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prēḱst means something like "ask for" (cf Latin preco).

The word for priest is ǵʰéu̯torm̥, literally "pourer" iirc. Cognate with Sanskrit hotr.

John Cowan

kwe = Latin -que, as you conjectured.

h1est = Latin est, English is.

moi̯ = French moi, dative case.

ǵn̥h1i̯etōd = Latin genere 'beget' with subjunctive ending.

Kʷíd = Latin quid 'what'.

u̯ēlh1si = Latin volo 'want', English will, German wollen 'want'.

leu̯kós = Greek λευκός 'bright, white', as in English leucocyte 'white blood cell'.

pótnih2 = Greek πότνια 'lady', the same pot as in Greek, English despot.

As a rough guide to pronunciation, ǵ and ḱ were probably similar to English j and ch respectively, and h1, h2, h3 were probably /h/, /x/, /xw/ (where /x/ = German ach-sound. hx means it was one of h1, h2, or h3, but we can't tell which. u̯ and i̯ are just English w and y respectively.

Peter Harvey

Thank you both very much indeed. It is fascinating to see how much more there is in that text.

Now that I think about it more, I remember that priest is from a root meaning old.

Latin preco will be Italian prego. I suppose that Spanish preguntar from Latin percontāri is different.

I now see pter as father.

I had identified pótnih2 as lady but couldn't make a connection. I am delighted to know that the Greek words for lady and despot have a common root.


*ḱludʰí = loud
ǵeǵonh1e = gonad
u̯eu̯ked = voice
h1i̯aǵeto = hagio-
km̥tá = heaven
gʷah2t = come


"despot" is from *dems potis "master of the house" - *dems "house" + *potis "master". Is this really related to πότνια "lady"?

Peter Harvey

Thank you very much Goofy for these fascinating insights.

John Cowan

Goofy: Yes, absolutely. ποτης 'lord' corresponds to ποτνια 'lady'; likewise, the feminine of δεσποτης is δεσποινα. The spelling Despina, which reflects the modern pronunciation, is used as a given name by Greek-Americans, meaning 'the Lady = the Virgin Mary'. It is also the name of one of the smaller moons of Neptune.

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