Adam Walker wrote:
> --- Paul Bennett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>Beekes also gives Greek pélekus,
> Is that stressed on the first syllable?
The vowel of the first syllable carried the pitch accent in ancient
Greek. The letter between 'p' and 'l' should be an e-acute.
But it is not merely Beekes that gives it; the word is well attested in
the ancient writers. It is a two-edged ax used for felling trees, or for
felling one's enemies in battle.
>Was this word much-used in Byzentine times?
It's found in the writing of Stephen of Byzantion - but it seems to be
used of the executioner's ax by that time. How common it was by that
time, I do not know.
The word is held by some to be borrowed - cf. Babylonian: pilakku,
Sumerian: balag. Possibly connected also are:
pelekan (gen. pelekanos) = pelican
pelekas (gen. pelekantos) = woodpecker
pelekaein [verb] = to hew/shape with an ax
pelekinos (gen. pelekinou) = pelican
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