Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 14:43:06 -0400

From: Ron Butters RonButters[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: Re: etymology of FEIST

Someone writes:

fart is derived from Gk. perdesthai, Skt. pardate OHG is ferzan, doesn't

seem conected to veizen

This can't be right. If the Gk and Skt WORDS are truly as indicated, then

they are COGNATE with the Germanic words (including English FART) rather than

the words from which the English word "derives"; that is, all three are

derived from the same ProtoIndoEuropean form. If PERDESTHAI had been borrowed

into English, it would have come in as PERD--, not FART. Nor does it seem

likely that our ancestors would have reached to Sanskrit for the word for

something so common as the anal fricative.

Again I am working only from memory, but it seems to me that rhotacism

explains the r/z alternation here (cf. WAS/WERE, LOST/FORLORN), and that FICE

and FART are ultimately derived from the same ProtoIndoEuropean word.

Eric Hamp, where are you when we need you? (And is it true that your last

name is cognate with CANNIBIS?)