Re: [tied] Re: A few more risque words

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 5281
Date: 2001-01-03

Bez- for 'lilac', if the toponym really contains it, may betray Polish influence at least on the folk-etymological level. In these parts, the word "bez" was applied to lilacs about the 18th century. *bUzU- (probably a u-stem originally, as if from *bHug^H-u-, cf. Gen. bzu, bzowina/bzowie 'elder thicket') was the (West and South?) Slavic word for 'elder'. Now for most Poles bez means 'lilac', while 'elder' is qualified as dziki/czarny bez 'wild/black ...'.
You're perfectly right about the weak points in my reasoning. Expressive voicing is by no means rare in this kind of vocabulary, so Baltic bezd- may well be PIE *pezd- plus a little onomatopoeic irregularity. *pezd- itself has good credentials in the form of Germanic, Latin and Greek reflexes, though of course, being an expressive word, can never be regarded as being absolutely above suspicion.
----- Original Message -----
From: s.tarasovas@...
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2001 9:07 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: A few more risque words

As for Baltic roots, you could easily point out some apparent
stretches in your reasonings yourself (vocalism, all-mighty analogy,
a lot of pure Baltic derivatives like Lith. bezdalas 'fart' or
Bezdonis (toponym with a lot of LILACS in there etc.).

After all, I'm inclined to think that, as it's often in case with
such semantics, there were was a set of (semi-onomatopoeic) roots
with that meaning.