ἔρρω

Validation

Yes

Word-form

γέρων

Transliteration (Word)

gerōn

English translation (word)

old man

Transliteration (Etymon)

errō

English translation (etymon)

to go to one's harm

Author

Epimerismi homerici

Century

9 AD

Source

Idem

Ref.

Epimerismi homerici ordine alphabetico traditi, gamma 3

Ed.

A.R. Dyck, Epimerismi Homerici: Pars altera. Lexicon αἱμωδεῖν [Sammlung griechischer und lateinischer Grammatiker (SGLG) 5.2] Berlin - New York: De Gruyter, 1995: 59-761

Quotation

Γέρων· […] γίνεται παρὰ τὸ ἔρρω, τὸ φθείρω, ἔρρων καὶ γέρων· ὁ μετὰ φθορᾶς εἰς τὸν Ἅιδην πορευόμενος. ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἴρω, τὸ λέγω· λεκτικοὶ γὰρ οἱ γέροντες, καὶ Ὅμηρος· ‘ἀλλ’ ἀγορηταὶ | ἐσθλοί’ (Γ 150-51). ἢ παρὰ τὸ γέρας, ὃ σημαίνει τὴν τιμήν· ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἰς γῆν ὁρᾶν

Translation (En)

Gerōn "old man" […] it comes from errō "to go to one's loss", *errōn and gerōn; the one who is walking to Hades because of destruction, from eirō "to say"; because old men are talkative, and Homer says "and they are good speakers" (Il. 3.150-51). Or from geras, which means "honor". Or from "to look on earth".

Comment

The etymology relies as many others on the idea of destruction brought by age. The word is derived from a motion verb meaning "to go to one's harm", implying neglect of the geminate consonant (but geminate consonants were not pronounced in Byzantine Greek) and the adjunction of a consonant at the beginning of the word

Parallels

Epimerismi homerici ordine alphabetico traditi, gamma 26 (γέρων: παρὰ τὸ εἴρω, τὸ λέγω, ἔρων καὶ γέρων· λεκτικοὶ γὰρ μᾶλλον οἱ γέροντες ‘ἀλλ’ ἀγορηταὶ | ἐσθλοί, {τε}τεττίγεσσι ἐοικότες’ (Γ 150-51). οἱ δὲ πλανώμενος λέγουσιν, ὁ εἰς τὴν γῆν ὁρῶν· —ἢ εἰς τὴν γῆν ῥέων […] οἱ δὲ λέγουσιν παρὰ τὸ ἔρρω ἔρων <καὶ γέρων>, ὁ ἐφθαρμένος ἤδη, ὡς παρὰ τὸ ῥέω, τὸ διαφθείρω, γραῖα, ἡ διεφθαρμένη. ἢ παρὰ τὸ ἐρῶ ἐρᾷς καὶ γέρας (πᾶς γὰρ γέρατος ἐπιθυμεῖ); Etym. Gudianum, gamma, p. 208 (Γέρων <Β 21>· παρὰ τὸ ἔρρω, τὸ φθείρω, ἔρρων καὶ γέρων, ὁ μετὰ φθορᾶς εἰς τὸν Ἅιδην πορευόμενος· ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἴρω, τὸ λέγω· λεκτικοὶ γὰρ οἱ γέροντες, καὶ Ὅμηρος <Γ 150 sq.>· „ἀλλ’ ἀγορηταὶ ἐσθλοί“· ἢ παρὰ τὸ γέρας, ὃ σημαίνει τὴν τιμήν· ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἰς γῆν ὁρᾶν); Etym. Gudianum Additamenta, gamma, p. 306 (Γέρων· τινές φασιν, ὁ εἰς γῆν ὁρῶν· ἢ ὁ μετὰ φθορᾶς πορευόμενος· ἢ ὁ καλῶς δημηγορῶν); Etym. Magnum, Kallierges p. 226 (Γέρων: Παρὰ τὸ ἔρρω, τὸ φθείρω, ἔρρων καὶ γέρων, ὁ μετὰ φθορᾶς εἰς τὸν ᾅδην πορευόμενος,   πλεονασμῷ τοῦ γ. Ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἰς τὴν γῆν ἔρρειν, τουτέστι φθείρεσθαι, διὰ τὸ θανάτου ἐγγὺς εἶναι. Ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἰς γῆν ὁρᾶν τῷ κεκυφέναι, καὶ περὶ αὐτὴν νενευκότα περιπατεῖν. Ἢ παρὰ τὸ τῆς γῆς ἐρᾶν, πλησίον ὄντας θανάτου καὶ τάφου δεομένους. Ἢ παρὰ τὸ γέρας, ὃ σημαίνει τὴν τιμήν. Ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἴρω, τὸ λέγω· λεκτικοὶ γὰρ οἱ γέροντες· ἔρων καὶ γέρων); Ps.-Zonaras, Lexicon, gamma, p 426 (γέρων δὲ εἴρηται παρὰ τὸ εἰς τὴν γῆν ὁρᾷν. οἱ δὲ, παρὰ τὸ εἰς τὴν γῆν ἔῤῥειν· διὰ τὸ ἐγγὺς εἶναι θανάτου, ἔρων, καὶ πλεονασμῷ τοῦ γ γέρων. [ἢ παρὰ τὸ εἴρω τὸ λέγω, εἴρων καὶ γέρων); Geneva scholion Il. 1.26 (γέγονε δὲ παρὰ τὸ εἴρω τὸ λέγω ἔρων καὶ γέρων· λεκτ<ικοὶ> γὰρ οἱ γέροντες· ἢ παρὰ τὸ ἔρρω τὸ φ<θεί>ρω <ἔρρων> ἔρων καὶ γέρων, ὁ πρὸς φθορὰν ἀποβλέπων); Geneva scholion Il. 9.400 (γέρων] εἴρηται ἢ παρὰ τὸ γέρας εἶναι, ἵν’ ᾖ παρώνυμον τὸ ὄνομα, ἢ παρὰ τὸ ἕτοιμος ἤδη εἰς τιμὴν ἢ εἰς γῆν, ὁρῶν ἐγγὺς τοῦ θανάτου); Etym. Symeonis, gamma 77 (Γέρων· παρὰ τὸ εἰς γῆν ὁρᾶν, οἱ δὲ παρὰ τὸ εἰς γῆν ἔρρειν τουτέστι φθείρεσθαι, διὰ τὸ ἐγγὺς εἶναι θανάτου ἔρων καὶ πλεονασμῷ τοῦ γ, γέρων)

Modern etymology

Γέρων belongs with γῆρας "old age", γραῦς "old woman" and γέρας "gift of honor", inherited from PIT *g̑erh2- "old" (Beekes, EDG)

Persistence in Modern Greek

Modern Greek has γέροντας, and γέρος "old man"

Entry By

Le Feuvre