Seeing this question made me curious if there's an already-compiled list of words of Ancient Near Eastern origin, hopefully excluding all those borrowed from the Hebrew Bible or other Hebrew/Aramaic works through translation (though I'm not picky if they're included, too). Also welcome would be more unusual borrowings (Chinese, Sanskrit, Berber, non-IE European languages).

I could, separately, search de Vaan and Beekes, but that would be time consuming, and I'm hoping that something already exists. Also, no Bernal, please.

  • 1
    De Vaan unfortunately excludes loanwords entirely, if I'm not mistaken.
    – TKR
    Mar 17, 2017 at 2:19
  • @TKR No, I think you're right. I couldn't remember if he included some or not, but thinking about it now, I don't think he does. What a bummer.
    – cmw
    Mar 17, 2017 at 2:22
  • 1
    Beekes does have an index of non-IE words.
    – fdb
    Mar 17, 2017 at 12:52
  • @fdb Beekes has that wonderful section in the beginning on the Pre-Greek substrate, but I don't see anywhere here where he has a separate section on all Greek words of non-IE descent, even if the Pre-Greek substrate was non-IE. I am thankful though that he mentions whenever someone has a plausible (even if unlikely) derivation from another language.
    – cmw
    Mar 17, 2017 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


The classic work is: É. Masson, Recherches sur les plus anciens emprunts sémitiques en grec, Paris 1967.

Now also this: https://www.academia.edu/5020261/Les_emprunts_s%C3%A9mitiques_en_grec_ancien_%C3%A9tude_m%C3%A9thodologique_et_exemples_myc%C3%A9niens

  • 4
    Can you give a brief description of the book and maybe give a link to additional information (or even a freely available version if there is one)? Also, a couple of example words would be great. This source sounds promising, but it would be good to give an idea of what to expect from the book.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 17, 2017 at 15:12
  • 2
    @JoonasIlmavirta. Masson's book does not seem to be on the internet, but I have added a link to the more recent study by Bourguignon.
    – fdb
    Mar 17, 2017 at 15:38

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