mulţumesc [Etimologie]

Discussion in 'Română (Romanian)' started by Mr Swann, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Mr Swann

    Mr Swann Senior Member

    Paris (enfin presque)
    French - France
    Hello/ Bonjour à tous

    I know that mulţumesc means thank you but I am very curious about its Etymology !!

    I can precise that i speak french, I have studied lingua latina for 5 years, i also speak russian a litle so when learning romanian I can easily reconise latin origine or slavic origin ( to love in russian sounds as lioubitjn read as tchitatj) but
    mulţumesc makes me wonder ..
    Can anyone help me ?
    (Same in french)
    Je sais que mulţumesc veut dire merci mais son origine me laisse perplexe ! Comme je parle un peu le russe je sais reconnaitre les origine slave de certains mots roumains( tchitatj lioubtj) , mais pour mulţumesc je ne sais pas .. Qui peut m'aider ?
    Merci de vos réponses ( j'aurais d'autres questions après )
  2. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    Hello Mr Swan,

    Mulțumesc is 1st pers. sg. of a mulțumi (verb) which seems to be derived from the expression (la) mulți ani! (many happy returns of the day! as in happy b-day but is used as well wishing for all happy ocasions, New Year, Christmas, Easter, etc.). Check the forum's resources or for more details.


  3. s.culan New Member

    Just a quick note to point out that in the regional form "a mulțămi" > "mulțam" the etymology is still very transparent.
  4. LuigiOttawa New Member

    Hello all, for long I have been wondering what is the origin of the word 'multumesc'.
    After seeing this post, it has become clear to me: it is a contraction from Latin 'multus amicus'.
    I have mentioned this to several Romanian friends and they have concurred that this is a very reasonable conjecture.
    Of course it cannot be proven with certainty.
  5. irinet

    irinet Senior Member


    Pardon me, what do you mean by 'transparency' here?

    Farscape is right again (cf. "Romanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch", Meyer-Lübke, Heidelberg, 1972; Tiktin H., "Rumänisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch", Buc., 1925) but still does not offer any etymology.
    Etymology is a difficult science to prove and, consequently to grasp. Your question, I'd say, has two-three possible answers. The first was half given by Farscape, and I dare trying to provide the other half because the expression he gave is Neogreek. The time we are placing this traditional saying as related to "mulțumesc" is the historical period when the rich Aromânii (not Romanians) were very fond of using Neogreek linguistic sets (verbalised or written). The funniest thing to mention here is that they might not know Greek at all! The use of foreign linguistic sets without knowing the source language is common nowadays, too.
    Now, my answer to your question represents the 2nd possible answer.
    It's not solely Latin! Before that (the Latin 'multus') there was the 'osca' giving "molto" and "moltam" ("A Dictionary of the Romanian Etymology", M.Vinereanu, Buc., 2009). It is my only opinion that "moltam" seems to be our 'mulțam' which is still used (colloquial usage) now and then. And again, as farscape has said about not being a linguist, I would add that I am not an etymologist either.
    Thirdly, is up to you to decide upon the righteousness of the answers to choose.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  6. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    Making sure we are all on the same page: we are talking about the verb a mulţumi - 1st person singular is mulţumesc - and the Dictionary of the Romanian Academy states that it's coming from (la) mulţi ani! a traditional saying (~many more years) used for Happy New Year, Many Happy Returns of the Day, Cheers and so on.

    I'm not a linguist but I doubt that multus amicus (... nullus amicus :D) is the origin of the verb a mulţumi.


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