القمر (snow blindness)

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Josh_

Senior Member
U.S., English
Apparently the word قمر (qamar), in addition to the more common meaning of moon, also means 'snow blindness' -- a condition of the eye caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays reflected from snow or ice.

I am curious how common this meaning of the word is?

Thanks.
 
  • Haroon

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Egypt
    Apparently the word قمر (qamar),'snow blindness' -- a condition of the eye caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays reflected from snow or ice.

    I am curious how common this meaning of the word is?

    Thanks.
    We are also curious to know your resource :)
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Thank you for your responses.

    I initially came across the word in the Hans Wehr dictionary. It can also be found in Lane's dictionary and Lisaan Al-Arab:
    وقَمِرَتِ الإِبلُ: تأَخر عَشاؤها أَو طال في القَمَر، والقَمَرُ: تَحَيُّرُ البصر من الثلج.
    وقَمِرَ الرجلُ يَقْمَرُ قَمَراً: حار بصره في الثلج فلم يبصر.
    It's interesting because when I first came across the definition of 'snow blindness' for the word قمر I suspected it had something to do with the moon, which on a bright night can reduce the eye's ability to see at night. Reading through the Lisaan Al-Arab entry and the Lane entry I come to find that the root ق-م-ر actually has to do with a color, قُمرة -- a dusky white or a pale green. The name for the moon, قمر , is actually named after this color.

    Yes, I am aware of the term عمى الثلج . I came across it in my research into the word قمر . I imagine it to be a calque from English.

    So what I can deduce from this is that القمر is when one's sight is adversely affected by light reflected off of snow, the light of the moon, (and possibly other similarly bright white-colored objects) while عمى الثلج is the term used for the medical condition. Since القمر with the meaning of 'snow blindness' is very rare these days, perhaps عمى الثلج is also used for the general idea of diminished sight due to the brightness of the snow? Does anyone know?

    On a side note, there is a novel entitled "The Snowblind Moon" and considering an Arabic translation of that title I erroneously thought it might be القمر القمري , thinking that the adjective snowblind would be derived from the noun قمر . Later I realized that it would be derived from the اسم مفعول of the verb قَمَرَ --lمقمور . So the title of the book would be القمر المقمور . I don't know, I just thought it interesting that the phrase "The snowblind moon," composed of two (seemingly) unrelated words in English could be translated by two Arabic words from the same root.

    At any rate, since القمر is rare for the the meaning of 'snow blindness' what do you suppose would be a more appropriate translation for "The Snowblind moon?" I suppose it would be القمر الأعمى الثلج , assuming the term عمى الثلج i is used in contexts other than medical ones.
     
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