per- / Indo-European roots


To lead, pass over.

A verbal root belonging to the group of per1

Derivatives include fjord, welfare, emporium, opportune, important, sport.

I. Full-grade form *per-.
1. Suffixed form *per-tu-. firth, fjord from Old Norse fjördhr, an inlet, estuary, from Germanic *ferthuz, place for crossing over, ford.
2. Suffixed form *per-onā-. peroneal from Greek peronē, pin of a brooch, buckle (< "that which pierces through").
3. Suffixed form *per-yo-. diapir from Greek peirein, to pierce.
4. Suffixed form *per-trā-. petro-, petrous, pier; parsley, petrify, petroleum, saltpeter from Greek petrā, cliff, rock (dissimilated from *pertrā-), with possible earlier meaning "bedrock" (< "what one comes through to").
5. Suffixed form *per-wr̥, *per-wn̥-, bedrock, "a coming through, what one comes through to" and derived adjective *per-wn̥-to-, rocky. Parvati from Sanskrit parvataḥ, mountain.
II. O-grade form *por-.
1. a. (i) fare; warfare, wayfarer, wayfaring, welfare from Old English faran, to go on a journey, get along; (ii) fieldfare from Old English feldeware, possibly altered by folk etymology in Old English from an earlier *feldefare, from *fare, a goer, from faran (see (i) above); b. gaberdine from Old High German faran, to go, travel; c. fartlek from Old Norse fara, to go, move. a-c all from Germanic *faran, to go.
2. Suffixed form *por-o-, passage, journey. pore2; aporia, emporium, poromeric from Greek poros, journey, passage.
3. Suffixed (causative) form *por-eyo-, to cause to go, lead, conduct. a. ferry from Old English ferian, to transport, from Germanic *farjan, to ferry; b. guar, wallah from Sanskrit pārayati, pālayati, he leads across, brings to safety.
4. Lengthened-grade form *pōr-. a. fere from Old English (ge)fēra, "fellow-traveler" companion (ge-, together, with; see kom) , from Germanic suffixed form *fōr-ja-; b. führer from Old High German fuoren, to lead, from Germanic suffixed (causative) form *fōr-jan.
5. Possibly suffixed form *por-no-, feather, wing (< "that which carries a bird in flight"). a. fern from Old English fearn, fern (having feathery fronds), from Germanic *farnō, feather, leaf; b. paan from Sanskrit parṇam, leaf, feather.
III. Zero-grade form *pr̥-.
1. Suffixed form *pr̥-tu-, passage. a. ford from Old English ford, shallow place where one may cross a river, from Germanic *furdu-; b. port1; importune, opportune, passport from Latin portus, harbor (< "passage").
2. Suffixed form *pr̥-tā-. porch, port3, portal, portcullis, porter2, portico, portière, portulaca, purslane from Latin porta, gate.
3. Suffixed (denominative) form *pr̥-to-. port5, portable, portage, portamento, portative, porter1; comport, deport, export, import, important, portfolio, purport, rapport, report, sport, support, transport from Latin portāre, to carry.

[Pokorny 2. B. per 816.]


To try, risk (< "to lead over" "press forward").

A verbal root belonging to the group of per1
1. Lengthened grade *pēr-. fear from Old English fǣr, danger, sudden calamity, from Germanic *fēraz, danger.
2. Suffixed form *perī-tlo-. parlous, peril from Latin perīclum, perīculum, trial, danger.
3. Suffixed form *per-yo-. experience, experiment, expert from Latin experīrī, to try, learn by trying (ex-, from; see eghs)
4. Suffixed form *per-ya. pirate; empiric from Greek peira, trial, attempt.

[Pokorny 2. E. per 818.]


To strike.

A verbal root belonging to the group of per1 Extended forms *prem-, *pres-. pregnant2, press1, pressure, print; appressed, après, compress, depress, espresso, express, impress1, imprimatur, imprint, oppress, repress, reprimand, reprisal, reprise, suppress from Latin premere (past participle pressus), to press.

[Pokorny 3. per- 818.]


To traffic in, sell (< "to hand over" "distribute").

A verbal root belonging to the group of per1. Base of two distinct extended roots.
I. Root form *pret-.
1. interpret from Latin compound inter-pres (stem inter-pret-), go-between, negotiator (inter-, between; see en)
2. Suffixed form *pret-yo-. praise, precious, price; appraise, appreciate, depreciate from Latin pretium, price.
II. Variant root form *perə- (oldest form *perh2-). Suffixed form *p(e)r-n-ə-, with o-grade *por(ə)-nā-. pornography from Greek pornē, prostitute, from pernanai, to sell.

[In Pokorny 2. C. per 817.]

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