gher- / Indo-European roots


To grasp, enclose; with derivatives meaning "enclosure" Oldest form *g̑her-, becoming *gher- in centum languages.

Derivatives include orchard, kindergarten, courteous, choir, choral.

1. Suffixed zero-grade form *ghr̥-dh-.
a. gird1, girt1 from Old English gyrdan, to gird, from Germanic *gurdjan;
b. girdle from Old English gyrdel, girdle;
c. girth from Old Norse gjördh, girdle, girth.
2. Suffixed o-grade form *ghor-to- or (in Germanic) *ghor-dho-, an enclosure.
a. (i) yard2; orchard from Old English geard, enclosure, garden, yard; (ii) garth; Asgard from Old Norse gardhr, enclosure, garden, yard; (iii) kindergarten from Old High German garto, garden; (iv) garden, jardinière from Old North French gart, garden; (v) hangar from Old French hangard, shelter, possibly from Germanic *haimgardaz (*haimaz, home; see tkei-); (vi) Germanic compound *midja-gardaz (see medhyo-). (i)-(vi) all from Germanic *gardaz;
b. horticulture, ortolan from Latin hortus, garden.
3. Prefixed and suffixed zero-grade form *ko(m)-ghr̥-ti- (*ko(m)-, collective prefix, "together"; see kom) cohort, cortege, court, courteous, courtesan, courtesy, courtier, curtilage, curtsy from Latin cohors (stem cohort-), enclosed yard, company of soldiers, multitude.
4. Perhaps suffixed o-grade form *ghor-o-. carol, choir, choral, chorale, choric, chorister, chorus, hora; choragus, Terpsichore from Greek khoros, dancing ground (? perhaps originally a special enclosure for dancing), dance, dramatic chorus.

[Pokorny 4. g̑her- 442, g̑herdh- 444.]


To like, want.

Oldest form *g̑her-, becoming *gher- in centum languages.
1. Suffixed form *gher-n-. yearn from Old English giernan, gyrnan, to strive, desire, yearn, from Germanic *gernjan.
2. Possibly extended form *ghrē-.
a. greedy from Old English grǣdig, hungry, covetous, greedy, from Germanic *grēdiga-, hungry, formed from *grēduz, hunger;
b. catachresis, chrestomathy from Greek khrēsthai, to lack, want, use, from khrē, it is necessary.
3. Suffixed zero-grade form *ghr̥-to-. hortative; exhort from Latin hortārī, to urge on, encourage (< "to cause to strive or desire").
4. Suffixed zero-grade form *ghr̥-i-. charisma; Eucharist from Greek kharis, grace, favor.
5. Suffixed zero-grade form *ghr̥-yo-. chervil from Greek khairein, to rejoice, delight in.

[Pokorny 1. g̑her- 440.]

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