sunflower

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pacegiulia

Senior Member
English - England
Hello everyone,

How do you say sunflower in your language?

In English (and, I think, other Germanic languages), sunflower comes from the words "sun" and "flower".

Whereas in Romance languages, it comes from the words "(to) turn" and "sun".

For example, in Italian, it is girasole (m) ("girare" = "to turn", "sole" = "sun").
In French, it is tournesol (m).

Thank you everyone in advance! :)
 
  • LeBro

    Member
    Turkish
    Interestingly, in Turkish we have two equivalents, one of which has to to do with the "sun" and the other with the "moon":

    Ayçiçeği: Lit. Moon flower

    Günebakan: Lit. That which looks at the sun, hence the name (following/turning its face towards the sun). (There are some other equivalents all of which contain "gün"/"day; sun")

    Just out of curiosity, I've made a quick research on why there are two contradicting versions. It seems that the one which has to do with the sun is more prevalent among the folks (including the other Turkic languages) and older, but no convincing info on the source of "ayçiçeği".
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Whereas in Romance languages, it comes from the words "(to) turn" and "sun".

    For example, in Italian, it is girasole (m) ("girare" = "to turn", "sole" = "sun").
    In French, it is tournesol (m).
    That's right. Both in Catalan and Spanish we've got "turn (towards the) sun" or "look (at the) sun".

    Catalan: gira-sol (or, less commonly, tornassol and mira-sol)
    Spanish: girasol (or, less commonly, tornasol and mirasol)

    Tornassol is rather used though for the turnsole plant or the litmus.
     
    Greek has:

    (1) «Ηλιολούλουδο» [i.ʎɔˈlu.lu.ðɔ] (neut.) --> sunflower, which is the colloquial name of the plant, a compound = masc. noun «ήλιος» [ˈi.li.ɔs] or dialectal [ˈi.ʎɔs] (masc.) --> sun < Classical masc. noun «ἥλιος» hḗliŏs --> sun (PIE *seh₂u-el- sun, old IE word retained in many languages cf Skt. स्वर् (svar), Lith. saulė, Proto-Germanic *sōwul, Lat. sōl, Proto-Slavic *sъlnьce etc.) + MoGr colloquial name of flower «λουλούδι» [luˈlu.ði] (neut.) with unknown etymology (possibly from a substrate source that gave the Classical Gr. «λειρίον» lei̯ríŏn, lilium flower > MoGr «λουλούδι», Proto-Albanian *lulā, flower).

    (2) «Ηλίανθος» [iˈli.an.θɔs] (masc.) --> sunflower; it's the ancient/Katharevousa/scientific name of the plant, again a compound = masc. noun «ήλιος» (see earlier) + neut. noun «άνθος» [ˈan.θɔs] --> flower, blossom < Classical neut. noun «ἄνθος» ắntʰŏs.

    (3) In some regions it's «ηλιοτρόπιο» [i.ʎɔˈtrɔ.pi.ɔ] (neut.) --> lit. (thing) turning-to-the-sun < Classical neut. noun «ἡλιοτρόπιον» hēlĭŏtrópiŏn, a compound = masc. noun «ἥλιος» (see earlier) + fem. noun «τροπή» trŏpḗ --> turning, o-grade of v. «τρέπω» trépō --> to turn (PIE *trep-/*trp- to turn cf Skt. त्रपते (trapate), to be ashamed, Hitt. terepp- to plough).
     

    pacegiulia

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you everyone for your replies! :)
    It is interesting that so far, "sun" is included in the literal translation for all the languages (except for "ayçiçeği", but that seems to be less common).
    I wonder if there are any languages whose word for sunflower does not contain "sun" at all?
     
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