Re: [tied] Re: Milk and a Gaulish Love Poem

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14459
Date: 2002-08-22

----- Original Message -----
From: richardwordingham
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 3:55 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Milk and a Gaulish Love Poem

> My line of though was that Slav **melz^o might have been some other form of processed milk.  A new use could have brought in a new name.
That's quite possible. Old Prussian has <dadan> 'milk' related to Skt. dádHi (gen. dadHnás) 'sour milk', an archaic-looking reduplicated formation with heteroclitic inflections. If there were various technical terms for milk and dairy products, they may have undergone all sorts of semantic shifts. BTW, the expected Slavic form would have been *melzo. What's actually attested is the derivative *melzivo with meanings such as 'fresh milk' or 'first milk (beestings)'.
> However, I wonder if the borrowing of Germanic *xlaibaz (whence English 'loaf') to give the word Slav word for bread (e.g. Russian 'khleb') is related to the derivation of Slav *melko from Germanic?  Or is leavened bread a recent invention?
Depends what you understand by "recent". I think leavened bread first appeared in Egypt in the 3rd millennium BC or so. The Germani knew it rather early, though in mediaeval northern Europe people periodically reverted to eating unleavened bread here and there (the Normans are credited with the reintroduction of leavened bread to England in the 12th century). As far as I know, the etymology of *xlaibaz is somewhat uncertain, but if it is related to OE hli:fian 'rise high' (*kloip-ó-s, *kleip-o:j-an-?), perhaps it meant specifically 'leavened bread'.