What is the etymology of the name suffix “maus” seen in the name “Oenomaus”/Oenamaus” where the prefix “oeno” stands for “wine”?

By: | Post date: 2015-12-20 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

The book reviewed here: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008.07.58  proposes μέμαα, μέμονα “lust for”, “be eager”, “rage”. (The verb is related to mēnis, the rage of Achilles.) So, “striving for wine”. The book is about poetic etymologies, so it’s not clear to me this would be a linguistically correct derivation; but looks like it’s right, because you can always trust German scholarship:

In Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (Hrsg.): Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie. Band 3,1, Leipzig 1902 http://www.archive.org/stream/au… , “striving for wine” is given, but rejected. From what my poor German tells me, everyone accepts that –maos is from μέμαα , but they reject that oino– is about wine, suggesting that it was insteaed ϝινο- “strong”, οἰν-οψ “dark”, or οἰωνός “bird of prey”.

The derivation from μέμαα threw me, but it’s an old enough verb for it to make sense. I can’t find any other words ending in –maos.

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