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This Proto-Germanic entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



From Proto-Indo-European *kaput- or *kh₂p-ut-. Cognate with Latin caput.

The original form in Germanic was *habudą, which has been retained in the North Germanic languages, whereas the West Germanic languages and Gothic have forms that go back to *haubudą or *haubidą. The diphthong may be due to metathesis, if one reconstructs the original paradigm nominative *hafuþ ~ genitive *habweþaz.[1][2]

The same root but with an alternate ending also appears in Germanic: Old English hafola (head), from *hafulǭ. The presence of initial -a- in both words (hafudą and hafulǭ) remains unexplained.


  • IPA(key): /ˈxɑu̯.βu.ðɑ̃/


*haubudą n

  1. head


neuter a-stemDeclension of *haubudą (neuter a-stem)
singular plural
nominative *haubudą *haubudō
vocative *haubudą *haubudō
accusative *haubudą *haubudō
genitive *haubudas, *haubudis *haubudǫ̂
dative *haubudai *haubudamaz
instrumental *haubudō *haubudamiz


From *haubudą:

  • Old English: hēafod
    • Middle English: heed
      • English: head
      • Scots: heid
      • Yola: haade
  • Old Norse: haufuð
  • Crimean Gothic: hoef

From *haubidą:

From *hafudą or *habudą:


  1. ^ Guus Kronen, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden 2013), 215.
  2. ^ Carl Marstrander, Klodvignavnet og den germanske dissimilationslov (Oslo: Dybwad, 1925), 25.