Greek word for Fox

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by TheoG, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. TheoG Member

    I've always wondered, why is the word for Fox, alepou? It sounds French, but after reading a post about the French work for Fox, I don't think it it French.

    Does anyone know?
  2. Vagabond

    Vagabond Senior Member

    Okay, here's what my Τριανταφυλλίδης dictionary says on the history of the word:

    ελνστ. ἀλωπά, παράλλ. τ. του αρχ. ἀλώπηξ (πρβ. αρχ. επίθ. ἀλωπός `πανούργος΄, ελνστ. αρσ. `αρσενική αλεπού΄) > μσν. αλωπώ (κατά το επίθημα -ώ, δες λ.) > αλωπού (με μεταπλ. > -ού, δες -ού) > αλουπού (με υποχωρ. αφομ. [o-u > u-u]) > μσν. αλεπού (με τροπή [u > e] αναλ. προς άλλες λ. με αντ. εξέλ. [e > u] από επίδρ. του [l] ή του [p])· αλεπουδ- (αλεπού) -ίτσα

    So I guess ἀλώπηξ used to be the male fox and ἀλωπός was "cunning"; so after a series of vowel shifts and metaphorical usages, it ended up as αλεπού and "fox". Another dictionary (Λεξικό της Αρχαίας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας, Γιαννακόπουλος) suggests that ἀλώπηξ < (Latin) vulpes < (Latin) lupe.

    Don't take my word for it though, let's wait for the experts on Ancient Greek to get here! :)
  3. TheoG Member

    Nice find Vagabond. Lets see what others say.
  4. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Does "yeap, that's it" work? :D
  5. wonderment Senior Member

    αλεπού is actually related to the French word for fox, goupil (not renard), via Latin. :)

    from Vagabond’s post:
    αλεπού < Ancient Greek ἀλώπηξ < Latin ‘vulpes’ (fox) < Latin ‘lupe’ (wolf)

    from Frank06’s post:
    goupil (French) < Latin 'vulpecula' (little fox) < Latin 'vulpes' (fox)

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