γῶ (?) = χωρῶ

Word

Validation

Yes

Word-form

γῆ

Transliteration (Word)

English translation (word)

earth

Transliteration (Etymon)

English translation (etymon)

to give room/way (χωρῶ)

Author

Unknown

Century

6 AD

Source

John Philoponus

Ref.

On the Creation of the World 181.25-27

Ed.

H. Rabe, 1899 Teubner

Quotation

τοῦτο γὰρ αὐτῇ (τῇ γῇ) κυριώτατον ὄνομα καὶ τῇ φύσει πρέπον αὐτῆς· οἱ γὰρ διὰ τῶν ἐτυμολογιῶν φυσιολογοῦντες τὰ ὑποκείμενα τοῖς ὀνόμασι πράγματα παρὰ τὸ «γῶ» ῥῆμά φασιν, ὃ σημαίνει τὸ «χωρῶ», παρῆχθαι τὸ «γῆ» ὄνομα·

Translation (En)

Βecause this is the most proper name for “earth” and the most appropriate for its nature; in fact, those who use etymologies to discuss nature by investigating the things that underlie names, argue that the name γῆ was derived from verb γῶ”, meaning ‘to give room/way’ (χωρῶ).

Other translation(s)

Modern Greek: Γιατί αυτό είναι το κύριο όνομα για τη ‘γη’ και το κατάλληλο για τη φύση της. Μάλιστα όσοι ερευνούν τη φύση αναζητώντας μέσω των ετυμολογιών τα πράγματα που βρίσκονται πίσω από τα ονόματα, υποστηρίζουν ότι η «γη» προήλθε από το ρήμα «γῶ» που σημαίνει ‘δίνω χώρο, ανοίγω δρόμο’.

Comment

No verb “γῶ” is attested; Diodorus Siculus (3.40) has a passive Aor. γεωθείς ‘changed into earth’: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:abo:tlg,0060,001:3:40&lang=original

Modern etymology

Chantraine 1970, 219: Neither “γῆ” nor “γαῖα” have an established etymology. It is supposed that “γαῖα” was a contamination of “γῆ” with “αἷα” and “μαῖα”, a simple hypothesis, related to the concept of ‘mother-land’.

Persistence in modern Greek

“Γη” is still used in MG to designate: 1. the planet Earth, 2. the place of human life and activity, 3. the soil (Triandafyllidis Dict. of Modern Greek).