Word Family - Gossamer


Now often called "Indian summer", the period of unseasonably hot weather after an initial autumn cooling was previously called in English "goose summer" because it generally corresponds with the beginning of goose hunting season. Compare Irish fómhar beag na ngéanna: "warm period in Autumn (Indian summer)"

Then the word became associated with another seasonal event at the same time: the mass dispersal of spiderlings by ballooning on fine silk, which can leave fields or trees covered in fine spider silk. Finally, the word came to refer to this fine spider silk, and things resembling it: "gossamer".

I've traced out here both "goose" and "summer" to "gossamer".

Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰh₂éns, Sino-Tibetan *ŋan, and Turkic *kāz are probably all independently derived from the honking sound of a goose. Though there is also a possibility some or all may related by wander-word. Animal words often go wandering, and those three language families are specifically known to share animal words.

Similarly, Celtic *gezdā is probably a re-derivation from onomatopoeia, rather than derived from the Celtic reflex of *ǵʰh₂éns, which gives Old Irish géiss: "swan".


Samhain, summer, gossamer

goose, gossamer, gander, Anseriformes

Full Text

  • Proto-Indo-European *semh₂- summer
    • Proto-Indo-European *sǝmeh₂
      • Indo-Iranian *sámaH
        • Indo-Aryan *sámaH
          • Sanskrit समा sámā season, weather, year, half-year
        • Iranian *hamaH
          • Avestan 𐬵𐬀𐬨𐬀 hama summer
            • Avestan 𐬨𐬀𐬌𐬜𐬌𐬌𐬋𐬌.𐬴𐬀𐬨𐬀 maiδiiōi.ṣ̌ama midsummer
          • Northern Iranian
            • Saka
              • Khotani hamana- summer
          • Western Iranian
            • Northwestern Iranian
              • Kurdish havîn summer
            • Old Persian
              • Persian هامین hâmin late summer, harvest season
        • Indo-Iranian *sámaH-ā́ps? summer water (place name)
          • Slavic
            • East Slavic
              • Russian Сама́ра Samára [1]
                • English Samara [1]
      • Tocharian
        • Arshian ṣme
        • Kushean ṣmāye
    • Proto-Indo-European *sm̥h₂ós
      • Old Armenian ամ am summer, year
        • Old Armenian ամանոր amanor New Year
          • Armenian Ամանոր Amanor New Year, New Year's Day
        • Old Armenian ամառն amaṙn
          • Armenian ամառ amaṙ summer
      • Celtic *samos summer
        • Brythonic *haβ̃
          • Welsh haf summer
        • Old Irish sam summer
          • Old Irish samrad summer
            • Irish samhradh summer
        • Celtic *medyo-samīnos midsummer
          • Brythonic
            • Welsh Mehefin June
          • Old Irish mithem
            • Irish Meitheamh June
        • Celtic *samonios November, Samhain [2]
          • Old Irish Samain November, Samhain, All Hallows
            • Irish Samhain November, Samhain
              • English Samhain
              • Irish Oíche Shamhna Halloween lit. "Samhain Night"
      • Germanic *sumaraz
        • North Germanic
          • Old Norse sumar summer
            • Danish sommer summer
            • Icelandic sumar summer
        • West Germanic
          • Old English sumor summer
            • Middle English somer summer
              • English summer
              • Middle English gossomer warm period in Autumn, spider silk
                • English gossamer
          • Frankish *sumar
            • Dutch zomer summer
          • Old High German sumar
            • German Sommer summer
            • Yiddish זומער zumer summer
  • Untitled Goose Language gonk
    • English honk
    • German gack honk (goose onomatopoeia)
    • Hungarian honk (goose onomatopoeia)
    • Norwegian gakk honk (goose onomatopoeia)
    • Russian га-га-га́ ga-ga-gá honk (goose onomatopoeia)
    • Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰh₂éns goose
      • Albanian gatë heron
      • Balto-Slavic *źansís goose
        • East Baltic
          • Lithuanian žąsìs goose
        • Slavic *gǫ̑sь
          • East Slavic гу́сь gúsĭ
            • Russian гу́сь gúsʹ goose
          • South Slavic
            • Old Church Slavonic гѫсь gǫsĭ goose
          • West Slavic
            • Polish gęś goose
          • Slavic *gǫ̑sьka dimunitive
            • East Slavic
              • Ukrainian гу́ска húska goose
            • South Slavic
              • Serbo-Croatian гу̏ска gȕska goose
              • Romanian gâscă goose
            • West Slavic
              • Polish gąska gosling
        • West Baltic
          • Old Prussian sansy
        • Finnic *hanhi
          • Finnish hanhi goose
        • Mordvinic
          • Erzya шенже šenže duck
      • Celtic *gansis
        • Old Irish géiss swan
        • Celtic
          • Old Irish ganndal gander
            • Irish gandal gander
        • Celtic *gezdā
          • Brythonic
            • Welsh gŵydd goose, fool
          • Old Irish *géd
            • Irish goose
              • Irish fómhar beag na ngéanna warm period in Autumn (Indian summer) lit. "little autumn of the geese"
      • Germanic *gans goose
        • East Germanic
          • Gothic *gans
            • Slavic *gǫ̑sь
        • North Germanic
          • Old Norse gás goose
            • Danish gås goose
            • Icelandic gæs goose
              • Icelandic Grágás Grey-Goose [3]
        • West Germanic
          • Old English gōs goose
            • Middle English goos
              • English goose
              • Middle English gossomer warm period in Autumn, spider silk
                • English gossamer
          • Frankish
            • Dutch gans goose
          • Old High German gans
            • German Gans goose
            • Yiddish גאַנדז gandz goose
        • Germanic *ganzô gander
          • East Germanic
            • Gothic *ganzo
            • Spanish ganso goose, gander, fool
          • North Germanic
            • Old Norse gassi
              • Danish gase gander
              • Icelandic gassi
          • West Germanic
            • Old English ganra gander
              • English gander
            • Old High German ganzo
              • German Ganter gander
              • German Ganser
      • Hellenic *kʰā́n
        • Mycenaean Greek 𐀏𐀜 ka-no
        • Ancient Greek χήν khḗn goose
          • Greek χήνα chína goose
      • Indo-Iranian *ȷ́ʰansás
        • Indo-Aryan *źʰansás
          • Sanskrit हंस haⁿsá goose, swan, water-bird
            • Magadhi
              • Bengali হাঁস hãsô goose
            • Pali
              • Thai หงส์ hong swan
            • Sauraseni
              • Madhya
                • Hindi हंस hans swan
            • Telugu హంస haṃsa swan
        • Iranian *janháh
          • Avestan 𐬰𐬁𐬋 zāō goose
      • Italic *hāns
        • Latin ānser goose
          • Western Romance
            • Spanish ansar wild goose
          • Translingual Anser taxonomic genus of geese
            • Translingual Anseriformes taxonomic order of waterfowl
          • Latin ānserīnus
            • English anserine
    • Proto-Sino-Tibetan *ŋan
      • Old Chinese *ŋaːl
        • Middle Chinese domestic goose
          • Mandarin é
          • Wu ngu³
          • Yue ngo⁴
          • Literary Chinese 企鵝 pegnuin lit. "upright goose"
          • Literary Chinese 天鵝 swan lit. "heavenly goose"
            • Literary Chinese 天鵝絨 velvet "swan fabric"
          • Literary Chinese 鵝卵石 cobblestone, pebble lit. "goose egg stone"
        • Min
          • Hokkien ngô͘
      • Old Chinese *ŋraːns
        • Middle Chinese wild goose
          • Mandarin yàn
          • Wu nge³
          • Yue ngo⁴
        • Min
          • Hokkien gān
      • Tibeto-Burman
        • Bodish
          • Tibetan ངང་པ ngang pa goose, duck, swan
        • Lolo-Burmese
          • Burmese ငန်း ngan: goose, swan
    • Turkic *kāź
      • Oghur
        • Chuvash хур hur goose
      • Common Turkic
        • Oghuz
          • East Oghuz
            • Turkmen gāz
          • West Oghuz
            • Azerbaijani qaz goose
            • Ottoman Turkish قاز qaz goose
              • Turkish kaz goose
              • Armenian ղազ łaz goose
        • Kipchak
          • North Kipchak
            • Bashkir ҡаҙ qað goose
            • Tatar каз qaz goose
          • South Kipchak
            • Kazakh қаз qaz goose
        • Karluk
          • East Karluk
            • Uyghur غاز ghaz
          • West Karluk
            • Uzbek g'oz goose
        • Siberian Turkic
          • North Siberian Turkic
            • Dolgan каас kaas goose
          • South Siberian Turkic
            • Altai Turkic
              • Northern Altai кас kas
            • Sayan Turkic
              • Tuvan кас kas goose
              • Tofa қас qas goose
            • Yenisei Turkic
              • Khakas хас xas goose
              • Shor қас qas goose
              • Old Uyghur qaz goose
        • Kurdish qaz goose [4]
        • Ossetian ъаз qaz goose [4]
        • Persian غاز ğâz goose [4]
        • Tajik ғоз ġoz goose [4]
        • Pashto قازه qā́za goose [4]


Image is a visual representation of the text content above.

Collected English words

Samara, Samhain, summer, gossamer,

honk, goose, gossamer, gander, Anser, Anseriformes, anserine


  1. ^

    There are at least two rivers named Samara in Eastern Europe, tributaries of the Volga and of the Dnieper. The name is thought to have been borrowed from Indo-Iranian and mean "summer-water".

    The tributary of the Volga is the origin of the name of "Samara Culture", a Copper Age culture that is a likely predecessor of the Indo-European homeland culture. Sun and horse motifs are common in Samara artifacts. (Though this is likely still before the domestication of the horse.)

    The same river is the namesake of a city along it, Samara. The city of Samara was an important industrial center involved in the early Soviet space program. In honor of this, there is also an asteroid named "(26922) Samara".

  2. ^
  3. ^

    Icelandic Grágás: "Grey-Goose": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_Goose_Laws

  4. ^

    For many of the Turkic borrowings, it is very difficult to say exactly what Turkic language they were borrowed from, or whether they were borrowed directly, or via one of the other borrowings.