words with Latin roots

Hello everyone,

My wife is from Poland originally and I am learning Polish. Whenever I hear her talk to her parents I pick up on certain words that sound like they have Latin roots. For example, one day I wanted her father to read something. He said in Polish that he did not have his "okulary". From the context I knew he was referring to his glasses. Clearly this is Latin. So with that being said my questions are as follows:

1. Does "okulary" really come from the Latin oculus (pardon my Latin, I don't know it) or does it somehow come from the English "ocular" which means "having to do with the eyes". Of course the English word comes from Latin.
2. If my hypothesis is correct, what are other words in Polish with Latin roots?
3. If question 2 is correct, how did this come about historically?

Thanks in advance,
drei_lengua
 
  • Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    drei_lengua said:
    Hello everyone,

    My wife is from Poland originally and I am learning Polish. Whenever I hear her talk to her parents I pick up on certain words that sound like they have Latin roots. For example, one day I wanted her father to read something. He said in Polish that he did not have his "okulary". From the context I knew he was referring to his glasses. Clearly this is Latin. So with that being said my questions are as follows:

    1. Does "okulary" really come from the Latin oculus (pardon my Latin, I don't know it) or does it somehow come from the English "ocular" which means "having to do with the eyes". Of course the English word comes from Latin.
    2. If my hypothesis is correct, what are other words in Polish with Latin roots?
    3. If question 2 is correct, how did this come about historically?

    Thanks in advance,
    drei_lengua
    Hello drei_lengua,

    1. The word okulary comes from Latin, I dunno from which word since I couldn't find the etymology but I'm 90 % sure it comes from Latin 'ocularis' - of the eye or 'oculus' - eye. In Polish we also have word okular whose exact counterpart in English is ocular (it's a set of lenses used in cameras, telescopes, etc.).

    2. There are lots of words with Latin roots in Polish, it's hard if not impossible to list them all by a native (similar situation would be in English ;)).

    3. As for this question I'll try to give you the answer later since I have some hunch but I'm not sure and don't want to mislead you.

    Sholud you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to pose them.

    Hope this helps you a little,
    Thomas
     

    omega1112000

    Member
    Polish
    hallo drei_lengua,
    thomas is right, there are lots of words in Polish that have Lathin roots. If it really helps you to learn this language you can always look for Lathin roots in an ethymological dictionary. But I would rather propose you to learn the words and phrases by simply making connotations with other words/phrases in your language. Let's take "OBRAZ" which means a painting/ a picture - you can pronaunce it like /oh! bra zzz.../ and you imagine a painting with your wife in her favourite lingerie. Use your imagination, don't let your memory put any contraints on your process of learning. If you like this idea let me know and I will help you learn more quickly if you wish. Greatings Omega1112000
     

    polaco

    Member
    Poland/polish
    for egzample word kurwa which means prostitute (or to be more precise bitch) derives from latin curva (english - curve, spanish - curva).
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    polaco said:
    for egzample word :warn: kurwa which means prostitute (or to be more precise :warn: bitch) derives from latin curva (english - curve, spanish - curva).
    Are you sure there is a connection?
    Please mark offensive words with exclamation marks.

    Thanks, :)

    Jana

    P.S. And welcome! :)
     

    polaco

    Member
    Poland/polish
    Jana337 said:
    Are you sure there is a connection?
    Please mark offensive words with exclamation marks.

    Thanks, :)

    Jana

    P.S. And welcome! :)
    Yes, there is straight connection. This word came to use in this sense in XVI century. I did not want to insult anyone. It's just funny story about polish. Curva, as far as I know meant in latin more less the same as curve in present english. But polish started using it in the way: the woman who's path turned (curved) to wrong way - word kurwa was used at that time in meaning of english curved (in mental sense).

    greetings
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    polaco said:
    Yes, there is straight connection. This word came to use in this sense in XVI century. I did not want to insult anyone. It's just funny story about polish. Curva, as far as I know meant in latin more less the same as curve in present english. But polish started using it in the way: the woman who's path turned (curved) to wrong way - word kurwa was used at that time in meaning of english curved (in mental sense).

    greetings
    You have not insulted anyone. :)

    We have the same word in Czech (just with a "v" instead of a "w") but I wasn't aware of its etymology. :)

    Jana
     

    polaco

    Member
    Poland/polish
    Jana337 said:
    You have not insulted anyone. :)

    We have the same word in Czech (just with a "v" instead of a "w") but I wasn't aware of its etymology. :)

    Jana
    Yeah, i remember. I've used it once when I was in Prague.

    greetings
     
    Hello!
    Really interesting discussion. I have allways had a vague feeling that this insultive word has something in common with Czech (and maybe also Polish) word "kur" (old expression for "hen"). What seemed to confirm this was the fact that in some of Moravian dialects the diminutive "kurvička" is used for small girl with no insultive undertone whatsover. But I agree its Latin origin is more logical, i really like the why it was adopted into our languages. By the way, the dirty word in question is used (clearly adopted from Slavic area) also in Hungarian and Romanian (here written with "c" - rather funny return to language of Latin origin, isn´t it?:)
     

    martini_

    New Member
    Polska, polszczyzna
    I found this one about k***:

    Wulgaryzm „k….” nieraz był powodem bójki, o czym informują nas chociażby piętnastowieczne akta sądowe (po raz pierwszy poświadczony zapis słowa z 1415 roku), dlatego używanie go było prawnie zakazane: „gdyby mać jego k…ą mianował, w takąż winę skazujemy ji być upadłym”. Starsza postać tego leksemu – *„kurew” – zachowana była jako relikt w wyrażeniu „kurwie macierze syn”, którego znaczenie to „syn niezamężnej matki, syn nieznanego ojca”. Od XVI wieku omawiany tu wulgaryzm staje się nazwą zawodowej prostytutki (por. A. Bańkowski „Etymologiczny słownik języka polskiego”). [Joanna Przyklenk]
     

    polaco

    Member
    Poland/polish
    martini_ said:
    I found this one about k***:

    Wulgaryzm „k….” nieraz był powodem bójki, o czym informują nas chociażby piętnastowieczne akta sądowe (po raz pierwszy poświadczony zapis słowa z 1415 roku), dlatego używanie go było prawnie zakazane: „gdyby mać jego k…ą mianował, w takąż winę skazujemy ji być upadłym”. Starsza postać tego leksemu – *„kurew” – zachowana była jako relikt w wyrażeniu „kurwie macierze syn”, którego znaczenie to „syn niezamężnej matki, syn nieznanego ojca”. Od XVI wieku omawiany tu wulgaryzm staje się nazwą zawodowej prostytutki (por. A. Bańkowski „Etymologiczny słownik języka polskiego”). [Joanna Przyklenk]
    I'll try to translate:
    dirty word "kurwa" very often was the reason for a brawl, as we can read in XV century's brief (the first record of the word dates back to the year 1415) and using it was prohibited by law:" if he calls his mother kurwa, he would be punished". Older version is "kurwie macierze syn" - which means - son of the unmarried woman. Starting from XVI century this word becomes synonime of professional prostitute. (Etymological dictionary of polish language)
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    Maybe your wife could translate "loanwords in Polish" into Polish and Google it.

    The big picture is that the vocabulary is overwhelmingly Polish, with loanwords from Latin, French, Greek, and German. This would describe the situation until about 1990. Since then, there must be a mountain of English words.
    Unlike Czech, Polish has rather few German loanwords . Here is plenty about them: http://www.linguistik-online.de/1_01/Lipczuk.html ("Ryszard Lipczuk earned his doctorate in 1977 in Warsaw with a comparison between German and Polish of the place of number words in the framework of word categories (parts of speech) and earned a professorship in 1986 in Poznan with a study on verbal tautonyms of Latin origin in German and Polish from the perspective of 'Gebrauchstheorie'.") ['Gebrauchstheorie' is a field in 20th century German philosophy]


    Although there are "many" words of *ultimately* Latin origin in Polish in an absolute sense, there aren't in a relative sense. There must be books about the history of the Polish language that go into great detail about loanwords. In fact, I read a discussion about loanwords in Polish once, perhaps in an encyclopedia. The fraction of words from French and Latin will be tiny and possibly the Latin will be limited to religious vocabulary.

    The non-Slavic words will almost all be nouns, and of fairly recent advent. Eyeglasses, for example, are an invention, albeit over 500 years old. Very few words of basic vocabulary (grass, house, run, finger, etc.) will be non-Polish. Especially so in the case of verbs. Polish did borrow the German verb for 'sail' a boat.
     

    Bartold

    Banned
    Polska - Polish
    DaleC said:
    Although there are "many" words of *ultimately* Latin origin in Polish in an absolute sense, there aren't in a relative sense. There must be books about the history of the Polish language that go into great detail about loanwords.
    There are two examples of such books. They're of course in Polish, so it can be difficult to use it for non-Polish speake
    http://swo.pwn.pl/
    http://www.slownik-online.pl/index.php

    DaleC said:
    In fact, I read a discussion about loanwords in Polish once, perhaps in an encyclopedia. The fraction of words from French and Latin will be tiny and possibly the Latin will be limited to religious vocabulary.
    There are many Latin borrowings in Polish and they aren't limited to religious vocabulary...

    Examples of some borrowings from other languages into Polish:
    • Russian (czajnik = a kettle, łagier = a Soviet concentration camp),
    • French (abordaż = a boarding operation, bagietka = French bread, baguette, bandaż = a bandage, fryzjer = a hairdresser/barber),
    • Italian (fontanna = a fountain, karczoch = an artichoke, pianino = a piano, poczta = post office),
    • German (burmistrz = a mayor, cecha = a feature, kartofel = a potatoe, rynek = market, śluza = a floodgate),
    • Latin (atrament = ink, centrum = centre, historia = history, insurekcja = uprising/insurrection, lektura = reading matter, termin = fix date/term),
    • Belarussian (morda = mug/muzzle, posag = dowry),
    • Ukrainian (czereśnia = a cherry, hultaj = a scamp, krynica = a fount, portki = trousers, wiedźma = a witch),
    • Czech (hańba = dishonour, robot = a robot, kościół = a church),
    • Hungarian (orszak = a retinue, szałas = a schack/shelter),
    • Turkey (atłas = atlas, chałwa = halvah, dywan = a carpet, dzida = a spear, haracz = a tribute, kawa = coffee, torba = a bag).
    DaleC said:
    The non-Slavic words will almost all be nouns, and of fairly recent advent. Eyeglasses, for example, are an invention, albeit over 500 years old. Very few words of basic vocabulary (grass, house, run, finger, etc.) will be non-Polish. Especially so in the case of verbs. Polish did borrow the German verb for 'sail' a boat.
    The oldest borrowings are from Latin and Czech and it occured 1000 years ago... Then there were some borrowings from French, Hungarian and Turkey. During partitions in 19th century there were many borrowings from German and Russian. At present, we've got a huge amount of English word like weekend, komputer, HR, manager/menadżer, biznes, account manager...
     

    gumish

    New Member
    Poland, Polish
    for egzample word kurwa which means prostitute (or to be more precise bitch) derives from latin curva (english - curve, spanish - curva).
    The word :warn: kurwa comes from the same stem word as English :warn: whore or German :warn: Hure. The variety between h, wh or hv and k, qu is quite typical. Compare cornus (correct me if I am wrong - not that strong at all in Latin) and horn. The kurwa actually consists of the stem kur and the ending -ew which denoted feminine and in time changed into -wa. Don't know if there is any connection with Latin curva. Even if there is such it definitely is not a direct one. Among many possible explanations I would go for two: either this is an old IE (IndoEuropean) stem word or it is Germanic stem word and an early loan into the Slavic. My guess is also it has no direct linkage to Slavic kur stem - the name of a bird species.
     
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