Rus Articles Journal

Why language - Greek, porridge - buckwheat, and a nut - walnut?

Language happen Russian,

French and Turkish,

English and German,

But does not happen WALNUT. you will tell


Greeks …
Will die laughing

A. Usachyov

Generally, Greeks will not die laughing. And will not even understand that it is about their language. Because official language which speak in Greece, an ellinik. Why we use ekzony “Greek“? Let`s look how this fact is explained by historians.

Who such Greeks?

the people Living on the Balkan Peninsula - achaeans, Ionians, eoliyets - turned in Greeks in a banal way. Originally so only one of the Greek tribes inhabiting Ftiotid`s area (the southern Thessaly) was called. Respectively, their earth was called “Hellas“ or “Ellas“.

Linguists believe that, most likely, the people received the name “Greeks“ in honor of the mythical patriarch Ellin (E λ λ η ν) . Anyway, but gradually the name extended to neighbors. Perhaps, not without the aid of Homer mentioning this ethnos in the works passing by word of mouth into an antique era.

By 5th century BC in the territory of modern Greece the internal cultural unity of various tribes was established. Inhabitants of the majority of city-states - Sparta, Athens, Corinth and others - began to consider themselves by the uniform people under the general name “Greeks“.

Respectively, from 4th century BC after Alexander of Macedon`s gains and association of the country, also uniform language on the basis of an attic dialect began to develop.

As Greeks turned into Greeks?

the Fact that the words “Greece“, “Greeks“, “Greek“ came from Latin, is not challenged. But there are different ideas of how they got to language of Ancient Rome.

According to one version, the word “Greek“ came from the name Greek (Γ ρ α ι κ ό ς) - mythological primogenitor of a small nationality (γ ρ α ῖ ο ς) living in the territory of the state Epirus. These people were mentioned still by Aristotle. Then the word got to Latin.

On another - at first Romans called “Greeks“ of Greeks - the colonists who moved to the Southern Italy from Gray`s city on the island of Euboea. Then the word extended to all inhabitants of Hellas which in Latin began to be called Graecia.

One more option of emergence of the word “Greek“ relatively to ancient Greeks can be offered, proceeding from the Latin words grex, gregis: 1) herd, 2) crowd, group, society. Perhaps, Romans so called group of the Greeks living in the south of Italy.

From Latin of the word “Greece, Greeks, Greek“ got at first in Romance, later - to the German and Slavic languages. In the different European countries they are said differently taking into account features of local phonetics, however the root (gre) remains to constants.

English: greek; Greek - Greek, the Greek language

German: griechisch; Greek - die griechische Sprache, das Griechische

French: grec (grecque); de la Grece; Greek - le grec, langue grecque

Italian: il greco; Greek - la lingua greca

Spanish: griego; de Grecia; hel é nico (Hellenic); Greek - lengua griega

Ukrainian: gretsky

Why the Russian porridge became buckwheat?

too not everything is so unambiguous

With an origin of the word “buckwheat“. About long “travel“ of this culture from Southern Siberia and Altai through the Urals to areas of purely Slavic moving the historian of products V. Pokhlebkin colourfully described. It is unambiguous that buckwheat already during the Middle Ages becomes one of traditional porridges and a national dish of the Russian people.

According to the scientist, initially in Russia the buckwheat was cultivated on monastic grounds most often by the Greek monks who were considered expert in agronomics. Whether Greeks gave such name to grain, whether the Russian people called fruits of their work the conformable word, it is precisely unknown. However, on the standard point of view, the names “buckwheat“, “buckwheat“, “buckwheat“ were fixed thanks to Greeks.

The following version of an origin of the name of a buckwheat has no relation to Greece, and is connected with need to warm up grain. In other words, “buckwheat“ - from the verb “heat“, that is grety porridge or grety grain.

Perhaps, once it was in general the only hot food, and all the rest was eaten cold: dried, dried, salted or just crude. Thus, “grety porridge“ turns out. And if for storage of grains of their buckwheat it was necessary to calcinate surely in an oven or to take under the sun, then the name “grety grain“ is quite logical.

The words “buckwheat“ and buckwheat“ - an example of curious language paradox. “Buckwheat“ - a grassy plant of family buckwheat, grain of this plant and a croup. And “buckwheat“ - the diminutive name. So “buckwheat“ is derivative of the word “buckwheat“, and not vice versa.

Since the 15th century the buckwheat began to extend also in other countries. Europeans considered it as east culture though the concept “East“ strongly differed. Greece and Italy called a buckwheat “the Turkish grain“; in France and Belgium, Spain and Portugal - “saratsinsky or Arab“.

In the second half of the 18th century Karl Linney gave a buckwheat the Latin name “fagopirum“ - “a bukovopodobny nutlet“ as the form of seeds of a buckwheat reminded nutlets of a beechen tree. Since then in the German-speaking countries - Germany, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark - the buckwheat began to be called “beechen wheat“.

In modern Greece there are, as they say, all. Except buckwheat cereal. That grain which is translated as “buckwheat“ neither appearance, nor taste does not remind buckwheat, habitual for Russians.

And that about a walnut?

Walnut is a synonym modern “Greek“. Judging from the fact that the word was used by N. V. Gogol, and not strongly outdated: “On the yard rolled out a barrel to honey and put buckets of walnut wine much“.

Ushakov D. N. interprets so: “WALNUT - WALNUT, walnut, walnut (went out of use and remained only in the few special names: Walnut (grade of large nuts). Walnut sponge“.

Why outdate “walnut“ it is used in connection with a tree which homeland Central and Asia Minor? The prescription of the events gives to historians flight for the imagination: again on a scene the ubiquitous Greek monks who delivered and cultivating nut trees in monastic gardens. And it is possible, it were the Greek merchants trading in nuts in Russia. In both options, the walnut got to us through Greece.

In Hellas the walnut grows so long ago that managed even to put legends. For example, such. God Dionysus had a beloved - the daughter of the Greek tsar Kariya. From - for accident the girl died. Then Dionysus turned it into a hazel grove. In memory of the daughter Kary erected the temple which columns were executed from a nut tree in the form of the young woman and were called caryatids.

Here such contribution to Russian was made by Greeks. Or rather, Romans as they called ancient Greeks Greeks.