Greek word for Fox

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by TheoG, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. TheoG Junior Member

    Massachusetts
    USA/English
    I've always wondered, why is the word for Fox, alepou? It sounds French, but after reading a post about the French work for Fox, I don't think it it French.

    Does anyone know?
     
  2. Vagabond

    Vagabond Senior Member

    Okay, here's what my Τριανταφυλλίδης dictionary says on the history of the word:

    ελνστ. ἀλωπά, παράλλ. τ. του αρχ. ἀλώπηξ (πρβ. αρχ. επίθ. ἀλωπός `πανούργος΄, ελνστ. αρσ. `αρσενική αλεπού΄) > μσν. αλωπώ (κατά το επίθημα -ώ, δες λ.) > αλωπού (με μεταπλ. > -ού, δες -ού) > αλουπού (με υποχωρ. αφομ. [o-u > u-u]) > μσν. αλεπού (με τροπή [u > e] αναλ. προς άλλες λ. με αντ. εξέλ. [e > u] από επίδρ. του [l] ή του [p])· αλεπουδ- (αλεπού) -ίτσα

    So I guess ἀλώπηξ used to be the male fox and ἀλωπός was "cunning"; so after a series of vowel shifts and metaphorical usages, it ended up as αλεπού and "fox". Another dictionary (Λεξικό της Αρχαίας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας, Γιαννακόπουλος) suggests that ἀλώπηξ < (Latin) vulpes < (Latin) lupe.

    Don't take my word for it though, let's wait for the experts on Ancient Greek to get here! :)
     
  3. TheoG Junior Member

    Massachusetts
    USA/English
    Nice find Vagabond. Lets see what others say.
     
  4. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    Does "yeap, that's it" work? :D
     
  5. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    αλεπού is actually related to the French word for fox, goupil (not renard), via Latin. :)

    from Vagabond’s post:
    αλεπού < Ancient Greek ἀλώπηξ < Latin ‘vulpes’ (fox) < Latin ‘lupe’ (wolf)

    from Frank06’s post:
    goupil (French) < Latin 'vulpecula' (little fox) < Latin 'vulpes' (fox)
     

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