Etymology of samovar

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by marrish, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    In connection with a discussion in another sub-forum I'd like to enquire about the etymology of samovar, which I think is Russian.
    This word is also used in Iran, Turkey and other places.

    This source gives the Russian etymology but suggest this is folk etymology and this word may have originated from Tatar language.

    What do Russian language sources say about it?

    Thank you very much.
  2. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    Most describe it as a native compound word: сам ('self, auto-') + -о- (a customary interfix) + -вар (from варить 'to boil' by abstraction), and this is a regular way of making compound words in all Slavic languages. Others hint at a Turkic origin, namely sanabar (Tatar samaur, samuwar), etc.

    So the Turkic words could be Russian loans, or the Russian word could be a Russified variant of the Turkic (phono-semantic matching). I guess it all depends on the eventual etymology of the Turkic words.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  3. ancalimon Senior Member

    I don't think the word semaver is Turkic in origin. It might be Turkic if it's related with the root sem meaning "get fatter" and I can't see a relation.

    It sounds Persian to me.
  4. brainhunter New Member

    It is literally translated from Russian as "AutoBoiler"
  5. Anja.Ann

    Anja.Ann Senior Member

    Hello everyone :)

    Yes, my dictionary suggests: sam(o)- ‘by itself" and var ‘(water) boiling’, from varit ‘to boil’.
  6. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    Not sure if the question is still actual, but just for fun…

    The pattern itself is quite Russian and besides samovar includes such neologisms as samolyot, samokhod etc. and also old words like samostupy, samogudy. The variant with the Turkic origin is not impossible, but to prove this one should find in the old Russian texts the non-Russified variant of this word, which, as far as I understand, still has not been done. So, until the opposite is proved, the word that is used in Russia, is formed following a Russian pattern from Russian elements, and lacks any traces of borrowing should be considered native.

    Update: there is, however, a foreign ethnonym, which was adapted to this pattern and became samoyedy (literally "self-eaters") in Russian.
  7. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    I agree. As far as I understand, this word is used in Hindi, too, and I was surprised myself how many words Russian and Indian languages have in common. The word for sugar is sahar both in Russian and in Hindi (or maybe in Bengali, I'm not sure), the Hindi (Bengali? Malayalam?) word sounding like shasya (I don't know the actual transcription, sorry) and meaning 'health' is similar to the Russian schastye 'happiness'.

    Yeah, sure. The traces of borrowing were mentioned above.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  8. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    These are not traces, these are similarities, whose origin is obscure. A trace would have been a different form of this word in Russian sources, which, I repeat, the authors of this idea were unable to put forward. Be serious.

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