ENGLISH words with ARABIC origin: List 4


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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)


sash (ribbon) 

شاش shāsh, a ribbon of fine textile wrapped to form a turban, and usually made of muslin.[22] Crossref muslin which entered English at about the same time. Among the earliest records in English is this comment from an English traveller in the Middle East in 1615: “All of them wear on their heads white shashes…. Shashes are long towels of Calico wound about their heads.”[23] In English around 1700 a “shash” (also a “sash”) was a large ribbon of fine textile wrapped around the waist.[24]In Arabic today shāsh means gauze or muslin. [14]


sequin (clothing ornament) 

سكّة sikkaminting die for coins, also meaning the place where coins were minted, and also meaning coinage in general.[3] In its early use in English and French, sequin was the name of Venetian and Turkish gold coins, and it came from Italy.



صفّة soffa, a low platform or dais.[28] The Arabic was adopted into Turkish, and from Turkish it entered Western languages in the 16th century meaning a Middle-Eastern-style dais with rugs and cushions. The Western-style meaning —a sofa with legs— started in late-17th-century French.[28] [18]



سكّر sukkar, sugar. The word is ultimately from Sanskritic sharkara = “sugar”. Cane sugar developed in ancient India originally. It was produced by the medieval Arabs on a pretty extensive scale although it always remained expensive throughout the medieval era. History of sugar. Among the earliest records in England are these entries in the account books of an Anglo-Norman abbey in Durham: year 1302 “Zuker Marok”, 1309 “succre marrokes”, 1310 “Couker de Marrok”, 1316 “Zucar de Cypr[us]”.[31] In other vernacular Western languages the word is found roughly a century earlier. In Latin the early records are in the 12th century spelledzuccarum and zucrum.

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