Serb-Croatian: Lijep/Lep & Vatra

apr1corn

New Member
Yugoslavia, Serbo-Croatian
Hi everyone
I've always wondered what the etymologies of the words lijep and vatra are because they seem to differ from other Slavic languages. I by no means state this as fact, but simply from what i have noticed in my searchings. For instance, Russian and Bulgarian use "krasiv" for lijep and "ogan" for fire but I have not encountered other Slavic languages using these two seemingly Serbo-Croat idisyncrasies. Any help?
Thanks in advance

P.S. I'm new to this forum so please don't murder me:eek:
 
  • vput

    Member
    Shangri-La, English
    It comes from Proto-Indo-European *lep- / *lēp- meaning "nice" or "good"

    In Slovenian, they say: hvala lepo

    In Czech, Polish and Slovak, forms of *lep are used to express what you call "bolji" or "najbolji"

    Czech: dobrý - lepší - nejlepší
    Polish: dobry - lepszy - najlepszy
    Slovak: dobrý - lepší - najlepší
     

    OldAvatar

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Welcome!

    Vatra exists in Romanian too. Some say it's an autochtonous word, probably of Illyrian/Dacian/Thracian origin.

    Others find a similarity between vatra and father, vater, suggesting an Indo-European root.

    Best regards!
     

    vput

    Member
    Shangri-La, English
    Vatra is a funny word. The historical linguists aren't quite sure how it fits with Slavic languages. It may have links to comparable words in Iranian languages.
     

    OldAvatar

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Vatra is a funny word. The historical linguists aren't quite sure how it fits with Slavic languages. It may have links to comparable words in Iranian languages.
    You are right. Some linguists find a similarity even with some Sanskrit words. The problem is that the word has some nationalistic connotations, which makes an objective research a bit complicated.
     

    robbie_SWE

    Senior Member
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Vatra (or vatră as it is in Romanian) is presumed by many etymologists to be, as it was stated by Oldavatar, a Dacian/Thracian/Illyrian word, that spread to Serbian and Croatian from Romanian. Wikipedia has an article about this and other words that are originally Romanian and have spread to neighbouring languages.

    :) robbie
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,

    Vatra exists in Romanian too. Some say it's an autochtonous word, probably of Illyrian/Dacian/Thracian origin.
    Unless you give us some further explanation, this is quite an empty phrase. Hardly anyhting is known about Illyrian/Dacian/Thracian and yet a lot of people constantly refer to this trio or one of those three languages. Which makes me think that the trio is used for political/nationalistic reasons, and which turns that trio into a kind of dustbin, at least from a linguistic point of view: if one can not explain it, it must be... Illyrian/Dacian/Thracian.

    Others find a similarity between vatra and father, vater, suggesting an Indo-European root.
    Who are "some" and who are "others"?

    Vatra is a funny word. The historical linguists aren't quite sure how it fits with Slavic languages. It may have links to comparable words in Iranian languages.
    You are right. Some linguists find a similarity even with some Sanskrit words. The problem is that the word has some nationalistic connotations, which makes an objective research a bit complicated.
    It may have links with Swahili :D.
    I'm sorry guys, but this is leading us nowhere.It does sound interesting, but which Iranian or Sanskrit words do you have in mind. What's the relation between those words and the Slavonic ones? Please be more specific and elaborate.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    OldAvatar

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi,


    Unless you give us some further explanation, this is quite an empty phrase. Hardly anyhting is known about Illyrian/Dacian/Thracian and yet a lot of people constantly refer to this trio or one of those three languages. Which makes me think that the trio is used for political/nationalistic reasons, and which turns that trio into a kind of dustbin, at least from a linguistic point of view: if one can not explain it, it must be... Illyrian/Dacian/Thracian.


    Who are "some" and who are "others"?




    It may have links with Swahili :D.
    I'm sorry guys, but this is leading us nowhere.It does sound interesting, but which Iranian or Sanskrit words do you have in mind. What's the relation between those words and the Slavonic ones? Please be more specific and elaborate.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
    I think you got it all wrong. I'm not saying that those info are correct because I'm not entitled to, I just spoke about some theories connected with the origin of word "vatra". If you are not in any way linked with those kind of stories, it doesn't mean they don't exist. And also, if I know about them, it doesn't mean that I necessarily agree with them... And, as a matter of fact, I already said that its etymology was affected by nationalistic theories.

    Some of the „some” are:
    • Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, Etymologicum Magnum Romaniae.
    • Ion I. Russu, Limba traco-dacilor. The words that have been identified by I. I. Russu to have cognates in Albanian are marked with (Alb.).
    • Ariton Vraciu, Limba daco-geţilor.
    • "NODEX": Noul dicţionar explicativ al limbii române (The New Dictionary of the Romanian Language), Litera Internaţional Publishing House, 2002. In this dictionary substratum words are labeled cuvînt autohton (native word).
    In order to identify the „others”, see this link please.
     

    Tolovaj_Mataj

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    In Slovenian, they say: hvala lepo
    A little correction. We say: hvala lepa.
    hvala (thank) is a noun of feminine gender, so the adjective must match it accordingly.
    lep =beautiful; lep, lepši, najlepši
    dober =good; dober, boljši, najboljši

    About the other word - fire: we use the word which is similar to other Slavic languages: ogenj
     

    vput

    Member
    Shangri-La, English
    All right, Frank, since you insist (Mind you, I'm hobbled by the idiosyncratic restriction that I can't post links.)

    Proto I-E: *āt- (-th-) "fire (open)"
    Hittite: hat- 'vertrocknen'
    Avestan: ātar-š "fire"
    Ossetian: art "fire"
    Armenian: airem "verbrenne, zünde an"
    Irish Gaelic āith "Ofen"
    Albanian: ? votǝr, votrǝ "fire"' - cf. Slav
    Serbo-Croatian: ? vatra

    The place of the Serbo-Croatian and Albanian entries is uncertain.

    If you want more data, then run a search on google using the keywords "Starostin Etymological Dictionary Database" and go to his site. Run a search for the meaning "fire (open)" in the Indo-European database that was compiled by Sergei Nikolayev. The data in my post comes from there.
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    I think you got it all wrong. I'm not saying that those info are correct because I'm not entitled to, I just spoke about some theories connected with the origin of word "vatra".
    I understood that. All I asked was some background information on those various theories.
    Which you gave.

    All right, Frank, since you insist
    Of course I insist :). Thanks for the information.

    (Mind you, I'm hobbled by the idiosyncratic restriction that I can't post links.)
    The restriction you call "idiosyncratic" we call "protective" :).
    From the Rules (#32)
    To help limit SPAM, no URLs can be posted by any member without at least 30 posts.
    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    werrr

    Senior Member
    The adjective “lepý” still exists in Czech, it means “beauteous”, the Old Czech meaning is “beautiful/good/nice/polite”. The obsolete comparative and superlative forms of this adjective infected the corresponding forms of the adjective “dobrý” (= good) as written by vput.
    The adjective “lepý” is quite bookish, its modern comparative “lepější” and superlative “nejlepější” are barely used, but its compound form “velkolepý” (=grandiose/spectacular/awesome) is in common use (even in the comparative or superlative form).

    The word “vatra” exists in both Czech and Slovak and it means “bonfire/balefire”. In Czech it is most likely a Slovak loanword.
     

    papillon

    Senior Member
    Russian (Ukraine)
    Remnants of "lep" exist even in modern-day Russian. Interesting, while the adjective lepyj currently doesn't exist, nelepyj (i.e. non-lepyj, нелепый) is widely used with the meaning of odd, queer, non-fitting. We also have a somewhat archaic, but widely used lepota (лепота) used to characterize an enjoyable, relaxing situation. For example, hanging out on the beach with a bottle of cold beer and nothing to do might be considered lepota.

    As for vatra, the word exists in certain Western dialects of Ukrainian and means fire (as in camp fire). I wonder if this was a borrowing from Slovak?
    Despite it's dialectal origins in Ukrainian, the word became widely known due to a popular brand of cheap cigarets "Vatra", with packs featuring a stylized flame.

    EDIT: just reread werrr's post. In Russan, too, the word velikolepnyj (великолепный) is widely used with the same meaning as in Czech.
     

    OldAvatar

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I understood that. All I asked was some background information on those various theories.
    Which you gave.
    Sorry, I didn't want to be rude. It just looked, from your point of view, like I was going to promote such theories, which, in fact, I don't intend to.

    Best regards
     
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