[B-Greek] Forming Nouns from Verbs?

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Oct 30 14:28:07 EDT 2009

If you are serious about getting these names to appear authentic, I  
would suggest you do some studying of Smth's grammar section on word- 
formation (Part III of Smyth's grammar). It's accessible at pages  

Quicker, more convenient:
= http://turl.ca/oggw

Slower, somewhat awkward:
or http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Apart%3D3%3Achapter%3D21
= http://turl.ca/rravgsd

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

On Oct 29, 2009, at 7:43 AM, Timothy S. Nelson wrote:

> 	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!

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