Good Morning Folks,
I took a few days off after writing up the interview with Armin … Remember you guys still have up till the 30th of September to go to bodalgo.com and get a free 1 month premium subscription… thats 1 month free auditioning at Europe’s only Voiceover Marketplace.
Ramadan is winding down… and the last days are upon us… Muslims hold the last 10 days as the holiest of the holiest month in the year so we spend a little more time in worship (yes in addition to the 5 daily prayers) and so my time is a bit scarce.
A conversation I had with a friend of mine about Languages and how many words in our lexicon are derived from words from other languages was the inspiration for this post. One of the things we has spoken (my friend and I) about was the surprising possible source for the English term So Long came to mind as some believe that the Northern expression was imported into britain by soldiers serving in Malayan-speaking countries. Malayan salutation, Salang, a corruption of Arabic Salaam = peace. This expression is of course used in all english speaking countries but this is one of the proposed origins for this salutation.
So I decided to go to our trusty old Wikipedia and see how many more Arabic words where incorporated into the English language… and here is a short compilation of some of those words.
- أميرالبحار, amīr al-bihār commander of the seas.
- الطوب aṭ-ṭūb, the bricks.
- الباكورة al-bakūra, perhaps from bakūr, premature.
- albatross (or algatross)
- الغطاس al-γaṭṭās (or al-ghaṭṭās), the diver.
- الغول – الكحول in the literature of late European alchemy, the quintessence of an earthly substance. See kohl in this list. The idea of “quintessences of earthly substances” and the use of “alcohol” to denote quintessences are developments in European alchemy in the 14th century. From the 1500s on, the denotation of “alcohol” narrowed down to “quintessence of wine” or “spirit of wine”, i.e., ethanol, CH3CH2OH, as the term “alcool vini” (quintessence of wine) got shortened to “alcool” or “alcohol”. The term alco(h)ol vini supplanted the original quinta essentia vini, “fifth essence of wine”.
- قبة – طاقة al-qubba, “the vault”.
- الإنبيق al-anbiq, “still” (the distillation device), from Greek ambix, stem ambik-, “cup”.
- الجبر al-jabr, the restoring of missing parts. This word is reported to have entered Middle English in the sense of ‘the setting of broken bones’. The modern mathematical sense comes from the title of a book, al-kitāb al-muxtaṣar fī ḥisāb al-jabr wa-l-muqābala, “The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing“, by the 9th-century Muslim mathematician Muḥammad ibn Mūsa al-Xwārizmī. The appellation al-xwārizmī means literally “the Khwārizmian”, referring to Khwārizm, now Khiva, in Uzbekistan. Another legacy of this mathematician is that his appellation gave rise to the word algorithm الخوارزمية.
- algorithm or algorism
- الخوارزمي al-xwārizmī, the Khwārizmian. Appellation of the Persian scientist, Muḥammad ibn Mūsa al-Xwārizmī, who wrote the first book on algebra. See algebra in this list
- عضادة , عِضَادة . A surveying instrument.
- العصارة al-ʕaṣārah, the juice. A dye.
- القلي from qalā, to fry, to roast. ‘Alkali’ originally meant a saline substance derived from the ashes of plants.
- al-fisfisa, fresh fodder
- الملغم al-malgham.
- amber/anbar, yellow
- البرقوق al-birquq
- دار الصناعة dār aṣ-ṣināʕa, house of manufacturing
- الخرشوف al-xurshūf or from ardi chawki meaning “land thorn”. Choke شوك is Arabic for thorn.
- حشاشين ḥashshāshīn, Arabic designation of the Nizari branch of the Ismā’īlī Shia Muslims during the Middle Ages.
- عطر itr/utur, perfume,aroma. 
- الباذنجان al-bādhinjān, from Persian bâdinjân ultimately from the Sanskrit vatin gana.
- السموت as-sumūt, the paths
- الزورد al-lazward, ‘lapis lazuli’ – from Persian.
- barding (archaic term for horse armour)
- bardaʿah, packsaddle -any of various pieces of defensive armor for a horse covering, from Persian.
- لبان جاوي labān jāwī, “frankincense of Java”. Benzoin is an organic chemical solvent extracted from a resin of an Asian tree.
- برنوس burnūs, from Latin byrrhus
- قالب qâlib, ‘mould’, derived from Arabic.
- كافور kafur.
- غراف gharrāfa, see decanter.
- كراوية karāwiya
- خرّوب xarrūb, (1) locust; (2) carob bean
- qarāqīr plural of qurqur
- صفر sifr, zero
- قهوة qahwa, itself possibly from Kefa, Ethiopia, where the plant originated.
- قُطْن qutun
- الكرمزي qirmazi, related to the qirmiz, the insect that provided the dye.
- From Arabic word kurkum =saffron, turmeric.
- From Arabic kaffan كفن
- ترجمان tarjumān, from Aramaic turgemānā, in turn from Akkadian.
- غزال ghazāl
- See jerboa in this list; the word “gerbil” is a European created diminutive of “jerboa”, but the words refer to distinct species.
- غول ghūl
- زرافة zarāfa
- From Arabic قيثارة Guithara
- حريم harīm, forbidden thing or place
- حشيش hashīsh, Cannabis
- الزهر az-zahr, chance, name of the pieces used in the game of ‘nard,’ or ‘tawola.’ It can also represent a type of flower.
- حنة hinna
- عفريت Ifreet an ancient demon.
- جرة jarrah, large earthen vase
- from French. jasmin, , from Arabic yas(a)min ياسمين
- Also (Genie) in Arabic is الجن al Jinn Another creation from fire which humans cannot physically see.
- جربوع jarbūa. See also gerbil in this list.
- الكحل al-kuhl, kohl. Powdered stibnite, used for millennia to decorate the eyes and as an eye medicine. (Stibnite is an ore of the element antimony.)
- from Arabic lilak, from Pers. lilak, variant of nilak “bluish,” from nil “indigo”
- ليمه leemah “citrus fruit,” a back-formation or a collective noun from ليمون laymun “lemon”
- from the Egyptian Arabic word lūfa لوفه.
- العود al-ʕūd, “the oud”, a forerunner of the guitar.
- Perhaps mahyas, “aggressive, boasting, bragging.” ; but the OED suggests another Arabic derivation, from Sicilian marfusu (‘scoundrel’), from Spanish marfuz (‘traitor’) from Arabic marfud (‘outcast’).
- مخازين makhāzin, storehouses,
- uncertain origin; possibly from مسخرة maskhara “buffoon” or from an unknown language. In modern Arabic maskhara means to ridicule
- مطرح matrah, (1) spot where something is thrown down; (2) mat, cushion
- مخا al-muxā (or al-mukhā), city of Mocha, Yemen
- مخير muxayyar, having the choice
- موسم mawsim, season
- موميا mūmiyyā, embalmed corpse (ultimately from Persian).
- derived from the name of the Iraqi city of موصل Mosul, where cotton fabric was manufactured
- from the Arabic name of the ‘n’ sound: nuun نون . Medical term: overly frequent or abnormal use (as in stammering) of the sound of the letter n.
- From Arabic word نارنج naranj, from Sanskrit via Persian.
- ببفا babaγā Parrot.
- qat / khat
- قات kat The plant Catha edulis.
- racquet or ‘racket’
- راحة rāhah, palm of the hand
- rahj al-ghar, a mineral
- ream (quantity of sheets of paper)
- رزمة rizma, bale, bundle
- “riz”, from Arabic رز.
- from Swahili safari, journey, in turn from (Arabic: سفر, safar).
- عصفر , أصفر asfar, yellow .
- زعفران zaffarān (or zaffarān), species of crocus plant bearing orange stigmas and purple flowers.
- شاش shāsh, wrap of muslin. See muslin in this list.
- صقع sikka, die, coin
- sherbet, sorbet, shrub, syrup
- شراب sharāb, a drink
- perhaps from سوادة suwwāda, سويد suwayd, or سويدة suwayda, a species of plant
- suffa, stone ledge
- summāq “سمَاق”, from Aramaic.
- From Arabic simsim سمسم
- tabby (fabric)
- عتابي ʕattābī (9attābī), deriv. of (al-)ʕattābiyya, quarter of Baghdad where watered silk was first made, named after a prince, ʕattāb
- طحين ṭaḥīn, flour, which derives from the Arabic verb for “grind”
- طلق ṭalq, from Persian.
- تمر هندي tamr-hindī, date of India
- First oranges imported into Europe were from Tangier, Morocco.
- tarḥa, a discard (something discarded)
- تعريفة taʕrīfa (or ta9rīfa), act of making known; notification
- طشت ṭašt, round, shallow, drinking cup made of metal. Amer. Heritage Dict.
- سمت الرأس samt ar-ra’s, zenith, vertex
- صفر sifr, cipher, zero.
So if you lasted as long as reaching the letter Z then maybe you can leave a comment and include words who’s origin are in your native language (if your native language isnt english) and was incorporated into English and is now part of the popular lexicon.
Thanks for visiting Taji’s Voice Emporium… we try to broaden your world a little with each article.