Re: PIE rainbow

From: Daniel J. Milton
Message: 27746
Date: 2003-11-27

> --- In, "Joao S. Lopes" <josimo70@...>
> wrote:
> > Is there any PIE name for the Rainbow?
> >
> > Joao SL
> *********
> I don't know, but I doubt it. From "The Rainbow, from Myth to
> Mathematics (C. B. Boyer), it seems that worldwide the rainbow
> many fanciful names matching explanatory myths. The
> English "rainbow" seems one of the most straightforward names.
> What comes to mind for a possible I.E. word is
Greek 'iris' .
> Does it have cognates in any other language? Watkins has it a
> possible derivative of *wi:-ri, an extended form of *wei- "to
> turn". On the other hand, Keightley (1857) and more recent
> authorities referred to in Boyer, have it derived from 'eiro' "to
> say", which would make Iris's office of messenger of Zeus primary,
> and the rainbow secondary.
> Dan
I couldn't get the Perseus Liddell and Scott when I posted the
above, but I did now:
"Iris , idos, hê, acc. Irin, voc. Iri:--Iris, the messenger of
the gods among themselves, Il.8.398 (never in Od.), Hes.Th.780, etc.
(Perh. fr. *Wiris, cf. ôkea Iris Il.2.786 , al., Hes. l.c.; ôka de
Iris Il.23.198 (Pap.); possibly also fr. *EWiris: Eiris is the name
of a ship, IG22.1611c137 (iv B.C.), but iris is written in Michel832
(Samos, iv B.C.): allegorized as prophorikos logos and derived from
eirô by Stoic.2.43.)"
That last reference is Stoicorum Fragmenta, so the etymology is
an ancient one. I don't what L&S had in mind with *Wiris