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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 and fonts spanning the Unicode 3 character set relevant to Indo-European languages. Versions of this page rendered in alternate character sets are available via links (see Unicode 2 and ISO-8859-1) in the left margin.

Pokorny Etymon: 1. bhrē̆u-, bhrū̆-   'to break, cut, pierce'

Semantic Fields: to Break; to Cut


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old English: brēotan, brēat, bruton, broten vb.str to break, bruise W7/ASD
  brēoðan vb to waste away W7
  bryt(t)a n.masc lord, prince; giver, bestower, distributor LRC
  brytti(g)an/brittian/brytian vb to rule, give, divide, dispense ASD
Middle English: brethen vb to waste away, go to ruin W7
  britil adj brittle W7
  brothel n brothel W7
  brothen vb.ptc ruined, wasted away W7
English: brittle adj easily broken/cracked/snapped AHD/W7
  brothel n house of prostitution AHD/W7
  Brytta prop.n 11th Rohan king a.k.a. Leofa in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
Old High German: bretōn vb to break, bruise ASD
Old Norse: braut n.fem road LRC
Old Icelandic: briōta vb to break IEW
Icelandic: brjōta vb to break, bruise ASD
  brytja vb to chop, cut in pieces ASD
Danish: bryde vb to break, bruise ASD
Swedish: bryta vb to break, bruise ASD
Sanskrit: bhrūna n embryo W7


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

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)
str=strong (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)
IEW=Julius Pokorny: Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (1959)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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