[B-Greek] Forming Nouns from Verbs?

Sarah Madden sarah.r.madden at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 15:45:45 EDT 2009

Cool idea. I hope you also include a glossary with all the definitions of
the Greek names at the end of your novel ...

Sarah ><>
Maryland - USA

2009/10/29 Timothy S. Nelson <wayland at wayland.id.au>

>        Hi all.  I'll start by giving a little background to my question;
> maybe it will help.
>        I'm about to begin participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel
> Writer's Month; 50,000 words in November), and I've decided to try to do a
> novel written in English, but in which all the names are Koine (using the
> actual letters, too, not English transliterations).  The character's names,
> rather than being actual Greek names, are instead Greek nouns (I hope nouns
> is the word I want here :) ).  So for example, I have a main character
> called Θυγάτηρ (QUGA/THR) which I'm hoping means "daughter" (my Analytical
> Greek Lexicon by Wesley J. Perschbacher says it does).  Just to make things
> more fun, I'm pretty much a complete beginner in Greek (I once got up to
> lesson 17 in Wenham's "The Elements of New Testament Greek" before
> circumstances forced me out of the class I was in; I also spent some time
> with a Greek NT and an Analytical Lexicon on the train, picking up bits that
> way, but not much).
>        These names are intended to indicate something about the character.
> But I'm also hoping that they will give people a bit of a feel for words in
> NT Greek that are not immediately familiar to an English-speaking person
> (although some of them are); to this end, I've been using "Lexical Aids for
> Students of New Testament Greek", by Bruce M. Metzger, which groups words by
> how often they appear; I'm attempting to select words that appear at least
> moderately frequently.
>        Names such as the one mentioned above are hopefully fairly
> straightforward, but there are some names that I'd like to use where I have
> a verb, and would like to form a noun from it.  I've borrowed "A New Short
> Grammar of the Greek Testament (10th Edition)", by A. T. Robertson and W.
> Hershey Davis, which seems to indicate that this can be done.  I'd thus like
> to ask for help with two particular names, in hopes that, by seeing how
> things work in these two cases, I can figure out some of the rest myself.
>  I'd have spent more time on this, and gotten more resources, but I'd really
> like to get the names nailed down better before 2 November, when I start my
> novel.
>        The first name I'd like to ask about is to be formed from the verb
> Χωρέω (XWRE/W).  The character's job in the book it walk before the Governor
> in the street shouting "Make way, make way".  So I figured he'd be an Agent.
> The book I have says that most nouns of this type are formed with the -της
> (-THS) suffix.  My first question is, is there a way to tell whether this is
> the right suffix, or do I just have to know which one goes with which word?
> My second question is, while I know that the long vowel constrains the
> accent to the final two syllables, is there a way to tell which it is?  I
> note that all the -της (-THS) words offered as examples have it on that
> syllable; is this always the case?
>        My guess is Χωρετής (XWRETH/S).  But I'm so
>        The second name I want to ask about is to be formed from the verb
> Θέλω (QE/LW).  The thing I want to convey about this character is that
> they're quite strong-willed.  I'm aware that there's a different word that
> translates roughly as self-willed (αυθαδεις (AUQADEIS)), but I'm not so keen
> on using that because it doesn't seem to appear as often, and also this
> character changes from someone who is indeed selfish (self-willed) to
> someone who is strong-willed, but (hopefully) puts their strong will to
> better use.  So I'm wondering if here the suffix I want isn't a Quality one
> (I hope Quality is a standard category for this sort of thing; it's the
> label my book uses, anyway).  The options offered by my grammar are:
> -τητ nom. -της          (-THT, nominative -THS)
> -συνα nom. -σύνη        (-SUNA, nominative -SU/NH)
> -ια                     (-IA)
>        Again, is there a way to tell which to use?  And since this is a
> female character, is there a feminine form I should be using?
>        Thanks for any help!
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> | Name: Tim Nelson                 | Because the Creator is,        |
> | E-mail: wayland at wayland.id.au    | I am                           |
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Sarah ><>
sarah.r.madden at gmail.com
work: 301.429.8189

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