List of English words of Persian origin

As Indo-European languages, English and Persian have many words of common Proto-Indo-European origin, and many of these cognate words often have similar forms. Examples of these include: English (Mother) and Persian (Madar), English (Father) and Persian (Pedar) and English (Brother) and Persian (Baradar). 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, such as "paradise", date to cultural contacts between the Persians and the ancient Greeks or Romans and through Greek and Latin found their way to English. 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 travelers well into the 19th century. 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 words in the list below, though originally from Persian, arrived in English through the intermediary of Turkish.

Many words also came into English through Hindustani during the British Raj. Persian was the lingua franca of India before British rule.

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.


Abbasi: A Persian coin or unit of weight; an Afghan coin. Etymology: Abbas plus Persian suffix i; literally, "of Abbas", with reference to Abbas I (died 1628), shah of Persia. Not to be confused with the Abbasi family or the Abbasid dynasty.Abkar: A wine manufacturer or seller, whose trade is subject to abkari tax. Etymology: Persian abkar, from ab "water, liquid" (from Old Persian pi-) + kar, "doer" (from Middle Persian).Abkari: Etymology: "abkari." manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors or drugs.Absinthe: Etymology: Perhaps from Persian aspand. alcoholic liqueur distilled from wine mixed with wormwood.Achaemenid: Etymology: Greekified of Old Persian Hakhaamanesh. The Old Persian Achaemenid empire from 559 B.C to 330 B.C. Achar: Etymology: Persian achar. a pickled article of food as prepared in India : a pickle or relishAfreet: Etymology: Arabic ifrit, probably from Persian afarida created being. a powerful evil jinni, demon, or monstrous giant in Arabic mythology.Afghanistan: Afghan combined with Persian suffix stan. Literally meaning "Land of Afghans" in Persian.Ahriman: from Persian Ahriman. Zoroastrian conception of evil.Ahu: Etymology: Persian ahu, from Middle Persian ahuk. the common gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) of central Asia.ahung: Etymology: Chinese a-hong from Persian akhun. theologian, preacher.Ahura Mazda : from Old. Pers Auramazdâ. Zoroastrian conception of God literally meaning wise lord. Akhundzada: Etymology: Hindi akhundzada, from Persian, from akhund teacher + zada son. In India the son of a head officer -- used as a titleAlgorithm : from the name of the Persian scientist Al-Khwarizmi.Alkenkengi: from Arabic al-kakanj the ground-cherry originally from Persian kakunaj.Amani: Etymology: Hindi & Persian aman, from Arabic amanah security. The aman+i (where the suffix i is Persian).Angra Mainyu : older version of Ahriman.Angaria : Etymology: Late Latin, from Greek angareia, from angaros royal (Persian) courier. In Roman and civil law : a compulsory service exacted by the government, a lord, or the churchAngel: Etymology: Middle English angel, from Old French angele, from Late Latin angelus, from Greek angelos (translation of Hebrew mal'kh), literally, messenger, probably of Iranian origin; akin to the source of Greek angaros imperial Persian courier; perhaps akin to Sanskrit angiras one of a group of luminous divine beings. a supernatural spirit especially in Persian, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic theologies that is commonly depicted as being winged and serving as God's messenger and divine intermediary and as special guardian of an individual or nation.Apadana: Etymology: Old Persian apadana palace, from apa- away + dana container. the great hall in ancient Persian palaces.Armenia: etymology not necessarily Persian although first mentioned in the Old Persian inscription of the Achaemenids as Armina. Arman.arsenic : from zarnig.Arya :from Ariya.Aryan : from Old Persian Ariya.As: Etymology: Persian. a Persian card game similar to poker and by some thought to be its progenitor.Asafetida: Etymology: Persian aza (mastic) + Latin foetida. tTe fetid gum resin of various Persian and East Indian plants of the genus Ferula occurring in the form of tears and dark-colored masses, having a strong odor and taste, and formerly used in medicine as an antispasmodicAsmodeus : evil spirit, prince of demons, from L. Asmodaeus, from Gk. Asmodaios, from Talmudic Heb. Ashmeday, from Avestan (Old-Iranian) Aesh-ma-dæva, lit. "Aeshma the deceitful."Assassin: Sometimes considered a Persian word; see Assassin and Hashshashin for discussion.aubergine : from Persian بادنجان Bâdinjân itself maybe originally from Sanskrit.Aumildar: Etymology: from Arabic 'amal work + Persian -dar (agent suffix). A revenue collector in India.Avesta: see next entry.Avestan: Etymology: Avesta, sacred books of the ancient Zoroastrian religion (from Middle Persian Avastik) + English -an. of or relating to the Avesta or to Avestan.Azadirachta: Etymology: New Latin, from Persian azad dirakht, literally, free or noble tree.Azedarach: Etymology: French azédarac, from Persian azad dirakht, literally, free or noble treeAzha : from Persian Ashiyana (آشیانه)Azure (color) : from Medieval Latin azura, from Persian lājaward


Babouche : Etymology: from Persian papoosh (پاپوش), from pa "foot" + poosh "covering." a chiefly oriental slipper made without heel or quarters.Babul: Etymology: Persian babul; akin to Sanskrit babbula, babbla (Acacia arabica). an acacia tree (Acacia arabica) that is probably native to the Sudan but is widespread in northern Africa and across Asia through much of IndiaBadian: Etymology: French badiane, from Persian baadiaan anise.Baghdad : From Middle Persian Bhagadad "Gifted by God"Bakhtiar: Etymology: Persian Bakhtyr, perhaps from bakhtyr fortunate, rich, from bakht fortune, prosperity. a member of the Bakhtiari people.Baksheesh : from Persian bakhshesh (بخشش), lit. "gift," from verb bakhshidan "to give.". a gift of moneyBalaghat: Etymology: probably from Hindi, from Persian baalaa above (from Middle Persian) + Hindi gaht pass. tableland above mountain passes.Balcony: Etymology: balaakhana from Persian balaa = above + khana = house, upperhouse Baluchi: Etymology: Persian Baluch, Baluchi. an Indo-Iranian people blended from a mixture of the Veddoid type isolated in the Hadhramaut and of the Irano-Afghan type and located in Baluchistan in the southwestern part of Pakistan.Baluchistan: Etymology: from Baluchistan, country of western Asia, from Persian Baluchistaan. a rug in somber colors (as mulberry and deep blue) woven by nomad tribes in Baluchistan and especially Seistan.Ban (title) : "governor of Croatia," from Serbo-Croat. ban "lord, master, ruler," from Persian baan (بان) "prince, lord, chief, governor"Barbican: possibly from Persian (khāneh "house").Barsom: Etymology: Persian barsam, from Middle Persian barsum, from Avestan barsman. a bundle of sacred twigs or metal rods used by priests in Zoroastrian ceremonies.Bas: Etymology: Hindi bas, from Persian. The word means Enough, Stop.Bazaar : from Persian بازار bāzār (="market"), from Middle-Persian bahâ-zâr ("The Place of Prices").Bazigar: Etymology: Hindi bazigar, from Persian. literally means a player and it refers to a gypsylike nomadic Muslim people in India.Bedeguar: Etymology: Middle French bedegard, from Persian baadaaward. gall like a moss produced on rosebushes (as the sweetbrier or eglantine) by a gall wasp (Rhodites rosae or related species) Begar: Etymology: Hindi begaar, from Persian bi-kaar. Meaning without work, forced labor.Begari: Etymology: Hindi begaar, from Persian. Meaning a person without work, a forced laborer.Beige: Etymology: French, perhaps from Italian bambagia cotton, from Medieval Latin bambac-, bambax, from Middle Greek bambak-, bambax, probably from a Turkish word represented now by Turkish pamuk cotton, probably of Persian origin; akin to Persian pamba cotton. cloth (as dress goods) made of natural undyed wool. a variable color averaging light grayish yellowish brown. a pale to grayish yellow. "beige" /bazh/ may derive from "camBYSES" (Gk. "byssos" fine cloth, "bysses.byses" fine threads. Persian princes' robe)Belleric: Etymology: French, from Arabic balilaj, from Persian balilah. the fruit of the bahera. compare to MYROBALAN.Bellum: Etymology: modification of Persian balam. a Persian-gulf boat holding about eight persons and propelled by paddles or poles.Benami: Etymology: Hindi benaam, from Persian banaam in the name of + i. made, held, done, or transacted in the name of.Bezoar : from pād-zahr (پادزهر) antidote. Also used in the following words BEZOAR, ORIENTAL BEZOAR, PHYTOBEZOAR, TRICHOBEZOAR, WESTERN BEZOAR. any of various concretions found in the alimentary organs (especially of certain ruminants) formerly believed to possess magical properties and used in the Orient as a medicine or pigment --Bheesty : Etymology: from Persian bihisht heavenly one. India : a water carrier especially of a household or a regiment.Bhumidar : Etymology: Hindi bhumidar, from bhumi earth, land (from Sanskrit also Persian Bumi and Old Persian Bum) + dar holder (from Persian). India : a landholder having full title to his land.Bibi : Etymology: Hindi bibi, from Persian.Bildar : Etymology: Hindi beldar, from Persian bildaar, from bil spade + -dar holder. Digger, Excavator.Biryani : Etymology: Hindi, or Urdu biryaan from Persian beryaan. roasted, grilled. Also an Indian dish containing meat, fish, or vegetables and rice flavored with saffron or turmeric.Bobachee : Etymology: Hindi babarchi, from Persian baawarchi. India : a male cookBombast : Etymology: modification of Middle French bombace, from Medieval Latin bombac-, bombax cotton, alteration of Latin bombyc-, bombyx silkworm, silk, from Greek bombyk-, bombyx silkworm, silk garment, probably of Persian origin; akin to Persian pamba cotton. 1) obsolete : cotton or any soft fibrous material used as padding or stuffing 2) a pretentious inflated style of speech or writing.Borax : Etymology: from Persian burah. the best-known sodium borate Na2B4O7.10H2OBostanji : Turkish bostanci, literally, gardener, from bostan garden, from Persian bustaan flower or herb garden, from bo fragrance + -stan place. one of the imperial guards of Turkey whose duties include protecting the palace and its grounds, rowing the sultan's barge, and acting as imperial gardenersBronze : Etymology : Perhaps ultimately from Pers. birinj "copper.".Brinjal : Etymology: from Persian badingaan, probably from Sanskrit vaatingana. Eggplant.Buckshee : Etymology: Hindi bakhsis, from Persian bakhshish.Budmash : Etymology: Persian badma'sh immoral, from bad bad (from Middle Persian vat) + ma'sh (Arabic) living, life. India : a bad character : a worthless person.Bukshi : Etymology: Persian bakhshi, literally, giver, from bakhshidan to give. India: a military paymaster.bulbul : Etymology: Persian originally borrowed from Arabic. a Persian songbird frequently mentioned in poetry that is a nightingale. a maker or singer of sweet songs. Bund : Etymology: Hindi band, from Persian. An embankment used especially in India to control the flow of water.Bunder Boat : Etymology: Hindi bandar harbor, landing-place, from Persian. a coastal and harbor boat in the Far East.Bundobust : Etymology: Hindi band-o-bast, literally, tying and binding, from Persian. India : arrangement or settlement of details.Burka : Etymology: Russian, probably from buryi dark brown (of a horse), probably of Turkic origin; akin to Turkish bur red like a fox; the Turkic word probably from Persian bur reddish brown;Burkundaz : Etymology: Hindi barqandz, from Persian, from barq lightning (from Arabic) + andz thrower. an armed guard or policeman of 18th and 19th century India.Buzkashi : from Persian buz "goat" + kashi "dragging"


Caftan : Etymology: Russian kaftan, from Turkish, from Persian qaftan. an ankle-length coatlike garment, usually of cotton or silk, often striped, with very long sleeves and a sash fastening, common throughout the Levant.Calabash : possibly from Persian kharabuz, Kharbuzeh (خربزه) melon.Calean : Etymology: Persian qalyaan. a Persian water pipe.Calender : Etymology: Persian qalandar, from Arabic, from Persian kalandar uncouth man. one of a Sufic order of wandering mendicant dervishes.Camaca: Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French camocas or Medieval Latin camoca, from Arabic & Persian kamkha, kimkha. a medieval fabric prob. of silk and camel's hair used for draperies and garments.Candy: from Arabic qandi "candied," derived from Persian qand, meaning "sugar." Carafe :from Arabic gharafa (قرافه), "to pour"; or from Persian qarabah, (قرابه) "a large flagon"Caravan : Etymology: Italian caravana, carovana, from Persian kārawān. a company of travelers, pilgrims, or merchants on a long journey through desert or hostile regions : a train of pack animals.Caravansary: Etymology: modification of Persian kārwānsarā, from kārwān caravan + sarā palace, large house, inn; an inn in eastern countries where caravans rest at night that is commonly a large bare building surrounding a court.Carcass: Etymology: Etymology: Middle French carcasse, alteration of Old French carcois, perhaps from carquois, carquais quiver, alteration of tarquais, from Medieval Latin tarcasius, from Arabic tarkash, from Persian tirkash, from tir arrow (from Old Persian tigra pointed) + -kash bearing (from kashdan to pull, draw, from Avestan karsh-);Carcoon: Etymology: Marathi kaarkun, from Persian kaarkon manager, from kaar work, business + -kon doer. India : CLERK.Cash: Etymology: from Sanskrit karsa, a weight of gold or silver but akin to Old Persian karsha-, a weight. a unit of value equivalent to one cash coin. Cassock : Etymology: Middle French casaque, from Persian kazhaghand padded jacket, from kazh, kaj raw silk + aaghand stuffed. a long loose coat or gown formerly worn by men and women.Caviar : from Fr. caviar, from It. or Turk., from Pers. khaviyar (خاویار), from khaya "egg"+ dar "bearing, holder".Ceterach : Medieval Latin ceterah, from Arabic shtaraj, from Persian shitarakh. A small genus of mainly Old World ferns (family Polypodiaceae) typified by the scale fernChador : Hindi caddar, from Persian chaddar. a large cloth used as a combination head covering, veil, and shawl usually by women among Muslim and Hindu peoples especially in India and Iran.Chakar : Hindi chakor, from Persian chaker. India : a person in domestic service : SERVANT; also : a clerical worker.Chakari: From Chakar. India : domestic or more commonly clerical service.Chakdar: From Panjabi chakdar, from chak tenure (from Sanskrit cakra) + Persian -dar having. a native land tenant of India intermediate in position between the proprietor and cultivator.Chalaza: Old Slavic zledica frozen rain, Persian zhaala hail. Either of a pair of spiral bands of thickened albuminous substance in the white of a bird's egg that extend out from opposite sides of the yolk to the ends of the egg and are there attached to the lining membrane.Chappow: Persian Chapu pillage or Chapaul raid. Word is Mongolian in Origin. Pillage/Raid.Charka: Hindi carkha, from Persian charkha, charkh wheel, from Middle Persian chark; akin to Avestan chaxra- wheel, Sanskrit cakra. Wheel. a domestic spinning wheel used in India chiefly for cotton.Charpoy: From Persian Char-pai. Literally meaning four-footed. a bed consisting of a frame strung with tapes or light rope used especially in India.Chawbuck: Hindi cabuk, from Persian chabuk archaic, chiefly India : a large whip.Check(and Cheque) :check (cheque)(n.) from O.Fr. eschequier "a check at chess," from eschec, from V.L. *scaccus, from shah "king," the principal piece in a chess game (see shah). 1st Sassanid Empire. 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 (from Persian 'chek' (چك)"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.Checkmate: from Middle French eschec mat, from Persian shâh mât (="the King cannot escape")Chess: from Russian Shach, from Persian shah ("the King"), an abbreviation of Shâh-mât (Checkmate).Cheyney: Etymology: probably from Persian chini literally meaning Chinese. a woolen fabric in use during the 17th and 18th centuries.Chick: Hindi ciq, from Persian chiq. a screen used in India and southeast Asia especially for a doorway and constructed of bamboo slips loosely bound by vertical strings and often painted.Chillum: Etymology: Hindi cilam, from Persian chilam.Chilamchi: Etymology: Hindi cilamci, from Persian chilamchi. India : a metal wash basin.China: Modification (influenced by China, the country) of Persian chn(Chinese) porcelain.Chinar: Hindi chinar, from Persian chanar. A type of Oriental Tree.Chobdar: Hindi cobdar. From Persian chubar. from chub, chub staff, wood (from Middle Persian chup wood) + -dar having.Cinnabar : probably from Persian zanjifrahCoomb: Middle English combe, from Old English cumb, a liquid measure; akin to Middle Low German kump bowl, vessel, Middle High German kumpf bowl, Persian gumbed(Gonbad). an English unit of capacity equal to 4 imperial bushels or 4.13 United States bushels.Culgee; Etymology: Hindi kalg, from Persian kalgi jeweled plume. a jeweled plume worn in India on the turban.Cummerbund : from Hindi kamarband (كمربند), from Persian, from kamar (="waist") + band (="band")Cushy : modification of Hindi khush pleasant, from Persian khush.


Daeva: daeva, deva from Avestan daevo; dev from Persian deev. Zoroastrianism : a maleficent supernatural being : an evil spirit. dafadar: From Persian Daf'adaar. from Arabic daf'ah time, turn + Persian -dar holder.Daftar: Hindi, record, office, from Persian Daftar, from Arabic daftar, diftar, from Greek diphthera prepared hide, parchment, leather.Daftardar: Etymology: Hindi daftardar, from Persian, finance officer, from daftar + -dar holder.Dakhma: Etymology: Persian, from Middle Persian dakhmak, from Avestan daxma- funeral place.Daroga: Etymology: Hindi daroga, from Persian daaroga. India : a chief officer; especially : the head of a police, customs, or excise station.Darvesh: Persian darvish.Darzi: Hindi darzi, from Persian Darzi. A tailor or an urban caste of tailors in Hindu society in India.Das: Sanskrit daasa demon, enemy, infidel, slave; probably akin to Persian daah servant, Avestan dahyn-, dainhu-, danghu- land, Old Persian dahyn- land, province, Sanskrit dasyu demon, barbarian. a Hindu slave or servant.Dastur: Hindi dastur custom, from Persian Dastur. customary fee.Dastur: From Persian Dastur. a Parsi high priest.Dasturi: Hindi Dasturi from Persian Dastur. Gratuity.Defterdar: Turkish, from Persian daftardar finance officer. a Turkish government officer of finance; specifically : the accountant general of a province.Dehwar: Persian dehwar=Dih(land)+war (having possession of). : a member of the Dehwar racial type usually having the status of a laborer or slave.

  • del , delta heart, in Persian languageDervish : from Persian Darvish Middle Persian Darweesh. a member of any Muslim religious fraternity of monks or mendicants noted for its forms of devotional exercisesDewan: Etymology: Hindi diwan, from Persian, account book.Demitasse : from Fr., lit. "half-cup," from demi- + tasse, an O.Fr. borrowing from Arabic tassah, from Pers. tasht "cup, saucer".Div: See the Entry Daeva above.Divan: from Persian dēvān (="place of assembly", "roster"), from Old Persian dipi (="writing, document") + vahanam (="house")Doab: Etymology: Persian doab, from do two (from Middle Persian) + -ab water. a tract of land between two rivers : INTERFLUVE.Dogana: Etymology: from Persian, account book. an Italian customhouse.Douane: Etymology: from Persian Divan. CUSTOMHOUSE.Dubber: Etymology: from Persian Dabba. a large globular leather bottle used in India to hold ghee, oil, or other liquid.Duftery: Etymology: from Dafter (Record)+i. A servant in an office whose duty is to dust and bind records, rule paper, make envelopes. An office boy.Dumba: Etymology: Persian, from dumb tail. a fat-tailed sheep of Bokhara and the Kirghiz steppe that furnishes astrakhan.Durbar: Etymology: Persian, from dar door + baar door, admission, audience. admission, audience of the King.Durwan: Etymology: Persian darwan, from dar door (from Middle Persian, from Old Persian duvar-) + Persian -wan keeping, guarding.Dustuck: Etymology: Hindi dastak, from Persian Dastak (handle, related to hand).


Emblic: New Latin emblica, from Arabic amlaj, from Persian aamlah. an East Indian tree (Phyllanthus emblica) used with other myrobalans for tanning.Enamdar: Hindi in'aamdaar, from Persian, from ina'm (originally Arabic meaning Gift) + -dar holder. the holder of an enam (Gifts).Euphrates: From OLd Persian Ufratu "Good to cross over"


Farsakh : Arabic Farsakh from Persian Farsang - فرسنگ - . a Persian metric unit equal to 10 kilometers or 6.21 miles.Farsi : - فارسی - 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".Faujdar : Hindi Fawjdaar from Persian, from Arabic Fawj Host (troops) + Persian daar (holder). petty officer (as one in charge of police).Faujdari: from Persian, from fawjdar. a criminal court in India.Ferghan: from Persian Ferghana. a region in Central Asia. a usually small heavy Persian rug chiefly of cotton having usually a web and a fringed end, a deep blue or rose field with an all over herati sometimes guli hinnai design and a main border with a turtle design, and being highly prized if antique.Feringhee : from Persian 'Farangi'- فرنگی - : from the word Frankish: a person from Europe. The first encounter with Western Europe was during Charlemagne who was King of Franks. From that time the word Farangi means European, especially Western European. Also after the first Crusade this word appeared frequently in Persian and Arabic literature. (in Arabic as 'Faranji' because they could not pronounce /g/) . The Ottoman Turks pronounced it as Feringhee.Fers: Middle English, from Middle French fierce, from Arabic farzan, from Persian farzin. obsolete : a chess queen.Fida'i: Arabic fida (sacrifice) plus Persian suffix 'i'. فدایی - a member of an Ismaili order of assassins known for their willingness to offer up their lives in order to carry out delegated assignments of murdering appointed victims.Firman: from Persian ferman, - فرمان - from Old Persian framaanaa. a decree or mandate, order, license, or grant issued by the ruler of an Oriental country.


Gatch : from Persian گچ (Gach), a plaster used especially in Persian architectural ornamentation.Ghee : from Persian grdan to mixGalingale : from Persian خلنجان khalanjan, a plant.Gherkin : probably from Middle Persian angArah watermelon. a small oblong prickly cucumber of West Indian origin that is used chiefly for pickling -- called also bur gherkinGhorkhar : from Persian گوره خر (Gureh Khar). a wild ass of northwestern India believed to be identical with the onager.Giaour : from Pers. gaur, variant of gabr "fire-worshipper"Gigerium: from Latin gigeria, plural, entrails of fowl, perhaps of Iranian origin; akin to Persian jigar liver.Gizzard: earlier gysard, alteration of gysar, from Middle English giser, gyser, from Old North French guisier liver (especially of a fowl), gizzard, modification of Latin gigeria (neuter plural) cooked entrails of poultry, perhaps of Iranian origin; akin to Persian jigar liver;Gul: Etymology: Persian Gol/Gul گل. Rose.Gulhinnai: Etymology: Persian guli hinna, from Persian gul flower, rose + Arabic hinna/henna. a Persian rug design consisting of a plant with central stem and attached star flowers.Gulmohar: Etymology: Hindi gulmohur, from Persian gul rose, flower + muhr seal, gold coin.Gunge: Etymology: Hindi gãj, of Iranian origin; akin to Persian ganj treasure.Gymkhana: Etymology: probably modification (influenced by English gymnasium) of Hindi gend-khana racket court, from Persian khana house. a meet or festival featuring sports contests or athletic skills: as a : a horseback-riding meet featuring games and novelty contests (as musical chairs, potato spearing, bareback jumping).


Halalcor : Hindi halalkhor, from Persian, from Arabic halal + Persian khor eating. a person in Iran and India to whom any food is lawful.Havildar : Hindi hawaldar, from Arabic 'hawala' charge + Persian 'dar' having. a noncommissioned officer in the Indian army corresponding to a sergeant.Hyleg : modification of Persian hailaj 'material body'. The astrological position of the planets at the time of birthHindi : Hind India, from Persian. literary language of northern India usually written in the Devanagari alphabet that is the official language of several states in India and is scheduled to become the official language of the republic.Hindu : from medieval Persian word Hindu (mod. Hendi), from ancient Avestan hendava ultimately from Sanskrit saindhava. "Indian"Hindustan : Hindi Hindustan, from Persian Hindustan (mod. Hendustan) India.Hircarrah : Persian harkara, from har every, all (from Old Persian haruva-) + kaar work, deed, from Middle Persian, from Old Persian kar- to do, make.Homa: hom from Persian hom, from Avestan haoma. a stylized tree pattern originating in Mesopotamia as a symbol of the tree of life and used especially in Persian textiles.


India: from Persian Hind, from Sanskrit Sindu, a river, in particular, the river Indus.Iran: from Middle Persian Ir (Ary) + an (plural suffix)Ispaghol: literally, horse's ear, from asp horse (from Middle Persian) + ghol ear. an Old World plantain (Plantago ovata) with mucilaginous seeds that are used in preparing a beverage.


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.Jagir : from Persian Ja (place) + gir (keeping, holding). a grant of the public revenues of a district in northern India or Pakistan to a person with power to collect and enjoy them and to administer the government in the district;Jama : from Persian Jama (garment). a long-sleeved cotton coat of at least knee length worn by men in northern India and Pakistan. Also used as suffix in the word Pajama.Jasmine : from yasmin, the name of a climbing plant with fragrant flowers.Jemadar : Hindi jama'dar, jam'dar (influenced in meaning by Persian jam'at body of troops), from Arabic jam' collections, assemblage + Persian dar having. an officer in the army of India having a rank corresponding to that of lieutenant in the English army. any of several police or other officials of the government of India.Jezail : Persian jaza'il. a long heavy Afghan rifle .Jujube : Greek zizyphon, Persian zayzafun, an Asiatic tree with datelike fruit.Julep : from gulab (rose(gul)-water(ab)).


Kabob : or kebab, possibly from Persian kabab کباب, or from identical forms in Arabic and UrduKabuli : : Persian kabuli, of or belonging to Kabul, Afghanistan.Kaftan : from Persian خفتان khaftân.Kajawah: from Persian کجاوه (Kajavah/Kajawah). a pannier used in pairs on camels and mules especially in India .Kala-Azar: from Hindi kala (black) + Persian āzār (disease, pain). a severe infectious disease chiefly of eastern and southern Asia that is marked by fever, progressive anemia, leukopenia, and enlargement of the spleen and liver and is caused by a flagellate (Leishmania donovani) which is transmitted by the bite of sand flies (genus Phlebotomus) and which proliferates in reticuloendothelial cells -- called also visceral leishmaniasis.Kamboh: Etymology: Unabridged Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Kamboh as "a member of a low caste in the Punjab engaged chiefly in agriculture". This definition of Webster for Kamboh is based on a Persian proverb, reportedly of modern origin, according to which, the Afghans, the Kambohs and the Kashmiris are all rogues. This proverb, though very popular, also has several versions, across the length and breadth of north-west region, some of which name the Sindis and/or the Jatts in place of Kambohs. According to H. Blochman, this proverb is of recent origin since it was indeed a matter of honour to belong to the Kamboh lineage during the reigns of Mughal emperors like Akbar and Jahangir etc. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the Sayyids and the Kambohs, from among the Indians, were specially favored for high civil and military positions during muslim rule in India.

The Kambohs are modern representatives of ancient Kambojas (q.v.), a famous Kshatriya (warrior) clan of Indo-Iranian affinities who find numerous references in ancient Sanskrit and Pali tesxts as well as in many ancient inscriptions, including those of king Ashoka.
Numerous Indologists have connected name Kamboja to royal name Cambyses or Kambujiya (q.v.) of the Old Persian Inscriptions.

The Manusmriti, and Indian epic Mahabharata etc. attest that the Kambojas, Sakas, Pahlavas etc were originally noble Kshatriyas, but on account of their defiance of Brahmanical authority and their refusal to follow Hindu rituals & codes of conduct, these foreign conquerors were socially punished by the wrathful Brahmananical clergy who assigned them to a degenerate Kshatriya status (i.e. vrishaltam) in the Brahmanical caste system of India. . Brahmanical text Harivamsa and numerous Puranas also attest that the Kambojas, Yavanas, Sakas, Pahlavas etc were originally high-class Kshatriyas, but it was Vedic king Sagara, the ruler of Kosala, who had forbidden these invaders from performing "Svadhyayas" and "Vasatkaras" (Vedic rituals) and thereby, divested them off their noble Kshatriya status, because these Kshatriyas had wrested Kosala kingdom from his father, king Bahu . Harivamsa rather, describes these Kshatriya invaders as Kshatriya pungavas i, e foremost among the Kshatriyas. Bhishama Parava of Mahabharata delineates the Kamboja lineage as a very high lineage . Bombay Gazetteer maintains that the Kambojas etc lost their original high Kshatriya status because of their famed staunchness to Buddhism over Brahmanism . Dr Romila Thapar maintains that the Kamboj etc clans lost their noble Kshatriya status because of their switching to republican constitution .
A section of Kambojas or Kambohs ruled in Saurashtra, Bengal, and also colonised Sri Lanka & Cambodia. See: Kamboja Colonists of Sri Lanka & Kambojas and Kambodia.Karez: Etymology: kârez an underground irrigation tunnel bored horizontally into rock slopes in Baluchistan. a system of irrigation by underground tunnels.Kemancha: Etymology: from Persian Kamancheh. a violin popular in Middle East, Caucus and Central Asia. It has usually a single string and a gourd resonator and is held vertically when played.Kerana : Etymology: modification of Persian karranâi کرنای, from nâi, reed, reed pipe. a long Persian trumpet.Kenaf : Etymology: Persian. a valuable fiber plant (Hibiscus cannabinus) of the East Indies now widespread in cultivation.Khaki : from khaki (="made from soil", "dusty" or "of the colour of soil"), from khak (= "soil")Khakhsar : Etymology: Hindi khâksâr, from Persian khâkâsr خاکسار humble, probably from khâk dust + -sâr like. a member of a militant Muslim nationalist movement of India.Khan: Arabic khân, from Persian. (not to be confused by the Altaic Khan). a caravansary or rest house in some Asian countries .Khankah: Etymology: Hindi khânaqâh, from Persian khâna house + gâh place.Khidmatgar: from Arabic khidmah service + Persian -gar (suffix denoting possession or agency). In India: a male waiterKhoja: Etymology: originally from Persian khâwja خواجه. used as a title of respect.Khuskhus: Etymology: Persian & Hindi khaskhas. an aromatic grass (Andropogon zizamoides) whose especially fragrant roots yield an oil used in perfumery and are also made into mats in tropical India -- called also vetiver.Kincob: Etymology: Hindi kimkhab, kamkhwab, from Persian. an Indian brocade usually of gold or silver or both.Kiosk : from kushk (="palace, portico, pavilion") or Middle Persian gōšak "corner"Koftgari: Hindi koftgar, from Persian koftgari, from koft blow, beating + -gar doing. Indian damascene work in which steel is inlaid with gold.Koh-i-noor : from Pers. koh کوه "mountain" + Arabic Noor (light)." famous diamond that became part of the British crown jewels after the annexation of Punjab by Great Britain in 1849, from Persian Kh-i-nr, literally, mountain of lightKotwal : Hindi kotwal, from Persian. a chief police officer or town magistrate in India .Kotwalee: Hindi kotwal, from Persian, from kotwalee. a police station in India.Kran: Persian qran. the basic monetary unit of Persia from 1826 to 1932. a silver coin representing one kran. Kurta : Hindi & Urdu kurta, from Persian kurtâ. a loose-fitting collarless shirt. Kusti : Persian kusti, kushti, from kusht waist, side, from Middle Persian kust, kustak. the sacred cord or girdle worn by Parsis as a mark of their faith -- compare.


Lac: Persian lak and Hindi lakh. Resinous substance secreted by the lac insect and used chiefly in the form of shellac. any of various plant or animal substances that yield hard coatings resembling lac and shellac. Lamasery: French lamaserie, from lama + -serie (from Persian sarāi palace, large house).Larin: Etymology: Persian lārī. a piece of silver wire doubled over and sometimes twisted into the form of a fishhook that was formerly used as money in parts of Asia.Lascar: Urdu lashkarī < Pers, equiv. to lashkar army + -ī suffix of appurtenance]. an East Indian sailor. Anglo-Indian. an artilleryman.Lasque: Etymology: perhaps from Persian lashk bit, piece. a flat thin diamond usually cut from an inferior stone and used especially in Hindu work .Leucothoe: legendary Persian princess supposed to have been changed by Apollo into a sweet-scented shrub. a large genus of American and Asiatic shrubs of the family Ericaceae with herbage that contains a poisonous substance similar to that found in shrubs of the genus Kalmia and with flowers in terminal and axillary one-sided racemes.Lemon : Origin: 1350–1400; 1905–10 for def. 4; < ML lemōnium; r. ME lymon < ML līmō, (s. līmōn-) < Pers līmū, līmun. Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.. the yellowish, acid fruit of a subtropical citrus tree, Citrus limon. According to Although we know neither where the lemon was first grown nor when it first came to Europe, we know from its name that it came to us from the Middle East because we can trace its etymological path. One of the earliest occurrences of our word is found in a Middle English customs document of 1420-1421. The Middle English word limon goes back to Old French limon, showing that yet another delicacy passed into England through France. The Old French word probably came from Italian limone, another step on the route that leads back to the Arabic word laymūn or līmūn, which comes from the Persian word līmūn.Lilac : from Pers. lilak, variant of nilak "bluish," from nil "indigo"Lungī: Hindi lungī, from Persian. a usually cotton cloth used especially in India, Pakistan, and Burma for articles of clothing (as sarongs, skirts, and turbans).Laari: Etymology: probably from Divehi (Indo-Aryan language of the Maldive Islands), from Persian lr piece of silver wire used as currency, from Lārī, town in S Persia where the currency was first minted. a Maldivian monetary unit equal to 1/100 rufiyaa. a coin representing one laari.


Magic: Middle English magik, from Middle French magique, from Latin magicus, from Greek magikos, from magos magus, wizard, sorcerer (of Iranian origin; akin to Old Persian magush sorcerer). of or relating to the occult : supposedly having supernatural properties or powers .Magus, magi : from magus, from Old Persian maguš "mighty one", Priest of Zoroastrianism. A member of the Zoroastrian priestly caste of the Medes and Persians. Magus In the New Testament, one of the wise men from the East, traditionally held to be three, who traveled to Bethlehem to pay homage to the infant Jesus.Malguzar : Hindi malguzar, from Arabic mal property, rent + Persian guzar payer. Equivalent to Malik in India.Manichean: Latin Manichaeus member of the Manichean sect (from Late Greek Manichaios, from Manichaios Manes died ab276A.D. Persian sage who founded the sect) + English -an. of or relating to Manichaeism or the Manichaeans. characterized by or reflecting belief in Manichaeism. Manicheanism was founded by Mani.Manticore : from O. Pers. word for "man eater," cf. martiya- "man" + root of khvar- "to eat". a legendary animal having the head of a man often with horns, the body of a lion, and the tail of a dragon or scorpion.Markhor : Persian mār(snake)+khōr(eating), consuming (from khōrdan to eat, consume). a wild goat (Capra falconieri) of mountainous regions from Afghanistan to India.Mazdak: Name of Persian reformer of Zoroastrian Faith.Mazdakite: from Mazdak (of belonging to Mazda), 5th century A.D. Persian religious reformer + English ite. a member of the sect of Mazdak.Mazdoor: Hindi mazdur, from Persian muzdur. an Indian laborer.Mehmandar: Persian mihmāndār, from mihmān guest (from Middle Persian mehmān) + -dār holder. an official in India, Persia, or Afghanistan appointed to escort an ambassador or traveler .Mehtar: Persian mihtar prince, greater, elder, from mih great (from Middle Persian meh, mas) + -tar, comparative suffix (from Middle Persian, from Old Persian -tara-). A groom Mesua: New Latin, from Johannes Mesuë (Arabic Yuhanna ibn-Masawayah) died 857 Persian Christian physician Masawayah in the service of the Caliph. a genus of tropical Asiatic trees (family Guttiferae) having large solitary flowers with a 2-celled ovary. Mezereon: Middle English mizerion, from Medieval Latin mezereon, from Arabic mazariyun, from Persian. a small European shrub (Daphne mezereum) with fragrant lilac purple flowers that appear before the leaves, an acrid bark used in medicine, and a scarlet fruit sometimes used as an adulterant of black pepper.Mirza: Persian mirza, literally, son of a lord. a common title of honor in Persia prefixed to the surname of a person of distinction.Mithra: from the name of the Persian God Mithra.Mithraeum: from Persian MithraMithraism: from Persian MithraMobed: a Parsi priest. The word is cognate with Magian and Magus.Mogul : from mughul (="Mongolian")Mohur: Hindi muhur, muhr gold coin, seal, from Persian muhr; an old gold coin of the Moguls that circulated in India from the 16th century. any one of several gold coins formerly issued by Indian states (as Bikaner, Gwalior, Hyderabad) and by Nepal and Tibet.Mummy: Middle English mummie, from Middle French momie, from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic mumiyah mummy, bitumen, from Persian mum wax. a concoction formerly used as a medicament or drug containing powdered parts of a human or animal body.Murra: Etymology: Latin, probably of Iranian origin like Greek morrhia murra; akin to Persian mori, muri little glass ball. a material thought to be of semiprecious stone or porcelain used to make costly vessels in ancient Rome. Musk : ultimately from Middle Persian musk, from Sanskrit muska (="testicle") from diminutive of mus (="mouse"). a substance that has a penetrating persistent odor, that is obtained from a sac situated under the skin of the abdomen of the male musk deer, that when fresh in the pods is brown and unctuous and when dried is a grainy powder, that varies in quality according to the season and age of the animal, and that is used chiefly in the form of a tincture as a fixative in perfumesMusth : Hindi mast intoxicated, ruttish, from Persian mast; akin to Sanskrit madati he rejoices, is drunk . a periodic state of murderous frenzy of the bull elephant usually connected with the rutting season and marked by the exudation of a dark brown odorous ichor from tiny holes above the eyes- on must also in must : in a state of belligerent fury -- used of the bull elephant.Mussulman : from Persinan musulman (adj.), from Arabic Muslim (q.v.) + Persian adj. suffix -an.


Nakhuda : Etymology: Persian nākhudā, from nāv boat (from Old Persian) + khudā master, from Middle Persian khutāi. a master of a native vessel.Namaz : Etymology: Persian namāz. akin to Sanskrit namas obeisance . Islamic worship or prayer.Naphtha : Latin, from Greek, of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan napta moist, Persian neft naphtha; from Persian naft "naphtha". perhaps akin to Greek nephos cloud, mist. petroleum especially when occurring in any of its more volatile varieties.Nargil: Origin: 1830–40; < Turk nargile < Pers nārgīleh, deriv. of nārgīl coconut, from which the bowl was formerly made.Nauruz: Persian nauruz. literally, new day, from nau new + ruz. the Persian New Year's Day celebrated at the vernal equinox as a day of great festivity.Nay: Etymology: Arabic nay, from Persian. a vertical end-blown flute of ancient origin used in Muslim lands .Neftgil: Etymology: German, from Persian naftdagil naphtha clayNumdah: Etymology: Hindi namda, from Persian namad, from Middle Persian namat; akin to Avestan namata. a thick felted rug of India and Persia usually made of pounded goat's hair and embroidered with bird or floral designs in colored wool yarn Naan: Etymology: Hindi + Urdu + Persian nan bread; Hindi + Urdu nan, from Persian nan; akin to Baluchi nayan bread, Sogdian nyny. a round or oblong flat leavened bread especially of the Indian subcontinent .Nuristani: Etymology: Persian nuristan (Arabic Nur+Persian Istan(Place)), from Nuristan, region of northeastern Afghanistan.


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


Padishah: Origin: 1605–15; < Pers (poetical form), equiv. to pādi- (earlier pati) lord + shāh. More on Etymology:Persian pādishah, from Middle Persian pātakhshah, from Old Persian pati + xshay- to rule; akin to Avestan xshayeti. great king; emperor (a title applied esp. formerly to the shah of Iran, the sultan of Turkey, and to the British sovereign as emperor in India).Pagoda : via Portuguese pagode, from a corruption of Pers. butkada, from but "idol" + kada "dwelling.Pahlavi : Etymology: Middle Persian Pahlavi. The Middle Persian language of Sassanid Persia. a script used for writing Pahlavi and other Middle Iranian languages.Pajama: from Hindi paajaama, from Persian pāë (pāÿ) jāmah, from pAy (="leg") + jAma (="garment"). of, pertaining to, or resembling pajamas: a pajama top; a lounging outfit with pajama pantsPaneer: Hindi & Urdu panir, from Persian (Cheese). a soft uncured Indian cheese .Papoosh: earlier papouch, from French, from Persian pāpush. BABOUCHE .Para: Etymology: Turkish, from Persian pārah. a Turkish monetary unit equal in modern Turkey to 1/4000 of a lira. any one of several units of value formerly used in countries at one time under the Turkish Empire.Paradise : from Greek paradeisos (=enclosed park"), from the Avestan word pairidaeza (a walled enclosure), which is a compound of pairi- (around), a cognate of the Greek περί peri-, and -diz (to create, make), a cognate of the English dough. An associated word is the Sanskrit word paradesha which literally means supreme country. Parasang : Latin parasanga, from Greek parasanges, of Iranian origin; akin to Persian farsung parasang
any of various Persian units of distance; especially : an ancient unit of about four miles (six kilometers)Pargana : Etymology: Hindi pargana, from Persian. a group of towns in India constituting an administrative subdivision of the zillah.Parsee : Etymology: from O.Pers. parsi "Persian." In M.E., Parsees from Pârsi. Meaning Persian. Also Zoroastrian of India descended from Persian refugees fleeing Islam in the 7th century and settling principally at BombayParthia :from Latin< Old Persian parthava-, variant form of the stem Parsa-, from which Persia derivesParthian : see ParthiaParting Shot : from Parthian Shot, originally a reference to the Parthian tactic of firing arrows at the enemy even when retreating. It has come to mean a verbal salvo given by the person leaving the area.Pasar: : Malay, from Persian bāzār. See bazar. an Indonesian public market .Pasha : Turkish paşa possibly from Persian pādshāh; see Padishah.Pashm : Etymology: pashm, pashim from Persian pashm wool; pashmina from Persian pashmn woolen, from pashm. the under fleece of upland goats of Kashmir and the Punjab that was formerly used locally for the production of rugs and shawls but is now largely exported.Pashmina : from Pashmineh, made from pashm; pashm (= "wool"). the fine woolly underhair of goats raised in northern India.Pashto: Persian pashtu, from Afghan. According to Morgenstein the word is akin to Parthava, Persian, Pahlav. The Iranian language of Pathan people and the chief vernacular of eastern Afghanistan, North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, and northern BaluchistanPeach : 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").Percale: Persian pargālah. a firm smooth cotton cloth closely woven in plain weave and variously finished for clothing, sheeting, and industrial uses
.Percaline: French, from percale (from Persian pargālah) + -ine. a lightweight cotton fabric made in plain weave, given various finishes (as glazing, moiré), and used especially for clothing and linings; especially : a glossy fabric usually of one color used for bookbindings.Peri : Persian peri fairy, genius, from Middle Persian parik. Persian folklore : a male or female supernatural being like an elf or fairy but formed of fire, descended from fallen angels and excluded from paradise until penance is accomplished, and originally regarded as evil but later as benevolent and beautiful . Also a beautiful and graceful girl or woman .Persepolis : from Pârsa+ Greek polis.Persia: from Old Persian Pârsa Persis : from Old Persian PârsaPeshwa: Hindi & Marathi pesva, from Persian peshwa leader, guide, from pesh before. the chief minister of a Maratha prince .Pilaf Origin: 1925–30; < Turk pilâv < Pers pilāw. a Middle Eastern dish consisting of sautéed, seasoned rice steamed in bouillon, sometimes with poultry, meat or shellfish.Pir : Etymology: Persian Pir (Old Man). a religious instructor, esp. in mystical sects.Pistachio : from Latin pistācium, from Greek πιστάκιον, from Persian pistah. small tree (Pistacia vera) of southern Europe and Asia Minor having leaves with 3 to 5 broad leaflets, greenish brown paniculate flowers, and a large fruit. the edible green seed of the pistachio tree .Posteen: Persian pustin of leather, from pust skin, from Middle Persian. an Afghan pelisse made of leather with the fleece on.Popinjay : from O.Fr. papegai (12c.), from Sp. papagayo, from Ar. babagha', from Pers. babgha "parrot,"Prophet Flower: translation of Persian guli paighmbar flower of the Prophet (Muhammad died A.D.632 Arabian prophet and founder of Islam). an East Indian perennial herb (Arnebia echioides) having yellow flowers marked with five spots that fade after a few hours; also : a related annualPunjab : via Hindi Panjab, from Pers. panj "five" + ab "water.". of or relating to the Punjab or its inhabitants.Purwannah: Hindi parwana, from Persian. a written pass or permit.Pyke: Hindi pāyik, pāyak messenger, from Persian dialect England : a civilian at whose expense a soldier is treated or entertained.


rank : from Persian rang meaning "color", as the Sassanid army was ranked and dressed by color 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-. Zieroxanne : fem. proper name, from Fr., from L. Roxane, from Gk. Rhoxane, of Pers. origin (cf. Avestan raoxšna- "shining, bright").


Sabzi: Etymology: Hindi sabz, literally, greenness, from Persian. a green vegetableSaffian: Etymology: Russian saf'yan, from Turkish sahtiyan, from Persian sakhtiyn goatskin, from sakht hard, strong. a leather made of goatskins or sheepskins tanned with sumac and dyed with bright colors.Samosa: Etymology: Hindi samosa from Persian sambusa. a small triangular pastry filled with spiced meat or vegetables and fried in ghee or oilSandal: Etymology: Arabic sandal, from Persian sandal skiff.Saoshyat: Etymology: Avestan, savior. one of three deliverers of later Zoroastrian eschatology appearing at thousand year intervals and each inaugurating a new order of things and a special period of human progress.Sapindales : from Persian Spand (اسپند)Sarangousty: Etymology: Persian sar-angushti thin paste for painting the tips of fingers, from sari angusht fingertip, fromsar head + angusht finger, toe. stucco made waterproof for protection against dampness.Sard from Persian زرد Zard.Sarod: Etymology: Hindi sarod, from Persian.Sarwan: Etymology: Persian saarbaan. a camel driver.Satrap: governor of a province of ancient Persia, from Latin satrapes, from Greek satrapes, from Old Persian kshathrapavan-, lit. "guardian of the realm, scarlet : from Pers. saqalat "a type of red cloth". a rich cloth of bright color. a vivid red that is yellower and slightly paler than apple redScimtar: Etymology: Middle French cimeterre, from Old Italian scimitarra, perhaps from Persian shamshir. a type of blade. Sebesten: Etymology: Middle English, from Arabic sibistn, from Persian segpistan. an East Indian tree (Cordia myxa) with white flowers in loose terminal panicles.Seer: Etymology: Hindi ser; perhaps akin to Persian seer. a unit of weight.Seerpaw: Etymology: Sar(head)+paa(feet). head to foot.Seersucker : from Hindi sirsakar, E. Indian corruption of Pers. shir o shakkar "striped cloth," lit. "milk and sugar".Sepoy: Etymology: modification of Portuguese sipai, sipaio, from Hindi sipah, from Persian, horseman, soldier of the cavalry, from sipah army. a native of India employed as a soldier in the service of a European power; especially : one serving in the British army.Serai: Etymology: from Persian saraay, palace, mansion, inn.Seraglio : from sarây "innSerang: Etymology: Persian sarhang commander, boatswain, from sar chief + hang authority. boatswain. the skipper of a small boat.Serdab: Persian sardab ice cellar, from sard cold + ab water. a living room in the basement of a house in the Near East that provides coolness during the summer monthsSerendipity : from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip سه شاهزاده‌ى سرانديپ, from Persian Sarandip سرانديپ(="Sri Lanka"), Sesban: Etymology: French, from Arabic saisabaan, from Persian sisabaan. Either of two East Indian plants of the genus Sesbania (S. aculeata and S. aegyptiaca).Setwall: Etymology: from Persian zaadwar.Shabundar/Shabandar: Etymology: From Persian shahbandar, from shah King + bandar city, harbor. Shah : Etymology: from shāh, from Old Persian χšāyaþiya (="king"), from an Old Persian verb meaning "to ruleShahi: Etymology: Persian shahi. a former Persian unit of value equal to 1/20 silver kran; also : a corresponding coin of silver or copper or nickelShahidi: Etymology: Arabic Shahid (one who bears witness) + Persian suffix i.Shahin: Etymology: Persiah Shahin (Falcon). an Indian falcon (Falco peregrinus peregrinator) having the underparts of a plain unbarred ferruginous color, being related to the peregrine falcon, and used in falconryShahzada: Etymology: Hindi shah-zada, from Persian, from shah king + zada son. The son of a Shah.shame:from SHARM in Persian language.Shamiana: Etymology: Hindi shamiyana, from Persian shamyanah. a cloth canopyShawl : Etymology: from Persian shāl.Sherristar: Etymology: from Hindi sarrishtadr, from Persian sarrishta(sarreshteh) record office + daar having. Registrar. Sherry : According to one theory, it is from Jerez in Spain, which itself comes from Pers Shiraz during the time of Rustamid empire in Spain. The theory is also mentioned by Professor. T.B. Irving in one of his book reviewsSherryvallies: Etymology: modification of Polish szarawary, from Russian sharavary, from Greek sarabara loose trousers, probably of Iranian origin; akin to Persian shalwar, shulwar loose trousers. overalls or protective leggings of thick cloth or leather formerly worn for riding on horsebackShikar: Etymology: Hindi sikar, from Persian shikaar, Middle Persian shkaar. The word means hunting.Shikargah: Etymology: Hindi sikaargaah, from Persian shikrgaah, from shikaar hunting + -gah place. A grame preserve.Shikari: Etymology: From Persian Shikar+Persian suffix (i) denoting possession. a big game hunter.Shikasta: Etymology: Persian shikasta broken, from shikastan شكستن to break, from Middle Persian shikastan.Shikra: Etymology: from Persian shikara bird trained to hunt. a small Indian hawk (Accipiter badius) sometimes used in falconry.Simurgh : Etymology: from Pers. simurgh, from Pahlavi sin "eagle" + murgh "bird." Cf. Avestan saeno merego "eagle," Skt. syenah "eagle," Arm. cin "kite.". a supernatural bird, rational and ancient, in Pers. mythology.Sipahis: See Spahi and Sepoy.Sircar: Etymology: Hindi sarkaar, from Persian sarkaar. a district or province in India under the Mogul empire. the supreme authority . used also as a title of respect. in Bengal a domestic servant having the functions of a steward.Sitar : Etymology: via Hindi sitar, from Pers. sitar "three-stringed," from sih/seh "three" (O.Pers. thri-) + Persian. tar "string". an Indo-Iranian lute with a long broad neck and a varying number of strings whose various forms are used in Iran, Afghanistana and the Indian subcontinent.Softa : Etymology: Turkish, from Persian sukhtah burnt, kindled (with love of knowledge).Sogdian : Etymology: Latin sogdianus, from Old Persian Sughuda. of, relating to, or characteristic of ancient Sogdiana. Soorki:: Etymology: Hindi surkh, from Persian surkh, literally, redness, from surkh red, from Middle Persian sukhr; akin to Avestan suXra- bright, Sanskrit sukraSowar: Etymology: Persian suwar rider, from Middle Persian asbar, aspwar, from Old Persian asabra- horseman, from asa- horse + -bra- carried by, rider. a mounted orderly. Lancer.Spahi: Etymology: Middle French spahi, from Turkish sipahi, from Persian سپاه from Pahlavi spāh, from Old Persian taxma spāda, from Avestan spādha, meaning army, military. one of a corps of Algerian native cavalry in the French army normally serving in Africa. one of a corps of largely irregular Turkish cavalry disbanded after the suppression of the Janissaries in 1826.Spinach : Etymology: Middle French espinache, espinage, from Old Spanish espinaca, from Arabic isbnakh, isfinaakh, from Persian aspanakh.-Stan : meaning "land" or "country", source of place names such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, etc., from Pers. -stan "country," from Indo-Iranian *stanam "place," lit. "where one stands, Subahdar: Etymology: Persian subadar, from suba province + -dar having, holding, from Old Persian dar- to hold. the chief native officer of a native company in the former British Indian army having a position about equivalent to that of captainSugar : Etymology: The word is Sanskrit which is an Indo-Iranian language of the Indo-Aryan branch but Persian played a role in transmitting it. Middle English sugre, sucre, from Anglo-French sucre, from Medieval Latin saccharum, from Old Italian zucchero, from Arabic sukkar, from Pahlavi shakar, ultimately from Sanskrit sarkaraSuclat: Etymology: Hindi suqlaa, from Persian saqalaat a rich cloth. In India any of various woolens; specifically European broadcloth.Surma: Etymology: Persian Surma. native antimony sulfide used in India to darken the eyelids.Surnay: Etymology: Persian Surnaay. a Middle Eastern and Central Asian oboe.syagush: Persian siyah-gush, literally, black ear. Caracal.Samosa: Etymology: Hindi samos & Urdu samosa, sambsa, from Persian sambusa.


Tabasheer: Etymology: Hindi tabshr, from Persian. a siliceous concretion in the joints of the bamboo valued in the East Indies as a medicine.Tabor: Etymology: Middle English tabur, from Old French, alteration of tambur. See tambour.Taffeta : Etymology: from Persian taftah meaning woven. Tahsildar: Etymology: Hindi tahsildar, from Persian, from Arabic tahsil + Persian -dar. a revenue officer in India. Taj: Etymology: Arabic taj, from Persian taj, crown, crest, cap. a cap worn in Muslim countries; especially : a tall cone-shaped cap worn by dervishes.Taj Mahal : from Pers., lit. "the best of buildings;" or "the Crown's Place".Tajikistan : Tajik combined with Persian suffix -stan. Literally meaning "Land of Tajiks" in Persian.Talc : from Pers. talk "talc."Tambour: Etymology: French, drum, from Middle French, from Arabic tanbur, modification (influenced by tunbur, a lute) of Persian tabir.Tambourine : See above.Tanbur: Etymology: Persian Tambur.Tangi: Etymology: Persian Tangi. a narrow gorgeTandoori : from tannur "oven, portable furnace,"+Persian suffix i. Tapestry : probably from an Iranian source (cf. Pers. taftan, tabidan "to turn, twist").Tar: Etymology : Persian. An oriental lute.Tarazet : from (Shahin-e Tarazu) شاهین ترازوTass: Etymology: Middle French tasse, from Arabic tass, tassah, from Persian tast. a drinking cup or bowl.Tebbad: Etymology: perhaps from Persian tab fever + bad wind, from Middle Persian vat; akin to Avestan vata- wind, Sanskrit vata.Temacha: Etymology: Persian tamakhra joke, humor. a Persian comic or farcical interlude performed by traveling players.Thanadar: Etymology: Hindi thandar, from than + Persian -dar having. the chief officer of a thana.Tiara : via Latin tiara from Persian تاره taraTimar: Etymology: Turkish timar attendance, care, timar, from Persian tmr sorrow, care. a Turkish fief formerly held under condition of military service.Tiger : via Greek tigris from an Iranian sourceTigris : From Middle Persian Tigr "arrow", originally from Old Persian Tigra "pointed" or "sharp"Toque : from O. Pers. taq "veil, shawl."Tranky: Etymology: Persian dialect tranki. an undecked bark used in the Persian gulf.Trehala: Etymology: probably from French tréhala, from Turkish tgala, from Persian tighal.Tulip : Etymology: any of various plants belonging to the genus Tulipa. from French tulipe, from Persian dulband. Turan : from Persian تورانTuranian: Etymology: Persian Turan Turkistan, the region north of the Oxus + English -ian. A member of any of the peoples of Ural-Altaic stock.Turanite: Etymology: from Persian Turan + Russian -it' -ite. a basic vanadate of copper prob. Cu5(VO4)2(OH)4.Turanose: Etymology: German turanos, from Persian Turan + German -os -ose; obtained by the partial hydrolysis of melezitose; 3-α-glucosyl-fructoseTurban : from Persian dulband Band = To close, To tie.Turkmenistan : Turkmen combined with Persian suffix -stan. Literally meaning "Land of Turkmens" in Persian.Typhoon : Etymology: from Persian word Toofaan (طوفان )


Uzbekistan : Uzbek combined with Persian suffix -stan. Literally meaning "Land of Uzbeks" in Persian.


Vispered: Avestan vispa ratavo meaning all the lords. one of the supplementary ritual texts included in the Avestan sacred writings.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".


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


Yarak : Etymology: From Persian yaraki power, strength. good flying condition : FETTLE -- used of a hawk or other bird used in hunting eagles ... are difficult to get into yarak -- Douglas Carruthers.Yasht: Modern Persian یشت from Avesta. Avestan yashtay adoration. one of the hymns to angels or lesser divinities forming part of the Avesta .Yuft: Etymology: Russian yuft', yukht', perhaps from Persian juft pair.


Zamindar : Etymology: zamindar, from Persian, from zamn land + -dar holder meaning "Possessor of real estate" in Persian. A collector of revenues from the cultivators of the land of a specified district for the government of India during the period of Muslim ruleZamindari: Etymology: from Persian, from zamindar.Zanza : Etymology: Arabic sanj castanets, cymbals, from Persian sanj. an African musical instrument consisting of graduated sets of tongues of wood or metal inserted into and resonated by a wooden box and sounded by plucking with the fingers or thumbs.Zarathushtra or Zarathustra : the Persian prophetZedoary: Etymology: Middle English zeduarie, from Medieval Latin zeduria, from Arabic zadwr, from Persian. an East Indian drug consisting of the rhizome of either of two species of curcuma, Curcuma zedoaria or C. aromatica, used as a stimulant.Zenana: Etymology: From Persian zan woman. The literal meaning is Women-related. The part of a dwelling in which the women of a family are secluded in India and Persian.Zena : feminine given name from Persian Zan (woman).Zerda: Etymology: Arabic zerdaw, probably of Persian origin. Fennec.Zircon : from Persian zargun زرگون, "gold-coloredZirconate: zircon + the suffix -ate, from Latin -atusZirconia: zircon + the New Latin -ia suffixZirconium: zircon + the New Latin suffix -iumZoroaster : from Persian ZarathushtraZoroastrianism : The religion brought forth by Zoroaster. Zumbooruk: from Persian zanburah.


Abbreviation Reference abbreviated
AHD online The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition. Free site.
MW Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002.
MW Online Merriam-Webster Unabridged. Subscription required.
OED Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989.
OED Online Oxford University Press. Free site.


  • Online etymology dictionary
  • Persian in English: Interaction of languages and cultures. by Mirfazaelian A., published by Farhang Moaser, Tehran, Iran 2006. (in Persian)

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