Rus Articles Journal

How etymologies establish an origin of words? About change of word meanings. If to tell part 2

about enemies, then it is necessary to tell also about victory . It is one of words - double-dealing fellows, in a root of at it trouble , and value indicates it safe completion of any affairs (mainly military). In Old Russian language this word designated just consequences of the trouble, general for many people, the victory was celebrated by both the winner, and the survived won. A victory - what came on trouble, for trouble.

Over time the word changed value in two directions: 1) began to designate defeats (in Hugo - the western dialects of Ancient Russia); 2) changed in victory (in modern sense of this word) on the battlefield (North - east dialects). Second " option; semantic changes we use to this day.

As the same word in closely related languages is influenced by different influences environment in a current state in languages - relatives meet misunderstanding within one word. For example, Czech č erstv ý chl é b [h é rstva: hle:b] it is translated as fresh " bread; .

And such absurdities it is a lot of: the Serbian word heat means " sweat; a heap - house ú grat - to dance the word - letter Bulgarian the mountain matters wood a thought - word week - Sunday a table - chair etc. Serbian word d ó the movina means homeland and Ukrainian of houses ú on - coffin .

Why does that happen that the words having one source gain absolutely different values? It is possible to explain such changes on the example of the word pack . It is translated from Bulgarian as room . In Old Russian language and in today`s dialects of Russian (and dialects keep ancient word meanings) pack - it is stall, shed , that is place, where costs cattle. Over time semantics of the word developed as follows: 1) stall - parking of cattle - herd - pack (in Russian); 2) stall - shed - room - room (in Bulgarian). Quite so it turns out that some words - relatives disperse on sense in different languages because of their different use or begin to designate absolutely opposite objects, concepts or the phenomena.

For example, the Serbian word is harmful matters it is useful Polish uroda [Ur ó yes] - beauty of zapomina ć [zapy ú nach] - to forget . In dialects of Russian poisonous can mean edible, tasty a stench - pleasant smell (cf. aroma), the pupil - teacher . In the literary language too such collisions " quite often meet; mirror meanings in one word. It is possible to give development of value in the word as a simple example invaluable which outdated, primordial semantics, - cheap , but in the modern language the main objective of this word - to be a synonym to an adjective expensive .

The examples of semantic changes given above belong to quite ancient times. But development of language continues to this day therefore we will consider enough young history of one word. At the time of Pushkin the steamship designated " engine; :

the Topsy-turvy - boils, the steamship smokes ...

I quicker, a shibcha of will

the Train rushes in a clean floor.
These verses of N. V. Kukolnik on which M. I. Glinka wrote music are the proof of the use of the word, unexpected for us, when, it appears, the steamship could go by land (!) . Over time steamship began to call the water vessel, and this word was succeeded by another, overland - " engine;.

We observed how word meanings in development of language either extend, or are narrowed (that occurs more often), or displaced.

The reasons of such changes as far as it was succeeded to show it, can be various. Time, changes in human life is the main reason, we still use perochinny knives though for a long time nobody repairs feathers, and we shoot already not arrows at all, but these words kept, changed and we use them on health!


1. Kolesov V. V., Russian History in stories;

2. Yu. V. farmers, To word sources: stories about an origin of words;

3. Shansky N. M., Linguistic detectives.