Etymology of "Balkans"

noychoh

New Member
Does anybody know the etymology of "Balkans"? and could cite any good source of information about it?

The information in various national Wikipedias contradict each other - soem say it coms form Turkish word for "rock" or "mountain", another say it comes from Turkish word for "wood" ("mountains covered with wood").

This latter could correspond to the etymology of "balcony" or "balagan" as proto-indo-european "something wooden" - maybe via Turkish (see: the meaning of "balagan" at the website of Steven's Balagan org uk). Do you have any comments thereupon?


Recently when I was on trip to Bulgaria and Serbia the guide told us that the word Balkan comes from Turkish "bal" = honey + "kan" = blood (as in: "here you will obtain honey but this will require blood from you")
(and he insisted on it, as having based himself on the book that is not accessible to me, a collection of scholarly papers which he called "Thirteen hundred years of history of Bulgaria" or something similar; I cannot find it in the university library catalogue).

I doubted it - it resembles too mych a folk etymology. I don't even know if in Turkish there are two words like "bal" and "kan" with such meanings, but it seemed doubtful to me if Turkish language could have such word-formations.

Has anybody heard about that latter theory?


regards

noychoH
 
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  • sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    "Balkan" still means, in modern Turkish (according to my dictionary), "wooded mountain chain", that is not the Balkan mountains or the Balkan peninsula but a noun for this concept.
    If you want to refer to the Balkan as a geographical region in Turkish (again, according to my dictionary - I don't speak a word of Turkish ;-) you need the word Balkanlar (with -lar being a pluraliser suffix, i. e. meaning literally "the Balkans" or something like that and standing for the Balkans as a region).

    I think it is clear that the etymology is Turkish, and that it is a very simple geographical name for a wooded mountain chain.
    All these other etymologies you mention seem to be very clearly popular etymologies.

    (Oh, and welcome to WRF!)
     

    noychoh

    New Member
    Thanks for these links. I have learned something new there.

    Although in fact the second one quoted by you is too concise (laconic, almost close to enigmatic) and the first one quoted by you (Fasmer, letter B - p. 031) quoting the names of 2 mountains in Turkmenistan does not solve my doubts.

    Yes, I accept that now in Turkic it means mountains, but some claim that it means "mountains covered with wood" which could make it somehow related to "balk" which is visible in "balcony" and in Russian "balagan" (wooden house), being a borrowing from Turkic, but in Turkic again being a borrowing from Persian/Iranian (see the Fasmer (Vasmer???) dictionary quoted p. 029, although with a bit dfferent explanation), so of PIE origin.

    I am basing my understaning thereof i.a. on N.M.Shanskiy, V.V.Ivanov, T.V. Shanskaya, Kratkiy etimologicheskiy slovar' russkogo yazyka, Moskva, Prosveshchenie 1975, p. 33-34, under "balagan", "balkon" and "balka" (there is no wrod "Balkany" there). The last one says: sr. tyurksk. _bulak_ - "gryaznyy potok, rodnik", _balkan_ - "krutye gory porosshye lesom".

    and also on William Morris (ed.) "The Heritage Illustrated Dictionary of the English Language. International Edition", American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc. - Houghton Mifflin Company - McGraw-Hill International Book Company: Boston (etc.) 1969, 1973, p. 101 (no etymology under "Balkan", good etymology under "balcony" and in the appendix - under the PIE *bhelg/bhelk, and also *bherdh p. 1509

    Turkmenistan in fact is a place where such borrowing from Persian could easily take place.

    Is this Turkic word (root: *balkan for "mountains") attested also in other Altaic languages? Or only in Turkmenistan and Anatolyan Turkish?
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    (see the Fasmer (Vasmer???)
    Max Vasmer was German.

    N.M.Shanskiy, V.V.Ivanov, T.V. Shanskaya, Kratkiy etimologicheskiy slovar' russkogo yazyka, Moskva, Prosveshchenie 1975, p. 33-34
    I'd like to warn your of giving too much confidence to this dictionary, because it was just mainly compiled from other sources and mostly - from the Vasmer's dictionary. It contains a number of mistakes and confusion.
     

    noychoh

    New Member
    Thanks for correcting the name of Vasmer (having always read it only in Cyrillic Russian, before having seen the link to the dictionary, I have always spelled it "Fasmer")

    Thak you also for the warning. It's interesting however that what Vasmer writes and what Shanskiy et al. write in this contex - is NOT the same information.

    Up til yesterday [when I have downloaded full Vasmer] I only had that one (as far as Russian etymological dictionaries concerned) and volumes III and IV of Vasmer (printed) and vol. 15 (L'etina-Lokach') only of Etimologicheskiy slovar' slavyanskih yazykov by O.N. Trubachev (M. 1988). I also have some parts of some Polish etymological dictionaries (but none of them with letter "B").

    The Mafred Mayrhofer's Kurzgefasstes Etymologisches Woerterbuch des Altindischen, of which our University Library had only vol. 1, has been stolen from the library. No Turkic dictionary is available here (apart from a very short one of modern Turkish, maybe good for tourists and businessmen/merchants, but not for research). Anyhow my "research" is only a hobby.

    Regards
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    There is another Russian etym. dict. by Pavel Chernykh (Черных) - less in volume than the Vasmer's but more recent, though not complete - his author died in 1970. Unfortunately there is no балка there...

    As for the Turc dict. I have a Tuvinian one (only letters А-Л are published so far) and there is no балк... at all.

    However according to the Etym. dict. of Iranian languages it is possible that Prairanian IE *bhel-k > *barsa/*balsa > Ancient English balca, Greek falkes (beam, log).

    But I'd rather assume then Iranian origin of the name Balkan, which looks rather evident when reading this dictionary:
    *barz has 2 rather close groups of meanings:
    1. height, length
    2. bulge, swelling
    These generated the following in different languages:

    1.
    Hittite par-aktaru - to rise
    Armenian berj - height
    German berg - mountain
    Russian берег - river bank (<abrupt bank)
    Ossetin barz - heap, pile
    Tajik Badaxsan/Balaxsan - mountain region of Badakhshan (Afganistan, Tajikistan).

    2.
    Ancient Irish bolgaim - threshold
    Ancient High Dutch balg - skin, swollen skin
    Lithuanian balnas - pillow > saddle
    Serbian blazina - pillow
    Russian болозень - callosity
    Slovenian blazina - rafter

    Also from (1):
    *brzant - long < Praind. brhant - high, big, strong, loud.
    This word gave the name for Brigantes (Gaul tribe) and Brigit - Ancient Irish female name.


    Therefore Balkan - high place < Iranian seems to me the most likely.
     

    aeneas dardanus

    Banned
    Dardanian
    Historically,
    the notion "Balkan[s]" came out of nowhere.

    "Balkan"
    is a coined term unheard before the XX-th century.


    The
    original place on earth known to the history of our western civilisation was a
    Thracian mountain peak known as (gr) Aimos;
    or (lat) Haemus.


    The
    etymon "haem" means "red" or "blood" or both:
    "blood-red".



    The
    Turkish name [for the region surrounding this mountain peak of Haemus visible
    from the Turkish shores] "Balkan" is a direct translation of its
    original name since antiquity into Turkish.



    This
    compound word bal+kan; which literally mean:
    1.bal : honey;
    2. kan [red, blood-red] : reddish;
    yields a color that this mountain peak reflects when viewed form the Turkish
    coast especially in the morning.


    The
    first part of the compound in case that it isn't a foreign loan word means exactly
    "honey", meaning that the word balkan reflects exactly the a "honey-red"colour.


    The Turkish word used for "mountain" is dağ, let me recall the name of: Dagestan than you try recall its meaning.
    Therefore a Turkish verb Balkan for denoting a country of some sort, would have to be a Balkanistan. But such a notion did never exist in Turkish realm, which makes it undoubtedly a forged notion and a late XIX century political invention.

    Regarding
    the fact that at least 90% of all places in Turkey, have either preserved their
    original names or got corrupted by Turkish native speakers or at certain cases
    when the original meaning of the place name was known, got translated, we can
    claim and without any reserves that the name of the today Bulgarian mountain
    peak and the region of Bulgaria are the only region in the world which can be
    regarded as Balkan, and that its name is a direct translation of the old
    ancient traditional name of Mount Haemus by Turkish newcomers.


    Balkan
    mountains are terminated by Rodopes. Nothing westward from this terminus point
    can be considered as a "Balkan region" any further.

    It's afake
    coined term; a forged political concept towards deletion of the original
    historical name and concept of Illyricum; the northern part of the true historical
    Europe.


    Until late XIX and early XX century - the term Illyricum; its concept and legacy was
    so strong that even Serbian language was "erroneously" regarded as
    Illyrian.

    Historically,
    the term "Balkan" came out of nowhere. Especially its concept.
     
    It's afake coined term; a forged political concept


    I don't know how old the name is, but the modern region more or less follows the geographical extent of the European part of an Eastern Mediterranean empire, either this or that. That's at least a thousand years of belonging to the same political/cultural sphere. Before the late 19th/early 20th century it would have been called "European Turkey", and before the 15th century who knows what.
     
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    aeneas dardanus

    Banned
    Dardanian
    I don't know how old the name is, but the modern region more or less follows the geographical extent of the European part of an Eastern Mediterranean empire, either this or that.

    Because of the fact that imperial Turks never used the term "Balkans" for anything at all except for the "Mount Haem" - it is neither this nor that. - This realm was, and still is referred to as RUM [Rumelia] especially by older generations of Turks who never heard the term 'Balkan' before TV came out.

    That's at least a thousand years of belonging to the same political/cultural sphere. Before the late 19th/early 20th century it would have been called "European Turkey", and before the 15th century who knows what.

    But of course it wasn't and it is not!
    It was called Illyria and documented as Illyricum prefecture, while the so called Balkan was a central part of Tracia, that is the Thrace. When the Illyrian Emperor Diocletian divided the Empire into four districts [prefectures] it looked like this:

    607px-Prefecture.png

    the Thrace (alias "Balkan") was not a part of the Illyrian "Northern Empire" at all, since it was a part of "Oriental prefecture" known as Oriens, eventhough Thrace retained its name until late Renesance.

    It was his successor fellow saint Constantine who merged the Prefecture of Oriens and founded "Nova Roma" that is Constantinople. Moreover, the cultural unity only lasted until the cataclysmic destruction of his homeland Dardania (512 AD earthquake) followed by "little ice age" the great famine (516-518 AD) than the plague which shipped with imported grains from Egypt; leaving only 1 survivor out of 10, not to mention barbarian Slavic and Avar hordes taking advance of it which made it all the way down to Morea with Avars reaching even Crete -with it, - marking the end of Late Antiquity and causing the Dark Ages. Nothing was the same anymore. Nothing was bright anymore. And especially not belonging to the same culture anymore -since there was no culture at all. The following Dark Ages are times of devastating mutiny and inequality in every direction. Christianity fell into its vicious circle debates and blood thistly conflicts on "what is the nature of Christ" and started killing each other while barbarians of all kinds and with so many names were taking down every standing city on their path. A circus that lasted no less than 500 houdred years. Than came Mongols, Tatars, Hunes, crusaders, Seljuks who were first fighting in the name of Rum, but than the grew in power and chose Judaic faith, etc etc.
    What "belonging"; what"same"; which "politcs/culture" or what Sphere? Ethnical!(tatars bulgars avars hunes goths alans visigoths longobards...) Religious! Which party katholic othodox heterodox monophysite bogumil, franciscan judeist sunite shiit sufi....) Politics! (just dont mention it) Culture =x.
    I couldn't disagree more. There was absolutely nothing in common between people of Illyricum anymore.
    And yes Turks used to call themselves "Kayser-i iklim-i Rum not Balkanasi!

    Nope, the term "Balkan" did never exist!
     
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    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Nope, the term "Balkan" did never exist!
    Here we go again: whether or not the original question is answered (and it is, imho), the Balkan tribes are unleashing themselves once again for a politically motivated joyride through crypto-history. Hooray!
     
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    Because of the fact that imperial Turks never used the term "Balkans" for anything at all except for the "Mount Haem" - it is neither this nor that. - This realm was, and still is referred to as RUM [Rumelia] especially by older generations of Turks who never heard the term 'Balkan' before TV came out.


    Rumelia was indeed, along with Anatolia, one of two original Ottoman provinces, but already by 1609 it no longer referred to the whole of the European part of the Ottoman Empire.

    By 1609 you had, in Europe:

    Rumelia (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Turkey) - established 1365
    Cezayir (Aegean archipelago)
    Bosnia Eyalet (modern Bosnia-Herzegovina, parts of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro) - established c. 1520
    Buda (Hungary, Croatia, Serbia) - established 1541
    Eger Eyalet (Hungary, Slovakia) - established 1596
    Kanizsa Eyalet (Hungary, Croatia) - established 1600
    Silistria Eyalet (Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine) - established c. 1599
    Temeşvar Eyalet (Romania, Serbia, Hungary) - established 1552


    But of course it wasn't and it is not!
    It was called Illyria and documented as Illyricum prefecture, while the so called Balkan was a central part of Tracia, that is the Thrace.

    Yes, and how something that existed in Roman times and late antiquity prior to all the population movements could be more rather than less important than what I mentioned?

    Do you consider Bato's revolt as also being of paramount importance for the definition of modern geopolitical regions in SE Europe? Or perhaps the mischief of Illyrians serving in the Praetorian Guard (didn't they burn Rome down once or some such?)


    Nothing was the same anymore. Nothing was bright anymore.


    Oh I don't know. Some say that the region peaked during the Neolithic and that it's been all downhill since then, except maybe for the Greeks. Puh-lease.

    What "belonging"; what"same"; which "politcs/culture" or what Sphere? Ethnical!(tatars bulgars avars hunes goths alans visigoths longobards...) Religious! Which party katholic othodox heterodox monophysite bogumil, franciscan judeist sunite shiit sufi....) Politics! (just dont mention it) Culture =x.
    I couldn't disagree more. There was absolutely nothing in common between people of Illyricum anymore.
    And yes Turks used to call themselves "Kayser-i iklim-i Rum not Balkanasi!


    And yet when you scratch under those national, ethnic and religious identities, you find much the same mentality all around the Balkans. That is precisely why the term is powerful, it unlike some others has no specific national, ethnic or religious associations and yet manages to break down all those supposed civilizational/religious barriers within the Balkans and put a name to what can only be described as deep cultural unity, acknowledged or not. I may not speak the language, but if I learned it, I'd have much much less trouble fitting in, say, Greece or Bulgaria, than in most other parts of the world, religion and ethnicity notwithstanding.

    Even the desire to "flee" the Balkans geographically is very much a Balkanic thing. As the Bosnian singer Pirelli said it in his song "Esterreich" about such emotions:
    Zagreb, Belgrad, Tuzla, ganz Balkan,
    das ist nicht die Heimat wo ich herkam
    Alpen, Berge und der weiße Schnee;
    das ist meine Heimat, da tut mein Herz nicht weh…


    And we are way off topic, anyway. Moderators can do with this post as they like. :)
     
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    aeneas dardanus

    Banned
    Dardanian
    Here we go again: whether or not the original question is answered (and it is, imho),
    Undoubtedly,
    "Balkan" = "Haemus" in Turkish.
    the Balkan tribes are unleashing themselves once again for a politically motivated joyride through crypto-history. Hooray!
    Well, that was rude. You don't know me.
    Are you a chef of some tribe that doesn't agree with that fact?! The truth can never be reached with consensus since that act makes it false! What tribe do you belong to? Do you have anything of interest to add to this fact?
    "(and it is, imho)" since when does the truth care of our acceptance, or particularly yours?

    You asked (unhappy with folk etyms) for the true meaning - here is the answer. If you are not happy with it, feel free to start crying. But please don't cal me names, because, if you care to know -when my "tribe" was taking hot baths, your tribe was busy inventing the fire.

    Anyway,
    Me, feel nice, talking to you.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Historically,
    the notion "Balkan[s]" came out of nowhere.

    "Balkan"
    is a coined term unheard before the XX-th century.
    ...
    Actually 19th, not 20th century (example); but never mind.

    Moderator note: We all agree that term and notion of a "Balkan peninsula" a modern Western one. In this thread we are concerned with the history of that name. NOT within the scope of this discussion are:
    1) whether or not it makes sense from a cultural and political point of view to regard the Balkans as a one region;
    2) whether or not and if so which other terms should be applied;
    3) how the region was dived in pre-Byzantine times... or in pre-Ottoman time, for that matter.

    We did allow the thread to go a bit off-topic because it is interesting background information to know that concept and term are not uncontested. The point has now been made and I would ask everyone to stop discussing politics here.
     
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    ...The
    etymon "haem" means "red" or "blood" or both:
    "blood-red".

    ...
    Actually, the etymology of the Greek «αἷμα» ('hǣmă)--> blood, and «Αἷμος» ('Hǣmŏs)--> the Balkan mountain, is virtually unknown, there are a couple of suggestions for them however:
    1/ From the verb «ἵημι» (hĭēmĭ)--> to throw, hurl, shoot; «αἷμα» is what flows from the open wound as a result of a hit/hurl/shot
    2/ From the rare verb «αἰονάω» (æŏ'nāō)--> to moisten, foment

    «Αἷμος» could simply mean the "misty mountain" if we accept the 2nd suggestion as valid
     

    Sulius

    Member
    English
    <Comment deleted by moderator; explained by PM>

    Actually, the etymology of the Greek «αἷμα» ('hǣmă)--&gt; <em>blood</em>, and «Αἷμος» ('Hǣmŏs)--&gt; <em>the Balkan mountain</em>, is virtually <strong>unknown</strong>

    Unknown to whom? Virtual to whom? Has anybody else in this planet, beside myself apparently, heard of ordinary terminologies such as 'haemophilia', 'haemoglobin', 'haematologia' and on and on; all referring to blood, all deriving from the virtually known Greek "haem" ?

    ....there are a couple of suggestions for them however:
    1/ From the verb «ἵημι» (hĭēmĭ)--&gt; <em>to throw, hurl, shoot</em>; «αἷμα» is what flows from the open wound as a result of a hit/hurl/shot <br>
    2/ From the rare verb «αἰονάω» (æŏ'nāō)--&gt; <em>to moisten, foment</em>

    «Αἷμος» could simply mean the "misty mountain" if we accept the 2nd suggestion as valid

    Where did this etymological derivation came from? How do you connect the above with the term Balkan?
    Amidst other things, why it cannot be «ἵημι» but it can be «αἷμα» is that "Kan" in Turkish does not mean "Yell" or "Roar" or "Cheeze". Nor does any syllable off the turkish word Balkan has any correlation to your suggested possibilities.

    Applying your methodology (also suggested above by Mr. The Moderator) we may easily maintain that DACIA (-ns), the aclaimed predecessors of the Romanians, derives from DAXIA or TA-HSIA in Chinese, because it sounds just about right.
     
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    <Comment deleted by moderator; explained by PM>



    Unknown to whom? Virtual to whom? Has anybody else in this planet, beside myself apparently, heard of ordinary terminologies such as 'haemophilia', 'haemoglobin', 'haematologia' and on and on; all referring to blood, all deriving from the virtually known Greek "haem" ?
    I think you misunderstood. I was referring to aeneas dardanus' post where he was more that "certain" and explained to us with certitude that this "hǣm-" part means red, reddish. I answered to him that unfortunately, the etymology for either «αἷμα» or «Αἷμος» is obscure and it definetely does not have any relation to the colour red (see my post #17).

    Where did this etymological derivation came from? How do you connect the above with the term Balkan?
    Amidst other things, why it cannot be «ἵημι» but it can be «αἷμα» is that "Kan" in Turkish does not mean "Yell" or "Roar" or "Cheeze". Nor does any syllable off the turkish word Balkan has any correlation to your suggested possibilities.

    Applying your methodology (also suggested above by Mr. The Moderator) we may easily maintain that DACIA (-ns), the aclaimed predecessors of the Romanians, derives from DAXIA or TA-HSIA in Chinese, because it sounds just about right.
    I really do not know how the Turkish name Balkan came to describe firstly the mountain range and secondly the whole peninsula. All I know is that if -according to aeneas dardanus again- Balkan means honey, red-blood or reddish, then IMHO the name does not derive from the Greek «Αἷμος» because they do not mean/describe the same concept.
    My sources have been "G. Babiniotis-Lexicon of the Modern Greek Language" and "J.B. Hofmann-Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Griechischen".
    And if I may add, I do not like your patronizing tone at all.
     

    mataripis

    Senior Member
    i heard "Balkan Peninsula" . I want to ask, any idea or written in history that the balkan areas were the place of wealthy people long time ago? If positive, Balkan is very close to word "lakan" meaning aristrocat people. The 'Ba' is equivalent to "Bar' ,meaning "known as" or "well known for". Maybe, Balkan may have the meaning, the place well known for wealthy people. The second meaning for "Kan" is food or to eat. You said that "Bal" means honey and this may give the phrase " honey as food or something to eat"
     
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    itreius

    Senior Member
    Assembly
    i heard "Balkan Peninsula" . I want to ask, any idea or written in history that the balkan areas were the place of wealthy people long time ago? If positive, Balkan is very close to word "lakan" meaning aristrocat people. The 'Ba' is equivalent to "Bar' ,meaning "known as" or "well known for". Maybe, Balkan may have the meaning, the place well known for wealthy people. The second meaning for "Kan" is food or to eat. You said that "Bal" means honey and this may give the phrase " honey as food or something to eat"
    Why would it be related to a Filipino word?
     

    mataripis

    Senior Member
    In Turkish?:confused: Can you give a source for it?
    Same question here.
    The source is old/archaic Tagalog (not used anymore in daily conversations).Don't say Filipino.(a modernized form). I am suggesting that the meaning of "BALKAN" might be related to these words if there was a historic event that the mentioned area was the place of wealthy people/ the land of honey. Tagalog is here in the southeast Asia but i am suspecting that it has the words that came from India and Persia!
     

    Sulius

    Member
    English
    I think you misunderstood. I was referring to aeneas dardanus' post where he was more that "certain" and explained to us with certitude that this "hǣm-" part means red, reddish. I answered to him that unfortunately, the etymology for either «αἷμα» or «Αἷμος» is obscure and&lt;strong&gt; it definetely does not have any relation &lt;/strong&gt;to the colour red (see my post #17)

    How do you explain then the word 'hematite' ~haimatī́tēs lithós? The hematite is an ancient stone, well known and revered between romans, for the message associated with its blood-y red color.
    Hematite.jpg


    Similarly, the word 'leukocyte' derives from a comparable concept, the clear/white color. Further more, the peninsula glooms with local names derived from colors such as the "Red Mountain" (a lot of iron ore there), 'Facekuq' etc, indicating this particular adjective ( redish ) as not not being out of the ordinary.

    You maintained in "absolute definitivity and certainty" that 'haem/o' has no relation to color. Where do you base your certainty, aside from being a Greek and having first hand knowledge on an assumed Greek word? Your comments truthfully relate that in the current use or knowledge the root 'hemato' designates blood alone. Nothing more or less. This easy assessment can be made whomever person with an average knowledge of Greek. It is not the etymological analysis one expects to see in this disscussion board.

    I really do not know how the Turkish name Balkan came to describe firstly the mountain range and secondly the whole peninsula. All I know is that if -according to aeneas dardanus again- Balkan means honey, red-blood or reddish, then IMHO the name does not derive from the Greek «Αἷμος» because they do not mean/describe the same concept.
    My sources have been "G. Babiniotis-Lexicon of the Modern Greek Language" and "J.B. Hofmann-Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Griechischen".&lt;br&gt;<br>
    And if I may add, I do not like your patronizing tone at all.

    Fair enough. My sources are based in Royal Geographical Society, The Geographical Journal, Vol XXVIII :
    "The main range of the Balkans which gives its name to the Peninsula is known to the Turks as Khoja Balkan..."

    And if I may add, I do not like your patronizing tone at all.

    I suggest you buy a mirror.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Tagalog is here in the southeast Asia but i am suspecting that it has the words that came from India and Persia!
    Can you substantiate this? Interpreting an Ottoman-Turkish words based on absolutely nothing else than a vague phonetic similarity to a language of the completely unrelated Austronesian group needs an awful lot of substantiation to gain any credibility.
     
    How do you explain then the word 'hematite' ~haimatī́tēs lithós? The hematite is an ancient stone, well known and revered between romans, for the message associated with its blood-y red color.
    Hematite.jpg


    Similarly, the word 'leukocyte' derives from a comparable concept, the clear/white color. Further more, the peninsula glooms with local names derived from colors such as the "Red Mountain" (a lot of iron ore there), 'Facekuq' etc, indicating this particular adjective ( redish ) as not not being out of the ordinary.
    The name for the hematite mineral, definetely derives from «αἷμα» because it has this scarlet/dark red colour. Again though, hematite derives from hæma and not the other way round, it doesn't contribute to the etymology of «αἷμα».
    You maintained in "absolute definitivity and certainty" that 'haem/o' has no relation to color. Where do you base your certainty, aside from being a Greek and having first hand knowledge on an assumed Greek word? Your comments truthfully relate that in the current use or knowledge the root 'hemato' designates blood alone. Nothing more or less. This easy assessment can be made whomever person with an average knowledge of Greek. It is not the etymological analysis one expects to see in this disscussion board.
    Yes, and I insist that "hæm-" has nothing to do with the red/reddish colour, due to the presence of words as derivations from this stem, that describe completely different things than blood, and have similarly unclear etymology, e.g. «αἱμασιὰ» (hæmāsī'ă, f.)--> wall of stones, stones of the walls of a city or fortress; how does one arrive from «αἷμα» to «αἱμασιὰ» if the origin of «αἷμα» etymologically is its colour?
    I suggest you buy a mirror.
    Now you are just being childish
     
    The source is old/archaic Tagalog (not used anymore in daily conversations).Don't say Filipino.(a modernized form). I am suggesting that the meaning of "BALKAN" might be related to these words if there was a historic event that the mentioned area was the place of wealthy people/ the land of honey. Tagalog is here in the southeast Asia but i am suspecting that it has the words that came from India and Persia!

    My experience of SE Asia is limited to Malaysia (although I did work with a Filipino guy there for a year or so) and yes they do have some Sanskrit loanwords that could have cognates here (apart from later Portuguese, Dutch and English loanwords and "internationalisms"), as well as some Arabic loanwords which also exist here. So it may not be strange at all if some words were related, but I don't think anything specific to some Balkans interaction.

    According to Wikipedia the name "Balkan" is first attested in Europe in 1490, but it doesn't seem to have spread in literary use, at least in English, until late 18th and early 19th century.. There was some Ottoman involvement in Aceh politics starting from, I believe, the 16th century, that could conceivably have brought SE Asia inhabitants in contact with the term, but I don't know of any borrowings in SE Asian languages due to that particular interaction. In any case, Ottoman administration and military were heavily staffed by Balkans natives at the time of that expedition; in fact the Grand Vizier in 1565 when the expedition took place would have been Mehmed-paša Sokolović, a native of eastern Bosnia. But to reiterate, I don't know of any loanwords resulting from that.
     
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    Sulius

    Member
    English
    The name for the hematite mineral, definetely derives from «αἷμα» because it has this scarlet/dark red colour. Again though, hematite derives from hæma and not the other way round, it doesn't contribute to the etymology of «αἷμα».

    Yes, and I insist that "hæm-" has nothing to do with the red/reddish colour, due to the presence of words as derivations from this stem, that describe completely different things than blood, and have similarly unclear etymology, e.g. «αἱμασιὰ» (hæmāsī'ă, f.)--> wall of stones, stones of the walls of a city or fortress; how does one arrive from «αἷμα» to «αἱμασιὰ» if the origin of «αἷμα» etymologically is its colour?


    How do you prove any of this? Obviously, the insitence does not amount to proof.
     
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    Look, perhaps it's my fault because English is not my native language, I think in Greek and translate my thoughts into English, maybe it's me that got you puzzled:
    1/ In ancient Greek, the name for the blood was «αἷμα» with obscure etymology; there are a couple of etymological suggestions for it (see post #17) but they are hypothetical.
    2a/ «Αἷμα» used in compounds, produced numerous derivations, like hemophilia, hemoglobin, hematuria, hemorrhage etc.
    2b/ «Αἷμα» also produced derivative words in allusion to the blood's red pigment, like haematite, haemochrome etc.
    3/ There are some words however, which are also regarded as derivations from «αἷμα», with likewise obscure etymology, like «Αἷμος», «αἱμασιὰ» etc.
    IMHO there's a highly possibility that the name «Αἷμος» comes from the rare verb «αἰονάω» (æŏ'nāō)--> to moisten, foment, so that «Αἷμος» in reality describes something misty (Misty Mountain).
    Does that make sense?
     

    ancalimon

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    It is true that Bal:honey and Kan:blood in Turkish but it probably has nothing to do with Balkans. It means wooded mountain in various Turkic dialects and I think it's related with balık: city (among polytheist Turks according to Mahmud of Kashgar who were most probably among the Ogur branch of the Turkic bod)It could also be related to "kalk:rise, get higher"The suffix "an" means "the one which ..."I think we should be trying to figure out what "~alk" means.

    Kalkan: the one which rises. And also "shield" (cover, protection, guard)

    A little detail to add to above information:

    Koru: to guard, covered with plants (Belgrad comes to my mind)

    Bağlık: consisting of gardens, yards.
    Dağlık: consisting of mountains.

    In modern Turkish almost nobody knows that Balkan:wooded mountain. So the word should belong to Russian Turks. (I hope that didn't come out politically incorrect) After all, they were here thosands of years before the Ottomans Turks knew that Balkans existed.
     
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    Sulius

    Member
    English
    Look, perhaps it's my fault because English is not my native language, I think in Greek and translate my thoughts into English, maybe it's me that got you puzzled:
    1/ In ancient Greek, the name for the blood was «αἷμα» with obscure etymology; there are a couple of etymological suggestions for it (see post #17) but they are hypothetical.
    2a/ «Αἷμα» used in compounds, produced numerous derivations, like hemophilia, hemoglobin, hematuria, hemorrhage etc.
    2b/ «Αἷμα» also produced derivative words in allusion to the blood's red pigment, like haematite, haemochrome etc.
    3/ There are some words however, which are also regarded as derivations from «αἷμα», with likewise obscure etymology, like «Αἷμος», «αἱμασιὰ» etc.
    IMHO there's a highly possibility that the name «Αἷμος» comes from the rare verb «αἰονάω» (æŏ'nāō)--> to moisten, foment, so that «Αἷμος» in reality describes something misty (Misty Mountain).
    Does that make sense?

    I understand that you do not believe the derivation from Blood to Red, but find highly probable that from Moist and Incite to Blood.
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Having read the thread so far, and being no expert on Turkish, Greek or Tagalog, but having had the advantage of having seen the satellite photographs of the Balkans on Google Earth, I can say that by far the most likely explanation must be the Turkic "(Wooded) Mountains".

    Places that are named after their geographical characteristics are exceedingly common. As doctors say, "When you hear hoof beats, think 'horses' not 'zebras'."
     
    What do you know on the persian world 'gHermez' somehow relating to hemipteraes and oak forests?
    Ghermez means red in Farsi, doesn't it?
    Hemiptera comes from the Greek «ἡμίπτερα»; the prefix «ἡμι-» (hēmi-) has no relation to either «αἷμα» or ghermez, it comes from the PIE root *sēm-i-, meaning half, cognate to Old Saxon sām-, Old High German sāmi-, Latin sēmi-, Proto-Germanic *sēmi- etc
    Don't know what you are trying to prove, you've lost me there :confused:
     

    aeneas dardanus

    Banned
    Dardanian
    "Balkan" still means, in modern Turkish (according to my dictionary), "wooded mountain chain"
    Yes,
    so does the word "Laika" (to the most of moderately educated people)
    mean "The First Dog In Space".


    Yet,
    the word "Laika" means simply a "Barker" just as initially did the word "Balkan" mean simply "reddish"
    but a special reddish; a honey-blood mixture preparation that yields this special shiny reddish color,
    a color which perfectly matches those haematite crystals seen here:
    http://i377.photobucket.com/albums/oo213/drus_photos/Hematite.jpg

    But,
    there's absolutely no etymological support in Turkish language to associate the verb
    "balkan" with the notion of "wooded mountain chain".

    The sentence "Wooded Mountain Chain" to the verb "balkan" is exactly what "the first dog in space" is to "Laika",
    an etymologically irrelevant associated meaning to the phonology of some particular word.

    Actually 19th, not 20th century (example); but never mind.
    I don't.
    I'll quote myself:
    "a forged notion and a late XIX century political invention". And:
    ' "Balkan" is a coined term unheard before the XX-th century.
    Of course, other readers might know that there's a great gap between inventing some notion and actually using it.


    Actually, the etymology of the Greek «αἷμα» ('hǣmă)--> blood, and «Αἷμος» ('Hǣmŏs)--> the Balkan mountain, is virtually unknown
    I must agree. You probably don’t know about Gujarati either.
    Yet,
    there are more than 46 million people using it in their everyday life. Does this brilliant argument make Gujarati non existent?


    there are a couple of suggestions for them however:

    New suggestions for an already resolved problem, are as always, very welcome.

    1/ From the verb «ἵημι» (hĭēmĭ)--> to throw, hurl, shoot; «αἷμα» is what flows from the open wound as a result of a hit/hurl/shot

    You mean wound? Or the other for instance English derivation: Aim, [target]; Yes derivations come in handy, we all know that Mountains such as Haem were also used for orientation. A refferential and other conditional meanings.
    Of course «ἵημι» is a derivation of the root haem and of course it's derived notion should mean that: "«αἷμα» is what flows from the open wound" ...

    2/ From the rare verb «αἰονάω» (æŏ'nāō)--> to moisten, foment
    A-ha, ...and what does this particular "moist" from the open wound represent?
    Oil?!
    No, - it's blood.

    «Αἷμος» could simply mean the "misty mountain" if we accept the 2nd suggestion as valid

    But regretfully we can't. Rare vs Popular for naming conventions is even rarer. That is - not a practice.
    But the true problem is that æŏ'nāō has nothing to do with the etymon in discussion.

    The name for the hematite mineral, definetely derives from «αἷμα» because it has this scarlet/dark red colour.

    Good, I totally agree. But it's not from Greek, - it is Latin; a late vulgar Latin. "H" is there to remind you.

    Again though, hematite derives from hæma and not the other way round, it doesn't contribute to the etymology of «αἷμα».

    And also
    we are not resolving the etymology of the verb "haemus" or «αἷμα» but the origin of the name Balkans.

    Just so to add to your confusion, - I will reveal the fact that first Mongolic tribes
    in what is now called "Turkey" and later called Turks, came from steppes, - not earlier than X-XI century AD.

    Neither Turks nor Turkey existed before the western empires decided to leave that part of Europe out of old European realm.
    And Turks didn't invent toponyms on their own, especially not the names of the most ancient places of Europe. In quite rare cases when they understood the meaning of these ancient place-names, they merely translated them from their original and (XI century) current meaning. And no, it's not from Greek, it's from vulgar Latin spoken in the late X-th century.

    Yes, and I insist that "hæm-" has nothing to do with the red/reddish colour

    But it does, and as you've already confirmed in written, it did.

    due to the presence of words as derivations from this stem, that describe completely different things than blood, and have similarly unclear etymology, e.g. «αἱμασιὰ» (hæmāsī'ă, f.)--> wall of stones, stones of the walls of a city or fortress; how does one arrive from «αἷμα» to «αἱμασιὰ» if the origin of «αἷμα» etymologically is its colour?

    That's another topic. You may start a thread on "haemus" etymology whenever you please. But I should also warn you that Greek has very little to do with its origins and of course its original etymology. In fact nothing, - since Greek is also an artificial coine.
    The a "uncertain and unclear etymology" remarks are just the ice-berg tip of the thruth about its real origins.
    Haemus etymology, its morphemes and derivations can fill more than 100 pages alone. But as we already know we are not discussing the etymology of the verb 'haemos' but that of the verb 'balkan', which is in direct relation with turkish 'kan' of this compound word.
    In addition there is also a word "kan-a" which is most probably in direct relation with the turkish compound word part (bal)kan. A smelly preparate for dying hair - also reddish, - a hematite reddish colour.
     

    Melaike

    Member
    Turkish
    I don't know any Turkish toponym that was translated from another language.Besides Kana(Kına is the correct Turkish form) comes from ''Henna''
     

    Sulius

    Member
    English
    I don't know any Turkish toponym that was translated from another language.Besides Kana(Kına is the correct Turkish form) comes from ''Henna''

    You got it the other way around. No Turkish toponyms were translated from another language. It is the indigenous toponyms that were translated mot-a-mot into Turkish, or whatever conglomerate that was called later Turkish language. It may be henna nowadays. What does that prove?
     
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    aeneas dardanus

    Banned
    Dardanian
    It may be henna nowadays. What does that prove?
    It proves that you are both wrong!
    It was Turks who brought kaena in Europe, henna is just another trans-nationally, multiple corrupted word until it reached English speakers. If you are suggesting that medieval word Kaena, comes from English into modern Turkish as Kına [kënaa], you must be joking and L.O.L behind your screens.
     

    Sulius

    Member
    English
    Hennais an Arabic loan in both Turkish and English.That word has nothing to do withTurkish ''Kan=blood''

    Likewise you wrote that:

    Besides Kana(Kına is the correct Turkish form) comes from''Henna''
    which should have made sense if the name in question was not Balkan but Balkina, or that blood could have other colors besides red.
    Applying the most basic logic, one would think that the first words of any language were on tangible items of the likes of stone, blood, hand, water. Later the meaning must have been expanded with their respective tangible and intagible attributes, such as red and liquid for the blood, or liquid, shapeless, and wet for the water and so on.

    Somewhere in the beginning of this thread , I read that:
    2. kan[red, blood-red] : reddish;
    Thus far, I have seen only subjective objections to that thesis, which appears nevertheless quite plausible for the stated reasons.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    It proves that you are both wrong!
    It was Turks who brought kaena in Europe, henna is just another trans-nationally, multiple corrupted word until it reached English speakers. If you are suggesting that medieval word Kaena, comes from English into modern Turkish as Kına [kënaa], you must be joking and L.O.L behind your screens.
    You know very well that both henna and kına are both derived from Arabic حِنَّاء. And if you don't then do five minutes of research before you post such nonsense.

    The same is true here:
    The name for the hematite mineral, definetely derives from «αἷμα» because it has this scarlet/dark red colour.
    Good, I totally agree. But it's not from Greek, - it is Latin; a late vulgar Latin. "H" is there to remind you.
    Again, five minutes of reading in just about any textbook about Classical Greek would have made it obvious to you that Latin HAEMA (pronounced /haɪma/ in Republican times) is an accurate transliteration of Classical Attic HAIMA (also pronounced /haɪma/) where "H" represents a consonant and not a vowel (for your convenience see here).
    ______________________________________________________________

    You may start a thread on "haemus" etymology whenever you please. But I should also warn you that Greek has very little to do with its origins and of course its original etymology.
    Here I have to agree with you. The association of αἷμα and the colour red definitely exist. If αἷμαoriginally means red and denotes blood because blood is red or if it is the other way round doesn't matter here. This Greek word is relevant only because we are discussion the possibility that Balkan might be a translation of the Greek name of the maintain chain dating from Ottoman times and for that the etymology of the Ancient Greek word doesn't matter. It doesn't even matter if the name Αἷμος is etymologically related to αἷμα at all or if it is, e.g., a Greek adaptation of a Thracian name of completely different etymology. To consider the merits of the hypothesis that Balkan is a literal translation of the Greek name of the mountain range, it only matters what people at the time the Ottomans conquered the area believed the Greek/Latin name to mean.
     
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    And Turks didn't invent toponyms on their own, especially not the names of the most ancient places of Europe.

    The name of the capital of my country happens to be an Ottoman Turkish "invention", despite there being continuous settlement in the area since the Neolithic. Please refrain from spouting nonsense.



     
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    ancalimon

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Like I said the word "Balkan" most probably does not belong to Ottoman Turks. But some other Turks. In my opinion a mixture between Russian and Turkic.
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Koru: to guard, covered with plants (Belgrad comes to my mind)

    Sorry, the etymology of Belgrad is quite obvious and is no way related to Turkish. It just means "white fortress" or "white castle". The obsolete Hungarian name of the city is Nándorfehérvár, where "fehér" is "white" and "vár" "city" or "castle".
    The etymological meaning of "grad" is actually "place surrounded by walls".
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hello Angelo di fuoco,
    Thanks for a timely correction, nice to see some members care about accuracy.
    Much of this thread is riddled with such errors, but since most of them are completely off-topic I've avoided answering them. (One such term for example ; )
    ...Ancient Irish bolgaim - threshold...:cross:
    In Old Irish bolgaim is a verb meaning I swell. (Not quite off topic since the Balkans is a swell place.)

    While I'm at it ; The mention of Ancient Irish is erroneous, since the earliest form of the language is known as Primitive Irish (or Archaic Irish) Gaeilge Ársa, preserved in relatively few Ogham inscriptions, most of which are found in my native region. Ársa means Ancient, antique, archaic. It's transition into Old Irish can be traced in writings from the 6th century onwards.

    I find multiple Eastern European references to Ancient Irish, when in fact the quoted examples are of Old Irish words. This is not just incorrect, but also misleading, as shown above.

    ps : It's a common error to confuse the Old Irish name Bríghid with the Swedish Bridget. While the Irish word probaly is derived from brigh = strenght ; the name of the godess of poetry in pagan Ireland, this cannot be taken as given. Source : Patrick Woulfe's Irish names for children (1923)
     
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    aeneas dardanus

    Banned
    Dardanian
    You know very well that both henna and kına are both derived from Arabic حِنَّاء. And if you don't then do five minutes of research before you post such nonsense.
    Talking about nonsense
    "both henna and kına are both derived from Arabic حِنَّاء."
    Of course w
    e are all aware that English and Arabic had such intensive exchange in their communication that they are full of direct loan words, you know: for being such close neighbors and so. Not to forget Lawrence of Arabia. It is quite plausible that Turks, including Englishman took this Arabic word as a first-hand loan and not through a multiple mediators and corruptions. Love it.

    This is all arguing for the sake of arguing
    because me mentioning that:
    "there is also a word "kan-a" which is most probably in direct relation with the turkish compound word part (bal)kan." as a possible candidate for further investigation
    is of no relevance at all - because the Turkish (word kan) alone, will suffice.

    The same is true here:Again, five minutes of reading in just about any textbook about Classical Greek would have made it obvious to you that Latin HAEMA (pronounced /haɪma/ in Republican times) is an accurate transliteration of Classical Attic HAIMA (also pronounced /haɪma/) where "H" represents a consonant and not a vowel (for your convenience see here).

    I don't think I'll have to see anything - since Greeks didn't use H in medieval times.
    And it is not a consonant, it's an aspirant guttural semi-sonant; eradicated by Greeks before the 5th century BC.
    That's all you need to know.
    Here I have to agree with you. The association of αἷμα and the colour red definitely exist. If αἷμαoriginally means red and denotes blood because blood is red or if it is the other way round doesn't matter here. This Greek word is relevant only because we are discussion the possibility that Balkan might be a translation of the Greek name of the maintain chain dating from Ottoman times and for that the etymology of the Ancient Greek word doesn't matter. It doesn't even matter if the name Αἷμος is etymologically related to αἷμα at all or if it is, e.g., a Greek adaptation of a Thracian name of completely different etymology. To consider the merits of the hypothesis that Balkan is a literal translation of the Greek name of the mountain range, it only matters what people at the time the Ottomans conquered the area believed the Greek/Latin name to mean.

    That's exactly what I'm talking about -You can not dive into a word etymology outside of its fixed historical context. Which is (in this case at least after) the X-XI century, (political, historical, cultural and lingual) situation.

    Therefore,
    according to this time in history the only etymology is the original name of hemus mons its meaning and the special hematite colour
    which (in Turkish) can be exactly represented with the color mixture of honey and blood.
    [[With thanks to Sulius: A honey and blood mixture resemblance of hematite crystals http://i377.photobucket.com/albums/oo213/drus_photos/Hematite.jpg picture.]]

    Like I said the word "Balkan" most probably does not belong to Ottoman Turks. But some other Turks. In my opinion a mixture between Russian and Turkic.

    At some extent you may be right for the first part, but since there are some problems with the second, I'd like to ask you - why do you think so?
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    And it is not a consonant, it's an aspirant guttural semi-sonant; eradicated by Greeks before the 5th century BC.
    That's all you need to know.
    You are confusing Ionic and Attic. Ionic indeed lost /h/ earlier. What we learn today as "Classical Greek" in school is Attic pronunciation with Ionic spelling as used in 4th century BC Athens.
    according to this time in history the only etymology is the original name of hemus mons its meaning and the special hematite colour
    which (in Turkish) can be exactly represented with the color mixture of honey and blood.
    It also doesn't really matter if you take the Greek or the Latin version of the name. The Turks had more contact with Greek that with Latin so taking the Greek version is more obvious. But again, it doesn't matter: Knowledge about the Greek origin of Latin/Romance/learned words starting with ha(e)m- and referring to reddish hues, as in hematite, was never lost; for all intends and purposes the Latin and Greek names of the mountain range are the same thing.

    BUT: I can't see any convincing argument being put forward so far why the Turkish name has to be a translation of the Greek/Latin name. The etymology presented in dictionaries ("wooded mountains") seems no better, no worse than the idea of a translation of the Greek/Latin name. I'm sitting on the fence and very much like to hear a conclusive argument.
     
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