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Re: Ancient Words

Posted by R. Berg on February 19, 2002

In Reply to: Ancient Words posted by Word Camel on February 19, 2002

: As long as I'm dealing with Brysonian themes, in one of his books, (I think it's in Mother Tongue but I've yet to find where), he mentions that it's thought that "eenie, meanie, minie and moe" are the first four numbers in a prehistoric numbering system. I was wondering if anyone know of any other words like this or what Bryson's original source might have been.

: Thanks,
: Camel

I don't believe him about "eeny . . ." It sounds silly, and the hypothesized Proto-Indo-European roots for the number words don't look anything like that. The root for "two" is "dwo." For "three," "trei."