Are пырей and перо somehow connected?


Some material from PIE:

pulos a single hair of the human body

poums body hair

peumos adult (having hair)

peuqs tail (> Eng. fox)

peuros wheat

putos vulva (> Eng. pussy)

I wonder cannot the peuros for wheat derive from "hair"? The proposed derivation by Quassnoi from "fire" looks unlikely to me because the word for bonfire would be pea̯ur, having another root (am I wrong?).

On the other hand, even if Eng. feather is traditionally derived from peta̯trom (a root meaning "fly"), why it cannot be derived from something like peutrom? The etymology of перо according to Vasmer is uncertain, but why it could not also derive from peutrom or hypothetic peuros/peurom? If so, then it directly coincides with the word for wheat.

  • 1
    Out of curiosity, where do you take those reconstructions from?
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


According to wiki dictionary, "пырей" derives from a proto-slavic "пыро", which means among other things, "мука" (flour). Another word derived from "пыро" appear to be "пирог".

According to this page

Наши предки не гнушались приготовлением из сушеных корневищ пырея муки, из которой пекли вкусный и полезный хлеб.

(Our ancestors did not shun using dried roots of bluegrass to make flour, from which they baked tasty and wholesome bread).

so "пырей" and "flour" appear to be related.


According to Vasmer, пырей (the plant) originates from a word akin to Greek πυρήνας ("kernel, core"). The latter may have originated from PIE *paəw̥r ("fire").

Перо originates from PIE *pet- ("to rush, fly"), and is akin to English "feather" and "fern". The Russian word for "fern", папоротник, is also related.

I would not say that пырей and перо are related.

  • See my update. I have added some considerations.
    – Anixx
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 12:04

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