thauma-, entamer, 'ntamato

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by aefrizzo, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. aefrizzo

    aefrizzo Senior Member

    Palermo, Italia
    Hello, people.
    In Sicily we define as 'ntamato/a', (past participle), someone who is unable to properly react to everyday life inputs and looks always stunned, astonished, stupefied :confused:. According to a current etymology, it comes from the French verb 'entamer' (start on, cut into, shake). A Greek friend (no linguistic skill) nevertheless suggests a possible, more reliable tie with the Greek root "thauma-" (wonder, miracle). Any comment or hint?
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  2. Barsac Senior Member

    region of Bordeaux
    french - français
    I would prefer the Greek root "thauma-".
  3. sotos Senior Member

    The initial "n" seems to be the greco-roman preposition εν/in and the suffix -ato may also be the italian suffix for participles or the Gr. productive suff. -άτος. If the root is the thauma, the whole word seems to mean "in-miracled". An alternative assumption could be Gr. "θάμβος" (amazement,*q%3Aentry+group%3D3%3Aentry%3Dqa%2Fmbos1 ). In new Gr. there is the w. ekthambos meaning "stunned, amazed, etc as if from a strong blinding light". I'm not aware of a w. "enthambos", but it could exist or have existed with the same meaning.

    I'm not sure but the two words thauma and thambos might be cognates, connected with the sense of "vision, light". (Consider the mir-acle).
  4. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Why on earth would we come up with a Greek etymology when there's "entamer" there? Meaning fits, linguistically it works, why go around trying to find a Greek root? :confused:
  5. aefrizzo

    aefrizzo Senior Member

    Palermo, Italia
    Hello, Ireney.
    Welcome in this thread,:).
    My first (silly) answer would be: because we have time and curiosity. Now seriously:
    Have a look, please at the TLF (Trésor de la Langue Fr.). Entamer: only the meanings I-A-4a,4b,4c may compare to 'ntamato, nevertheless they lack the Meduse effect already emphasized by Sotos, as in mir-acle.
    BTW, in the Thread: 'ntamato, entamé, a usually dependable francophone contributor does not seem to thoroughly agree with you. Best regards.
  6. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    The oldest attested meaning of entamer is something like infinged, compromised (in its/one's integrity) (->here). That fits very well.
  7. aefrizzo

    aefrizzo Senior Member

    Palermo, Italia
    Thank you, Berndf, for the link: it had been already reported by Matoupaschat in the thread 'ntamato, entamé , see my post #5. It could translate just by dérangé, handicappé ? I have no serious evidence to keep on arguing:eek:. I feel unable nevertheless to make you share the feeling of médusé, miraclé etc, we usually convey through the word 'ntamato and absent in infinged, compromised.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2013
  8. onoda New Member


    In italian we have also contaminare,con-taminare,if you replace con- with in- you get the meaning,you can read here

    So inside + to soil (from a verb tamino (?) etc etc)

    You take care,this ntamato is also used outside Sicily.The meaning is a little bit larger,it can means also stunned,maggoty,or someone who has difficulty in understanding,to use a figurative example ,it is like someone who has sawdust or rust in the brain.
    To enlarge the discussion to others potentials users,you let me remember that also in English language we have word like contaminate or like intaminated,that looks similar but it has another meaning ,un+con+taminated.:)

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