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Old and New Worlds in Greek Onomastics$
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Elaine Matthews

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264126

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264126.001.0001

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Greek Reinterpretation of Iranian Names by Folk Etymology

Greek Reinterpretation of Iranian Names by Folk Etymology

(p.135) 7. Greek Reinterpretation of Iranian Names by Folk Etymology
Old and New Worlds in Greek Onomastics

RÜdiger Schmitt

British Academy

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

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