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daadraa

a staccato musical mode with quick tempo, kind of song to a quick air

mazduur

a hired labourer, worker

KHair-andesh

thinking well, well wisher

duudh-shariik bahan

foster sister

risaa.ii

related to grief and death, elegiac

zarf

vessel, vase, receptacle

tihaa.ii

one third, one-third part

laa'nat

curse, anathema, imprecation, reproach, reproof, rebuke

qahr Dhaanaa

to be wrathful, to rage

chale na jaa.e aa.ngan Te.Dhaa

a bad workman blames his tools

aage naath na piichhe pagaa

heirless, lone, lone wolf

saahir

magician, sorcerer, wizard, conjuror

ku.Dmaa.ii

the celebration of of an engagement, betrothal, engagement

nazar-bhar dekhnaa

to look carefully

KHvaaja-e-taash

slaves of the same master in relation to one another, slave colleagues

maiyaa

kindness, mercy

qafas

cage for birds

husn-e-talab

a decent way of desiring, nice way of asking

basar

living, livelihood, course of life

basar-auqaat

state of just living a life (esp. with mediocre means), whiling away one's time means of livelihood, passing (one's) time, occupation, employment, subsistence, livelihood, means of living

Home / Blog / The Curious Case of the word Maah

The Curious Case of the word Maah

by Rajat Kumar 03 November 2021 2 min Read

The Curious Case of the word Maah

Words are a great way to map not only how different languages are intertwined, but also how all of the sciences are related to each other.

Before we dive into our feature-word ‘Maah’, let’s quickly rope in another closely related word, ‘Shahr’.

The word Shahr, meaning city or town, is known to one and all and barely needs an introduction. But what’s less known is that it also has an Arabic twin to it; ‘Shahr’ in Arabic means to show up, emerge, or make something public. 

On paper, these two words are written exactly the same way. So, what is it that makes them common? And what is it that makes them distinct? Well, essentially, the same thing!

The Arabic Shahr also means ‘Moon’. Why? Because the moon “emerges”, and the emergence of moon brings forth a ‘Month’, which is another one of Shahr’s (Arabic) meanings.

From Emergence to Moon to Month, notice an incognito logic running behind? 

Well, the same logic gave way to the word ‘Maah’ in Persian, which means both moon and month. And here comes the twist in the tale, the Persian ‘Maah’ is nearly based on the Sanskrit word ‘Maasa’, again, meaning both moon and month.

So, the Persian word ‘Maah’ got its “form” from the Sanskrit ‘Maas’, and its “meaning” (following the logic) from the Arabic ‘Shahr’. 

Where else would you see two distantly-positioned words from different languages conceiving a word in the third one!

It also shows how different language speakers are basically thinking on the same lines.

If you’re wondering, ‘but then what about ‘Shahr’, the city?’. 

Well, it’s a centuries old Persian word which was once scribed as “Kashastar'' and was directly taken from the Sanskrit word ‘Kshetra’, and later morphed into its modern form ‘Shahr’. It’s also the root of many of our everyday words like Mash’huur, Shuhrat, and Tash’hiir.

But the similar-sounding word ‘Ishtihaar’, or advertisement, comes from the Arabic Shahr, from its meaning, ‘to make public’.

How closely knit the complex network of words is, isn’t it?


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