Thursday, 7 February 2008

Shiva and céilidh

Let's go as far afield geographically as we can, like fjord and Parvati.

The Proto-Indo-European root *ḱei- had a few meanings: "to lie; bed, couch; beloved, dear". The suffixed zero-grade form *ḱi-wo- (*-wo- being an adjective suffix) became Sanskrit शिव śivá "auspicious, propitious, gracious, friendly, dear", and then the name of the Hindu deity Shiva or Siva.

The suffixed form *ḱei-liyo- became Proto-Celtic *kilyo- "companion", Old Irish céile "companion", then Old Irish célide "visit", then Irish Gaelic céilidh "social gathering". Compare Sanskrit शील śīla "habit, custom, natural or acquired way of living or acting". (An etymological lexicon of Proto-Celtic doesn't list a PIE form for *kilyo-. Because it's "in progress"?)

The suffixed form *ḱei-wi- became Latin cīvis, cīvitās "citizen", that is "a member of a household". This gives us city, citizen and civil.

Some people folk-etymologize Shiva as being from Dravidian civa "red" (compare Tamil சிவ civa "to redden").


Stuart Douglas said...

And co-incidentally, we're off to a céilidh tonight!

Drew said...

Now I'm wondering if Scandinavia or Ireland is further from India. Good job.