List of English words of Persian origin                                        Add to favorit Börja här Utskrift

As fellow Indo-European languages, English and Persian have many words which share a common Proto-Indo-European origin, and many of these cognate words often have similar forms. However, this article will be concerned with loanwords, that is, words in English that derive from Persian, either directly, or more often, via one or more intermediary languages.

Many words of Persian origin have made their way into the English language through different, often circuitous, routes. Some of them, like "paradise" date to the cultural contacts between the Persians and Greeks in the Hellenistic culture of Antiquity, and through Greek and then Latin found their way to English. Or Mihrab from the time of Persian conflicts with Rome. Persian as the second important language of Islam has influenced many languages in the Muslim world, and its words have found their way beyond the Muslim world.

Persia remained largely impenetrable to English-speaking travellers, well into the 19th century. This may explain why not quite as many Persian words as one may imagine have made their way in English. Persia was protected from Europe by overland trade routes that passed through territory inhospitable to foreigners, while trade at Persian ports in the Persian Gulf was in the hands of locals. In contrast, intrepid English traders operated in Mediterranean seaports of the Levant from the 1570s, and some vocabulary describing features of Ottoman culture found their way into the English language. Thus many in the following list of English borrowings, though they were originally from Persian, arrived in English through Turkish mediaries. Compare List of English words of Etruscan origin for a similar situation.

Other words of Persian origin found their way into European languages— and eventually reached English at second-hand— through the Moorish-Christian cultural interface in the Iberian peninsula during the Middle Ages thus being transmitted through Arabic or, much later, through Hindi during the British Raj.

A
azure (color)
from Medieval Latin azura, from Persian lājaward [1]

B
babouche
from Persian papoosh (پاپوش), from pa "foot" + poosh "covering." [2]
baksheesh
from Persian bakhshesh (بخشش), lit. "gift," from verb bakhshidan "to give."[3]
ban (title)
"governor of Croatia," from Serbo-Croat. ban "lord, master, ruler," from Persian baan (بان) "prince, lord, chief, governor" [4]
barbican
possibly from Persian (khāneh "house"). [5]
bazaar
from Persian بازار bāzār (="market"), from Middle-Persian bahâ-zâr ("The Place of Prices").[6]
bezoar
from pād-zahr (پادزهر) antidote [7]
borax
from burah [8]
bulbul
from bulbul nightingale (=type of migratory songbird native to Kenya) [9]
buzkashi
from Persian buz "goat" + kashi "dragging" [10]

C
calabash
possibly from Persian kharabuz, Kharbuzeh (خربزه) melon. [11]
carafe
from Arabic gharafa (قرافه), "to pour"; or from Persian qarabah, (قرابه) "a large flagon"[12]
caravan
from kārawān =("to go")[13]
caviar
from khāviār(خاویار).
cassock
possibly ultimately from Persian kazhagand (كژآكند) "padded coat," from kazh "raw silk" + agand "stuffed."[14]
check
check (n.) from O.Fr. eschequier "a check at chess," from eschec, from V.L. *scaccus, from Persian shah "king," the principal piece in a chess game (see shah). When the king is in check a player's choices are limited. Meaning widened from chess to general sense of "adverse event, sudden stoppage" and by c.1700 to "a token used to check against loss or theft" (surviving in hat check) and "a check against forgery or alteration," which gave the modern financial use of "bank check, money draft" (first recorded 1798), probably influenced by exchequeur. Check-up "careful examination" is 1921, American English, on notion of a checklist of things to be examined. [15]
checkmate
from Middle French eschec mat, from Persian shâh mât (="the King cannot escape") [16]
chess
from Russian Shach, from Persian shah ("the King"), an abbreviation of Shâh-mât (Checkmate).[17]
cinnabar
probably from Persian zanjifrah[18]
cummerbund
from Hindi kamarband (كمربند), from Persian, from kamar (="waist") + band (="band")[19]

D
demitasse
from Fr., lit. "half-cup," from demi- + tasse, an O.Fr. borrowing from Arabic tassah, from Pers. tasht "cup, saucer".
dervish
from Darvish[20]
divan
fom Persian dēvān (="place of assembly", "roster"), from Old Persian dipi (="writing, document") + vahanam (="house")[21]

E

F
Farsi
the name for Persian in Arabic. Standard Arabic lacks the /p/ phoneme, as a result, the Arabs who invaded Persia slowly began to refer to the language and the people as "Farsi", rather than "Parsi". [22]
Feringhee
from Pers. Farangi: from the word French: a person from France: the first foreigners that significantly influenced the government under the Ghajar dynasty in Iran. [23]
firman
from Persian فرمان farmân ("decree", "order").[24]

G
galingale
from Persian خلنجان khalanjan, a plant.[25]
gherkin
possibly ult. from Medieval Gk. angourion "a kind of cucumber," said to possibly be from Pers. angūr, "grape"[26]
giaour
from Pers. gaur, variant of gabr "fire-worshipper" [27][28]

H
Hindu
from Pers. Hindu "Indian"[29]

I
India
from Persian Hind.[30]

J
jackal
from Persian shaghāl, Any of several doglike mammals of the genus Canis of Africa and southern Asia that are mainly foragers feeding on plants, small animals, and occasionally carrion.[31]
jasmine
from yasmin, the name of a climbing plant with fragrant flowers.[32]
julep
from gulab (rose-water).[33]
jungle
from jangal (forest)

K
kabob
or kebab, possibly from Persian kabab, or from identical forms in Arabic and Urdu[34]
kaftan
from Persian خفتان khaftân.[35]
khaki
from khaki (="made from soil", "dusty" or "of the colour of soil"), from khak (= "soil")[36]
kiosk
from kushk (="palace, portico, pavilion") or Middle Persian gōšak "corner"[37]
koh-i-noor
from Pers. koh "mountain"." [38]

L
lemon
possibly from Persian limoo, also possibly from Urdu, Arabic, and Turkish[39]
lilac
from Pers. lilak, variant of nilak "bluish," from nil "indigo"[40]

M
magic, magical, magician
from magus from Old Persian maguš "mighty one" [41][42]
magus, magi
from magus, from Old Persian maguš "mighty one", Priest of Zoroastrianism[42]
manticore
from O. Pers. word for "man eater," cf. martiya- "man" + root of khvar- "to eat." [43]
Mithra
from the name of the Persian God Mithra.[44]
Mithraeum
from Persian Mithra[45][44]
Mithraism
from Persian Mithra[46][44]
Mogul
from mughul (="Mongolian") [47]
mullah
from Persian Molla[48]
musk
ultimately from Middle Persian musk, from Sanskrit muska (="testicle") from diminutive of mus (="mouse")[49]
Mussulman
from Pers. musulman (adj.), from Arabic Muslim (q.v.) + Persian adj. suffix -an.[50]

N
Naphtha
via L., from Gk. naphtha "bitumen," perhaps from Pers. naft "oil", "pitch,"
Narcissus
may be from Persian nargis (may also be a Pelasgian word)

O
Orange
from Milanese narans, from Arabic nāranj, from Persian nārang, from Sanskrit nāraṅga, from some Dravidian language, possibly Tamil or Malayalam

P
Pagoda
via Portuguese pagode, from a corruption of Pers. butkada, from but "idol" + kada "dwelling."
Pajamas
from Hindi paajaama, from Persian pāë (pāÿ) jāmah, from pAy (="leg") + jAma (="garment")
Pahlavi
from Pahlavi.
Paradise
from Greek paradeisos (=enclosed park"), from Median/Proto-Kurdish pairidaeza (="enclosure, park"), from pairi (="around") + diz (="mold, form"). The word is still used in Kurdish, and is pronounced Pardês.
Parasang
from Old-Persian parasang
Pard
Zie
Parsee
from Pârsi
Parthia
from Latin< Old Persian parthava-, variant form of the stem Parsa-, from which Persia derives
Parthian
see Parthia
Pasha
from Pâdshâh
Pashmina
from Pashmineh, made from pashm; pashm (= "wool")
Peach
a corruption of the Latin word "Persicum." Peaches are called in Latin malum Persicum (Persian apple) prunum persicum (Persian plum), or simply persicum (pl. persici). This should not be confused with the more modern Linnaean classification Prunus persica, a neologism describing the peach tree itself (from the Latin prunus, -i which signifies "plum tree").
Peri
from pari
Persepolis
from Pârsa+ Greek polis.
Persia
Persian
Persis
from Pârs
pistachio
from Latin pistācium, from Greek πιστάκιον, from Persian pistah
Popinjay
from O.Fr. papegai (12c.), from Sp. papagayo, from Ar. babagha', from Pers. babgha "parrot,"
Punjab
via Hindi Panjab, from Pers. panj "five" + ab "water."

R
roc
from Persian rukh (name of a legendary bird)
rook
from Middle English rok, from Middle French roc, from Arabic rukhkh, from Persian رخ rukh (=chess piece)
rose
from Latin rosa, probably from ancient Greek rhodon, possibly ult. from Pers. *varda-. Zie
roxana
from Persian: روشنك Roshanak, meaning "little star" its variants in English are meaning "dawn." Variants include, Roxane and Roxanne. Diminutives are Roxie and Roxy.Rokh-sána meaning "beautiful"

S
Saffron
Zaferoon
Sapindales
from Persian Spand (اسپند)
Satrap
from Persian Shatrap and Shahrab.
scarlet
from Pers. saqirlat "a type of red cloth"
Scimitar
from Pers. shimshir (Shamshir)
Seersucker
from Hindi sirsakar, E. Indian corruption of Pers. shir o shakkar "striped cloth," lit. "milk and sugar".
Sepoy
from Persian Sipahi via Urdu
Seraglio
from sarây "inn"
Serendipity
from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, from Persian Sarandip (="Sri Lanka"),
Shah
from shāh, from Old Persian χšāyaþiya (="king"), from an Old Persian verb meaning "to rule"
Shamshir
from shamshir
Shawl
from shāl, sometimes said to be named for Shaliat, town in India where it was first manufactured.
Sherry
from Jerez in Spain, from Pers Shiraz, from the time of Rustamid empire in Spain
Shisha
from shisha or shisheh or شیشه
Simurgh
from simurgh
Sipahis
from Persian Sipahi via Turkish
Sitar
via Hindi sitar, from Pers. sitar "three-stringed," from si "three" (O.Pers. thri-) + tar "string"
Sowar
from Persian Savâr.
Spinach
from French espinache, from Arabic isfānākh, from Persian from isfānāj, ispānāk, or aspanākh
-Stan
from -istân "place" or "where one stands"
Sugar
Possibly from Persian Shekar
Sumac
possibly from Persian Somagh.

T
Tabor
probably from Middle Pers. tambūr "lute"
Taffeta
from Pers. taftah "silk or linen cloth,"
Tajikistan
With Persian suffix -stan
Taj Mahal
from Pers., lit. "the best of buildings;" or "the Crown's Place".
Talc
from Pers. talk "talc."
Tambourine
from Middle French tambour (="drum"), possibly from Middle Pers. tambūr "lute"
Tandoori
from Pers. tannur "oven, portable furnace,"
Tapestry
from tâfteh
Tiger
via Greek tigris from an Iranian source
Toque
from O. Pers. taq "veil, shawl."
Tulip
from French tulipe, from Persian dulband
Turan
from Persian توران
Turban
from Persian dulband Band = To close, To tie
Turkmenistan
With Persian suffix -menistan
typhoon
طوفان from Persian Tufân or Greek Typhon; also affected by Cantonese taai-fung

U
Uzbekistan
With Persian suffix -stan

V
vizier
وزير etymology disputed; general references often derive it from Arabic wazir, "viceroy", lit. "one who bears (the burden of office)", lit. "porter, carrier", from Arabic wazara, "he carried". However, Jared S. Klein derives it from Middle Persian vichir, from Avestan vicira, "arbitrator, judge".

X
Xerxes
Gk. form of O. Pers. Kshayarshan-, lit. "male (i.e. 'hero') among kings," from Kshaya- "king" (cf. shah) + arshan "male, man."

Z
Zamindar
meaning "Possessor of real estate" in Persian.
Zarathushtra or Zarathustra
the Persian prophet
Zena
feminine given name from Persian Zan (woman).
Zircon
from Persian zargun, "gold-colored"
Zirconate
zircon + the suffix -ate, from Latin -atus
Zirconia
zircon + the New Latin -ia suffix
Zirconium
zircon + the New Latin suffix -ium

References
Note: "OED" means Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. OED Online Oxford University Press. Accessed May 3, 2006.

  1. "azure", OED

  2. "babouche", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  3. "baksheesh", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  4. "ban, n.2", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  5. "barbican", OED

  6. "bazaar", OED

  7. "bezoar", OED

  8. "borax", OED

  9. "bulbul", OED

  10. "buzkashi", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  11. "calabash", OED

  12. "carafe", OED

  13. "caravan", OED

  14. "cassock", OED

  15. "check, int. and n.1", OED

  16. "checkmate, int. and n.", OED

  17. "chess, n.1", OED

  18. "cinnabar", OED

  19. "cummerbund", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  20. "dervish", OED

  21. "divan", OED

  22. "Farsi, n. (a.)", OED

  23. "Feringhee", OED

  24. "firman", OED

  25. "galingale", OED

  26. "gherkin", OED

  27. "giaour", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  28. "Guebre", OED

  29. "Hindu, Hindoo, n. and a.", OED

  30. "India", OED

  31. "jackal", OED

  32. "jasmine, -in, jessamine, -in", OED

  33. "julep", OED

  34. "cabob", OED

  35. "caftan", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  36. "khaki", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  37. "kiosk", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  38. "koh-i-noor", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")

  39. "lemon", OED

  40. "lilac", OED

  41. "magic", OED

  42. a b "magus", OED

  43. "manticore", OED

  44. a b c "mithras", OED

  45. "Mithraeum", OED

  46. "Mithraism", OED

  47. "Mogul, n.1 and a.", OED

  48. "mullah, n.", OED

  49. "musk, n.", OED

  50. "Mussulman, n. and a.", OED

Source: wikipedia.org

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