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.

All reflex pages are currently under active construction; as time goes on, corrections may be made and/or more etyma & reflexes may be added.

Pokorny Etymon: (s)nē-, and (s)nēi-   'to spin, twist threads together'

Semantic Field(s): to Spin


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old Irish: snāth n.masc thread GED
snī vb to spin, twist GED
Old Breton: notenn n thread GED
Cornish: nethe vb to spin, twist GED
Welsh: nyddu vb to spin, twist GED
Old English: nǣdl n.fem needle GED
snōd n.fem snood W7
Middle English: nedle n needle W7
snood n snood W7
English: axoneme n cytoskeletal structure in cilium AHD
chromonema n coiled filamentous chromatid core AHD/W7
Náli prop.n dwarf in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
needle n small slender bone/steel tool used for sewing AHD/W7
protonema n primary filamentous thalloid gametophyte stage AHD/W7
snood n band/fillet for woman's hair AHD/W7
treponema n spirochete parasite of warm-blooded animals AHD/W7
West Germanic  
Old Frisian: nēdle n needle GED
nēlde n needle GED
Dutch: naald n needle TLL
Old Saxon: nāðla n needle GED
Old High German: nādala n.fem needle GED
*nāen vb.wk to sew GED
nājan vb to sew W7
nālda n.fem needle GED
nāwen vb.wk to sew GED
German: Nadel n.fem needle LRC
nähen vb to sew GED
North Germanic  
Old Norse: Náli prop.n Nali (Voluspa dwarf) LRC
Old Icelandic: nāl n needle GED
Icelandic: nál n needle ASD
Danish: naal n needle TLL
Swedish: nål n needle TLL
East Germanic  
Gothic: *neþla n.fem needle GED
Latin: nēmen n.neut web GED
neō, nēre vb to spin GED
New Latin: chromonema n.neut chromonema W7
protonema, protonematis n.fem protonema W7
treponema n.fem treponema, (genus of) spirochete W7
Lithuanian: nýtis n loom reed GED
Homeric Greek: νέω vb to spin GED
νῆμα n.neut web, thread, yarn GED
Greek: νήθω vb to spin GED


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

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)
neut=neuter (gender)
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)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
TLL=Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language (1944)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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