who etymology

English word who comes from interrogative Proto-Indo-European roots *kʷ-, *kʷe-, *kʷo-, and later Old English (ca. 450-1100) hwa (who)

Detailed word origin of who

Dictionary entryLanguageDefinition
*kʷ- Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro) Primary interrogative root in Indo-European
*kʷe- Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro)
*kʷo- Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro)
*kʷód, kʷod Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro)
*kʷís Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro) Who, what (interrogative). Who, which, that (relative) Which, what.
*hwaz Proto-Germanic (gem-pro) (interrogative) who, what. (interrogative, in dative) whom. (interrogative, in genitive) whose. (interrogative, in instrumental) with whom, with what, how, in what way.
hwā Old English (ca. 450-1100) (ang)
hwa Old English (ca. 450-1100) (ang) Anyone. Who.
huo Middle English (1100-1500) (enm)
who English (eng) A person under discussion; a question of which person. (interrogative) What is one's position; asks whether someone deserves to say or do something.. (interrogative) What person or people; which person or people; asks for the identity of someone. (used in a direct or indirect question). (relative) The person or people that.. (relative, archaic) Whoever, he who, they who.

Words with the same origin as who

Descendants of *kʷ-
anywhere either elsewhere everywhere how however neither nowhere quality sins somewhere weather what when whenever where wherever whether which whoa whoever whom whose why
Descendants of *kʷe-
college complete contact count country couple court cover right
Descendants of *kʷo-
qualify whereabouts whereas