Tuesday, 1 February 2011

geyser and fondue

Proto-Indo-European *ǵheu- "to pour, pour a libation". The extended form *ǵheus- became Old Norse geysa "to gush". Geysir is the name of a particular Icelandic hot spring, which is where the English word comes from.

In Latin the nasalized zero-grade *ǵhu-n-d- became fundō/fundere "to pour", becoming French fondre "to melt". The past participle fondue was applied to a dish of melted cheese.

In Greek the suffixed zero-grade *ǵhus-mo- became χῡμός "juice", borrowed into English as chyme.

Watkins in The American Heritage Dictionary of Proto-Indo-European Roots suggests that the verbal adjective *ǵhu-to- "poured" might be the source of Proto-Germanic *ǥuđam and English god. *ǵhu-to- is found in Greek χυτη γαια "poured earth", referring to a burial mound. Perhaps the Proto-Germanic use of *ǥuđam was also in connection with a burial mound, in which case it could plausibly come to mean god. god is usually supposed to come from *gheu(H)- "to call, invoke".

1 comment :

Daniel said...

Asterix in Switzerland! :D