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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. (s)kel-   'to cut, halve'

Semantic Field: to Cut


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Middle Irish: sce(i)llec n rock GED
  scoilt vb to split GED
Welsh: caill n testicle GED
  hollt vb to split GED
Old English: culter/cultur n.masc coulter, dagger W7/ASD
  hælftre n.fem halter GED
  healf n.fem half, side, part GED
  helma n.masc helm, rudder W7
  hielfe n helve W7
  scealla n testicle GED
  scealu n.fem shell, hull, husk GED
  sceld/scild/scield/scyld n.masc shield GED/ASD
  scielfe n.wk.fem shelf GED
  sciell n.fem shell, mussel GED
  scilfe/scylfe n.fem shelf, ledge W7
  scolu/scōl n.fem shoal, school, multitude W7/ASD
  scylian vb to separate W7
  scyll n.fem shell, mussel GED
  slīfan vb.str to slive, splice IEW/ASD
  slītan, slāt, sliton, sliten vb.str.I to slit, tear LRC
Middle English: colter/culter n coulter W7/AHD
  half n half W7
  halter n halter W7
  halven vb to halve W7
  helme n helm W7
  helve n haft, handle of tool/weapon W7
  scale n scale W7
  scall n scall W7
  scalp n scalp W7
  schulle n flatfish, flounder MED
  scole n school W7
  sculpture n sculpture W7
  shale n shale W7
  sheld n shield W7
  sheldrake n sheldrake W7
  shelf n shelf W7
  shell n shell W7
  *shole n shoal, multitude W7
  skil n skill W7
  slippe n slip W7
  slitten vb to slit W7
  sliven vb to slive, slice off W7
  slivere n sliver W7
English: co(u)lter n turf cutter on plow AHD/W7
  cultrate adj knife-shaped, having sharp edge/point AHD/W7
  cutlass n short curving sword once used by sailors AHD/W7
  half n either of 2 equal parts resulting from division AHD/W7
  Halfelven prop.n Elrond surname in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  Halfling prop.n hobbit epithet in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  Halfred prop.n hobbit name in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  halter n rope/strap for tying/leading animal AHD/W7
  halve vb.trans to divide in 2 equal parts AHD/W7
  helm n wheel/lever controlling ship's rudder AHD/W7
  helve n haft, handle of tool/weapon AHD/W7
  Oakenshield prop.n epithet for Thorin in Tolkien: The Hobbit LRC
  scagliola n imitation marble made from finely ground gypsum/glue AHD/W7
  scale n thin flat rigid plate, part of body covering (esp. of fish/reptile) AHD/W7
  scale n balance (pan/tray) used for weighing AHD/W7
  scalene adj having unequal sides AHD/W7
  scall n scurf/scabby scalp disorder AHD/W7
  scalp n part of head usu. covered by hair AHD/W7
  scalpel n small thin-bladed knife used for surgery AHD/W7
  school n shoal, many fish/aquatic animals of same kind swimming together AHD/W7
  sculpture n act/process of carving/cutting hard material into artwork AHD/W7
  shale n fissile rock formed by compaction of clay/mud/silt AHD/W7
  sheldrake n Old World duck AHD/W7
  shelf n flat usu. long/narrow space for holding objects AHD/W7
  shell n rigid carapace of mollusk/turtle/etc. AHD/W7
  shelter n cover, defense, protection AHD
  shelve vb to slope, incline, be steep/precipitous IEW/W7
  shield n broad rigid armor piece carried via hand/arm AHD/W7
  shoal n crowd, school, large group (e.g. of fish) AHD/W7
  skill n cause, reason; intellectual faculty AHD/W7
  skoal n health, toast AHD/W7
  slip n scion, small plant cutting W7
  slit, slit vb.str to cut, slash, sever W7
  slive vb to sliver IEW
  sliver n splinter, long slender piece cut/torn off W7
  sliver vb to splinter, cut/split into slivers W7
Old Frisian: half adj half ASD
  halve n side, direction GED
  skall n.masc testicle GED
  skeld n shield GED
  slīta vb to slit, tear, break ASD
Middle Dutch: schelpe n shell W7
  schillede adj parti-colored W7
  schōle n school W7/AHD
Dutch: behalve prep except TLL
  schaal n eggshell; measurement scale TLL
  schilder n painter LRC
  schilderen vb to paint LRC
  schilderij n picture TLL
  schol n flatfish, flounder; scale: plate TLL
Old Saxon: halƀa n side, direction GED
  half adj half GED
  scāla n.fem shell GED
  skala n drinking vessel ASD
  skild n shield GED
  skola n school, band, troop ASD
  slītan vb to slit, split, tear ASD
Middle Low German: schelle n shell, scale GED
  schōle n school AHD
Old High German: halb adj half GED
  halb(a) n.fem side, direction GED/ASD
  halftra n halter W7
  helmo n tiller W7
  scala n.fem shell, hull GED
  scelifa n.wk.fem shell, peel GED
  skilt n.masc shield GED
  skolla n clod, piece KDW
  slīzan vb to slit, tear apart W7
Middle High German: slitzen vb to slit W7
German: halbe n half, side ASD
  halfter n halter ASD
  Schale n.fem shell, hull LRC
  Schild n.masc shield, buckler LRC
  Schild n.neut sign, badge, label LRC
  schildern vb to draw, sketch, depict, portray LRC
  Schlips n.masc cravat, necktie TLL
  Scholle n.fem flatfish, flounder; sod, clod; flake, scale: plate TLL
Old Norse: Eikinskjaldi prop.n Voluspa dwarf, lit. Oaken-shield TPE
  hálfr adj half LRC
  skalli n bald head W7
  skāl n bowl W7
  skālpr n sheath W7
  skel n shell W7
  skil n knowledge, distinction W7
  skiljad/skiljað vb to divide, separate; perceive, understand LRC
  skjǫldr n.masc shield LRC
Old Icelandic: halfa n side, direction GED
  halfr adj half GED
  Hlið-skjálf n.fem Odin's seat ASD
  skel n shell, mussel GED
  skjǫldr n shield GED
Icelandic: hālfa n half, side ASD
  hālfr adj half ASD
  skál n scale, bowl (of a balance) ASD
  skjöldr n shield ASD
  slíta vb to slit, tear, break ASD
Danish: skaal n cup W7
  skæl n scale: plate TLL
  slips n cravat, necktie TLL
Swedish: skal n shell TLL
  skolla n flatfish, flounder; scale: plate SAO
  sköld n shield TLL
Gothic: halba n half, side ASD
  *halbs adj half GED
  *skalja n.fem tile GED
  *skildus n.masc shield GED
Latin: cultellus n.masc knife W7
  culter, cultris n.masc knife, plowshare, coulter W7
  cultratus adj knife-shaped W7
  scalpellum n.neut little knife W7
  scalpellus n.masc little knife W7
  scalper n.masc chisel, knife W7
  scalpō, scalpere vb to cut, carve GED
  scalprum n.neut chisel, knife W7
  sculpō, sculpere vb to carve, sculpt LS
  sculptura n.fem sculpture W7
  sculptus vb.ptc carved, sculpted W7
  silex n.masc flint, pebble GED
Late Latin: scalenus adj uneven, having (three) unequal sides W7
Old French: coltre n coulter W7
Middle French: coutel n.masc knife W7
  coutelas n.masc cutlass W7
French: coutre n coulter ASD
Italian: coltro n coulter ASD
  scagliola n.fem plaster of Paris W7
Lithuanian: skalà n wood chip GED
  skélti vb to split GED
  skìltis n slice GED
Latvian: škelt vb to split GED
Old Church Slavonic: skolьka n mussel GED
Albanian: hálë n fish scale GED
Greek: κωλύω vb to hinder, prevent LRC
  skalēnos adj uneven W7
  σκάλλω vb to hoe, stir up GED
  skolios adj crooked W7
Sanskrit: kalā́ n portion, small part GED


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

Abbrev. Meaning
I=class 1
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)
neut=neuter (gender)
str=strong (inflection)
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)
IEW=Julius Pokorny: Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (1959)
KDW=Gerhard Köbler: Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch, 4th ed. (1993)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
LS=Liddell and Scott: Greek-English Lexicon, 7th-9th ed's (1882-1940), rev.
MED=Robert E. Lewis et al., eds. Middle English Dictionary (1954-1999, 2001)
SAO=Swedish Academy: Svenska Akademiens Ordbok (2011)
TLL=Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language (1944)
TPE=Lee M. Hollander: The Poetic Edda (1962)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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