page / leaf (of a book)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Gavril, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    How do you normally say "page" (of a book, newspaper etc.) and "leaf" (i.e., an entire sheet of paper in a book, newspaper etc.) in your language?

    Many languages seem to use a word for "side" to mean "page" (e.g., Slovene stran "page" or "side") -- I would guess that this is because a "page" is often defined as one of the sides of a sheet of paper. Also, many languages seem to show a connection between the word for "leaf" (of a tree, plant etc.) and "leaf" (of a book).
  2. arielipi Senior Member

    page (one side) עמוד amud
    leaf (both sides) דף daf
    also for a page theres עלה ale which translates to leaf
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    - page = pagina, bladzijde (leaf-side)
    - leaf = blad (which indeed refers to both the paper and the tree leaf)
  4. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Do you know what stems the words amud and daf come from?

    English page appears to come from Latin pangere "fasten", perhaps reflecting the fact that pages are fastened together into a book. Eng. leaf probably had the biological meaning (leaf of a tree, etc.) before it had the technological meaning (sheet of paper) -- I don't know of any Germanic cognate (German Laub, Icelandic lauf etc.) that refers to a sheet of paper.
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    You're right: in Dutch and German loof/ Laub seem to be collective - and have led to loge, lodge, i.e. shelter; they refer to the leaf roof for example, or the collection of leaves. The famous Belgian endives are called witloof for that reason.

    As for blad, it seems to be related with French feuille, Engels foil, Latin folia.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  6. arielipi Senior Member

    amud comes from the stem ע-מ-ד '-m-d
    daf comes from the stem ד-פ-פ d-f-f.

    Have I misunderstood your question though?
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I would be interested to hear whether you can use those stems in other words as well. They can't be used as verbs, I suppose.
  8. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I was also curious what these two stems mean?
  9. arielipi Senior Member

    @Thomas yes, amud is also a column, each of the foundations [=elements] that the world is built upon (that is more like in folklore-tales), first, a thing of a risen/higher level, stand,
    post, pole, pillar, column ; lectern, pulpit.
    also (though not related) the same stem is used for 'stand' stems.
    specifically for amud (page) there is a verb imud עימוד = pagination, layout.

    d-f-f is a stem, and you can you that stem for 'browsing pages' 'turn pages'.

    @gavril - what dyou mean what do they mean? its a stem :S
  10. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I don't know the correct terminology to use in Hebrew, but in some other Semitic languages, I have seen stems defined in relation to a corresponding verb: k-t-b "write", b-n-y "build" etc.

    It looks as though the verb associated with ´-m-d (amud, imud etc.) is "stand" -- is that correct? What verb is associated with d-f-f?
  11. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew there are many times an overlap of uses for the "same" stem; the same letters are used for two or more words in the root, but actually the stems are unrelated.
    For example: the root of the translation of count(ing) is the same as of portion/ration/unit - the same letters are in the root, but the roots are unrelated.

    '-m-d is used for 3 major things: pages and its stems, pillars/columns and its stems, stand and its stems.
    d-f-f is used for page interactions: turning pages.
  12. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hi Gavril,

    In Greek:

    Entire sheet of paper (both sides) of a book/newspaper/magazine: «Φύλλο» ['filo] (neut.) --> leaf < Classical Gr. «φύλλον» pʰúllŏn (neut.) --> leaf, leaflike part of plant (PIE *bʰel-/*bʰlh₃-, leaf, blossom cf Arm. բողբոջ [boɣ'bodʒ], bud).

    Page: «Σελίδα» [se'liða] (fem.) --> page < Classical Gr. 3rd declension fem. noun «σελίς» sĕlís --> Crossbeam of a building or ship, cross stripe of column in a papyrus roll (with obscure etymology, possibly pre-Greek).
  13. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    strana = side (e.g. reverse/obverse side), page (in a book), also political party;
    stránka (dim. of strana) = page;
    list = leaf (of a tree), sheet (of paper), blade (e.g. saw blade), vane, newspaper, certificate, letter (= epistula);


    die Seite = side, page;
    die Page = page;
    das Blatt = leaf, sheet, blade, newspaper (das Tageblatt);

    Žluté stránky = die Gelben Seiten = Yellow Pages;


    pagina, dim. pagella, paginula (from pango, pangere), originally row of grapevine shrubs;
    folium = leaf, hence folio, foliant;
    scheda, schida, scida = sheet of paper (from Greek schede);
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  14. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Always fascinating to see how much cultural-historical information comes along with these questions. (Too bad so few non-IE language speakers take part. Aren't there ways to get them to join these threads???)
  15. kirahvi Senior Member


    sivu = page, side
    paperiarkki = sheet of paper
    lehti = magazine, leaf of a tree
    aukeama = double-page, ie. left page and right page

    I'm not sure I understand "leaf" in this context. Does one leaf consist of four pages, ie. left page and right page on two sides of the leaf? If so, I don't know how that would be called in Finnish.
  16. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    By "leaf", I mean a sheet of paper in a book or other bound volume, consisting of two pages (one on each side). This is called lehti in Finnish, according to my dictionary.
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    interesting is, K, that you refer to a magazine as lehti, metonymically, I suppose, which we could do too (Dutch blad meaning magazine, or newspaper --- just like paper in English for newspaper), or is a lehti only a magazine? --- i wonder why you have a word for a double page, or is that a double page that looks like a mini-newspaper (katern in Dutch, something like a 4-page paper/newspaper section) ?
  18. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Russian is similar to Czech:
    страница /stranitsa/ - page (has the root -strn- meaning "side")
    лист /list/ - leaf (paper or tree)
  19. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    The folio (abbreviated ) is a book or pamphlet made up of one or more full sheets of paper, on each of which four pages of text are printed, two on each side; each sheet is then folded once to produce two leaves.

    In Czech the folded sheet is called složka (lit. folder), from the verb složiti = to fold (up). 
  20. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    In Arabic:

    صفحة safħa = page (one side of a paper)
    ورقة waraqa = paper, sheet, leaf

    The word 3amoud (3=ayin) عمود is also used in Arabic to mean the same (column, pillar, post, ...) but we don't use it to mean "page"
  21. arielipi Senior Member

    ספר sefer is book in hebrew;
    a leaf (to clarify) is a paper -two pages.
  22. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    In Norwegian the word side is used to mean "page" and the plural of side is sider.

    Boken har 300 sider. - The book has 300 pages.

    Norwegian also uses the word blad to mean both the "leaf" in a book as well as a "tree leaf."

    can also be used to mean "magazine" as well as "blade."

    ukeblad - weekly magazine

    - razor blade
  23. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    "der (not die) Page" means "page" in the sense "page boy". Not at all what we are looking for here.
  24. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    But I wrote die Page and not der Page (= der Schildknappe, Knappe, Edelknabe).

    The feminine noun die Page is probably an Anglicism, a jargon term related to computing. It is indeed not related to a sheet of paper but to the screen.

    Example: Die neue Page ist jetzt endlich online. (The new page is now finally online.)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  25. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting addition by Grefsen: razor blade, and indeed all kinds of these blades, also in Dutch - and in German, I believe. The root is the same as of blad...
  26. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Interestingly, the semantic development of pagina may have been "row of shrubs (fastened by stakes)" > "columns of writing (on a scroll)" > "page (in a book)".

    Are we sure, though, that "row of shrubs" was the original meaning of pagina (rather than a parallel development)? Etymonline mentions this as a possibility, but it says that the "page" meaning could also simply have come from pages being fastened/bound into a book.
  27. kirahvi Senior Member

    Thanks, Gavril. I had never heard of that usage in English, and had always thought the Finnish use in expressions like "kirjan lehdillä" is purely symbolic. That explains also the verb lehteillä, to leaf, which I had always thought comes from the magazine meaning of the word lehti.

    Aukeama is when you open a book, for example, and you see a left page and a right page at the same time. It comes from auki, open (adj.). Lehti can mean a newspaper, too. The whole word is sanomalehti, but people often talk about lehti, just like (news)paper in English.
  28. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I see, Kirahvi... Somehow it seems to me to be a concept we don't have: a double page, yes, but I don't think it is quite the same...
  29. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    Advertisments that cover the left and right pages of a magazine are called double-page ads and a picture that covers both the left and right pages of a book is a double-page spread. I'd be curious to know if there are any other English words beside double-page that have the same meaning as aukeama.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  30. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    In Chinese (PRC simplified):
    页 = page
    I don't know the etymology, but it's pronunciation is exactly the same to that of 叶 (leaf).
    It's possible that some traditional Chinese documents also use 页(page) or 叶(leaf) to mean a sheet (2 sides), but I'm not sure.
    In standard modern Chinese, people only use 页 for "page".
  31. Holger2014 Senior Member

    In Estonian:
    - leht: 'leaf' (of a tree)
    - lehekülg: 'page' (lit. 'leaf-side')
    - paberileht: 'sheet of paper' (lit. 'paper-leaf')
    - ajaleht: 'newspaper' (lit. 'time-leaf')
    - lendleht: 'leaflet' (lit. 'fly-leaf')
  32. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    And a razorblade, Holger?
  33. Holger2014 Senior Member

    'Razorblade' in Estonian is žilett < Gillette :) or, more traditionally, habemenuga (habeme = 'beard-' + nuga = 'knife').

    Perhaps I can add something to the German terms already mentioned in previous posts: Blatt can mean:
    - 'leaf' (of a plant)
    - 'sheet' (of paper)
    - 'blade' (of a saw, for instance)(also Propellerblatt - AE 'propeller blade' - as in Czech, mentioned in #35 )
    - '(news)paper' (short form)

    'Razor blade' in German is Rasierklinge <-- (Messer)klinge = 'blade of a knife'
    It is true, we say die Homepage. I guess it's feminine gender in German simply because Seite ('page') is feminine as well. A literal translation into German would be *Heimseite but I've never heard it.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  34. Dymn Senior Member

    Catalan, Catalonia
    In Catalan one side is called normally pàgina (page) or less commonly cara (face) or plana (plain).

    For two sides we use full, etymologically related to fulla ​(leaf).
  35. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech the noun list has the same meanings like the German Blatt (post #33), plus 'blade of a propeller' and 'epistle'.

    Razor blade in Czech is čepelka (also žiletka), which is diminutive of čepel = blade of a knife/sword, die Klinge.
  36. M Mira Senior Member

    I don't have enough solid evidence to back this up, but it seems that this holds true for Chinese as well. During Han Dynasty, the modern character for "page", 頁, meant only "head" and was quite rare. Then it suddenly reemerged during Song Dynasty as a character that means "page" and homophonous to 葉 "leaf" (與涉切、入聲).

    Later, in Qing Dynasty, Duan Yucai commented on the character 葉:「凡物之薄者、皆得以葉名。 」"All things that are thin can be called 葉" in Shuowen Jiezi from Han Dynasty.
  37. Ghabi

    Ghabi AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod

    Hong Kong
    ^The word for "page" is still written as 葉 in bibliographical literature (for the physical description of a book). The orthographical change to 頁 has masked the word's etymology.
  38. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    A technical-linguistic question: would you agree that all these terms have some underlying 'concept'/ idea?
  39. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    In Japanese we use a loan word from English, as in ページ(peezi, c.f. page)
    As for leaf, we use counter suffix like 枚(mai, a paper[piece] of ~), 面(men, commonly used for a page of newspapers)
  40. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia

    страна - side (general; sometimes it can mean "page", but this usage is frowned up)
    страница - page (and not "side", although it's evidently derived from the word for "side")
    лист - leaf (of a tree, and also "sheet" of paper, but not "page")

Share This Page