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Ngaurhoth1
October 23rd, 2008, 10:08 AM
Does anyone know the basis for names in mythology?I've been wondering how do some of the names in mythology come about.Like where did the word nymph come from? Or the name Odin, Loki, ect, ect.Does anyone know any books or websites that give name terminology for any form of mythology?

BenSt
October 23rd, 2008, 10:34 AM
Names are derived from the language or proto-language. Those names are also romanizations of names.

If you look at the word Zeus for example, it has it's roots in the Indo-Aryan word that was the basis for Deva (Hinduism), Dewi, Deu, and Deiwos. which in different languages has connections with the concept of a God, or to refer to shining.

I think you would literilly have to look up each and every word, and perhaps look at linguistics and proto-language.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_language

Another really important point is that some words are borrowed between groups living close together. Nymph could have a meaning from ancient Scathia as opposed to originally Greek (I know thats not true, but as an example)

Nuadu
October 23rd, 2008, 10:48 AM
Im not great at the early languages stuff but maybe that combines with the idea that the names come from the way the people viewed that Deity

The famous Morrigan for example means great queen
The Dagda means the good God

It could also come from the geographical features people associated with the deity - some deities are associated with certain mountains, rivers etc...

Macha means Plains
As in a flat clear plain used for Horses in County Armagh Machas territory which itself means means High Plains.

Or the function the deity performed

Boann means the White Cow
Cows being a symbol of Fertility in early Irish history and Bru na Boinne Boanns Hostel is an archetectural marvel older and more advanced then the great Pyramid that was used in rituals marking the winter solstice when the days get longer and life returns to the earth.
http://knowth.com/newgrange.htm