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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 6 months ago

Orgin and Etymology of the word Vagina


I hypothesize that vagina is a very old word dating from before the separation of Australian aborigines and Indoeuropeans, since Australian aborigines from the Nourlangie (an anglicised version of Nawurlandja) art site in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, call the wife of Namarrgon, one of their mythical Creation Ancestors, Barrginj, pronounced barr-jeen.


Barrginj, depicted in the Nourlangie rock art site in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia


The Hungarian and Czech words for vagina include VAGÍNA. Whether this is Roman influence or not I do not know, but it seems unlikely that a word as basic and primitive would get borrowed by Hungarians from a Roman Empire they saw very little of. The Serbian word is vagina. As is one of the Swedish words for the term. Turkish is VAJİNA. The Russian word is ВЛАГАЛИЩЕ, pronounced Vla-ga-li-sche, a word related to a more general word, which means "insertion".


The almost perfect match between both syllables across many languages in very distant families (barr=va, jeen=gin; note that gin in vagina is pronounced jeen in several romance languages, such as Spanish, which obtained the word from the Latin vagina) and the similarity between meanings (female, sheath, place where one inserts) is highly suggestive of a common ancestor that meant female.


Note that this hypothesis is a radical departure from the origin suggested by modern ethymological dictionaries:

Vagina: 1682, from L. vagina "sheath, scabbard" (pl. vaginæ), from PIE *wag-ina- (cf. Lith. voziu "ro cover with a hollow thing"), from base *wag- "to break, split, bite." Probably the ancient notion is of a sheath made from a split piece of wood (see sheath). A modern medical word; the L. word was not used in an anatomical sense in classical times. Anthropological vagina dentata is attested from 1908.


Note on Namarrgon: Namarrgon is the Lightning Man. Namarrgon (pronounced narm-arr-gon) is an important Creation Ancestor. He is believed by Australian Aborigines to be responsible for the violent lightning storms that occur every wet season.


--Alex Backer, Nov. 14 2006


Comments (3)

Alex Backer, Ph.D. said

at 10:06 pm on Jan 24, 2009

Mandarin Chinese does not seem to share the word, though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_slang

Alex Backer, Ph.D. said

at 2:29 am on Nov 25, 2011

My theory is corroborated by the Hawaiian word for woman: wahine, indicating the word root also precedes the separation of Polynesian languages, and thus the Austronesian language family, from the other major language families.

Alex Backer, Ph.D. said

at 2:36 am on Nov 25, 2011

In fact, vagina and wahine are sometimes given as an example of a false cognate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_cognate). I beg to disagree. Such a striking similarity across three major language families on a word that surely existed in the first proto-language is surely not coincidental.

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