Re: [tied] bison

From: alex_lycos
Message: 17793
Date: 2003-01-19

Piotr Gasiorowski wrote:
> The relation of *zo~brU to Lithuanian stumbras and Latv. sumbrs
> remains to be clarified. It looks as if the PBSl. word had been
> something like *stumbras or *stumras, with an irregular treatment of
> the initial in Slavic (possibly due folk-etymological contamination
> with *zo~bU < *g^ombH- 'tooth, sharp point'?). Various analyses of
> *stum(b)ras have been proposed, all of them speculative. The Old
> Prussian word wissambras looks like a puzzling cross between Slavic
> *zo~brU and (M)Ger. wisant
> Germanic *wisand-/*wisund- is no doubt of participial origin,
> apparently < *wis(o)nto- 'stinking (beast)', cf. weasel < *wisulo:n-
> 'little stinker'
> Piotr

indeed Wisent +zâmbru should look like the first syllable from the
Germanic word "wiss" and the second one from the another word
wissambras. But maybe this is to be analysed in another way.

bison - 1611, from L. bison "wild ox," borrowed from P.Gmc. *wisand-
"aurochs," also source of O.E. wesend. Possibly ult. of Baltic or Slavic

We see here the P.Gmc word is very near at the Latin form: bison/wisand.
In the Germanic world it is said the name comes from the fact this bison
stunk. It seems Prussian allows compositions like Germanic languages and
we have meadow = weissi and bison= zambras. So this could easy give an
wissambras and there is no contamination there. Of course can be that
there is no composition and that "wiss" means something else as meadow.I
make this connection because the attested forms for the word at the
ancient Greek writers are as follows:

Zómbros, Zómbron but at Nicetta Chon. the form is "Zoúmpros"

If the animal was called because of its stench then we should try to see
in Slavic or other languages where the form "zambr-" still exist to find
cognates for "stink" which have a form like "zambr-". Are there any?