δύο + ἄγω

Validation

Yes

Word-form

ζυγόν

Transliteration (Word)

zugon

English translation (word)

yoke of a plough or carriage

Transliteration (Etymon)

duo + agō

English translation (etymon)

two + to lead

Author

Plato

Century

4 BC

Source

Id.

Ref.

Crat. 418d8-13

Ed.

Burnet, Platonis Opera, Oxford UP, 1903

Other translation(s)

Modern Greek: Και να ξέρεις ότι παλαιότερα ονόμαζαν τον "ζυγό" "δυογό"... Και το "ζυγός" δεν σημαίνει τίποτα, η λέξη όμως "δυογός" δόθηκε σωστά σε αυτό που δένει δύο έτσι ώστε να οδηγούν μαζί.

Comment

Folk etymology based on meaning, "yoke" implying "two", and allowed by the fact that ζ was pronounced [zd], hence [zdugon], which contains the sequence [du] as [duo]. The link with ἄγω "to lead" is only meant to explain the [g]. This etymology is repeated several times in ancient lexicography.

Parallels

Epimerismi homerici, pi 115 (ζυγόν γὰρ κατὰ τροπὴν ἐκ τοῦ δυγόν, τὸ δύο ἄγον); Etym. Gudianum, zeta p. 233 (παρὰ τὸ δύο ἄγειν δύαγον καὶ ζυγὸν κατὰ Δωριεῖς); Etym. Magnum, Kallierges p. 412 (δυαγὸν, τὸ δύο ἄγον, καὶ ζυγόν).

Modern etymology

Ζυγόν is the old Indo-European word for "yoke", identical with Latin jugum, Engl. yoke, Germ. Joch, Sanscrite yugám. Indo-European root *yeug- "to yoke", yielding in Greek ζεύγνυμι (Beekes, EDG).

Persistence in modern Greek

In MG the noun "ζυγός" is used with the meanings: a) "weighing machine", b) "Libra" (astrology), c) "bond of slavery" ("o ζυγός της δουλείας"), d) "order of soldiers in the same line", e) "uneven bars" in pl. "ασύμμετροι ζυγοί" (gymn.) (Triand. Dict. MG).