List of English words of Etruscan origin

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This is a list of English words that may be of Etruscan origin, and were borrowed through Latin, often via French. The Etruscan origin of most of these words is disputed, and some may be of Indo-European or other origin. The question is made more complex by the fact that the Etruscans borrowed many Greek words in modified form. Typically if a Latin word has an unknown, uncertain or disputed origin, it is considered a possible candidate for deriving in whole or in part from an Etruscan word; however, native Etruscan must then be distinguished from Greek. If no Etruscan word is clearly identifiable sometimes an attempt is made to reconstruct one. Etruscan derivations therefore are highly variable in probability; that is, some are highly speculative and others more likely.



from Middle English aas, from Old French as, from Latin as, "a whole, a unit, copper coin", possibly Etruscan. As was a Roman coin and was also a unit of weight equal to about one troy pound. [1]
from antenna < antemna, "yard-arm, sail." Possibly Etruscan *antithemna > *ant(th)emna from Greek ανάτηθήμένος anatithēmenos, something set up. [2]
from arēna "arena" < harēna, "arena, sand" < archaic hasēna < Sabine fasēna, unknown Etruscan word as the basis for fas- with Etruscan ending -ēna. [3]
from autumnus "autumn." Just as Etruscan veltha, an earth god, appears as Latin Vola or Olta and is in Voltumna and Vertumnus, so the parallel construction autumnus ought to come from Etruscan autu-, related to avil, "year": *av(i)-to-m(e)nos, with loss of the l. There are some names with both l and t: avlethaium, authnal, avtle, and so on, which appear related to autu or auta in Venetic, the idea being that autumn signifies the passing of the year. [4]
from balteus, "sword belt." The sole connection between this word and Etruscan is a statement by Marcus Terentius Varro that it was of Etruscan origin. All else is speculation. [5]
Latin, from Etruscan catmite, from the Ancient Greek Ganymede , cupbearer to Zeus.
possibly Etruscan or possibly referring to Etruscan rites performed at Caere. [6]
defenestration, fenestra
from elementum, 'letter'.
from histrionicus, from histrio, "actor".
from Old French lettre, from Latin littera, which may have derived, via Etruscan, from the Greek "διφθέρα" (writing tablet).
Etruscan or perhaps related to Greek homilos, "assembled crowd" (compare homily). [7]
from mundus, 'earth', from munth, 'land'.
palace, palate, palatine
One of the seven hills of Rome. Either from Latin palus "stake" or the Etruscan shepherd goddess Pales . [8]
From Latin populus by way of Old French peuple, possibly of Etruscan origin. [9]
from Middle English persone, from Old French persone, from Latin persona, "mask", probably from Etruscan phersu, "mask". [10]
from 'Ruma', the name of one of the Etruscan tribes, or 'Rumon', which was what the Etruscans called the Tiber River, possibly of Etruscan origin
from Latin satelles, meaning "bodyguard, attendant", perhaps from Etruscan satnal. [11]
Serge (first name)
the word serve derives from Latin servire ('to serve') and servus ('a slave'), which have sometimes been thought to derive from Etruscan. [12] However, a detailed analysis has preferred an Indo-European etymology for the Latin word. [13]
From Old Latin triumpus, probably a loan word via Etruscan from Greek thriambos, a hymn to Dionysus. [14]
from vernaculus, 'domestic', from verna, 'a native slave'.

Related Research Articles

Autumn One of the Earths four temperate seasons

Autumn, also known as fall in North American English, is one of the four temperate seasons. Outside the tropics, autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September or March, when the duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools considerably. Day length decreases and night length increases as the season progresses, until the Winter Solstice in December and June. One of its main features in temperate climates is the shedding of leaves from deciduous trees.

Etruscan language Extinct language of ancient Italy

Etruscan was the language of the Etruscan civilization, in Italy, in the ancient region of Etruria and in parts of Corsica, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Lombardy and Campania. Etruscan influenced Latin but eventually was completely superseded by it. The Etruscans left around 13,000 inscriptions that have been found so far, only a small minority of which are of significant length; some bilingual inscriptions with texts also in Latin, Greek, or Phoenician; and a few dozen loanwords. Attested from 700 BC to AD 50, the relation of Etruscan to other languages has been a source of long-running speculation and study, with its being referred to at times as an isolate, one of the Tyrsenian languages, and a number of other less well-known theories.


The palate is the roof of the mouth in humans and other mammals. It separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. A similar structure is found in crocodilians, but in most other tetrapods, the oral and nasal cavities are not truly separated. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior, bony hard palate and the posterior, fleshy soft palate.

Etymology is the study of the history of words. By extension, the etymology of a word means its origin and development throughout history.

Folk etymology or reanalysis – sometimes called popular etymology, analogical reformation, or etymological reinterpretation – is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familiar one. The form or the meaning of an archaic, foreign, or otherwise unfamiliar word is reanalyzed as resembling more familiar words or morphemes. Rebracketing is a form of folk etymology in which a word is broken down or "bracketed" into a new set of supposed elements. Back-formation, creating a new word by removing or changing parts of an existing word, is often based on folk etymology.

In etymology, two or more words in the same language are called doublets or etymological twins or twinlings when they have different phonological forms but the same etymological root. Often, but not always, the words entered the language through different routes. Given that the kinship between words that have the same root and the same meaning is fairly obvious, the term is mostly used to characterize pairs of words that have diverged at least somewhat in meaning. For example, English pyre and fire are doublets with merely associated meanings despite both descending ultimately from the same Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word *péh₂ur.

Robert Stephen Paul Beekes was a Dutch linguist who was emeritus professor of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at Leiden University and an author of many monographs on the Proto-Indo-European language.

C Letter of the Latin alphabet

C or c is the third letter in the English and ISO basic Latin alphabets. Its name in English is cee, plural cees.

The prefix ped- in English and various other Western languages has multiple Latin and Ancient Greek roots, and multiple meanings. Ped- is a prefix in English and many other Western languages, often with divergent spellings, such as pet-, pie-, pei-, etc.).

A trump is a playing card which is elevated above its usual rank in trick-taking games. Typically, an entire suit is nominated as a trump suit; these cards then outrank all cards of plain (non-trump) suits. In other contexts, the terms trump card or to trump can refer to any sort of action, authority, or policy which automatically prevails over all others.

Gammon (meat) Type of pork

Gammon is the hind leg of pork after it has been cured by dry-salting or brining, which may or may not be smoked. Like bacon, it must be cooked before it can be eaten; in that sense gammon is comparable to fresh pork meat, and different from dry-cured ham like prosciutto. The term is mostly used in Britain, while other dialects of English largely make no distinction between gammon and ham.

The Slavic ethnonym, Slavs, is reconstructed in Proto-Slavic as *Slověninъ, plural Slověně. The earliest written references to the Slav ethnonym are in other languages.

Most words of African origin used in English are nouns describing animals, plants, or cultural practices that have their origins in Africa. The following list includes some examples.


  1. American Heritage Dictionary, New College Edition (1976), page 76
  2. Breyer (1993) pp. 174–175.
  3. Breyer (1993) p. 259.
  4. Breyer (1993) pp 412–413.
  5. Donaldson, John William (1852). Varronianus: A Critical and Historical Introduction to the Ethnography of Ancient Italy and to the Philological Study of the Latin Language (2 ed.). London, Cambridge: J. W. Parker & Son. p.  154. Breyer (1993) pp 428–429 reports on an attempt to bring in Hittite and Gothic connecting it with a totally speculative root *-lst-.
  6. "ceremony | Origin and meaning of ceremony by Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  7. "military (adj.)", On Line Etymological Dictionary,
  8. palace (n.), On Line Etymological Dictionary,
  9. people (n.), On Line Etymological Dictionary,
  10. American Heritage Dictionary, New College Edition, page 978
  11. Amelia Carolina, Sparavigna (29 January 2016). "The Word Satellite, Its Origin From Etruscan And Its Translation Into Greek". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  12. E.g. Anna Kłosowska, 'The Etymology of Slave', in Disturbing Times: Medieval Pasts, Reimagined Futures, ed. by Catherine E. Karkov, Anna Kłosowska and Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (Earth, Milky Way: punctum, 2020), pp. 151-214 (p. 161).
  13. Thomas Wiedemann, review of H. Rix, Die Termini der Unfreiheit in den Sprachen Alt-Italiens, Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei, 25 (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1994) ISBN   3515066160, in The Classical Review, 48.1 (April 1998), 227-28 (citing Rix pp. 86ff.).
  14. triumph (n.), On Line Etymological Dictionary,


See also