Adventures in Etymology – Quiver

In this Adventure we investigate the origins of the word quiver.

Mongol Bow and Arrow Quiver

A quiver [ˈkwɪvə / ˈkwɪvɚ] is:

  • A portable case for holding arrows
  • A collection or store

To quiver means:

  • To shake with a slight, rapid, tremulous movement
  • To tremble, as from cold or strong emotion.

Quiver as an adjective means:

  • fast, speedy, rapid
  • energetic, vigourous, vibrant

The quiver for arrows comes from the Middle English quiver/whiver (a quiver, arrow case, case for a bow) from the Anglo-Norman quivre (a quiver), from the Old Dutch cocere/kokere (a quiver, case) from the Proto-West Germanic *kukur (container), possibly from Hunnic and/or ultimately from Proto-Mongolic *kökexür (leather vessel for liquids, snuff bottle) [source].

Words from the same Proto-Mongolic root include хөхүүр / ᠬᠥᠬᠦᠦᠷ [xoxur] (leather bag for holding liquid, wineskin, waterskin, snuffbox) in Mongolian, koker [ˈkoː.kər] (tube, cylinder, quiver) in Dutch, Köcher [ˈkœçɐ] (a quiver) in German, and kukkaro [ˈkukːɑro] (purse) in Finnish [source].

The verb to quiver and the adjective quiver (fast, energetic, vigourous) come from the Middle English quvier/cwiver (active, agile, lively, brisk, quick), from the Old English *cwifer, possibly related to cwic (alive. living, intelligent, keen), from which we get the modern English word quick [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Clan

In this episode we’re looking a the word clan and related things in Celtic languages.

Dufftown Highland Games

The word clan in English means a group of people descended from a common ancestor, a traditional social group of families in the Scottish Highlands having a common hereditary chieftain, or any group defined by family ties with some sort of political unity [source].

It was borrowed from clann in Irish or Scottish Gaelic, which come from the Old Irish cland (children, family, offspring, plant), from the Old Welsh plant (children, young people, offspring), from the Latin planta (vegetable, sprout, shoot, twig, shrub), possibly from the Proto-Italic *plāntā, from the Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂- (flat) or from the Proto-Italic *plānktā, from the Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂k-/*pleh₂g- (to strike, fast) [source].

Related words in the Celtic languages include:

  • clann [kl̪ˠɑun̪ˠ/kl̪ˠɑːn̪ˠ/kl̪ˠan̪ˠ] = children, offspring, race, descendents, clan, followers, plant, lock (of hair),
    and planda [pl̪ˠaun̪ˠd̪ˠə] = plant, scion in Irish
  • clann [kl̪ˠaun̪ˠ] = children, offspring, progeny, clan, lock of hair, curl
    and plannt [pl̪ˠãũn̪ˠd] = plant in Scottish Gaelic
  • cloan [klɔːn] = children, descendent, family circle,
    and plant = plant in Manx
  • plant [plant] = children, young people, offspring, progeny, descendents, followers, disciples, servants in Welsh
  • plans = plant in Cornish
  • plantenn = plant in Breton

The English word plant comes from the same roots, via Middle English, Old English and Latin [source], as does the word plantain, via Middle English, Anglo-Norman, Old French and Latin [source].

The word clan was borrowed from English into various other languages, including Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish. It even ended up in Turkish, via French. So the Turkish word klan arrived via French, English, Irish/Scottish Gaelic, Old Irish, Old Welsh, Latin, Proto-Italic and Proto-Indo-European – quite a journey! [source]

More details about these words on Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Investigate

Sherlock

Today we are looking into, examining, scrutinizing and underseeking the origins of the word investigate.

Investigate [ɪnˈves.tɪ.ɡeɪt/ɪnˈves.tə.ɡeɪt] means:

  • to inquire into or study in order to ascertain facts or information.
  • to examine, look into, or scrutinize in order to discover something hidden or secret.
  • to conduct an inquiry or examination.

It comes from investigation, from the Latin investīgātiō (a searching into), from investīgātus (investigated), from investīgō (I track, trace out, search after, discover), from in- (in, within, inside) and vestīgō (I follow a track, search, investigate), possibly from the PIE root *steygʰ- (to walk) [source].

Related words in English include vestige (a mark left on the earth by a foot; a faint mark or visible sign left by something which is lost, or has perished, or is no longer present), vestigial, and the old word pervestigate (to investigate thoroughly) [source].

A synonym for investigate is underseek (to examine, explore, investigate, spend too little time or effort in seeking). It comes from the Middle English underseken, from the Old English undersēcan [ˌun.derˈseː.t͡ʃɑn] (to investigate, examine), from under (beneath), and sēċan (to look for, seek, visit, attack) [source].

Related words in other languages include onderzoeken (to investigate, research) in Dutch, untersuchen (to examine, investigate) in German, and undersøge (to examine, test, investigate) in Danish [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Iron

In this episode we are digging up the origins of the word iron.

iron fence

The Proto-Celtic word for iron is *īsarnom. It comes from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁ēsh₂r̥no- (bloody, red), from *h₁ésh₂r̥ (blood) [source].

Descendants in the Celtic languages include:

  • iarann [ˈiəɾˠən̪ˠ] = iron in Irish
  • iarann [iər̪ˠən̪ˠ] = iron, (metal) blade, day’s worth cutting peat (for two) in Scottish Gaelic
  • yiarn = iron; tool, scythe, blade; dough (money); tip (gratuity) in Manx
  • haearn = iron, iron bar, hardness, strength, resoluteness, hard, strong, unyielding in Welsh
  • horn = iron in Cornish
  • houarn [ˈhuː.arn] = iron, flat iron; horseshoe in Breton

Words for iron in Germanic languages come from the same Proto-Celtic root, via the Proto-Germanic *īsarną (iron). They include iron in English, ijzer in Dutch, Eisen in German, järn in Swedish, and jern in Danish [source].

Words from the same PIE roots, include արյուն (aryun – blood, slaughter) in Armenian, asinis (blood, temperament, origin) in Latvian [source], words for blood in Romance languages [source], and words for sister in most European languages [source].

More details about these words on Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Wool

In this episode we are teasing out the origins of the word wool.

Wool

The Proto-Celtic word for wool is *wlanā. It comes from the Proto-Indo-European *h₂wĺ̥h₁neh₂ (wool), from *h₂welh₁- (hair, wool) [source].

Descendants in the Celtic languages include:

  • olann [ˈɔlˠən̪ˠ] = wool, woolly hair, mop of hair; woollen in Irish
  • olann [ˈɔl̪ˠən̪ˠ] = wool (usually while on sheep) in Scottish Gaelic
  • ollan = wool in Manx
  • gwlân = wool, down, soft hair, grass, herbage; woollen, soft, made of wool in Welsh
  • gwlan = wool in Cornish
  • gloan = wool in Breton

The English word flannel (a soft cloth material originally woven from wool, washcloth) comes from the same Proto-Celtic root, via Gaulish, Old French, Anglo-Norman and Middle English. This was reborrowed into French, and from French into other languages such as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Swedish [source].

Words for wool in other European languages come from the same PIE root, including wool in English, wol [ʋɔl] in Dutch, Wolle [ˈvɔlə] in German, and lana in Italian and Spanish [source]

More details about these words on Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Celtic Pathways – Bells & Clocks

In this episode we’re looking at words for bells, clocks and related things..

Bells

The Proto-Celtic word for bell was *klokkos, which comes either from the Proto-Indo-European *klēg-/*klōg- (onomatopoeia), or from *kleg- (to cry, sound) [source].

Descendants in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • clog [klˠɔɡ] = bell, clock in Irish
  • clag [kl̪ˠag] = bell; crash, loud noise in Scottish Gaulish
  • clag = bell, clock, ball in Manx
  • cloch [kloːχ] = bell, bell-shaped object, bubble; prize, feat; o’clock in Welsh
  • klogh [klɔ:x / klo:h] = bell in Cornish
  • kloc’h = bell in Breton

The Medieval Latin word clocca possibly comes from the same Proto-Celtic root. It meant bell from the 8th century, bell-shaped clock from the 13th century and clock from the 15th century [source].

Words from the same Latin root include cloche, cloak and clock in English, cloche (bell, cover, clot) and cloque (blister) in French, klocka (clock, watch, bell) in Swedish, and Glocke (bell) in German [source].

More details about these words on Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Hat

Chapeaux

Today we are uncovering the origins of the word hat.

A hat [hæt / hat] is:

  • a covering for the head, often in the approximate form of a cone, dome or cylinder closed at its top end, and sometimes having a brim and other decoration
  • a particular role or capacity that a person might fill.

It comes from the Middle English hat [hat] (hat, cap, helmet), from the Old English hæt(t) (hat, head-covering), from the Proto-Germanic *hattuz [ˈxɑt.tuz] (hat), from the Proto-Indo-European *kadʰnú-, from *kadʰ- (to guard, cover, protect, care for) [source].

Words from the same root include: hood, heed in English, hat (hat) in Danish, hatta (hat) and hätta (bonnet, hood) in Swedish, hattu (hat, cap) in Finnish, hoed (hat, lid) in Dutch, Hut (hat, cap, protection, keeping) in German, and cadw (to keep, guard, defend, save) in Welsh [source].

There are quite a few idioms and sayings related to hats, including:

  • at the drop of a hat = (to do sth) without any hesitation, instantly. For example, I can talk about language and linguistics at the drop of a hat.
  • to eat one’s hat = a humorous action that one will allegedly take place if something very unlikely happens. For example, if a million people listen to this podcast, I’ll eat my hat.
  • old hat = something very common or out of date.
  • to pass the hat = to ask for money, solicit donations or contributions
  • to keep sth under one’s hat = to keep sth secret

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Riddles

Today we’re uncovering the mysterious and puzzling origins of the word riddle.

Puzzled

A riddle [ˈɹɪdəl] is:

  • A verbal puzzle, mystery, or other problem of an intellectual nature.

To riddle is:

  • To speak ambiguously or enigmatically.
  • To solve, answer, or explicate a riddle or question.

It comes from the Middle English rēdels (riddle, problem, enigma), from the Old English rǣdels [ˈræː.deɫs] (guess, conjecture, counsel, debate, enigma, riddle), from the Proto-West-Germanic *rādislī (advice, guess, riddle, puzzle), from *rādan (to advise, guess, interpret), from the Proto-Germanic *rēdaną [ˈrɛː.ðɑ.nɑ̃] (to decide, advise), from the PIE *Hreh₁dʰ- (to think, arrange) [source].

The English word read comes from the Germanic root, as do the Dutch words raadsel (riddle, mystery) and raden (to guess), the German words Rätsel (riddle, puzzle, mystery) and raten (to advise, recommend, guess), and the Swedish word råda (to advise, rule, reign, occur, exist) [source].

The word riddle, as in a kind of sieve, usually made of wire, comes from different roots: from the Middle English ridel (coarse sieve), from the Old English hriddel (sieve), from the Proto-West Germanic *hrīdrā (sieve), from the Proto-Germanic *hrīdrǭ [ˈxriːð.rɔ̃ː] (sieve), from *hrid- (to shake), ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European *krey- (to sift, separate, divide) [source].

Words from the same roots include crime, crisis, critic and secret in English, Reiter [ˈʁaɪ̯tɐ] (rider, mounted man-at-arms) in German, and crynu (to tremble, quake, shiver) and crwydr (sieve, winnowing-fan, wandering, roaming) in Welsh [source].

More details about sieve-related words in Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Lead

Today we’re delving into the origins of the word lead.

Lead Ingots

lead [lɛd] is:

  • a soft, heavy, metallic element with atomic number 82 found mostly in combination and used especially in alloys, batteries, and shields against sound, vibration, or radiation.
  • a thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing.

It comes from the Middle English le(e)d [lɛːd] (lead, cauldron), from the Old English lēad [læɑːd] (lead), from the Proto-West-Germanic *laud (lead)), from the Gaulish *laudon (lead), from the Proto-Celtic *ɸloudom (iron), from the PIE *plewd- (to fly, flow, run) [source].

Words from the same Proto-West-Germanic root include lood [loːt] (lead, plumb bob) in Dutch, Lot [loːt] (plummet, solder) in German, and lod [lʌð] (plumb bob, fishing weight) in Danish [source].

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include luaidhe [ˈl̪ˠuːiː/l̪ˠuəjə] (lead) in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, leoaie (lead) in Manx [source].

Words from the same PIE root include float, flow, flood, fleet and Pluto in English, vlotten (to glide, go smoothly) in Dutch, and flotter [flɔ.te] (to float, flutter, wave, mill about) in French [source].

Incidentally, to word lead [liːd], as in to guide or direct, is not related to lead (the metal). It comes from the Middle English leden (to lead, carry, take, put), from the Old English lǣdan (to lead, bring, take, carry, guide), from the Proto-Germanic *laidijaną (to cause one to go, lead), causative of the Proto-Germanic *līþaną (to go, pass through), from Proto-Indo-European *leyt- (to go, depart, die) [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Quiet 🤫

Today we’re looking into the origins of the word quiet.

Quietness

Quiet [ˈkwaɪ.ɪt / ˈkwaɪ.ət] means:

  • making little or no noise or sound
  • free or comparatively free of noise
  • silent
  • restrained in speech or manner
  • free from disturbance or tumult; peaceful

It comes from the Middle English quiete (peace, rest, gentleness), from the Old French quiet(e) (tranquil, calm), from the Latin quiētus (at rest, quiet, peaceful), from quiēscō (I rest, sleep, repose), from quiēs (rest, repose, quiet) from the PIE *kʷyeh₁- (to rest; peace) [source].

English words from the same Latin root include acquiesce (to rest satisfied, to assent to), coy (bashful, shy, retiring), quit (to abandon, leave), requiem (a mass or piece of music to honour a dead person) and tranquil (calm, peaceful) [source].

The English word while comes from the same PIE root, via the Old English hwīl (while, period of time), the Proto-West Germanic *hwīlu (period of rest, pause, time, while), and the Proto-Germanic *hwīlō (time, while, pause) [source].

Other words from the same PIE root include wijl [ˈʋɛi̯l] (when, while), in Dutch, Weile [ˈvaɪ̯lə] (while), in German, hvile [ˈviːlə] (rest, repose, to rest) in Danish and Norwegian, chwila [ˈxfi.la] (moment, instant) in Polish and хвилина [xʋeˈɫɪnɐ] (minute) in Ukrainian [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

By the way, I wrote a new song this week called Quiet Please

I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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