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Meaning of the words: na północy/południu?


Mr. v
21 Apr 2011 #1
Hi

I'm wondering where the words are from, it would just be interesting to me to know why one would use "północy/południu" for North/South?

Nobody in Poznań seems to be able to tell me.

Thanks
plk123 8 | 4,150
22 Apr 2011 #2
it would just be interesting to me to know why one would use "północy/południu" for North/South?

that's because that is what those words mean in polish..
ola 18
22 Apr 2011 #3
I guess he mean that wschód is East or sunrise - where the sun rises. Zachód means West or sunset - where the sun is going down.

I don't know about the connection betwen North - Północ - Midnight and South - Południe - Noon. Maybe that's because at night there is seen Polar star which shows the North? Or maybe some ancient rites where dedicated to those daytimes and they were connected with world sides?
gumishu 11 | 5,377
22 Apr 2011 #4
południe - literally midday - is the direction the sun is at noon - północ - literally midnight is where the sun is supposed to be at midnight (the direction) and it sort of actually is there - of course południe and północ are oposite directions

one can argue that południe is a calque from Latin word meridies - which has both meanings as in Polish (it is no surprise as Polish was heavily influenced by Latin in many ways)

don't know about północ word

other Slavic languages (that I know) share words to describe directions of North and South that are of old proto-Slavic origin
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
22 Apr 2011 #5
Południe - pół dnia (half day, noon).
Północ - pół nocy (half night, midnight).

That's were you need to start. The geographical terms are only loosely related to that.
E.g. in Czech you say "půlnoc" for midnight, but "sever" for north.
asik 2 | 220
22 Apr 2011 #6
why one would use "północy/południu" for North/South?

It's because of Polish grammar.

Did you ever heard about noun declination? In Polish language we have 7 different cases, which means it's possible for one noun to have 7 different endings in singular number and another 7 possible different endings in plural number.

północ/południe - means north/south

(where?) na północy/południu Where do you live? I live in North/(or) South Poland . Na północy/ południu Polski.

some other endings:

( with) z północą/południem
Ziemowit 13 | 4,202
22 Apr 2011 #7
E.g. in Czech you say "půlnoc" for midnight, but "sever" for north.

Indeed, that must have been an Old Slavic word for 'north'. In Russians you say " s'ever' " as well. What is 'south' in Czech [in Russian it is 'youg']?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
22 Apr 2011 #8
What is 'south' in Czech

Actually, its "jih" :-)
gumishu 11 | 5,377
22 Apr 2011 #9
well the origins of the the Slavic word for south - jug/jih can be more or less explained - it most probably comes from an Indo-European root of

aug - you see the root in words like Latin augere (to increase) and words in various Indoeuropean languages meaning to increase or to grow - very similar semantically to the Slavic jug is Lithuanian aukśtas meaning high

I haven't seen any etymology of the Slavic word for north (sever) so far
Mr v - | 7
22 Apr 2011 #10
hat's because that is what those words mean in polish..

World class answer, but thanks for trying anyway.


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