mill, moulin, Mühle, mlýn, common root "mln" ?

atcheque

Senior Member
français (France)
Hello,

I want to know if there is any explanation (cultural... ) about the common root "mln" in these words :

EN : mill
FR : moulin
DE : Mühle
CZ : mlýn

and other European languages. Our common ancestors would have already been millers? ;-)

Thanks, atcheque
 
  • atcheque

    Senior Member
    français (France)
    Last edited:

    Arath

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    In Bulgarian the word for mill is мелница (melnica) which is derived from the verb меля (melja - to grind, to mill, to mince) and the suffice – ница (а place where something is done)
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The origin would be mallet more than mill. I think it is a good cultural explanation.
    Certainly not. All four words you mentioned go back to Late Latin molina < L. mola; French moulin directly; English mill and German Mühle certainly and Czech probably through a common Germanic (or at least common West Germanic) loan from Latin (as mentioned in the source you quoted: Old English mylen).

    Mallet, maillet (dem. of mail) is derived from Latin malleus = Hammer.

    Both Latin nouns, mola and malleus, are ultimately derived from the same verb molo < PIE *mel- = to grind; but neither of the four words in you question is derived from malleus.
     

    Arath

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Just a note, in Bulgarian, меля is one of the very few irregular verbs. It forms the aorist and the participles derived from it very oddly (млях, млян, млял). I know that the verb exists in other Slavic languages mleti (Serbo-Croatian), молоть (Russian), mlít (Czech), so it's very unlikely that it was borrowed from Latin.
     

    atcheque

    Senior Member
    français (France)
    You are right. I meant "the origin was the thing "mallet" (maillet ...) < PIE *mele- and not the thing "mill" (moulin, mill, Mühle, mlýn ...)."
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    You are right. I meant "the origin was the thing "mallet" (maillet ...) < PIE *mele- and not the thing "mill" (moulin, mill, Mühle, mlýn ...)."
    Still not quite. The origin is not a "thing" at all; the origin in a verb. Both word for things, malleus and mola are derived from that verb. As a rule of thumb: Etymology usually makes more sense, if you focus on the verbs; nouns are often secondary (not always, though, but mostly).
     
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    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    I know that the verb exists in other Slavic languages mleti (Serbo-Croatian), молоть (Russian), mlít (Czech), so it's very unlikely that it was borrowed from Latin.
    Nobody said it. The word in question is the noun mlyn/mlin.

    According to Machek: "the Slavic mlýn, młyn, mlyn, mlin (*mъlinъ) is from OHG (MHG?) mulín (long i), from Late Latin molína. It is a word of the Roman culture ..."
     
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    Istriano

    Senior Member
    Croatian
    Both the noun and the verb come from Latin:

    the verb:
    prasl. *melti (stsl. mlěti, rus. molót', češ. mlít) ← ie. *melH-: mljeti (lat. molere, got. malan)


    moer ---> moinho
    moler ---> molino
    mljeti ---> mlin

    the noun:
    prasl. *mъlinъ (rus. mlin, polj. młyn) ← stvnjem. mulin ← lat. molinum



    In English, you have a mill, but to grind. :cool:

    Mill, according to OED:
    Etymology: Ultimately < post-classical Latin molina (late 4th cent.; from 9th cent. in British sources), use as noun of feminine singular of molinus , adjective (late 2nd or early 3rd cent. in Tertullian in compound molinum saxum millstone) < classical Latin mola mill (see meal n.1) + -īnus -ine suffix1. The Old English word is attested both as masculine and feminine (as are the Middle Dutch words), which has led to the suggestion that they are partly < post-classical Latin molinum ; however, change of gender in Old English (and Middle Dutch) is more likely (compare A. Campbell Old Eng. Gram. (1959) §521). In all other Germanic languages the cognate word is (or was) feminine.
     
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