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List of Dacian words: Wikis


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This is a list of Romanian words believed to be of Dacian origin and thus representing the Eastern Romance substratum. In fact, it is not clear if they belonged to the Dacian language or the Thracian language (or both), as the relation between the two is uncertain, and that both Dacian and Thracian are very poorly attested. This list does not include the Dacian plant names, collected by Dioscorides and Pseudo-Apuleius.

The Sources column indicates the linguist(s) or the works who suggested including the words in the list:

  • "Hasdeu": Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, Etymologicum Magnum Romaniae.
  • "Russu": Ion I. Russu, Limba traco-dacilor, published in 1967 at Editura Ştiinţifică. The words that have been identified by I. I. Russu to have cognates in Albanian are marked with (Alb.).
  • "Vraciu": Ariton Vraciu, Limba daco-geţilor, published in 1980 at Editura Facla, Timişoara.
  • "NODEX": Noul dicţionar explicativ al limbii române (The New Dictionary of the Romanian Language), Litera Internaţional Publishing House, 2002. In this dictionary substratum words are labeled cuvînt autohton (native word).
  • "Olteanu": Sorin Olteanu, "The TDM Palatal".[1]

The Notes column contains information found in various dictionaries. "Not in current use" indicates words not found in dictionaries of contemporary Romanian.

Word / Name English Sources Notes
abeş  ? Hasdeu, Vraciu Not in current use. Dacian: *abhesya.
Abrud Abrud Hasdeu Place name in Romania.
abur steam, vapour Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu Cf. Albanian avull (steam). Dacian: *abhula. PIE: *h2ep-h3n.-lo
acăţa to hang, to catch Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *accaptiāre (to catch) Current Romanian form: agăţa.
adămană Vraciu Not in current use.
ademeni to tempt, to lure Hasdeu Cf. Hungarian adomány (gift, grant).
adia to breeze gently Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *adiliare. Current form: adia.
aghiuţă devil Hasdeu Cf. Greek άγιοσ ágios (saint).
aidoma alike, identical Hasdeu Alternative etymology: from Slavic vidomŭ (visible).
alac Einkorn wheat
(Triticum monococcum)
Hasdeu Cf. Hungarian alakor, which, however, has foreign origin, possibly Romanian. Alternative etymology: Latin alica (spelt) Other possible origins: Albanian akuë or Albanian lakër (greenery) of Greek origin.
ală a monster that unleashes storms Hasdeu Alternative form: hală; alternative etymology: Bulgarian, Slavic (h)ala
aldea  ? Hasdeu
ameţi to make/get dizzy Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *ammatteāre (to bludgeon) or *ammitĕre.
amurg twilight, dusk Russu See murg below.
anina to hang, to hook Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *annināre (to swing) or *allevinare.
aprig fiery, hot-blooded Russu Alternative etymology: Latin aprīcus (warm) or *apricus from aper (wild boar).
argea loom (or particular boards of a loom) Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu
Argeş Argeş Hasdeu Place name, river name.
arunca to throw, to cast Russu Alternative etymology: Latin eruncare (to weed out).
azugă  ? Hasdeu Not in current use (see also Azuga, a town in the Prahova County)
baci (chief) shepherd Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu Cf. Hungarian bácsi (uncle). Compare Bulgarian бачо (bacho/bacio).
baier, baieră rope, belt; coin necklace; talisman; bail (handle) Russu Alternative etymology: Latin baiulus (a porter).
baligă dung, manure Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian bajgë (same meaning).
baltă pool, puddle Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian baltë (mud, soil) and Serbian blato (mud).
bară marsh Hasdeu Alternative etymology: Serbian bara (?)
Barbă-cot "Cot"(lit: elbow) represented a unit for measuring length, equal to the length of the average fore-arm; "Barbă" = beard. "Barbă-cot" = dwarf-like fairy-tale character sporting a disproportionately long beard Hasdeu
barză stork (Ciconia ciconia) Hasdeu, Russu, Vraciu, Olteanu Cf. Albanian barth, feminine bardhë (white).
bască beret Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.)
batal wether (castrated ram) Hasdeu Alternative etymology: Turkish battal (useless) from Arabic batal (to mutilate), which also gave Spanish baldar (cripple). Also Cf. Albanian batal and Bulgarian батал (useless).
dragon, monster Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu Cf. Albanian bollë (snake) and Serbian blavor (slowworm).
băga to insert, to thrust Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *bīgāre, from bis (twice) + *iuga.
băiat boy Russu
bălan blond (person), white-haired (animal) Hasdeu Alternative etymology: Slavic bĕlŭ (white)
beregată throat, larynx Russu Cf. Serbian berikat (?). Alternative etymology: Latin *verucata, from *veruca.
bîrsă a piece of wood or iron that binds together the coulter, the share and mouldboard of a plough (the plough beam?) NODEX[2] Cf. Albanian vërz (plane (tool)?), Slovenian brdce (piece of wood holding a trawl), and Moravian brdce (piece of wood across the main shaft of a carriage).
boare breeze Russu Albanian: borë (snow); Alternative etymology: Latin boreas (the north wind).
bordei (buried or half-buried) hut Hasdeu, Russu
bortă hole, hollow, archway Hasdeu Cf. Ukrainian bort.
(archaic form *bradzŭ)
fir (any tree of genus Abies) Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Olteanu Cf. Albanian bradh or bredh (same meaning).
brînduşă crocus, primula (Crocus heuffelianus and other similar flowers) Russu Cf. Bulgarian brenduška and Serbian brnduša.
brînză cheese Hasdeu, Russu, Vraciu spawned German de:Brinsenkäse, Slavic ru:брынза[3], bryndza in Slovak and Polish
brîu belt, waist Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian bres or brezi
brusture bur (large-leafed plant, Lappa) Russu (Alb.)
bucura (verb)
bucuros (adj.)
(to be) glad, to enjoy Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian zbukuroj (beautify) bukurosh (handsome).
buiestru pace (a horse gait) Russu
bunget thick and dark forest Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu Cf. Albanian bunk.
burghiu drilling bit Hasdeu Alternative etymology: Turkish burgu (gimlet, corkscrew), Serbo-Croatian burgija
burlan spout, water pipe Russu Cf. Turkish burgu (pipe, trumpet).
burtă belly, stomach Russu Cf. Albanian barku (same meaning).
burtucă  ? Hasdeu Not in current use.
burtuş  ? Hasdeu Not in current use.
butuc log, stump Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *bottum (blunt and snout), Cuman butak (branch), or Turkish buduk (short-legged). Cf. Hungarian butuk.
butură log, stump Russu Probably a similar etymology with butuc.
buză lip Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian buzë (same meaning). Similar in Bulgarian but the meaning is shfited into cheek.
caier tuft of wool, etc. to be spun Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *caiulus.
caţă long stick ending with a hook, used by shepherds Russu See acăţa above. Cf. Albanian cita (weaving sticks)
căciulă brimless hat Russu (Alb.) Albanian kësul'ë(same meaning). Similar in Bulgarian, meaning hood.
căpuşă tick Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian këpushë.
căpută upper side of a foot; footwear covering it Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian këputsë; Alternative etymology: Slavic kopyto > Romanian copită (hoof), Slavic kopytĭce, Hungarian kapta (last)
cătun hamlet Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian katund (village), Serbian katun (summer pasture).
cioară crow Hasdeu, Vraciu Cf. Albanian sorrë (same meaning).
cioban shepherd Hasdeu Cf. Turkish çoban (same meaning).
cioc beak Hasdeu, Vraciu Cf. Albanian çok (hammer, knuckle). Compare with the Bulgarian word човка (chovka/ciovca) with the same meaning (bill, beak).
ciocîrlie skylark Hasdeu Derived from cioc, see above.
ciomag club, cudgel Hasdeu Cf. Turkish çomak (same meaning), Cf. Albanian çomage (big hammer)
cîrlan sheep or goat weanling; colt, foal Russu
cîrlig hook Russu Cf. Bulgarian кърлик kărlik (?).
codru wide old forest Hasdeu, Vraciu Alternative etymology: Latin *quodrum (from quadrum (a square), Cf. Albanian koder (hill)
copac tree Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian kopaçe (big piece of wood).
copil child Russu Cf. Albanian kopil (bastard), Serbian and Bulgarian kopile (bastard).
creţ curly; curly haired Russu
cruţa to pardon, to spare Russu (Alb.)
cujbă Y-shaped piece of wood used to hold the kettle over the fire Hasdeu
culbec snail Hasdeu Variant: cubelc.
curma to tighten (a rope); to cut, stop Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian kurmue.
curpăn vine, twining stem Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian kurpen (?).
cursă trap, snare Russu (Alb.), Olteanu Cf. Albanian kurth (same meaning).
custură blade, knife edge, knife Russu Possible etymology: Romanian cuţit (knife) + the suffix tură
darari  ? Russu Not in current use.
daş ram Russu (Alb.) Albanian: dash (same meaning).
dărîma to demolish, to knock down Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian: dermoj (to hurt someone) Alternative etymology: Latin *deramare.
deh  ? Hasdeu Not in current use.
deretica to tidy up Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *deradicare (to root out).
descăţa to unhook Russu des-căţa
descurca to disentangle Russu Antonym of încurca, see below.
desghina to divide, to separate Russu current: dezbina
dezbăra to break from a bad habit, to rid Russu
dezgauc  ? Hasdeu
doină Romanian lyrical folk song Hasdeu, Vraciu Cf. Latvian and Lithuanian daina (song, traditional form of Baltic music and poetry).
don  ? Hasdeu
dop cork, plug Russu Cf. Saxon dop.
droaie crowd, large number (of people or animals) Russu Cf. Albanian droe or droje (shyness from the crowd).
dulău mastiff Hasdeu, Vraciu Alternative etymology: Polish dolow or dolaw.
fărîmă crumb, fragment Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian thërrime (same meaning).
gard fence Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian gardh (same meaning) and old Slavic gradŭ.
gata ready, done Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian gati (same meaning).
gălbează fascioliasis Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian gëlbazë, këlbazë (phlegm).
genune abyss Hasdeu, Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *gyro.
gheară claw, talon Russu Alternative etymology: 1. Latin *ungularis (claw, talon) → *înghiareîn ghiare (in [its] claws); 2. Romanian unghioară (small fingernail) → înghiară. Cf. Albanian dorë (arm, clutches, fist, flipper, hand, handful, mitt, palm, quality), darë (nippers, pincers, pinchers), çjerr (clapperclaw, lacerate, scratch, tear up), grric or gervish (scratch)/
ghes a poke, a goad Russu
ghimpe thorn Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian gjëmp, gjemb (same meaning).
ghiob cheese barrel Hasdeu Cf. Hungarian döböny (?).
ghionoaie woodpecker Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian gjon (night bird).
ghiont a nudge, a poke Russu
ghiuj old, decrepit man Hasdeu, Vraciu Cf. Albanian gjysh (grandfather).
gîde executioner Hasdeu
gîdel  ? Hasdeu
gordin Romanian kind of grapes used in winemaking Hasdeu
gorun Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) Russu Alternative etymology: Bulgarian горун gorun (same meaning).
grapă harrow Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian grep, gërepë (fishing rod, [its] hook).
gresie sandstone, whetstone Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian gëresë (?).
groapă hole, pit Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian gropë (same meaning).
grui hilltop, hillock Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *grunnium
grumaz neck Russu (Alb.), NODEX Cf. Albanian gurmaz or gërmaz (throat).
grunz a lump of stiff but brittle substance, such as a block of salt Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian grundë (?).
gudura to fawn Russu Cf. Albanian gudulis (to tickle); cf. Romanian gâdila (to tickle), cf. Bulgarian гъделичкам (gădelichkam), гъдел ме е (gădel me e) (to tickle)[4]
guşă a bird's crop; double chin, goiter Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian gushë (same meaning, plus Adam's apple), Serbian guša (throat), Bulgarian. Alternative etymology: Latin *geusiae.
hojma repeatedly, continuously Hasdeu, Vraciu Alternative etymology: Ukrainian hožma.
iazmă ugly and evil apparition, ghost Hasdeu
iele mythological characters (white-clad beautiful girls, bewitching men with their song and dance) Hasdeu Cf. Serbian vile (nymphs), Slavic mythology. Alternative etymology: from Romanian ele (feminine form of they).
încurca to entangle, to mix up Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *incolicare (from colus = distaff).
înghina to assemble, to put together Russu Cf. Romanian îmbina.
îngurzi to wrinkle the edge of a fabric or the sole of a shoe with a thread Russu
înseila to stitch, to sew temporarily Russu Currently preferred form: însăila; alternative etymology: Turkish say (saw or a delicate kind of serge, or woolen cloth)[5]. Cf. Serbian šiti (to sew)
întrema to recover after illness or fatigue Russu
jilţ, jielţ tall-backed (arm)chair Hasdeu, Vraciu Etymology given for current form jeţ: German Sitz.
leagăn cradle, swing Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *liginare from ligare (to tie/bind).
lepăda to drop; to take off (clothes) Russu Alternative etymology: Latin lapidare (to throw stones). Cf. Serbian pada, opada (to drop, to fall).
lespede stone slab Russu
leşina to faint Russu From Serbian lešina (carcass)
mal shore Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu Cf. Albanian mal (mountain).
maldac a small load (of wood, hay, etc.) Hasdeu Alternative etymology: Greek mandakis.
mazăre pea (Pisum sativum) Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu, Olteanu Cf. Albanian modhë and modhullë.
măceş sweetbrier (Rosa eglanteria) Russu
mădări to pamper, to spoil (a child) Russu
măgură hill, knoll Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian magulë (same meaning).
mălai millet flour Hasdeu After millet was largely replaced by corn, the word changed its meaning into corn flour.
mămăligă cornmeal mush (mămăligă) Hasdeu Albanian mëmeligë (same meaning)
mărcat  ? Russu Not in current use.
mătură broom Russu (Alb.) Serbian metla (broom)
Mehadia Mehadia Hasdeu
melc snail Hasdeu, Russu, Vraciu
mieru bluish Russu
mire bridegroom Hasdeu, Russu, Vraciu Cf. Albanian mirë (good).
mistreţ wild boar Russu Albanian: mistrec (captious kid). Alternative etymology: Latin *mixticius.
mişca to move, to stir Russu
mînz foal, colt Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian mëz (same meaning). It is agreed that the Thracian inscription ΜΕΖΗΝΑΙ (mezēnai, in Greek alphabet) on the Duvanli gold ring means horseman. The PIE root *mend(i)- is thought to mean horse.
morman pile, heap Russu
mosoc large shepherd dog Hasdeu
moş old man Russu (Alb.) Probably a backformation from moaşă (midwife); cf. Albanian moshë (age).
moţ tuft, crest Hasdeu
mugure bud Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian mugull (gemma).
munună hilltop Russu
murg dark brown (animal, horse) Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian murg (monk?).
muşat handsome Russu
năpîrcă limbless lizard (Anguis fragilis); viper Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian nepërkë, nëpërkë (viper).
năsărîmbă prank, mischief Hasdeu
niţel a little Russu
noian multitude, heap Russu
ortoman rich (of a shepherd); handsome (of an outlaw); quick (of a horse) Hasdeu
păstaie pod, capsule, hull Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian pistaë, bishtajë (beans).
păstra to keep Russu Alternative etymology: Bulgarian pastrja (?).
pînză cloth, linen, fabric Russu
pîrîu brook, creek Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian përrua (creek, stream); also might be related to Romanian rîu (river, stream) from Latin rivus (stream).
prunc small child Russu Alternative etymology: Latin *puerunculus (small child).
pururea always, ever Russu (Alb.) Alternative etymology: Latin purus (pure, also absolute).
raţă duck Hasdeu, Vraciu Cf. Albanian rosë (same meaning) and Serbian raca (?).
ravac any of several kinds of wine or must Hasdeu Alternative etymology: Turkish ravak (?).
răbda to bide, bear, endure Russu
reazem support, backing, prop Russu
ridica to raise, lift Russu Alternative etymology: Latin eradicare (to uproot).
rîmfă  ? Hasdeu Not in current use.
rînză gizzard; any of several stomach diseases Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu Cf. Albanian rrëndës (rennet).
(today searbăd)
insipid Russu (Alb.), Olteanu Cf. Albanian tharbët (?). Alternative etymology: Latin exalbidus (white).
Sarmisegetuza Sarmizegetusa Hasdeu
scăpăra to strike a flintstone (to start a fire) Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian sqepar (small axe for cutting meat)
scrum ashes Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian shkrum, shkrumb (same meaning).
scula to get up, to wake Russu (Alb.) Albanian shkul (uproot) Alternative etymology: *excubulare (to get up, wake).
scurma to scrape or dig (with snout, claws, beak, tools) Russu Alternative etymology: *excorrimare (?).
sîmbure pit (fruit kernel) Russu (Alb.), NODEX, Olteanu Cf. Albanian sumbull or thumbull (?).
sîmvea (?) Hasdeu
spînz hellebore Russu (Alb.) Alternative etymology: Slavic spreji (?).
stăpîn master, owner Hasdeu, Vraciu Alternative etymology: Slavic stopanŭ (same meaning).
strănut sneeze Russu Alternative etymology: Latin sternutare (to sneeze).
stejar oak Hasdeu, Vraciu Alternative etymology: Bulgarian стежер (stejer) (?).
steregie icicle-shaped soot concretion in chimneys Russu
sterp sterile, infertile Russu (Alb.) Albanian: shterp (same meaning).
stînă sheep fold Hasdeu, Vraciu, NODEX
străghiată storm Russu Cf. Albanian shtrëngatë (same meaning).
strepede larva living in foodstuff (Piophila casei) Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian shtrep (?).
strugure grape Russu, NODEX
strungă place for milking sheep; narrow passage, canyon Russu (Alb.), NODEX Cf. Albanian shtrungë (?).
sugruma to strangle, to burke Russu From sub (under) and grumaz (throat, see above).
suguşa to strangle, to burke Russu From sub (under) and guşă (goiter, see above).
şale hips Russu (Alb.) Cf Albanian shale (thigh), Alternative etymology: Latin sella (seat).
şiră spine Hasdeu, Russu
şopîrlă lizard Hasdeu, Russu (Alb.), Vraciu
şoric pig skin Russu
şut hornless Russu (Alb.) Albanian: shyt (same meaning)
tare hard Russu
traistă bag Hasdeu Albanian trastë, trajstë (same meaning), cf. Romanian synonym straiţă and Albanian strajcë
tulei (young) whiskers Hasdeu
ţap he-goat Russu (Alb.) Albanian: cjap (ibex, billy-goat)
ţarc pen, fold (fenced enclosure for animals) Russu (Alb.), Olteanu Cf. Albanian cark or thark (?).
ţarină country Russu
ţăruş pole, pale, picket Russu
(today ţumburuş)
a small, usually round, protrusion on a surface, nub Olteanu Cf. Albanian thumbullë (?) and cf. Romanian sâmbure.
ţundră . Hasdeu
ţurcă traditional Romanian game Hasdeu
(a se/ a) uita respectively: to look, to forget Russu Altern. etym. Latin *oblitare (to forget).
undrea sewing needle Russu current form: andrea
urca climb Russu
urcior eyesore Russu Altern. etym. hordeolus (eyesore).
urdă cottage cheese Hasdeu, Russu, Vraciu
urdina . Russu Altern. etym. Latin ordinare (to set in order).
urdoare Gelatinous ocular secretion Russu Altern. etym. Latin *horridor (rough, horrible).
vatră hearth, home, fireplace Hasdeu, Russu (Alb). Albanian vatre (fireplace) (Vraciu), Serbian vatra (fire)
vătăma to hurt, to injure Russu Altern. etym. Latin victimare (to sacrifice).
vătui one year old kid (goat & doe); hare Russu (Alb.) Latin vitellus (a little calf).
(archaic form viedzure)
badger Russu (Alb.), Olteanu Cf. Albanian vjedhullë (the thief, from the verb vjeth, to steal).
viscol blizzard Russu
zară buttermilk Russu Albanian dhallë (same meaning), cf. Romanian zăr, zer below
(today zer)
whey Russu, Olteanu Cf. Albanian dhallë (sour milk, diluted yogurt).
zburda jump around, prance, frolic Russu
zestre wedding gift, or wealth Russu. Similar to the Bulgarian word зестра (zestra).
zgardă collar Russu (Alb.) Cf. Albanian shkardhë
zgîria scratch Russu (Alb.?) Altern. etym. Latin *scaberare < scaber (itchy)
zgîrma scratch (searching for something) Russu cf. Romanian scurma above
zîmbru, zâmbru a coniferous tree, Pinus cembra Hasdeu, Vraciu (zimbru is a different word, meaning bufalo, i.e., Bison bonasus)
zîrnă, zârnă black nightshade (Solanum nigrum) Hasdeu Altern. etym. Old Slavic zrŭno


  • (Romanian) Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, Etymologicum Magnum Romaniae, 1887-1895
  • (Romanian) Ion. I. Russu, Limba traco-dacilor, Editura Ştiinţifică, Bucureşti, 1967
  • (Romanian) Ion. I. Russu, Elemente autohtone în limba română, Editura Academiei RSR, Bucureşti, 1970
  • (Romanian) Ion. I. Russu, Etnogeneza românilor, Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1981
  • (Romanian) Ariton Vraciu, Limba daco-geţilor, Editura Facla, Timişoara, 1980
  • (Romanian) Alexandru Ciorănescu, Dicţionarul etimologic român, Universidad de la Laguna, Tenerife, 1958-1966 (in part available online at DEX online)
  • (Romanian) George Pruteanu, "Limba traco-dacilor", transcript of a TV show broadcast March 25 and 26, 1996, on PRO TV; the transcript is followed by a "List of words considered by specialists as most probably belonging to the Dacian language".
  • (Romanian) DEX online: a collection of Romanian dictionaries
  • Albanian <-> English Dictionary


  1. ^ (English) (Romanian) Sorin Olteanu, "The TDM Palatal"
  2. ^ Dicţionarul explicativ al limbii române, Entry for bîrsă
  3. ^ Şăineanu, Lazăr (1896) Dicţionar universal al limbii române
  4. ^
  5. ^ (online Turkish-English dictionary), Entry for say

See also



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