Money in Lithuanian, Swedish and Russian

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by xari, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. xari Member

    Are these words related?

    pinigai (lt)
    pengar (sv)
    деньга (ru)

    Are all of them originated from the name of the individual object coin in each language?
  2. er targyn Senior Member

    Russian word is of Turkic origin: compare Kazakh currency Teŋge.
  3. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Hi, apparently the Lithuanian penigai comes from the Polish pieniądze, which comes from Proto-Slavic, according to some sources, but I don't really know how accurate that is. I would think it might come from the German Pheninng, or a common ancestor. Maybe someone can confirm it or rejct the theory. In the old times the Old Lithuanian money was called perunai (from Perunas or Perkunas a Baltic God). Some people still had this currency in the 15th century -- I actually found some information in my genealogical records. Pinigai can be both coins and paper money. The currency now is called liats/litai.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  4. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    The word (cognate to English penny) can be found in Slavic, Germanic, Celtic and Baltic languages (Heinrich Leo, Angelsächsisches Glossar, p518sq.). There were some attempts to explain the origin but most dictionaries agree that the origin is obscure.
  5. xari Member

  6. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    According to Vesmer, quoted here, the origin is Iranian.
  7. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I have looked up the relevant entry both in the original version of Vasmer’s Russ. etym. Wb. and in the Russian translation. Vasmer derives it in the first instance from Chaghatai täηkä “siver coin”, quotes parallel forms in other Turkic languages, and mentions, but as I understand him rejects, the proposed derivation of the latter from Iranian (“Die Quelle dieser Wörter suchte man im mpers. dāng ... vgl. aber Räsänen Zschr. 20, 450”) . I have not looked up Räsänen’s article, but assume that he argued for a Turkic origin. Iranian dāna-(ka-) means primarily “grain”, e.g. Middle Persian dānag, New Persian dāna, cognate with Skt. dhāna-, Lith. dúona “bread” (see Mayrhofer I 787). In Persian we do have a semantic development of “grain” > “a very small weight” > “a small coin, penny”, but the question of whether this is the source of the Turkic and Russian word remains open.
  8. xari Member

    Thanks to you too, fdb.
  9. neonrider Member

    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    Not at all. Polish version came from Germanics as well. Lithuanian root "pinig-" comes from Germanic "pfennig", "penny" and "peng". Thus yet another proof that Lithuanian is a Centum-Satem language, or Pan-European.

    Another version is that "pinig-" and "peng" came from Indo-Iranian "panch" and Lithuanian "penki" (five). Lithuanian "pinga" (becoming cheaper) and "pigus" (cheap, affordable).
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013

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