@discobot roll 1d10
We always get the weird ones, huh.
(Actually I should just go up to 62, otherwise we would have gotten things over 630… I’m a rubbish mathematician)
I was thinking today: "what are the oldest words for which we have recorded history?"
I’ve decided on a cut-off point of 1000 BCE.
Akkadian 𒁲 𒊑 => 𒅆𒂍𒉪 => ziggurat
Akkadian 𒂵𒈬𒉡 =~> Ancient Greek κύμινον => Latin cuminum => Old English cymen => Middle English comin => cumin
Aramaic נצב to מצב to מצטבתא => Arabic مِصْطَبَة => mastaba
Aramaic שולטנא => Arabic سُلْطَان => Turkish سلطان => French sultan => sultan
Egyptian bḫn => Ancient Greek βάσανος => Latin basanites => Latin Latin basaltes => basalt
Egyptian hbnj => Ancient Greek ἔβενος => Latin hebenus => Ecclesiastical Latin ebenius => Middle English hebenyf => ebony
Egyptian ꜣbw =?> Ancient Greek ἐλέφᾱς => Latin elephantus => Old French elefant => elephant
Egyptian ꜣbw => Demotic yb => Latin ebur => eboreus => Anglo-Norman ivurie => Middle English ivorie => ivory
Egyptian wḥꜣt => Demotic wḥj => Ancient Greek Ὄᾰσῐς => Latin Latin Oasis => oasis
Egyptian pr ꜥꜣ => Hebrew פַּרְעֹה => Ancient Greek Φαραώ => Late Latin Pharao => Old / Middle English pharao => pharoah
Hebrew פלשת to פלשתים to Ancient Greek Φυλιστῖνοι => Late Latin Philistinus => philistine
Hebrew סְדֹם => Ancient Greek σοδομίτης => Latin sodomita => sodomite
Hebrew אשקלון => Latin ascalonia => Medieval Latin escalonia => Middle French eschalote => French échalote => shallot
Phoenician 𐤀 => Ancient Greek ἄλφα => alpha
Phoenician 𐤂𐤁 to 𐤂𐤁𐤋 => Ancient Greek Βῠ́βλος => βύβλος => βυβλίον => βῐβλῐ́ον => βιβλιογράφος => _ βιβλιογραφία_ => bibliography
Sanskrit उपरि => उपल => Byzantine Greek ὀπάλλιος => Latin opalus => French opale => opal
Sanskrit रोटिका => Hindi रोटी => roti
Sanskrit लाक्षा => Hindi लाख => Persian لاک => Portuguese laca => French lacque => lacquer
Sanskrit पिप्पली => Persian پلپل possibly to Arabic فلفل to فَلَافِل => falafel
Sanskrit शृङ्गवेर => Sauraseni Prakrit सिङ्गबेर => Ancient Greek ζιγγίβερις => Latin zingiberi => Medieval Latin gingiber => Middle English gingifer => gingivere => gingere => Modern English ginger
Sanskrit पर्पट => Tamil பப்படம் => papadam
Sumerian 𒄀𒈾 => Akkadian 𒄀 => Ancient Greek κάννα => Latin canna => canalis => Old / Middle French canal => canal
The Coptic word is ⲡⲣ̄ⲣⲟ p-ᵊrro, by the way, ⲡ- being the definite article.
I can imagine that ebony and oasis being other egyptian loanwords are similarly old.
Being a Germanic language, English is relatively poor in recorded ancient etymologies, if you want to go before Latin and Ancient Greek. I think the most fertile soil to find them in is probably:
- Indian languages
It’s quite easy, just select the whole table below and copy it, you’ll see how it works
@Sanonius, about demonstrative pronouns: I wasn’t aware (or forgot) that Latin distinguishes distance between second person and third person. It’s like Japanese in that regard.
Japanese has it both for demonstrative pronouns and other demonstrative adverbs:
|First person||Second person||Third person||Interrogative|
this one (near me)
that one (near you)
that one (distant)
this (near me)
that (near you)
here (near me)
there (near you)
over here (near me)
over there (near you)
over there (distant)
(in) this way / with my method
(in) that way / with your method
(in) that way (distant)
this kind of (near me)
that kind of (near you)
that kind of (distant)
what kind of
It existed in English as well, for example: here (proximity to speaker), there (proximity to listener), yonder (distant from both). In modern English there has largely absorbed the meaning of yonder.
Yonder was also used for the pronouns, see this Wiki page.
That looks really neat, thank you. It’s interesting how that system is extended not only to directions but also manners. It Latin there’s ita ‘this way’, and circumscriptions that literally mean ‘this way’, and ‘that way’ (hoc/isto/illo modo). I quite like the Japanese ああ〜…
German’s got three distances, too: hier, da, dort, but “da” is rather in general proximity than precisely around the listener. I wonder if there are languages with four or more. Maybe one for objects one can’t see.
Well, in English you can say “right here” or “to hand”.
“over there” / “yonder”
It sorta works
PS. yes, ofc no-one has said yonder this century
The Doctor used ‘yonder’ once when he explained stuff to Mr. Chesterfield.
That particular reference is lost on me, I’m afraid. Are you talking about Ian Chesterton?
Right, it’s technically a new day. That means I’ve gotta:
- Roll for a script of the day
- Read Sanonius’s post about demonstrative pronouns
- Make a grammar and vocabulary challenge
- Tidy the thread
Hi! To find out what I can do, say
@discobot display help.
@discobot roll 1d60
@discobot roll 1d99