R: indoeuropean/hand

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at wxs.nl
Thu Aug 12 18:15:27 UTC 1999

"Paolo Agostini" <pagos at bigfoot.com> wrote:

>The Romans called _idus_  (from a former _*eidus_) the 15th day of the
>months of March, May, July, and October and the 13th day of the other
>months. If memory serves me well, it was the lexicographer Hesychius of
>Alexandria who wrote in the 5th century "the verb _iduo_ originates from the
>language of the Etruscans, from whom the Romans learned many religious rites
>and customs, and it means _to divide_ because the _ides_ divide the months
>in two halves". In the 5th century though Etruscan was a dead language since
>three centuries at least.

Beekes and van der Meer tentatively link Etruscan <etan-> in the
Pyrgi bilingual to <idus> ("nac thefarie veliiunas thamuce cleva
etanal masan tiur unias $elace vacal etc."), where it occurs next
to "masan" (the name of a month) and "tiur" (moon, month).

>At the end of last century there were some scholars who maintained that the
>word originated from IE _*idh_ "to be bright" (of the moon), yet the idea
>was soon abandoned. Among the IE languages, the base occurs in Latin only.

C.D. Buck suggests that OIr. <e:sce> "moon" is related to Latin
<idus>, Oscan <eidu-is>.

>The word is very likely a Semitic borrowing, from the base `WD
>('ayin-waw-daleth) the meaning of which is "to return (every year or
>periodically); to repeat (cycle, period); to count, reckon", cfr. Aramaic
>_'yidb'_ "festival";  Syriac _'eyda'_ and _'eyada'_ "ceremony, usage";
>Hebrew _'yid_ "Idolatrous festival" and _'ed_ "monthly courses,
>menstruation";  Arabic _'id_ "festival" and _'iddah_ "period of time",
>_'adda_ "he counted/reckoned", _'adad, 'idad, 'idda_ "number", _`a:da_
>"custom, tradition". There is also a secondary form of the same verb, i.e.
>'TD ('ayin-thaw-daleth) "he counted/reckoned" from which Latin forms like
>_ituo_ might derive.

>According to the meaning of the Semitic base, the Latin word _*eidus_ simply
>meant "a period of time; a counted number of days; a day that returns every

There is also Sumerian iti ~ itu, id4 "moon".  Akkadian?

>Latin has a number of Semitic loan-words which are due to areal contacts,
>cfr. _cornu_ "horn" from Semitic _qarnu_ "horn"; _taurus_ (and Greek
>_tauros_) "bull" from Semitic _tawr_ of s.m.;

Well, these words are not only Latin.  *k^er-n- "horn" is general
IE, and *tauro- occurs in Greek, Albanian, Balto-Slavic and
Germanic (Iranian too, if you count Av. staora- together with
Germanic *stiur-).

>_vacca_ "cow" from Semitic _*baqa_ of s.m. etc.

Doubtful.  Why v-?

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at wxs.nl

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