Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996 08:54:59 -0800
From: Allen Maberry maberry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Subject: Re: etymology: 'negro', 'necro'
well, first of all, _necro_ or _nekros_ is greek for 'corpse'. the
latin for death is usually _mors_ (and for corpse is _cadaver_). i
can't tell from the american heritage whether _nekros_ and _niger_
(latin for 'black') have the same IE source, since it doesn't seem to
give a source for _niger_.
I checked a few works on IE and found the root of the Greek nekros to be
*nek-s which is cognate with the Latin nex, necis "violent death" and is
found in the verbs neco and noceo (Frisk. Griechisches etymologisches
Woerterbuch. Heidelberg, 1960-)
A long entry on the Latin niger (Walde. Lateinisches etymologisches
Woerterbuch. Heidelberg, 1938-1956) listed the etymology as uncertain and
cited several theories, none connected with the Greek nekros or the IE
maberry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]u.washington.edu