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indo-european son sunus sunu syn icon

Note that the languages that lack a reflex of the original word for a "son" and those are: Latin, Celtic, Latvian also lack the corresponding word for a "daughter".

Because it is one of the most important words for a father it is then worthy to trace back its origins in history. First of all Sanskrit "सूनु (sūnú)" from Sintashta Culture is connected to a Lithuanian "sūnus" but also to all forms in oldest Germanic languages as "sunu", meaning that "sunu" was already present in a Corded Ware Culture speaking area. It means that sunu is a word that is literally 5000 years old. In Slavic languages its original form was still present in the times of Old Church Slavonic as "сꙑнъ ⱄⱏⰺⱀⱏ (synŭ)".

Avestan form "hunu, hūnuš" proves that most of the initial Avestan letters "H" come from an older "S" giving us "sunu, sūnuš".


Gothic: 𐍃𐌿𐌽𐌿𐍃 (sunus)

Lithuanian: sūnus

Old Prussian: sunun (accusative singular)

Sanskrit: सूनु (sūnú) ("son, child, offspring, a younger brother, a daughter's son")

Old English: sunu

Old Frisian: sunu

Old Saxon: sunu

Old High German: sunu

Ramsø: ᛋᚢᚾᛅᛦ (sunar)

Old Norse: sunr

Saterland Frisian: Suun

Middle Low German: sune, sȫne

Middle High German: sun, suon, sūn

Middle English: sune

Old Swedish: sun

Elfdalian: sun

Gutnish: sun

Ravensbergisch-Lippisch: Suone

Sauerländisch: Suen

Middle Dutch: suene

Albanian: çun ("lad, boy, son")


Avestan: hunu, hūnuš

Ancient Greek: υἱύς (huiús), υἱός (huiós)


Old Church Slavonic: сꙑнъ ⱄⱏⰺⱀⱏ (synŭ)

Belarusian: сын (syn)

Russian: сын (syn)

Rusyn: сын (sŷn)

Ukrainian: син (syn)

Czech: syn

Kashubian: syn

Polish: syn

Slovak: syn

Lower Sorbian: syn

Upper Sorbian: syn


Bulgarian: син (sin)

Macedonian: син (sin)

Serbo-Croatian: си̑н, sȋn

Slovene: sȋn


Tocharian A: se

Danish: -sen

German: -sen

Dutch: -sen

Dutch: zeun

Afrikaans: seun

Plautdietsch: Sän


Middle English: sone

English: son

Scots: son

Westmünsterländisch: Sönn, Sonn, Sonne

Middle Dutch: sōne

Middle High German: son

Sauerländisch: Sōn

German: Sohn

Old Norse: sonr

Icelandic: sonur, -son

Faroese: sonur, -son

Norn: son

Norwegian Nynorsk: son

Norwegian Bokmål: sønn, -son

Old Swedish: son

Swedish: son, -son

Danish: søn

Norwegian: sønn

German Low German: Söhn

Dutch: zoon

West Frisian: soan

Old Prussian: souns

Tocharian B: soṃśke


Tocharian B: soy

Pashto: زوي‎‎ (zōy)


Westrobothnian: sahn, -sa, -s


Armenian: ուստր (ustr)

Non Indo-European languages:

Burmese: သား (sa:)

Basque: seme

Article published on the 30th of October 2018.