Greek Reinterpretation of Iranian Names by Folk Etymology

RÜdiger Schmitt

in Old and New Worlds in Greek Onomastics

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264126
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734632 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Greek Reinterpretation of Iranian Names by Folk Etymology

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This chapter explores the interpretation of Iranian names in Greek by so-called folk etymology. It explains that folk etymology is the phenomenon by which a personal name is assimilated according to sound and morphology into the host language, often acquiring a pseudo-etymology as part of the process. The findings reveal that there are many instances of Iranian names represented in Greek sources but precise understanding of the process is often elusive because a prosopographical identity is often unavailable.

Keywords: Iranian names; Greek folk etymology; pseudo-etymology; prosopographical identity; personal name

Chapter.  7482 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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