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In
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
, cognates, also called lexical cognates, are
word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lang ...

word
s that have a common
etymological Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p. 633 "Etymology /ˌɛtɪˈmɒlədʒi/ the study of the class in words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time". is the study of the history of words. By extension, t ...
origin. Cognates are often inherited from a shared parent language, but they may also involve borrowings from some other language. For example, the
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
words ''
dish Dish, dishes or DISH may refer to: Culinary * Dish (food), something prepared to be eaten * Dishware, plates and bowls for eating, cutting boards, silverware Communications * Dish antenna a type of antenna * Dish Network, a satellite television ...

dish
'', ''
disk Disk or disc may refer to: * Disk (mathematics) * Disk storage Music * Disc (band), an American experimental music band * Disk (album), ''Disk'' (album), a 1995 EP by Moby Other uses * Disc (galaxy), a disc-shaped group of stars * Disc (magazin ...

disk
'' and ''
desk A desk or bureau is a piece of with a flat -style work surface used in a school, , home or the like for academic, professional or domestic activities such as , , or using equipment such as a . Desks often have one or more , compartments, or pig ...

desk
'', the
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
word ''
Tisch Tisch may refer to: *Tisch School of the Arts The New York University Tisch School of the Arts (commonly referred to as Tisch) is the performing, cinematic and media arts school of New York University, and is among the most competitive film ...

Tisch
'' ("table"), and the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
word ''
discus
discus
'' ("disk") are cognates because they all come from
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
''
δίσκος
δίσκος
'' (dískos, "disk"), which relates to their flat surfaces. Cognates may have
evolved Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...
similar, different or even opposite meanings, and although there are usually some similar sounds or letters in the words, they may appear to be dissimilar. Some words sound similar, but do not come from the same root; these are called
false cognate False cognates are pairs of words that seem to be cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestu ...
s, while some are truly cognate but differ in meaning; these are called
false friend In linguistics, a false friend is either of a pair of words in different languages that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning. Examples include the English ''embarrassed'' and the Spanish ''embarazada'' ("pregnant"); Engli ...
s. The word ''cognate'' derives from the Latin noun '' cognatus'', which means "blood relative".


Characteristics

Cognates do not need to have the same meaning, which may have changed as the languages developed separately. For example
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
''
starve Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies ...

starve
'' and
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
''
sterven
sterven
'' or
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
'' sterben'' ("to die") all derive from the same
Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new ...
root, '' *sterbaną'' ("die"). ''Discus'' is from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
(from the verb "to throw"). A later and separate English reflex of ''discus'', probably through
medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share ...
, is ''
desk A desk or bureau is a piece of with a flat -style work surface used in a school, , home or the like for academic, professional or domestic activities such as , , or using equipment such as a . Desks often have one or more , compartments, or pig ...

desk
'' (see OED s.v. ''desk''). Also, cognates do not need to have similar forms: English ''
father A father is the male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexual reproduction, reproduce sex ...
'',
French
French
'' père'', and Armenian հայր (''hayr'') all descend directly from
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
''*ph₂tḗr''. An extreme case is Armenian երկու (''erku'') and English ''
two 2 (two) is a number, numeral (linguistics), numeral and numerical digit, digit. It is the natural number following 1 and preceding 3. It is the smallest and only even prime number. Because it forms the basis of a Dualistic cosmology, duality, it ...
'', which descend from
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
''*dwóh₁'' (note that the sound change ''*dw'' > ''erk'' in Armenian is regular).


Across languages

Examples of cognates in
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
are the words ''night'' (
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
), ''nicht'' ( Scots), ''Nacht'' (
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
), ''nacht'' (
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
,
Frisian Frisian usually refers to: *Frisia, a region on the western coasts of Germany and the Netherlands **Frisians, the medieval and modern ethnic group inhabiting Frisia ***Frisii, the ancient inhabitants of Frisia prior to 600 AD **Frisian languages, a ...
), ''nag'' (
Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 5 ...
), ''Naach'' (
Colognian Colognian or Kölsch (; natively ''Kölsch Platt'') is a small set of very closely related dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways t ...
), ''natt'' (
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
,
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
), ''nat'' (
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
), ''nátt'' (
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
), ''nótt'' (
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
), ''noc'' (
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
,
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
,
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
), ночь, ''noch'' (
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
), ноќ, ''noć'' (
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
), нощ, ''nosht'' (
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
), ''nishi'' (
Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they speak ** Bengali alphabet, the wr ...
), ''ніч'', ''nich'' (
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
), ''ноч'', ''noch''/''noč'' (
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
), ''noč'' (
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
), ''noć'' (
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
), ''nakts'' ( Latvian), ''naktis'' (
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
), νύξ, ''nyx'' (
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
), ''νύχτα'' / ''nychta'' (
Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the official standardized form of the l ...
), ''nakt-'' (
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
), ''natë'' (
Albanian Albanian may refer to: *Pertaining to Albania in Southeast Europe; in particular: **Albanians, an ethnic group native to the Balkans **Albanian language **Albanian culture **Demographics of Albania, includes other ethnic groups within the country ...

Albanian
), ''nos'' (
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
,
Cornish Cornish is the adjective and demonym associated with Cornwall, the most southwesterly part of the United Kingdom. It may refer to: * Cornish language, a Brittonic Southwestern Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, spoken in Cornwall ...
), ''noz'' (
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
), ''nox/nocte'' (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
), ''nuit'' (
French
French
), ''noche'' (
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
), ''nueche'' ( Asturian), ''noite'' (
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
), ''notte'' (
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
), ''nit'' (
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
), ''nuet/nit/nueit'' (
Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region of Aragon, in north-eastern Spain * the Aragone ...
), ''nuèch'' / ''nuèit'' (
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
) and ''noapte'' (
Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Euro ...
), all meaning "night" and being derived from the Proto-Indo-European "night". Another Indo-European example is ''star'' (
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
), ''starn'' ( Scots), ''Stern'' (
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
), ''ster'' (Dutch and
Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 5 ...
), ''stjer'' (
Frisian Frisian usually refers to: *Frisia, a region on the western coasts of Germany and the Netherlands **Frisians, the medieval and modern ethnic group inhabiting Frisia ***Frisii, the ancient inhabitants of Frisia prior to 600 AD **Frisian languages, a ...
) ''Schtähn'' (
Colognian Colognian or Kölsch (; natively ''Kölsch Platt'') is a small set of very closely related dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways t ...
), ''stjärna'' (
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
), ''stjerne'' (
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
and
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
), ''stjarna'' (
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
), ''stjørna'' (
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
), ''stairno'' (
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
), ''str-'' (
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
), ''tara'' (
Hindustani Hindustani may refer to: * something of, from, or related to Hindustan (another name of India) * Hindustani language, an Indo-Aryan language, whose two official norms are Hindi and Urdu * Fiji Hindi, a variety of Eastern Hindi spoken in Fiji, and i ...
and
Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they speak ** Bengali alphabet, the wr ...
), ''tera'' (
Sylheti Sylheti () is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language spoken by an estimated 11 million people, primarily in the Sylhet Division of Bangladesh, the Barak Valley and the Hojai district of Assam as well as in northern parts of Tripura in India. Outside of ...
), ''tora'' ( Assamese), ''setāre'' (
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
), ''stoorei'' (
Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian languages, Eastern Iranian language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It is known in Persian language, Persian literature as Afghani (, ). Spo ...
), ''estêre'' or ''stêrk'' (
Kurdish
Kurdish
), ''astgh'' (
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
), ''ἀστήρ (astēr)'' (
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
or ''ἀστέρι''/''ἄστρο'', ''asteri''/''astro'' in
Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including the official standardized form of the l ...
), ''astrum'' / ''stellă'' (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
), ''astre'' / ''étoile'' (
French
French
), ''astro'' / ''stella'' (
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
), ''stea'' (
Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Euro ...
and Venetian), ''estel'' (
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
), ''astru'' / ''isteddu'' (
SardinianSardinian refers to anything related to the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean island of Sardinia. More specifically it can refer to: *Sardinian people *History of Sardinia *Sardinian language *Sardinian literature *Music of Sardinia *Cuisine of Sardin ...
), ''estela'' (
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
), ''estrella'' and ''astro'' (
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
), ''estrella'' ( Asturian and Leonese), ''estrela'' and ''astro'' (
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
), ''seren'' (
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
), ''steren'' (
Cornish Cornish is the adjective and demonym associated with Cornwall, the most southwesterly part of the United Kingdom. It may refer to: * Cornish language, a Brittonic Southwestern Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, spoken in Cornwall ...
) and ''
sterenn
sterenn
'' (
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
), from the Proto-Indo-European "star". The
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
''salām'', the
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
''shalom'', the
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic Assyrian Neo-Aramaic or simply Assyrian ( or ''Sūreṯ''), also known as Syriac, Eastern Syriac, Neo-Syriac and Modern Syriac, is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ / '), also kn ...
''shlama'' and the
Amharic Amharic ( or ; (Amharic: ), ', ) is an Ethiopian Semitic languages, Ethiopian Semitic language, which is a subgrouping within the Semitic languages, Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages. It is spoken as a first language by the Amhara pe ...
''selam'' ("peace") are also cognates, derived from the
Proto-Semitic Proto-Semitic is the hypothetical Linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language ancestral to the Semitic languages. There is no consensus regarding the location of the Proto-Semitic ''Urheimat''; scholars hypothesize that it may have o ...
*šalām- "peace". Cognates may often be less easily recognised than the above examples, and authorities sometimes differ in their interpretations of the evidence. The English word ''
milk Milk is a nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, any ...

milk
'' is clearly a cognate of German ''
Milch Milch is the German language, German word for milk, and an old English word for a dairy cattle, milk-producing cow. It is also the name of the following individuals: *Al Milch, American football coach *Ella Milch-Sheriff, Israeli composer *David Mil ...

Milch
'', Dutch and Afrikaans ''
melk Melk (; older spelling: ) is a city of Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have ...

melk
'', Russian
молоко (moloko)
молоко (moloko)
,
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
and
Slovenian Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
'' mleko''/'' mlijeko''. On the other hand, French '' lait'', Catalan ''llet'', Italian ''latte'', Romanian '' lapte'',
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
''
leche
leche
'' and ''
leite
leite
'' (
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
) (all meaning "milk") are less-obvious cognates of
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
' ''gálaktos'' (genitive singular of ''gála'', "milk"), a relationship that is more evidently seen through the intermediate Latin ''
lac Lac is the resinous secretion of a number of species of lac insects, of which the most commonly cultivated is ''Kerria lacca ''Kerria lacca'' is a species of insect in the family Kerriidae ''Kerriidae'' is a family of Coccoidea, scale insec ...

lac
'' "milk" as well as the English word ''
lactic
lactic
'' and other terms borrowed from Latin. Some cognates are semantic opposites. For instance, while the Hebrew word ''
chutzpah Chutzpah () is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. It derives from the Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, ...
'' means "impudence", its
Classical Arabic Classical Arabic ( ar, links=no, ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, al-ʿarabīyah al-fuṣḥā) or Quranic Arabic is the standardized literary form of the Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, ...
cognate ''ḥaṣāfah'' means "sound judgment." Another example is English ''empathy'' "understanding of thoughts" and Greek ''empátheia'' "malice".


Within the same language

Cognates within a single language, or '' doublets'', may have meanings that are slightly or even totally different. For example, English ''ward'' and ''guard'' (*wer-'', "to perceive, watch out for") are cognates, as are ''shirt'' (garment on top) and ''skirt'' (garment on bottom) (

False cognates

False cognates are words that people commonly believe are related (have a common origin), but that linguistic examination reveals are unrelated. For example, on the basis of superficial similarities, the Latin verb ''habēre'' and German ''haben'', both meaning 'to have', appear to be cognates. However, because the words evolved from different roots, in this case, different Proto-Indo-European (PIE) roots, they cannot be cognate (see for example Grimm's law). German ''haben'', like English ''have'', comes from PIE ''wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/kh₂pyé-, *kh₂pyé-'' 'to grasp', and its real cognate in Latin is ''capere'', 'to seize, grasp, capture'. Latin ''habēre'', on the other hand, is from PIE ''*gʰabʰ'', 'to give, to receive', and hence cognate with English ''give'' and German ''geben''. Likewise, English ''much'' and Spanish ''mucho'' look similar and have a similar meaning but are not cognates, as they evolved from different roots: ''much'' from Proto-Germanic ''wikt:Appendix:Proto-Germanic/mikilaz, *mikilaz'' < PIE ''wikt:Appendix:Proto-Indo-European/meg-, *meǵ-'' and ''mucho'' from Latin ''multum'' < PIE ''wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/mel-, *mel-''. Instead, its real cognate is Spanish ''maño''.


See also

*Cognate object *Figura etymologica *Historical linguistics *Indo-European vocabulary *Interlingual homograph *Linguistic interference, Linguistic interference (language transfer) * wikt:Appendix:List of German cognates with English, List of German cognates with English (in Wiktionary) *Lists of words having different meanings in American and British English


References


Further reading

* Thigo (2011), ''Cognate Linguistics'', Kindle Edition, Amazon.


External links


Cognates.orgSpanishCognates.org
{{DEFAULTSORT:Cognate (Etymology) Historical linguistics Comparative linguistics Semantic relations