lifetime (not < "life" + "time")

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Gavril, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    Do you know of a word/words for "lifetime" (as in, "There have been two world wars during his lifetime") that isn't composed of words meaning "life" or "time"?

    If so, what (insofar as you know) is the etymology of these words?

    Examples that come to mind right now are,

    Welsh hoedl, Breton hoazl "lifetime" (cognate with Latin saeculum "age (of history), etc.")

    Icelandic ævi, Latin aevum, Greek aíōn, Avestan āyū "lifetime"
    (< Indo-European *aiw-, which seems to have meant something related to "life" or "time" in IE, but isn't the default word for either concept in most IE languages)
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  2. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hi Gavril,

    In Ancient Greek, «αἰών» æ'ōn (masc.) was synonymous with one's life span in poetry mostly; Homer likes to use it (and he uses it alot) in order to describe a person's lifetime. In Modern Greek on the other hand with «αιώνας» /e'onas/ (masc.) we describe a long space of time (i.e. century, age). The word that was used in the ancient language to describe one's lifetime in the vernacular, was «βίος» 'bīŏs (masc.), PIE base *gʷeih₃w-, to live (cognate with Skt. जीव (jivah), life; Lat. vīvere, to live; OCS жити (žiti), to live; Eng. quick; Ger. erquicken). With «βίος» /'vi.os/ (masc.) in the modern language we mean both the means of living (one's livelihood), and lifetime. If the word is stressed on the ultima, and becomes «βιός» /vʝos/ (masc.) it changes meaning and describes one's property (considered folkish language).
    In the vernacular, I'd use the periphrasis «διάρκεια ζωής» /ði'arci.a zo'is/ lit. "span of life". In formal language, I'd use «βίος» /'vi.os/ (masc.)
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Thanks -- I was aware that aíōn, like Lat. aevum, had other meanings than "lifetime" (I'm not sure if the Avestan word had other primary meanings). I mentioned them mainly to show possible semantic continuity across the reflexes of IE *aiw-.
  4. aruniyan Senior Member

    some more words from different languages..

    Aisha(Arabic) - Living, Alive

    Aayush(Sanskrit) - Life, Lifetime

    Aayul(Tamil) - Lifetime
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  5. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    In Tagalog it is " KAPANAHUNAN".
  6. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hello, mataripis, and what's the difference between kapanahunan and habang-buhay? Thanks. Encl.
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I don't think we have anything besides 'leven' [gedurende zijn leven].
  8. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    Russians usually just say жизнь ('zhizn', life). The word век ('vek' - age, century) can also be used in that sense (на мой век хватит - will last for my lifetime) but this usage is old-fashioned today.
  9. Holger2014 Senior Member

    In Latvian:

    - dzīve = life, lifetime >>
    - laiks = time >>
    - mūžs = life, lifetime, age >>

    - Tāda izdevība ir tikai reizi mūžā = It's a chance of a lifetime (lit.: such opportunity is only once in_life)
    - līdz mūža galam = until the end of life (lit.: until lifetime's end)
    - mūža ieslodzījums = life imprisonment (lit.: lifetime's in_locked_ness)
    - mūžība = eternity (~ lifetime_ness)
    - mūžīgs = eternal (~ lifetime_ly) >>
    - mūža mežs = primeval forest (lit.: lifetime's forest)

    On the other hand:
    - paredzamais dzīves ilgums = life expectancy (lit.: to_be_expected life's length)*

    * Question to native (or more fluent...) speakers: Could you say mūža ilgums as well? :confused:
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015

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