Is the word "awe" an onomatopoeia?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by ancalimon, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. ancalimon Senior Member

    This sound is also used in Turkish (I guess many people around the world also make this sound). We make this sound when we are for example, awed, exited, afraid, etc...

    The Turkic tamgas related to this sound are these: Some of them look like a man lifting his arms to the sky in awe. Showing some kind of respect to the creator holding it in awe.

    It's been theorized that the word Oğuz (Oghuz) ~ Ogur comes from this tamga.
  2. Maroseika Moderator

    Just a coincidence.
    Awe - c.1300, earlier aghe, c.1200, from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse agi "fright;" from Proto-Germanic *agiz- (cf. Old English ege "fear," Old High German agiso "fright, terror," Gothic agis "fear, anguish"), from PIE *agh-es- (cf. Greek akhos "pain, grief"), from root *agh- "to be depressed, be afraid" (see ail).
  3. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    In AmE, at least, the sound of awe isn't associated with being awed. We say "Aw!" when we see a cute baby or an adorable puppy or when our dear friend tells us about the romantic way her fiance proposed. ("Awwwww! That's so sweet!") We don't say it when we are overcome by the power of nature or the mightiness of God.
  4. ancalimon Senior Member

    Not necessarily overcome by the power of nature or God but to notice and acknowledge it. Don't you think? So maybe we aren't making that Aw! sound because what we see is cute or loveable. Maybe we are awed because of some kind of mixed feeling. We are awed by many things including great beauty, a beautiful song, some kind of power or even some great leader who has great authority, etc.
  5. All those cognates, going back to the PIE version, look as though they could be derived from Agh!/Akh! Maybe they are all onomatopoeic.

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