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: sp(h)ē-, sp(h)ə-(dh-)   'long flat piece of wood'

Semantic Field(s): Board


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old English: spadu n.fem spade W7
spōn n.masc chip, shaving, splinter W7
Middle English: spade n spade W7
spayen vb to spay W7
spoon n spoon W7
English: epee, épée n dueling/fencing sword TLL
spade n digging implement pushed into ground with foot AHD/W7
spade n black figure on playing card AHD/W7
spathe n sheathing bract (pair) enclosing inflorescence AHD/W7
spathic adj foliated, resembling spar AHD/W7
spatula n flat thin implement for scooping/lifting/mixing/spreading soft substances AHD/W7
spay vb.trans to remove ovaries of (female animal) AHD/W7
sphene n silicate mineral of calcium/titanium AHD/W7
spoon n eating/cooking implement: small shallow bowl with handle AHD/W7
West Germanic  
Old Frisian: spōn n chip, shaving ASD
Old Low German: spado n spade ASD
Old High German: spān n chip/splinter (of wood) W7
German: Span n.masc chip, splinter, flint blade LRC
Spat(h) n.masc spar, spavin W7
North Germanic  
Icelandic: spánn, spónn n chip, splinter ASD
Latin: spatha n.fem blade W7
Late Latin: spatula n.fem shoulder blade W7
New Latin: spatha n.fem spathe W7
Spanish: espada n.fem broad sword W7
Old French: espee n.fem epee W7
espeer vb to cut with sword W7
French: épée n epee TLL
sphène n.fem sphene W7
Italian: spada n.fem sword, spade W7
Greek: σπάθη n.fem flat blade LS
σφήν n.masc wedge LS


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

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)

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)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
LS=Liddell and Scott: Greek-English Lexicon, 7th-9th ed's (1882-1940), rev.
TLL=Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language (1944)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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