1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

banco and banca (Italian words)

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by yakor, May 3, 2013.

  1. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Hello, everybody!
    Could you tell me please from which words the Italian words "banco" and "banca" came? What is common between them, or they have nothing to do with each other? Please answer in English. I don't know Italian. :)
     
  2. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Banco and banca are essentially the same word. Both are cognate with English bench. The financial institution got its name from medieval money changers who were called banchieri because the sat at banchi (here meaning: tables, desks, counters) at the entrances of the markets.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  3. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    berndf is right. I would like to add that these words are not specifically Italian: they are shared by Romance languages and come from a Late Latin "bancus", in turn from a Germanic "Bank". What is specifically Italian is using them to denote a financial institution.
     
  4. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    ... a usage which has, of course, by now spread into many other languages.
     
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In which case “banca” and “bench” are not cognates. “banca” is a loanword from a Germanic form cognate to English “bench”. Or am I being too pedantic?
     
  6. rbrunner Junior Member

    Switzerland
    German - Switzerland
  7. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I would say a little bit; but your description is of course right.;)
     
  8. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    I was reading the other day about the origin of the Italian word azzannare coming from zanna, which in turn came from German 'Zahn' via the Germanic Lombards in Northern Italy. Might it be that this is also how banca entered Italian to then develop the meaning relating to a financial institution (via the Lombards)?
     
  9. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    No, the imported word is banco meaning bench, table or desk. Banca is derived from that meaning as described above.
     
  10. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Whether it was banco or banca is important from a pedantic point of view, however, the question was about the transfer from German into Italian. I said 'Via the Lombards' meaning any potential word form could have entered but where it came from ultimately was from that source. I know that the preference here is to always choose an interpretation of a question where you can respond with a correction to the other person rather than an affermation, but I personally felt that was a bit unwarranted here. I looked elsewhere and I found out I was right in that the origin is from the Lombardic *bank.
     
  11. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Maybe I misunderstood you. I took your question to mean if banco and banca entered Italian as separate words with separate meanings from the same Germanic source. My "no" applied only to this. The split of the words and their meanings happened within Italian. I did not mean to contradict you on the question whether the word entered Italian through Lombardic or another Germanic language. I have no opinion on that.
     
  12. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Ah, maybe I should have included the earlier quote about Late Latin bancus coming from Germanic. This is what I was 'doubting' in my question (but not wanting to directly question the person who said it). I just wanted to pose the question about how the Germanic root entered Italian in the first place, irrespective of what forms then split and adapted to different meanings like financial institution (which then spread outwards elsewhere like you said in #4).
     
  13. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I see. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  14. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    Who knows... You see, even the official Spanish dictionary (DRAE) says that "banco" (attested in Castilian since 13th century) comes from Old French. So you can think that Italian "banco" comes from Longobardic, French "banque" from Frankish, and Late Latin "bancus", Castilian "banco", etc. are loans from the French or Italian.

    On the other hand, the Hispanic etymologist par excellence, Joan Corominas, says that "bancus" existed in Late Latin and Romance words come from it.

    I am not a specialist (just a poor amateur), so there is perhaps a Late Latin source that have settled the issue; I don't know.
     
  15. miguel89

    miguel89 Senior Member

    Argentina
    Spanish
    According to Zanichelli's Etymological Dictionary, the Italian word came either from Frankish or from Late Latin:
     
  16. onoda New Member

    italiano
    It is hard to establish how and when the words are entered in Italian,replacing the word mensa, if through Langobards or Goths or others germanic populations.Obviously the financial business was not unknown,as you can read in this short but interesting article (in italian,sorry),that explain also because in French language it is used the word argent and other curiosities. sites.google.com/site/etimologiachepassione/bancarotta
     
  17. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    "Bancus" (banco) is a place for sitting. The Italian money's changers used the benches as a table? How could this be?
     
  18. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Not only. There are sitting benches and there are working benches. Italian banco also has these two meaning. The working bench of a money changer is his desk.
     
  19. xari Junior Member

    portuguese
    Wouldn't it be something similar to Russian words стул and стол, both relating to Proto-Germanic *stolaz?
     
  20. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    We have a lot of words taken from Latin, Greek and other languages.
    I don't know the etymology of Russian words. But стол and стул are different things. One for sitting (for ass) and the other for hands.
    Also, it is not clear how to find the bank among different piled-up masses, places. What is the difference between the "bank" and a "mound" as piled-up places?
     
  21. Daffodil100

    Daffodil100 Senior Member

    Chinese
    From wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank
     
  22. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, but this is wiki-rubbish.
     
  23. rbrunner Junior Member

    Switzerland
    German - Switzerland
  24. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
  25. Daffodil100

    Daffodil100 Senior Member

    Chinese
    Please prove it rubbish with reliable and solid evidence, instead of words.
     
  26. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The Italian word “banca” is used in this sense since the 14th century. Italian did not borrow words from Bengali in the 14th century. Look at a map.
     
  27. Daffodil100

    Daffodil100 Senior Member

    Chinese
    What is the root of Italian Banca? Did Italians invent this word themselves?

    How do you explain that Bangalese have used the very similiar words since it was easy as 500 B.C. that is way earlier than 14th B.C. when Italians started to use this word?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  28. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Please read the beginning of this thread. This question has been answered.
    What is there in need to be explained? The words are not "very similar" but at best "vaguely similar" and no other connection has been demonstrated or at least made plausible. This so-called "similarity" means absolutely nothing.
     
  29. Daffodil100

    Daffodil100 Senior Member

    Chinese

    I highly doubt that it is called vaguely similar that you claim as German, Italian and Sankrit belong to Indo-European languages. Many English words are derived from Sankrit. Would you say simply they are vaguely similar if you didn't know? Many German words were derived from Latin, and Latin and Sankrit were ones of the oldest languages.

    Because we don't eactly know the connection, so we need discuss it. I do not agree to call the opinion in Wikipedia is rubbish even it is wrong. Period.
     
  30. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Did Bengalese exist in 500 BC?
     
  31. Daffodil100

    Daffodil100 Senior Member

    Chinese

    What is your point? Do you refer to the nation or the country?

    I referred to Sankrit the language nowaday Banglanese still use.
     
  32. rbrunner Junior Member

    Switzerland
    German - Switzerland
    Yes please! As this would be a very interesting connection indeed, I would love to discuss and hear your info or at least your plausible theory about the way this word took from 500 BC Sanskrit to Europe.

    However, saying that the words sound similar to a certain degree, that English does have some Sanskrit loans and English and Sanskrit are both from the Indoeuropean family of languages is rather weak support if you go against a well-documented and plausible theory of Italian etymology.

    Claims need supporting info, and extraordinary claims like this one seems in need of quite good supporting info, at least to me. But really, one never knows, and if you have info or a theory, why wait: Please present it.
     
  33. Daffodil100

    Daffodil100 Senior Member

    Chinese

    That is not my theory but from Wikipeda. No matter it is correct or not. We need someone to produce evidences to vindicate or disprove.

    Wikipedia is not perfect, so is everyone. It is inappropriate to say the opinion is rubbish just because people doubt it. As kids might put forward wrong naive opinions when they curiously probe the world, would the parents simply say that's rubbish?

    If people look up some sources via Google, you will find that Latin and Sankrit are not simply vaguely similar. That's not a coincidence. Many basic words, such as mother, father, are very very close. Some German words were derived from Latin. It is not convincing that draw a conclusion the banca was derived from German, and so it is definitely German creation as not every German word is not the mother of every Indo-Europe language.

    Even banca was derived from German, how do people vindicate Germans invented this word originally?

    I just quoted the info from Wikipedia. I'd like to hear more from people who more about Indo-Europe language.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  34. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Bernd has pointed out to me in a private message that this piece of "info" has now been removed from Wikipedia.

    I suggest you listen to what these people are telling you.
     
  35. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Here's a complete etymology:

    From Middle English banke, from Middle French banque, from Old Italian banca (“counter, moneychanger's bench or table”), from Lombardic *bank (“bench, counter”), from Proto-Germanic *bankiz (“bench, counter”), from Proto-Indo-European *bheg- (“to turn, curve, bend, bow”). Cognate with Old High German banc, banch (“counter, bench”), Old English benc (“bench”).
     
  36. rbrunner Junior Member

    Switzerland
    German - Switzerland
    Uh, this will get interesting. I am quite pessimistic as to whether it will be possible to keep this removed, even with the explanation given on the Talk page. But one can try.
     
  37. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    How many Sanskrit speakers are there in Bangladesh today?
     
  38. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Look, the concept of a "bank" and the word for it emerged during the Italian renaissance, not in some obscure prehistoric past where we are dependent on reconstruction techniques. We have ample primary sources from this time. We actually have a pretty good idea how the finance system worked and we know that money-changers where called banchieri and that a broke banchiere was banca rotta. Knowing all this, there is a pretty strong link between banco and banca, and we should need a bit more than a vague phonetic similarity and an equally vague semantic link (banks - expenses) to question the traditional explanation.

    Having said that, in science you are of course always free to question any explanation without needing a justification; but then, wearing my moderator hat, I have to point out that this is not the right forum to do so. This forum is supposed to work as a reference supporting the dictionaries and the last thing he want is that wild and hitherto unfounded speculations are mistaken for state of the art results of actual research or as scholarly consensus view, as it sadly happens with wikipedia. Please see the EHL forum rules, especially #15.
     
  39. xari Junior Member

    portuguese
    Yes, and they're both supposed to have originated from a root meaning "seat" (Vasmer gives Gothic cognate "stols"). I was just comparing the Russian words to what happened in Italian with another Germanic root for seat.
     
  40. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    It is not easy to pick out the most close word from Russian for "bank". It has many different meanings, so many words are taken to desctibe those.but nevertheless.. Only "val"(вал) seems more appropriate, to me/ "Val" is high, "val" is long it could be a barrier for wind and waves it looks like a mound,like a hill. Or maybe, "bereg" (берег). "bereg" is an elevation, it is a comfortable place to sit, it is long too, so it is like a bench...The similiar subjects in one row remind the bank of the river(bereg).
     
  41. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    In Modern Italian "panca" means the sitting bench, while "banco" means desk.

    I think in ancient Italian "banco" was used for the bank, then "banca" became the dominant form. Nowadays there are still banks that call themselves "banco", such as Banco di Napoli, Banco di Sardegna, Banco di Brescia, etc.
     
  42. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Hello, youngfan.

    Did "panca" come from the same word as the word "banco"?
    Which the very first meaning did the word "banco" have?
     
  43. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    Excuse me, dear yakor, but... do you read the answers to your questions?
    Please refer to #15 above.
     
  44. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    As I said I don't know Italian, so, I can't get the post #15. Also, I don't know from which word the word "panca" came from.
     
  45. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Could someone tell me what is written in the post #15?
     
  46. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Really just confirming what has been said before:
    From Frankish *bank, a bench running around the room and tightly connected to the wooden wall. As evidenced by the spread of the words bancalis, it is not excluded that the word bancum entered spoken Latin already in the late imperial period.

    The specialized meaning "credit institution" originated in Italian and spread from there into other languages.

     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  47. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    I wonder how else had "a banks of river" been called before the word "bank" came into English?
     
  48. mojobadshah Senior Member

    This may be so, but I would like to point out that banking firms had been well established by Darius' time. The word cheque is a Persian loanword. Which begs the question could the Persians have used a form of the word bank. As I stated in another thread there used to be a site that listed Sassanian benke "bank." Did this form really exist, did it develop independently, or could it have been a loan from Sanskrit? As Treaty has remarked:

     
  49. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    Dear mojobadshah, if you mean that the word "check/cheque" comes from shah (following a really winding path), then all authorities I know agree.

    But if you mean that a cognate *X of shah did exist in ancient Persia, and that the meaning of *X was similar to "money draft", then please provide some evidence. I will be happy to learn something new; as far as I know, the financial meaning of "cheque" was developed in 18th century England.
     
  50. mojobadshah Senior Member

    The greatest banking firm during Darius' time was that of Murashu and Sons in Nippur. Apparently the banks during this period also used checks. The possible Middle Persian root of check is listed as chek. I believe wikipedia was the source for this etymology.
     

Share This Page