ker- / Indo-European roots


Horn, head; with derivatives referring to horned animals, horn-shaped objects, and projecting parts.

Oldest form *k̑er-, becoming *ker- in centum languages.

Derivatives include horn, unicorn, hornet, reindeer, migraine, cheer, rhinoceros, cerebrum.

I. Zero-grade form *kr̥-. Suffixed form *kr̥-no-. a. (i) horn, hornbeam from Old English horn, horn; (ii) alpenhorn, althorn, flugelhorn, hornblende from Old High German horn, horn. Both (i) and (ii) from Germanic *hurnaz...
II. Extended o-grade form *koru-.
1. corymb from Greek korumbos, uppermost point (< "head").
2. coryphaeus from Greek koruphē, head.
3. Suffixed form *koru-do-. corydalis from Greek korudos, crested lark.
4. Suffixed form *koru-nā-. corynebacterium from Greek korunē, club, mace.
III. Extended e-grade form *keru-.
1. Suffixed form *kerw-o-, "having horns" a. cervid, cervine, serval from Latin cervus, deer; b. cervix from Latin cervīx, neck.
2. Suffixed form *keru-do-. a. hart from Old English heorot, hart, stag; b. hartebeest from Middle Dutch hert, deer, hart. Both a and b from Germanic *herutaz.
IV. Italic and Celtic blend of (I) *kr̥-no- and (II) *koru- yielding *kor-nu-. corn2, cornea, corneous, corner, cornet, cornichon, corniculate, cornu; bicornuate, Capricorn, cornification, lamellicorn, longicorn, tricorn, unicorn from Latin cornū, horn.
V. Extended zero-grade form *kr̥ə-.
1. charivari; cheer from Greek karē, karā, head.
2. carotid from Greek karoun, to stupefy, be stupefied (< "to feel heavy-headed").
3. carrot, carotene from Greek karōton, carrot (from its hornlike shape).
VI. Suffixed further extended form *kr̥əs-no-.
1. cranium; migraine, olecranon from Greek krānion, skull, upper part of the head.
2. hornet from Old English hyrnet, hornet, from Germanic *hurznuta-.
VII. E-grade further extended form *kerəs-.
1. carat, cerambycid, cerastes, kerato-; ceratopsian, chelicera, cladoceran, keratin, Monoceros, rhinoceros, triceratops from Greek keras, horn.
2. sirdar from Persian sar, head.
3. Suffixed form *kerəs-ro. cerebellum, cerebrum, saveloy from Latin cerebrum, brain.
VIII. Extended form *krei-.
1. reindeer from Old Norse hreinn, reindeer, from Germanic *hraina-.
2. rinderpest from Old High German hrind, ox, from Germanic *hrinda-.
3. Possibly extended form *krī-. criosphinx from Greek krīos, ram.

[Pokorny 1. k̑er- 574.]


To grow.

Oldest form *k̑er-, becoming *ker- in centum languages.

Derivatives include cereal, Creole, concrete, recruit.

1. Suffixed form *ker-es-. cereal, Ceres from Latin Cerēs, goddess of agriculture, especially the growth of grain.
2. Extended form *krē- (< *kreə-).
a. Suffixed form *krē-yā-. create, Creole, cria, griot; procreate from Latin creāre, to bring forth, create, produce (< "to cause to grow);
b. suffixed form *krē-sko-. crescendo, crescent, crew1; accrue, concrescence, concrete, decrease, excrescence, increase, recruit from Latin crēscere, to grow, increase.
3. Suffixed o-grade form *kor-wo-, "growing" adolescent. kore, kouros; Dioscuri, hypocorism from Greek kouros, koros, boy, son, and korē, girl.
4. Compound *sm̥-kēro-, "of one growth" (*sm̥-, same, one; see sem-1) sincere from Latin sincērus, pure, clean.

[Pokorny 2. k̑er- 577.]


Heat, fire.

1. Suffixed form *ker-tā-. hearth from Old English heorth, hearth, from Germanic *herthō.
2. Zero-grade form *kr̥-.
a. carbon, carbuncle from Latin carbō, charcoal, ember;
b. extended form *krem-. cremate from Latin cremāre, to burn.
3. Possibly suffixed and extended form *kerə-mo-. ceramic from Greek keramos, potter's clay, earthenware.
4. Possibly variant extended form *krās-. crash2 from Russian krasit', to color.

[Pokorny 3. ker(ə)- 571.]

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