Saturday, August 16, 2014

Midnight at the Oasis

Image result for moonlight caravansery 

Recently, I chanced upon a seductively aesthetic site, beautifully laid out, mostly in Arabic, where the page I discovered seemed devoted to a presentation of a long list of English words that have Arabic derivations.  As one scans down the list and lingers here and there, one may say to oneself, "Hm, very interesting...!"  For example:

Admiral: amir-lbahr أمير البحر
Adobe: al-tuba الطوبة
Alchemy: al-kimia الكيمياء
Alcohol: al-kuhl الكحل

[and, of course, what list of Arabic-derived words would be comprehensive without mentioning...]

Algebra: al-jabr الجبر

[not to mention...]

Algorithm: al-khwarizmi الخوارزمي (لوغارتم-علم اللوغارتمات)

[and, of course...]

Almanac: almanakh المناخ
Assassin: hashashin الحشاشين 


Genie: jinni جنّي

[and some we had suspected...]

Jasmine: yasmin ياسمين
Mocha: mukha مخا
Nadir: nazir as-samt نظير الصمت

[But as we undulate further on our caravan camel, we are again surprised...]

Apricot: al-barquq البرقوق
Arsenal: dar al-sinaa دار الصناعة
Artichoke: al-khurshuf الخرشوف

Borax: buraq بورق
Caliber: qalibقالب
Candy: qand قند
Checkmate: al-shash mat الشاه مات
Cotton: qutn قطن
Gerbil: yarbu يربوع
Ghoul: gul غول
Guitar: qitar قيتار
Hazard: al-zahr الزهر

Jacket: shakka شك
Magazine: makhazin مخازن
Mattress: matrah مطرح
Massage: massمسّ 

Sherbet: sharbat شربة
Sofa: suffa صفّة
Spinach: isbanakh

[And so forth...  We also encounter along the way orientally beguiling samples that make sense in a 'Midnight at the Oasis' sort of way...]

Mascara: maskhara مسخرة
Saffron: zafaran زعفران
Satin: zaytuni زيتوني
Scarlet: siqillat سقلات

Azure: azward azward أزورد
Carmine: qirmiz قرمز
Cinnabar: zinjafr زنجفر
Crimson: qirmizi قرمزي
Elixir: al-iksir الإكسير

[And now for the delicious
pièce de résistance...  for which the reader should know two things: 1) that the English word drub means "to beat, to thrash"; and 2) that Koran 4:34 records Allah instructing Muslim men to beat or thrash their wives, according to the Arabic word (as we shall shortly see) provided in this lovely lexical litany I have been quoting as the wonderful source of that English word that conjures up 19th-century louts in a Dickensian past beating or thrashing their wives...]

Drub: darab ضرب

[Thus the perniciously ugly swamp of Islam behind the mirage of the shimmering chatoyance of its apologetic veil...]


Bob Smith said...

I can't say whether this particular site suffers from the following malady, but I can say that far too many Muslim and Arab oriented sites exaggerate or just plain lie about Muslim and Arab "contributions" to the West.

Hesperado said...

It's pretty evident that that site I linked and quoted from in my article ( positively reeks of Islamophilia and Dawa.