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In Central and Eastern Europe, the word for Romance peoples was borrowed from the Goths (as *walhs) into Proto-Slavic some time before the 7th century.[Swiss speakers of Italian and French.

In Central and Eastern Europe, the word for Romance peoples was borrowed from the Goths (as *walhs) into Proto-Slavic some time before the 7th century.[citation needed] The first source using the word was the writings of Byzantine historian George Kedrenos in the mid-11th century.

From the Slavs the term passed to other peoples, such as the Hungarians (oláh, referring to Vlachs, more specifically Romanians, olasz, referring to Italians), Turks ("Ulahlar") and Byzantines ("Βλάχοι", "Vláhi") and was used for all Latin people of the Balkans.[3]

Over time, the term Vlach (and its different forms) also acquired different meanings. Ottoman Turks in the Balkans commonly used the term to denote native Balkan Christians (possibly due to the cultural link between Christianity and Roman culture),[citation needed] and in parts of the Balkans the term came to denote "shepherd"

From the Slavs the term passed to other peoples, such as the Hungarians (oláh, referring to Vlachs, more specifically Romanians, olasz, referring to Italians), Turks ("Ulahlar") and Byzantines ("Βλάχοι", "Vláhi") and was used for all Latin people of the Balkans.[3]

Over time, the term Vlach (and its different forms) also acquired different meanings. Ottoman Turks in the Balkans commonly used the term to denote native Balkan Christians (possibly due to the cultural link between Christianity and Roman culture),[citation needed] and in parts of the Balkans the term came to denote "shepherd" – from the occupation of many of the Vlachs throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

The Polish words Włoch (pl. Włosi), "Italian", and Włochy, "Italy", and the Slovenian lah, a mildly derogatory word for "Italian", can also be mentioned.

In the Frankish Table of Nations (c. 520, emended c. 700), there are a people called the Walagothi or Ualagothi. The term combines the prefix wala- (foreign) and the name of the Goths. The implication is that these were Romance-speaking Goths, probably the Visigoths in Spain.[4]

Numerous names of non-Germanic, and in particular Romance-speaking, European and near-Asian regions derive from the word Walh, in particular the exonyms

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Numerous names of non-Germanic, and in particular Romance-speaking, European and near-Asian regions derive from the word Walh, in particular the exonyms

Consider the following terms historically present in several Central and Eastern European, and other neighbouring languages:

  • in Polish: Włochy Wales, Welsh
  • Cornwall
  • The names of many towns and villages throughout the North and West of England such as Walsden in West Yorkshire and Wallasey, near Liverpool.
  • Waledich or wallditch (weahl + ditch) was the pre-Victorian name of Avebury stone circle in Avebury, Wiltshire[6]
  • Galwalas, Old English name for people of Gaul or France
  • Numerous attestations in German (see also de:Welsche):
    • in village names ending in -walchen, such as Straßwalchen or Seewalchen am Attersee, mostly located in the Salzkammergut region and indicating Roman settlement[citation needed]
    • The name of the German village Wallstadt, today a part of the city of Mannheim, originates from the Germanic Walahastath
    • In German Welsch or Walsch, outdated for "Romance", and still in use in Swiss Standard German for Romands.
    • in numerous placenames, for instance Walensee and Walenstadt, as well as Welschbern and Welschtirol (now almost always Verona and Trentino), also in:
      • Welschbillig, in the Moselle valley, where Moselle Romance was spoken;
      • Welschen Ennest (community of Kirchhundem, district Olpe, Sauerland);
      • Welschenrohr in the Swiss canton of Solothurn;
      • Welschensteinach in the district Ortenau in Baden-Württemberg;
      • Welschnofen (Nova Levante), in opposition to Deutschnofen (Nova Ponente), in Alto Adige, Italy. In Welschnofen lived until the eighteenth century a In the Pennsylvania German language, Welsch generally means "strange" as well as "Welsh", and is sometimes, although with a more restricted meaning, compounded with other words. For example, the words for "turkey" are Welschhaahne and Welschhinkel, which literally mean "French (or Roman) chicken". "Welschkann" is the word for maize and literally translates to "French (or Roman) grain." The verb welsche means "to jabber".

        Yiddish

        The Yiddish term "Velsh" or "Veilish" is used for Sephardi Jews and the Rashi script.

        Family names

        The element also shows up in family names:

        • in Dutch:
        • in English:
        • in German:
        • in Greek:
        • in Hungarian:
        • In Irish: (all derived from Gall)
          • Mac Diarmada Gall, Dubhghall, Gallbhreatnach, Ó Gallchobhair, Mac an Ghallóglaigh
        • Jewish-Polish:
          • Bloch, a Jewish family name, that derives from Polish Włochy
        • in Polish:
          • Włoch, Wołoch, Wołos, Wołoszyn, Wołoszek, Wołoszczak, Wołoszczuk, Bołoch, Bołoz
        • in Romanian
          • Olah, Olahu, Vlah, Vlahu, Valahu, Vlahuță, Vlahovici, Vlahopol, Vlas, Vlasici, Vlăsianu, Vlăsceanu, Vlaș, Vlașcu
        • Slavic:
          • Vlach, Vlah (cyr. Влах) (forename, also for Blaise)

        Historic persons

        Other words

        • The walnut was originally known as the Welsh nut, i.e. it came through France and/or Italy to Germanic speakers (German Walnuss, Dutch okkernoot or walnoot, Danish valnød, Swedish valnöt). In Polish orzechy włoskie translates to ‘Italian nuts’ (włoskie being the adjectival form of Włochy).[11]
        • Several German compound words, such as Welschkohl, Welschkorn, Welschkraut, literally mean "Welsh/Italian cabbage" (referring to Savoy cabbage) and "Welsh/Italian corn" (referring to either maize or buckwheat).[7]

        See also

        References

        The Yiddish term "Velsh" or "Veilish" is used for Sephardi Jews and the Rashi script.

        Family names


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