Madrid

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  • francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Thanks for the link, really interesting :).

    Some of the explanations found on this site are known to me ... thus I'd like to know if there exists an etymology, let's say, commonly accepted or at least linguistically/historically cosidered the "most probable".
     

    Yondlivend

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't believe there is any commonly accepted etymology as I haven't seen anything in any of the dictionaries I've checked.

    As for which is most probable, I can't say I know. Maybe someone else with more experience in word etymologies will come across this thread and give their opinion.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Según la universidad complutense de Madrid, el nombre original musulmán era Mayrit que significa "tierra rica en aguas". Los mozárabes llamaron el pueblo Magerit y los castellanos Matrit. Aquí y también aquí tienes información en castellano.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Según la universidad complutense de Madrid, el nombre original musulmán era Mayrit que significa "tierra rica en aguas". Los mozárabes llamaron el pueblo Magerit y los castellanos Matrit. Aquí y también aquí tienes información en castellano.
    The Arabic name for Madrid is Majrīṭ مجريط . There is no way that this could mean “land rich in waters”.

    By the way: you should not say: “according to the University XYZ”. Universities as such do not have opinions. Individual professors have opinions, which may be right or wrong.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    The Arabic name for Madrid is Majrīṭ مجريط . There is no way that this could mean “land rich in waters”.
    In such case the toponym Madrid would be of Celtic and not Arabic origin. Eextract from WP:

    ...The most ancient recorded name of the city Magerit (for *Materit or *Mageterit ?) comes from the name of a fortress built on the Manzanares River in the 9th century AD, and means "Place of abundant water". If the form is correct, it could be a Celtic place-name from ritu- 'ford' (Old Welsh rit, Welsh rhyd, Old Breton rit, Old Northern French roy) and a first element, that is not clearly identified *mageto derivation of magos 'field' 'plain' (Old Irish mag 'field', Breton ma 'place') ...
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    I know about this. It would be nice to have just one other example of a place-name formed from an Arabic noun plus a Romance suffix.
     

    rayloom

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    I know about this. It would be nice to have just one other example of a place-name formed from an Arabic noun plus a Romance suffix.
    I'm not very convinced of Asín's proposed etymology either*, but why do you find it unlikely that hybrid words or toponyms would occur in Mozarabic?
    Arabic words with Romance suffixes (and Arabic-Romance hybrids) do occur in Spanish (from Mozarabic), Maltese and Sicilian.


    * mainly for 2 reasons:
    1- the ṭ
    2- the presence of earlier similar forms of the city's name
    , although the Spanish wikipeda says that مجريط is the first documented name!!
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    And what about Matrice?

    An extract from the English WP:
    ....Nevertheless, it is now commonly believed that the origin of the current name of the city comes from the 2nd century BC. The Roman Empire established a settlement on the banks of the Manzanares river. The name of this first village was "Matrice" (a reference to the river that crossed the settlement) ... In the 7th century, the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula saw the name changed to "Mayrit", from the Arabic term ميرا "Mayra" (referencing water as a "trees" or "giver of life") and the Ibero-Roman suffix "it" that means "place". The modern "Madrid" evolved from the Mozarabic "Matrit" ...
    In this case, if I uderstand it well, the origin of the name of the town is Latin (or Celtic?), and it was later "reinterpreted" and changed to Mayrit/Majrīṭ in the Arabic, and the today's Spanish Madrid is the continuation of the Arabic version.
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Like so much in Wikipedia, this is complete rubbish. There is no such thing as ميرا and it certainly does not mean "trees" or "giver of life". The Arabic word مجرى means “water course, stream” etc. In the Spanish tradition of Arabic studies this is transcribed as maŷrā (with a circumflex on the y); English-speaking Arabists write it as majrā. Pseudo-Arabic ميرا is just a misunderstanding of “maŷrā”
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Well, besides of the imprecisions and errors in WP, the idea is that an older existing toponym or place name was "reinterpreted" in the Arabic and the result is Majrīṭ and, finally, the today's Spanish Madrid.

    If so, it's not very clear to me, if the Roman place name Matrice (2nd century BC) is of Latin origin, or it is a rather "latinized" form of a previous Celtic toponym.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    What I do not know is whether there was really a village called Matrice, or whether someone invented it just to explain the Arabic and Spanish forms. Do you have information on this?
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Italian matrice is Latin matrix 'womb, source' etc. It has nothing to do with Celtic.
    Of course, and that's my question, i.e. if the today's toponym Madrid can also have it's origin in the Latin word "matrix" (even if not directly, but through it's Arabic modified variant). With other words, if this etymology is considered probable.
     
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    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    I'm not very convinced of Asín's proposed etymology either*, but why do you find it unlikely that hybrid words or toponyms would occur in Mozarabic?
    Arabic words with Romance suffixes (and Arabic-Romance hybrids) do occur in Spanish (from Mozarabic), Maltese and Sicilian.
    Many Andalusian names from the Islamic period are composed of Arabic names plus the Romance suffix -uun (Ibn Zayduun, Ibn HafSuun, Ibn Abduun, etc.).
     

    killerbee256

    Senior Member
    American English
    What is the gaulish/celtiberian cognate of matrice/matrix I know in many cases celtic languages of the classical era were rather close to the italic languages
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    What is the gaulish/celtiberian cognate of matrice/matrix I know in many cases celtic languages of the classical era were rather close to the italic languages
    I do not know. However, if it seems to me that for the etymology of the Spanish toponym Madrid, hypothetically or in theory, we have the following possibilities :

    1. Arabic origin (eventually with the suffix -it of Romance origin)
    2. Celtic origin, through Latin and then Arabic
    3. Latin origin, through Arabic
    4. Latin origin, directly (from Matrice)
    5. Other origin ....

    The question is, which can be considered ("the most") probable, both from historical and linguistical point of view?
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I was mistaken -- the theory is that it might be derived from an augmentative suffix.
    Of course, the -ón/-ona (for comparison, in Italian -one/-ona) are augmentative suffixes, but are they really typical or productive in case of place names? (this is a pure question, not an opinion).

    Can you give some other examples (not necessarily from Spain) where this augmentative suffix is used for creating toponyms?
     
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    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Of course, the -ón/-ona (for comparison, in Italian -one/-ona) are augmentative suffixes, but are they really typical or productive in case of place names? (this is a pure question, not an opinion).

    Can you give some other examples (not necessarily from Spain) where this augmentative suffix is used for creating toponyms?
    Sorry, I did not mean to imply that it was used for toponyms. I simply offered it as an example of a Romance suffix attached to Arabic words (specifically, names of persons). On the question of the etymology of "Madrid" I am completely agnostic as I am nowhere near competent to answer it.
     

    إسكندراني

    Senior Member
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    I know about this. It would be nice to have just one other example of a place-name formed from an Arabic noun plus a Romance suffix.
    Al-andal(us)
    if we can pretend الأندل is an intentional arabization of 'vandal'. But it can't have been unusual, the Muslims didn't arrive on mars after all.
    وأضافت أن اسم مدريد عربي الأصل، حيث إن "مجريط" هي كلمة من جزأين، أولهما "مجرى" وهو عربي ويشير إلى مجرى المياه وثانيهما "إيتو" وهو لاتيني ويعني الوفرة، وأن مجريط تعني مجاري المياه الوفيرة، وهو ما يميز المدينة ويصفها في ذلك الوقت.
    the quote is from an aljazeera interview with a researcher at complutense university who insists that the word was not mentioned once before its appearance in over 20 arabic manuscripts as a town.
     
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    djara

    Senior Member
    Tunisia Arabic
    I revive this thread not because I know anything about the etymology of Madrid, but because the name مجريط reminds me somehow of how a river named bagradas in the Roman/Byzantine Africa province (apparently cited by Polybius as Μακρα, WP) came to be arabized as مجردة (majrada)
    bagradas --> مجردة (majrada) --> Medjerda (French transliteration)
    Maybe the same phonetic transformations happened with Madrid.
    While the b-to-m transformation is not very usual in the arabization of African place names, there is at least another example of a g-to-j transformation: Vaga being arabized as Baaja (French transliteration Beja).
    Knowing that a large number of Copts from Egypt were involved in the conquest of Africa by the Arabs, maybe the confusion arose when writing the names with the "g" sound, using ج (pronounced g by Egyptians and j by others).
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Of course, the -ón/-ona (for comparison, in Italian -one/-ona) are augmentative suffixes, but are they really typical or productive in case of place names? (this is a pure question, not an opinion).

    Can you give some other examples (not necessarily from Spain) where this augmentative suffix is used for creating toponyms?
    In Catalan, -ó/ -ona functions as a diminutive suffix (I had to learn that the hard way). E. g. cafe|t|ó (a little (cup of) coffee), with a euphonic t, or even cafe|t|on|et, with the aforementioned euphonic t and two (!) diminutive suffixes.
    As for examples, I can mention Barcino (the modern Barcelona) and Tarraco (the modern Tarragona), but I'm not sure they are "correct" in the sense of this topic. I don't know how these two toponyms' stems look like in the oblique cases, but I presume that Tarraco gives Tarraconis in the Genitive case.
     
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