You are here:



QUESTION: Hello Michael,

"I've looked for the word, "eta kappa eta iota nu" in the Homeric dictionary (LSJ)and which is supposed to mean "to have" but it's not there.

Do you know what it means?



could you, please, submit a sentence or the source where the word is used? There is, actually, no such word with the letters you gave. It could be an alternative form or a dialect word. Please, tell me how it is accented. The verb "to have" is ἔχω, and you will find it for sure in letter E in the dictionary. That is where the noun (or name) "hector" comes from, meaning anchor or jetty, pier; literally "one who holds".

Let me know if there is anything else that you'd like to share and might help.
Have a good day.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Michael,

(Note: here, ˘ = omega; ŕ = eta.)

Indeed, I too thought it a non-existent word (at least in the poorly-transliterated phonetic spelling given on Wikipedia.

(for your reference, see:

which is why I never use Wikipedia as a final source, but only as a handy first one--then to query someone like yourself. Indeed, "ex˘"  is in the Homeric Dictionary. Thank you.

Even at that, the Wikipedia article agrees with you (and my original suspicions) on the one point, that "Hector" has its meaning in "to hold." Your answer however, now leaves me curious as to your meanings, as "anchor, jetty, pier."

"Anchor" aside, there is a clear relationship between a jetty/pier and a column or stanchion (often synonymous with a "pier" or "buttress.") They are all of the same general shape (broadly, the shape of a man) and they all (even anchor), accept load/strain/weight/burden. This suggests to me that "ex˘" more broadly indicatesŚand whether horizontal or verticalŚ"anything long and thin that takes strain or weight," which description would also explain an "anchor (line.)" To my mind this is supported by the word, ex˘tŕs ("one who drives out")Śsuch as a pier or, in the case of Hect˘r): "Defender."

Can I ask your opinion on whether "ex˘" is translatable in those broader terms?


Hello again, Bud,

thank you for your links and concern on that. Well, as you observe, this particular verb is quite a nuisance, isn't it :) If you check LSJ you will find more than 20-30 different uses, some of which are obviously related to each other, but some not really. If we stick to a particular period, such as the Homeric one, then things are more restricted, of course, and since only poetry has survived of that time, don't forget that poetry can really mutate words and adjust them according to its needs. Meanings such as "anchor, pier" and the alike are later uses, though, but they derive from the general notion of "to hold firmly", not the shape of an object. The verb "to hold" would roughly be an umbrella term in this case. So, anything that holds something could be called ἕκτωρ. And in order to be able to do so, it means, thus, that is possesses quite some strength (to bear, to hold, to possess, to resist, to fight, or as you said for the common noun "Hector", to defend etc.), and then it becomes more refined with similar verbs, but eventually of a quite richer meaning. Your suggestion is for sure within the attested meanings, but let's say not in a terminologically restricted way, i.e. not only shapes and sizes but also more abstract.

Regardless of period (but at least until the Roman times) the meanings of ἔχω can be roughly summarised as follows (meaning would vary, of course, according to the object):

1. to possess = to own; to subjugate; to govern; to have found; to have obtained; to contain...
2. to sustain = to bear; to defend; to insist; to hold firmly; to preserve; to resist...
3. to reach (mentally) = to comprehend; to understand; to attain; to infer; to conclude...
4. to persevere = to occupy oneself with; to show interest in; to copulate...
5. to exist (impers.) = there is; to be; to come next to; to follow...

For further references do not hesitate to have a look again here:

Hope this helped a bit. Have a nice day again.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Barkas


I provide assistance in linguistic, literary topics of Greek and Latin covering, thus, the following fields: translation, grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etymology, morphology, semantics and interpretations etc.


Studies: University of the Aegean, Dept Rhodes Friedrich Wilhelm Universitńt Bonn

Magister Artium (Archeology/Linguistics) Bachelor (Latin/English/Greek)

©2017 All rights reserved.