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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 with Unicode® support, but fonts for only the Unicode 2.0 character set (including combining diacritics). Versions of this page rendered in alternate character sets are available via links (see Unicode 3 and ISO-8859-1) in the left margin.

Pokorny Etymon: (s)nē-, and (s)nēi-   'to spin, twist threads together'

Semantic Field: to Spin


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old Irish: snāth n.masc thread GED
  snī vb to spin, twist GED
Old Breton: notenn n thread GED
Cornish: nethe vb to spin, twist GED
Welsh: nyddu vb to spin, twist GED
Old English: nǣdl n.fem needle GED
  snōd n.fem snood W7
Middle English: nedle n needle W7
  snood n snood W7
English: axoneme n  cytoskeletal structure in cilium AHD
  chromonema n coiled filamentous chromatid core AHD/W7
  Náli prop.n dwarf in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  needle n small slender bone/steel tool used for sewing AHD/W7
  protonema n primary filamentous thalloid gametophyte stage AHD/W7
  snood n band/fillet for woman's hair AHD/W7
  treponema n spirochete parasite of warm-blooded animals AHD/W7
Old Frisian: nēdle n needle GED
  nēlde n needle GED
Dutch: naald n needle TLL
Old Saxon: nāðla n needle GED
Old High German: nādala n.fem needle GED
  *nāen vb.wk to sew GED
  nājan vb to sew W7
  nālda n.fem needle GED
  nāwen vb.wk to sew GED
German: Nadel n.fem needle LRC
  nähen vb to sew GED
Old Norse: Náli prop.n Nali (Voluspa dwarf) LRC
Old Icelandic: nāl n needle GED
Icelandic: nál n needle ASD
Danish: naal n needle TLL
Swedish: nål n needle TLL
Gothic: *neþla n.fem needle GED
Latin: nēmen n.neut web GED
  neō, nēre vb to spin GED
New Latin: chromonema n.neut chromonema W7
  protonema, protonematis n.fem protonema W7
  treponema n.fem treponema, (genus of) spirochete W7
Lithuanian: nýtis n loom reed GED
Homeric Greek: νέω vb to spin GED
  νη̃μα n.neut web, thread, yarn GED
Greek: νήθω vb to spin GED


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

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)
neut=neuter (gender)
wk=weak (inflection)

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)
GED=Winfred P. Lehmann: A Gothic Etymological Dictionary (1986)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
TLL=Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language (1944)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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