Wenja Language: gwar “beasts”, Part 1

Smarkaka, Winjika! Shaja sama gastiyika daha naykamas. Palhush sam shuta dwa Winja warshtas warhamas. Ma-nu palhu warshtas – ya nashman gwaris, say salwa. U naykamas.

Hello, Wenja friends! Today we’ll be starting to do something a bit different. Usually we talk about one or two Wenja words. But now we’ll be talking about lots of words – they’re all ones that are names of beasts. Let’s begin.

Keep in mind that many of these words underwent “irregular” change within Wenja & Izila.  This was because some of the words were too long to be appropriate for gameplay.  Each irregularity will be discussed.

bikwa ‘bee’

bikwa ‘bee’. From PIE *bʰi-kʷó-, this word is related to Old Irish bech “bee”, Welsh begegyr “drone”, Old Norse bȳ bee”, Old English bēo bee” (As in Beo-wulf, “bee-wolf”), and Old Church Slavonic bičela bee”. Perhaps from a root meaning to “strike, attack”.

charwa ‘deer’

charwa ‘deer’. From PIE *ḱerwo- ‘horned one’, a derivative of *ḱoru ‘horn’ (cf. Wenja charnga ‘horn’). This word is seen most obviously in Latin cervus ‘stag’, but also in Old English heorot ‘stag’ (English hart), Old High German hiruz ‘stag’, Old Norse hrūtr ‘ram’, and Old Prussian sirwis ‘roebuck’. Note also Greek kórudos ‘(crested) lark’ and Avetan srv- ‘horn; claw, talon’.

chwan ‘dhole; dog’

chwan ‘dhole; dog’. One of the most famous roots of Indo-European, this word derives from PIE *ḱwon-. Continued by Sanskrit śvan-, Greek kuon (> English cynic ‘one who thinks like a dog’), Latin canis (> English canine), Hieroglyphic Luvian zú-wa/i/-ni ‘dog’, Avestan spā, Russian súka, Lithuanian šuõ ‘dog’, and English hound.

dang ‘yak’

dang ‘yak’.  This word was constructed for Primal, originally a compound word with significant reductions: dansu-gawi, literally ‘shaggy cow’. The first part dansu means ‘thick; hairy, shaggy’ is related to our word dense (< Latin), Greek dasús ‘thick’, and Hittite dassus ‘mighty’. The second part comes from PIE *gʷou- ‘cow’ (with loss of ʷ after the u), continued by Old Irish , Latin bōs (> bovine), and English cow.

dantan ‘sabertooth’

dantan (tigri) ‘sabertooth tiger’. This is another word constructed specifically for Primal. You can see the Wenja word for ‘tooth’, danti, hidden inside.  The sabertooth tiger was the ‘toothed tiger’. The PIE word for tooth, *h₁dont- (> Latin dent-, Greek odont-, English tooth), was itself a derivative of the word ‘to eat’ h₁ed-, as seen in Wenja hada.

faran ‘eagle; large bird’

faran ‘eagle; large bird’. While typically referring to just eagles, this word can also mean any large bird (hence Tensay saying to Takkar: Faranha bandata! “You have united with the owl!”) From PIE *h₃or-, this root is seen in Hittite ḫāran-, Gothic ara, Old Irish irar, Russian orël, all which mean ‘eagle’. Also the source of Greek órnis ‘bird’ (> English ornith-ology).

galu ‘turtle; tortoise’

galu ‘turtle; tortoise’. From PIE *gʰéluhᵪs, this word is found in Old Church Slavonic žely, Russian žólvi, and Greek khélus, all meaning ‘tortoise’

hagwi ‘snake’

hagwi ‘snake; serpent’. From PIE *h₁ógʷhis, continued by Old High German egala ‘leech’, Greek ékhis ‘viper’, óphis ‘snake’, Armenian ‘snake; viper’, Avestan aži- ‘snake’, Sanskrit áhi- ‘snake’, and Welsh euod ‘sheepworm’, euon ‘horse worm’.

halchi ‘elk’

halchi ‘elk, moose’. From PIE *hᵪólḱi-, This word is reconstructable from Latin alcēs, Old Norse elgr, Old English eolh (> elk), Rus losĭ, Wakhi rūš ‘wild mountain sheep’, and Sanskrit ṛ́śya- ‘male antelope’.

hars ‘bear’

hars ‘(brown) bear’ (chawha-hars ‘cave bear’). From PIE *h₂ṛtḱo-. We expect sharcha, but reduced to hars for gameplay / linguistic reasons. Seen in Greek árktos (> arctic), Latin ursus (> ursine), Sanskrit ṛ́kṣa-, Hittite ḫartagga- ‘bear man’, Armenian arǰ, Albanian ari, and Welsh arth > ‘(King) Arthur’. Likely derived from *h₂retḱos ‘destruction’ (Sanskrit rákṣas-, remember the Rakshasa from FC4? There’s also a word shrachasa in Primal, which means ‘demon’).

Rakshasa ~ Shrachasa