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indo-european beard icon

We all have heard about barbarians, but why were they called this way?

Simply put: because of the Latin word "barba" meaning beard. Romans shaved, barbarians didn't.

This word stays in a straight connection to the Indo-European word for BONE.

In Serbo-Croatian "osje" means both "beard" and "awn" = "beard of grain". Finnish "akana" meaning "beard, husk" is also connected to this Indo-European root.

Spanish "la arista" is "edge, arista, awn, arris, beard, edger". Lithuanian "akuotas" is "awn, barb, beard, fish-bone".

In Slavic languages the word denoting beard "brada" means also a "chin". That is also why Lithuanian "smakras" meaning "chin" is cognate to Sanskrit श्मश्रु (śmáśru) meaning "beard".


---> Finnish: parta

Latvian: bārda

Kashubian: barda

Lithuanian: barzda

Crimean Gothic: bars

Belarusian: барада́ (baradá)

Old Norse: barð

Middle English: bard, bærd

Old Saxon: bard

Dutch: baard

Afrikaans: baard

Middle Low German: bart

German Low German: Baart

Middle Dutch: bart, baert

Old High German: bart

Middle High German: bart

German: Bart

Norwegian: bart

Hunsrik: Baart

Luxembourgish: Baart

Latin: barba

Aromanian: barbã

Asturian: barba

Catalan: barba

English: barber

Esperanto: barbo

Franco-Provençal: bârba

French: barbe

Friulian: barbe

Galician: barba

Italian: barba

Ligurian: bàrba

Occitan: barba

Portuguese: barba

Romanian: barbă

Romansch: barba

Sicilian: barba, varba, varva

Spanish: barba

Venetian: barba

Old Portuguese: barva

Breton: barv

Cornish: barv

Welsh: barf


Old Prussian: bordus

Upper Sorbian: borda

Old East Slavic: борода (boroda)

Russian: борода́ (borodá)

Rusyn: бо́рода (bóroda)

Ukrainian: борода́ (borodá)

Ravensbergisch-Lippisch: Bårt

Istro-Romanian: borbĕ


Old Church Slavonic: брада ⰱⱃⰰⰴⰰ (brada)

Russian: брада́ (bradá)

Bulgarian: брада́ (bradá)

Macedonian: бра́да (bráda)

Serbo-Croatian: бра́да, bráda

Slovene: bráda

Czech: brada

Slovak: brada


Polabian: brödă

Polish: broda

Lower Sorbian: broda

Kashubian: broda


Polabian Drevani: breda ("chin")


Old Frisian: berd

Old English: beard

Middle English: bærd, beord, berd

English: beard

Scots: berd, berde, beird


Westmünsterländisch: Baor

Sardinian: balba, barba, balva

Persian: بلمه‎ (balme)


Dalmatian: buarba

West Frisian: burd

Middle English: burd

Westmünsterländisch: Buord, Burd


Plautdietsch: Boat

Saterland Frisian: Boart


Walloon: båbe


Sanskrit: श्मश्रु (śmáśru)

Lithuanian: smakras ("chin")

Jatvingian (Sudovian): smakra ("chin, beard")

Hittite: za-ma-an-kur /tsmá(n)gur/ (samankur)

Old Irish: smeic ("chin")

Irish: smech, smig ("chin")

Manx: smeg, smeggin ("chin")


Albanian: mjekër

Old Armenian: մօրուք (mōrukʿ)

Article published on the 30th of October 2018.

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