Twin

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dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
I'm looking for languages for which the word twin doesn't have the number two as a root. Meaning word for twin in your languages that has nothing to do with number two.
 
  • Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I think that Latin and the Romance languages qualify.

    In Portuguese:

    two: dois (m), duas (f)
    twin: gémeo/gêmeo (m), gémea/gêmea (f)

    In French:

    two: deux
    twin: jumeau (m), jumelle (f)
     

    federicoft

    Senior Member
    Italian
    In Italian, not differently from other Romance languages obviously:

    two - due
    twin - gemello

    Gemello comes from Latin geminus, which means 'identical'.
     

    Dr. Quizá

    Senior Member
    Spain - Western Andalusian Spanish.
    In Spanish we have two words: "Gemelos" and "mellizos". Both have the same meaning although usually "gemelos" are used for identical twins and "mellizos" for the non-identical ones. Also, they have the same root, so if one in not related to two ("dos") neither is the other.
     

    jana.bo99

    Senior Member
    Cro, Slo
    Hi dihydrogen monoxide,

    You could write it in Croatian:

    Two - dva
    Twin - blizanci.

    Slovenian:

    Two - dve (only two): two - dva (normally)
    Twin - dvojćka

    German:

    Two - zwei
    Twin - Zwillinge (die Zwillinge)
     

    OldAvatar

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I think that Latin and the Romance languages qualify.
    Not available for Romanian. In Romanian it is only gemeni, no matter the number of them. From Latin gemini.

    Of course, modern Romanian has tripleţi, cvadrupleţi etc. for defining the number of twins, but these are loanwords.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Very interesting

    Hungarian: iker [now no relation with two, but originally 1000 years ago there was, Turkish iki, eki]
     
    In Greek:

    «Δίδυμος, -μη, -μο» ['ðiðimos] (masc.), ['ðiðimi] (fem.), ['ðiðimo] (neut.) (sing.) --> twin
    «Δίδυμοι, -μες, μα» ['ðiðimi] (masc.) ['ðiðimes] (fem.), ['ðiðima] (neut.) (pl.) --> twins
    The Constellation Gemini, is «Δίδυμοι» ['ðiðimi].

    Adj. «δίδυμος» ['ðiðimos] < Classical «δίδυμος» dídumŏs & poetic «διδυμάων» dĭdŭmáōn < compound, word-forming element meaning two, twice, double, «δί-» dí-, from numeral «δύο» dúŏ --> two (PIE *dwo-, two) + thematic form of «δύο», «δυ-» du- + productive suffix «-μος, -μη, -μον» -mŏs (masc.), -mē (fem.), - mŏn (neut.)
     

    AquisM

    Senior Member
    English/Cantonese
    Mmm... Not sure how Chinese would be viewed here, since in Chinese twins are associated with the idea of pair, which I supposed is related to two, but not exactly. Anyway you decide whether or not it fits.

    二 (Mandarin: er; Cantonese: yi) - two
    两 (Mandain: liang; Cantonese: loeng) - two (measure word - we would count with 二 but say 两杯水 - two cups of water)

    双胞胎 (Mandarin: shuang bao tai; Cantonese: soeng baau toi) - twins (双 means pair)
    孖生仔 (Cantonese: maa saang zai - dialectal) - twins (孖 is a dialectal word for pair)
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Catalan differs here from the rest of the Romance languages by not using a word derived from GEMELLU, but the word bessó (bessons in the plural). For a Catalan speaker, it is not linguistically related to the word 'two' (which is dos/dues), but the two theories about the origin of the word point towards it: a Latin form *bissone, from bis 'twice', and a pre-Roman form *bikione/bekione, based on either Basque 'two' or an Indo-European word for 'pair, couple'.
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    Mmm... Not sure how Chinese would be viewed here, since in Chinese twins are associated with the idea of pair, which I supposed is related to two, but not exactly. Anyway you decide whether or not it fits.

    双胞胎 (Mandarin: shuang bao tai; Cantonese: soeng baau toi) - twins (双 means pair)
    孖生仔 (Cantonese: maa saang zai - dialectal) - twins (孖 is a dialectal word for pair)
    Another formal word in Chinese is 孪生子 (孿生子). 孪 itself contains the meaning of "twin".
     

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Japanese terms are simply associated with numbers such as one, two, three...

    一人っ子hitorikko: only child (hitori=one person, kko=child)
    双子futago: twin (futa=two, go=child)
    三つ子mitsugo: triplet (mitsu=three)
    四つ子yotsugo: quadruplet (yotsu=four)

    P.S
    I have come up with another translation for it: 双生児(sou-sei-ji, an infant born together): sou means a pair, sei means to be born and ji means an infant.
     

    Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    双胞胎 (Mandarin: shuang bao tai; Cantonese: soeng baau toi) - twins (双 means pair)
    I would like to add, in case somebody don't know, that 雙胞胎 can be also the name of a food in Taiwan.
    A 雙胞胎 is two round-shaped bread sticking together; that's why it's called 雙胞胎。
    So next time, don't be freaked out and give a you-are-a-barbarian look if someone says "我們去吃雙胞胎吧!"
     

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I should add something to my original post: the pronunciation of 双生児(twin) and ソーセージ(sausage) is same in Japanese(even in English), it sounds a bit funny.
     

    ilocas2

    Banned
    Czech
    the pronunciation of 双生児(twin) and ソーセージ(sausage) is same in Japanese(even in English), it sounds a bit funny.
    In Czech párek means pair (diminutive) and sausage
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Hungarian: iker [now no relation with two, but originally 1000 years ago there was, Turkish iki, eki]
    Is it related to Spanish name Iker?
    No, the Spanish name Iker is actually Basque (not a "natural" name, but one created by Basque writer and nationalist Sabino Arana).
    I don't know if it means anything in Basque.
    The Hungarian word "iker" is a loanword from an old Turkic language.

    .

    The Scottish Gaelic word for "twin" is "leth-aon", which literally means "half-one". :)
    Welsh "gefell" is borrowed from Latin gemellus.
     
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