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Thread: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

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    Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    The word Arab is actually of Indo-European right? Is it akin to the word Europe? I know in Persian arab means "west" just like saracin comes from sharq "east." Are these Arabic loans into Persian?

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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    The word Arab is actually of Indo-European right? Is it akin to the word Europe? I know in Persian arab means "west" just like saracin comes from sharq "east." Are these Arabic loans into Persian?
    gharb (غرب) is an Arabic loanword in Persian that means "west". It might be a cognate of "Arab" ages ago in Semitic languages.

    I would like to know where you get this idea that "Arab" has IE roots? Similar words were used in other Semitic languages (~ 9th c. BCE) long before Arabs were introduced to IE speakers (~ Persians in 5th BCE).
    Last edited by Treaty; 1st June 2013 at 8:32 AM.

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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    "The word Arab is actually of Indo-European right? "

    wrong

    "Is it akin to the word Europe?"

    no

    "gharb (غرب) is an Arabic loanword in Persian that means "west"."

    yes

    "It might be a cognate of "Arab" ages ago in Semitic languages."

    ʻarab (with ʻayn) and gharb (with ghayn) are not cognates.
    Last edited by fdb; 1st June 2013 at 10:19 AM.

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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Treaty View Post
    (~ 9th c. BCE) long before Arabs were introduced to IE speakers (~ Persians in 5th BCE).
    Myceneans were present in Palestine well before 9th c. BC. I'm not sure if "Arab" here means inhabitant of the Arabic penninsula.

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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    Quote Originally Posted by sotos View Post
    I'm not sure if "Arab" here means inhabitant of the Arabic penninsula.
    What else?

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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    What else?
    As north as the Ashdod - Al-`Arish coastal area, where Arabs could hypothetically meet Greek speaking seafarers or settlers. only 200 KM from Petra, Arabic area. Few weeks with the herds and all for a nomadic tribe.

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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Treaty View Post
    I would like to know where you get this idea that "Arab"
    An old book about Zoroastrianism links Arab to Europe with the meaning "West" and I think also a negative connotation like hell or underworld because that's where the sun went down.

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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    Quote Originally Posted by origumi View Post
    As north as the Ashdod - Al-`Arish coastal area, where Arabs could hypothetically meet Greek speaking seafarers or settlers. only 200 KM from Petra, Arabic area. Few weeks with the herds and all for a nomadic tribe.
    Yes, I understand that. But what I don't understand why and how this should change the etymological meaning of Arab. The Mycenaean Greeks, e.g., also had trade links with Egypt but that doesn't make Ελλάδα an Egyptian words; so why should the mere contact with Greeks make Arab a Greek word?
    Last edited by berndf; 2nd June 2013 at 1:00 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    The word 'Europe' comes from Greek 'Europe', the name of a goddess. It was not used for the continent until afterwards, and has nothing to do with the word 'West', nor any other direction, except according to a few scholars who have no convincing evidence.

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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    Quote Originally Posted by fdb View Post

    ʻarab (with ʻayn) and gharb (with ghayn) are not cognates.
    I was always wondering about relation and origin of 'ayn and ghayn.
    What is the explanation then, that e.g. Hebrew has 'ariv for west with the root 'ayn-resh-bet where Arabic has ghayn-ra-ba? Thus in Hebrew, the roots for Arab and West are exactly the same ('ayn-resh-bet).

    The same shape of 'ayn and ghayn in my simple thinking suggests close relation even a suggestion that ghayn developed in Arabic from 'ayn. What are your thoughts?
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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    `ayin and ghayin merged in Canaanite laguages, including Hebrew; that's all. Hence, the Phoenician alphabet, from which the Arabic alphabet is ultimately derived, didn't have separate letters for the two sounds and Arabic used the same letter for both sound. Later they added dots to disambiguate letters representing different sounds and the un-dotted letter represented `ayin and the dotted one ghayin.
    Last edited by berndf; 19th June 2013 at 7:39 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Does are Arab and Europe mean "West"?

    Actually, they merged in Hebrew much later. They were likely still separate when the bible was translated to Greek, hence the words Gomorrah and Gaza.

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