Bonus Episode 5: Odds and Ends

In this bonus episode we explore a few odds and ends which didn’t make into the earlier episodes.   We examine the Old English words related to knowledge and wisdom.  And we also look at the original terms for the fingers.

4 thoughts on “Bonus Episode 5: Odds and Ends

  1. A friend alerted me to your podcast about a month ago and I find it absolutely fascinating. More importantly, I’ve become a patron on Patreon.

    This episode on knowledge and wisdom was enlightening and reminded me of something when I studied Russian years ago. The vid/ved root also made its way east, as did the root med meaning honey so that a medved or bear is something that “knows honey”. And from that we also get the family name Medvedev.

    • Thanks for the interesting etymology. I assume that it is also the source of the surname ‘Medved’ as well? And thanks for supporting the podcast!

      • Yes, Medved has the same etymology.

        Vedat’ (ведать) is a kind of archaic synonym of znat’ (знать, to know), wich is actually cognate to the same PIE root *ǵneh₃-. So we see the very same substitution process in Russian! All derivative terms of ведать also feel outdated or rare: nevedenie (неведение, ignorance), nevedomyj (неведомый, unknown), ved’ma (ведьма, a witch), etc.

        However, the other derivative root from ved- is vest’ (весть, a piece of news) is widespread in modern Russian as it produces words like izvestnyj (известный, known), neizvestnyj (неизвестный, unknown), povestka (повестка, subpoena), etc. Sometimes it works as a substitution to vedat’ instead of znat’. For example, neVEDomyj (неведомый) is substituted with neizVESTnyj (неизвестный), while neznakomyj (незнакомый derivative оf znat’) has a more specific meaning “unfamiliar”.

        Also, the original meaning of the root still prevails: to see is videt’ (видеть), an apparition is videnie (виде́ние), vision (meaning “a look into future”) is videnie (ви́дение), visible/apparent is vidimyj (видимый) – the list is quite long.

  2. This bonus episode was very interesting – I was waiting for you to mention “cognate” as a Latin cognate word for “know,” but alas, to no avail. Please allow me to supplement your brilliant podcast with this extraneous tidbit.

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