Preparing for a rainy day [was: Bog]

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 9071
Date: 2001-09-05

Well, the message contains examples of *h1su-diw- `fair weather,
sunny day' from Sanskrit and Greek. If the Greeks regarded a sunny
day as good, they presumably regarded a rainy one as bad (precisely
my feeling, too). A long drought is bad from a farmer's point of
view, but too much rain is hardly better, especially if your fields
are located on the seasonally flooded alluvial plain of a river -- as
they typically were before people learnt how to exploit upland soils
effectively. Farming conditions have not always been the same.

For any traditional invocation encouraging the rain to fall there may
be another asking it to stop: `Nie lij, dyscu, nie lij, bo cie tu nie
trzeba' (an old song from the Tatra mountains: `Do not pour, rain, do
not pour, for you are not needed here'), or even `Rain, rain, go
away, come again another day.'

I suggest that *dus-dju- may be a loan from Indo-Iranian -- a branch
in which such a compound exists (plus a number of similar formations,
e.g. Rigvedic su-div-, su-dyu-t-). The fact that neither *dus- nor
*diw-/*dju- are independently attested in Slavic is therefore no
obstacle. They are found in the hypothetical source of the loan. The
inherited Indo-European word for `rain' was lost in Slavic anyway,
perhaps replaced by a borrowed euphemism. By the time Russian folk
rhymes were composed, nobody was aware of the etymology of *dUzdjI,
so the rhymer you quote promises to feed the rain as an elemental
force, not a bad day.

As for the evidence of a *-u-stem, I can quote Russ. doz^devoj and
archaic Polish dz*dz*ewy/dz*dz*owy `rainy' < *dUzdjevU- (hence
dz*dz*ownica `earthworm').


--- In cybalist@..., "Sergejus Tarasovas" <S.Tarasovas@...> wrote:

> But that message contains no other *dus-diw/n- 'rainy day' examples
> but already mentioned Sanskrit lexemes. In fact, we have _one_
> parallel, which is, of course, better than nothing, but still not
> enough IMHO. I wonder what is more natural typologically: a
> designation of rain as 'bad day' or 'patterer'. Consider frequent
> not characteristical) _personification_ of rain in Slavic folklore,
> rain being an object of invocation (like Russian <doz^dik, doz^dik,
> pushshe, dam tebe gushshi> 'rain, rain, harder, I'll give thee the
> thickiest part of the soup'), which makes nomen actionis much more
> natural by default. How are you going to feed 'a bad day'? And why?
> To make it even worse? Too absract for me. Again, where are those
> *dus- and *diw- (not din-) in Slavic? What evidence exists of
> *dUz^dz^I being -u stem (rather than -(j)o-stem?
> Sergei