N.S. Gill at About.com has a nice article on the
Etymology of Geometry Terms where she points to the rather troublesome etymology of our word CIRCLE, writing:
"That circle (coming either from a Greek verb meaning to hoop around or from the circular Roman circus) is marked with what you would have, in pre-geometry days, called a line across part of it."
That purported etymology is VERY WEAK and so is the linguists theory that the Indo-European root of circle is sker-, for which there is as good as no evidence.
Actually, I think the origin of the word CIRCLE comes from an even more ancient Indo-European word, that for "millstone", found, for example, in Latvian word DZIRKALIS "millstone", which did not get its original name from its shape at all, but rather from the function it served.
In Latvian DZIR- would have the same origin as Latvian DZIRKSTELLE "spark" and KALIS can mean "Smith, Smithy" in Latvian relating to the root KAL-T "to forge, to hammer" and so DZIRKALIS, the "millstone" would have some origin such as "spark grinder", a term probably going far back into the history of man and the observations that certain stones ground together would produce sparks - i.e. fire. Presumably, millstones were the first circular objects practically used and it is likely, in our opinion, that these ultimately led to the idea of the wheel for other applications (spinning wheels, etc.).
In time, the millstone became synonymous with the concept of a circle and we thus later obtained many words for circular concepts with the root CIRC-, which does not have an original concept of circle as its base, but rather a millstone for grinding.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
The ISandIS Network
Our Websites and Blogs: 99 is not 100 Aabecis AK Photo Blog Alpha Pundit Ancient Civilizations Ancient Egypt Weblog Ancient World Blog AndisKaulins.com Andis Kaulins Blog Archaeology Travel Photos (blog) Archaeology Travel Photos (Flickr) ArchaeologyTravelPhotos.com Archaeology Websearch Archaeo Pundit Arts and Sciences Journal Arts Pundit Astrology and Birth Baltic Coachman Bible Pundit Biotechnology Pundit Blogacus Bloggers' Pundit Book Pundit Chronology of the Ancient World CiteULike Civilization Pundit Computer Pundit deli.cio.us (akaulins) DocStoc (AKaulins) DVD Pundit Earn a Ton EarnATon blog Easter Island Script Echolat edu.edu Einstein's Voice Energy Environment and Climate Blog Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza EU Laws EU Legal EU Pundit FaceBook Pundit Figures in Stone Gadget Pundit Garden Pundit getCITED Golf Pundit Google Pundit Gourmet Pundit Hand Proof House Pundit Human Migrations Idea Pundit Illyrian Language Indus Valley Script Infinity One : The Secret of the First Disk (the game) Isandis (blogspot) Isandis.net Isandis Net (blogspot) Isandis Network (blogspot) Jostandis Journal Pundit Kaulins Genealogy Blog Kaulinsium (WordPress) Kiel & Kieler Latvian Blog LawPundit.com LawPundit (blog I) Law Pundit (blog II) Learn a Ton LearnATon blog LexiLine.com LexiLine Group Lexiline Journal Library Pundit Life's Laws and Rules Lingwhizt LinkedIn Literary Pundit Magnifichess Make it Music Maps and Cartography Megalithic Wiki at Wikia.com (Andis Kaulins, founder) Megalithic World Megaliths (blog) Megaliths.net Minoan Culture Multiply Mutatis Mutandis Mysticeti Nanotech Pundit Nostratic Languages Official Pundit Orcim T. Fos Phaistos Disc Pharaonic Hieroglyphs Photo Blog of the World Plaxo Posterous Predynastic Egyptians Prehistoric Art Pundit Private Wealth Blog PunditMania Quanticalian Quick to Travel Quill Pundit Road Pundit Scribd (Andis Kaulins) Shelfari SlideShare (akaulins) Sport Pundit Star Pundit Stars Stones and Scholars (blog) Stars Stones and Scholars (book) Stars Stones and Scholars (website) Stonehenge Pundit Techinax The Enchanted Glass Twitter Pundit UbiquitousPundit Vision of Change VoicePundit WatchPundit Waverful Wine Pundit Word Pundit Writely xistmz YahooPundit zistmz