gourd > squash

noun plant_part


Proto-Siouan *ahkó•(re)

Proto-Crow-Hidatsa *kakúwi

Crow kukúwi ‘squash, pumpkin’ RG, GG:51, RGG:14

Hidatsa kakúwi ‘squash, pumpkin, cucumber, watermelon’ J


Mandan kó• ~ kó•re ‘squash’ RTC , kó• xté ‘pumpkin’ RTC


Proto-Dhegiha *hkohkó-

Omaha-Ponca kkokkómį ‘cucumber’ RR

Osage ḳoḳóma , †hkohkóma ‘cucumbers’ LF:88b



Biloxi kɔ•čkúyɛʔ ‘watermelon’ [cf. †čkú•ye ‘sweet’] MRH , kɔ•čku•yeʔ MS , ko , †ako•(dí) ‘gourd’ D&S:171b , ko tckúyĕ , †ako•(dí) ‘watermelon’ , aḳodí , †ako•(dí) ‘gourd cup’

General comment

Some linguists have postulated that some of these forms may be borrowings from French. This is doubtful, however, since Mandan and Biloxi have nearly identical forms. There is the additional possibility of contamination of native terms from French and English. The DH forms, for example, should not differ as they do. We seriously doubt, however, that all the ko forms are borrowed, at least from a European language. Rather we suspect a relationship with onomatopoeic forms based on the hollow sound of gourds, the sort of thing that underlies *hkó-kehollow sound > stamp, stomp’ (‘make a hollow sound)’.

The accentual and vowel length patterns suggest an old prefix, here partially preserved, as usual, in some of the Biloxi forms. Mandan and Biloxi share *-re, and if, as C postulates, this -r- was an epenthetic glide, then DH, Crow and Hidatsa *-w- might be similarly epenthetic, and all the forms would more or less match. It is also possible that the Proto-Crow-Hidatsa form was *koko- with the standard raising of short o > u; *-w- might be an assimilation product from *r after round vowels. The various ko- forms for cucurbits outside of Siouan, however, suggest that this etymology will never be completely secure.

Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources