χέω

Validation

Yes

Last modification

Tue, 11/02/2021 - 11:01

Word-form

χιών

Transliteration (Word)

khiōn

English translation (word)

snow

Transliteration (Etymon)

kheō

English translation (etymon)

to pour

Author

Choeroboscus

Century

9 AD

Source

Idem

Ref.

Epimerismi in Psalmos p. 187

Ed.

T. Gaisford, Georgii Choerobosci epimerismi in Psalmos, vol. 3, Oxford, 1842

Quotation

Χιών παρὰ τὸ χέω χεὼν καὶ χιών

Translation (En)

Khiōn ("snow") comes from kheō ("to pour"), kheōn ("pouring") and khiōn

Comment

Paronymic etymology relying on the belief that a god (Zeus) is pouring rain or snow. It shows the insensitivity of Greek etymologists to diathesis, as snow is not pouring, but poured: the intermediate step between χέω and χιών, χεών, seems to be a noun (see Etym. Genuinum in Parallels) derived from the active participle χέων assumed, which does not match the meaning of the word. It implies a formal manipulation, the change of [e] to [I]

Parallels

Etym. Genuinum, alpha 1154 ((ὀνόματα) καὶ εἰς ων· τέρπω τερπών, χέω χεών καὶ χιών. οὕτως οὖν καὶ ἀρήγω ἀρηγών); Etym. Magnum, Kallierges p. 141 (idem); Etym. Gudianum, chi p. 567 (Χίων, παρὰ τὸ χέω, καὶ χιτών· συστέλλει δὲ τὸ ω ἐπὶ γενικῆς); Eustathius, Comm. Il. 3, 365 Van der Valk (τὸ μὲν χέεσθαι, ἀφ’ οὗ ἡ χιών); ibid., 3, 391 (Τὸ δὲ χέει ἐτυμολογία χιόνος ἐστίν. ἐκ τοῦ χέειν γὰρ ἡ χιών, ὥσπερ καὶ ὁ χειμών).

The etymology might be much older, if there is a figura etymologica in Euripides, Cyclops 326: ὅταν δὲ βορέας χιόνα Θρήικιος χέηι

Modern etymology

Χιών belongs with χειμών, χεῖμα, Lat. hiems "winter", PIE *heim-. Χιών has an exact match in Arm. jiwn "snow" (Beekes, EDG)

Persistence in Modern Greek

Modern Greek has χιόνι for "snow", but χιών survives in the Pontiac dialect today.

Entry By

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