Monday, November 2, 2009

English - Arabic Loan Words: N-R

Today's posting follows on from various wgaw blog archives {see wgaw blog archieves: loan words} and continues the list of English words whose roots are said to have been borrowed, or loaned from the Arabic.

Words in the list below start with the letters 'N' to 'R' and are listed in alphabetical order. The English word is followed by the root word in Arabic [xxx] and then the Arabic meaning. On the line below is the meaning in English.

If I needed help with the English definition I used: 'The Oxford English Reference Dictionary' ISBN: 0-19-860046-1


N

Nabob 
A Muslim
official or governor under the mogul empire

Nacre
Mother of pearl from any shelled mollusc

Nadir
[na-zir as-sam-t'] opposite to the zenith
The part of the celestial sphere directly below the observer. The lowest point in one’s fortunes

Natron
[nat-run]
a mineral form of sodium salts found in dried lake bed


O

Oasis

Open sesame
[if-ta il sim sim-mah]
A means of acquiring or achieving what is normally unattainable (from the magic words used by Ali Baba in the Arabian nights)

Ottoman
utmani of Othman
Concerning the dynasty of Osman I


P
Pia mater
[al umm al ra-ki-kah]  tender mother
The delicate innermost membrane enveloping the brain and spinal cord

Popinjay
[baba-ga]
A conceited person, historically a figure of a parrot on a pole as a mark to shoot at


Q
Qur'an
The Islamic holy book, also spelt Koran


R
Racket
[ra-ha]  palm of the hand
A bat with a round or oval frame strung with nylon used in tennis squash, etc

Ramadan
possibly [ra-ma-da], be hot
The ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset

Realgar
[rehj al ghar]  dust of the cave
A mineral of arsenic sulphide used as a pigment and in fireworks

Ream
[riz-ma]  bundle
500 sheets of paper

Rebec
[rebab]
three stringed musical instrument played with a bow

Rigel
[ri-jil]  foot
The seventh brightest star in the sky and the brightest in the constellation of Orion. It is a blue super giant nearly sixty thousand times as luminous as our sun

Rook
[rukh]   original sense uncertain
Chess piece with its top in the shape of a battlement



2 comments:

Dr. Zaius said...

So that's where the Nattering Naysayers of Nabob come from! ;o)

wgaw said...

;-)