ἀκή + ἀνθέω

Validation

No

Word-form

ἄκανθα

Transliteration (Word)

akantha

English translation (word)

thorn, prickle

Transliteration (Etymon)

akē + antheō

English translation (etymon)

point + to blossom

Author

Etym. Genuinum

Century

9 AD

Source

Idem

Ref.

Etym. Genuinum, alpha 296

Ed.

F. Lasserre and N. Livadaras, Etymologicum magnum genuinum. Symeonis etymologicum una cum magna grammatica. Etymologicum magnum auctum, vol. 1, Rome: Ateneo, 1976

Quotation

Ἄκανθα· ἀπὸ τοῦ τῇ ἀκῇ ἀνθεῖν, ὅ ἐστι τῇ ὀξύτητι

Translation (En)

Akantha "thorn": from the fact that it blossoms (antheîn) in points (akēi), that is, in sharpness

Comment

Descriptive etymology: the word is parsed as a compound referring to the appearance of the flower. It does not require any formal manipulation.

Parallels

Etym. Magnum, Kallierges, p. 45 (idem); Ps-Zonaras, Lexicon, alpha, p. 103 (idem); Etym. Symeonis, vol. 1, p. 198 (idem); Etym. Gudianum, alpha, p. 62 (Ἄκανθα· διὰ τὸ αἰκίζειν ἤγουν πλήττειν. ‖ ἢ παρὰ τὸ ἐν τῇ ἀκ⟦ῇ ἀνθεῖν, ἤγουν⟧ ἐν τῇ ὀξύτητι); the text is corrupt in Choeroboscus, Epimerismi in Psalmos, p. 138 (παρὰ τὸ ἐν τῇ ἀκῇ θέειν, ἢ ἐν τῇ ὀξύτητι)

Modern etymology

Although the etymology ἀκ-ανθα "sharp flower" is sometimes advocated nowadays, the word is probably a loanword in Greek (Beekes, EDG)

Persistence in Modern Greek

MG still has άκανθα 1. as a learned word designating 'thorn' (the vernacular form is αγκάθι), 2. the acanthus, decoration of the corinthian column, 3. hard and accute protrusion in anatomy.

Entry By

Le Feuvre