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indo-european white albus color icon

Elves, swans, tin and this wonderful luminous world!

Light shines upon the upper world and it enables us to see everything. It stands in opposition to darkness and the underworld.

In the surrounding world of the Indo-Europeans the color white was very common and that is why this word article is the longest one on this website. There are many connections and word transformations connected to this root word making up over 900 cognates presented below.

Old Welsh "elbid" meaning "world" is similar to Slavic "sviat" meaning "world". Both mean "luminous world, upper world" and come from the words for "light" like Polish "sviatlo". Slavic "svet" meaning "light" is cognate to Old Norse "hvitr" meaning "white", the sound for H corresponds to S just like it does to K in some other words (that is why there are Satem and Kentum groups but still no Hatem group).

The etymology of a German river called Elbe is very interesting. The oldest attestation of its name is "Albis", then the Old High German name of this river is "Elba", the Old English names are both "Ælf" and "ielf" and the Old Norse name is "Saxelfr".

Now notice that Old High German "elbiz" means "swan", Old English "ælbitu" and "ielfetu" also mean "swan", Old Norse "elptr" is also a "swan". The final proof of the true meaning of the word "Elbe" lies in the Czech language where it is called "Labe" identical to Czech "labuť" and Polish "łabędź" (In the Polish language the name of this river is "Łaba") meaning of course "swan", therefore "Elbe" means "swan" or "swan's river". Old High German "albiz" meaning "swan" also solves the mystery of its first attested ancient name.

In Tolkien's early tongues Ilkorin and Danian, the name for "swan" was alch and ealc, respectively. Other early conceptions include Gnomish alfa or alfuil and Qenya alqe. In Sindarin, the name for "swan" was alph. The Quenya cognate was alqua, as in Alqualondë, and the Telerin was alpa.

White, Mountain, Tin, Swan, Elf

White Alps, Tin, Alv, Swan, Alf


The Romance meaning shifted from an ealier "white and bright" into "dawn and sunrise". In general this word group formed only in the Italo-Celtic area or rather it is a R1b word. In general the original meaning of the word for Albion or Alban could be "The land of white mountains" or "The upper world above", so an Albanian would then be translated as "A man from the mountains". Interesting anagrams of "albus" are "labus" and "balus".

Latin: albus ("white, clear, bright, pale, fair, gray, hoary, favorable, fortunate, auspicious, propitious")

Romanian: alb ("the color white, clean, pure, immaculate, white person")

Aromanian: albu ("white, clean")

Italian: albo ("white" - synonym of bianco)

Old Spanish: albo ("white" - synonym of blanco)

Spanish: alba ("dawn")

Romanian: alba ("dawn, sunrise")

Italian: alba ("dawn, sunrise")

Asturian: alba ("dawn")

Catalan: alba, alb ("dawn, the white tunic")

Istriot: alba ("dawn")

Sicilian: alba ("dawn")

Megleno-Romanian: alb ("dawn")

Occitan: alba, auba ("dawn, sunrise")

Friulian: albe ("dawn")

Old French: albe ("dawn, sunrise, start of the day")

French: aube ("dawn, sunrise, daybreak")

In Irish Scotland is called Albu because it was a mountainous region compared to the height of the land on the isle.

The source of the name for Albania in many different regions is Italo-Celtic word alb meaning mountain

Old Irish: Albu ("Scotland")

Irish: Albain, Alba ("Scotland")

Welsh: Alban ("Scotland")

Cornish: Alban ("Scotland")

Latin: Albania ("Scotland")

Latin: Albiōn ("England")

Old High German: alba ("alpine pasture, alp")

Old High German: alb ("elf, fairy")

Old High German: albiz ("swan")

Middle High German: albiz ("swan")

Middle High German: albe ("high mountain")

German: Alb ("mountainous area, elf, fairy")

Old English: ælbitu ("swan")

Dalmatian: jualb ("white")


Neapolitan: arba ("dawn")

Sicilian: arba ("dawn")


Old Armenian: ալի (ali) ("gray hair, wave")


Ancient Greek: ἀλφός (alphós) ("whiteness, white leprosy")

Hittite: alpas ("cloud")

Old Norse: alpt, álpt ("swan")

Old High German: alp ("elf, fairy")

German: Alp ("elf, fairy")


Umbrian: 𐌀𐌋𐌚𐌖 (alfu) ("white")

Icelandic: álft ("swan")

Old Saxon: alf ("elf, fairy")

Middle Low German: alf ("elf, fairy")

Middle Dutch: alf ("elf, fairy")

Dutch: alf ("elf, fairy")

Old Norse: alfr ("elf, fairy")

Icelandic: álfur ("elf, fairy")

Old Swedish: ælf ("elf, fairy")

Danish: alf ("elf, fairy")

Faeroese: álvur ("elf, fairy")

Norwegian: alv ("elf, fairy")

Swedish: älva, alf, alv ("elf, fairy")

West Frisian: alve ("elf, fairy")

Portuguese: alvo, alva ("white, pure")

Romansch: alv, alva ("white")

Sardinian: alvu, arvu, arbu, abru ("white")

Lithuanian: álvas, ãlavas ("metal lead, tin")

Old Prussian: alwis ("metal lead, tin")

Latvian: alva ("metal lead, tin")

Old Swedish: ælva ("elf, fairy")

Old Armenian: աղաւնի (aławni) ("dove, pigeon")


Polabian Drevani: algas ("tin")


Serbo-Croatian: ла̏бӯд, lȁbūd ("swan")

Czech: labuť ("swan")

Slovak: labuť ("swan")

Slovene: labọ̑d ("swan")

Kashubian: łabądz ("swan")

Old Polish: łabęć ("swan")

Polish: łabędź ("swan")


Old English: blase, blæse ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Middle English: blase ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Scots: blase ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

English: blaze ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Middle Low German: blas ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Low German: Blas ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Middle Dutch: blasse ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Middle High German: blas ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Polish: blask ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Belarusian: бляск (bljask) ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Bulgarian: бля́сък (bljásǎk) ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Slovincian: blȧ̃sk ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Slavic: blask ("brightness, brilliance, glare, shine") ?---> English: flash

Slovene: brazgotina ("white scar")

Latvian: blaiskums, blaizgums ("white scar")


All words below mean: ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Old English: blanc, blanca

Middle English: blanke

English: blank

Old Frisian: blank

West Frisian: blank

Middle Low German: blank

German Low German: blank

Old Norse: blankr

Icelandic: blankur

Faroese: blankur

Norwegian: blank

Old Swedish: blanker

Swedish: blank

Old Danish: blank

Danish: blank

Elfdalian: blaunk

Gutnish: blankar

Scanian: blánker

Middle Dutch: blanc

Dutch: blank

Limburgish: blank

Old High German: blanch, blank

Middle High German: blank

German: blank

Luxembourgish: blank

Vilamovian: błān


Old Norse: blakkr ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Icelandic: blakkur ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Faroese: blakkur ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Norwegian: blakk ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Old Swedish: blakker ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Swedish: black ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Old Danish: blak ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Danish: blak ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Westrobothnian: blakk ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Old English: blāc, blǣc, blǣċ ("pale, white")

Middle English: blac, blak ("pale, white")

English: blake ("pale, white")

Gutnish: blaikar ("pale, white")

Italian: biacca ("pale, white")

Polish: blaknąć ("to fade, to pale")

Belarusian: блякнуць (bljaknucʹ) ("to fade, to pale")


Polish: biały

Polish: białko ("white protein, the albumen of bird eggs")

---> Võro: valgõ (?balgo) ("white, bright")

---> Votic: valkõa (?balkoa) ("white, bright")

---> Finnish: valkea (?balkea) ("white, bright")

---> Estonian: valge (?balge) ("white, bright")

---> Ingrian: valkia (?balkia) ("white, bright")

---> Karelian: valkie, valgie (?balkie) ("white, bright")

---> Livvi: valgei (?balgei) ("white, bright")

---> Ludian: valged (?balged) ("white, bright")

---> Veps: vauged (?bauged) ("white, bright")

Bulgarian: бял (bjal)

Lithuanian: bãlas, báltas

---> Livonian: vālda (?balda) ("white, bright")

Latvian: balts

Samogitian: balts

Jatvingian: baltas

Latvian: bãls ("pale")


Latin: pallidus ("pale, pallid")

Asturian: pálidu

Catalan: pàl·lid ("pale")

Corse: pallidu, palidu

English: pallid, pale

French: pâle ("pale")

Galician: pálido ("ashen, pale")

Italian: pallido ("pale, bleak")

Norman: pale

Occitan: palle

Portuguese: pálido ("ashen, pale")

Romanian: palid, pal ("pale")

Sardinian: pallidu ("pale")

Spanish: pálido ("ashen, pale")

Sanskrit: पलित (palitá) ("grey, hoary, old, aged; name of a mouse; name of a prince")

Lithuanian: pal̃vas ("pale yellow, straw-coloured")


Sanskrit: परुष (paruṣá) ("grey")

Mitanni: parita ("grey")


Albanian: plak ("old man")

Old Church Slavonic: плавъ ⱂⰾⰰⰲⱏ (plavŭ) ("white")

Church Slavonic (Russian recension): плавъ (plavŭ) ("white")

Bulgarian: плав (plav) ("pale, white, pale blue")

Serbo-Croatian: пла̑в plav ("blonde, blue")

Slovene: plàv ("blue")

Czech: plavý ("pale, white, pale blue")

Slovak: plavý ("pale, white, pale blue")


All the words below mean: ("pale, gray, fallow")

Middle English: falwe, falewe, falow

English: fallow

Scots: fallow, fallaw

Old Saxon: falu

Middle Low German: fāle, vāle, fāl, vāl

German Low German: fahl

Middle Low German: falwisch

Late Latin: falvus

Old French: falve

Middle French: fauve

French: fauve

German: fahl, falb

Old High German: falo

Swedish: falna ("to become pale", verb)

Danish: falme (verb)

Westrobothnian: falnäs, faln (verbs)

Middle Dutch: vāle, vālu

Dutch: vaal

Middle High German: val


Old Norse: fǫlr

Icelandic: fölur

Faroese: følin

Norwegian: folne, falne, falme (verbs)

Scots: follow


Belarusian: во́лава (vólava), во́лаво (vólavo), го́лово (hólovo) ("metal lead, tin")

Upper Sorbian: wołoj ("metal lead, tin")

Lower Sorbian: wołoj ("metal lead, tin")


Ancient Greek: πολῐός (poliós) ("grey, grizzled, grizzly, grey from age, an old man’s or old woman’s, hoary, venerable, bright, clear, serene")

Latin: poliō ("I polish, I smooth")

Catalan: polir ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Danish: polere ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Dutch: polijsten ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

English: polish ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Esperanto: poluri ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

French: polir ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

German: polieren ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Hungarian: políroz ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Ido: polisar ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Interlingua: polir ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Italian: polire, pulire ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Norwegian Bokmål: polere ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Norwegian Nynorsk: polere ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Polish: polerować ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Portuguese: polir, puir ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Russian: полирова́ть (polirovátʹ) ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Swedish: polera ("to polish, to make something shine, to whiten")

Old Polish: polor ("lustre")

Polish: połysk ("luster, polish, gloss, sheen")

Old East Slavic: половъ (polovŭ) ("pale, white, pale blue")

Russian: поло́вый (polóvyj), полово́й (polovój) ("pale, white, pale blue")

Ukrainian: полови́й (polovýj) ("pale, white, pale blue")


Avestan: pouruša ("grey") (pouluša?, bouluša?)


Old Norse: ǫlpt ("swan")


Kashubian: biôłi

Polabian: b’olĕ

Silesian: bioły


All the words below mean: ("metal lead, tin")

East Slavic: олово (olovo)

Old Belarusian: олово (olovo)

Russian: о́лово (ólovo), ловь (lovʹ)

Ukrainian: о́лово (ólovo), го́луво (hóluvo)

Old Church Slavonic: олово (olovo)

Bulgarian: о́лово (ólovo)

Macedonian: олово (olovo)

Serbo-Croatian: о̏лово, ȍlovo

Slovene: ọ́lovo, olọ̑v

Czech: olovo

Slovak: olovo

Old Polish: ołów

Polish: ołów

Slovincian: ołóv


Scots: blonk ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Saterland Frisian: blonk ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Elfdalian: blokk ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Middle English: blonke ("white, bright, shining, gleaming, blinding")

Russian: блёкнуть (bljóknutʹ) ("to pale, to fade")


Polish: płowy ("pale, white, pale blue")

Lower Sorbian: płowy ("pale, white, pale blue")

Upper Sorbian: płowy ("pale, white, pale blue")


Old English: ælbitu ("swan")

Old Welsh: elbid ("luminous world, upper world")

Old Saxon: elbon

Old High German: elbiz ("swan")

Middle High German: elbiz ("swan")

German: Elbiss ("swan")

Alemannic (Swabian): Elbsch ("swan")


---> Japanese: エルフ (erufu) ("elf, fairy")

---> Korean: 엘프 (elpeu) ("elf, fairy")

Welsh: elfydd ("luminous world, upper world")

Old English: ælf ("elf, fairy")

Middle English: elf ("elf, fairy")

English: elf ("elf, fairy")

Dutch: elf ("elf, fairy")

German: Elf, Elfe ("elf, fairy")

Scots: elf ("elf, fairy")

Middle Low German: elft ("swan")

Middle Dutch: elft ("swan")

Dutch: elft ("swan")

Old English: ielfetu; ielfete; ielfette ("swan")

Old Swedish: ælva ("elf, fairy")

Old Norse: elptr ("swan")

Middle Welsh: eluit, eluyd ("luminous world, upper world")


Ancient Macedonian: pellus ("grey")

Latvian: pelēks ("grey")

Lithuanian: pelekas, pìlkas ("grey")

Old Prussian: pelē ("mouse, grey animal")

Latvian: pele ("mouse, grey animal")

Lithuanian: pelė ("mouse, grey animal")

Scots: fellow ("pale, gray, fallow")

Old English: fealu ("pale, gray, fallow")

West Frisian: feal ("pale, gray, fallow")


---> Northern Sami: vielgat (?bielgat) ("white, bright")

Russian: белёсый (belёsyj) ("whitish, off-white, maybe grey")

Belarusian: бе́лы (bjély)

Russian: бе́лый (bélyj)

Old Church Slavonic: бѣлъ (bělŭ) ⰱⱑⰾⱏ (bělŭ)

Macedonian: бел (bel)

Slovene: bẹ̑ł

Polish: biel

Slovak: biely

Lower Sorbian: běły

Upper Sorbian: běły

Serbo-Croatian: бе̏о, бије̑л, бе̑л, би̏о; bȅo, bijȇl, bȇl, bȉo

Bulgarian: белег (beleg) ("white scar")

Celtic: Bel, Belenos, Belenus, Beli ("Shining God")


Old East Slavic: блѣскъ (blěskŭ) ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Russian: блеск (blesk) ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Macedonian: бле́сок (blésok) ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Serbo-Croatian: блије̑сак, бље̑сак, бле̑сак; blijȇsak, bljȇsak blȇsak ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Slovene: blèsk ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Czech: blesk ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Slovak: blesk ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Upper Sorbian: blěsk ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Dutch: bles ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Old Saxon: blēk ("pale, white")

Middle Saxon/Middle Low German: blek, bleik ("pale, white")

Saxon/Low German: blek, bleik ("pale, white")

Middle Dutch: bleec ("pale, white")

Dutch: bleek ("pale, white")

Old High German: bleih, blaih ("pale, white")

German: bleich ("pale, white")

Luxembourgish: bleech ("pale, white")

Old Norse: bleikr ("pale, white")

Icelandic: bleikur ("pale, white")

Faroese: bleikur ("pale, white")

Norwegian Bokmål: bleik, blek ("pale, white")

Norwegian Nynorsk: bleik ("pale, white")

Old Swedish: blēker ("pale, white")

Swedish: blek ("pale, white")

Old Danish: blēk ("pale, white")

Danish: bleg ("pale, white")

Elfdalian: bliek ("pale, white")

Westrobothnian: bleik, blaik ("pale, white")

Middle English: bleik ("pale, white")

Scots: bleg; blaiken ("pale, white")

English: bleak ("pale, white")

Low German: bleken ("to gleam, shine")

Scots: blese, bleise, bleis, bleeze ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Middle Dutch: bles ("a burning candle, torch, paleness")

Middle English: bleke, bleche ("pale, white")

English: bleak, bleach ("pale, white")


All the words below mean: ("swan")

Belarusian: ле́бедзь (ljébjedzʹ)

Russian: ле́бедь (lébedʹ)

Rusyn: лебідь (lebidʹ)

Ukrainian: ле́бідь (lébidʹ)

Bulgarian: ле́бед (lébed)

Macedonian: ле́бед (lébed)

Romanian: lebădă

Serbo-Croatian: ле̏бӯт lȅbūt


---> Hungarian: világ (?bilag, ?bilak "world, illumination, light, brightness, sight")

Rusyn: білый (bilŷj)

Ukrainian: бі́лий (bílyj)

Czech: bílý


Old English: blīcan ("to gleam, shine")

Middle English: blīken ("to gleam, shine")

English: blike ("to gleam, shine")

Old Frisian: blīka ("to gleam, shine")

West Frisian: blyckjen, blike ("to gleam, shine")

Old Saxon: blīkan ("to gleam, shine")

Middle Low German: blīken, blicken ("to gleam, shine")

Ukrainian: блиск (blysk) ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Middle English: blenken, blynken ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

English: blink ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Norman: blyîntchi ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Old Frisian: blinka ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Saterland Frisian: (blinkje) ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

West Frisian: blinke ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Old Saxon: blinkan ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Middle Low German: blinken ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

German: blinken ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Norwegian: blinke ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Swedish: blinka; (possibly also blänka) ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Danish: blinke ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Middle Dutch: blinken ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Dutch: blinken ("to shine, glitter, twinkle, to blink, wink")

Middle Dutch: bliken ("to gleam, shine")

Dutch: blijken ("to gleam, shine")

Limburgish: blieke ("to gleam, shine")

Old High German: blīhhan, blīchan ("to gleam, shine")

Middle High German: blīchen ("to gleam, shine")

German: (erbleichen, verbleichen); bleichen ("to gleam, shine")

Old Norse: blíkja ("to gleam, shine")

Icelandic: blíkja ("to gleam, shine")

Swedish: blika ("to gleam, shine")

Lithuanian: bliekti ("to fade, to pale")

Polish: błysk ("glitter, brightness, flash")

Lithuanian: blyškė́ti ("to shine, glitter, sparkle")

Lithuanian: blizgė́ti ("to shine, glitter, sparkle")

Polish: blizna ("white scar")


All the words below mean: ("grey")

Breton: louet

Cornish: loos

Welsh: llwyd

Old Irish: líath

Irish: liath

Manx: lheeah

Scottish Gaelic: liath


All the words below mean: ("metal lead, tin")

Lithuanian: švìnas

Latvian: svins

Church Slavonic: свиньць (svinĭcĭ)

East Slavic: свиньць (svinĭcĭ)

Belarusian: свіне́ц (svinjéc)

Russian: свинец (svinec)

Ukrainian: свине́ц (svynéc)

Slovene: svínəc

White, Light, World

White, hvitr, world, sviet, sviatlo


Sanskrit: श्वेत (śvetá, śvaitá) ("white, bright")

Hindi: श्वेत (śvet) ("white")

Old Church Slavonic: свѣтъ ⱄⰲⱑⱅⱏ (světŭ) ("light, world")

Old East Slavic: свѣтъ (světŭ) ("light, world")

Belarusian: свет (svjet) ("world")

Old Lithuanian: svietas ("world")

Samogitian: sviets ("world")

Russian: свет (svet) ("light, day, radiance, lights, lighting, power, electricity, world, earth, universe")

Rusyn: світ (svit) ("world, universe")

Ukrainian: світ (svit) ("world"), світло (svitlo) ("light")

Bulgarian: свят (svjat) ("world, earth, universe")

Macedonian: свет (svet) ("world, sacred, holy")

Serbo-Croatian: све̑т, свије̑т, сви̑т; svȇt, svijȇt, svȋt

Slovene: svẹ̑t ("world")

Czech: svět ("world"), světlo ("light")

Kashubian: swiat ("world")

Polabian: sjot ("world")

Polish: świat ("world"), światło ("light"), światły ("white, bright"), świt ("dawn"), święty ("holy")

Slovak: svet ("world"), svetlo ("light")

Slovincian: svjãt ("world")

Lower Sorbian: swět ("world")

Upper Sorbian: swět ("world")

Lithuanian: šviẽsti ("to shine")

Lithuanian: šviesa ("light")

Sistani: sfē


All those Germanic words below mean "white" and most probably came from an initial S or K that transformed to H.

Old English: hwīt

Middle English: hwit, whit

Old Frisian: hwīt, wīt

Old Saxon: hwīt

Old Norse: hvítr

Icelandic: hvítur

Faroese: hvítur

Norn: hvid

Norwegian: hvit

Old Swedish: hvīter

Danish: hvid

Old Gutnish: huit

Gothic: 𐍈𐌴𐌹𐍄𐍃 (ƕeits)


Another fully Germanic group but with a dropped initial H.

Scots: quhite, fyte, fite, whyte, white

English: white

Yola: whit

North Frisian: wit, witj

Saterland Frisian: wiet

West Frisian: wyt

Middle Low German: wit

German Low German: witt

Low German: witt

Plautdietsch: witt

Old Dutch: wīt

Middle Dutch: wit

Dutch: wit

Afrikaans: wit

Limburgish: wiet

Old High German: wīz

Middle High German: wīz, wīs

Central Franconian: wieß

German: weiß

Luxembourgish: wäiss

Vilamovian: wȧjs

Elfdalian: wait

Swedish: vit

Gutnish: veitar, veita, veit


---> Old Georgian: სპეტი (sṗeṭi)

---> Old Georgian: სპეტაკი (sṗeṭaḳi) ("white")

Old Armenian: սպիտակ (spitak) ("white, skin whitener, a kind of silver coin")

Old Armenian: սպետ (spet), սպիտ (spit)

Avestan: spaēta

Sogdian: ʾspʾyt

Munji: spī

Pashto: سپين (spin)‎ ("white")

Northern Kurdish: spî (spī) ("white")

Central Kurdish: سپی (spī)‎ ("white")

Manichaean: ʿspyd /ispēd/

Middle Persian: /spēd, ispēd/

Yagnobi: sⁱpḗta

Book Pahlavi: spyt'

Manichaean: ʿspyd

Latvian: spīdēt ("to shine")


Ishkashimi: safed

Shughni: safēd

Hazaragi: safít

Tajik: сафед (safed) ("white, fair, pale, clear")

Hindi: सफ़ेद (safed) ("white, fair, pale, clear")

Urdu: سفید‎ (safed) ("white, fair, pale, clear")

Iranian Persian: سفید‎ (sefid) ("white, fair, pale, clear")


Yazgulyam: səpid

Classical Persian: سپید‎ (sapēd), اسپید‎ (ispēd), سفید‎ (safēd), اسفید‎ (isfēd) ("white, fair, pale, clear")


Laki: ئسپێ‎ (ispē)

Alviri-Vidari: ایسبی‎ (isbi), ایسپی‎ (ispi)


Khotanese: śśīta, śśīya


Bakhtiari: اسپید‎ (espēð)

Lux, Light, Luna, Lynx

Moon, lynx and light

The development of an Indo-European word for Lynx is very interesting, in Low German it is "Luks" but in Old High German "luhs" where softer H is kept rather than K, this would suggest a Satem word appearing as "lus" or "lush" and it does but still within the Germanic group in Middle Low German as "lūs", this example clearly shows that the Germanic group kept the Kentum form, Satem form and its newly softened H form, then those different areas are mixtures of the corresponding dialects. The Satem forms are following: Old Armenian "լուսան (lusan)", Latvian "lūsis", Lithuanian "lūšis", Slavic Upper Sorbian "lys" but in other Slavic languages it appears that a thing happened that we know from the Slavic - Sanskrit difference, namely L transformed to hard R (typical for Asiatic speakers), Russian "рысь (rysʹ)", Polish "ryś", Slovak "rys". The Ancient Greek form "λύγξ (lúnx)" with N after U could suggest that the initial word was with a nasal U "lųks" and that is why later on it was denasalized to this simple U in other languages.


Hittite: lukat, lukattar ("to light; to dawn"), lukkatta ("morning")

Tocharian A: luk- ("to shine, to light, to illuminate")

Tocharian B: luk- ("to shine, to light, to illuminate")

Latin: lūceō ("I shine, I light")

Latin: lūcus ("sacred grove, wood")

Ancient Greek: λύχνος (lúkhnos) ("lamp")

Old Irish: luchair ("shine")

Scots: luke, luik ("to see, to look")

English: look ("to see, to look")

Russian: луг (lug) ("meadow")

Slovak: lúka ("meadow")

Polish: luka ("free space")

Latvian: lũkât ("to look, to try")

Assamese: লোক (lük) ("world, sight, place, free space")

Saterland Frisian: Luks ("lynx")

Low German: Luks ("lynx")

Old Prussian: luckis ("ray, torch")

Belarusian: лук (luk) ("bow, arc")

Russian: лук (luk) ("bow, arc")

Ukrainian: лук (luk) ("bow, arc")

Serbo-Croatian: лу̑к, lȗk ("bow, arc")

Czech: luk ("bow, arc")

Polish: łuk ("bow, arc")

Slovak: luk ("bow, arc")

Welsh: llug ("shimmer")

Saterland Frisian: Lucht ("light")


---> Estonian: luht ("meadow")

Ukrainian: луг (luh) ("meadow")

Old High German: luhs ("lynx")

Middle High German: luhs ("lynx")

German: Luchs (luhs) ("lynx")


Old East Slavic: лучь (lučĭ) ("ray, torch")

Belarusian: луч (luč) ("ray, torch")

Russian: луч (luč) ("ray, torch")

Ukrainian: луч (luč) ("ray, torch")

Old Church Slavonic: лучь (lučĭ), лоуча (luča) ("ray, torch")

Bulgarian: луч (luč), лъч (lǎč) ("ray, torch")

Serbo-Croatian: лу̑ч lȗč ("ray, torch")

Slovene: lúč, lȗč ("ray, torch")

Old Czech: lúč ("ray, torch")

Czech: louč ("ray, torch")

Slovak: lúč ("ray, torch")

Polish: łucz, łuczywo ("ray, torch")

Italian: luce ("light")

Mirandese: luç ("light")

Neapolitan: luce ("light")

Sardinian: luche ("light")

Sicilian: luci ("light")

Old East Slavic: лꙋчити (lučiti) ("to accomplish, to find, to meet"), лꙋчитисꙗ (lučitisja) ("to happen")

Belarusian: лу́чыць (lúčycʹ) ("to happen")

Russian: лучи́ть (lučítʹ) ("to allow") (dialectal), лучи́ться (lučítʹsja) ("to happen")

Ukrainian: лу́чити (lúčyty) ("to aim, to hit (a target)")

Old Church Slavonic: лоучити сѧ (lučiti sę) ("to happen")

Bulgarian: лу́ча (lúča) ("to aim")

Serbo-Croatian: лу́чити, lúčiti ("to find, to receive"), лучити, lučiti ("to attain")

Slovene: lučíti ("to throw")

Czech: lučit ("to throw")

Old Polish: łuczyć ("to aim, to reach, to find")

Slovak: lúčiť ("to throw")


Latin: lūx ("light")

English: lux ("light")

Ligurian: lûxe ("light")

Venetian: łuxe ("light")


Middle Low German: lūs, los ("lynx")

Latvian: lūsis ("lynx")

Lithuanian: lūšis ("lynx")

Romagnol: luš ("light")

Luxembourgish: Luuss ("lynx")

Lower Sorbian: lys ("lynx")

Upper Sorbian: lys ("lynx")

Old Armenian: լուսանունք (lusanunkʿ) ("lynxes")

Armenian: լուսան (lusan) ("lynx")

Old Prussian: luysis ("lynx")

Middle English: lusk ("lynx")

Old Armenian: լուսն (lusn) ("a white spot on one’s eye")

Lombard: lüs ("light")

Friulian: lûs ("light")

Piedmontese: lus ("light")

Occitan: lutz ("light")

Old Portuguese: luz ("light")

Portuguese: luz ("light")

Aragonese: luz ("light")

Asturian: lluz ("light")

Spanish: luz ("light")

Galician: luz ("light")

Old Norse: lýsa ("to shine, to light")

Faroese: lýsa ("to shine, to light")

Icelandic: lýsa ("to shine, to light")

Latin: lustrō ("I purify by means of a propitiatory sacrifice, I illuminate, make bright")

English: lustre ("shine")

French: lustrer ("to shine, to polish")

Italian: lustrare ("to shine, to polish")

Spanish: lustrar ("to shine, to polish")

Italian: lustro ("shine, gloss")

Polish: lustro ("mirror")


Belarusian: рысь (rysʹ) ("lynx")

Russian: рысь (rysʹ) ("lynx")

Ukrainian: рись (rysʹ) ("lynx")

Bulgarian: рис (ris) ("lynx")

Macedonian: рис (ris) ("lynx")

Serbo-Croatian: ри̏с rȉs ("lynx")

Slovene: rȋs ("lynx")

Czech: rys ("lynx")

Polish: ryś ("lynx")

Slovak: rys ("lynx")

Southern Kurdish: ڕووژ (řūž)‎ ("day")

Laki: ڕووژ‎ (řūž) ("day")


indo-european moon month icon

This appears to be the Slavic-Latin synonym for the MOON, most probably derived from its radiance and glow at night.

Ancient Greek: λύγξ (lúnx) ("lynx")

Latin: lūna ("moon")

Polish: łuna ("radiance, glow")

Belarusian: луна́ (luná) ("moon")

Russian: луна́ (luná) ("moon")

Ukrainian: луна́ (luná) ("moon")

Old Church Slavonic: лоуна ⰾⱆⱀⰰ (luna) ("moon")

Bulgarian: луна́ (luná) ("moon")

Macedonian: луна (luna) ("moon")

Slovene: lúna ("moon")

Czech: luna ("moon")

Slovak: luna ("moon")

Polabian Drevani: launa ("moon")


Swedish: ("lynx")

Middle Dutch: lo, loo ("clearing, meadow")

Dutch: lo, loo ("clearing, meadow" - mostly in place names)

Old Norse: ("clearing, meadow")

Norwegian Bokmål: lo ("clearing, meadow" - mostly in place names, like "Oslo" meaning "Meadow of the Gods")

Middle Low German: ("clearing, meadow")

West Frisian: loaitsje ("to see, to look")


In Latin "locus" and in Sanskrit "लोक (loka)" meant an open space in the forest where light could be seen (connected to a pagan grove).

Sanskrit: लोचन (locana) ("eye")

Sanskrit: लोचते (lócate) ("to see, to notice")

Sanskrit: लोक् (lok) ("to see, behold")

Latin: locus ("a place")

Sanskrit: लोक (lauká, loká) ("world, sight, place, free space")

Hindi: लोग (lok) ("world, sight, place, free space")

Urdu: لوگ‎ (log) ("world, sight, place, free space")

Old Church Slavonic: лѫгъ (lǫgŭ) ("meadow")

Polish: łąka ("meadow")

Old English: lōcian ("to see, to look")

Middle English: lokien, loken ("to see, to look")

West Frisian: lôkje ("to see, to look")

Old Saxon: lōkōn ("to see, to look")

Low German: löken ("to see, to look")

Middle Dutch: lōken ("to see, to look")

Latvian: loks ("bow, arc")

Old Church Slavonic: лѫкъ ⰾⱘⰽⱏ (lǫkŭ) ("bow, arc")

Slovene: lók ("bow, arc")

Old English: lox ("lynx")

Middle Low German: lōch ("clearing, meadow")

Dalmatian: loic ("light")

Czech: louka ("meadow")

Middle Low German: lö̂ken ("to see, to look")

Middle Dutch: loeken ("to see, to look")

Middle Dutch: louken ("to see, to look")

Dutch: loeken ("to see, to look")

Old Saxon: luokoian ("to see, to look")


Avestan: raocant- ("shining"), raocah ("light, day")

Sanskrit: रोचते (rócate) ("to shine, be bright or radiant or resplendent")

Sanskrit: रोचिस् (rocís) ("lustre, brightness, grace, loveliness")

Sanskrit: रोचि (roci) ("ray")

Ancient Greek: Ῥωξᾱ́νη (Rhōxā́nē, Roxana) ("the shining one")


Old Saxon: lōh ("clearing, meadow")

Old High German: lōh ("clearing, meadow")

German: Loh, Lah, Lage ("clearing, meadow") (mostly in place names)

Old Saxon: lioht ("light")

Old Saxon: lohs ("lynx")


---> Veps: loštta ("to glisten, to glitter, to twinkle, to shine, to excel")

---> Finnish: loistaa ("To shine, glow, glare, sparkle")

Old Saxon: los ("lynx")

Scots: los ("lynx")

Middle Dutch: los ("lynx")

Dutch: los ("lynx")

Danish: los ("lynx")

English: losse, los, loz ("lynx")


Bactrian: ρωσο (rōso) ("day")

Central Kurdish: ڕۆژ‎ (řōž) ("day")

Middle Persian: rōz ("day")

Persian: روز‎(rōz) ("day")

Zazaki: roce (řōǰa), roje (řōža), roze (řōza) ("day")

Hawrami: ڕۆ‎ (řō) ("day"), ڕۆجیار‎ (řōǰyār) ("sun")

Northern Kurdish: roj (řōž) ("sun, day")

Baluchi: روچ‎ (rōč) ("sun, day")


Romanian: râs ("lynx")


Sanskrit: लङ्का (laṅkā) ("island, the citadel of Ravana in the Ramayana", also in Sri Lanka)

Old Polish: łąka (łanka) ("meadow")

Lithuanian: lanka ("flood meadow")

Lithuanian: lañkas ("bow, arc")

Old Frisian: lāch ("clearing, meadow")

Bulgarian: лък (lǎk) ("bow, arc")

Bulgarian: лъка́ (lǎká) ("meadow")

Macedonian: лак (lak) ("bow, arc")

Macedonian: лач (lač) ("ray, torch")


Old Prussian: laukīt ("to search")

Lithuanian: laukti ("to wait")

Old Prussian: lauxnos ("stars")


Mycenaean Greek: re-u-ka ("white")


Ancient Greek λευκός (leukós) ("white")

Gaulish: leux ("light")

Scots: leuk ("to see, to look")

Dutch: leuk ("to see, to look")

Ancient Greek: λεύσσω (leússō) ("to see, to notice")

Polish: łęk ("bow, arc")

Polish: łęg, łąka łęgowa ("flood meadow")

Old English: lēah ("clearing, meadow")

English: lea ("clearing, meadow")

Scottish Gaelic: lèana ("meadow, marsh")

Old English: lēoht ("light")

Sauerländisch: Lecht, Licht ("light")

Ravensbergisch-Lippisch: Lecht ("light")

Westmünsterländisch: Lecht, Lech ("light")


Middle English: liȝt, lyghte ("light")

Scots: licht ("light")

English: light ("light")

Old Frisian: liūcht ("light")

West Frisian: ljocht ("light")

Middle Low German: licht ("light")

German Low German: Licht ("light")

Plautdietsch: Licht ("light")

Middle Dutch: licht ("light")

Dutch: licht ("light")

Romansch: glisch, glüsch, gleisch ("light")

Afrikaans: lig ("light")

Old High German: lioht ("light")

Middle High German: liecht, licht ("light")

German: Licht ("light")

Luxembourgish: Liicht ("light")

Vilamovian: łicht ("light")

Bavarian: Liacht ("light")

Jatvingian: Lajcha ("light")

Photons, Bonfire and Ban


Ancient Greek: φάντα (phánta) ("shining")

Ancient Greek: φαίνω (phaínō) ("I cause to appear, bring to light, I show, uncover, reveal, I shine, give light")

Epic Greek: φαείνω (phaeínō) ("I cause to appear, bring to light, I show, uncover, reveal, I shine, give light")

Ancient Greek: φάσις (phásis), φάτις (phátis) ("appearance")

Ancient Greek: φάος (pháos) ("light")

Attic Greek: φῶς (phôs) ("light")


Old Irish: bán ("white")

Irish: bán ("white")

Manx: bane ("white")

Scottish Gaelic: bàn ("white")

Old Armenian: բանամ (banam) ("to make visible")

Sanskrit: भाति (bhā́ti) ("to shine, be bright or luminous, to shine forth, appear, show oneself, to be splendid or beautiful or eminent, to appear as, seem, look like, pass for, to be, exist")

Sanskrit: भास् (bhā́s) ("light, lustre, radiance, effulgence, glory, brilliance")

Sanskrit: भान (bhā́na)

Latin: iubar ("celestial light, splendor")

Avestan: fra-vāiti ("to shine, glow light")


---> Wakhi: voyn (boyn?) ("fire, light")

Ossetian: бон (bon) ("day")

Middle Dutch: boen ("pretty, shining")

Dutch: boen ("pretty, shining")


---> Sarikoli: vuyn (buyn?) ("light, radiance")

Polish: byt ("being, entity, existence, everyday life")


Albanian: bëj, bënj ("to do, to make, to appear, make an appearance")

Article published on the 30th of October 2018. Last updated on the 21st of January 2019 and on the 11th of April 2021 (for example better lynx development theory and origins of the Italo-Celtic root "alb-").