
                • Middle English astoned
                  • English astound
      • Italic
        • Latin tonō I thunder, I speak thunderously
          • Central Romance
            • Italian tuonare
          • Eastern Romance
            • Romanian a tuna to thunder, to speak thunderously
          • Western Romance
            • French tonner
            • Spanish tronar
              • Spanish tronada thundered, thunderstorm
                • English tornado
                • French tornade tornado
                • Italian tornado tornado
                • German Tornado tornado
          • Latin tonitrus thunder
            • Eastern Romance
              • Romanian tunet thunder
            • Western Romance
              • French tonnerre thunder
              • Spanish estruendo racket, din, noise
          • Latin dētonō I cease thundering, I cease raging, I thunder down/forth
            • Central Romance
              • Italian detonare to explode, to detonate
            • Eastern Romance
              • Romanian a detuna to strike with lightning, to explode, to detonate
            • Western Romance
              • French détoner to detonate
              • Spanish detonar to detonate
            • English detonate
          • Latin extonō
            • Western Romance
              • Old French estoner
                • French étonner to surprise
                • Middle English astonen to astonish
                  • English astonish
                  • Middle English astoned
                    • English astound
          • Latin tonus tension, pitch, sound, thunder [2]
          • French ton tone
            • English tone
            • English ton
            • English tune
          • English tone
    • Proto-Indo-European *(s)tenh₂tōr thunderer, resounder, an epithet of the Divinity of Thunder
      • Hellenic
        • Classical Greek Στέντωρ Stentor herald in the Illiad, noted for his loud voice
          • Latin Stentor herald in the Illiad
            • English stentorian
      • Indo-Iranian
        • Iranian
          • Persian تندر tondar thunder, roaring
    • Proto-Indo-European *(s)tn̥h₂ros thunderous, resounding, an epithet of the Divinity of Thunder
      • Anatolian
        • Hittite 𒀭𒅎 Tarḫunna Divinity of Weather, esp. Thunder [3]
        • Etruscan Tarchon
          • Classical Greek Τάρχων Tarchon Tarchon
          • Etruscan Tarchna city of Tarchon, Tarquinia A founding city of the Etruscan Leage
            • Latin Tarquinii Tarquinia
              • English Tarquinia
            • Etruscan Lauchume Tarchnaś? King of Tarquinia [4]
              • Latin Lucius Tarquinius Either of two legendary Etruscan Kings of Rome [4]
                • Latin Tarquinia Roman plebeian family associated with the Etruscan Kings
          • Etruscan Tarchies?
            • Latin Tages child prophet of Etruscan religion
      • Celtic *toranos thunder, Divinity of Thunder
        • Brythonic
          • Welsh taran thunder
          • Pictish [5]
            • Welsh Taran
            • Irish Tarachin
        • Old Irish
          • Irish Tuireann
          • Irish torann noise, tumult
          • Irish toirneach thunder
        • Gaulish Taranis Divinity of Thunder
      • Germanic *þunraz thunder, Divinity of Thunder
        • Old Norse Þórr Divinity of Thunder
          • Danish Tor Divinity of Thunder and a personal name
          • Icelandic Þór Thór Divinity of Thunder and a personal name
            • English Thor
          • Old Norse Þórsdís Thor's-Goddess (personal name)
            • Danish Tordis
          • Old Norse Þorfinnr Thor/Thunder of/to the Finns (personal name)
          • Old Norse Þórslundr Thor's-Grove (place name) and later family name
            • Swedish Torslunda
          • Old Norse Þórbjörn Thunder-Bear (personal name)
            • Danish Thorbjørn
          • Old Norse Þórhildr Thor's-Battle(-Maiden) (personal name)
            • Norwegian Torhild
          • Old Norse Þórsø Thor's Island (place name)
            • Swedish Torsö
          • Samic
            • Northern Sami (T)Horagalles Divinity of Thunder
        • West Germanic
          • Old English þunor thunder, Divinity of Thunder
            • English thunder
            • English Thunor
            • Old English Þunreslēah Thunor's Clearing (place name) probably originally worship sites
              • English Thundersley
              • English Thursley
              • English Dursley
          • Old High German donar thunder
            • German Donner thunder
            • German Donar Divinity of Thunder
          • Frankish *thonar
            • Dutch donder thunder
              • English dunderhead [6]
              • Dutch donderbus thunder-box, blunderbus
                • English blunderbus
        • Germanic *Þunrastainaz Thunder-Stone (personal name)
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse Þórsteinn
              • Swedish Torsten
              • English Dustin
          • West Germanic
            • Old English Thurstan
              • English Thurston
        • Germanic *Þunras dagaz Thursday "Thunor's Day", calque of Latin diēs Iovis: "Jove's Day"
          • Old Norse þórsdagr Thursday
            • Icelandic þórsdagur Thursday (archaic) [7]
            • Swedish torsdag
            • Finnish torstai Thursday
            • Northern Sami duorastat Thursday
          • West Germanic
            • Old English
              • English Thursday
            • Old High German
              • German Donnerstag Thursday
              • Yiddish דאָנערשטיק donershtik Thursday


Image is a visual representation of the text content above.

Collected English words

stun, astonish, astound, tornado, detonate, tone, ton, tune, stentorian, Tarquinia, Thor, thunder, Thunor, Thundersley, Thursley, Dursley, dunderhead, blunderbus, Dustin, Thurston, Thursday


  1. ^

    The (s) in the root like this means an "s-mobile" root. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_s-mobile. In these roots, there is random variation in whether the descendants in a particularly branch has the [s] or not. Probably because of the large number of PIE grammatical endings that end with 's' means it's very hard to tell difference between, e.g., *ḱr̥sós sténh₂eti vs. *ḱr̥sós ténh₂eti, so s is always getting added and removed at the beginning of roots like this.

  2. ^

    Latin tonus is generally considered to be from Greek τόνος tónos: "strain, tension, pitch" referring to stringed instruments, from τείνω teínō: "I stretch". But a number of Romance words for thunder are generally traced to tonus, e.g. Italian tuono, Spanish trueno.

    My interpretation is that when Latin borrowed tonus from Greek, it became conflated with the existing tono.

  3. ^

    The derivation usually given for Hittite 𒀭𒅎 Tarḫunna: "Divinity of Weather, esp. Thunder" is from *terh- "through, conquer". I was originally skeptical. But the *terh derivation (as well as the possibility of connection to *tenh-) are covered by Calvert Watkins says:

    "Mark Hale pointed out to me a number of years ago the suspicious similarity of the name of the Hittite Storm God *Tarḫunnaš to that of his closest equivalent in the Germanic pantheon, Old Norse Þórr. For the former we may construct *trh₂Vno-, for the latter *tnh₂Vro-, and the two look like metathesis variants of each other. Both ostensible roots, *terh₂- 'overcome' and *tenh₂- 'thunder', are firmly established in the proto-language. But on the other hand folk etymology or tabu deformation by metathesis are well-documented precisely in divine names; we can observe the process from *per[k]-aunos (Slavic god Perunъ) and *ker[p]-aunos (Greek κεραυνός 'thunderbolt') to English doggone and goddam. The result is an etymological quandary: is the similarity just accident, or is one divine name metathesized from the other by folk etymology or other deformation--and if so, which?"

    Watkins, Calvert (1995) How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics. 343, note 1

  4. ^

    It's even more tentative to connect Etruscan Tarchon to Anatolian Tarḫun. First, note that Etruscan ch is /χ/ and Hittite is either /χ/ or /χʷ/, so don't let the differences in orthography throw you. Also there's some interesting pieces of circumstanial evidence:

    1. Genetic evidence is inconsistent between a local origin Italian origin of the Etruscans or an Anatolian origin. A mix of local and Anatolian genetics seems like a strong possibility. There is evidence of linguistic affinity between Etruscan and the pre-Greek language on the island of Lemnos (c. 6th century BCE), which is in the Aegean Sea, close to the coast of Anatolia. Taken together, there is a definite possibility some portion of the ancestors of the Etruscans came from or through Anatolia before migrating to Italy during or after the Late Bronze Age collapse.

    2. Even as little as we know about the figures of Tarchon and Tages, both include associations with lightning: One of the few stories of Tarchon in Roman records is that he planted white bryony trees around his house to protect it from thunderbolts. Tages is supposed revealed the methods of divination by lightning used by Etruscans and Romans, and in some Roman writings is said to be a grandson of Jupiter.

    Another interesting linguistic note about Tarchon.

    There's good indication that what the Roman record as the first two names (and therefore, by Roman convention, the personal name and clan name) of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus ("Tarquin the Elder") and Lucius Tarquinius Superbus ("Tarquin the Proud") are misunderstandings, by mixing up Etruscan words with similar sounding Roman names.

    Livy says that Lucius Tarquinius Priscus (Tarquin the Elder) came from Etruria (i.e. Etruscan territory) and that his original Etruscan name was Lucumo. But Lucumo is just a variant spelling of the Etruscan word for king, Lauchume. So Lucius Tarquinius is better understood as "King Tarchon", with Tarchon as the personal name, or even as "King of Tarchna" or "King from Tarchna", with no personal name recorded. (In both cases, the third name is a cognomen, or nickname, as expected in Roman names: Priscus: "the Elder" and Superbus: "the Proud")

    Note: The Tarquins are from about the 500s BCE, but Livy is writing about 20 BCE. The last of the Etruscan cities were absorbed into Rome by about 100 BCE, and most of Rome's records of the Regal Period were lost in the sack in 390 BCE (by the Sennones, they'll come up again in May!). So Livy being pretty confused is reasonable.

  5. ^

    Taran mac Entifidich appears in the Welsh stories of the Old North as the name of a Pictish king, and likely the same figure appears in the Irish Annals of Ulster as Tarachin (and the Annals of Ulster also mention Ainfthech, almost certainly the same name as Entifidich recorded in Welsh, and Amfodech in Anlgo-Norman).

    (It's also the name of my son, whose birthday is this week)

  6. ^

    dunderhead is sometimes linked to Dutch donder, though it's at least as likely to be from Spanish redundar: "overflow" -> West Indies English dunder: "dregs of cane juice left after distilling rum" -> dunderhead.

  7. ^

    Icelandic þórsdagur was replaced during Christianisation by fimmtudagur "fifth day".