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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

The Celtic word "al" in Latin?

I found a strange word while I read my Latin–Portuguese dictionary (Dicionário latino-português por F. R. Dos Santos Saraiva). The word is "al". The dictionary says that it's a Celtic word ...
0 votes
0 answers
134 views

Popcorn in latin

In Portuguese, popcorn is "Pipoca" from Old Tupi pi'poka pira(skin) pok(burst) Since latin has borrowed some words(not to mention greek) Could we have it as a borrowed word? Pipoca is a ...
5 votes
1 answer
195 views

βυκάνη < būcina: vowel reduction undone in borrowings from Latin?

So I've come across this word βῡκάνη, ostensibly borrowed from Latin būcina ('an ox-horn trumpet'), from bou- ('ox') + canere ('to sing'). The lack of vowel reduction is immediately striking; ...
6 votes
1 answer
335 views

From which Greek dialect did Hebrew borrow *awēr* "air"?

The Hebrew for "air" is אוויר avir, earlier awīr or awēr. This is obviously a borrowing of the Greek word that appears in Attic as ἀήρ, and would be ἀϝήρ in other dialects. The Hebrew word must have ...
11 votes
4 answers
856 views

Aut "rex Azteca" aut "rex Aztecus"?

In Spanish, azteca as an adjective doesn't seem to inflect for gender, though it does for number: azteca, aztecas. Hence the phrase el rey azteca. In Italian, azteco seems to be a perfectly regular ...
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

When did the Romans start using Z?

Several of my recent questions have touched on the letter Z, which was introduced fairly late to the alphabet (it's disappeared from its Phoenician position and been added back in at the end, in its ...
6 votes
1 answer
439 views

Are there any indeclinable adjectives?

I had until recently believed that only nouns could be "declinable" versus "indeclinable": most nouns follow set declensions patterns, while a few (mostly foreign, like Abraham from Hebrew, but some ...