To split; with Germanic derivatives referring to biting (hence also to eating and to hunting) and woodworking.
Derivatives include bite, bitter, and fission.
a. beetle1, bite, from Old English bītan, to bite;
b. tsimmes, from Old High German bīzan, bizzan, to bite. Both a and b from Germanic *bītan.
2. Zero-grade form *bhid-.
a. bit2, from Old English bite, a bite, sting, from Germanic *bitiz;
b. (i) bit1, from Old English bita, a piece bitten off, morsel; (ii) bitt, from a Germanic source akin to Old Norse biti, bit, crossbeam. Both (i) and (ii) from Germanic *bitōn-;
c. suffixed form *bhid-ro-. bitter, from Old English bit(t)er, “biting,” sharp, bitter.
3. O-grade form *bhoid-.
a. bait1, from Old Norse beita (verb), to hunt with dogs, and beita (noun), pasture, food;
b. abet, from Old French beter, to harass with dogs. Both a and b from Germanic *baitjan.
4. bateau, boat; boatswain, from Old English bāt, boat, from Germanic *bait-, a boat (< “dugout canoe” or “split planking”).
5. Nasalized zero-grade form *bhi-n-d-. -fid, fissi-, fissile, fission, fissure, vent2, from Latin findere, to split.
[Pokorny bheid- 116.]

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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