nekʷ-t- / Indo-European roots


Night (perhaps originally "twilight, twilight of the morning and evening" as opposed to *kwsep-, "the dark of the night").

Probably from a verbal root *negw-, to be dark, be night. O-grade form *nokw-t-.
a. night; fortnight from Old English niht, neaht, night;
b. Kristallnacht from Old High German naht, night. Both a and b from Germanic *naht-.
2. nocti-, nocturn, nocturnal, equinox from Latin nox (stem noct-), night.
3. noctuid, noctule from Latin noctua, night owl.
4. Nix; nyctalopia, nyctinasty from Greek nux (stem nukt-), night.
5. Perhaps zero-grade form *n̥kw-t-. actinium, actino- from Greek aktīs (stem aktīn-), ray, traditionally taken as from *n̥kw-t-. This derivation is supported by the Sanskrit cognate aktuḥ, meaning both "ray" and "night", but has recently contested in favor of a derivation from ak-, "sharp" the rays of the sun originally having been conceived of as a pointed weapon. If the oldest meaning of *nekw-t- is "twilight" however, Greek aktīs the traditional derivation from n̥kw-t- can be upheld if the Greek word is considered to have originally referred to the rays of the sun seen in the morning and evening twilight.
6. Suffixed plain verbal root *negw-ro-. Negro, niello, nigella, nigrescence, nigrosine; denigrate, film noir, Pinot Noir from Latin niger, black.

[Pokorny nek̒ͧ-(t-) 762.]

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