ENGLISH words with ARABIC origin: List 2


(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1SpYAZp)

I have never been so amazed at how many words comes from Arabic origin. Let’s look at a few right here. (Taken directly from Wikipedia I’m afraid)



قهوة qahwa, coffee. Coffee drinking originated in Yemen in the 15th century.[24] Qahwa (itself of uncertain origin) begot Turkish kahveTurkish phonology does not have a /w/ sound, and the change from w to v in going from Arabic qahwa to Turkish kahve can be seen in many other loanwords going from Arabic into Turkish (e.g. Arabic fatwa -> Turkish fetva).



زرافة zarāfa, giraffe. The giraffe and its distinctiveness was discussed by medieval Arabic writers including Al-Jahiz (died 868) and Al-Masudi (died 956).[10] The earliest records of the transfer of the Arabic word to the West are in Italian in the second half of the 13th century,[7] a time at which a few giraffes were brought to the Kingdom of Sicily and Naples from a zoo in Cairo, Egypt.[


jar (food or drink container) 

جرّة jarra, an earthenware jar, an upright container made of pottery. First records in English are in 1418 and 1421 as a container for olive oil.[19] Documents for Catalan jarra start in 1233, Spanish jarra in 1251, Italian iarra in 1280s.[20] Arabic jarra is commonplace centuries earlier.[2] For the medieval Arabic and Spanish word, and also for the word’s early centuries of use in English, the typical jar was considerably bigger than the typical jar in English today.[19]


jumper (dress or pullover sweater) 

جبّة jubba, an outer garment.[2] [23] In Western languages the word is first seen in southern Italy in Latin in 1053 and 1101 as iuppa, meaning an expensive garment and made of silk, not otherwise described. Mid-12th-century Latin juppum and late-12th-century French jupe meant some kind of luxury jacket garment.[24] In English, the 14th-century ioupe | joupe, 15th-century iowpe | jowpe, 17th-century jupjuppe, and jump, 18th jupo and jump, 19th jump and jumper, all meant jacket.[25] [21]



ليمون līmūn, lemon. The cultivation of lemons, limes, and bitter oranges was introduced to the Mediterranean region by the Arabs in the mid-medieval era. The ancient Greeks & Romans knew the citron, but not the lemon, lime, or orange.[8] Ibn al-‘Awwam in the late 12th century distinguished ten kinds of citrus fruits grown in Andalusia and spelled the lemon as اللامون al-lāmūnAbdallatif al-Baghdadi (died 1231) distinguished almost as many different citrus fruits in Egypt and spelled the lemon as الليمون al-līmūn.[9] The Arabic word came from Persian.[10] The lemon tree’s native origin appears to be in India.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s