Print

Print


> _šnu_ "sing" [...] _šani'a_ "hate"... which seemed a bit improbable at
first [...]

But a complete reversal of the meaning (with some additional leeway) is
quite common, I'd say.
The standard example cited is German "Gift", which came to mean 'poison'. In
Slavic, _*won-_ apparently was just the neutral word 'smell', but then came
to mean _von'_ 'bad smell, stench' in Russian and _vune_ 'good smell,
fragrance' in Czech. Or _*tchrstv-_ which apparently meant something like
'strong, full of energy', came to mean 'fresh' or 'cheerful' in some
languages, but in Russian _tchjorstvyj_ 'hard and dry' - used of old stale
bread, or in the emotional sense 'hard-hearted, callous'.
(Sorry for the inadequate transcription.)