Arabic/Urdu: badmaash

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linguist786

Senior Member
English, Gujarati & Urdu
There is a word we use in Urdu (and Gujarati & Hindi for that matter) which is "badmaash" and it is actually an insult. The "strength" of it depends on the situation I suppose. It isn't exactly a "swear" but it's kind of "harsh" (generally speaking, but like I said, it depends on how/where its being used). The thing is, I don't know what it literally means or even where this word comes from (the point of this thread) but I'm about 80% the root is Arabic. I think in Arabic, it may be spelt: بدمعاش (badma3aash)

I asked my sister about this once (a looong time ago!) since she is an aalima and I seem to vaguely remember that she said it is something to do with "not earning a lawful (legal) living" (in Urdu: halaal rozi na kamaanaa) - would this be something to do with it?

Anyone have any suggestion to this strange query? or anything interesting to comment on about it?
 
  • Lugubert

    Senior Member
    I was unclear; sorry. معاش is Arabic, so the word written in Perso-Arabic script is 2/3 Arabic.

    - I just found the word in Hindi (no surprise): बदमाश badmaash, 'of bad ways, wicked, villainous; immoral; a villain, etc.'
     

    mansio

    Senior Member
    France/Alsace
    Lugubert

    I always thought Persian "bad" was related to English "bad" as both languages are Indo-European.

    I checked in the Online Etym. Dict. which said of English "bad": mystery word, no clear origin.
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    I really have no good knowledge of Arabic, but I am going to venture to say that the bad is only a Persian prefix, and not a Arabic one. Can any Arabic speaker comment on maash?
     

    Lugubert

    Senior Member
    I really have no good knowledge of Arabic, but I am going to venture to say that the bad is only a Persian prefix, and not a Arabic one. Can any Arabic speaker comment on maash?
    bad Persian: 2 written letters in Perso-Arabic script
    maash Arabic: 4 written letters
    Arabic: 4/6 = 2/3
    In Hindi/Devanagari: 3/5 Arabic
     

    Lugubert

    Senior Member
    The Arabic part of badmaash = mim, 'ain, alif, shin = 4 letters
    Add two letters of a Persian word: ba, dal. Total = 6 letters.

    Arabic fraction = 4 by 6 = two thirds.

    For Devanagari: माश / बदमाश = 3/5 Arabic (if you count the long a as a character; otherwise मा+श / ब+द+मा+श = 2/4 = 1/2 Arabic).
     
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