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Indo-European Lexicon

PIE Etymon and IE Reflexes

Below we display: a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) etymon adapted from Pokorny, with our own English gloss; our Semantic Field assignment(s) for the etymon, linked to information about the field(s); an optional Comment; and Reflexes (derived words) in various Indo-European languages, organized by family/group in west-to-east order where Germanic is split into West/North/East families and English, our language of primary emphasis, is artificially separated from West Germanic. IE Reflexes appear most often as single words with any optional letter(s) enclosed in parentheses; but alternative full spellings are separated by '/' and "principal parts" appear in a standard order (e.g. masculine, feminine, and neuter forms) separated by commas.

Reflexes are annotated with: Part-of-Speech and/or other Grammatical feature(s); a short Gloss which, especially for modern English reflexes, may be confined to the oldest sense; and some Source citation(s) with 'LRC' always understood as editor. Keys to PoS/Gram feature abbreviations and Source codes appear below the reflexes; at the end are links to the previous/next etyma [in Pokorny's alphabetic order] that have reflexes.

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings may appreciate the source & meaning tips that pop up when the mouse pointer hovers over a non-obvious word or name that he coined from Indo-European (usually Old English or Old Norse) stock. But only reflexes of PIE etyma can be included, and these tend to concentrate in the vocabulary of Rohan and the Shire.

All reflex pages are currently under active construction; as time goes on, corrections may be made and/or more etyma & reflexes may be added.

Note: this page is for systems/browsers lacking Unicode® support, or having less than full Unicode 2.0 font support. Versions of this page rendered in alternate character sets are available via links (see Unicode 3 and Unicode 2) in the left margin.

Pokorny Etymon: 5. bher-   'shining; bright brown'

Semantic Fields: to Shine, Glisten; Bright; Dark in Color


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Gaelic: beabhar n beaver CDC
Cornish: befr n beaver CDC
Old English: beofor/befer n beaver RPN/CDC
  beorn/birn n.masc man, prince, hero, warrior ASD
  bera adj brown GED
  bera n.masc bear RPN/ASD
  brun adj brown, dark RPN
Middle English: bere n bear W7
  bever n beaver W7
  broun(e)/browne adj brown W7/MEV
  burnet n burnet W7
  burnischen vb to burnish W7
English: bear n large heavy mammal with long shaggy hair AHD/W7
  beaver n large semiaquatic rodent with broad flat tail AHD/W7
  Beorn prop.n heroic bear-man in Tolkien: The Hobbit LRC
  berserk(er) n (Norse) warrior frenzied in battle AHD/W7
  brown adj very dull dark reddish color AHD/W7
  bruin n bear (large mammal) AHD/W7
  brunet adj (with hair) of dark brown color AHD/W7
  burnet n herb with stipulate odd-pinnate leaves AHD/W7
  burnish vb.trans to polish, make shiny/lustrous by rubbing AHD/W7
  Grimbeorn prop.n Beorn's son in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
Old Frisian: brun adj brown ASD
Frisian: brun adj brown ASD
Middle Dutch: bere adj brown GED
Dutch: beer n.masc bear ASD
  bever n beaver CDC
  bruin adj brown ASD
  bruin n bruin W7
Low German: baar n bear CDC
  bever n beaver CDC
Old High German: bero/pero n bear RPN/ASD
  bero adj brown GED/IEW
  bibar n beaver RPN
  brun adj brown RPN
Middle High German: ber n bear ASD
  biber n beaver CDC
  brun adj brown ASD
German: Bär n.masc bear ASD
  Bieber n.masc beaver LRC
  braun adj brown ASD
Old Norse: ber-serkr n.masc giant, lit. bear-sark (bear-shirt) ICE
  björn n.masc bear RPN/ASD
Old Icelandic: bjórr n beaver RPN
  bjorn adj brown GED/IEW
  brúnn adj brown RPN
Icelandic: berserkr n berserk CDC
  bjorr n beaver CDC
  björn n.masc bear ASD
  brunn adj brown ASD
Danish: bjørn n.masc bear TLL
  bruun adj brown ASD
  bæver n beaver CDC
Swedish: björn n.masc bear ASD
  brun adj brown ASD
  bäfver n beaver CDC
Old Latin: biber n beaver CDC
Latin: fiber n beaver RPN
Spanish: bibaro n beaver CDC
Old French: brun adj brown W7
  brunette n.fem dark brown fabric W7
  burnete n.fem (genus of) herb W7
Middle French: brun adj brown W7
  brunir, brunissé vb to make brown W7
French: bièvre n beaver CDC
  brun adj brown TLL
  brunet, brunette adj brown(ish) W7
Old Occitan: vibre n beaver CDC
Italian: bevero n beaver CDC
Old Prussian: bebrus n beaver CDC
Lithuanian: bebrùs n beaver RPN
  beras adj brown GED/IEW
Latvian: bebris n beaver CDC
Polish: bóbr n beaver RPN
Czech: bobr n beaver CDC
Old Church Slavonic: *bebru' n beaver RPN
  bibru/bobru n beaver CDC
Russian: bobr n beaver RPN
  bobru n beaver CDC
Greek: phrûnos, phrúnê n toad RPN
Sanskrit: babhrú-h adj ruddy, brown RPN
  bhallas n bear GED/IEW
  bhallukas n bear GED/IEW


Key to Part-of-Speech/Grammatical feature abbreviations:

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)

Key to information Source codes (always with 'LRC' as editor):

Code Citation
AHD=Calvert Watkins: The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed. (2000)
ASD=Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller: An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (1898)
CDC=W.D. Whitney and B.E. Smith: The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia (1889-1911)
GED=Winfred P. Lehmann: A Gothic Etymological Dictionary (1986)
ICE=Richard Cleasby and Gudbrand Vigfusson: An Icelandic-English Dictionary (1874)
IEW=Julius Pokorny: Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (1959)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
MEV=J.R.R. Tolkien: A Middle English Vocabulary (1922)
RPN=Allan R. Bomhard: Reconstructing Proto-Nostratic (2002)
TLL=Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language (1944)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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