Rainbow - Bow?

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Rallino, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Γεια σας - Hello everyone!

    The word for rainbow in some languages, like English and French, contains the word bow.

    English - Rainbow
    French - Arc-en-ciel

    In Turkish, the word for a bow is yay, but a rainbow is called: Gökkuşağı lit.Skybelt.

    I wonder, which languages use the word "bow", which languages use a different word.

    Thank you!
  2. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    Alta Navarra
    Spanish: Arco iris
    Italian: Arcobaleno
    Catalan: Arc de Sant Martí, Arc iris.

    Basque: Ostadar (Ost: Basque name for the god of heaven, roughly equivalent to Zeus; Adar: horn)
  3. Geo.

    Geo. Member

    West of So'ton, Hants
    UK English (SE England)
    Hi Rallino,

    In German, it's Regenbogen, and literally rain + bow.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  4. ilocas2 Senior Member

    In Czech rainbow is duha and it means only rainbow, nothing else.

    In remote past this word meant also "stave" or "curved piece" but this meanings are forgotten and today it means only "rainbow".
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  5. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    In Russian it is радуга /raduga/. No one knows its origin; there are two main versions:
    - the same root as радость /radost/ - happiness
    - combination of рай /ray/(heaven) + дуга /duga/(bow/curve) ~heavenly bow
  6. Havfruen Senior Member

    English - American
    rainbow - regnbue
    rain - regn
    bow - bue
  7. Orlin Banned

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  8. Lars H

    Lars H Senior Member

    Swedish, pretty much the same as in English, German and Danish: Regn-båge.

    In Norse mythology we have the name "Bifrost" (Sw spelling), the bridge leading from Midgard (earth) to Asgard (heaven, home of the gods).
    Bifrost (older Bäf-rast) could mean something like "the trembling road" or "bridge".
    Bifrost will fall when "Ragnarök" (the end of days) are upon us. More drama than one would think :).
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  9. Selyd Senior Member

    In Ukrainian:
    райдуга - Paradise+bow
    веселка, sometimes веселиця - from Cheerful
  10. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Finnish: sateenkaari (rain's bow/arc)

    Declension: sateenkaaren, sateenkaarta
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  11. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    The Dutch for "rainbow" is "regenboog". "Regen" = "rain"; "boog" = "bow". This is the same combination as that used by Swedish, Danish, German and English.
  12. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    We have a bow (arco) in Portuguese arco-íris.
  13. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Swedish has Regnbåge with the very same etymology.
  14. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Γεια σου-merhaba
    In Greek:
    «Ουράνιο τόξο»
    U'ranio 'tokso, both neuter
    lit. "sky/celestial bow"
  15. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    In Hungarian szivárvány is not a compound word and there is no obvious trace of any "bows" in it.

    The same word is used in retina -> szivárvány hártya (=rainbow membrane).
  16. niernier

    niernier Senior Member

    Manila, Philippines
    Bicol & Filipino
    The connotation of rainbow in Tagalog is very different. Rainbow is translated in Tagalog language as bahaghari which literally translates to "local skirt of the king". Bahag is a piece of cloth worn around the waist by males during the old times (more like a g-string if you ask me). It's usually plain colored. Maybe at that time, only the royalty can afford the colored one.

    bahag = local skirt
    hari = king
  17. Orlin Banned

    We sometimes do the same to avoid ambiguity or for emphasis: небесна дъга (sky/celestial bow).
  18. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew - same word for both: קשת keshet.

    To disambiguate, we may say קשת בענן = bow in a cloud.
  19. jeffnben New Member

    bahaghari is the word in Filipino which is an actual word for it.
  20. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Retina? Or iris?

    The word iris comes from an ancient Greek word (rainbow, iris of the eye, iris flower, etc.).
  21. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Interesting. In Russian iris of the eye is радужная оболочка /radujnaya obolotchka/, lit. “rainbow membrane”.

    Similar to Spanish iris (iris of the eye) and arco iris (rainbow)
  22. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Adding to the North Germanic list, the again very similar Icelandic word regn-bogi (rain-arch/bow).


    Welsh: enfys
    Greenlandic: neriusaaq (which looks like it's from neriu-, the verbal stem for 'hope', but I can't confirm that)
  23. Maroseika Moderator

    The form райдуга is reckoned to be influenced by the folk etymology which resulted in deetymologization of the original радуга. http://litopys.org.ua/djvu/etymolog_slovnyk.htm

    Another version explains it as relating to 'shining' (cf. раёк - iris of the eye and Latin radiare - to shine).

    Yet another version derives it from the Ossetian language:
    радуга < Ancient-Ossetian *ardunga < Persian *drunaka - bow (cf. modern Ossetian æрдын - bow).
  24. Maroseika Moderator

    көк желе - sky tether
    асмандагы жаа - shining bow
    жез кемпирдин көгөөнү - copper bridge (mouth?) of the mythological old woman
    асан-үсөн - names of the twins of the 4th Caliph Ali (Hassan and Hussein)

    асамат кӗперӗ - sky bridge

    кемпірқосақ - joined (?) bridge

    рангинкамон - coloured bow

    салават күпере - blessed bridge

    қур - belt

    jumalanbembel’ - holy (???)
    sateenkaari - rain arc
    taivaankaari - sky arc
  25. er targyn Senior Member

    Kuşak "the belt" may be a contamination with Turkic koşak, from koş- "to couple, bind". Compare Kazakh word kempir-qosaq "old woman-tether" and Kyrgyz kök ǯele, kün ǯele "sky/sun tether". Also Turkmen älemgoşar "world tether". In Mongolian it's *soloŋga, from Altaic root "to shine, blaze".
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  26. Maroseika Moderator

    Ancient-Turcic stem is қo:r- 'to surround'.
    қo:ra > kursaγ > koşak/qosaq/қосақ, etc.
  27. er targyn Senior Member

    Your sources? қo:ra > kursaγ > koşak/qosaq/қосақ is phonetically impossible. *kor is belt, but as I said, it's contaminated in Turkish.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  28. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    These words (metaphors...) are very interesting! (Is Velps like Finnish btw? Andare the others Slavic ?)
  29. Maroseika Moderator

    Veps (not Velps) is Finnish. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veps_language
    Others are Turcic.
  30. Maroseika Moderator

    My source is Sevortyan's etym. dict.
    Of course, I simplified the chain, and my ">" should not be understood literally. More details here: http://altaica.narod.ru/LIBRARY/edtl.htm
  31. er targyn Senior Member

    I found there only qoşaq with meanings "lamentation, song" :)
  32. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Human rights' declaration, the beginning:

    Veps. Kaik mehed sünduba joudajin i kohtaižin, ühtejiččin ičeze arvokahudes i oiktusiš. Heile om anttud mel’ i huiktusentund i heile tariž kožuda toine toiženke kut vel’l’kundad.
    Similar Finnish. Kaikki miehet syntyvät (joutavina?) ja (kohtaisina?), yhtäläisinä [itseinsä] arvoiltaan ja oikeuksiltaan. Heille on annettu mieli ja (häpeän?)tunto, ja heidän tarvitsee (koskea?) toinen toistaan kuten veljekset.
    Fluent Finnish. Kaikki ihmiset syntyvät vapaina ja tasavertaisina arvoltaan ja oikeuksiltaan. Heille on annettu järki ja omatunto, ja heidän on toimittava toisiaan kohtaan veljeyden hengessä.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  33. Maroseika Moderator

    Surely, I did not mean it was the same language as Finnish, but just of one of Finnic groups (Finnic and Finnish is one word in Russian).
    My apologies for inaccuracy.
  34. Maroseika Moderator

    Look қo:рa-
  35. er targyn Senior Member

    Why should I?
  36. Maroseika Moderator

    You asked me about my source, I sent you the link. The word we are discussuing is there in қo:рa- article.
  37. er targyn Senior Member

    No, I don't discuss this word.
  38. Maroseika Moderator

    I was answering to your post: "Your sources? қo:ra > kursaγ > koşak/qosaq/қосақ is phonetically impossible".
  39. er targyn Senior Member

    I found what you meant. Qur and qoşaq are different roots. Tukic languages confuse when it comes to rainbow. :)
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  40. Maroseika Moderator

    Please, check p. 152.
    Origination from qora- was my wild guess, but about origination of the Turcic words meaning "belt, sash" from qur Sevortyan is writing quite definately and with a lot of examples.
    Also he mentions rainbow, some examples from there:

    Azerbaijani - гөй куршагы, гуршах
    Gagauz - қушақ
    Khakass - тигiр хуры

    Also cf. Tuvinian кур - belt, sash.
  41. francisgranada Senior Member

    In Hungarian:

    retina: recehártya, retina
    iris: szivárványhártya
  42. kenjoluma Senior Member

    In Korean : 무지개 (mu-ji-gay): water-door
    In Japanese にじ (ni-ji): Not very sure, but one theory is 霊物ぬし(a god of nature) is a source.
  43. er targyn Senior Member

    EDAL thinks that Japanese word is cognate with Korean *nò’ɨr morning or evening dawn, red glow in the sky: MKor. nò’ɨr; Mod. nōl and Tungus *luŋur evening, dusk: Evk. luŋur. :)
  44. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Tagalog: Rainbow= Balangaw, Bow= Palaso
  45. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    We use a completely different word: 彩虹 (caihong). Coincidentally, it rhymes with bow - 弓 (gong), although their etymologies don't seem to be connected.
  46. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Correct. The Hungarian word comes form the verb szív [to suck] and the suffix -vány...so, a thing that sucks water from earth...
    the similar etymology exists in Udmurt [vujuiś i.e. water drinker] and in Venetian dialect arcumbè [Lat.: arcus+bibere]...
  47. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    i think the word "bow" in english rainbow is an expression of "wave" or layer. In Tagalog , Rainbow can be 1.) Balangaw and 2.) Bahag hari. The first one has word "ngaw" which is related to "Alingawngaw" (echo) or sound wave.
  48. Grefsen

    Grefsen Senior Member

    Southern California
    English - United States
    It's the same in Norwegian:

    rainbow - regnbue
    rain - regn
    bow - bue
  49. ancalimon Senior Member

    In Turkic culture, it was thought that when the deity~angel~power "Umay Ana" came to Earth from Tengri ~ Asbań (heavens, curved endless sky covering the sky hanging to Heavens), she traveled through the Alkım ~ Alakuşak (rainbow). It's also thought that spirit horses, rams and camels (pura) run on this colorful road.

    In Kazaks, the word is kempirkoşak ~ enekemkoşak. The rainbow colored marbles which children play with are called enekem in Turkish. Probably a forgotten relationship.

    My own guess is that the Turks identified rainbow with a belt (kuşak) because they thought that when a portal was opened between Heavens and Earth, this belt made it so that "the pants of the sky" did not come down crushing Earth. :)

    Another thing I know about this rainbow is that in at least Anatolian Turkish culture, it's thought that when it's raining and the rainbow is visible, wishes are more likely to come true since there is a connection between Heavens and Earth. It's also believed by some that spirits of some people come down to Earth spinning around themselves during rains and visible rainbow. I don't know about other Turkic cultures.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  50. rayloom

    rayloom Senior Member

    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    The word for "rainbow" in Arabic is Qaws Quzah.
    Qaws meaning "bow", and Quzah being the name of an Ancient Arabian deity; he'd hang his bow on the clouds after shooting lightning bolts! :cool:

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