Word Family - Mead

March theme: Bees 🐝


mulch, marmalade, Melissa, mead, amethyst, methane

Full Text

  • Unknown source
    • Proto-Indo-European *mélit honey [1]
      • Albanian mjaltë honey
      • Anatolian
        • Hittite 𒈪𒇷𒀉 mi-li-it honey
      • Armenian մեղր mełr honey
        • Armenian մեղու mełu bee
      • Celtic *meli honey
        • Brythonic
          • Welsh mêl honey
        • Old Irish mil
          • Irish mil honey
        • Celtic *melissis honey-like
          • Old Irish milis
            • Irish milis sweet
      • Germanic *mili honey
        • East Germanic
          • Gothic 𐌼𐌹𐌻𐌹𐌸 miliþ honey
        • West Germanic
          • Old English mele honey
        • Germanic *milidawwaz mildew, honeydew
          • West Germanic
            • Old English mildēaw
              • English mildew
            • Old High German militou
              • German Mehltau mildew
        • Germanic *miliskaz honey-ish, honeyed
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse
              • Icelandic milska
          • West Germanic
            • Old English milisc mellow, mild, sweet
              • English mulch
      • Hellenic
        • Mycenaean Greek 𐀕𐀪 me-ri honey
        • Classical Greek μέλῐ méli honey, anything sweet
          • Greek μέλι méli honey
          • Hawaiʻian meli honey [2]
          • Classical Greek ὑδρόμελι hudrómeli mead, honey diluted in water, mead before fermentation
            • Latin hydromel(i) mead
              • French hydromel mead
              • Italian idromele mead
          • Classical Greek μελίμηλον melímēlon a kind of apple, a drink made from this kind of apple lit. "honey-apple"
            • Latin melimēlum sweet apple
              • Portuguese marmelo quince
                • Portuguese marmelada quince jam
                  • French marmelade marmelade
                    • English marmalade
      • Italic
        • Latin mel honey, sweetness
          • Sardinian mele honey
          • Eastern Romance
            • Romanian miere honey
          • Western Romance
            • French miel honey
            • Italian miele honey, sweetness
            • Spanish miel honey
              • Spanish aguamiel mead
          • Latin mellifluus flowing with honey, mellifluous
            • English mellifluous
            • Italian mellifluo sugary, honeyed, mellifluous
      • Proto-Indo-European *melítih₂ bee
        • Albanian bletë bee
        • Hellenic
          • Classical Greek μέλισσᾰ mélissa
            • Greek μέλισσα mélissa bee
            • Classical Greek Μέλισσᾰ Mélissa [3]
              • Latin Melissa
                • English Melissa
    • Proto-Indo-European *médʰu mead, honey [1]
      • Balto-Slavic *medus
        • East Baltic
          • Lithuanian medus honey
        • West Baltic
          • Old Prussian meddo honey
        • Slavic *mȇdъ honey, mead
          • East Slavic
            • Russian мёд mjod honey, mead
          • South Slavic
            • Serbo-Croatian ме̑д mȇd honey
            • South Slavic
              • Serbo-Croatian медовина medovina mead
          • West Slavic
            • Polish miód honey
          • Romanian mied mead
          • Slavic *medvě̀dь honey-eater, bear (euphemism) [4]
            • East Slavic медвѣдь medvědĭ bear
              • Russian медве́дь medvédʹ bear
            • South Slavic
              • Serbo-Croatian мѐдвед mèdved bear
            • West Slavic
              • Czech medvěd bear
              • Polish niedźwiedź bear
      • Celtic *medu mead
        • Brythonic
          • Welsh medd mead [5]
        • Old Irish mid
          • Irish miodh mead, metheglin
        • Gaulish medu
      • Germanic *meduz
        • East Germanic
          • Gothic médo mead
          • Lithuanian midus mead
        • North Germanic
          • Old Norse mjǫðr honey, mead
            • Danish mjød mead
            • Icelandic mjöður mead, beer
        • West Germanic
          • Old English medu mead
            • English mead
          • Old High German metu
            • German Met mead
      • Hellenic *métʰu
        • Classical Greek μέθυ méthu wine
          • Classical Greek ᾰ̓μέθῠστος améthustos not drunk, sober, not intoxicating, a remedy for drunkenness, an amethyst
            • Greek αμέθυστος améthystos sober, amethyst
            • Latin amethystus amethyst
              • Western Romance
                • French améthyste amethyst
                  • English amethyst
                • Italian ametista amethyst
                • Spanish amatista amethyst
          • French méthylène methylene [6]
            • English methylene
              • English methyl
                • English methane
                  • English methanol
      • Indo-Iranian *mádʰu honey, wine
        • Indo-Aryan *mádʰu
          • Sanskrit 𑀫𑀥𑀼 mádhu honey
            • Magadhi
              • Bengali মউ mu
            • Maharashtri
              • Marathi मध madh honey
            • Sauraseni
              • Madhya Sauraseni
                • Hindi मध madhu honey
              • Pahari
                • Nepali मह maha honey
              • Western Sauraseni
                • Romani mod
            • Telugu మధువు madhuvu honey, nectar, wine, springtime
            • Sanskrit मधुर madhura sweet, delicious, charming, mellifluous, sweetness, syrup
              • Sauraseni
                • Madhya Sauraseni
                  • Hindi मधर madhur sweet, melodious, pleasant
              • English madhura
            • Sanskrit 𑀫𑀥𑀫𑀓𑁆𑀱𑀺𑀓𑀸 mádhu-makṣikā bee lit. "honey-fly"
              • Magadhi
                • Bengali মৌমাছি moumachi bee
              • Maharashtri
                • Marathi मधमाशी madhmāśī bee
              • Sauraseni
                • Madhya Sauraseni
                  • Hindi मधमक्खी madhumakkhī bee
                • Pahari
                  • Punjabi ਮਧੁ ਮਕ੍ਖੀ madhumakkhī bee
            • Sanskrit 𑀫𑀥𑀓𑀭 madhukara
              • Sauraseni 𑀫𑀳𑀼𑀅𑀭 mahuara
                • Pahari
                  • Nepali मौरी maurī bee
        • Iranian *mádu
          • Avestan 𐬨𐬀𐬜𐬎 maδu (berry) wine
          • Bactrian μολο molo wine
            • Persian مل mol wine, mead
            • Romani môl wine
            • Northern Iranian
              • Scythian *máδu
                • Ossetian мыд myd honey
          • Western Iranian
            • Old Persian
              • Persian می may wine, alcohol
            • Kurdish motî
      • Tocharian *ḿət(ə)
        • Kushean mit honey
        • Old Chinese *mit or *mlig
          • Mandarin honey, honey-colored, besswax, sweet
          • Japanese mitsu/michi honey, nectar, syrup
          • Korean mil honey, beeswax
          • Vietnamese mật honey
      • Finno-Ugric *mete
        • Finnic *meci honey
          • Finnish mesi nectar
        • Ugric
          • Hungarian méz honey
        • Finno-Ugric *mekši bee
          • Finnic *meši bee
            • Finnish mehiläinen bee
          • Ugric
            • Hungarian méh bee


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Collected English words

mildew, mulch, marmalade, mellifluous, Melissa, mead, amethyst, methylene, methyl, methane, methanol, madhura


  1. ^

    Neither of the reconstructed PIE words for "honey" have the form of a regular root, so they both presumably derive from unknown earlier forms, or from borrowings. Given that we have two very similar forms, *mélit and *médʰu, both from unknown sources, both meaning "honey", I think it's a reasonable speculation that they may ultimately come from the same unknown source, either in pre-PIE, or borrowed separately from another source.

  2. ^

    Hawaiʻian meli: "honey" was coined by missionaries for the 1839 translation of the Bible. English honey would have been borrowed as either hani or honi, which were already words in Hawai'ian meaning "to flirt" and "to kiss", respectively, so the missionaries coined the word from Greek.

  3. ^

    Μέλισσᾰ Mélissa is the name of various people and places, including the nymph who fed the infant Zeus (on milk and honey) while he was hidden from Cronus, and was later turned into a bee.

  4. ^

    Northern Indo-European language families (that is, the ones historically overlapping the range of the brown bear), often have words for "bear" that derive from euphemisms. This is probably originally taboo avoidance, either due to bear worship or simply to being terrified of brown bears. Germanic uses "brown one" (or possibly "wild") and Slavic uses "honey-eater" to replace the PIE word for "bear", *h₂ŕ̥tḱos.

  5. ^

    Despite all appearance, Welsh medd: "mead" is not the origin meddyglyn (English metheglin), a Welsh spiced mead. meddyglyn is actually meddyg-lyn: "medicinal brew", with meddyg a borrowing from Latin medicus, and llyn from Celtic *lindom: "lake, liquid", which is also the origin of Lincoln.

  6. ^

    méthylène/methylene was coined in the 1830s by French chemists Jean-Baptiste Dumas and Eugene Peligot. It is formed (not entirely correctly) from Greek roots μέθυ methu: "wine" and ὕλη hule: "woods, forest" as a calque of French l'esprit de bois: "wood alchohol".