Pashto "Poh" ~ "Intelligent"

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Phosphorus, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Phosphorus Senior Member


    G. Morgenstierne in his etymological work on Pashto cites no obvious etymology for Pashto "poh" ~ "knowing, intelligent". He only points out the possibility of a connection with Avestan "pah-" ~ "see", in an uncertain way. His work, "An Etymological Vocabulary of Pashto", belongs to the beginning decades of the last century, I wonder if any one has suggested further notes on the etymology of Pashto "poh" from then on?

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In the new edition – Morgenstierne/Elfenbein, 2003, p. 61 – poh ‚aware, intelligent‘ and poha ‚intelligence‘ are said to be loanwords from Indo-Aryan, ultimately from Skt. prabōdha- ‘awakening, knowledge’ (Turner no. 8699).
  3. Phosphorus Senior Member

    I see. I recently noticed a fossilized Kurdish suffix "-por" in sense of "aware, knowing" which suggests a root reconstructed as "po-*" (cf. "-jor" ~ "seeker" < "jo-" ~ Per. "جوی-" < جستن). I could not find any Iranian cognates for it. Actually Avestan "pah-" was out of context since Old Iranian "-ah" never gives "-o" in Kurdish, but Pashto "poh" was crossing my mind due to its rather unknown etymology. Many thanks indeed professor.

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