2015. № 1 (4), 259-271

Institute of Slavistics of Polish Academy of Science


The Proto-Slavic lexeme *kaša exists almost in all Slavic languages. The present article offers an analysis of the semantic development of this word in all contemporary Slavic languages. Differences between future  tense forms of Slavic kaša are compared. In individual Slavic languages there are two fundamental meanings: the first, more common‚‘dense meal of barley’, the second ‘barley’. This article offers an attempt to establish the original meaning, i.e. the one attributable to Proto-Slavic. Theories on origins of this word are quoted. Among the most probable ones, two are mentioned regarding etymology of the word *kaša: the first one links it to the Lituianian verb kóšti, kóšiu ‘strain’; the second one de- rives it from Proto-Indo-European *kes-/*kos- ‘to scratch’ and compares this lexeme with Lithuanian kàsti ‘dig’, kasýti ‘peel, scrape’ as well as Latin carro, -ere ‘brush’. It is proposed that the word *kaša derives from *kās-ja, which would be a nomen actionis to a verb which does not exist in modern Slavic languages. The structural and semantic analysis presented in the article supports this hypothesis.