This question asks for Esperanto words taken from non-Indo-European languages. Here I want to know: Are there Esperanto words that are not taken from any previously existing language, but are created specifically for Esperanto? What are examples of them?

Right out of my mind I can think of Usono "USA", are there more of them?

  • 1
    Usono is apparently derived from English. See this question. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 9:01
  • Suggestion: could you change the title with a short version.
    – benahm
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 10:25
  • 1
    @Ben1001 why? The title seems fine to me.
    – grooveplex
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 22:45

5 Answers 5


Some affixes don't bear obvious resemblance to equivalents in other languages, such e.g. ul. The correlatives are also mostly a priori: some prefixes, such as neni- or ki-, are probably influenced by other languages, but no other language Zamenhof knew of has words close to ĉiam or iu.

Edzo also doesn't have a clear origin. Wiktionary says about edzino:

Perhaps a back-formation from Yiddish רביצין ‎(rebetsin, “rebbetzin, rabbi's wife”). Zamenhof's explanation that it was from German Kronprinzessin ‎(“Crown Princess”) is thought to have been an attempt to avoid antisemitism. Reanalysed as edzo ‎(“husband, spouse”) +‎ -ino ‎(feminine suffix).

It seems very convoluted to me.

  • 1
    -ul- might be approached with the latin root -ulus, used for create diminutives nouns, that you might find in derived words like credulous (en), crédule (fr) that would both be translated in Esperanto to kredema, rather than kredula. While ulo alone have, according to PIV, a pejorative connotation, -ul- doesn't seems to carry it. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 15:30
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    I don't find this particularly convoluted: if you ignore the bit about Kronprinzessin (which is hurdle for the theory that Zamenhof plucked edzo out of thin air, too), it's just saying the word edzino comes from rebetsin, and then the -in suffix was removed to make the male version.
    – Max
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 8:40

Yes, although there are not much of them. While the correlative table has inspiration in other languages, some words in the table have no derivation at all from other languages, and instead come completely out of the applied system in Esperanto, like "iom".

Also some derived words have nothing to do any more with the original components, like necesejo.

(Usono comes from the English Usonia, which only had limited popularity in English.)


Many of the affix based ones, for example: "umadi", "ilaro", "ege", "mala", ...

  • Mala seems to be based on the Romance root mal-, even though it changed its meaning in the process of borrowing.
    – miĥaŭ
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 9:11

How about kabei?

Kabei is a verb that comes from the Esperanto name of Kazimierz Bein, Kabe. So it's not directly derived from any particular language unless you'd want to count the etymology of Kabe's non-Esperanto name.

Here's kabei defined, if anyone's curious:

From vortaro.net:

kabei. Agi kiel Kabe, kiu, estante tre vigla E-isto, subite k tute ĉesis verki en E.

In English, translated by me:

To act like Kabe, who, having been a very active Esperantist, suddenly and completely stopped working (writing) in Esperanto.

Personally I have seen and used this word occasionally not just for leaving the Esperanto movement suddenly, but for being active and making a considerable effort for any type of movement/cause and then suddenly dropping it, or sometimes simply to describe being interested in something and participating in it for a time but then losing interest and "disappearing" from the scene.


Another good and widely-used example is probably ‘mojosa’, whose origins are explained e.g. here: What is the origin of the word "mojosa"?

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