An Etymological Dictionary of the German Language/Annotated/faul

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faul, adjective, ‘rotten, worthless, lazy,’ from the equivalent Middle High German and Middle Low German vûl, Old High German fûl; compare Dutch vuil, Anglo-Saxon fûl, English foul, Old Icelandic fúll, Gothic fûls, ‘decayed’; la- is derivative; fû- as the Teutonic root is deduced from Old Icelandic fúenn, ‘putrefied,’ which as a participle points to an obsolete verb (Gothic *fauan, formed like bauan), of which Old Icelandic feyja, ‘to allow to putrefy,’ is the factitive (Gothic *faujan). From fū̆ several Teutonic dialects have formed nouns with the meaning ‘cunnus’ (Old Icelandic fuþ); see Hundsfott. The root fū̆, from Aryan pū̆, is equally represented in the allied languages; Greek πύον, ‘matter,’ and the equivalent Latin pûs, neuter; Sanscrit and Zend root (pûy), ‘to stink, putrefy,’ Lithuanian pûvù, půti, ‘to putrefy’ (akin to Lithuanian púlei, ‘matter,’ with a derivative l as in faul); also Greek πύθω, ‘to cause to rot,’ Latin pûteo, ‘to stink,’ pŭter, ‘putrid, rotten.’ The primary meaning of the root is ‘to emit a smell of putrefaction.’ —