Thursday 15 March 2018

Crop devouring insect

A weevil is a type of beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily. They are usually small, less than 6 mm (0.24 in), and herbivorous. Many weevils are considered pests because of their ability to damage and kill crops. One of the most dangerous species of weevil is the grain or wheat weevil (Sitophilus granarius) which damages stored grain. This Beatle can devastate granaries and destroy all the grain stored inside of them. 

Here is a picture of a wheat weevil on grains:

In Serbian the word for weevil is "žižak" dialectal "žižek". The same word is also found in Croatian and Slovenian and in Hungarian as a borrowing from South Slavic languages where the word is "zsizsik".

The word comes from the word for grain "žito". The word "žito" is said to come from Proto-Slavic "*žito" meaning "grain, corn".  And this word is cognate with the Slavic word "život" meaning life and comes from the same root which I postulated to be "ži" meaning "breath, breath of life, life force". I talked about this in my post "Breath".

At the same time in Sumerian language we find this word:

"zi" (ži?) - breathing, breath (of life), life, throat, soul...
zíd, zì - flour, meal (life + motion as in grinding).
zíz (žiž?) - emmer (wheat) (reduplicated zé or zi)
zìz (žiž?) - a crop devouring insect

Interesting right?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wanderwort. Wheat is native to the Fertile Crescent (and so, presumably, are creatures that eat wheat). It would have originally been acquired in trade by Indo-Europeans from Fertile Crescent people and it would make sense that the word would follow the good. Words for tea and many domesticated African tropical plants that originate in Indonesia (like the banana) follow similar patterns.