Urdu: BaRa

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Khatmal, May 9, 2014.

  1. Khatmal New Member

    I was wondering whether the word باڑا (as in امام باڑا) is a pure Sanskrit word or not. Many argue that it is a bastardization of the word بارگاہ though Urdu Encyclopedia's entry for the word notes that it is derived from Sanskrit and the earliest known use is 1639.

    Also, does بارگاہ denote a luxurious, upper class location? Would it be uncommon to refer to an everyday location as بارگاہ?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    The Sanskrit derivation makes sense, though the Urdu Encyclopedia version looks slightly mistaken to me. I think they meant to derive it from "vaaTa+ka" (and not baaTa+ka). That would indeed evolve into "baaRaa", whereas the feminine/diminutive version "vaaTikaa" would evolve into "baaRii" (Urdu, South-Western Bengali: garden, orchard, etc. but Standard Bengali: house).

    In Sanskrit "vaaTa" meant an "enclosure", and by extension the "site" inside such an enclosure (e.g. yajña-vaaTa- an enclosed site for yajña-/sacrifices), and also "road" (probably Nepali, Garhwali, etc. "baaTo" = path is related to this?) It is easy to imagine the "enclosed site" meaning evolving into both the garden and the house meanings.


    baargaah > baaRaa would be rather strange I guess. I don't don't know of any other instance of rg>R change, e.g. we don't have dargaah > da(a)Raa or something, do we?
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Further to the detailed reply from Dib Jii, Sanskrit does not have a retroflex R. However, the etymology is most likely as Db Jii has explained. It has definitely nothing to do with baar-gaah.

    There is a place in the Punjab called "DiNgaa" which in Punjabi means something bent. There are people who seem to think it is a corruption of "diin-gaah". How ridiculous!
  4. Khatmal New Member

    Dib's example is exactly what I had in mind - dargaah exists but there is no such thing as daaRaa!

    Thank you both for your help! I truly appreciate it.

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