[b-greek] Re: poikilos

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 08:34:14 EST

At 3:22 PM -0500 11/18/01, David Beaulieu wrote:
>>--Dear b-greekers,
> I wonder if anyone could tell me anything about the etymology of
>"poikilos." I heard this week that our English "polka-dot" comes from this
>word. When I consult the American Heritage Dictionary, 1st ed., "polka-dot"
>shows uncertain origin. Strong's also claims the word, "poikilo" has no
>certain derivation.
> Thanks,
> Karen W. Beaulieu

I think this must have been meant for the list. Perhaps some others may
have some input into this. I'd only say that there is surely no
relationship between "polka-dot" and Greek POIKILOS or POIKILLW other than
that the semantic content of "polka-dot" might be translated by the Greek
adjective POIKILOS. I've never seen any etymology of *POIKIL-; I think I
may once have read a conjecture that it's a pre-Greek (Minoan or generally
Mediterranean) word as are (w)OINOS and hRODON, but I don't know if that
was anything more than pure guesswork.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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