Etymology: soba (Serbian/Croatian)

DickHavana

Senior Member
Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
Hello, dobar dan:
In the forum Spanish Only we have an interesting thread about the etymology of the Spanish slang sobar (=to sleep). Looking for the origin of that word, it´s possible that it comes from the Romani (gypsy) word sojba/sobar. I observed the gypsy word for room (sovamni) seems related to the Croatian word soba and the Hungarian word szoba.

Can anybody help me with the etymology of the Croatian (Serbian) word szoba?
Is it used in all the field of extension of the languages Serbian and Croatian?

Thank you very much
Hvala ljepo
:)
 
  • Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Hello, dobar dan:
    In the forum Spanish Only we have an interesting thread about the etymology of the Spanish slang sobar (=to sleep). Looking for the origin of that word, it´s possible that it comes from the Romani (gypsy) word sojba/sobar. I observed the gypsy word for room (sovamni) seems related to the Croatian word soba and the Hungarian word szoba.

    Can anybody help me with the etymology of the Croatian (Serbian) word szoba?
    Is it used in all the field of extension of the languages Serbian and Croatian?

    Unfortunately, I can't tell you anything reliably except that soba is indeed a very common word in both Croatian and Serbian, which means room (in the sense of an enclosed space within a building, like cuarto in Spanish), and that it comes from the Hungarian szoba.

    As for whether the similarities you mention are coincidental, such questions are always hard to answer. I don't think you'll be able to get a reliable answer from anyone who isn't a linguist specializing in the languages in question. Generally, you should be skeptical until you get a confirmation from an expert source, since any pair of languages will have some accidental similarities like this due to sheer chance.
     

    DickHavana

    Senior Member
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    As for whether the similarities you mention are coincidental, such questions are always hard to answer. I don't think you'll be able to get a reliable answer from anyone who isn't a linguist specializing in the languages in question. Generally, you should be skeptical until you get a confirmation from an expert source, since any pair of languages will have some accidental similarities like this due to sheer chance.


    I know all this. The probable gypsy origin of the Spanish soba is recognized in some sources and the other question is more difficult to demonstrate it, but we are trying lingüistic-fiction. :D It's possible that the similarity betweeen the Croatian-Hungarian and the Romani word can be only chance and really only an expert source can get a confirmation. That's why I'm asking, to know what is the information about these words in another places out of Spain.

    Another people told me the same: Croatian soba comes from Hungarian szoba. I try to know the Hungarian etymology too.

    Thank you very much
    Regards :)
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Another people told me the same: Croatian soba comes from Hungarian szoba. I try to know the Hungarian etymology too.

    I don't think even linguists are certain about this one. The origins of many words (something like 30%) in Hungarian are totally obscure, since that language has borrowed heavily from a number of distant language families in both historical and prehistorical times. Apparently, the same word soba means stove in Turkish, but I've never come across any authoritative opinion on whether there could be any connection there. (Hungarian has something like 10% of Turkic words in its vocabulary, not only because most of Hungary was overrun by Turks some 400-500 years ago, but also because proto-Hungarians apparently had close contact with some Turkic peoples in prehistoric times.)

    This is as far as I came in my attempts to find out where the Croatian soba could have ultimately come from (which greatly interests me too). Note however that my ability to search for this kind of information is rather low because I can't read any Hungarian whatsoever.
     

    DickHavana

    Senior Member
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    This is as far as I came in my attempts to find out where the Croatian soba could have ultimately come from (which greatly interests me too). Note however that my ability to search for this kind of information is rather low because I can't read any Hungarian whatsoever.

    Dobro jutro:

    That's the problem. Hungarian, Romani... Really, we are talking about two languages too much complicate. I knew about the connection between Turk-Altaic languages and the Hungarian and another Ugro-Finese languages.

    Personally, I see that the words szoba, soba and the romani radical sob-sov (words related with sleep and room) seems related (we don't speek about football and potatoes, we speek about rooms and to sleep :)). Gypsy people got vocabulary from places where they settled (Hungary, Romania, Turkey, etc) and I know that it's impossible at the moment to reinforce this, but I vote for the posibility of a connection that took that word from Hungary to Spain. Of course, to reinforce clearly this, it would be necessary to study detailedly both Romani and Hungarian, and it's possible that even then, experts didn't find nothing.

    Thank you very much for your help :)
     

    chung

    Member
    English, ?
    According to my copy of the Hungarian etymological dictionary ("A magyar nyelv történeti-etimológiai szótára" or TESz) szoba is a "vándorszó" (nearest translation is the German "Wanderwort")

    Related words include: stove (English); stuba, stupa "bathroom" (Old French); Stube "room" (German); tupa "room"; "hut" (Finnish); izba "room" (Slovenian).

    The dictionary's editors go on to point out that its origins in Hungarian are disputed and that it's not possible to determine from which language the Hungarian 'szoba' came to be (my edit: if it were indeed not native to the Hungarian vocabulary.).

    "Művelődéstörténeti és szóföldrajzi kritériumok alapján inkább nyugat-európai műveltségszónak látszik; valószínű ugyanis, hogy a fogalom és az azt jelölő szó a felső társadalmi rétegekből hatolt lefelé, továbbá hogy a magyar nyelvterületen is nyugatról terjedt kelet felé." (Source: Benkő (eds.) (1976) "A magyar nyelv történteti etimológiai szótára - III. kötet Ö - Zs", Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, p. 774)

    If I understand this text correctly (and if my Hungarian is not that rusty...) then it seems to be a cultural loanword from Western Europe based on criteria in cultural history and lexical geography and that it's probable that it originated from [the speech of] the upper classes and spread further from west to east on the territory comprising Hungarian speakers.

    Finally, the dictionary states that the Hungarian form directly or indirectly entered several languages. sobă "stove" (Romanian), соба "stove"; "clean room" (Bulgarian - dialectal); soba "room" (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian); soba "stove" (Turkish)
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    According to my copy of the Hungarian etymological dictionary ("A magyar nyelv történeti-etimológiai szótára" or TESz) szoba is a "vándorszó" (nearest translation is the German "Wanderwort")

    Related words include: stove (English); stuba, stupa "bathroom" (Old French); Stube "room" (German); tupa "room"; "hut" (Finnish); izba "room" (Slovenian). [...] Finally, the dictionary states that the Hungarian form directly or indirectly entered several languages. sobă "stove" (Romanian), соба "stove"; "clean room" (Bulgarian - dialectal); soba "room" (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian); soba "stove" (Turkish)

    This is fascinating! Thanks a lot for this information!

    The dictionary's editors go on to point out that its origins in Hungarian are disputed and that it's not possible to determine from which language the Hungarian 'szoba' came to be (my edit: if it were indeed not native to the Hungarian vocabulary.).
    The problem is however that the prehistoric development of ancient Hungarian was so complex and obscure that it's hard to even define what it means for a word to be "native to the Hungarian vocabulary."
     

    chung

    Member
    English, ?
    Your second point is exactly what I'm talking about.

    We know that szoba, soba, stove, Stube etc. appear in several languages. Why? What I find interesting is that a word is usually considered "native" to Hungarian if it is Finno-Ugric (i.e. show a cognate with a word in Khanty or Mansi, or a little more distantly, Estonian, Finnish, Lappish, Nenets, Mordvin, Komi etc.). For all we know, perhaps szoba originated from Hungarian and its form spread (not at all likely, but possible.) to another language, which spread to another language and so on...

    Whatever. This is just the gears in my brain that are turning. I don't really take issue with the linguists on this one, but when something is obscure or based on hypotheses, we have to remember that.

    In the same way, whenever I read articles about Proto-Turkic or Proto-Slavonic, I find that reconstruction is more an exercise in mental gymnastics than anything else. In a way, you're doing "reverse-engineering" of attested forms, and drawing on assumptions a priori. While it's interesting, it only represents the guess based on what we observe in later forms. If a tablet or something similar would emerge in an archaelogical dig that shows a language used before the time of the putative proto-languages, I wonder how closely it would match up to the reconstructions that've been put forth by comparative linguists using attested forms and assumptions.
     

    DickHavana

    Senior Member
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    Thanks for your information, chung.

    Then, what do you think about this? it seems a relationship between:

    1- Hungarian word szoba and the Romani sovamni/sovardi. Related with this, there is a lot of Romani words with the radical sov- refering room and to sleep. You can see it here.

    2- In the Spanish marginal slang, it's used the word sobar with the meaning of dormir. That word is reconigzed for some sources as Gypsy origin (as another slang words in Spanish). We know that Western Europe gypsies come from Eastern Europe (the zone that comprises Hungary, Romania and the former Yugoslavia). Far gypsie origin is India, of course. But it seems an indirect loanword from Hungarian (or one of the derivations (Romanian, Serbian, etc.)) to Spanish. Of course, to establish this with a certain clarity, it would be necessary to verify that gypsy radical sov- don't appears in Asian gypsie languages (nor Indoarian languages based on sanskrit).
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    ...sobă "stove" (Romanian)...

    Sobă, a fireplace of metal or ceramics used to heat up a house, is believed to come from Turkish to the Romanian language by some linguists. But others think that it does come from Hungarian.

    :) robbie
     

    DickHavana

    Senior Member
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    Sobă, a fireplace of metal or ceramics used to heat up a house, is believed to come from Turkish to the Romanian language by some linguists. But others think that it does come from Hungarian.

    :) robbie

    But then stove is as the Spanish "estufa" (heater), and the dictionary of the Spanish Academy of Language (DRAE) refers estufa and the verb estufar coming from the Latin extufāre, here.

    Also, I only speak about szoba, soba as related with room or to sleep. I'm sure that there are another similar words with another meaning. For example, sobar in Spanish is to finger, to touch a girl (or a boy) with bad manners. Spanish sobar as to sleep and Spanish sobar as to touch are not necessarily related, I think. It seems that sobar as to finger comes from the Latin "subagere/subigere", and some sources point at sobar as to sleep coming from Romani "sobar/sovar"
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    Sobă, a fireplace of metal or ceramics used to heat up a house, is believed to come from Turkish to the Romanian language by some linguists. But others think that it does come from Hungarian.

    You're right, according to my DEX, Romanian sobă (stove, fireplaces) comes from Turkish soba and Romanian sobă (room - used regionally) originates in Hungarian szoba:

    SÓBĂ (1), sobe, s.f. Instalaţie pentru încălzit (cu lemne, cărbuni, gaze etc.) încăperile de locuit sau pentru gătit, făcută din cărămidă, din teracotă, din fier sau din fontă. – Din tc. soba.
    SÓBĂ (2), sobe, s.f. (Reg.) Cameră, odaie de locuit. – Din magh. szoba.

    Anyway, I don't know if that contributes anything to resolving the Spanish dilemma...
     

    Tolovaj_Mataj

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    But then stove is as the Spanish "estufa" (heater), and the dictionary of the Spanish Academy of Language (DRAE) refers estufa and the verb estufar coming from the Latin extufāre, here.
    Last evening I spent quite some time with the Slovene ethimological dictionary. About this word soba it is written that this word was loaned to Slovene from Croatian in the 19th century. The older word for the same thing is izba. The Croatian word was loaned from Hungarian and that one further from German, which is then related as far as Latin what is mentioned above. The meaning has changed from a heated place to just a place/space in the house.
    On the other hand also the word izba, which has Slavic roots and similar words exist also in Czech, Polish, etc. The old Slavic word is also derived from the same Latin cognat.
    There are no Romanian or Turkic roots mentioned in this book.
     

    toshev

    Senior Member
    Australia, English
    Last evening I spent quite some time with the Slovene ethimological dictionary. About this word soba it is written that this word was loaned to Slovene from Croatian in the 19th century. The older word for the same thing is izba. The Croatian word was loaned from Hungarian and that one further from German, which is then related as far as Latin what is mentioned above. The meaning has changed from a heated place to just a place/space in the house.
    On the other hand also the word izba, which has Slavic roots and similar words exist also in Czech, Polish, etc. The old Slavic word is also derived from the same Latin cognat.
    There are no Romanian or Turkic roots mentioned in this book.


    Bulg/Macedonian, izba/vizba: cellar, basement. (But vinarska v/izba: winery, not wine cellar)

    Bulg, staya: room
    Mak, soba, odaja: room
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    On the other hand also the word izba, which has Slavic roots and similar words exist also in Czech, Polish, etc. The old Slavic word is also derived from the same Latin cognat.
    As for this word izba there are two versions: German and Roman.
    German version says this word is common for German-Baltic-Slavic community meaning "warm/oven place": Engl. stove, Island stofa < German *stuba<steoban = dissipate.
    Roman version says this word is close to Spanish estufa < Latin extufare = to steam out.
    None of the versions, however, can explain all the sounds of this word.
     

    ServusEtSclavus

    New Member
    Serbia, Serbian, Montenegrin
    Reading this thread, I remembered an old Serbian slang word (used by our fathers) soviti=to sleep, maybe it has something to do with this. :)
     

    Chazzwozzer

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Apparently, the same word soba means stove in Turkish, but I've never come across any authoritative opinion on whether there could be any connection there. (Hungarian has something like 10% of Turkic words in its vocabulary, not only because most of Hungary was overrun by Turks some 400-500 years ago, but also because proto-Hungarians apparently had close contact with some Turkic peoples in prehistoric times.)
    .
    Turkish soba comes from Hungarian szóba, too. This and that are called soba, so are they what you call as "soba" in Serbian and Croatian as well?
     

    DickHavana

    Senior Member
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    Reading this thread, I remembered an old Serbian slang word (used by our fathers) soviti=to sleep, maybe it has something to do with this. :)

    OK, OK
    In Spain, slang sobar=to sleep came from the Gipsy language. Gipsy migrations to Spain came obviously from the zone Hungary-Serbia-Romania. This word was very used by marginal people and "young-modern-people" (sex, drugs and rockanroll) in the 70's-80's.
     

    cynicmystic

    Banned
    Bermuda & Esperanto :)
    I would like to add that Turkish also has 'sobar' in the form of 'Zibar', which is quite possibly a loanword coming from the Roman of the Gypsy. Zibar is always used together with yatmak, which means to lay down to sleep. However, zibar adds a negative connotation.

    Yat, zibar! / Almost like saying just go to sleep & piss off or something negative along those lines. It is quite a surprise for me to see that this word has found its way into other tongues as well.

    Personally, I don't think that the Turkish word 'soba' for stove is related to the Zobar.
     

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Hi,
    Hello, dobar dan:
    In the forum Spanish Only we have an interesting thread about the etymology of the Spanish slang sobar (=to sleep). Looking for the origin of that word, it´s possible that it comes from the Romani (gypsy) word sojba/sobar. I observed the gypsy word for room (sovamni) seems related to the Croatian word soba and the Hungarian word szoba.

    Can anybody help me with the etymology of the Croatian (Serbian) word szoba?
    Is it used in all the field of extension of the languages Serbian and Croatian?

    Thank you very much
    Hvala ljepo
    :)

    I hope this will help:
    SLEEP

    PIE: swepǝ-
    Hittite: sup-, supparija-
    Latin: sōpīre `einschläfern', sopor, -ōris m. `

    Proto-Baltic: *sap-n-i-, *sap-n-a-, -ia- c., *sap-en-a-, -an-, -i- c.

    Proto-Germanic: *swi[f]an-, *swabja-, *swabjan-, *swibēn-, *swēb[f]=, *swō[f]=, *sub=; *swi[f]na-z , etc.
    Old Norse: sofa (svaf; sofinn)

    Norwegian: sova vb

    Proto-Altaic: *ǯip`u - evening, darkness

    Many more roots @ starling(dot)rinet(dot)ru


    Have a nice day
    Asgaard
     
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