etymology of the word επισκέπτης (visitor)

larshgf

Senior Member
Danish
Hello,
When I consult the triantafyllides dictionary on the greek language portal I get this information about the etymology of the word:

[λόγ. < αρχ. ἐπισκέπτης `εξεταστής΄ σημδ. γαλλ. visiteur· λόγ. επισκέπ(της) -τρια]

σημδ. γαλλ = loan word from french
`εξεταστής΄ = examiner (according to my dictionary)

ἐπισκέπτης comes from εξεταστής΄ (examiner), a loan word from french visiteuer (= visitor)?
Can somebody figure out the meaning of this?
 
  • Acestor

    Senior Member
    Greek
    The Babiniotis etymological dictionary say that the verb ἐπισκέπτομαι in Hippocrates meant “observe, inspect” and was used in relation to a doctor’s house call. The meaning “visit” begins with its use in the New Testament. The meaning of the nouns ἐπίσκεψις and ἐπισκέπτης evolved in parallel; ἐπισκέπτης originally meant inspector. What the Triantafyllides dictionary says is that ἐπισκέπτης was used at a later date to render the meaning of the French word visiteur, probably by Koraes in 1835:
    Atakta: Meros prōton Alphabēton triton. Pinakes tōs pente tomōn tōn Ataktōn
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    When I consult the triantafyllides dictionary on the greek language portal I get this information about the etymology of the word:

    [λόγ. < αρχ. ἐπισκέπτης `εξεταστής΄ σημδ. γαλλ. visiteur· λόγ. επισκέπ(της) -τρια]
    The noun “επισκέπτης” comes from the stem "ἐπισκέπτ-“ of the ancient verb "ἐπισκέπτομαι” plus the masculine ending “-ης”. "ἐπισκέπτομαι” in its turn is compound of the preposition “ἐπί” and the verb “σκέπτομαι” (=consider, ponder, give thought to). Following the meaning of the simple verb the ancient compound verb "ἐπισκέπτομαι” took the meaning of “σκέπτομαι επισταμένως επί ενός συγκεκριμένου θέματος”, that is “I give a thorough thought to a specific matter, I examine, inspect, survey”. That was the duty of a doctor during a house call, according to Hippocrates’ explanation. So, a doctor was an “επισκέπτης”, as was an ancient “linguist”, say a philologist of the time, whose primary task was the occupation with the language. Let’s bring to our minds Antisthenes’ famous apophthegm “Ἀρχὴ σοφίας ὀνομάτων ἐπίσκεψις” (=Precondition of the wisdom is the thorough search of the words’ meaning).

    ἐπισκέπτης comes from εξεταστής΄ (examiner), a loan word from french visiteuer (= visitor)?
    To help clarify the things, the meaning “ἐξεταστής” given by the Greek Language online dictionary refers to the Ancient Greek meaning of the word “επισκέπτης”, whereas the abbreviation “σημδ” is short for “σημασιολογικό δάνειο”, that is a loan of meaning. This, of course, doesn’t mean that the word “επισκέπτης” is a loan word from French, but that it was just the meaning of the French word “visiteuer” which was rendered by the word “επισκέπτης” in Modern Greek, as Acestor explained (see his useful reference). It is quite probable that this meaning was originally given to the word “επισκέπτης” in the Hellenistic Times in relation to the call / visit of the doctors to houses (in order to examine the patients).
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    The exqct translation of the entry you quoted is as follows:
    «λόγ. < αρχ. `εξεταστής΄ σημδ. γαλλ. visiteur· λόγ. επισκέπ(της) -τρια»
    "learnèd, from ancient ἐπισκέπτης = 'examiner'; a semantic loan from French visiteur; επισκέπτρια [is a learned formation from] επισκέπτης [by change of suffix from -της to -τρια]."
     
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