by Ion Carstoiu
Unfortunately, the etymon for''fish'' in world languages remains enigmatic. What's behind the word with the sense''fish''? It is not known. Do not laugh but a relationship with the ''sun'' is possible: 1)Hae in Araona(Bolivia)=hae''sun''in Korean. 2)Hare in Umotina(Brazil)=hare''sun''in Orokolo(PNG). 3)Il''fish'' in Dawera-Daweloor(Indonesia)=il''sun'' in Korean. 4)Kala''fish'' in Finnish=kala''the sun'' in Hawaiian. 5)Kanga in Kuikuro(Braz.)=kanga''sun'' in Koyo(Congo). 6)Kol in E.Mari=kol''sun'' in Scythian. 7)La in Ama(N.Guinea)=la''sun'' in Hawaiian. 8)Me in Kwakala(Canada)=me''sun'' in Yokuts. 9)In Tamil min=min''sun'' in Kansa. 10)Moi in Talysh(Iran)=moi''sun'' in Lingala(D.R.Congo). 11)Nima in Bribri(Costa Rica)=nima((nyima) in Tibetan.Now with small changes. 12)Pula(pola) in Chuvash~Apolo sun-god. 13)Palik in Khakas cf.Palk,Korean sun-god. 14)In Turkish balik,unkn.origin,,but'' page does not exist''.:b is variant of p,see also Bel,Celtic sun-god, beli''sun'' in Assamese etc. 15)Gipsy word for ''fish'' is masho cf.mash''sun'' in Nubian(Sudan). 16)Dag in Hebrew cf.daga''sun'' in Circassian. 17)Kinu in Angor(P.N.G.)~kin in Turkic and Maya. 18)Laks in Tocharian cf.lak''sun'' in Apakapa(Texas). 19)Namas in Abenaki~ nam''sun'' in Dumi(Nepal). 20)Be in Balinese cf.bi''sun'' in Otoe. 21-22)Kana in Apalai(Braz.)but kan''sun'' in Ninatic(Connecticut).See also ikan in Ilokano. 23)Hoga in Assiniboine cf.khaga''sun'' in Sanskrit. 24)Na in Limbu(Nepal) from rana''sun'' in Hausa? 25)Rami in Egyptian~Ra,sun-god. 26)Ho in Kansa cf.(hol)''fish'' in Hungarian,see Finn.kala=kala''the sun'' in Hawaiian,kol''sun'' in Scythian. 27)Kapa in Scythian,kaef in Ossetian,kifi in Hausa,kupa,cep in Ainu,pa in Lao ~Khepri,*Khapri,sun-god in Anc.Egypt(h is aspiration and is eliminated). 28)Modern Greek for ''fish'' is psari which is comparable with pisar''sun'' in Nehan(PNG). 29)Pira in Tupinamba can be the final of Khepri with metathesis.or pur,pir''fire'' in Greek and Korean.(fire from sun). 30).Guya in Gamilarray~gui''sun''in Niger-Congo. 31)Ek in Marshallese cf.eke''sun'' in Onge(Andaman,India). 32)Olo in Negidal, ollo in Evenki~Apolo,Apollo? 33)Itonama (Bolivia) word for ''fish'' is opi,but op means''sun'' in Yawelmani(California).
Wiktionary about fish:''From M.Engl.fisch,from fisc''fish'', from P.Germ.*fiskaz, from PIE*peysk-..(compare Latin piscis,Irish iasc)''..I propose instead of PIE*peysk- the name pis''sun'' in Goemai(Nigeria).+suff.-k-.=pisk.
Latvian zivs, zuve: “Latvian zivs, dialectal zuvs, zuve, from Proto-Baltic *žuwis, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰǵʰu- (“fish”). Cognates include Lithuanian žuvìs (“fish”), Old Prussian suckis (zukis, “fish”), Ancient Greek ἰχθύς (ikhthús), Old Armenian ձուկն (jukn).
Karulis doesn't accept the resolution of the thorn cluster and so instead sets up *ǵʰeu-wi-s, *ǵʰu-wi-s from a putative Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰew- (“fish”), comparing *ǵʰeu- (“to pour”) or *ǵʰēu-, *ǵʰəu- (“to gape”). “
Wiktionary Proto-Slavic/ryba: ” Of uncertain origin.
The central Indo-European word for "fish" *dʰǵʰu- (“fish”) (yielding Ancient Greek ἰχθύς (ikhthús), Lithuanian žuvìs, Old Armenian ձուկն (jukn)) would have given Proto-Slavic v-stem **zy (genitive **zъve, accusative **zъvь), and was, as the theory goes, avoided by fishermen due to taboo, or because it would've sounded too similar to the verb *zъvati (“to call”).
Some of the proposed etymologies include:
• From Early Proto-Slavic *rų̄bā, which is then comparable to *rębъ (“speckled, motley, variegated”), with fish scales being the semantic connection. For a similar development compare *pьstry (“salmonid fish”), originally "the colorful/variegated one" < *pьstrъ (“variegated”).
• From the Early Proto-Slavic root *ūr- (“water, swamp, pond”) which is attested in Baltic languages, with a rare metathesis and the suffix *-ba for forming abstract nouns.”
S. Paliga, Cas e s t u d y :r yb a
“Slav ic ryba has been analyzed from various perspectives and various origins have been sug-
gested. Unfortunately, the etymon remains enigmatic. The various associations
with other roots are mainly unconvincing. Is there possible to suggest a more
convincing solution? Are there the ‘more convincing’ candidates for a possible
relationship, allowing to reconstruct the initial meaning of the root *RaB-,
*RoB-, *RuB-? … e ve n i f sharing the same root, are obviously not related, they are simple homonyms as
a result of hazard, not an initial etymological relationship. This is, for example,
the series represented by Latin rubius ‘red’, which cannot be related to ryba, and
vice-versa. Nor can river-name Rubicon be related to ryba, unless we admit that
root rub- is not connected to the semantic sphere ‘red’, as currently accepted.
But the origin of Rubicon is not of primary interest here; it may be considered
some time later, though. Latin had another root rob- with the meaning ‘oak’ and
‘force’ – robur. This often happens in the etymological analysis, therefore it is
safe to reject a possible initial relationship with these Latin forms.
But what the initial meaning may have been? To what semantical sphere
was a fish connected to? Definitely not to color, as fish may have various colors.
To form? This seems most probable, especially if we have a look at how most
fish look like: they have curvilinear forms. This is what I postulated several
years ago, upon the first attempt to try possible related forms to Slavic ryba.
Archaic languages did contain, in fact words related to simple data, nouns
and adjectives, and probably little abstract meanings. Therefore, as a starting
point, I assumed that archaic meaning of the Pre-IE root *RaB-, *RoB-, *Rub-must have been related to an obvious depictive feature, frequently encoun-
tered when attempting to reconstruct the archaic meanings of prehistoric
roots. The association of various fish with the curvilinear forms is obvious,
e.g. these examples of Czech heraldry (after Zenger 1978: 62 and 151).
Starting from this observation, we may postulate
that the initial meaning of the Pre-IE root *R-B- must
have been ‘curved, rotund; curvilinear; round, roun-
ded; wheel.’ If we admit this reconstruction, the next
step would be to identify other possibly related forms.”
Did you see etymologies of Slavic*ryba and Latvian zivs, zuve? In my opinion Slavic ryba is comparable with ruba''sun'' in Gweno(Tanzania) and dialectal Latvian zuve with zuva''sun'' in Shona(Zimbabwe,Mozambique). Slavic and Baltic are neighbour languages , Tanzania and Mozambique are neighbour too. Gweno and Shona are Bantu languages. I will not write about Bantu-Balti . I can't explain why.