Medieval Latin: Cuffia

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by aruniyan, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. aruniyan Senior Member

    M.L. cuffia "head covering," of uncertain origin

    Can someone give an explanation for this word? How related is that with L. Cappa?
    this looks similar to Tamil Kaappu(Protection, Guard) also used to refer the hand bangles/bracelets.
  2. killerbee256 Senior Member

    American English
    Looks like it's derived from caput, which means "head," or maybe from German, Kopf also "head, which is possibly from Latin cappa.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  3. CapnPrep Senior Member

    Do you have etymological evidence or reliable sources to back up any of these statements?
  4. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Online Etymological Dictionary has this:

    coif (n.) late 13c., "close-fitting cap," from O.Fr. coife "skull-cap, cap worn under a helmet, headgear" (12c., Mod.Fr. coiffe), from L.L. coifa "a cap, hood" (cf. It. cuffia, Sp. cofia, escofia), of W.Gmc. origin (cf. O.H.G. kupphia, M.H.G. kupfe "cap").
  6. aruniyan Senior Member


    thanks, i asked this question in the es-cape related thread, i had this confusion between, L. Cappa and L.Cuppa and its solved. :)

    another question, is it L. caput (head) from L. Cappa or the other way?

    Thats interesting, is that a native word?.
  7. origumi Senior Member

    I saw some sources saying that Arabic borrowed it from late Latin. However, the Hebrew word kippah, head cover or skullcap, attested no later than the Gemara (3rd-5th centuries), may show a Semitic origin.
  8. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Cuffia is still used in Italian.
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I think both the (Middle) Hebrew and (post-classical) Arabic words are loanwords, kippā from (late) Latin cappa, kūfiyyah from Italian cuffia.

    Incidentally, the meaning of the two words is different: kippā is a skull-cap, but kūfiyyah is the cloth worn over a skull-cap.
  10. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    Meyer-Lübke (Romanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, 1935) traces Italian "cuffia" to a Latin "cofea" (with a dot under the "o") (M-L's #2024). My brave attempt at reading M-L's German says "the origin of the word, first occurring in Venantius Fortunatus,* is unknown. Derivation from Lombard "kupphia" presupposes that the Romanian, Spanish, and Portuguese words are borrowed from Italian or Provençal, which for Romanian is difficult because of the meaning [namely 'helmet']."

    M-L gives Romanian "coif" ('helmet'), Italian "(s)cuffia", Spanish "(es)cofia", Portuguese "coifa".

    *Wikipedia's "Venantius Fortunatus" gives his dates as "(c.530–c.600/609)".
  11. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek it's also «σκουφία» [sku'fia] (fem.), «σκούφος» ['skufos] (masc.) and its diminutive «σκουφί» [sku'fi] (neut.) all Byzantine Greek words from the Late Latin (s)cuffia, from OHG *kupphja --> head cap and it's this
  12. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    The thread title and the opening post are a little confusing... maybe instead of Medieval Latin, that source meant "Medieval Italian Vulgar Latin"?

    But scuffia has a completely different meaning! :eek:
  13. CapnPrep Senior Member

    But it has the same etymology ("variante di cuffia, con s- in funzione espressiva") and is given as "Forma ant. e pop. (in varie regioni) per cuffia" (Treccani).
  14. ancalimon Senior Member

    Is it possible that it's related with Turkish kapa meaning close, cover ?

    *Kap- : 1 cover (n.) 2 gate, door 3 to close
    Proto-Turkic: *jap- : to cover; to close, shut (the door)

    might be related with kafa (head), kabak (squash, bald head), kapak (lid)

    Proto-Turkic: *Kobu-k : empty, hollow
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  15. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Thanks. Unfortunately, this meaning is recorded only by the Treccani dictionary.
  16. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    And, e.g., in Ottorino Pianigiani's etymological dictionary.
  17. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    :thumbsup: When I look for etymology of any Italian word, I go either on Treccani or on

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