View Full Version : Wheels, Linguistic History and more

26-01-13, 13:50
After horses, I would like to bring up another peculiar topic. Wheels. I mean, it's compelling to argue that PIE had a word for 'wheel', but which one?

*kwel- or *kwekwelos:
- English "wheel"
- Greek "kyklos"
- Polish "koło", Russian "koleso"
- Persian "tʃarx"
- Sanskrit "cakra"
- (probably) Old Irish "cul" ("wagon")
- Tocharian A "kukäl", Tocharian B "kokale" ("wagon", "cart").

- Irish "roth", Welsh "rhod"
- German "Rad"
- Latvian "rats", Lithuanian "ratas"
- Latin "rota"
- Hindi "rathavana" (charioteer)

So, the question would be: were there possibly two words for wheel, or something else?


26-01-13, 21:09
I would make a quick connection:

Latin "circulus", Polish "koło", Polish "kula" (sphere), Russian "koleso", (probably) Old Irish "cul" ("wagon")

26-01-13, 23:19
Unlike horses, wheel of a wagon, is a fairly recent invention. The word "wheel" might be much older though. Once the new thing was invented they needed to call it somehow, right? Usually the names are transferred from existing things.
Interesting is that there are not many naturally round objects. We have Sun, Moon and eye/iris. Not sure what else? Drop of water?
Maybe they used old IE for an eye? Modern forms: oko (slavic), oculus (latin)

Material it was made of, wood, drvo, lignum? Doesn't ring any bells though.

Function, to turn around/rotate, (like a person turning around): IN almost all IE languages we find root "rot", "rat" for turning. Also, similar for wheel in Hindi "vrta", Slavic for bore "vertat, vrtat"

28-01-13, 14:57
There is also Albanian "rreth", pl "rrath". for me the ending in "th" reflex *roitko