δέω

Validation

No

Word-form

ζώνη

Transliteration (Word)

zōnē

English translation (word)

belt, girdle

Transliteration (Etymon)

deō

English translation (etymon)

to bind

Author

Etym. Genuinum

Century

9 AD

Source

Idem

Ref.

Etym. Genuinum, zeta 57

Ed.

M.P. Funaioli, Museum criticum XVIII, 1983, 305-312

Quotation

Ζώνη. τὸ τοῦ σώματος μέρος. εἴρηται παρὰ τὸ ζῶ. ἐν ᾧ μάλιστα τὸ τοῦ ζώου ἐστὶ δεκτικὸν καὶ τὸ ζωτικόν. ζώνη ὁμωνύμως καὶ τὸ περὶ αὐτὴν ὕφασμα, ὡς καὶ θώραξ τὸ μέρος καὶ τὸ περιτιθέμενον ὅπλον. ἢ παρὰ τὸ δεῖν δώνη καὶ ζώνη ἡ περιδεομένη.

Translation (En)

Zōnē: the body part (the waist). It gets its name from "to live", <as> the part in which is located the most life-receiving and vital organs of the animal. And the piece of cloth around it bears the same name zōnē "belt", as thōrax refers to the body part and to the armour which is put around it. Or from deîn "to bind", *dōnē and zōnē "belt", the one which is bound around and binds us.

Comment

This etymology was designed for the meaning "belt", not for the meaning "waist" (body part on which the belt is fitted). It is a functional etymology defining the belt through its function, which is to bind and fasten the garment. It implies a formal manipulation, the change of [d] to [z], of which Greek scholars had many dialectal examples: since they knew ζ used to be pronounced [dz], the change amounts to the simple addition of a sibilant. *δώνη is a ghost form given for the sake of the etymology, as an intermediate step between the lemma and the etymon.

Parallels

Ps.-Zonaras, Lexicon, zeta, p. 965 (idem); Etym. Magnum, Kallierges, p. 414 (Ζώνη: Τὸ τοῦ σώματος μέρος· παρὰ τὸ ζῶ· ἐν ᾧ μάλιστα τὸ τοῦ ζῴου ἐστὶ ζωτικόν· καὶ τὸ περὶ αὐτὸ ὕφασμα ζώνη ὁμωνύμως λέγεται, ὡς καὶ θώραξ τὸ μέρος τοῦ σώματος, καὶ τὸ περιτιθέμενον ὅπλον. Ἢ παρὰ τὸ δεῖν, δώνη καὶ ζώνη, ἡ περιδεομένη καὶ δεσμοῦσα ἡμᾶς)

Modern etymology

Derivative of the PIE root *yeh3s- "to gird", related with ζώννυμι, ζωστήρ, ζῶμα. Cognate with Av. yāsta- "girded", Rus. pojas "belt" (Beekes, EDG)

Persistence in Modern Greek

Ζώνη is still used in Modern Greek meaning: 1. 'a strip of leather/fabric around our waist, the belt', 2. anything looking like a belt, 3. 'an area with clear boundaries'.

Entry By

Le Feuvre