odd (unpaired) / even

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I had a question about "the odd one out" before, but while doing etymological research on "odd", and coming across "unpaired" at etymonline.com, I feel like going into "odd" as such. How do you translate it - and what do you associate with it etymologically or semantically speaking?

Odd in Dutch: oneven, onpaar.

What I did not realize is that "pair" is considered to be very positive: referring to "equal, well-matched"...
 
  • Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    In French the etymology is cristal clear:
    even = pair
    odd = impair


    The lexical field is indeed connoted positively with pair, and negatively with impair. For example:
    les pairs are peers/similar people
    commettre un impair means "to make a mistake".

    pair comes from Latin par, which itself comes from Indo-European per (= to exchange). per has given many European words in the field of exchange/trade/selling/buying, for example price (the value of the exchange), part (an equal division), or the French word pari (= bet). A bet is indeed a way to make an event equal to a certain amount or probability.
     
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    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Greek:

    Odd is (I) «μονός αριθμός» [mɔˈnɔs a.riθˈmɔs] (both masc.) or (II) «περιττός αριθμός» [pe.ɾiˈtɔs a.ɾiθˈmɔs] (both masc.) --> odd number.
    (I) is colloquial, (II) is more formal.

    (I) MoGr adj. «μονός, -νή, -νό» [mɔˈnɔs] (masc.), [mɔˈni] (fem.), [mɔˈnɔ] (neut.) --> single, odd < Classical adj. «μόνος, -νη, -νον» mónŏs (masc.), mónē (fem.), mónŏn (neut.).

    (II) The adj. «περιττός, -ττή, -ττό» [pe.ɾiˈtɔs] (masc.), [pe.ɾiˈti] (fem.), [pe.ɾiˈtɔ] (neut.) --> unnecessary, superfluous, redundant, uneven, odd < Classical adj. «περισσός, σσή, -σσόν» pĕrĭssós (masc.), pĕrĭssḗ (fem.), pĕrĭssón (neut.), Attic «περιττός» pĕrĭttós --> excessive, extraordinary, superfluous < Classical adv. «πέρι» pérĭ --> around, round, excessively, quite, by, at, concerning (PIE *per- to cross, pass cf Skt. परि (pari), about, Av. pairi, about, around, Lat. per, Lith. per, through, Proto-Germanic *furi > Eng. for, Ger. für; Proto-Slavic *pri > Rus. при, BCS при/pri).

    Even is (A) «ζυγός αριθμός» [ziˈɣɔs a.ɾiθˈmɔs] (both masc.) or (B) «άρτιος αριθμός» [ˈar.ti.ɔs a.ɾiθˈmɔs] (both masc.) --> even number.
    (A) is colloquial, (B) is formal/scientific language.

    (A) MoGr adj. «ζυγός, -γή, -γό» [ziˈɣɔs] (masc.), [ziˈʝi] (fem.), [ziˈɣɔ] (neut.) --> even < Classical neuter noun «ζυγόν» zŭgón --> yoke, cross-bar by means of which beasts of draught were attached to whatever was to be drawn.

    (B) MoGr adj. «άρτιος, -α, -ο» [ˈar.ti.ɔs] (masc.), [ˈar.ti.a] (fem.), [ˈar.ti.ɔ] (neut.) --> even, intact, whole < Classical adj. «ἄρτιος, -τίᾱ, -τιον» ắrtiŏs (masc.), ărtíā (fem.), ắrtiŏn (neut.) --> sound, perfect, intact, even < Classical adv. «ἄρτι» ắrtĭ..
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Perfect information, gentlemen and lady (I guess), thanks!

    @Apmoy: the yoke allows for teaming, I suppose, and therefore is in se positive, I suppose, or... ? And the second word is almost "extremely positive". I'd think our pair word does not have that very positive connotation. "Even" might be more positive, but that specific positive meaning is not very present, except perhaps in "evenknie", some kind of equivalent, "equal knee"...
     

    momai

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Syria
    Arabic:
    odd number: عدد فردي 'adad fardi
    even number: عدد زوجي 'adad zawji
    'adad is number from '-d-d to count
    fardi is from fard which means individual
    zawji is form zawj which means pair/couple
    -i is a way to make nouns adjectives.
     

    Vukabular

    Senior Member
    Serbian
    Serbian:
    jednak ("equal") >> jedan ("one") >> Russian: один (odin "one") >> perhaps odd
    par ("pair")

    odvojen ("separated, single, unpaired") << od (od "from" or odin "one") + dvojen (dva "two" or dvojan "double")

    razdvojen ("separated, single, unpaired") << raz (Russian: раз "one") + dvojen (dva "two" or dvojan "double")

    MoGr adj. «ζυγός, -γή, -γό» [ziˈɣɔs] (masc.), [ziˈʝi] (fem.), [ziˈɣɔ] (neut.) --> even < Classical neuter noun «ζυγόν» zŭgón --> yoke, cross-bar by means of which beasts of draught were attached to whatever was to be drawn.
    ζυγόν (zŭgón "yoke") >> ζυγός (zygós "odd, even, twin") >> ζυγά-ζυγά (zygá-zygá, “two by two”)
    Plato in his dialogue Cratyulus said that word ζυγόν (zŭgón) is derivated from older word δύογόν (dúogón) he also said that is loan word from Pre-Greek inhabitants. Suppose they are Serbian ancestors and there is more and more scientific evidences that they are then δύογόν (duogón) = dvogon from dvo ("two") + gon (verb goniti "to chase, pursue")
    Examples:
    dva - "two"
    dvoboj - "duel"
    dvoslojan - "two-layered"
    goniti - "to chase, pursue"
    gonitelj - "prosecutor"
    gonič - "herdsman, hound"
    pogon - "drive" in the context of "four wheels drive"
    nagon - "instinct, drive, urge"
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Russian:
    odd (numerically) - adj. m.sg. нечётный (nechyótnyi)
    even (numerically) - adj. m.sg. чётный (chótnyi)
    The very nounds nouns "чёт" (chyót) and "нечет" (néchet) are used mostly in the game "odd and even" or as betting possibilities. However, they are obviously related to n. чета (chetá) - a married couple (somewhat bookish; the etymological meaning is "crowd", "group", "squadron", "community", but it's long lost).
     

    bazq

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Arabic:
    odd number: عدد فردي 'adad fardi
    even number: عدد زوجي 'adad zawji
    'adad is number from '-d-d to count
    fardi is from fard which means individual
    zawji is form zawj which means pair/couple
    -i is a way to make nouns adjectives.
    In Hebrew "even" is similarily [zugi] (zug=couple, pair)
    "odd" is ['izugi] (an/-'i/ prefix is a loan from Aramaic, meaning "non-, in-,un-"). So "odd" is simply "uneven" in Hebrew.

    Both languages ultimately borrowed this from (Koine?) Greek.
    For the semantic aspect, [zug] is "a pair (of X)", "a romantic couple". It also participates in verbal forms, giving "to join", "to put/arrange in pairs", "to mate" (animal intercourse).
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In Hebrew "even" is similarily [zugi] (zug=couple, pair)
    "odd" is ['izugi] (an/-'i/ prefix is a loan from Aramaic, meaning "non-, in-,un-"). So "odd" is simply "uneven" in Hebrew.

    Both languages ultimately borrowed this from (Koine?) Greek.
    For the semantic aspect, [zug] is "a pair (of X)", "a romantic couple". It also participates in verbal forms, giving "to join", "to put/arrange in pairs", "to mate" (animal intercourse).
    In Greek the pair or romantic couple is either «ζεύγος» [ˈzev.ɣɔs] (neut.) or (colloq.) «ζευγάρι» [zevˈɣa.ɾi] (neut.), ultimately from the ancient neut. noun «ζεῦγος» zeû̯gŏs --> pair, two humans or animals of different sex, a set of two, a deverbative from the athematic v. «ζεύγνυμι» zeú̯gnūmĭ --> to yoke, join, bridle an animal, saddle, cognate with «ζυγόν».
     
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