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  1. Word Family - Egypt

    December theme: Pre-Classical Mediterranean 🏝

    Teaser

    Ptah, Egypt, Hephaestus

    Full Text

    • Afro-Asiatic *ptḥ to create?, to begin?
      • Egyptian ptḥ Ptah, self-created divinity of craft and creation
        • English Ptah
        • Egyptian ḥwt-kꜣ-ptḥ Temple of the Soul of Ptah, Memphis
          • Mycenaean Greek *ai-ku-pi-to
            • Ancient Greek Αἴγυπτος Aíguptos Egypt, the Nile
              • Latin Aegyptus Egypt
                • Western …
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  2. Word Family - Phoenix

    December theme: Pre-Classical Mediterranean 🏝️

    Introduction

    Next week, the sister of Phoenix.

    Teaser

    Phoenicia, phoenix, Tisiphone

    Full Text

    • Egyptian fnḫ carpenter, woodcutter
      • Egyptian fnḫw woodcutters, Canaanites, Syrians [1]
        • Mycenaean Greek 𐀡𐀛𐀑𐀍 po-ni-ki-jo trade commodity of some sort [2]
          • Ancient Greek φοῖνῐξ phoînix Phoenician, purple or crimson, date palm, a guitar-like instrument from …
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  3. Word Family - Greek

    December theme: Pre-Classical Mediterranean 🏝️

    Teaser

    Greek, Charles, corn, grain, grenade

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *ǵerh₂- to grow old, to mature
      • Proto-Indo-European *ǵerh₂e-ti primary verb
        • Balto-Slavic
          • Slavic *zьrěti to ripen
            • East Slavic
              • Russian зреть zretʹ to ripen, to mature
              • Ukrainian зрі́ти zríty to ripen, to grow, to form
            • South Slavic …
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  4. Word Family - Attercop

    November theme: Spiders 🕷

    Teaser

    edema, Oedipus, oat, atter, attercop

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂eyd- to swell, abcess, tumor
      • Proto-Indo-European h₂oydéy-eti
        • Old Armenian այտնում aytnum to swell, to be inflamed, to be bloated
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek οἰδέω I swell, I become swollen
            • Ancient Greek οἴδημᾰ oídēma a swelling, a tumor
              • English edema
      • Proto-Indo-European …
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  5. Word Family - Venom

    November theme: Spiders 🕷️

    Teaser

    win, wish, Venus, vanadium, venom, wonder, winsome

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- to love, to want
      • Proto-Indo-European *wn̥h₁néwti?
        • Germanic *winnaną to strive, to work, to gain, to win
          • East Germanic
            • Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌽𐌽𐌰𐌽 winnan to suffer
              • Gothic 𐍅𐌹𐌽𐌽𐌰 winna suffering, passion, the letter 𐍅
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse vinna …
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  6. Word Family - Witch

    Introduction

    Bonus word family for Halloween by special request from my 4 year old: "witch" from *weyk-: "to separate, to choose, to consecrate".

    *weyk- looks like an extended root implying *wey-, but I can't find any clear evidence for that root. If it is an extension of *wey-, a zero-grade …

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  7. Word Family - Moon

    October theme: Nighttime 🌃

    Teaser

    measure, meal, moon, month, medicine, modest, modem

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *meh₁- to measure
      • Proto-Indo-European *miméh₁ti
        • Indo-Iranian *mimáHti
          • Indo-Aryan
            • Sanskrit मिमीते mimīte to measure, to mark off
          • Iranian
            • Avestan 𐬟𐬭𐬀𐬨𐬍𐬨𐬀𐬚𐬁
      • Proto-Indo-European *moh₁ros big, great
        • Celtic *māros big, great
          • Brythonic *mọr
            • Welsh mawr large, big, great
          • Old …
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  8. Word Family - Star

    October theme: Nighttime 🌃

    Teaser

    arid, star, disaster

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂eh₁s- to be dry, to burn, ashes, hearth
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₂eh₁seh₁(ye)-ti stative
        • Italic *āzēō
          • Latin āreō I am dry, I am parched, I am withered
            • Latin āridus dry, withered, arid, shrivelled, uninspired
              • Western Romance
                • Italian …
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  9. Word Family - Sleep

    October theme: Nighttime 🌃

    Teaser

    sleep, avalanche, lip, lobe

    Full Text

    • ?
      • Proto-Indo-European *(s)leh₂b- to hang loosely, to be weak, lip, to lick
        • Proto-Indo-European *(s)leh₂be-ti to fall down? to relax? primary verb
          • Germanic *slēpaną to sleep
            • East Germanic
              • Gothic 𐍃𐌻𐌴𐍀𐌰𐌽 slēpan to sleep
                • Crimean Gothic schlipen to sleep
            • West …
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  10. Word Family - Persimmon

    October theme: Indigenous Peoples Day

    Teaser

    Saskatoon, persimmon

    Full Text

    • Algic *mene berry
      • Yurok menomen Juneberry
      • Algonquian *mi·na berry
        • Central Algonquian
          • Cree ᒦᓂᐢ miinis (wild) berry or fruit
            • Cree ᒥᓵᐢᑲᐧᑑᒥᐣ misa˙skwato˙min saskatoon berry
              • English saskatoon
                • English Saskatoon
          • Menominee -men- fruit, berry, grain
          • Ojibwe -min berry
            • Ojibwe niibiminaa high-bush cranberry …
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  11. Word Family - Night

    October theme: Nighttime 🌃

    Teaser

    naga, naked, gym, night, nocturnal

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *negʷ- bare
      • Proto-Indo-European *nogʷó-s naked thing, naked one noun
        • Balto-Slavic *nōˀgás naked
          • Lithuanian núogas naked
          • Slavic *nȃgъ naked
            • East Slavic
              • Russian наго́й nagój naked
            • South Slavic
              • Serbo-Croatian наг nag naked
            • West Slavic
              • Polish nagi naked …
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  12. Word Family - Community

    September theme: Community 🏘️

    Teaser

    municipal, common, communicate, Mithra, mix, mutant, miss

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *mey- to exchange, to intermingle
      • Proto-Indo-European *moyno-s
        • Italic *moinos
          • Latin mūnus service, duty, obligation, public office
            • Latin mūniceps citizen (duty-taker)
              • Latin mūnicipium township, town
                • Western Romance
                  • Italian municipo town council, town hall, government office
              • Latin mūnicipālis …
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  13. Word Family - Downtown

    September theme: Community 🏘️

    Introduction

    The Celtic word *dūnom: "hill fort" was borrowed into Germanic twice, once as "hill" and once as "fort".

    The first time was borrowed before the completion of Grimm's Law, so Grimm's Law changed the *d to *t for Germanic *tūną: "enclosure", which eventually gave English "town …

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  14. Word Family - Folk

    September theme: Community 🏘️

    Teaser

    complete, supply, full, poly-, folk

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁ to fill
      • Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁-ti
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek πλῆτο plêto
      • Proto-Indo-European pleh₁st sigma perfective
        • Proto-Indo-European *h₁n̥-pleh₁st in-fill (perfective)
          • Indo-Iranian *HápraHt
            • Indo-Aryan
              • Sanskrit अप्रात् áprāt to fill
      • Proto-Indo-European *pípleh₁-ti reduplicate imperfective
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek πίμπλημι pímplēmi …
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  15. Word Family - Guest

    September theme: Community 🏘️

    Introduction

    This word for "guest"/"host" is restricted to the Late Northwest Indo-European languages, appearing—as far as I know—only in Balto-Slavic, Germanic, and Italic, plus a single personal name in Lepontic (Celtic). It seems to be cognate to a word for "to eat" which is …

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  16. Word Family - Android

    August theme: Science Fiction 🤖

    Teaser

    android, Andromeda, Nero

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₂nḗr (adult/married) man
      • Proto-Albanian *nera
        • Old Albanian njer
          • Albanian njeri man
      • Hellenic *anḗr
        • Ancient Greek ἀνήρ anḗr (adult) man, husband, mortal
          • Greek άνδρας ándras (adult) man, husband
          • Ancient Greek ἀνδρο- andro-
            • English andro-
              • English android
                • English droid …
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  17. Word Family - Robot

    August theme: Science fiction 🤖

    Teaser

    orphan, robot

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *h₃erbʰ- to be part of (a group or family)?, to owe allegiance to?, to change owernship?
      • Anatolian
        • Hittite ḫarp- to associate with, to go over to, to change allegiance
      • Proto-Indo-European *h₃orbʰyo-m inheritance? plural: *h₃orbʰyéh₂
        • Celtic …
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  18. Word Family - Architecture_small

    Introduction

    I was preparing a family this week that I thought included the English word wall. But as I researched it, I found that Germanic *waigaz: "wall" connects to that family, but English "wall" is from the unrelated Germanic *wallą from Latin vallum: "wall, rampart".

    I took the opportunity to …

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  19. Word Family - Column

    July theme: Architecture 🏛️

    Teaser

    excel, column, hill

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European kelH- to rise, to be tall
      • Proto-Indo-European *kl̥néH-ti ne- imperfective
        • Italic *kelnō
          • Latin *cellō to rise
            • Latin excellō I elevate, I raise up, I rise, I exult, I excel
              • Western Romance
                • French exceller to excel
                  • English excel
                • Italian eccellere …
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  20. Word Family - Door

    July theme: Architecture 🏛️

    Teaser

    door, hors d'oeuvre, foreign, forum, Dvorak

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *dʰwer- door, gate
      • Proto-Indo-European *dʰwṓr door
        • Anatolian
          • Hittite *durza
          • Hittite 𒀭𒄙𒍝 an-dur-za indoors
        • Armenian
          • Old Armenian դուռն duṙn door, entrance, mountain pass, palace, court, retinue
            • Armenian դուռ duṙ door, exit, court (of a monarch)
        • Balto-Slavic *dwir- …
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  21. Word Family - Embassy

    June theme: Celtic Iron Age

    Introduction

    Apologies for the sketchy nature. This one exploded on me in several different ways.

    1. Prior to working on this family, I knew that "ambassador"/"embassy" was from Gaulish via Latin, and I had connected that to the story Livy tells about the Battle of …
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  22. Word Family - Celts

    June theme: Celtic Iron Age

    Introduction

    June's theme is linguistic effects of the Celtic Hegemony of the early Iron Age. The rest of the month will focus on words that were borrowed from Gaulish into Latin (things like very iconic Latin word gladius being borrowed from Gaulish, which appears in …

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  23. Word Family - Father

    May theme: kinship terms 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

    Teaser

    pastor, Pan, food, pants, father, pattern

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- to protect, to watch over, to shepherd
      • Proto-Indo-European *péh₂-ti primary verb form
        • Indo-Iranian *pā́ti
          • Indo-Aryan
            • Sanskrit 𑀧𑀸𑀢𑀺 pā́ti to watch, to keep, to protect, to rule
          • Iranian *pāta-
            • Avestan 𐬞𐬁𐬝 pāt̰ protects
            • Western Iranian …
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  24. Word Family - Mother

    May theme: kinship terms 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

    Teaser

    mother, matrix, material, Manchester, mammal

    Full Text

    • Proto-World? ma Or, more likely, convergent development from onamatopoeia of nursing sounds.
      • Proto-Bantu mama mother
      • Basque ama mother
      • Proto-Dravidian *amma mother
      • Proto-Mon-Khmer *meeʔ mother
      • Old Japanese omo mother
      • Mayan mamah
      • Quecha mama mother
      • Afro-Asiatic …
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  25. Word Family - Moa

    Teaser

    moa

    Full Text

    • Sino-Austronesian
      • Austronesian *manuk bird
        • Malayo-Polynesian
          • Bajau memanuk bird
          • Javanese manuk bird
          • Malayic *manuk
            • Malay manuk bird, chicken
          • Philippine
            • Tagalog manók chicken
          • Oceanic
            • Micronesian
              • Chuukese machang bird
              • Kiribati man bird
            • Polynesian *manu bird
              • Tongan manupuna bird
              • Nuclear Polynesian
                • Samoan manu bird
                • Eastern Polynesian
                  • Rapa Nui manu bird …
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  26. Word Family - Avian

    Introduction

    Proto-Indo-European *h₂éwis: "bird" and Proto-Indo-European *h₂ówis: "sheep" appear to be umlaut variants, presumably through the more sparsely attested root *h₂ew-: "to put on clothes, to cover". *h₂éwis: "bird" would be from a passive participle, "a clothed (in feathers)". *h₂ówis: "sheep" from an active participle …

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  27. Word Family - Snow

    February theme: Weather ⛈️

    Teaser

    Nevada, snow

    Full Text

    • Proto-Indo-European *sneygʷʰ- to snow
      • Proto-Indo-European *snigʷʰe-ti (it) snows imperfective [1]
        • Hellenic
          • Ancient Greek νίφω níphō to snow, to rain
      • Proto-Indo-European *snéygʷʰe-ti (it) snows imperfective [1]
        • Germanic *snīwaną to snow
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse snjófa
              • Icelandic snjóa to snow
          • West Germanic
            • Old …
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  28. Word Family - Duke

    January theme: Aristocratic Titles 👑

    Introduction

    Germanic really went to town with this root, creating a bunch of morphological forms that aren't attested in any other branches, and in a few cases I can't even relate them to any standard derivational forms I know in either PIE or Proto-Germanic.

    Teaser

    wanton …

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