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)p(h)ereg-, (s)p(h)erəg-, (s)p(h)rēg-, nasalized spreng-   'to rush, hurry; strew, sprinkle, disperse'

Semantic Field(s): to Hurry, Hasten, to Strew, Spread Out


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old English: besprecan vb.str.V to tell, plead, pretend, speak to/about AHD/ASD
spearca n.masc spark ASD/W7
spearc(i)an vb to spark, sparkle ASD/IEW
specan, spæc, spǣcon, specen vb.str.V to speak, say ASD/W7
sp(r)ǣc, sprēc n.fem speech ASD/W7
sprecan, spræc, sprǣcon, sprecen vb.str.V to speak, say LRC
Middle English: bispeken vb to bespeak, speak out AHD
dysparsen vb to disperse W7
frakne n freckle W7
frekel n freckle W7
sparke n spark W7
sparken vb to spark W7
sparklen vb.freq to sparkle W7
speche n speech W7
speken vb to speak W7
sprenklen vb to sprinkle W7
sprinclen vb to sprinkle W7
English: asparagus n Old World perennial plant with edible shoots W7
asperse vb.trans to sprinkle (with holy water) AHD/W7
bespeak, bespoke, bespoken vb.str.trans to hire, engage, claim beforehand AHD/W7
disperse vb to cause to scatter in different directions AHD/W7
freak vb.trans to streak/stripe (with color) IEW/W7
freckle n small brownish spot on skin AHD/W7
intersperse vb.trans to insert among other things AHD/W7
sparge vb.trans to sprinkle, bespatter AHD/W7
spark n flash, hot glowing particle IEW/W7
spark vb to emit spark W7
sparkle vb to emit sparks IEW
sparse adj few, scattered AHD/W7
speak, spoke, spake, spoken vb.str to talk, utter/articulate words/sounds with ordinary voice AHD/W7
speech n vocal expression/communication of thoughts in words AHD/W7
sprag n pointed bar/stake on vehicle to prevent rolling when halted AHD/W7
sprinkle vb to scatter in drops/particles AHD/W7
spry adj brisk, vigorously active AHD/W7
spurry n small white-flowered European plant AHD/W7
British English: bespoke adj/vb.ptc custom-made W7
West Germanic  
Old Frisian: spreka vb to speak, say ASD
sprēke n speech ASD
Dutch: asperge n asparagus TLL
sproach n speech LRC
spurrie n spurry W7
Old Saxon: sprāka n speech ASD
sprekan vb to speak, say ASD
Old High German: sprāhha n speech, language ASD
sprehhan vb to speak W7
Middle High German: spreckel n spot W7
sprenkel n spot W7
German: Spargel n asparagus TLL
Sprache n.fem speech LRC
sprechen vb to speak LRC
Sprenkel n.masc spot, speckle LRC
sprenkeln vb to spot, speckle, dapple; sprinkle LRC
North Germanic  
Old Norse: freknōttr adj freckled W7
Danish: asparges n asparagus TLL
sprog n speech LRC
Swedish: sparris n asparagus TLL
spragge n branch W7
sprygg adj spry W7
språk n speech LRC
Latin: asparagus n asparagus LRC
aspergo, aspergere vb to sprinkle, splatter W7
aspersus vb.ptc sprinkled, splattered W7
dispergo, dispergere vb to scatter W7
dispersus vb.ptc scattered W7
interspersus vb.ptc interspersed W7
spargō, spargere, sparsī, sparsum vb to strew, sprinkle LRC
spargo, spargere vb to scatter W7
sparsus vb.ptc scattered W7
Medieval Latin: spergula n.fem spurry W7
Middle French: disperser vb to disperse W7
espargier vb to sparge W7
Homeric Greek: σφᾰρᾰγέομαι vb to hiss, crackle, sputter LS
Greek: ἀ-σφάρᾰγος n.fem asparagus LS
σφᾰρᾰγίζω vb to stir up with noise/bustle LS


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

Abbrev. Meaning
V=class 5
fem=feminine (gender)
freq=frequentative (aspect)
masc=masculine (gender)
str=strong (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)
IEW=Julius Pokorny: Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (1959)
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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