Thursday, 17 July 2008

felt and anvil

Proto-Indo-European *pel- "to thrust, strike, drive". The suffixed form *pel-de-, perhaps meaning "beat", became Proto-West-Germanic *feltaz "compressed wool", then Old English felt - felt was created by pressing animal and vegetable fibers together.

*pel-de- combined with Old English an (related to Modern English on) to form anfilte, anfealt "anvil" - that is, "something beaten on". The OED says this word was perhaps modeled on Latin incūs "anvil", from in plus cūdere "to beat".


Glen Gordon said...

I'm not sure where this morpheme *-de- comes from or how it's attested for the PIE level. Can you clarify?

goofy said...

Could it be *de- "demonstrative stem, base of prepositions and adverbs"? As in Latin dē- and English to?

Glen Gordon said...

If that were the case, why wouldn't this morpheme be preposed instead of postposed?