Meaning: fire

Represented in 156 languages with 22 cognate sets.

Illustrative Context

He was cold, so he moved closer to the fire.

Target Sense
  • Most generic, basic and default noun for fire, preferably applicable both to the concept of fire in general, and to a concrete instance of (a) fire.
  • In many languages this will be the same term as used in the traditional Classical concept of the four ‘elements’, i.e. fire as opposed to earth, air and water.
  • The lexeme selected should fit the target context (as in the illustrative context sentence) of a relatively small fire, controlled and intentionally set, for heating or cooking.
  • The lexeme selected should normally refer to fire visible in the form of flame(s), but avoid terms that have the narrower and more specific meaning of flame rather than fire in general.
  • Avoid terms with specific narrower and limiting senses or usage of any kind, e.g..:
    • Terms that are more limited to the abstract concept of combustion. Indeed, avoid technical register terms such as English combustion.
    • Terms specific to particular types of fire, such as fire burning down a building, e.g. French incendie (rather than the correct generic word feu).
    • Terms with specific senses of intense, uncontrolled, damaging and dangerous fire, e.g. blaze.
    • Terms with a specific sense of a naturally occurring fire, e.g. wildfire, bush fire.
    • Terms specific to indoor fires, fireplaces or hearths, e.g. French foyer (even if ultimately derived from the same root as correct feu).

Note: the illustrative case of modern Romance languages derive their modern default fire words not from the original Classical Latin ignis, but from the Latin word focus, which originally meant only ‘fireplace’. Regardless of that derivation and original sense, though, the cognates of focus have in modern Romance languages long since broadened semantically to displace the ignis root entirely, and take over its semantic slot as the basic fire word here. So the correct target lexemes for these languages in IE-CoR are indeed feu, fuoco, fuego, etc..

Cognate sets for meaning: fire

Id <span style="white-space:nowrap;">IE-CoR ref. form&nbsp;</span> <span style="white-space:nowrap;">IE-CoR ref. lang.&nbsp;</span> # clades # lexemes loan? pll loan? pll deriv.? ideoph.? loan src lang. src lex cogset. Details

Lexeme Details

Language Lexeme Phonetic Phonemic Cognate set loan? pll loan? Source lang