Re: [tied] Centaur

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14948
Date: 2002-09-02

Mark Odegard once suggested on Cybalist a parallel between <kentauros> and <cowpoke>, and indeed it's thinkable that kentauros < *kento-tauros (with haplology, as e.g. in kentron < *kente:tron from the verb kenteo: 'prick, stab, goad'). Verb(al)+Object compounds are by no means un-Greek, cf. pHilo-pato:r or mis-antHro:pos.
----- Original Message -----
From: tgpedersen
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2002 2:22 PM
Subject: [tied] Centaur

The Oxford dictionary of Etymology says that 'centaur' is of unknown
origin. Emmeline Plunkett "Calendars and Constellations of the
Ancient World" says it means "Bull-killer", without explanation. The
point of the arrow of the zodiacal constelletion of Sagittarius, who
is a centaur holding bow and arrow is in direct opposition on the
zodiac to a point between the horns of the constellation Taurus.

The bull was supposed to be pierced (Mitra's dagger, the toreador's
blade), not chopped, preferably between the horns. This is where the
Minoan acrobats went, and the toreador's sword goes.

Any etymology for 'centaur'? If the meaning is "bull-killer", the
compound would be composed in "French" style, V-Obj, as in porte-
parole, garde-robe. That's not Greek? I recall there was a discussion
of Gr. Minotaurus vs Etruscan tavre-mine, but perhaps this is a
dvandva (non-Greek!), man_and_bull, where sequence wouldn't matter?