pal (păl) Informal
A friend; a chum.
intr.v. palled, pal·ling, pals
To associate as friends or chums. Often used with around.
[Romani phral, phal, from Sanskrit bhrātā, bhrātr-, brother; see bhrāter- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Word History: The word pal comes from the Indic language of the Romani people. First recorded in English in the second half of the 1700s, pal was borrowed from a Romani word meaning "brother, comrade," which occurs as phal in the Romani spoken in England and phral in the Romani spoken in continental Europe. The Romani speak an Indic language because they originally migrated to Europe from the border region between Iran and India. In other Indic languages we find related words meaning "brother," such as Hindu and Urdu bhāī, and they all come from Sanskrit bhrātā, which in turn traces its ancestry to the same Indo-European word that our word brother does.
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.