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Re: Don tSamain Beos - Meaning David Stifter <[log in to unmask]> 2013-12-24 16:46
> for Stokes' and Vendryes' suggestion that Samain having a separate
> etymology to similar sounding words associated with summer and instead
> being derived from *samani, 'assembly' and cognate with Sanskrit
> sámana and Gothic samana?" His answer was: “No, this is not possible.
> Acc. to recent scholarship, Germanic *sama- and derivatives come from
> PIE *somHo-, i.e. with the o-grade in the root. OInd. sámana- seems to
> be a derivative from the more basic stem sam < *sem- (with e-grade),
> acc. to EWAia II, 702 ff. In any case, for phonetic reasons neither of
> these can be compared directly with a Proto-Celtic *samVn-.”
"summer". Being a derivative, the original meaning of samuin or its
ancestral forms was something like "pertaining to summer".
"Pertaining to summer", however, can be quite diverse things. It
could relate to something belonging to the middle of summer, but it
could just as well refer to "(end of) summer", as is generally
suggested for OIr. samuin. There is no guarantee that samuin always
occurred at the 1st Nov. The only thing we know is that after the
introduction of the Roman calendar to Ireland, samuin was associated
with the 1st Nov and with All Saints' Day. Maybe the precursor of
samuin occurred a few days or weeks earlier than this, and thereby
closer to what we understand as summer.
However, *samoni(o)- (or whatever the precise reconstruction of that
word would be) does not mean "summer", only "having something to do
with summer".
> Therefore Samain is clearly used as ‘summer', as well as whatever
> people would like to argue.
>
> Beginning (cet) 'of-summer' (samain), the genitive case, which is why
> it starts to look a bit like modern Samhein and becomes a little
> confusing.
> straight 'summer', although it is confusing when the words change case
> and the spelling changes sometimes to what looks similar. But it is
> *not* just the same word. It is generally agreed that it holds the
is it correct. It is just the Early Medieval folk etymology found in
Cormac's Glossary, and has no credentials to its etymological
correctness whatsoever. There is an alternative folk etymology in
Tochmarc Emire, according to which samuin is sam-súan "summer's
sleep". This is just as wrong morphologically. However, what both
folk etymologies demonstrate is that in the Early Middle Ages samuin
was understood as having something to do with the end of the summer
half of the year. So, while those medieval explanations are plainly
wrong morphologically and etymologically, they may still contain a
semantic truth, at least as to what the word signified at the time
when those etymologies were coined.
Re: Don tSamain Beos - Meaning Helen McKay <[log in to unmask]> 2013-12-23 04:59
Stokes' and Vendryes' suggestion that Samain having a separate
etymology to similar sounding words associated with summer and instead
being derived from *samani, 'assembly' and cognate with Sanskrit sámana
and Gothic samana?" His answer was: “No, this is not possible. Acc. to
recent scholarship, Germanic *sama- and derivatives come from PIE
*somHo-, i.e. with the o-grade in the root. OInd. sámana- seems to be a
derivative from the more basic stem sam < *sem- (with e-grade), acc. to
EWAia II, 702 ff. In any case, for phonetic reasons neither of these can be
Therefore Samain is clearly used as ‘summer', as well as whatever people
would like to argue.
Me::: No, this isn't linguistically correct. Cet Samain means the Beginning
(cet) 'of-summer' (samain), the genitive case, which is why it starts to look
a bit like modern Samhein and becomes a little confusing.
straight 'summer', although it is confusing when the words change case
and the spelling changes sometimes to what looks similar. But it is *not*
just the same word. It is generally agreed that it holds the summer 'sam-'
The two words do often look alike to the uninitiated, which is why I asked
this list for direct and explicit guidance as to the three occurrences of the
word in our text. Unfortunately, I got no answer to that, by which I'm
assuming that everyone else here thinks that it is clear and obvious that
these three words refer to Samhein and not 'summer'. But it still would be
helpful to get that blatant statement from an expert here, so that this sort
of argument can be prevented?
So again, Samhein is in no way just to be equated with Summer, either as
May or as a longer period of summer time. Summer rightly has its own
word for summer, and a different word with probably the same
summer 'sam-' start but a different ending is used to refer to Samhein.
Re: "Where Did Halloween Come From?" Bernard Morgan <[log in to unmask]> 2011-11-05 21:57
> > Is there any support for Stokes' and Vendryes' suggestion that Samain having
> > a separate etymology to similar sounding words associated with summer and
> > instead being derived from *samani, 'assembly' and cognate with Sanskrit
>
> No, this is not possible. Acc. to recent scholarship, Germanic *sama-
> and derivatives come from PIE *somHo-, i.e. with the o-grade in the
> root. OInd. sámana- seems to be a derivative from the more basic stem
> sam < *sem- (with e-grade), acc. to EWAia II, 702 ff. In any case,
> for phonetic reasons neither of these can be compared directly with a
Re: "Where Did Halloween Come From?" David Stifter <[log in to unmask]> 2011-11-05 21:29
> Is there any support for Stokes' and Vendryes' suggestion that Samain having
> a separate etymology to similar sounding words associated with summer and
> instead being derived from *samani, 'assembly' and cognate with Sanskrit
No, this is not possible. Acc. to recent scholarship, Germanic *sama-
and derivatives come from PIE *somHo-, i.e. with the o-grade in the
root. OInd. sámana- seems to be a derivative from the more basic stem
sam < *sem- (with e-grade), acc. to EWAia II, 702 ff. In any case,
for phonetic reasons neither of these can be compared directly with a



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