Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Turkish: اتکہ ; milk parents/siblings

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Alfaaz, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Note: Included Arabic and Turkish (apart from Persian and Urdu) because of the derivation of the word and also as the concept seems to exist in these languages and may have even influenced the Indo-Irani languages (due to culture and/or religion)...

    was recently thinking about whether ہمشیر / hamsheer could be used by a female to refer to her brother (by relation of milk only, not biological). Just saw this word اتکہ , which is derived from ترکی /Turkish:

    • What are other words in these languages to refer to "milk parents" or "milk siblings" (who become محرم for the baby)...?
      • (Would also be interested in the Arabic/Islamic terms...)
    • Are there such terms in English (excuse the use of milk parents/siblings, couldn't think of any other terms)...?
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  2. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    The word ہمشیر is actually derived from Persian (made up of the Persian words هم and شیر, see here) but may well have entered Urdu through Chaghatay Turkish. In Persian the word can refer to a 'milk-sibling' whether male or female, whereas the word همشیره refers specifically to a 'milk-sister'. In Urdu, at least according to Platts, the same is true.

    Interestingly enough, in modern Istanbuli Turkish (which is quite different from classical Chaghatay Turkish in many respects), only the word 'hemşire' remains which can mean either 'sister' (not brother) or 'wet nurse' (ie. the person who feeds the milk-siblings) !

    The only term I could come up with in English is 'uterine sibling' which is not precisely the same thing, necessarily- it refers to siblings who have the same mother but different fathers. For this word there is the Arabic شقیق shaqiiq (m) and شقیقة shaqiiqa (f). Steingass also lists several other words for this in Persian, some of which are derived from Arabic.
  3. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Thanks for replying! Yes, I agree that humsheer is from Farsi. I guess I shouldn't have included that part (it was supposed to be a تمہید :) as to how this current question/idea arose for asking about اتکہ / "milk-parents"). There was a thread in the past on hamsheer/hamsheerah, in which it was said that both are mostly used for a female in Urdu, but could perhaps be used for a male also. The Turkish derivation was mentioned for اتکہ , which is given above and seems to mean milk parents (as well as wet nurse)...
    But this would mean that the children/siblings are given birth by the same woman, so they are biologically related........not the same as just being related by milk.....?
  4. BP. Senior Member

    A relation of milk woulk would be رضائی رشتہ. Your suggestion would lead to ہمشیرگی which seems a good alternative.
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Arabic shaqiiq and shaqiiqa mean "full brother/full sister", that is: a brother/sister sharing both parents. The word for "milk brother" is رضيع . The correct English word, by the way, is "foster brother", where "foster" is actually cognate with "food". So foster brothers are brothers who shared the same food.
  6. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Correct. From Lisan al-Arab: شَقِيقُ الرجل: أَخوه لأُمّه وأَبيه
    In Arabic, as far as I know, it means the child who's breastfed.
    In Arabic, people who are sibling because they were breastfed by the same woman are called إخوة في الرضاعة . The woman who breastef a child who isn't hers become his أم في الرضاعة or as the Qur'an put it "أمهاتكم اللاتي أرضعنكم" (your mothers who have breastfed you). It's in surat النساء (or chapter 4 of the Qur'an), verse 23:

    حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَٰتُكُمْ وَبَنَٰتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَٰتُكُمْ وَعَمَّٰتُكُمْ وَخَالَٰتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ ٱلأَخِ وَبَنَاتُ ٱلأُخْتِ وَأُمَّهَٰتُكُمُ الَّٰتِي أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَٰتُكُم مِّنَ ٱلرَّضَٰعَةِ وَأُمَّهَٰتُ نِسَآئِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ ٱلَّٰتِي فِي حُجُورِكُمْ مِّن نِّسَآئِكُمُ ٱلَّٰتِي دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُواْ دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَحَلَٰئِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَٰبِكُمْ وَأَن تَجْمَعُواْ بَيْنَ ٱلأُخْتَيْنِ إِلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً

    Here's the translations I found (I'll put only the part relevant to this thread):
    Arthur Arberry's translation: "your mothers who have given suck to you, your suckling sisters".
    Muhammad Asad's: "your milk-mothers, and your milk-sisters"
    Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani's: "your mothers who suckled you, your sisters through suckling,"
    Ibrahim Walk's: "your [milk] mothers who nursed you, your sisters through nursing"
    Laleh Bakhtiar's: "your foster mothers, those who breast fed you, and your sisters through fosterage"
    A couple of other translations used "foster mothers and foster sister", but I can't judge how accurate this -or any other actually- translation is.

    Check all available possible translations here (English, Urdu, Persian and other languages are available).
  7. UrduMedium

    UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Urdu: milk-sibling is also duudh-shariik bha'ii/behen
  8. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    Oh no, the mistake is all mine! I now realize that I got mixed up somehow and thought the thread was about همشیره.

    You're right - not exactly the same, indeed.

    Apologies for another of my mistakes! This one is really interesting, because in Persian the Arabic words shaqiiq/shaqiiqa have taken on the meaning of half- (uterine) sibling. I had assumed the same meaning was held in Arabic but apparently that is not the case!
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    What I find interesting is the way that the Persians take a purely Persian word (ham+shiir) and form from it a pseudo-Arabic feminine ham+shiir+a. But do you really say hamsheer in Urdu? Classical and Eastern (e.g. Afghan) Persian do distinguish between shiir (milk) and sheer (lion).
  10. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    In Urdu, as in Persian, it is ham-shiirah/-eh. It might be the English-style transcription with -ee- as in 'teeth' has caused confusion.
  11. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Are you asking about the word being used or not or about the pronunciation...?
    Yes, in Urdu both hamsheer and hamsheerah are used.
    I think there may be some confusion due to transliteration differences (sheer/shiir/shir). Yes Urdu would also distinguish between (pronunciation of) شِیر / دودھ / لبن / milk and شیر / اسد /tiger/lion. Edit: links added.
  12. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, I was asking about the pronunciation. Thank you for the clarification.
  13. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Thanks for the interesting, helpful and informative replies everyone!

    cherine: Thanks for the detailed answer, reference and for the great link!

    Since people didn't comment on اتکہ it right to guess or say that it is a more literary word?
  14. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I have to admit I am completely ignorant of this word. My intuition tells me in such cases that the word is not literary but rather obsolete!
  15. Alfaaz Senior Member

    That's seemed like such a nice, polite, respectful title/way of addressing such relations (instead of the somewhat awkward sounding "Hazrat ne kaha: yeh mujhe duudh pilaane wali maaN theeN, woh mujhe paidaa karne waali maaN theeN" vs. "yeh meri atkah theeN, woh meri Hayaatiyaati/paidaa karne waali maaN thi)
  16. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    It may be my inttuition fails me this time.
    It may be that on this occasion my intuition has failed me.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  17. Alfaaz Senior Member

    اس فقرے سے آپ کی کیا مراد ہے؟ آپ سے بار بار سوال پوچھنے کے لئے معذرت...
  18. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Forgive me for the clumsy sentence, I was distracted when I was typing it. I meant nothing peculiar, I was referring to my intuition on which my view was based. Please treat it as a 'disclaimer'...

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