The Indo-European names for "world"

 

The world is the place illuminated by the sun: it is what we see. The following names for "world" arise from a root meaning "bright, shining, beautiful, the sun".

 

 

Ārkisosi (Tokharian). Base ark- shining:

 

Hindi

ark

sun

Hindi

arkši

flamme

Tokharian A

ārki

white

Georgian

arki

birch

Berber

urki

birch

Armenian

arcat`

silver

Tokharian

ārkisosi

world

 

Dinya (Kurdish: Sorani). Base d-n:

Sanskrit

dinam

day

Lettish

diena

day

Latin

Diana

goddess of the moon and of hunting

Romanian

Zana

Diana; dzâna witch

Kurdish: Sorani

dinya

world

Russian

den

day, Polish dzien'

Serbocroatian

dān

day, daylight

 

Domhan (Gaelic Ireland). Base d-v:

Breton

deviń

to burn

Sanskrit

dhavalā

white, to shine

Sanskrit

Dyava

personification of the sky

Czech

dive

marvel, miracle

Polish

dziw

marvel

Welsh

Duw

god

Gaelic Ireland

domhan

world

 

Elfydd (Welsh). See Allah.

Kósmos (Greek). Base k-s to shine (see also Kassiopč):

Aramaic

kaysa

to shine

Aramaic

kasu

glitter

Khinalug

xaš

moon

Greek

Kassandra

the most beautiful daughter of Priam

French (dialectal)

cassančl

pretty

French (dialectal)

acassŕ

pretty

Kurdish

kasīl

beautiful

Persian: Sivand

xās

beautiful

Kurdish: Sorani

xoš

beautiful, good

Greek

kósmos

ornament, world

 

Locus (Roman), borrowing, see Lokas.

Lokas (Sanskrit). Rot l-k:

Greek

leukos

shining, clear

Latin (borrowed from Greek)

lux

light

Sanskrit

lokas

world; Thai (from Skr.) lok

Latin(borrowing) 

locus

world

Italian

lucore, lucciare

splendor

 

Lume (Romanian). Base l-m:

Arabic

lāmi

gleaming

Romanian

lume

light, world

French

lumičre

light

Gaelic Ireland

laom

lightning

Gaelic Ireland

laomtha

shining, splendid

English

leam

glitter

 

Mir (Bulgarian, Russian). Base m-r:

Hebrew

mer

to shine

Bulgarian

mir

monde

Guez

amir

day

Old Persian

amiran

genius of light

Persian

mihr

sun

Dravidian

miru

glittering

Canarese

mirugu

to shine

Greek

amarygēs

shining

Basque

margo

shining

German

morgen

morning

Lithuanian

mirgu

to shine

 

Monde (French), mondo (Italien), mundo (Spanish, Portuguese). Base m-nd, m-nt shining, pure, beautiful:

German

mond

moon

French

monde

world

Italian

mondo

Italian mondo world, pure

Spanish

mundo

world

Portuguese

mundo

Portuguese mundo world, pure

Etruscan

Munthu

goddess of ornament

 

Romanian

măndru

superb

 

Romanian

pămănt

world (formed with the Slavic

particle pa, and not from Latin pavimentum, the world is not made of paving stones)

 

Mondo (Italian), see monde.

Mundo (Portuguese, Spanish), see monde.

Munthu (Etruscan). Goddess of ornament. See monde.

Pămănt (Romanian), see monde.

 

Pasaulis (Lithuanian), see next word.

Saoghal, Saol (Gaelic Ireland). From a base s-l clear, shining:

Georgian

zeli

clear

Sumerian

zalam

sun

Kurdish: Sorani

siley

morning

Ethiopia: Harrar

silbi

rufous, velvety

Berber

cellan

spark

Guanche

zeloy

sun

Berber: Kabyle

azal

heat of the sun

Berber: Shihla

azal

daylight

Berber

ahel

day

Berber

zill

to light; beautiful

Basque

ziller

silver

Lettish

žilbinos

shining, dazzling

German

silber

English silver

Guanche

zelo

sky

Guanche

cel

to light

Etruscan

Cel, Cilens

god of hell

Modern Greek

sélas

dawn, brightness, light

Modern Greek

selagin

spark

Ancient Greek

sigalónei

(metathesis) glossy

Ancient Greek

selekiou

a phosphorescent fish

Ancient Greek

selēnē

moon

Modern Greek

selini iris

rainbow

Albanian

çelë

pale

Romanian

ţel

white

Lettish

salma

hoarfrost

Lettish

salt

to freeze

Swedish

sol

sun

Gaelic Ireland

solas

light etc.

Gaelic Ireland

saol

world, life, time

Gaelic Ireland

saoghal

world

Old English

sael

time, season, fortune, happiness

Old Norse

saell

happy

Old English

solace

Franch consolation

Italian

sole

sun, beauty, virtue

Italian: V.Verzasca

söli

beautiful

Spanish

sol

English sun

French

soleil

sun

Basque

xolea

blaze

Italian: V.Verzasca

zeller

sun

Etruscan

sela, usil

sun

Russian

sálice

sun

Lithuanian

saulé

sun

Lithuanian

pasaulis

world

Czech

sáláti

to beam

Italian

saliŕre

somptueux

French: Poitou

salbrenaux

élégant, FEW 22: 50, cf. Italian sole, ci-dessus

French: Bas-Limousin

silletŕ

propre, élégant, FEW 22: 50

French: Picardy

soele

superb, magnificent

French:  Bas Maine

šwël

superb, magnificent

English

swell

elegant, chic; Amer. excellent (cf. preceding)

French: Amiens

swélé

échauffé, FEW 23: 176

Anglo-Saxon

swelan

to burn

Lithuanian

svilti

to blaze

 

Sipihr (Persian). Base sp-, s-p :

Pashto

spin

white

Armenian

spidak, anpis

white

Kurdish

speda

dawn

Persian

sapid, safid

white

Persian

sipe

white

Persian

sipihr

world, sun, sky

Baluchi

yspet

white

Zend

spiti-gaona

white colour

Kurdish: Sorani

sipī

white, sipik egg white

Persian: Sangesari

ēspi

white

 

Světlina (Bulgarian), see svet

Světu (Old Slavic), see svet

Svet (Russian). Base sv-t:

Sanskrit

çvita

to shine

Sanskrit

çveta

blanc

Serbocroatian

cvēt

flower, cream

Serbocroatian

sevati

it is lightning

Old Slavic

světu

light, world

Bulgarian

světlina

world

Russian

svet

light, world

Russian

rassvot

dawn

Russian

svetilo

star

 

Verden (Danish), see world

Welt (German), see world

World (English). Base (s)v-r:

Sanskrit

svárati

to shine

Sanskrit

svargah

sky

Zend

hvare

sun

Albanian

verzullim

shining, sparkling

Etruscan

verse

fire

Danish

verden

world

Swedish

verld

world

English

world

The etymology wer "man" + old is devoid of meaning, even if interpreted as "age of man"

German

welt

world

 

Zemlja (Russian). Base h-m, z-m:

Albanian

himazi

clearly, brightly

German

himmel

sky

Hindi

himal

snow

Sanskrit

hima

snow, winter

Lettish

ziemeli

winter, the North

Russian

zemlja

earth

Greek

Zemélē

a goddess of the earth

 

The following names are from a root meaning "life, what is living":

Bed (Breton), see byd.

Bith (Gaelic Ireland), see byd.

Byd (Welsh) The Breton and insular Celtic word for "world" contains the notion of "life, existence, that which exists":

Anc.Greek

bíos

life

English

be

to exist

Persian

buda

existence

Breton

boud

existence

Welsh

bod

life

Breton

bed

world, univers

Welsh

byd

world

Gaelic Ireland

bith

world

Gaelic Ireland

beatha

life

Russian

byte

existence

 

Semitic:

`Ālam (Persian). Base –l:

Akkadian

Ilu

God

Akkadian

ellu

shining

Assyrian

élālu, hālu

to shine

Hebrew

hālal

to shine; helel morning star

Arabic

halla

id.

Persian

`ālam

the world

Arabic

allāq

to light up

Albanian

llap

(< Semit. via Turkish and with change k > p) to shine

Arabic

halla

to shine

Arabic

Allah

God

Arabic

a'ali

powerful (change of category)

Basque

al

power