Johanna-Hypatia Cybeleia (johanna_hypatia) wrote,
Johanna-Hypatia Cybeleia

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The Big List of Linguistic Coincidences

I started collecting these babies about 22 years ago, and have kept adding to the list as I've found more. Added two or three this week. To find the true coincidences, it's necessary to screen out all the cognates and loanwords, sift for only the accidental resemblances.

Amazing Coincidences

Arabic akh 'brother'

Mongolian akh 'brother'

Bikol aki 'child'

Korean aki 'child'

Blackfoot aki 'woman'

Even akhi 'woman'

Lenape ana 'Mom'

Turkish ana 'mother'

Arabic ana 'I'

Gondi ana 'I'

Arabic anta 'thou'

Japanese anta 'thou'

Arabic ard 'earth'

Dutch aard 'earth'

Hebrew ari 'lion'

Tamil ari 'lion'

Hebrew awir 'air'

Welsh awyr 'air'

Kyrgyz ayal 'woman'

Parji ayal 'woman'

Ga ba 'come'

Hebrew ba 'come'

English bad

Persian bad 'bad'

Arabic bai‘ 'sale'

Japanese bai 'sale'

Kazakh bala 'child'

Sanskrit bala 'child'

Hungarian béka 'frog'

Sanskrit bheka 'frog'

Scots Gaelic 'cow'

Vietnamese 'cow'

Guro buri 'vulva'

Sanskrit buri 'vulva'

Guaraní che 'I'

Korean che 'I'

English chop

Uzbek chop- 'chop'

Etruscan clan 'son'

Gaelic clann 'sons'

Irish daoine 'people'

Navajo dine 'people'  

Hindustani das 'ten'

Komi das 'ten'  

English dog

Mbabaram dog 'dog'

Lau dori 'wish for, desire'

Romanian dori 'wish for, desire'

Japanese haha 'my mother'

Onondaga haha 'my mother'

Egyptian hati 'heart'

Malay hati 'heart'

Cantonese hai 'is'

Hindi hai 'is'

Elamite hih 'fire'

Japanese hi 'fire'

English hole

Yucatecan Maya hol 'hole'

English I

Brahui i 'I', Onondaga i 'I'

Japanese i- 'go'

Latin i- 'go'

Japanese ii 'good'

Turkish iyi 'good'

Hebrew ima 'mother'

Meitei ima 'mother'

Arabic kana 'be'

Santal kana 'be'

Aguaruna kaya 'stone'

Turkish kaya 'rock'

Hindustani kutya 'dog'

Hungarian kutya 'dog'

French lai 'song'

Urdu lai 'song'

French le 'the'

Samoan le 'the'

Fula lōtā- 'wash oneself'

Hindi lōtā 'pitcher for washing oneself'

Burmese lu 'human person'

Sumerian lu 'human person'

Arabic ma 'what'

Chinese ma 'what'

Hawaiian mahina 'month'

Urdu mahina 'month'

English many

Korean mani 'many'

Chinese mei 'beauty'

Tamil mey 'truth' (Cf. Keats, "Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty")

Hungarian mell 'breast'

Kota mel 'breast'

Guaymi meri 'woman'

Tok Pisin meri 'woman'

Estonian mina 'I'

Zulu mina 'I'

Arabic muna 'wish'

Quechua muna 'wish'

Khmer ñam 'eat'

Wolof ñam 'eat'

German nass 'wet'

Zuñi nas 'wet'

German nehme- 'take'

Manchu neme- 'take'

Chinese ni 'thou'

Tamil ni 'thou'

Basque ni-k 'I'

Berber nik 'I'

Cantonese nöi 'female'

Hungarian női 'female'

Urdu nosh 'eating'

Yiddish nosh 'eating'

Hoanya pai 'woman'

Yukaghir pai 'woman'

Greek paid- 'child'

Telugu paida 'child'

Greek palai- 'old'

Tamil palai- 'old'

English pay

Chinese pei 'pay'

Mordvin pey 'head'

Nahali pey 'head'

English post

Turkish post 'post' (<Persian, not a loanword)

Georgian puri 'bread'

Hindustani puri a type of bread

Egyptian ra 'sun'

Maori ra 'sun'

Italian sala 'hall'

Sanskrit śala 'hall'

Malay se- 'one'

Nahuatl se 'one'

Korean se- 'three'

Persian seh 'three'

Seneca seh- 'three'

Persian seh 'three'

Italian sette 'seven'

Sakha sette 'seven'

English show

Pashto Show- 'to show'

English sign

Hindi sain 'sign'

English slick

Uyghur s'liq 'slick'

English so

Japanese 'so'

English soup

Hindi sūp 'soup' (<Sanskrit, not a loanword)

Finnish tippa 'drop'

Hebrew tippa 'drop'

Toda tal 'head'

Welsh tal 'forehead'

English two

Ainu tu 'two'; Korean tu- 'two'

Chontal Mayan un- 'one'

Italian un 'one'

Etruscan unu 'you' pl.

Igbo unu 'you' pl.

Hebrew ur 'town, village'

Tamil ur 'village'

Sumerian uru 'town, village'

Telugu uru 'village'

Altay üy 'woman'

Paez úy 'woman'

Malay wanita 'woman'

Yuchi wanita 'woman'

English well

Nahuatl huel 'well'

Czech 'I'

Old Tamil 'I'

Lenape xeli 'much'

Persian xeyli 'much'

Hebrew yam 'sea'

Samoyed yam 'sea'

Japanese yo 'I'

Spanish yo 'I'

Near Misses

Hebrew avir 'air'

Tamil avi 'breath'

English better

Persian behtar 'better'

Turkish bir 'one'

Tarahumara biré 'one'

French ça y est 'that's right!'

Urdu sahih hai 'that's right!'

English curl

Tamil kuruL 'curl'

Greek, Latin duo 'two', Pushto dwa 'two'

Malay dua 'two'

Amharic gara 'mountain'

Georgian gora 'hill'

Konda goro 'hill, mountain'

Russian gora 'mountain, hill'

Arabic hālah 'halo'

English halo

English haunt

Malay hantu 'ghost'

Arabic kalafa 'to be reddish-brown'

Sanskrit kapila 'reddish-brown'

Tamil karu 'black'

Turkish kara 'black'

Finnish maa 'earth'

Tamil maN 'earth'

Arabic malad 'youth'

Czech mlada 'young'

Arabic mata 'to die'

Malay mati 'to die'

Scottish mickle 'much'

Tamil mika 'much'

Cree mot(w) 'moose'

Evenki moti 'moose'

English occur

Japanese okoru 'occur'

Finnish pää 'head' — Lakota pa 'head'

Hawaiian poo 'head'

Tamil pillai, Kannada pille 'child'

Nahuatl pilli 'child'

Greek pneu- 'breathe, blow'

Klamath pniw- 'blow'

Hawaiian pua 'flower'

Tamil pu 'flower'

Eskimo qayaq 'small boat'

Turkish qayiq 'small boat'

English receipt

Persian resid 'receipt' (not a loanword)

Lithuanian rumai 'house'

Malay rumah 'house'

Etruscan sek 'daughter'

Tlingit sik 'daughter'

Arabic shakala 'to shackle'

English shackle

Urdu shadi 'wedding'

Zulu -shado 'wedding'

English sun

Manchu shun 'sun'

Arabic suwar 'walls'

Tamil suvar 'wall'

Nahuatl tepec 'hill'

Turkish tepe 'hill'

Greek theos 'god'

Nahuatl teo 'god'

Irish tine 'fire'

Lenape tindey 'fire'

English tone

Tamil toni 'tone'

English whole

Greek holos 'whole'

Old English ure 'our'

Korean uri 'our'

English woman

Old Japanese womina 'woman'

Japanese yabanjin 'person from the wilderness'

Turkish yabancı 'person from the wilderness'

Yin/Yang reversals

Catalan alt 'high'

Turkish alt 'low'

Arabic ‘ala 'upon, above'

Finnish ala- 'underneath, below'

English buy

Arabic bai‘, Japanese bai 'sale'

Dutch beter 'better'

Turkish beter 'worse'

English black

Old Chinese bhlak 'white'

Mongolian bog 'demon'

Russian bog 'god'

English boy

Kuwi boy 'girl'

Kashmiri ded 'grandmother'

Russian ded 'grandfather'

English he

Hebrew hi 'she'

Coptic i 'come'

Japanese i-, Latin i- 'go'

Japanese iie 'no'

Welsh ie 'yes'

Mongolian ir- 'come'

Spanish ir 'go'

Hebrew ish 'man'

Jacaltec Mayan ish 'woman'

Dutch jou 'thou'

Rumantsch jou 'I'

English lumbar (back)

Pashto lumbaR 'front'

English mama 'mother'

Georgian mama 'father'

English nay 'no'

Greek nai 'yes', Korean ne 'yes'

Basque ni 'I'

Chinese ni, Tamil ni 'thou'

English no

Hawaiian no affirmative

Ainu ona 'father'

Uzbek ona 'mother'

English papa 'father'

Old Japanese papa 'mother'

Arabic dialect rah 'go'

Hindustani rah 'stay'

Hindustani rog 'disease'

Pashto rogh 'healthy'

English sad

Turkish şad 'happy'

English server 'one who serves'

Ottoman Turkish server 'one who rules'

Arabic sharr 'evil'

Brahui sharr 'good'

Italian si 'yes'

Swahili si negative

Arabic su’ 'evil'

Sanskrit su- 'good'

Basque su 'fire'

Turkish su 'water'

Malay tak 'no'

Polish tak 'yes'

French toi 'thee'

Vietnamese tôi 'me'

Mordvin tol 'fire'

Nivkh tol 'water'

Italian va 'go!'

Tamil va 'come!'

Mayan yum 'father'

Tibetan yum 'mother'

Tags: coincidance, languages & linguistics
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