I was wondering if the following three word roots are related from the perspective of etymology:

  • oculus: eye, or puncture or hole. e.g. inoculate
  • nox, noctis: "night," e.g. nocturnal
  • noceo: injure. e.g. innocuous, innocent.

Are the first two both related to light?

Are the first and last both related to puncture or hole?



1 Answer 1


No, these are from different roots. I take all this from Wiktionary, but I checked De Vaan, too, to ensure accuracy.


From Proto-Italic *okʷelos, from Proto-Indo-European *h₃ókʷ-, *h₃ekʷ- (“eye; to see”), probably through a later root *ōkʷelos.


From Proto-Italic *nokts, from Proto-Indo-European *nókʷts.

Pooth then derives *nókʷts from *negʷ-, "bare, naked." But De Vann has the more immediate PIE form as *nogʷʰ-t-s, "night."


From Proto-Italic *nokeō, from Proto-Indo-European *noḱéye-, causative of the root *neḱ- ("perish, disappear" as Wiktionary puts it, related to the Greek nekros).

Despite looking similar, *neḱ- and *negʷ- are different roots.


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