Crank / crankshaft

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by sakvaka, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member


    What do you call a crank in your languages? How about a crankshaft, the part of an engine of a car?

    Finnish: kampi or veivi; kampiakseli ("crank axis")

    Kampi is probably more common. NB heittää veivinsä = "to throw one's crank" = to die (humoristic); "to crank" is veivata; kammeta means something else: to prise, to force open with a lever; a popular children's trick question: Kumpi ja Kampi tappelivat. Kumpi voitti? = "Kumpi and Kampi were fighting. Which of them won?"

    Notice that kampi is one of the i-e mutation nouns! Gen. kammen, part. kampea.

    English: crank, crankshaft

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  2. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Ehm, when I watched the pictures I felt completely lost...

    Then I went back and read your Finnish translations and... :idea: Vev!
    As such, a crankshaft is called a vevaxel. Both of the utrum gender.

    Ehm, where did kammeta come in? I'm not sure I understand the trick question either...

    However, speaking of alternative and derived meanings, the Swedish verb att veva can also have the meaning of furiously swinging/punching someone. That is, a more illustrative version of the original verb.
  3. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member


    I mentioned kammeta only because people don't (ok, at least in my area) use it for "rotating a crank", despite that the word has clearly been derived from kampi (NB consonant gradation mp ~ mm).

    Trick question: Kumpi is supposed to be a name (it's not in actual use), but the principal meaning is "which (of them)". So, the question has two interpretations. Kumpi voitti - Kumpi won. / Which won?

    Remember that Finnish is a monotonous language and we don't use a rising intonation in questions. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  4. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    I see. Well, although it seemed logical, the kampi -> kammeta wasn't obvious enough. (For the record, I would very much appreciate if you could explain how the vowel sequence veivi becomes veivata while kampi goes kammeta. Any rule that I fail to deduct?)

    So, kumpi, means who/which. (Indeed this could be assumed from the initial phrasing, but I felt a bit unsure.)
  5. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    I added the explanation to my initial post. However, I will now go more into the details (not historical, just descriptive).

    Some Finnish nouns that end in an -i undergo a vowel mutation to -e in cases other than nominative. I don't know why, but I think these words are somehow older than the others. There are no specific rules, but I've noticed that those words often have something to do with nature: järvi (lake), lahti (bay), lehti (leaf), kuusi (spruce/six), susi (wolf), tähti (star). Or then they are other kinds of basic words: ovi (door), kaksi (two), arki (everyday life). But: äiti (mother) doesn't belong to this group.

    Here's a comprehensive list. Note that partitive forms are usually irregular, too.

    Genetives for the previous words: järven, lahden, lehden, kuusen, kuuden, suden, tähden, oven, kahden, arjen, äidin.
  6. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:
    Crank: «Μανιβέλα» (mani'vela feminine noun) from the French "manivelle".
    Crankshaft:: «Στροφαλοφόρος» (strofalo'foros masculine noun); sometimes «άξονας» ('aksonas masculine noun) is added, so it's either «στροφαλοφόρος» or «στροφαλοφόρος άξονας» (crank or crank axis)
  7. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    kliková hřídel


    die Kurbel
    die Kurbelwelle
  8. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    The crank could be a manivela in Portuguese. As I didn't know how to say crankshaft, I checked out this dictionary, which translates it as virabrequim, a funny odd I'd never seen before. Then I checked virabrequim in this Portuguese dictionary, which seems to confirm it is indeed crankshaft and goes on to say it is also known as árvore de manivela, which I didn't know either.

    Thanks for the lesson. :D
  9. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    In Wikipaedia you can see an animated picture of the crankshaft. The main term in the Portuguese Wiki is cambota.
  10. Dr. Quizá

    Dr. Quizá Senior Member

    Esuri - Huelva York.
    Spain - Western Andalusian Spanish.

    Crank - Manivela
    Crankshaft - Cigüeñal

    A crank is supposed to be also called a "cigüeña", but the only use I've ever heard for "cigüeña" is stork.
  11. Rallino Moderatoúrkos


    Crank: Manivela, Krank, Kaldıraç.
    Crankshaft:Krank mili
  12. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I'm not familiar with that either. :eek:

    We need a Portuguese-speaking handyman here.
  13. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    Portuguese seems to have many alternative terms for crankshaft. My dictionary gives also eixo de manivela.

    Crank: manivelle; levier
    Crankshaft: vilebrequin

    Crankshaft: albero a manovella; albero a gomiti
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  14. Nizo Senior Member

    In Esperanto, the words are kranko and krankoŝafto.
  15. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    - zwengel (crank)
    - krukas (crankshaft)

    Do you need etymological explanation ?
  16. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    If you have one, please share it with us!
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    The 'zwengel' is based on the English 'swing', the krukas consists of 'kruk', which I'd associate with clutch, originally a T-piece of wood, and 'as', shaft. Does that sound OK ?
  18. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I know it's been a while since you asked this question, but I suspect that veivata and veivi are separate borrowings: veivata from a source related to the Swedish verb veva, and veivi from a source related to Sw. vev. So, the alternation between the vowels a/i isn't internal to Finnish (unlike the i/e alternation in kampi/kammeta, which Sakvaka described).

    One other pair to add to this list:

    Icelandic sveif "crank" / sveifarás "crankshaft" (< sveif + ás "axle")

    sveif is possibly related to the verb svífa "hover", though I don't know what the semantic development would have been between the two. ás "axle" seems related to Dutch as "shaft" as mentioned by ThomasK.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013

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