Etymology of Slavic "foot"

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Kurdistanish, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Kurdistanish Member

    Kurdish/Azerbaijani Turkish/Persian
    Hi everybody,

    I wanted to know abt the etymology of Slavic word for "foot"~"noga", "nog"*, etc. In Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji dialect) there is "nyg" for "foot" besides current "pe"/"pi". Do Slavic "noga" and Kurdish "nyg" share same root?

  2. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    According to Pokorny, this word comes from the PIE root *onogh-, which originally meant "nail" or "claw" (in fact, English "nail" is apparently its cognate). In Vasmer's Russian etymological dictionary, the entry for noga says "ORIGIN: native [Slavic word], with original meaning 'claw'".

    I have no idea. I'd say it's not highly likely, since the non-Slavic cognates of noga listed in the above dictionaries mostly have meaning along the lines of "nail" or "claw", rather than "foot". However, it is possible, so you'll have to find some authoritative source on Kurdish etymology for a definite answer.
  3. Kurdistanish Member

    Kurdish/Azerbaijani Turkish/Persian
    Thank you, I'll compare the information to figure it out if Kurdish "nyg" is cognate with Slavic "noga" or not.
  4. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Maybe these pages (Indo-Aryan inherited lexicon by Lubotsky) can help a bit too in your search. It doesn't give specific information for Kurdish, but here you find the Proto-Indo-Iranian form and cognates in other II languages. Be sure to change the encoding to 'Utf-8'.


  5. Alijsh Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    What is the Kurdish for "nail"? Slavic "noga" seems to be comparable with the Persian word for "nail" i.e. nâxon (nâkhon). What do you think?
  6. Kanes Senior Member

    Is noga universal to most Slavic languages?
  7. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I'd be very surprised to find even a single one that doesn't have it. See the above link to Vasmer - it lists almost identical sounding cognates of this word in nearly all major Slavic languages.
  8. Kanes Senior Member

    On Bulgarian legs = kraka
  9. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Hm... interesting! Vasmer lists Bulgarian нога as "dialectal". Is this word really absent from modern standard Bulgarian? Or does have a different meaning?

    By the way, this is an interesting false friend. In Croatian, krak is used for exceptionally long limbs of animals, like e.g. the limbs of an octopus or the back legs of a frog. I've heard it used for human legs only jokingly, when talking about someone with exceptionally long legs.
  10. Kanes Senior Member

    If it was there, it is absent now. We have similar one used sometimes in literature though, noze, but you wont hear someone using it when talking.

    Clearly the Croation and our word are connected, plus almost the same meaning. For me krak sounds more logical because of the word for hand though. How do you say hand?
  11. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Romanian has it too:

    crac = leg (from the hip to the ankle);
  12. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Yes, that's certainly a cognate with noga (I'd guess нозе is plural, though). However, googling for нога on Bulgarian pages, I got quite a few hits (see this search, for example), and I know this word is used in standard Macedonian. Are you sure that нога doesn't exist at least as a dialectal or archaic word in Bulgarian?

    In Croatian (and other BCS variants) it's ruka. If I'm not mistaken, it should be a cognate with Bulgarian ръка. I don't see how this would make krak "more logical" than noga, though?
  13. Kanes Senior Member

    Both are archaic in that case. The couple of results in the search you posted were 'national folk tales' and 'bulgarian poetry'. In contemporary speach or writing they are absent, and noga I have not even heard. Isn't it plural like noze btw? It sounds plural.

    Tons of words are formed from the root of raka and krak, simplest example though is: kraka = legs and raka = hand. Thats why seemed more logical then noze, plus there is no singular word for leg related to noze.
  14. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Could you please find a source demonstrating that krak and raka are cognates? I highly doubt it.
  15. dihydrogen monoxide Senior Member

    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    Raka cognate with Slovene roka comes from PIE *uronkaH, in the end it means to grab.
    Kraka cognate with Slovene krak comes from PIE *(s)ker 'to turn' and is related with Slovene kriv.
  16. Darina Senior Member

    "Vasmer lists Bulgarian нога as "dialectal"

    It is typical for Western Bulgarian dialects. My grandmother says "noga", but she uses "nogi" for plural, not "noze".

    The word is not only dialectal but also archaic, poetic and used at some expresions, for example the military command: "pushki pri noze", meaning "ground arms".

    From all this information I can only conclude that Kanes is a young boy from Eastern Bulgaria who has not been a soldier yet. :)

    As for the entimology of "крак", I think it can be a shorter version of "крайник".
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  17. Palisto New Member

    PIE *h₃nógʰ(r)o-
    Hittite sankuwais, sankuwai-
    Tocharian A maku
    Tocharian B mekwa
    Albanian thua
    Ancient Greek ὄνυξ
    Ancient Greek (Herodotus) ónükʰ- {ὄνυξ}
    Greek νύxι
    Greek IPA ˈniçi
    Classical Armenian magil
    Armenian List ełungn
    Armenian yeghung
    Eastern Armenian ełung
    Avesta srauuō (pl.)
    Middle Persian naxun
    Persian nāxun ( ناخُن )
    Tajik noxun
    Zazaki nengū
    Kurdish nînok, neynûk
    Sogdian n’γ’n
    Shughni nōxūn
    Sariqoli ni/ašɛwr
    Kata/Kati nʌčĩ
    Kashmiri nam
    Vedic Sanskrit naxás
    Urdu nɑxʊn
    Lahnda naŨh
    Gypsi Gk nai
    Punjabi St nahĪ
    Marwari nūṃ
    Bihari nah
    Magahi noh ( नोह )
    Assamese nɒx
    Oriya nɔxɔ
    Sin(g)halese niya
    Old Church Slavonic ногъть
    Macedonian nokt
    Croatian nokat
    Serbo-Croatian nokat
    Russian nogotʲ ( ноготь )
    Czech nehet
    Polish paznokieć
    Old Prussian nagutis
    Latvian nags
    Lithuanian nagas
    Old Norse naglu
    Icelandic St nögl
    Swedish nagel
    Danish negl
    Old English nægl
    English fingernail
    Dutch List nagel
    Old High German clāwa
    German Fingernagel
    Lëtzebuergesch nol
    Schwyzerdütsch nagu
    Gothic *nag-l-s
    Latin ungius
    Italian unghia
    Catalan ungla
    Spanish uña
    French ongle ( ɔ̃gl )
    Provencal ongla
    Romansch ungla
    Friulian ongule
    Rumanian unghie
    Cornish iwin
    Breton St ivin
    Welsh N ewin
    Old Irish ingen, ingen,
    Irish B ingen
    Gaelic (Scots) ìne
  18. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    (Dvě) nozě looks like dual, not plural.
  19. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    I would like to make you aware that "noga" means actually "leg", not "foot". Foot is called "stopa" or "stopalo" in most Slavic languages. When this is said, we should notice that the word "noga" includes the foot, and in colloquial use you may hear (at least in Polish) "I have pain in my legs" while actually the pain is in the feet. The same is valid for other colloquial expressions like "to have shoes on one's legs", in opposition to English usage, which strictly distinguishes between legs and feet. Using an expression like "I put my shoes on my feet" would sound strange and pedantic in Polish. In some fixed expressions, however, like "a land not touched by a human foot" the word foot is always used.
  20. Christo Tamarin

    Christo Tamarin Senior Member

    No. The word "крак" has a separare Slavic root and has cognates in Russian, e.g.: окорок.

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