Word coincidence

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  • Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Swedish innan "before", originally a derivative of i "in" and cognate with e.g. Icelandic innan "from inside".

    Finnish ennen "before", from the stem *ente-, as seen in ensin "first", ennustaa "to predict, forecast", etc.

    ---

    Finnish *ente- "before, etc." (see above), cognate with e.g. Estonian enne "before"

    Latin ante "before, in front of", related to Greek antí "against", and probably further to Icelandic enni "forehead" etc. (the original meaning having been ~"at the forehead of")
     
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    franknagy

    Senior Member
    I know that Sanskrit has had a strong influence in the Indonesian area so it's likely not a coincidence but at least Wiktionary doesn't mention it in the etymology of barat:

    Hindi (and mutatis mutandis other Indian languages): भारत bhārat "India"
    Malay (and mm other Malayo-Polynesian languages): barat "west" (India is located to the west of these languages)
    Barát in Hungarian:
    1) monk
    2) friend
    Both meanings come from the Slavic brat = brother.
    Japanese: 婆(baba) - grandma
    vs
    Russian: баба - grandma
    Polish: baba - grandma
    Hungarian: baba= Eng. baby.
     
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    Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    English: pan- (e.g. pansexual) all
    Chinese: 泛 (fan4) < Old Chinese: pʰɨɐmH
    Korean: 범 ([pøm] < Old Chinese: pʰɨɐmH
    Japanese: 汎(はん)(han) < Old Chinese: pʰɨɐmH
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    In a different thread, Sardokan1.0 brought up an example that I think is worth including on this thread:

    Old English sprecan (stem sprec-) "speak"; from Germanic *sprek-, perhaps cognate with e.g. Lithuanian spragėti "sizzle, crackle"

    Sardinian ispricare (stem ispric-) "action of talking, moving the mouth"; from Latin explicare "unfold, explain" (Sardinian also has the variant isplicare, which has not undergone the l>r shift)
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    A thread in the EHL forum made me think of two words I had always thought that came from the same root:

    Ancient Greek Ζεύς Zeús, Latin Deus and many other IE branches, from PIE *dyḗws "sky, god"
    Ancient Greek θεός theós "God", from... well too complicated, from somewhere else
     

    Rearquhar

    New Member
    English -- Standard
    Does anyone know if there is any connection between Swedish gosse (a possible etymology being French gosse, eventually derived from PIE ǵʰh₂éns according to Wikitionary and having the sense of goose, hence foolish fellow) and Hiberno-English gossoon (from Old French through Irish), boy, lad? Wikitionary suggests that there is no connection, gossoon coming from garcon (apologies I do not have c-cedille on this keyboard) and from Frankish wrakjo (lacking circumflex on the o), servant.

    Assuming this is correct, gosse and gossoon may well be an example of coincidence.
     

    aum34

    Member
    Spanish & Catalan- Spain
    English much = mucho/a Spanish

    English Much:

    much (adj.)
    c. 1200, worn down by loss of unaccented last syllable from Middle English muchel "large, much," from Old English micel "great in amount or extent," from Proto-Germanic *mekilaz, from PIE root *meg- "great." As a noun and an adverb, from c. 1200. For vowel evolution, see bury.

    Online Etymology Dictionary

    Spanish Mucho

    From lat. Multus -LT- > -CH- Mucho

    Like: Cultellus > Cuchillo (Knife)
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Sicilian ccattà and Japanese katta (I bought).
    gilatu ccattà = jerāto katta (ジェラート買った) => I bought some ice cream
    [ʤi'laːtu kkat'ta] = [ʥeraːto katta]
    Sicilian: ccattà < accattài (I bought), verb accattari < ad captare (Latin, through Norman acatar, see French acheter)
    Japanese: katta (bought) past form of kau (to buy)
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    English shop (verb), pronounced [ʃɔp], from the noun shop meaning ”store”, Germanic *skopp-.
    Norwegian kjøpe ”buy”, pronounced [ʃøpǝ], from Germanic *kaup- (cf. Icelandic kaup ”trade”).
     

    Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    English vs Sardinian

    • To Fall
    • Falare = to descend; from Latin "Devallare or Devalare" = to descend. Literally "to descend to valley"; The verb Falare in Sardinian it's used also as synonymous of "Rùere" = to Fall
    • Foreign
    • Fora 'e regnu = abroad; Contracted form of "Fora de Regnu" = out of kingdom
    • To Jump
    • Jumpare or Jampare = to cross a river, to cross a road, to jump the queue; The verb "to jump" in Sardinian it's usually translated as "Brincare"
    • To Achieve
    • Acchipire = same meaning of English; Pronounce "Akkipire" (the bold marks the accent)
    • Bump
    • Tumbu, Tzumbu = same meaning; The verb "to bump" translates as "Attumbare or Atzumbare"; If we try to guess the origin from Latin, it should be something like "Ad Tumbare", from Tumba = Tomb (in Sardinian "Tumba"); meant as mound / elevation on a flat surface; and what is a bump? It's a mound, an elevation on a flat surface.
    • To Trample
    • Trampistare = same meaning; From Latin "Intra(m) + Pistare" : Intra = within, between (the feet); Pistare = to tread on; The verb it's also a synonymous of Trampare = To trick, to swindle; From "Trampa" = trick
    • Scam
    • Iscampullitta = same meaning; From the Sardinian "iscàmpulu" = scrap, remains, worthless thing
    • Pool, Puddle
    • Paùle = swamp; From late Latin "Padus-Padulis" = swamp; Accusative : padulem -> padule -> paùle
    • Flurry = whirl
    • Furriare = throw away something making it whirl in the air; Furriare it's also a synonymous of "to turn"
     
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    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    English vs Sardinian

    • Foreign
    • Fora 'e regnu = abroad; Contracted form of "Fora de Regnu" = out of kingdom
    It seems likely that fora and the first syllable of Eng. foreign are of the same origin (foreign < Latin foraneus "on the outside, exterior" < Lat. foris "door"; cf. Spanish fuera "outside (of)", etc.).

    Acchipire = same meaning of English; Pronounce "Akkipire" (the bold marks the accent)
    Good one, except that the aC- part is probably of the same origin in both (Eng. achieve < Latin ad- "to" + cap- "head", whereas acchipire seems to be from Lat. accipere "receive, accept (etc.)", from ad- + capere "to take").
     

    Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    English vs Sardinian

    - Crisp (crunchy) - Crispu (biting, thorny, crackling)

    Examples :
    Su frittu est crispu - The cold is biting
    Su rùu est crispu - The blackberry bush is thorny
    Su fogu est crispu - The fire is crackling


    - To Crack - Craccare (to tread on)
    ; Derived from the Sardinian noun "Craccas" (heavy shoes) - from Latin "Caligas" ; after two millennia of evolution the noun changed from Caligas -> Calgas -> Cargas - Cragas -> Craccas.

    - The Trots (slang form for diarrhoea) - Troddiare (to fart)


    - Mucky (dirty) - Mucconosu (snotty) - derived from Muccu (Latin "Muccus")

    - Muck (organic trash) Mugore (mould) - from Latin "Mucor-Mucoris" (mould) Accusative "Mucorem" -> Mucore -> Mugore


    - Muzzle
    (animal snout) Muzzighile (snout, face); the same word is present also in Corsican language as "Muccighile"

     

    citrustree

    Member
    Japanese
    I'm not sure if this one has already been mentioned by an earlier post but I think it is really a coincidence.

    To "owe" (English verb) and "負う" (Japanese verb pronounced (almost) the same as English "owe") share the same (or a very similar) meaning, too.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    Actually "false cognates" are two words which have similar appearance and meaning and people may think of them as cognates. The topic is basically the same as this thread, just with the difference that this also includes remote coincidences (like between Spanish and Japanese) that nobody would ever mistake as cognates.

    As for what Franknagy is doing, I would class them as "false friends", similar appearance and different meaning. Although they are really really far-fetched, to be honest.
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    As it has been said in #357 for Portuguese: ne (Romance languages) and ね (Japanese), both expressing a tag question, meaning "isn't it? isn't it right? isn't it so?).
    Piedmontese, Lombard: written nè, n'è or neh, contraction of non è (not is), Latin non est.
    Portuguese: written , contraction of não é (not is), Latin non est.
    See also the French expression n'est-ce pas (with a mandatory subject pronoun, ce, and a double negation adverb, pas) or the Italian nevvero, contraction of non è vero (not is true).

    It's good, isn't it?
    Bun,
    ? (Piedmontese)
    Bom, ? (Portuguese)
    美味しい、(です)? (Japanese)
    C'est bon, n'est-ce pas? (French)
    Buono, nevvero? (Italian)
     

    citrustree

    Member
    Japanese
    Arabic: second person masculine pronoun "anta" (أنت)
    Japanese: second person pronoun "anta"

    The Arabic "anta" is a standard word whereas the Japanese "anta" sounds casual, but they are both second person pronouns.
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Old English sceoppa "booth", German Schuppen "shed", from Germanic *skopp-/skupp-

    Finnish koppi "booth, cubicle, shed (etc.)", apparently a derivative of koppa "hollow, basket (etc.)"

    (the initial s- of the Germanic word would be expected to drop out in Finnish, as it has in e.g. kaappi "cabinet, closet", from the same source as e.g. Norwegian skap "cabinet")

    I'm not sure that F. koppi / Gmc. *skopp- is a pure coinidence: there may at least have been some semantic contamination between the two.

    By the way:

    English vs Sardinian

    - Crisp (crunchy) - Crispu (biting, thorny, crackling)

    [...]

    - Muzzle (animal snout) Muzzighile (snout, face); the same word is present also in Corsican language as "Muccighile"
    I don't know the etymology of these Sardinian words, but I really wonder if they have no connection to the corresponding English words.

    English crisp is from Latin crispus "curled", and muzzle is apparently from Medieval Latin mūsum "snout", via French. Both Latin words look like very good candidates for being the originals of the Sardinian words above.
     
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    Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    I don't know the etymology of these Sardinian words, but I really wonder if they have no connection to the corresponding English words.

    English crisp is from Latin crispus "curled", and muzzle is apparently from Medieval Latin mūsum "snout", via French. Both Latin words look like very good candidates for being the originals of the Sardinian words above.
    More than from French which never had contacts with Sardinian language they could be derived directly from Latin, in a case of convergent evolution; the "LE" ending makes them sound like adjectives derived from Musum

    musum -> adjective : musilis (musilem) -> hypothetical further adjective: musicilis (musicilem) -> pronounced in the Classical way : musikilem -> musikile -> musighile -> mutzighile (actual Sardinian pronounce)

    other similar examples from Sardinian language :

    murru (snout) -> murrighile (snout)
    fogu (fire) -> foghile (fireplace)
    janna (door) -> jannile (threshold)
    (b)acca (cow) -> (b)acchìle (cow shed)


    Many surprising cases of convergent evolution are present between Romanian and northern Sardinian (Logudorese), there are many words and evolutive solutions present only in these two Romance languages

    Limba - Limba (language, tongue)
    Apa - Abba (water)
    Iapa - Ebba (female horse)
    Acum - Como (now)
    A Fura - Furare, A Furare (to steal)
    Cucuveaua - Cuccumiàu* (owl) *I think that the origin is onomatopoeic, because the bird's verse sounds like Cuccumiàu Cuccumiàu!

    etc.etc.
     
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    Dymn

    Senior Member
    • Arabic زَيْت zayt "oil"
      • Portuguese azeite
      • Galician aceite
      • Spanish aceite
    • Latin acetum "vinegar" (from acere "to be sour", from the same PIE source as acute)
      • Italian aceto
      • German Essig
      • Polish ocet
      • etc.

    • English sock and German Socke, all other Germanic languages, as well as Finnish, Estonian and Latvian (from Latin soccus "slipper").
    • Russian носок nosok "sock" (from носить nosit' "to wear" + -ок -ok (diminutive))
    • English lake, German Lache "pool, puddle"
    • Latin lacus (Pt, Sp & It lago, Cat llac, Fr lac), Scottish Gaelic loch
     
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    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The word for "dog" in Mbabaram (an Australian aboriginal language) is "dog". (Wikipedia)
    A thread in the EHL forum made me think of two words I had always thought that came from the same root:

    Ancient Greek Ζεύς Zeús, Latin Deus and many other IE branches, from PIE *dyḗws "sky, god"
    Ancient Greek θεός theós "God", from... well too complicated, from somewhere else
    There's also Nahuatl teotl (root teo-), also "god" but unrelated to either.

    Sumerian sipad = English shepherd.

    Basque ni -- first-person singular absolutive pronoun ("me"; "I" with intransitive verbs)
    Swahili ni- -- first-person singular verb prefix

    French aucun(e) -- no (adj.), none
    Swahili hakuna -- there is no ...

    (I knew of the Disney song Hakuna matata long before I learned any Swahili, and had originally guessed - quite wrongly, as it turns out - that hakuna might be a borrowing of French aucune.)

    Akkadian gerru "military campaign, expeditionary force" (a secondary meaning of a noun whose primary meaning is "road, path")
    French guerre "war"

    Akkadian in(a), "in" (usually ina, but sometimes in in literary use, which may indicate an archaic form)
    Latin in, English in, etc.

    Akkadian līpu, "fat"
    Greek λῐ́πος (lípos, "fat")

    Akkadian šī, "she, that (f.)"
    English she

    Akkadian ugāru, "meadow, field"
    Latin ager "field", English acre

    Akkadian ūsu, "direction, guidance, custom"
    Latin ūsus, "use, habit, usage, custom"

    Of course for some of these there's always the possibility, however remote, of a very early borrowing. I don't know the Akkadian etymologies.

    The root of the verb "to be" in Manchu is bi (pronounced /bi/). The root by itself is used as a copula ("is"/"are"), and Manchu verb roots can also be used as imperatives.

    The Etruscan word for "god" was ais, plural aisar.
    The Old Norse word for "god" was áss, plural æsir.

    The informal English expression oh-so means "very".
    The Basque word oso means "very".
     
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    Kotlas

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    In a number of Slavic languages, "rana" means a wound while in some Romance languages (Italian, Spanish), "rana" is a frog.

    Compare the German noun Gift (poison) and the English gift (a present, a special ability, natural talent) and also the Dutch gift (act of giving).
     
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    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Celtic *kagio- is commonly reconstructed as meaning "enclosure" (its reflexes include Welsh cae "hedge, field, enclosure", Breton quae "hedge, enclosure", etc.)

    Eng. cage < French cage < Latin cavea "hollow"

    ---

    - English from

    - Swedish writing sometimes has the abbreviation fr o m (från och med) = "from, starting at (a point in time)".

    This is not a pure coincidence, because the fr- part of the Swedish phrase (= från) is cognate with the fr- of English from; however, the o m in the Swedish phrase is unrelated to the corresponding part of from.
     
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    Romanian Eagle

    New Member
    Romanian-Bucovina
    English: Cost (a little high pitched all around the word)
    Romanian: Cost (lower pitched, o is longer, and c,s and t are pronounced with an extra letter backing them up, a low pitched "a" with the tone being warm)
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    German Weiche (pronounced [vaiçə]) "switch / points" (on a railway), possibly from weichen "to yield"

    Finnish vaihde (pronounced [vaiçde]), same meaning, from the verb vaihtaa "switch, exchange", with many Finno-Permic cognates (e.g. Estonian vahetada "to exchange")
     
    Classical Greek πόσις pósis (masc.), lord of the house, husband, consort (PIE *poti- lord of the house cf Skt. पति (pati), ruler)
    English boss < Dutch baas, master (of obscure origin).

    Classical Greek adj. μινύθες mĭnútʰĕs (neut.), (adj.) minute, chopped small, which as a nominalized adj. described the small wooden or clay tablet with the food list during official parties (PIE *mi-n(e)-u- to lessen, diminish cf Lat. minuere, to diminish)
    English/French menu < Latin minutus < Latin v. minuere (couldn't establish if the two developed independently from each other i.e. whether the French knew of the pre-existing Greek word, or not).

    Classical Greek ἀμείβω ăme̯íbō, to pass, cross, enter, dislodge (of unknown etymology)
    English move < Latin movēre (PIE *meu̯e- to move, drive cf Skt. मीवति (mīvati), to move, push)
     
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