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Thread: Etymology of word "friend" in many languages

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    Etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Hello Team! I'm working on a project for my university's president, studying the etymologies of the word "friend" in different languages. Below is what I've come up with so far [Post #1], could you please fill in any that you might know that I don't have yet [Post #2]? Also, if you know of any other languages version of "friend" and associated etymologies could you please let me know? If you see anything below that's wrong or have anything to add, please let me know. Please make all comments in original language and transliterated English please. Thank you!

    Friend (English) - Old English - freond, "to love, to favor," from Pre-Germanic. *frijojanan "to love". Related to Old English freo "free."
    Freundin (German) – Old English: freond, to love - In turn, "freond" comes from "fri", which is Germanic for "to like, to love", and which is also connected with the Norse goddess Frigg, the goddess of love.
    Vriend (Dutch & Afrikaans) – Old English: freond, to love - In turn, "freond" comes from "fri", which is Germanic for "to like, to love", and which is also connected with the Norse goddess Frigg, the goddess of love.

    Sahib (صاحب) (Arabic) - respectful address to Europeans in India, 1673, from Hindi or Urdu sahib "master, lord," from Arabic, originally "friend, companion," from sahiba "he accompanied." OR - the word for "friend" comes from the root "truth," because "Who is your friend? The one who tells you the truth."

    Amicus (Latin) – amare: to love
    Amico (Italian) – amare: to love
    Ami (French) - aimer: to love
    Amigo (Spanish) - amor: to love
    Mik (Albanian) - amicus from Latin

    Bondhu (Bengali) – Indic bandh – to tie
    Bandu (Sinhalese) – Indic bandh – to tie

    Dost (Urdu) – From Persian dost – Friend / Lover

    Ven (Danish) - From Old Norse vinr, related to Latin venus (beauty), also Nynorsk (One of the two major Norwegian languages, literally meaning "new Norwegian") ven (beautiful)
    Venn (Finnish) - From Old Norse vinr, related to Latin venus (beauty), also Nynorsk (One of the two major Norwegian languages, literally meaning "new Norwegian") ven (beautiful)

    Philos (φίλος) (Greek) – phileo: to love

    Péngyǒu (朋友) (Mandarin) - In Shang-Yin (XVI – XI BC) oracle bone inscriptions the character "you" (later – "friend") designated one of types of sacred communication between men and divine ancestors. It implied provision of offerings from the part of descendants and a grant of support from the ancestors’ part in exchange. The character "peng" (later – a part of word combination "pengyou" – "friend") was used as the measure word for "bunches of cowries" being an important component of ritual gift exchange in Early China. The character "bin" (later – "guest") in Shang-Yin time designated special sacred ceremony of entertainment of royal ancestors. In Western Zhou (XI - VIII BC) period it used to designate a type of exchange between men of the same social status, and, on the other hand, a type of tribute delivered by dependent tribes or political units. It also comprised the graph "cowry". Thus this symbol of ritual exchange link the concepts of "friendship" and "hospitality" to each other, making us suppose that gifts used to play an important role in such kind of relationship.

    Tomodachi (Japanese) - Tomodachi is the Japanse word for friend. Tomodachi is written with two kanji: (tomo, friend) and (-tachi, attain). The first kanji comes from the Chinese you and represents two hands ( right and left) working together. The second kanji comes from the Chinese da and isn't relevant to the etymology (it's phonetic, "a word about moving that sounds like da" = attain). The Japanse word itself then stems from the idea that working together to accomplish a task creates friends. For the Japanese this will generally be true, as the members of your ka sei (課制, company work group) are often the people you socialize with the most. A familiar abbreviation of the term, just tomo, translates closer to "buddy" or "pal" (私の友).

    Kaibigan (Tagalog) - the root word "ibig", meaning "to love." Putting "ka" before a rootword signifies a state of being, such as "kasama" (ka + sama "to go with"), literally "being someone to go with" or "companion". Putting "an" or "han" after a word makes the focus of the sentence the direction of the action, such as "simba" (to worship) + "han" becomes "simbahan", a church, literally, "a place to worship". Thus, "kaibigan" could literally mean, "the state of being someone to share love with"!

    Caraid (Gaelic) - Irish, Old Irish cara, g. carat, *karant-; Old Irish verb carim, caraim, I love, Welsh caraf, amo, Breton quaret, amare, Gaulish carantus, Caractacus, etc.; Latin cârus, dear, English charity, etc.; Gothic hôrs, meretrix

    Rafiki (Swahili) - From Arabic رفيق (rafí:q, 'companion,' 'buddy,' 'comrade,' 'partner') < رفق (ráfaqa, 'to be kind,' 'to be friendly, 'to be courteous').

    Drug (друг) (Russian) - Originally, друг was the predicative (short) form of другой ("another"). It is related to второй ("second") < OCS въторъ ("other", "second") < PIE *wi-tero- ("more apart") < PIE base *wi- ("separation") + comparative suffix *-tero- ("-er").
    Draugs (Latvian) – From Russian Drug (and related history)

    Barát (Hungarian) - From Proto-Slavic *bratrъ, *bratъ, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰréhtēr. (Brat = brother)
    Last edited by Frank06; 14th January 2008 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Attempt to re-arrange this thread :-)

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    [Continued from post #1]
    Paulhersh asked could you please fill in any that you might know that I don't have yet"

    Chingu (親舊) (Korean)

    Chaver (חבר) (Hebrew)
    Me Tra (Vietnamese?)
    Teman (Indonesian)
    Jakkr (?)
    Arkadasim (Turkish)
    Anker (Armenian)
    Přítel (Czech)
    Kamrat (Swedish)
    Znajomy (Polish)
    Ystävä (Finnish)
    Prijatelj (Croatian)

    Paulhersch also asked:
    Also, if you know of any other languages version of "friend" and associated etymologies could you please let me know?


    Please only post other words for friend with a plausible etymology.

    Frank
    Moderator EHL
    Last edited by Frank06; 14th January 2008 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Attempt to re-arrange this thread.

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Amigo (Portuguese) - amor: to love
    Przyjaciel (Polish) -> the version you gave (znajomy) doesn't mean friend but an acquaintance.
    Docendo discimus - Ensinando aprendemos - Uczymy się ucząc innych - By teaching others we learn.

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    Indonesian friend

    Indonesian has at least four words for "friend":
    teman
    kawan
    sahabat
    sobat

    I don't know about the etymology of teman and kawan, but I think sahabat is a loanword from Sanskrit or Arabic, and that sobat is simply a shortened version of it.

    Sahabat and sobat imply a closer friendship than teman or kawan.

    Salam,


    MarX

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Quote Originally Posted by paulhersh View Post
    Amigo (Spanish) - amor: to love
    Quote Originally Posted by Denis555 View Post
    Amigo (Portuguese) - amor: to love
    Przyjaciel (Polish) -> the version you gave (znajomy) doesn't mean friend but an acquaintance.
    Surely you mean:
    amar: To love.
    Copiii cred că viaţa este vecinică, şi au dreptate.

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Quote Originally Posted by paulhersh View Post
    Sahib (صاحب) (Arabic) - respectful address to Europeans in India, 1673, from Hindi or Urdu sahib "master, lord," from Arabic, originally "friend, companion," from sahiba "he accompanied." OR - the word for "friend" comes from the root "truth," because "Who is your friend? The one who tells you the truth."
    Sahib is used sometimes to describe a friend, however, it actually is a companion, from as you said the verb sahiba = to accompany. The word sahib can be used to describe a companion (on a journy), a friend and a spouse (since they accompany eachother in the journy of life).

    Freind in Arabic is actually Sadeeq صديق, from Sadaqa صدق, to tell the truth. He is called so because a freind does two things: he tells you the truth and he believes what you say. i.e., between two friends is only truth (no lies).

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Does 'sadaqa' have any relation to the Hebrew 'tzedakah' (commonly translated as 'charity' but based on the root for 'justice' (tzedek))? Thank you!

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    "Freundin" (German) is feminin; "Freund" is masculin.
    In Spanish, "amigo" (masc.) and "amiga" (fem.)
    And the same in Franch: "ami" (masc.) and "amie" (fem.)
    I suppose there must be more languages that change the noun's form dependig on the geder.

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    Indonesian friend

    Quote Originally Posted by Mahaodeh View Post
    Sahib is used sometimes to describe a friend, however, it actually is a companion, from as you said the verb sahiba = to accompany. The word sahib can be used to describe a companion (on a journy), a friend and a spouse (since they accompany eachother in the journy of life).

    Freind in Arabic is actually Sadeeq صديق, from Sadaqa صدق, to tell the truth. He is called so because a freind does two things: he tells you the truth and he believes what you say. i.e., between two friends is only truth (no lies).
    That reminds me of another word for close friend in Indonesian: sohib.
    I guess it's related to sahabat and sobat.

    So Indonesian has at least five words for "friend":

    teman
    kawan
    sahabat
    sobat
    sohib

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Slavic:

    přítel (Czech)
    priateľ (Slovak)
    przyjaciel (Polish)
    prijatelj (Croatian)
    приятель (Russian)

    are derived from the Proto-Slavic verb prьja-ti (by the suffix -telь)

    derived from IE base *prei- to be fond of, hold dear (> friend), Sans. priyá- dear, desired

    The Slavic words are related to the Germanic friend, Freund, etc.

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Hi,
    just something I noticed about the etymology of the Celtic words
    you ahve written "Caraid (Gaelic) - Irish, Old Irish cara, g. carat, *karant-; Old Irish verb carim, caraim, I love, Welsh caraf, amo, Breton quaret, amare,"
    I know there is a significant link between Latin and Irish, and the Celtic words remind me of the latin verb quarare....is(or could there be) there a link?
    Sorcha

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Quote Originally Posted by paulhersh View Post
    Tomodachi (Japanese) - Tomodachi is the Japanse word for friend. Tomodachi is written with two kanji: 友 (tomo, friend) and 達(-tachi, attain). The first kanji comes from the Chinese you and represents two hands (又 right and 左 left) working together. Kanji etymology is irrelevant to the etymology of tomodachi and the kanji etymology of working together is not without disagreement. The second kanji comes from the Chinese da and isn't relevant to the etymology (it's phonetic, "a word about moving that sounds like da" = attain). The Japanse word itself then stems from the idea that working together to accomplish a task creates friends (Statement A). For the Japanese this will generally be true, as the members of your ka sei (課制, company work group) are often the people you socialize with the most (Statement B). A familiar abbreviation of the term, just tomo, translates closer to "buddy" or "pal" (私の友). Tomo is not a "familiar abbreviation" but the etymologically authentic word meaning a friend. In Modern Japanese, tomodachi prevails over tomo in use. 私の友 sounds rather archaic— it never translates into "a buddy of mine."
    The veracity of Statement A is questionable whereas that of Statement B is at best limited to the industrialised sectors of modern Japan. Neither of the two, or the two combined, makes a good argument for this etymological enquiry.

    The usages of tomo in older Japanese include; companion, friend, peer and attendant. The idea is doing something together (E.g., An attendant accompanies where his master goes) or having something in common (E.g., Peers belong to the same referent group; a likely group in the ancient society is one's tribe). The togetherness or sameness does not necessarily mean sharing the same project.

    Tomodachi can be analysed as tomo with the suffix tachi (Originally "a group of ~", it is a productive suffix for making plurals). The first consonant of the second element undergoes voicing upon compounding. It may be that tomodachi once meant "a group of friends/peers" but today it is used indiscriminately for any number of friends (including one friend). There is no form to supply a plural. The distinction of numbers —as it never seem to have been the case— matters very little in Modern Japanese.
    Last edited by Flaminius; 15th January 2008 at 4:08 PM.
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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Hi,
    Friend in Avesta is frya : dear, beloved, affectionate; a friend, a well-wisher.
    Frya may be cognate to friend, related to O.E. freo "free.".


    Thanks,
    Mahdi.
    Last edited by Frank06; 16th January 2008 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Arabic snipped: Please only post other words for friend _with_ a plausible etymology.

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    The word חבר in Hebrew comes from the root ח.ב.ר which means "to connect".

    Another word in Hebrew that means "friend" is ידיד (yadid), whose root - I think - means love, and is also the root of the word דוד (dod), "uncle". I'm not that sure about this one though, so maybe you should wait for confirmation.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulhersh
    Does 'sadaqa' have any relation to the Hebrew 'tzedakah' (commonly translated as 'charity' but based on the root for 'justice' (tzedek))? Thank you!
    You pretty much answered your qustion. צדקה comes from the root צ.ד.ק which means "justice".

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Quote Originally Posted by בעל-חלומות View Post
    Another word in Hebrew that means "friend" is ידיד (yadid), whose root - I think - means love, and is also the root of the word דוד (dod), "uncle". I'm not that sure about this one though, so maybe you should wait for confirmation.
    Yadid in Hebrew may be cognate to عزیز (aziz) in Arabic means dear and darling.

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Hello: you've got, as well,
    Galician: amigo/a, amar.
    Català: amic.

    Perhaps it's interesting for you the relationship between Latin am-(>amicus, amare) and the Greek ἄμα, adverb meaning next to (Latin and Greek are Indo-European languages, as you know). Saludos, amigo .
    Last edited by Frank06; 16th January 2008 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Capitals, please. / Basque snipped: Please only post other words for friend _with_ a plausible etymology.

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Quote Originally Posted by paulhersh
    Drug (друг) (Russian) - Originally, друг was the predicative (short) form of другой ("another"). It is related to второй ("second") < OCS въторъ ("other", "second") < PIE *wi-tero- ("more apart") < PIE base *wi- ("separation") + comparative suffix *-tero- ("-er").

    Actually, the word most probably originates from an ancient Slavic verb, that means to be in company, or to socialize, which is still preserved in Slovenian, as družiti se, and the word drug for friend, is also still preserved in Slovenian, as an archaism. This word was even used in the Slovenian translation of Bob Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind, as the more common word, prijatelj, is too long to fit in that song's chorus. In Slovenian, also related are the words družaben (meaning sociable), and družba, meaning both company (in both senses of the English word), and society.
    Also, there's the word drugi in Slovenian as well, that means both another, and the second (as in, ordinal number).
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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Quote Originally Posted by paulhersh
    Arkadasim arkadaşım (Turkish)
    arkadaşım meaning “my friend”, let’s concentrate on the main word:

    arkadaş is made up by arka, “behind; supporter” + the suffix –daş, “fellow with regard to..., companion concerning”, cf meslektaş, “colleague”, literally: “companion of profession” – and many other words.

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    From http://www.kimkat.org

    Etymology of the Welsh-language word cyfaill (= friend)
    -----------------------------------------------------
    < cyfaillt
    (cyf- prefix) + (aillt) < British *kom-alt-jos (= joined together; joined in friendship)
    The element alt is to be seen
    (1) in obsolete Welsh cyfalle (= union, joining together; spouse) < cyfalledd < British *kom-alt-ijâ
    (2) in Cornish kevals (= joint, articulation) (British kom-alt),
    (3) and in the Irish words alt (= joint, articulation); comhalta (= foster brother, foster sister; member);
    and comhaltas (= association)
    Note: cyfeilles (= female friend) (cyfaill + -es, suffix denoting a female);
    y gyfeilles = the (female) friend

    Wynn
    Last edited by Wynn Mathieson; 17th January 2008 at 11:45 PM. Reason: edited URL

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    Re: etymology of word "friend" in many languages

    Turkish:

    Arkadaş

    Arka/daş

    Arka: Back, so "Arkadaş" : someone that you can lean on (back to back)

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