The origins of South and East

Compass directions.
image: wikipedia


Been thinking about the origins of the words South and East. In particular how they relate to the words “Aust” such as in Austria or Australia. 

Looking up the word (In the Oxford English Dictionary) Austra shows up as originating from the Latin meaning south. The term austere shows as meaning ‘severe’, which may be from weather i.e. the idea that severe weather comes from the South. 

But what about East? which sounds fairly similar as it originates from the germanic Ost, "via ōstar, Old Norse austr toward the east, from Germanic”. The German for Austria for example is Österreich meaning Eastern realm. Yet Austr tends to mean Southern. 

It all still seems to be related to weather. Because Austere comes the latin meaning severe, So perhaps weather from the South East tends to be severe, perhaps cold during winter. At least from a Mediterranean perspective this might be true. Perhaps even sand storms from the Sahara might have an influence too.

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