Which Indo-European Subfamily Are You?

Yes, Which Indo-European Subfamily Are You? is just another dumb Buzzfeed quiz, but obviously it’s not one I could resist. You get eight or so silly questions and then it tells you your subfamily. The first time I got Germanic; the second, picking different answers for everything, Armenian (“Exasperation of aspiration, sensitive to satemization. Only God can judge you but that doesn’t stop every philologist from trying”). Enjoy!


  1. David Eddyshaw says

    I too am Germanic, despite trying to second-guess the quiz and aiming at Greek.
    I think it may have been the bear.

  2. Athel Cornish-Bowden says

    Germanic too, but you’re too kind to call it dumb. It’s nowhere near as good as that.

  3. David Eddyshaw says

    I managed to engineer being Celtic with my second attempt. It’s a fine quiz.

  4. Stu Clayton says

    I was surprised that knowing who Liam Neeson is counts towards being Albanian. The bear-connection is obvious, of course.

  5. Michael Eochaidh says

    I somehow wound up with Celtic on my first try, so obviously this was a good quiz and the best kind of linguistic clickbait.

  6. AJP Crown says

    Olives + Ω = Greek.
    Olives + Danny DeVito = Italic.
    Yoghurt + what might be the coast of Brittany = Albanian.

  7. Trond Engen says

    I got Germanic on the first try and Balto-Slavic on the second. In both cases my picks were all over the place, or so I thought. But both results fit with the bear.

  8. David Marjanović says

    You might think you’re normal, but you’re honestly one of the weirdest people around.

    …and I picked rice for the first question.

    Admittedly, it may have played a role that I can’t see four of the favorite letter shapes.

  9. Jen in Edinburgh says

    I got Anatolian, which I don’t even know what it is.

    No, hang on, ancient Turkish maybe? Not the people who came down like wolves on the fold, they were some other A.

    (I’ve been dead for 2000 years, apparently)

  10. David Marjanović says

    I got Anatolian

    Clearly you have great taste.

  11. I picked honestly, and apparently I’m Balto-Slavic. Despite thinking that there’s no way in hell I’d ever write the sentence I am the wild beast, it returns “you know you’re the Wild Beast of the Wild East.”

    My favorite landscape would be a meadow in blossom in rolling hill country. Who are these goofballs who not only prefer seashores and mountains, but assume there is no other preference?

  12. David Eddyshaw says

    Ah, Рян! Makes sense.

  13. David Eddyshaw says

    I got Anatolian

    You can learn a lot from Lydia.

  14. Jen in Edinburgh says

    I think the only Lydia I know is Bennet, and I’d really rather not 😉

  15. David Eddyshaw says
  16. Really tried to force it to be Albanian, but got Celtic.

  17. David Eddyshaw says

    O’r Alban!

  18. Athel Cornish-Bowden says

    I thought I’d have a stab at getting accepted as Armenian: success! Of course, there is an obvious (but repulsive) choice of celebrity, and as we have an Armenian restaurant 200 m away I have at least some idea of what Armenian food is like. Also I thought “not enough loanwords” could point towards Armenian (though it could also point to English).

  19. Finländare says

    Germanic here too. I quite enjoyed this one, got Volgaic (“You’re so enigmatic, people aren’t even sure you exist.”):


  20. That was fun! I got Permic. Somebody should do one for Oti-Volta.

  21. Also, I discovered the delicious-sounding perepech.

  22. David Eddyshaw says

    I was wrong, earlier. I find that I can become Hungarian after all!

  23. the delicious-sounding perepech

    And now I’m wondering which came first, perepech or пәрәмәч.

  24. David Marjanović says

    got Volgaic (“You’re so enigmatic, people aren’t even sure you exist.”):

    Try again, pick goulash, and there’s no escape anymore: you’re Hungarian. Paprika is destiny.

  25. Trond Engen says

    I got Ob-Ugric. I gather Hungarian is the only member of Nied-Ugric.

  26. Got Ob-Ugric as well. Not my main interest, but still seems appropriate for being one of the I think currently less than six people in Finland to have done some kind of research on it.

    Honestly I have no idea what the “you’re a porridge recipe” part means but I’ll take it.

  27. Indo-Iranian
    You’re not tripping, you’re high on the divine presence! Also on shrooms

    Indo-Iranian is appropriate for me, but I partied on ephedra, not shrooms—although supply and distribution became a problem later.

  28. Bathrobe says

    First time Germanic. Second time I managed to get Tokharian 🙂

  29. Second time I managed to get Tokharian


  30. John Cowan says

    “And though I’m just a steppe parparian / Next week I’ll be Tocharian / And it shows / Anying koes.”

  31. And now I’m wondering

    … what black hole Xerîb’s extremely informative comment has (been) disappeared into.

  32. There is no comment by Xerîb in moderation or in the spam dungeon.

  33. And now I’m wondering which came first, perepech or пәрәмәч.

    I looked into this, but since I am only a dilettante in Turkology, maybe someone can correct my errors. The structure of Tatar пәрәмәч, бүрәмәч (with other variants), Bashkir бәрәмес, and the loanword in Chuvash пуремеч, suggests they originate in a Turkic term built with the suffix –maç / –mäç, used to form the name of foodstuffs, often those made from flour or grain. Compare Turkish:

    bulamaç “thick soup made with flour; batter”, alongside bulamak “to coat, smear, bedaub”

    doğramaç “rustic soup made of yoghurt and bread pieces”, alongside doğramak “to cut into pieces, hack, chop”

    kavurmaç “roasted wheat”, alongside kavurmak “to roast”

    ovmaç “soup made with hand-rolled piece of dough (like Ligurian trofie but stouter)” (with regional variant umaç “soup made with small noodles like couscous”), alongside Turkish ovmak “to rub, knead, scour”

    also gömeç “cake or biscuit cooked by in the ashes of the hearth” beside gömmek “to bury, embed, nestle”

    If we remove the –мәч from пәрәмәч, бүрәмәч, we are left with a пәрә-, бүрә-. The Tatar philologist R. G. Akhmetyanov, in the entry for пәрәмәч in his 2015 Татар Теленең Этимологик Сүзлеге (Etymological Dictionary of the Tatar Language), vol. 2, p. 105, suggests that this element is a reflex of the Turkic word for “kidney” (Republican Turkish bögür “flank, side” and its cognates here), taken as “round thing”—or maybe as an ingredient in kidney pie?

    He also seems to say that the initial voiceless /p/, written п, indicates that this areal word (found in Bashkir, Chuvash, Tatar, Mari, Russian, etc.) is the remnant of an earlier Uyghur or Oghuz term or reflects influence from one of these groups. And he mentions that the similar-looking Chagatai terms buġramaç “a kind of noodle soup” and buġrā “a kind of noodle dish” are named after Bughra Khan, to whom the invention of buġrā was traditionally attributed.

    As an interesting aside, during the Turkish language revolution, büremeç was proposed as a Republican Turkish replacement for the foreign sandviç “sandwich”—see the list of Turkish words in the lower left hand corner of page 10 (next to the big picture of the woman suffering from a headache on the right side) of the newspaper here). The language reformers must have taken Tatar пәрәмәч, бүрәмәч as a derivative of the Turkic verb that appears in Turkish as bürünmek “to wrap oneself up in, cover oneself up in” plus the suffix –meç , and a Republican Turkish büremeç formed on that. It never caught on.

  34. P.S. I also wondered whether “kidney” could be the etymon because a kidney is surrounded by caul fat and a tough membrane, in the way that the filling of a пәрәмәч is enclosed in a layer of dough.

  35. Xerîb, thank a lot!

    There is also toqmaç ‘noodles’. However, that’s not what I remember when I hear it: mother and grandmother made it in the shape of small diamonds.

  36. PlasticPaddy says

    From wiktionary for madzoon/matzoon:
    From մած (mac, “glued together, curdled”) +‎ -ուն (-un). Typologically compare Persian ماست‎ (māst, “coagulated milk, yoghurt”) from ماسیدن‎ (māsīdan, “to coagulate”), Turkish yoğurt from yoğurmak (“to plasticize, knead”).
    Is this word originally Turkish or from I-E (or not related)?

  37. SFReader says

    Suffix -mak or -mek is added to Turkish verb root to form an infinitive.

    It has nothing to do with Armenian “mac”.

  38. PlasticPaddy says

    Thanks. I just wanted to know if it had a meaning, because the I-E derivation is not 100% clear, as i suppose with Russian maslo..

  39. Hellenic, Zeus knows why. But that’s more like a genus, isn’t it? The two IE subfamilies are Anatolian and the Rest (Core IE or whatever we call it).

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