2021. № 4 (30), 20-37


This paper is a review of the etymology of PSl. *běda traditionally derived from the IE nominal root *bʰoidʰā < *bʰoidʰ- and associated with Goth. baidjan. After a detailed analysis with particular attention to semasiological aspects, Baltic and Indo-Aryan materials the author concludes that the traditional etymology of Slav. *běda was based on a formal phonetic concordance but without an in-depth semantic analysis, using only one notion ‘necessity’. The paper demonstrates that this phonetically flawless etymology appears too simplistic and contradictory requiring new approaches and solutions. The author supports separating the OBulg. and OCS verb *biditi > bѣditi ‘to convince, force’ and its derivatives (e.g. побѣда) from *běda and its adnominal derivative бѣдити ‘to torment, harm’. Possible effects of such division for Lith. bėdà and Latv. bēda/bȩ̀da are briefly outlined.