Urdu, Persian: قفس vs قفص

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In Urdu and as far as I know in Persian too, the word for cage especially in poetry is قفس. However, in the original language (Arabic) I believe the word is قفص. Does anyone know why there is this mismatch?
  2. colognial Senior Member

    You may want to look at what the Persian wikipedia has to say on this. Just search the word and you shall find the link.
    Apparently the origin of the word is Greek. Arab native speakers and those speaking Persian must have just decided each to spell and pronounce the word as it best suits them.
  3. thelastchoice Senior Member

    Arabic S.A.
    قفص is not Greek at all . It is a genuine Arabic word that means cage. It is derivation is clearly explained in Arabic dictionaries. Persian قفس is from Arabic قفص . You may refer to دهخدا's لغت نامه to see that both spellings are used in Persian.[h=1][/h]
  4. Aryamp

    Aryamp Persimod

    Actually دهخدا indicates that it's not an Arabic word and that قفص is the "Arabicized" version of it. Also Mo'in dictionary states that it comes from greek καφασι and latin capsa is also related to it.
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you, everyone for your contributions. My interest is not really in the origin of the word but why it has changed from a Saad/swaad to a siin.
  6. colognial Senior Member

    Which transliteration do you think precedes the other, Qureshpor?
  7. thelastchoice Senior Member

    Arabic S.A.
    Thank you Aryamp for your input. I believe the Greek origin of قفص has no solid basis as the word is derived from the Arabic verb قَفَصَ Qafassa which means to interlace or mesh and this is why we called a cage قفص. Moreover, Arabic word قفص is the origin of Turkish Kafes (cage). Regarding Greek dictionaries, I found that "Dictionary of Standard Modern Greek" -published in December 1998 by the Institute for Modern Greek Studies of the Artistotle University of Thessaloniki - under the Entry ((καφάσι 1 το [kafási])) provides the following etymology of this word as being a Turkish loanword of Arabic Origin : [μσν. καφάσι < τουρκ. kafes (από τα αραβ.) διαλεκτ. kafas -ι].
    The Greek has a word for cage which is
    κλουβί, while καφάσι has two meanings in Modern Greek : a small wooden box or a wooden lattice place on the outer side of a window to ensure privacy. Syriac which is a sister language to Arabic also has ܩܰܦܣܳܐ Qapsa which means the same as in Arabic.
  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Clearly the word is neither Persian nor Urdu and it has come into Persian from Arabic and into Urdu via Persian. Therefore Arabic has got to take the precedence.
  9. Abu Talha Senior Member

    Lane mentions that some think it is the other way round:
  10. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you for everyone's contribution. Much appreciated.

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