6

I have found different explanations for the meaning, but they all seem contradictory.

  1. It shows exaggeration of an existing adjective (atrōx < āter)
  2. It shows exaggeration of an existing verb (fĕrox < feriō)
  3. It means 'having such an appearance', akin to eye, oculus and -opsis (celōx < celer)
  4. It means 'having a stronger tendency towards something than the original adjective shows' (fĕrox < fērus)
4

Morphologically, it should be fer-ok-s (spelled ferox), -s being the nominative singular ending, and the suffix is actually -ok- (spelled -oc-) here.

The OLD (Oxford Latin Dictionary) says the following:

" -ox -ōcis adjl. suff Forms adjs. denoting appreance, as Gk βο-ῶπ-ις, (atrox, ferox); also in wider sense, perh. w. different origins (uelox)."

cf. Weiss 2020: 326

"ferōx 'fierce' (Plaut.+) < 'wild-looking' (ferus 'wild')" with the suffix -ōk-, "originally a root noun from the verbal root *h₃okʷ- 'see, look.' Cf Gk. γλαυκ-ώψ 'with gleaming eyes,' βο-ῶπ-ισ 'ox-eyed'" (cf. Leumann et al. 1977: 377, section 329.4)

Ernout and Meillet are more cautious and say "peut-être" (maybe; s.v. atrox), citing Schmidt 1889 (for Ancient Greek data?).

cf. Walde and Hofmann s.v. atrox.

de Vaan adds that "This can be disputed, but I see no better source for this suffix" (s.v. ferus).

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Thanks a lot for your answer! – Cameron K. Sep 3 at 10:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.