I’m sure you’re all aware of the alleged incorrectness of sentence-adverbial (or “speaker-oriented”) hopefully (for a discussion of why apparently pointless decisions to chastise one sentence adverb and not another get made, see this LH post from last year). Well, Mark Liberman over at the Log has run some numbers, and it turns out that while “subject-oriented” hopefully (i.e., meaning “in a hopeful manner”) is fairly common in fiction (almost always modifying descriptions of speaking, looking, and going: “Doug looked up at him hopefully”), elsewhere (in newspapers, magazines, academic writing, and speech) it occurs, on average, just 5% of the time, and if you restrict the search to spoken usage, the percentage is zero. That’s right, people essentially never use hopefully to mean “in a hopeful manner” when they’re speaking their native language. So the word clearly means “it is to be hoped,” although in certain restricted environments it can be used to mean “in a hopeful manner.” Hopefully, we can now put this “incorrect” nonsense to rest.


  1. tom wootton says

    It is not the correctness or incorrectness that people get miffed by – it is the fact that this started as a bit of politician’s speak, implying that the rather than it being a personal hope, or the hope of a specific group, it was generally shared by everyone, that only a lunatic would deny that such an outcome was to be hoped.
    ‘I hope’ or ‘with any luck’ – a more accurate arrangement of words, suggests the very thing that the speaker using hopefully wants to avoid suggesting – that the opinion in question is, to however great an extent, only his opinion, and therefore open to debate.
    Any fight against this use is however pointless as it has entered common usage; while the fight lasted, it was worthwhile.

  2. John Emerson says

    It’s useful for
    I’m trying to get funding to remake “The Road to Bali”, said the comedian hopefully.

  3. Tom: There’s no evidence that this started as politician’s speak. Some commentators thought it was a translation of German “hoffentlich” but there’s no evidence for that either. MWDEU says about hopefully: “No one knows why a word or phrase or construction suddenly becomes popular – it just happens.”

  4. Tom: goofy is right, the “politician” thing is a typical aspersion to cast at a usage one does not approve of. But surely you can see that “hopefully” is being used in exactly the same way as “sadly,” “frankly,” and other sentence adverbials you presumably have no quarrel with. It’s a mystery to me why it ever got picked on in the first place.

  5. Tom: If we banned all the words and constructions people use maliciously or dishonestly we wouldn’t have any left. Words don’t lie to people; people lie to people.

  6. Ooh, that’s a good line. I may steal it.

  7. Despairingly I say unto you that this controversy has surely, clearly, and absolutely not been laid to rest.

  8. “Don’t use hopefully adverbially”, said Tom prescriptively.

  9. SnowLeopard says

    Maybe no one ever uses “hopefully” to mean “in a hopeful manner” because “in a hopeful manner” hardly means anything anyway. It certainly doesn’t illuminate the person’s actual demeanor in any way I find helpful, and I think the key to understanding the person’s words or actions is knowing what they’re hoping for, not that they hope for things in general (which can be assumed). Any synonym for “in a hopeful manner” is therefore only so much wasted breath, and the fact that this usage creeps most often into fiction and journalism just underscores for me how thoughtless such writing often is. On the other hand, “hopefully” is meaningful, and therefore useful, when hope can be attributed to the speaker, because the rest of the sentence spells out precisely what’s hoped for.

  10. I didn’t realize it was looked down on. I always learnt it was an Americanism!

  11. This all leaves prescriptivists in rank grammatical antimony, of course, since ‘it is hoped’ is a passive construction.

  12. Arthur Crown says

    SnowLeopard wrote, “hopefully” is meaningful…
    ‘Meaningful’ is another word that shocked the entire British Isles when it alighted there with ‘hopefully’, sometime around 1970, I think. They were first taken up by the media (actually, ‘media’ is another media word from the late 60s). Zwicky said ‘hopefully’ is 50 yrs old, but I don’t think it’s been in common usage for more than 35. I didn’t start using ‘hopefully’ until I lived in Germany and as someone said, German has hoeffentlich which is a useful word so I started using it in English too. (Really it was Goofy who said it, but I can’t write ‘Goofy said…’ I would feel like I was a Disney character).

  13. Er, antinomy.

  14. John Emerson says

    Before China was opened its main exports were pig bristles and antimony. I just barely understood why pig bristles were an export product, but I couldn’t figure out the antinomy exports at all. I assumed that dialectical thinking produced enormous quantities of it, but I couldn’t figured out where the market was.

  15. rootlesscosmo says

    I couldn’t figured out where the market was.
    Tudor England?

  16. Leo Caesius says

    I’ve always considered the sentence-adverbial use of “hopefully” to be the English equivalent of Arabic inshallah (actually used in many Islamic languages) or Greek (and Italian) magari.

  17. @SnowLeopard: Really? You find no helpful distinction between
    “You are coming, aren’t you?” he said [hopefully/accusingly/angrily/wearily]

  18. How much truth is there in the allegation that it is a calque from Ge. hoffentlich, possibly via Yiddish-influenced showbusiness-speak?

  19. SnowLeopard says

    @The Ridger: I guess you’re suggesting that in this context, “hopefully” refers to some kind of stereotypical intonation and/or facial expression of “hopefulness”, something like “speaking quickly and with a quick rise in pitch, eyes wide and lips rounded”, to reflect the manner of utterance, assuming that’s how most speakers of English speak “hopefully”. I know I don’t have that exaggerated an affect, which comes across to me as somewhat childish; I imagine some people sometimes do, outside of cartoons, but I don’t know how often. Anyway, my impression is that “hope” isn’t one of the universally recognizable facial expressions. I can imagine situations where someone is speaking “hopefully” in a more confident and less excited manner: slower, a slight decline in pitch, and stronger emphasis on “coming, aren’t” than on the other words, perhaps with a slight smile. Or in a significantly less confident and somewhat pleading tone, quieter, more (audible) constriction in the throat, a more restricted range of pitch, and eyebrows raised in the middle in a submissive pose. And I still don’t know quite what he’s hoping for, and why: is he hoping for the person’s company, to keep an eye on a rival, to satisfy a quota, etc. Those varying considerations may be reflected to greater or lesser degrees in the person’s demeanor, and so I’m left not knowing much about the person’s manner of delivey after all. Your alternatives of accusingly, angrily, and wearily all seem less ambiguous to me, and therefore less objectionable. But maybe I’m alone in wanting precision in such things, which is fine.

  20. Arthur Crown: “Zwicky said ‘hopefully’ is 50 yrs old, but I don’t think it’s been in common usage for more than 35.”
    No, I didn’t say that. I said that the explosive spread of sentence-adverbial “hopefully” happened about 50 years ago. Complaints about it from usage critics appeared in the early 60s — these critics typically begin complaining about a usage when it already has some currency in “respectable” sources — and the popular press began denouncing it in earnest in 1965. MWDEU says “the evidence in our files shows a considerable increase beginning in 1964.”
    The OED’s first cite is from 1932, in a review in the New York Times Book Review, and MWDEU has unmistakable examples from 1954 and 1955-56 and several examples from the 40s and 50s whose interpretation is not entirely clear. Probably antedatings from before 1932 will be found, but things didn’t begin to pick up until the late 50s and early 60s. Already by 1963 it was in Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary.
    (Yes, it originated in the U.S. and spread to the U.K. in the 70s.)
    Now, about estimating the age of usages. People — linguists included — are not at all good at this. To begin with, memory is fallible. In addition, these estimates are dependent on the accidents of your personal history, including things like when you happened to first notice a usage or had it pointed out to you. (Estimates of how frequent some usage is and assessments of who uses it are also unreliable.) These estimates are not evidence of anything, and are often seriously mistaken; you have to look at actual data.
    By the way (to tom wootton), nothing in the OED or MWDEU suggests any connection of sentence-adverbial “hopefully” to political discourse.

  21. John Emerson says

    Snow Leopard, you seem to have an odd blind spot.

  22. John Emerson says

    Snow Leopard, you seem to have an odd blind spot.

  23. SnowLeopard says

    @Mr. Emerson: Quite possibly. I’ll add it to my list.

  24. J. Del Col says

    Could we say that the distinction between ‘antimony’ and ‘antinomy’ is elemental?

  25. I’m wondering how often, in speech, we use ANY adverb in the place that “hopefully” would fall.
    The dog looked hopefully at the door.
    The dog looked wistfully at the door.
    The dog looked angrily at the door.
    I mean, when we’re talking, do we say ANY of those sorts of words?
    I don’t think so (and I’m the kid who used to make my parents laugh bcs of the words I chose: at age 6, “I hurled myself away from the squabbling dogs”)

  26. Oh, my world–I just realized–1965 was 50 years ago!!
    I understand that “hopefully” might not make you think of a specific intonation/expression combination, but it does to me.
    and to someone *writing*, all those adverbs are very useful, bcs it just takes too long to say “with a slight questioning tone, and a faint brightening of his feature and small list to both eyebrows.”

  27. Arthur C. Crown says

    Toots: “I just realized–1965 was 50 years ago!!”
    No it wasn’t.
    To Arnold Zwicky:
    I wrote, “Zwicky said ‘hopefully’ is 50 yrs old, but I don’t think it’s been in common usage for more than 35.”
    You can cite the first use until you’re blue in the face, but it’s not of any value – except to linguists, I guess – unless it is in common use. Now I understand that it isn’t easy to always pin that down. Using ‘the media’ to mean tv and print journalism would be easy, because you just have to look up the publication of McLuhan’s book; it may not be the first use, but it was the influential one.
    With ‘hopefully’, if I were writing a novel set in 1939, and I asked Arnold Zwicky, “Would my characters say ‘hopefully’?” Arnold Zwicky would say, “‘The OED’s first cite is from 1932, in a review in the New York Times Book Review.” Well, bravo, but now you’ve screwed up my novel!

  28. David Harmon says

    “1965 was 50 years ago”, my left foot! I was born in 1966, and celebrate my 42nd birthday this year.

  29. I think it’s possible to look hopeful. The dog example is perfect. Have you never seen a dog looking at you hopefully, almost imploring you to throw him a morsel of food? It’s an expression you can never forget.

  30. Next up: “momentarily”. Increasingly used to mean “very soon” rather than “briefly”…

  31. Don’t forget “presently”.

  32. Hopefully, we can be hopeful that the issue has run its course..

  33. To Arthur Crown: You seem to be reading me exactly backwards. My original comment was about the *explosive spread* of sentence-adverbial “hopefully”, not about its first attested use, and I said that clearly in my earlier response. (I also said “about fifty years”, rounding things off. These things are not precisely datable, so exact figures would be misleading.)
    I did add information about first attestations, just because your response was couched in those terms. But what I said was focused on when the usage became widespread.

  34. David Harmon says

    P.S.: Hardcore prescriptivists should be rigged up with one of those “invisible fence” collars, and jolted every time they violate their own rules. 😉

  35. A. Crown says

    To Arnold Zwicky:
    I don’t think I’m reading you backwards, but we seem to be confusing one another. As far as I can tell, we are not disagreeing except about the usefulness of first citations, so let’s leave it there. Your LL piece was helpful, by the way, as they usually are. So thank you for that.

  36. Leo Caesius says

    Next up: “momentarily”. Increasingly used to mean “very soon” rather than “briefly”…
    Or for that matter “literally,” increasingly used to mean “metaphorically” rather than, well, “literally,” as in “I’ve literally gone completely insane.”

  37. Anyways, irregardless of how hard we try, some words get used in spite of rules.

  38. tsk tsk tsk, Ron,
    It’s “irregar’less”.

  39. TheGood Doctor says

    Has anyone heard of William Strunk, Jr.? He first published this in 1918, “The Elements of Style”. He said it best then, and it still holds true today. Read it and live it!

  40. David Marjanović says

    Some commentators thought it was a translation of German “hoffentlich” but there’s no evidence for that either.

    That does explain, though, why I use it all the time. It was one of the more glaring lexical gaps in English.
    (The other one, off the top of my head, is the lack of an opposite of “loud”.)

    I didn’t start using ‘hopefully’ until I lived in Germany


  41. A. Crown says


  42. David Marjanović says

    Can you apply “soft” to the nerve-wracking humming of a mosquito?

  43. Jonathan says

    “Will you be coming to the picnic?” she asked, looking up at him hopefully.
    Perfectly obvious what that means. I have no idea what the preson who objected to manner hopefully meant.
    Of course this doesn’t change the fact that sentence hopefully is much more usual, at least nowadays.

  44. peter desmond says

    i was pleased to see the analogy made with arabic “inshallah” (also used in french) and “magari” (which i didn’t know was used both in italian and greek — the italian occupation of Rhodes?). to these i would add spanish “si dios quiere,” which like “inshallah” (and ojala’, its spanish derivative) also mentions god. it’s always struck me that “hopefully” is a secular word, in contrast. so i like using it. 🙂

  45. Can you apply “soft” to the nerve-wracking humming of a mosquito?
    (Author immigrated at age 8 from Tuscany, but there is nothing especially alien sounding.)
    Are you thinking that the English connotations don’t relate to dB levels quite as nicely as in other languages?
    “Louder” and “softer” really is how volume knobs are explained in user manuals that no one reads.

  46. a typical aspersion to cast at a usage one does not approve of

    These days, it seems, it’s (acrylic?) dispersions that are boldly cast:

    Ford’s CEO tweeted a not-so-subtle jab at Tesla TSLA -0.3% last year stating, “BlueCruise! We tested it in the real world, so customers don’t have to,” which simultaneously boasted of Ford’s herculean efforts and cast dispersions on beta testing safety-related systems with customers.



  47. David Eddyshaw says

    “hopefully” is a secular word

    Hope has been baptised as a Christian virtue (“and now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three”); the sentence-adverbial for annoying believers with is luckily. (It should work on Muslims at least as as well as on Christians.)

  48. David Eddyshaw says

    Jewish virtue, of course, too:


  49. I’m sure you’re all aware of the alleged incorrectness of sentence-adverbial (or “speaker-oriented”) hopefully,

    I was not. What I know is that it does not have a good Russian translation. But I noticed that -ful- is used in an unusual meaning here. The formulation “speaker-oriented” makes me think that speakers understand “hopeful-” here as referring to the speaker, “I am hopeful”. Is it true?

    I read it differently, as if -ful- functions here as -able in “desirable, preferable”, reinterpreting “hopeful-” as evoking hope. Such impersonal reading is in line with other “bookish” adverbs…

  50. … does not have a good Russian translation.

    Are there Latin/French/Ancient Greek words that mean the same?

    The situation is even worse with the gloss “it is to be hoped,”: forming a passive participle from an intransitive reflexive verb nadeyus’ is impossible.

    If there were *nadeyu, I could at least form *nadeyemo or use nadeyetsya in the sense “it-hopes-self [to me]” (but in Russian it just means “he hopes”).

  51. Russian translation agian: possibly
    hochetsya nadeyat’sya or hotelos’ by nadeyat’sya.
    it-wants-self to-hope, it-wanted-self would to-hope

    it-wants-self [to me] emphasizes that the act of wanting is not deliberate:) Works rather neatly with “to pee”.

    It has the advantage over hochu nadeyat’sya, ya hotel by nadeyat’sya (I want to hope, I would want to hope) in that the group of people to whom it wants itself to hope is possibly just me, or possibly not just me. So it potentially can be a more general claim than “I want”.

  52. I read it differently, as if -ful- functions here as -able in “desirable, preferable”, reinterpreting “hopeful-” as evoking hope. Such impersonal reading is in line with other “bookish” adverbs…

    Yes, that’s how it works. My English-Russian dictionary gives “Надо надеяться, что…,” which is about the best you can do. You can see what a useful word it is!

  53. Can hopefully mean ‘I hope’?: Usage Guide

    In the 1960s the second sense of hopefully (“it is hoped”), which dates to the early 18th century and had been in fairly widespread use since at least the 1930s, underwent a surge in popularity. A surge of criticism followed in reaction, but the criticism took no account of the grammar of adverbs. Hopefully when used to mean “it is hoped” is a member of a class of adverbs known as disjuncts. Disjuncts serve as a means by which the author or speaker can comment directly to the reader or hearer usually on the content of the sentence to which they are attached. Many other adverbs (such as interestingly, frankly, clearly, luckily, unfortunately) are similarly used; most are so ordinary as to excite no comment or interest whatsoever. The “it is hoped” sense of hopefully is entirely standard.

    “Hopefully.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hopefully. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

  54. David Eddyshaw says

    Kusaal doesn’t have a word which means “hope” exactly; the word used for it in the Bible translation is ti’ir, which really means as much “expectation” as “hope.” The idiom zi’ … ti’irɛ with zi’ “not know” means “not know what’s going to happen.”

    You’d probably express the underlying idea quite differently, by saying Wina’am bɛ “God exists” (= Pidgin God dey); this basically means “it’ll all work out in the end, somehow” and can be anything from a condolence to a veiled threat depending on context. It’s not a Christian idea, particularly: this is the same (traditional Creator) God of whom a proverb says Win nyɛ ka sin “God sees but says nothing.” It’s more along the lines of “karma.”

  55. You can see what a useful word it is!

    Yes. Speaking of English words without a good translation, a friend of mine finds “unless” very useful.

    I also found inshallah very sticky. That is, my friends were using it, and then I found myself using it, and then a Russian freind of mine picked it from me. I suppose, in Russia it usually marks “Muslim” discourse, but we did not care:) But then I discovered that I tend to say “I will do it, inshallah” and then not do it, for if I don’t do it, surely God did not will that to happen… WIth a sigh I switched to plain “I will” and tried to be more responsible.

  56. David Eddyshaw says

    I think that “inshallah” really means something quite different from “hopefully”; it’s an apotropaic expression, something you say to avoid “tempting Providence.” There’s a reason why it’s associated with Muslim discourse (quite apart form the obvious etymology, of course.) The Christian equivalent is Deo volente, but it’s never taken off as a Christian tic in the same way.

    I don’t think that is what people are usually doing when they sling in “hopefully” as a sentence-adverbial.

  57. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; [but the greatest of these is charity. ]”

    A!!!!!! ἀγάπη. Verily I am an idiot of itiots.

    In Russian it is love of course, and I wondered why Faith and Hope are common girls’ names in English like in Russian but not Love.

    But how ἀγάπη ended up being translated as “charity”? Did it actually mean “love” in English (and French)?

    And the next question would be how agápē became cāritās – is the latter a standard parallel for the former in all (not necessarily religious) Latin contexts?

  58. David Eddyshaw says

    It’s a tired old trope in Christian sermons that ἀγάπη is (or rather, was) itself a relatively unusual word for “love” in Greek; there seems to be some reason (at least) to think that it was popularised by Christians as being handily distinct from erotic love, friendship, and affection for one’s family. Perhaps this had something to do with the odd Latin rendering as caritas.


  59. @DE, but don’t Christian Arabic speakers use such words as well? (I thought they do, but I am not sure).

    There’s a reason why it’s associated with Muslim discourse

    Do you mean some theological point here? If yes, what it is? It is mentioned in the Quran (maybe it is what you meant), but I am poorly acquinted with both Muslim and Christian theology – and in this specific case I just don’t know if those are different.

  60. I do not know if inshallah was common in speech of Muslim peoples of would-be-former USSR before the revolution (the answer can be different for different regions…) and if it was also widely used in Soviet times, but today I meet it in specifically pious contexts.

    E.g. a cartoon kindly offered to me by Yandex: two ladies, one in a miniskirt, the other in hijab.
    And thought bubbles: “Mashallah! I want to cover myself too, inshallah” and [a sequence of ugly insults directed at the кяфирка (kafir-ka) and what she thinks of her self and why she’s dressed herself like this].

    For Arabs the use of Arabic is not marked, and whether pious or not, it is much more colloquial.

  61. David Eddyshaw says

    Do you mean some theological point here?

    Yes. You can find a Christian formulation of it in the right strawy Epistle of James, Ch 4, vv 13-15:

    Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
    For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

    There are Christian groupuscules that actually do take this every bit as seriously as mainstream Muslims; I myself concur with the principle, but see no reason to keep harping on about it in everyday speech.* Conversely, I doubt whether everyone in the habit of adding “inshallah” to any statement of future intention is doing much more than just automatically following a cultural norm. Still, the cultural norm itself is of religious origin.

    * I wish people “Good luck” too, as this saves time over saying “What God wills will certainly come to pass: however, it is my hope and prayer that the outcome will be in accordance with your own wishes, which I also share.” It also seems more friendly, somehow …

  62. Do you mean some theological point here? If yes, what it is?

    From the Quran:

    وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَيْءٍ إِنِّي فَاعِلٌ ذَٰلِكَ غَدًا إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّـهُ ۚ وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَىٰ أَن يَهْدِيَنِ رَبِّي لِأَقْرَبَ مِنْ هَـٰذَا رَشَدًا

    And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,” Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.” (Surah Al-Kahf, 18:23-24)

    Pious Muslims take this literally and disapprove of saying anything about future actions without adding “inshallah.” I don’t know if you consider that theology or simply pious custom, but that’s what’s going on.

    Edit: As DE just said while I was nattering on.

  63. The Christian equivalent is Deo volente.

    My father often said “D.V.” for “I am hopeful but not certain”.

    –How much longer dad?
    –Thirty minutes, D.V.

    Separately I remember him once telling the “hoffentlich” just-so story about “hopefully”; but I don’t remember whether the antipathy he was explaining extended to himself. If so perhaps he adopted DV as a replacement. OTOH he was a pious man who liked a bit o the oul Latin.

  64. I had elderly relatives who said “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”

  65. Huh, and I see there’s a Wikipedia article The creek don’t rise, from which I learn there’s a folk etymology explaining “creek” as referring to the Creek Indians. Boy, people love that shit.

  66. @LH, as I said: “It is mentioned in the Quran (maybe it is what you meant),“.

    Arabic learners in Russia either learn Arabic in the university (usually not Muslim in Moscow, but since recently Arabic is also offered in universities in Muslim regions) or in a mosque (Muslim and usually exactly very pious people). As a learner myself I met both sorts of people, and I am aware of the practice.

    My Arabic-speaking freinds, conversely, are not particularly pious (no more than anyone here). They are, of course, aware of the Quranic verse – while Christians are somewhat less likely to be aware of James 4:15.

    But DE wrote “there is a reason” and I suspected that maybe he means some difference in theology (in the sense of philosophy) behind the observed differences in practice…

  67. “Still, the cultural norm itself is of religious origin.”

    @DE, yes. But here you atctually pointed on paralellism between two religions (and scriptures)….

    I know that [modern] Muslims usuallly take it more seriously than [modern European] Christians, but I have no idea, why…

    It’s a tired old trope in Christian sermons that ἀγάπη is (or rather, was) itself a relatively unusual word for “love” in Greek;

    In brief, I am quite ignorant of differences between Greek words for love because I don’t like it when people speak of sorts of love. For me there is love.
    As result, I am familiar with the fact that the trope exists, but I don’t know how it works.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ἀγαπάω#Ancient_Greek is unexpected:

    ● Semantically, Semitic offers a match in Hebrew אָהַב‎ (ʾaháḇ), and Arabic أَحَبَّ‎ (ʾaḥabba).[1][2] This Semitic, in turn, is suggested by Saul Levin to be a borrowing since the Hebrew has a variant אגב‎ (ʾḡḇ),[3], also Ugaritic deviates with the form 𐎀𐎅𐎁 (ảhb), but it must be admonished against this that the root ح ب ب‎ (ḥ-b-b) is well-developed and well-used in Arabic.
    ● Friedrich Cornelius[4] believed that ἀγαπάω was borrowed from the precursor of Abkhaz а-гәаҧха-ра (a-g°apxa-ra, “to like, wish, love”), though a better match could be Adyghe гуапэ (g°āpă), Kabardian гуапэ (g°āpă, “nice, cordial, pleasurable”), all three containing the Northwest Caucasian word for “heart” (compare Adyghe гу (g°))[5].

    [1] Szemerényi, Oswald (1971), “Pierre Chantraine: Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque: Histoire des mots”, p. 650
    [2] Szemerényi, Oswald (1974), “The origins of the Greek lexicon: Ex Oriente Lux”, in The Journal of Hellenic Studies, p. 150
    [3] Levin, Saul (1995) Semitic and Indo-European. The Principal Etymologies. With Observations on Afro-Asiatic, p. 292
    [4] Cornelius, Friedrich (1960) Geistesgeschichte der Frühzeit. Von der Eiszeit bis zur Erfindung der Keilschrift, volume I, pp. 205–6
    [5] Chirikba, Viacheslav A. (1996) A Dictionary of Common Abkhaz‎, pp. 36–37

  68. (I do not mean that the topic is uninteresting. I just mean, when I encounter in the context of boring men speculating of kinds of love, I am not tempted to expore it:))

  69. Greek_words_for_love unexpectedly includes ξενία.

    Hospitality towards foreign Hellenes honored Zeus Xenios (and Athene Xenia) patrons of foreigners.

    Was I wrong when I assumed that women’s name Xenia means “alien” rather than “hospitable” (and that the latter explanation appears on various sites just because it is more flatterign)?

    There are precedents: Barbara, and numerous “Ghriba” sinagogues in North Africa (with stories about a strange girl…) and, accordingly, Muslim places caleld Sidi Ghrib.

    And even the song by Idir (a vava inouva), perhaps the most famous piece of Berber: it is based on a fairy tale and Ghriba (for my Russian ear it of course sounds as Rriba:)) is a girl’s name.

  70. I think there are two saint Xenias and at least one was exactly a stranger…

    The name can be pre-Christian though.

  71. Stu Clayton says

    Here’s a nice story about si Dios quiere and the pitfalls of pigheaded piety:

    # Leí en El País y, si mal no recuerdo, en la columna de Rosa Montero, la historia de un señor que, al anunciarse un terrible temporal de lluvias, es invitado a subirse a un autobús que desalojará todo la ciudad. Él decide subirse a la planta alta de su casa y espera a que llegue la ayuda de Dios, porque se considera un buen cristiano y cree a pie juntillas que sus ruegos serán oídos.

    Las aguas crecen y llega una barca anunciando por un megáfono que seguirá lloviendo y que es la última oportunidad de salvarse. Pero él se aferra a su fe y sigue invocando la ayuda de Dio, convencido de que le salvará. Entonces sube al tejado de la casa.

    Cuando ya las aguas han ocultado las tejas llega un helicóptero y tiende una escalera de cuerda para que sea librado de una muerte segura. Pero él se niega a agarrarse a la soga, seguro de que Dios le salvará de morir ahogado.

    El helicóptero se va. Sigue lloviendo durante horas. Y el hombre muere ahogado. Al llegar al cielo se queja enfurecido a Dios:

    – Me has fallado, Señor. Te pedí con fe y devoción que me salvases y no lo hiciste.

    Y Dios le dice, reprochando su falta de cordura:

    – Que yo sepa, te mandé primero un autobús, después una barca y finalmente un helicóptero. Fue tuya la responsabilidad.


  72. David Eddyshaw says


    I think the Wiktionary entry on ἀγαπάω is a classic instance of would-be etymologists struggling with those difficult but vital words: “Actually, we just don’t know.”

    I concur to a great extent about “speculating of kinds of love”; it seems to me that really interesting thing is not so much the distinctions you can draw between “kinds of love”, but the similarities between them. Seems to me that that would be what most surprised a visiting Martian anthropologist.

    But here you actually pointed on parallelism between two religions (and scriptures)

    Sure. The actual religious motivations are closely parallel: the difference is partly that mainstream Islam has a more pervasive and detailed influence on everyday customs in many respects than mainstream Christianity (and this cultural effect is correspondingly more likely to survive loosening of belief in any actual doctrines) and partly that this sort of theistic fatalism (as you might call it) is more mainstream in Islam than in Christianity in any case.

    Muslims tend to be very concerned with right praxis as a criterion of actual orthodoxy; so too, of course, have many Christian groups been, but overall this is less of an emphasis in Christianity (especially the kind most Western Europeans are familiar with.)

  73. The best of the Hodja stories is “Inshallah,” and that’s where I picked up the phrase, which I sometimes use, both sarcastically and when in genuine doubt. (Among my other ironic apotropaic phrases is, “Say a prayer to Saint Leibowitz,” before trying to get something electrical to work.)

  74. something electrical to work.
    As always: https://www.google.com/search?q=nikola+tesla+trebinje&tbm=isch

  75. My freinds seem to attend this temple often this summer.

    They moved to Montenegro and Montenegro changed their usual “visa-free for 3 months” to “visa-free for one month” (I do not know if this is related to sanctions against Russia or not). So they go to Trebinje and back to start another month and the modern cathedral is one of funny things to see there.

  76. David Eddyshaw says

    Tesla has at least got that mad gleam in the eye you want for a real icon-worthy effective saint. I can’t see Edison doing the trick.


  77. I don’t know if there is an actual need to specify it, but just in case: of course it is not the case that anyone painted on a church wall is a “saint” (compare various patrons appearing in renaissance religious art…). In this case they just wanted to decorate the cathedral with various famous Serbs for patrriotic reasons. But of course we call it “Tesla’s icon” for fun:) Especially with this ball lightning in his hand…

  78. Now, what is the scriptural reference for some Jews adding “God willing” to their plans for the future? I get it that they probably just do not want to be seen as less pious than they Muslim and Christian brethren, but maybe there is some textual basis for it.

  79. PlasticPaddy says

    You can try to make sense of this; I am not able to do it…
    Sorry, this is “God forbid…”

  80. David Eddyshaw says

    “alien” rather than “hospitable”

    “Guest” and “stranger” are of course the same word in all truly civilised languages (Kusaal, Greek …)

    Saan sʋŋ anɛ yidaan ansib.
    “A good stranger is the householder’s uncle.”
    (i.e. entertaining a guest is a good excuse for having a good time.)

  81. @D.O., James 4:15 does sound as if he is referring to something predating James…

    entertaining a guest is a good excuse for having a good time” – @DE, yes, it is!

  82. Lars Mathiesen says

    I don’t think I ever bothered the august company with the fact that the sentential adverb in Danish is forhåbentlig, and the personal håbefuldt. Possibly saving tons of ink.

    Don’t ask me what kind of morphology is happening in that word, ask the Germans. (It’s calqued on verhoffentlich of which Wiktionary professes to be ignorant). We do have formodentlig = ‘presumably’ that goes with the verb formode, but there is no verb forhåbe in modern Danish. (There used to be, though). (And formodentlig used to be formodelig, I suspect it was reshaped [already in Kierkegaard] after forhåbentlig).

  83. David Eddyshaw says

    something predating James

    The trope would be a pretty familiar one for any first-century writer, I suspect. I don’t think that in context James is really much concerned with how people actually express future intentions as such. It’s more generic “Man proposes, God disposes” stuff. The locus classicus for that in the Hebrew scriptures would be Proverbs 19:21: “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand”, but the idea turns up all over in ancient wisdom literature. I imagine that some degree of fatalism is a psychological necessity for keeping your sanity as a subsistence farmer, after all.

  84. Lars Mathiesen says


    hoffentlich Adv. ‘möge es doch geschehen (, daß …), man kann erwarten, daß …’, mhd. hof(fen)lich Adj. ‘was zu hoffen ist, hoffend, Hoffnung erweckend’, zum Infinitiv hoffen gebildet; mit Gleitlaut -t- seit 17. Jh.

    So Danish has blindly copied an infinitive marker that we got rid of 1000 years ago ourselves, plus a Gleitlaut — I don’t know how common epenthesis is between N and L, but I’d expect a voiced stop at least.

    Also, “möge“!

    Also also, adverbial håbefuldt is not something I would use in speech, corroborating the statistics in the OP; it needs too much processing somehow. Med et håbefuldt blik is OK, where it’s an adjective with strong neuter agreement.

  85. The trope would be a pretty familiar one for any first-century writer, I suspect.

    @DE, thank you. Again, I’m insufficiently familiar with ancient (or 1st century specifically) wisdom literature.
    I suspect this, but I can’t date anything or point at early attestation.

    James’s formulation is similar to that in Quran (comared to Proverbs 19:21): both times what one could say is compared to what one could say:

    And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,” Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.”
    Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
    For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

    But conclusions are different:

    And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.”
    11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
    12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
    ….. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life?…. …..
    16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
    17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

  86. One could also ask if the first part (don’t say X , say Y) is proverbial

  87. It seems that modern Hebrew speakers prefer בעזרת השם, literally, “with [God’s] help”. Russians do the same thing. Sounds less fatalistic, somewhat contrary to the stereotype.

  88. David Eddyshaw says

    One could also ask if the first part (don’t say X , say Y) is proverbial

    It’s positively Upper Palaeolithic. Prescriptivism from the Dawn of Time!

  89. David Eddyshaw says

    “with [God’s] help”

    This is actually my own preferred tag, when backed into having to make formal promises regarding my own conduct. (I always refuse to take oaths, what with being an extremist sectarian and all.)

  90. Бог в помощь!

  91. As long as you don’t start arguing for abolition of slavery you are not really an extremist…

  92. Godspeed:)

  93. David Eddyshaw says

    One of my favourite political websites has the tagline “An extremist, not a fanatic.”

  94. @DE, yes, I find it rather shocking that many countries with significan Christian population require various oaths and pledges from citizens.

    Also – apart of religion – I find the fact that I gave the soviet pioneer’s pledge (to be loyal to the work of Lenin etc.) quite terrifying. I think I am mostly angry at myself than at people who expect such things from children, but I am very angry.

  95. David Eddyshaw says

    Well, most Christian traditions are perfectly OK with it.

    The Thirty-Nine Articles (of the Church of England) specifically say so, in fact: it was obviously a live issue at the time they were drawn up: it’s Article 39 itself, no less:

    As we confess that vain and rash Swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ, and James his Apostle, so we judge, that Christian Religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the Magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the Prophet’s teaching in justice, judgment, and truth.

    In fact, there are no circumstances in the UK now in which you are actually required to swear an oath; I think atheists probably deserve more credit for this than those (like me) with specifically religious objections to the practice.

    When I was called for jury duty everyone happily swore an oath except me and one Muslim, though. But nobody made an issue of it.

  96. Trond Engen says

    I’ve served exactly once as a legdommer “lay judge” in a criminal case. No swearing involved but a formal assurance that I would perform my duties honestly and impartially.

    I’ve been a witness twice, both times for the plaintiff in civil suits, and that requred a similar formal assurance.

  97. David Marjanović says

    The Christian equivalent is Deo volente, but it’s never taken off as a Christian tic in the same way.

    Yeah, it’d take some unusual circumstances for an abl. abs. to go mainstream.

    I don’t know how common epenthesis is between N and L, but I’d expect a voiced stop at least.

    Interestingly, people with syllable-final fortition apply it to words like möglich and schädlich, even though their long vowels rather indicate that the syllable boundary is right after the vowel. Given that the /t/ in hoffentlich doesn’t alternate with a /d/ elsewhere in the grammar, there was no way to reconstruct and spell it if we assume that the word didn’t occur farther south at the time. That assumption is bolstered by the unreduced /ɛn/ in my dialect…

    Instead of epenthetic, it could be an epithetic addition to mark the end of the phonological word, as in Axt, Saft and (eventually) most occurrences of -s- in compounds. But in that case I’d actually expect /d/ because of the preceding /n/, as in jemand, niemand… of which, however, the latter is /nɛɐ̯mt/ in my dialect (the former has been wholly replaced by wer). Hm.


    Oh yes, I forgot because it’s so thoroughly obsolete – which might be because it doesn’t make any sense that I can discern; there is no *verhoffen. Though I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if there was one once.

    Also, “möge“!

    The infamous Konjunktiv I; not in anyone’s spoken vocabulary, but still usable in writing. Cognate: may.

  98. David Eddyshaw says

    it’d take some unusual circumstances for an abl. abs. to go mainstream

    And vice versa.

  99. When I was called for jury duty everyone happily swore an oath except me and one Muslim, though.

    Yeah, I was required to get a signature witnessed recently. The lawyers only had a bible, no other document of status.

    Does an atheist swearing on a bible they’re holding only gingerly invalidate the swearing’s legal status?

    (For jury duty, you are allowed to ‘solemnly affirm’ — no drama.)

  100. In fact, there are no circumstances in the UK now in which you are actually required to swear an oath;

    To become a NZ Citizen I was required to swear an oath of loyalty … to The Queen. Something I’d never done growing up in Britain. Ironic: I was quitting Britain to get away from all that bowing and scraping.

    Politicians here seem to be approaching Republicanism veeery cautiously. Australia is going backwards, if anything.

  101. drasvi: If Spanish uses ojalá, why shouldn’t you use Inshallah?

  102. David Eddyshaw says

    Politicians here seem to be approaching Republicanism veeery cautiously

    While I wish no ill to the Queen, in the nature of things republicanism is likely to receive something of a boost in the fairly near future.* It probably makes good strategic sense not to make too much of a to-do about republicanism for now …

    (I am a sort of tepid republican, myself. I think there are more important issues to be dealing with, and I don’t really buy into the idea that all our Brit constitutional problems really can be ascribed to Remnants of Feudalism©. That’s a cop-out. Very much non-remnants of extractive/rentier capitalism, more like. Meantime, I can’t shake off the spectre of President Blair …)

    Does an atheist swearing on a bible they’re holding only gingerly invalidate the swearing’s legal status?

    No, it’s OK so long as you’ve got your fingers crossed.


  103. @Y. I certainly see nothing disagreable in it (from any thinkable ideological perspective).
    Else we would never began using it in the first place. But it does have this funny effect on me:)

  104. David Eddyshaw says

    I share drasvi’s disquiet. I wouldn’t use inshallah at all if I was talking to a Muslim (no matter how secularised I imagined they might be, a thing, incidentally, that it’s very easy to be wrong about); I can’t separate the word from its etymological meaning or its specifically Islamic associations. It’s quite different with ojalá; I doubt whether anybody not actively thinking about etymology would associate the word with the Arabic Name of God at all, any more than they would with olé (or any more than use of the word “disaster” implies that the speaker believes in astrology.)

  105. Stu Clayton says

    there is no *verhoffen

    Unverhofft kommt oft

  106. @David Marjanović. “There is no *verhoffen.”

    The Grimms’ dictionary has this entry:

    verhoffen, verb. erwarten, hoffen, mhd. verhoffen, mnd. verhopen, zusammensetzung mit hoffen, dessen bedeutung ver nur verstärkt.

    1) als sinnliche bedeutung ist für hoffen, verhoffen oben th. 42, 1668 ‘überrascht aufspringen’ vermutet. diese bedeutung ist wahrscheinlich im jagdausdruck erhalten: das wild hofft, verhofft, das wild wird stutzig, unruhig, sieht sich um. Adelung versuch 4, 1449, wie auch noch heute bairisch verhoffen über ein ding, davon überrascht, darüber stutzig werden, auffahren Schm /Bd. 25, Sp. 573/ 1, 1063 Fromm., schwäb. verhofft, erschreckt Schmid 283. das part. prät. mit activer bedeutung kann daher bedeuten ‘was stutzig gemacht, erschreckt hat’, daher kommt schwäb. verhofft zur bedeutung des hochd. unverhofft, unvermuthet Schmid 283.

    2) aus dem begriffe des unruhigwerdens, umblickens entwickelt sich der abstracte begriff ‘in erwartungsvoller erregung sein, erwarten’. diese bedeutung erhielt sich in dem aus dem part. prät. entwickelten adjectiv unverhofft; sprichwörtlich: unverhofft kommt oft; die einzige lampe, die das cabinet beleuchtete, trug wohl auch das ihrige bei, dasz unser mit so geheimniszvollen umständen verbundenes wiedersehen mehr das schauerliche einer unverhofften erscheinung, als das freudige einer veranstalteten zusammenkunft hatte. Wieland 27, 78; willst du mich überreden, dasz ein kind, bisher im sanften arm des glücks gewiegt,
    im unverhofften fall besonnenheit und kraft, geschick und klugheit zeigen werde. Göthe 9, 286.

    3) hoffen, erfreuliches erwarten: für und für verhoffen, trahere spem mora Maaler 422a, in optima spe sibi ponere Stieler 847; absolut: wann im (dem pöbel) die sach umbschlecht und nit, wie er verhofft hat, übereck geet. Frank weltb. 38; es ist dir bas geraten, dann du verhofft hast. Dasyp. 162b; du hast nit than, wie ich verhofft hat, expectationem meam fefellisti 69d; mit genitiv der sache: ich kan des heils nicht verhoffen. Melanchthon zu 1 Cor. 1; weil ich nun der ehren, meinem geehrten herrn di hände zu küssen, wegen unsers aufenthalts entlegenheit, nicht verhoffen kan. Butschky hd. kanz. 530;
    wenn er grosz von jm selber gicht, sich offt in seiner red verspricht,
    und wirdt im kleinen lügen strafft, das er sich groszes lobs verhofft.
    B. Waldis Esop 3, 79, 186b (1, 365, 25 Kurz);
    ich sich schon stehn den himel offen.
    desz bin ich gewiszlich verhoffen
    als ein glaubig getauffter christ.
    H. Sachs 3, 1, 235 (9, 356, 23 Keller);
    mit accusativ der sache: soll dem edeln jüngling (Karl V.), zu dem jedermann alles gut verhoffen ist, ein solcher gewalt widerfahren? Hutten 5, 228 Münch; aber ich verhoff oder verdiene entweders verzeihung, wann ihr diese närrische zeiten examiniren und Salomonem .. auff meiner seiten hören werdet. Schuppius 708; wer .. in fremden sachen ein eigenthum verhoffet. Weise kl. leute 250;
    mit dieser fabel werden die troffen,
    von den man grosz ding thut verhoffen,
    ir sach mit worten schön verblümen
    und sich der zehen thun berhümen,
    der sie nicht eins zu thun vermögen.
    B. Waldis Esop 1, 21, 21 (1, 49 Kurz);
    kumb nur heim mit mir in das hausz!
    zeuch die ellenden kleider ausz!
    besser kleider solt du verhoffen.
    H. Sachs 3, 2, 9 (12, 35, 8 Keller);
    zeitlicher lust ewige fraid,
    wer sölchs verhofft, das würt jm laid.
    Schwarzenberg 157, 2b;
    man verhofft des friedens lust mit der nächsten frühlingsluft;
    o, dasz wo nicht kumme drein etwa noch ein mäienfrost.
    Logau 2, 51, 85 (268, 85 Eitner);
    mit folgendem infinitiv als object: und wie er viel leute aus jrem vaterland vertrieben hatte, so muste er auch selbs im elend sterben, zu Lacedemon, da er verhoffte einen auffenthalt zu finden. 2 Macc. 5, 9; warumb scharren sie so ängstlich in ihren säck? dann sie anders nit verhoffen, sich zu erneren und reich zu werden. Frank parad. 12b; er gab mir auch zu verstehen, dasz er auf disz wenige geld, als dadurch er wieder nach haus zu kommen verhoffet, sich mehr als auf gott verlassen. Simpl. 2, 240, 9 Kurz; wofern du mir meine augen, so durch diejenigen geraubet sind, wieder giebest, verhoffe ich, mein liecht, dich zu sehen, ehe noch das auge der welt die sonne in das herzurückende jahr sehen wird. Opitz 2, 247; er hätte einen arm im kopff, der solche arbeit verrichten müsse, er verhoffe, ihm bald auch eine schöne reine jungfer heraus zu langen. Simpl. 1, 94, 5 Kurz; weil ich sonst nichts zu erkauffen gedachte, als was ich mit fünff fingern oder sonst einem künstlichen griff zu erhandeln verhoffte. 3, 135, 6; itzt sei er mehrentheils wegen seiner liebsten in das warme bad gezogen, als welche verhoffte, hiedurch fruchtbar zu werden. Weise erzn. 17 neudr.; er (der Deutsche) verhofft der welt viel neuigkeiten zu sagen. freih. büchl. 135; /Bd. 25, Sp. 574/
    verhofft sie (Olympias) auch durch dieses stück
    in Macedoniam zu kommen.
    H. Sachs 2, 3, 177 (8, 692, 33 Keller);
    ich verhoffe zu vollenden
    für das land und billigkeit,
    was mein sinn ihm fürgenommen
    ehe du (sonne) zur morgenzeit
    wiederumb herauff wirst kommen.
    Opitz 3, 73;
    mit abhängigem satze: verhoff zu gott, es sei nichts dran, nemlich, das Rodis solt vom Türcken erobert und gewonnen sein. Luther 2, 283b; (der prior) uberantwortet dasselb (gebot) dem fromen pfarherrn in der nacht, denn er verhofft, er wolt verhindern, das Henricus nicht predigte. 3, 32b; und sol ein trefflich böser brieff sein, das er (herzog Georg) verhofft, mein gnedigster herr, der kurfürst, würde mir angesichts seiner schrifft flugs alles thun, was er wol gern sähe. 6, 6; in solchen nöten kam jm z gedancken, wann er ein walfart z St. Veiten … verhiesz mit einem silbrin opffer, verhofft er gentzlich, sein sach wurd besser werden. Wickram rollwagenb. 7, 14 Kurz; das weisz ich doby, das mine frind alweg verhoffet han, ich werde ein priester werden, die will man eben in der zyt (der geburt) zu der mesz gelut hatt. Th. Platter 4 Fechter; ich verhoffe, derselbe solte mir wol ein stattlich trinckgeld davon zukommen lassen. Simplic. 2, 155, 20 Kurz; so verhoffe ich gleichwol, er werde darvorhalten, ich habe an ihm das meinige nach äuszerstem vermögen zu thun keinen fleis gesparet. 2, 97, 8; weil nichts darinne ist, welches gottes wort .. zuwider laufft, verhoffe ich, es werdet (sic) kein römischer kaiser oder anderer potentat mich zwingen, dasz .. Schuppius 128;
    verhoff, wir wölln mit küner hendt
    den krieg bald richten zu dem endt,
    das wir beider könig ab kommen.
    H. Sachs 2, 3, 57 (8, 213, 27 Keller);
    mit diesen worten stellet er sie zu frieden, das sie jm zu ziehen vergünneten, denn sie verhofften, das die Diedmarer möchten zur rechten erkentnis des worts gottes komen. Luther 3, 32; und ich verhoffe, dasz sie mir nicht das zeugnisz versagen werden, denenselben stets ein zuverlässiger und treuer arbeiter gewesen zu sein. Freytag handschr. 1, 401; selten beigefügt, auf wen sich die hoffnung, erwartung bezieht:
    solchs het ich nit verhofft z dir.
    Schmelzl verlorner sohn 7b.

    4) reflexiv, hoffen: wollen uns auch verhoffen e. gnaden werden etwas tetlichs … widder uns … nicht furnemen. Förstemann urkundenb. 229; der ding, der man sich verhoft. Melanchthon hauptartikel der heil. schrift verdeutscht 65; nun hat ich mich verhofft, es sollte mir durch den gegentheil antwort zugestellt werden. ernest. ges.-archiv (Gotha) 1564; wer will in die lügen Plinii sich vertrösten? wer will sich verhoffen in die anzeigung Dioscoridis, Macri und anderer naturalium? Paracelsus 1, 244 C;
    hie ist zu sehen, das man offt
    (des man sich doch gar nit verhofft)
    bei den wilden und frechen thieren
    mehr gut und miltigkeit thut spüren
    denn bei den leuten.
    B. Waldis Esop 2, 30, 135 (1, 207 Kurz);
    es ist mancher so gar rhumretig,
    sich selbst zu preisen wunderthetig ..
    und wirdt im kleinen lügen strafft,
    das er sich groszes lobs verhofft.
    3, 79, 21 (1, 364).

    5) participia. part. präs.: als hab ich dieses nur entworffene … tractätlein … zu e. hochgräfl. excell. füszen legen wollen, verhoffend, es werde … für naseweiser maulaffen unzeitigen urtheil an diesen orten sicher sein. Schuppius 2; mit passiver bedeutung: das … verursachete … dasz er mich mit ihm nach Wien nam, mich seines verhoffenden glücks genieszen zu lassen. Simpl. 2, 16, 16; die verhoffende künfftige schwiegermutter ist eine hauptreiche wittib, welche viel gelbe batzen hat. 3, 291, 6; also ist unter verhoffender gnädigster beinehmigung das in concept anliegende schreiben begriffen worden. weim. staats – archiv (Eisenach) 1742. part. prät. (adj.): Johan der täuffer hat den lang verhofften Messiah mit dem finger zeigt. Reiszner Jerus. 2, 114a; als … bei der tafel allerhand discurs von diesem krieg und dessen verhofften auszgang gewechselt wurden, da … Schuppius 391; (er war) darauf bedacht, sich durch das vergnügen der rache für den abgang desjenigen zu entschädigen, welches er sich von der verhofften bekehrung unsers helden versprochen hatte. Wieland 2, 164; wir werden .. belehret werden, dasz /Bd. 25, Sp. 575/ er nicht den verhofften erfolg habe, sondern vielmehr Cartesius’ kräftenmaasz bestätige. Kant 8, 194;
    dir blüht, wo dieses stück
    nach unsrem wuntsch auszlaufft, ein nie verhofftes glück.
    A. Gryphius 1, 256, 177 Palm;
    Sextil ererbte nichts von dem verhofften schatze.
    Hagedorn 1, 108.

    6) verhoffen in der bedeutung ‘die hoffnung aufgeben’, die sich im ausgehenden mittelalter zeigt (Lexer 3, 131), ist nhd. nicht nachgewiesen.

  107. The Grimms also list the adverb verhoffentlich:

    verhoffentlich, adj. und adv. was erhofft wird, zu erhoffen ist, mhd. nicht nachgewiesen, doch im frühesten nhd. vorhanden, daneben die verkürzte form verhofflich (bei Ayrer verhöfflich): war ain sollicher durftiger mentsch, das er ain stum war und nit bei sinnen; verhoffenlich, der allmechtig hab ine in seinem reich höcher begapt. Zimmerische chron. 3, 30, 7; (es ist) aber verhoffenlich, sie seie mit aim gueten fuchsschwanz wol erstrichen worden. 3, 72, 10; das beschach, verhofenlich, es sei hiemit gros bubenwerk abgestelt worden. 4, 92, 3;
    verhöfflich dasz .. ich für die jungfrau kommen solt.
    J. Ayrer Hugdietr. 190b.
    der adjectivische gebrauch des wortes ist wie bei hoffentlich geschwunden. an dessen stelle der adverbiale, zum theil mag er auf der verkürzung eines ursprünglichen satzes (es ist verhoffentlich) beruhen. das adverb. verhoffentlich schon im ausgange des mittelalters. nhd. verhoffendlich, si diis placet Stieler 847; Adelung 4, 1449 hält es für gemein statt des edlern hoffentlich: sollichs verhofflich bei ewer lieb und churfürstl. gn. zu erlangen. ernest. ges.-arch. (Nürnberg) 1523; damit die vermutliche (so statt vermittliche zu lesen) und versehenliche zusage dem papst beschehen, dasz solchs bei e. k. g. verhofflich zu erlangen, gehalten und der abschied … vollzogen werden muge. Luther briefe 2, 336; wann ich euch angeneme dienst hab geleistet oder noch verhoffentlich leisten möchte, so laszt mich ein abtei auf meine sondere weisz .. stifften. Garg. (1590) 533; hab ich noch andere meine gedichte zu den vorigen gefüget und die verhoffendtlich zu gefallen an das liecht kommen lassen. Weckherlin weltl. ged., vorrede; wann er sich aber bisz morgen zu gedulten beliebet, will ich ihm verhoffentlich genugsame satisfaction thun. Simpl. 1, 203, 16 Kurz; das wird der herr pfarrer verhoffentlich mit gutem gewissen nicht thun können. 1, 330, 6; brachten derowegen abermal allerhand irrige einfäll und närrische grillen auf die bahn keiner andern ursach halben, als weil sie die würkung meines vogelnestes nicht wusten; dann sonst wäre verhoffentlich ihr discurs vielleicht anders gefallen. 3, 344, 25; in deren ich verhoffentlich stattlich ausführen will. Ayrer proc. 1, 6; dasz sie verhofflich mehr wider producenten als für sie sagen /Bd. 25, Sp. 576/ sollen. 2, 7; so wird verhoffentlich diese meine arbeit nicht vergebens sein. Olearius pers. reisebeschr., vorr.; also würden wir verhoffentlich keinen verstören. Weise erzn. 244; das wird verhoffentlich geschehen sein. comöd. 309;
    so wird es mit der zeit verhoffentlich was besser.
    Chr. Gryphius poet. wälder 2, 211.

  108. Stu Clayton says

    To copy and paste long lemmas from Grimm makes a comment thread hard to browse. Only a particularly relevant short excerpt need be copied. The entirety can be linked.

    Links and conventional inline text are servants of judicious composition. In their free time they get up to all kinds of mischief.

  109. Lars Mathiesen says

    @Stu: I actually excerpted the entry from EWD (☚ link) too hard, the whole lemma does contain verhoffen and unverhofft whose attestation turned out to be in doubt. But the Brothers are a bit prolix, those reams of quoted attestations make my eyes glaze over too.

  110. the spectre of President Blair

    Scary indeed! And I can’t think of anybody in the UK who’d be a uniting figure in a ceremonial rôle.

    The Colonies have had the forethought to get into the habit of appointing Governors-General. And candidates must already have reached an advanced age, so they’re not going to hang on embarrassingly.

    Australia famously found itself a G-G who interfered calamitously in a parliamentary crisis.

  111. PlasticPaddy says

    A president of an English republic would have to be an animal lover. What about Paul O’ Grady?

  112. DE, drasvi: yeah. I was replying flippantly to a thoughtful comment, as an excuse to throw ojalá in.

  113. David Marjanović says

    Ah, yes, I’ve often read unverhofft kommt oft (though probably never heard it, so I forgot). Good to see my suspicion is confirmed and verhoffen is amply attested from earlier centuries.

    And vice versa.

    That one’s mainstream in English, but not elsewhere in Christendom.

    And candidates must already have reached an advanced age, so they’re not going to hang on embarrassingly.

    Just have term limits. 😐

    (Fun fact: Austrian presidents are limited to 2 terms. Nonetheless, almost all have died during their 2nd term, one only 2 days before its end.)

    Also, who would vote for b.liar? Isn’t he unpopular all across the political spectrum by now?

  114. AntC: Scary indeed! And I can’t think of anybody in the UK who’d be a uniting figure in a ceremonial rôle

    PP: A president of an English republic would have to be an animal lover.

    What about Sir David Attenborough? With him narrating the President’s sppech (formerly known as Queen’s speech), surely general acceptance would be assured? 😉

  115. David Eddyshaw says

    Isn’t he unpopular all across the political spectrum by now?

    A unifying figure …

    Sir David Attenborough?

    Ah, yes. Of course. Right sort of age, too …

  116. Replace the monarchy with a President elected for life, minimum age 85.

  117. Ben Tolley says

    As long as he didn’t actually have significant power, I wouldn’t be too bothered by President Blair (not delighted, certainly, but he’s not going to do any more harm in a role which mostly just requires being polite and making the odd anodyne speech, which he’s not bad at). It’s just that the most people in the UK seem unable to conceive of a non-monarchical head of state except as an American-style executive leader, even though introducing such a thing would mean massive institutional changes to just about every other aspect of government, and we’ve got rather closer examples of something different.

    Attenborough would definitely be better, though.

  118. “I share drasvi’s disquiet.”

    I do not, but we always can introduce drasvi-1 and drasvi-2, when we ned to express disagreement between drasvis.

  119. @Y, nothing thoughtful.
    Some of my freinds use this inshallah and ya3ni and what not. Others speak Russian. And we freely borrow A->R or R->A and have fun, and I never took it seriously.
    It is just that once I said “I will do it, inshallah” and did not do it because I was lazy:) And then agian. And then I though “wait! This way I will keep doing nothing!”, and it was not a serious decision, just anouther joke.

  120. David Eddyshaw says

    What is the plural of “drasvi”?

  121. Stu Clayton says


    I think. You know, as in здравствуй / здравствуйте.

  122. Yes, Stu is right.
    At least when I function as an imperative.

  123. Stu Clayton says

    My impression is that you often function as a middle voice. The plural would be “middle voices”, I guess.

  124. Well, the fact is, darsvite sounds totally plausible as soon as we accept “drasvi”. It is even possible that some Russenorsk speaker used it.

    As for middle voice, maybe reflextive : drasvis’/drasvisya.

  125. David Eddyshaw says

    I think it is a pluralis majestatis:


    The (unused) singular would, accordingly, be drasvus (or, in Kusaal, drasvif.)

  126. So they go to Trebinje and back to start another month

    And another discovery by my friends is that “Russian” food sold there is made in Germany. Compare.

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