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Thread: Etymology: Earth

  1. #41
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    tīra तीर is derived from the verb तॄ (i.e. t + long vowel r), meaning 'to pass across or over, float, fulfil, escape' etc.

    Ocean of Milk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ksheersagar

  2. #42
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    Re: Etymology: Earth is from Viking goddess

    It is likely that the word Earth comes to the English language from the Norse goddess known as Hertha or Nerthus. Roman consul and historian, Tacitus, wrote an account in the year 98, of a north German deity variously named Ertha, Hertha, Nerthus, or Mother Earth. The name also appears in the Viking sagas, written down as early as the year 1190. The German name Bertha may owe its origin to this goddess of myth and fertility. This account by the Roman historian Tacitus predates any other references I've been able to find as to the usage or etymology of the word earth. Historically, we named planets after Roman or Greek gods. Why not name our planet after the goddess who ruled the very stuff the planet is made of? She also was goddess of the home the legend goes, and as smoke rose up from the fireplace it was said to be her spirit, thus the word hearth. In old Teutonic languages, the worth hearth means "the ground beneath your feet." If you're curious, look up Hertha or Nerthus as to its Norse origins. Search google.com for "norse" and "Hertha" or for Tacitus and Hertha. Very interesting and fun stuff.

    Sincerely,

    Eric Kasum

  3. #43
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    The similarity between earth and the Arabic word أرض cannot be accidental. However, it should be born in mind that, most modern dictionaries trace the etymologies back to IE, and willingly avoid discussion around roots of Mesopotamian origin. Mesopotamia has been the cradle of civilisation, and all languages bear some traces. I think the word earth must be traced back to the Sumerian ur, which signifies town, place, area, territory, etc.

  4. #44
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Hi,
    Quote Originally Posted by Aydintashar View Post
    The similarity between earth and the Arabic word أرض cannot be accidental.
    Why not?

    However, it should be born in mind that, most modern dictionaries trace the etymologies back to IE,
    PIE, maybe? Proto-Indo-European?

    and willingly avoid discussion around roots of Mesopotamian origin.
    Four questions:
    1. Why would they avoid that?
    2. Which "modern dictionaries" "willingly avoid" those kind of discussions?
    3. What are your arguments that there is a (genetic) relation between PIE and (proto-)Semitic?
    4. What do you mean by "Mesopotamian"? It's very weird to see a word in this context referring to a region rather than to a language.

    Mesopotamia has been the cradle of civilisation,
    I beg your pardon?

    and all languages bear some traces.
    Traces of what? Of "Mesopotamian" languages? I'd love to see examples of "traces in all languages" (preferably in a separate thread).

    I think the word earth must be traced back to the Sumerian ur, which signifies town, place, area, territory, etc.
    Great to learn about what you think. It's a pitty, though, that you don't give any sound and solid arguments.

    Yes, I am quite skeptic about your claims. And yes, you can always convince me with solid arguments based upon the basic principles of historical comparative linguistics.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
    If you open your mind too much, your brain might fall out.

  5. #45
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Whodunit View Post
    For the Slavic languages, the root is z(i)em-, concluding from the examples (but I'm not sure where the "l" on Russian and Bosnian comes from).
    I can't give you much in-depth info, but it's an epenthetic consonant that appeared during the elimination of the consonant cluster *Cj: *mj > ml'

    So the proto-Slavic *zem-j-a turned into the Old Church Slavonic form zemlja (similar to the modern Russian).

    However, the adjective doesn't have this l: zemnoj šar ("the earth globe"), which is derived from *zem-inos (cf. OCS zemьnъ).
    Любовь — это слово из четырёх букв

  6. #46
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Remember that the Semitic languages, e.g. Arabic and Hebrew, are included in the vast Afro-Asiatic language family. In mainstream linguistics, this is not considered to be at all related to the Indo-European family. There are theories that suggest common origins for some or all language groups, but these are highly controversial. Thus it would be impossible for these distinct groups to share word origins.

  7. #47
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by james. View Post
    Thus it would be impossible for these distinct groups to share word origins.
    I would first like to point out that I am in no way arguing that Earth has Semitic or Afro-Asiatic roots or not; I would just like to point to the above argument. First, not having any evidence of any relation does not mean that there was never any relation, right? Second, there may have been some contact in pre-historical times, when people spoke but did not write, right? it could be borrowed from one to the other or they could have both borrowed it from some third group? Third, regardless of any "proto-world-language" or any similar theories, since science tells us that both the Indo-Europeans and the Semites both originated in Africa, then at some point in time, probably too far back for us to trace it, there may have been some connection.

    I'm not saying that there must have been shared word origins but I'm also saying it's not impossible. We just don't know and it’s highly unlikely for us to know for sure (at least in the foreseeable furture) so we don’t claim it to be true but the word impossible is a little too definite for something we don't know much about.

    I would not dismiss the coincidence theory either, after all, there are so many words to invent and so little sounds we can combine to create ones; and I’m sure every single one of us has come across stranger coincidences.
    Last edited by Mahaodeh; 27th April 2008 at 7:47 AM.

  8. #48
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Yeah I suppose that word does sound a little strong, especially when taken out of the context of my original post. I was just saying, keep in mind that these languages have no generally accepted genetic link, and that, given that fact, it would then be impossible for them to share roots in a purely genetic sense. But intermixing and borrowings have occurred since the dawn of speech, so I'm not denying the possibility of a more superficial relationship. Also, I find the theories linking PIE with other parent groups very fascinating, it's just, as I understand it, there has not been enough evidence presented for the linguistic community to fully accept them. There are apparent, very general and superficial similarities between very distant, totally unrelated languages, similarities that are unaccounted for by historical linguistics. But this may stem from common cognitive characteristics inherent to mankind.

  9. #49
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mahaodeh View Post
    Third, regardless of any "proto-world-language" or any similar theories, since science tells us that both the Indo-Europeans and the Semites both originated in Africa [...]
    If by that you mean the speakers of Indo-European and of Semitic languages, then we do not know whether they both originated in Africa. Proto-Indo-European, for all we know, only developed long after the ancestrors of its speakers had left Africa. The most common theory is that PIE originates from somewhere around the Black Sea.
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

  10. #50
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by .Lola. View Post
    Hi
    here is the word "earth" in some Slavic languages:

    Czech: země
    Slovak: zem
    Russian: zemlja (земл̀я)
    Polish: ziemia

    In other Slavic languages it's going to be very similar.
    Bulgarian: зем̀я (zemia)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemminkäinen View Post
    So the proto-Slavic *zem-j-a turned into the Old Church Slavonic form zemlja (similar to the modern Russian).
    Yes. In Old Slavic, the consonant cluster *Cj, where C is among {b,p,v,m}, in the cases where j is also a consonant, tends to change to *CLj. L is an epenthetic consonant indeed. It has been dropped later in many Slavic dialects.

    The Slavic zemja/зем̀я (earth) is related to the Latin words humus and homo.

    Please consider that the Latin words homo (man, human) and humus (soil, ground, earth) are really related. Perhaps, there could be some very old influence from Mesopotamia concerning the following idea:

    {Genesis 2:7} And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

  11. #51
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Just a quick note.

    In Macedonian and I believe in other Slavic languages too, the plant is capitalized (Земја) as are all celestial bodies while the land surface is not (земја).

  12. #52
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Christo Tamarin View Post
    Please consider that the Latin words homo (man, human) and humus (soil, ground, earth) are really related. Perhaps, there could be some very old influence from Mesopotamia concerning the following idea:

    {Genesis 2:7} And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
    The Latin etc. h words do indeed seem to be related from a PIE *dhghem-.

    The Semitic root 'dm will provide material for dozens of dissertations. Chosing when to translate 'adam as the proper noun Adam or as 'humanity' or the like in the Old Testament is a science in itself.

    Also, was ancient Semitic dirt/dust/earth red? Ugaritic 'dm, Akkadian adamu etc. etc. also have meanings like red, dark red, blood.

  13. #53
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    Hello
    I once read, but I cannot remember where, that aristo-cracy (the rule of the best ones) is related to earth in this way:
    "aristos" is Greek for "the best ones" but it allegedly comes from "ar" which means "earth". This would suggest that the "best ones" were the owners of the land. But again I'm not sure if this etymology is correct. Si non è vero è ben trovato...

  14. #54
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    Re: Etymology: Earth

    "-istos" sounds to me, with no knowledge of Greek language, as a typical superlative suffix, on the pattern of English "-est".

    Anyway, I just wanted to add that the Basque word for both Earth and earth is "lur" (or "lurra/Lurra" with definite article), which doesn't resemble at all any of the other ones.

  15. #55
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    Origin of the term Earth?

    I found that the term 'Earth' is the only planet whose name in English is not derived from Greco-Roman mythology.

    Why is that?

    In Latin = Terra Mater or Tellus.
    Both Terra Mater and Tellus Mater mean "Mother Earth"

    Why Terra was chosen instead of Tellus?

    And, in Italian, French and Spanish it's Terra, Terre and Tierra respectively

    I wonder why is it different for the English language?
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

  16. #56
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    Re: Origin of the term Earth?

    It's because English is not a Latin language; it evolved from the Germanic family of languages, and the Germanic peoples already had their own word for "earth" long before they became part of the Roman Empire.

    You can see a quick etymology by clicking here.

    I hope this helps.
    Quiero hacer cosas imposibles.

  17. #57
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    Re: Origin of the term Earth?

    Other celestial bodies with Germanic names in English are Sun and Moon. If planents ever had Germanic names I don't know. But if so, they havn't survived. As far as I know all modern Germanic languages use the Latin names for planets. You have morning star and evening star as alternative names for venus. But these are not original Germanic names but just translations of Greek names.

  18. #58
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    Re: Origin of the term Earth?

    The Old High German word for earth (from the link to the dictionary) is erda - is so, then what is the origin of that? Is it related to a semitic word for earth (Hebrew - eretz ארץ, Arabic - ardd أرض or Aramaic ara3a)?

  19. #59
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    Re: Origin of the term Earth?

    You'll like this previous thread.

    Thanks, merged!
    sokol
    Last edited by sokol; 18th January 2009 at 5:28 PM. Reason: merged
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

  20. #60
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    Re: Origin of the term Earth?

    thanks a lot!

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