1. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    Despite having searched for a long time, I couldn't find a good etymological explanation on the Turkish word ayran, which is the name given to a very popular drink made of yoghurt and water in Turkey. The drink is also known in many Balkan, Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries, but maybe with a different name.

    I have found out that in Mongolia, there's a drink that they call airag. Considering that the origin of this word dates back to Central Asian periods of Turks, could this word be a borrowing or related?
  2. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    This sounds very probable to me. I don’t know the etymology of Turk. ayran, but if we imagine a Turkic origin *ayrang, it is easy to imagine a split between Mongolian airag and Turkish ayran.

    The big difference between the Turkish and the Mongolian drink is that the latter is strongly fermentated. Mongolian airag is an acquired taste, to say the least.;)

    Mind you, there are jokes about ayran as well. If you drink too much of it, you may become tipsy.

    I suggest you look up ayran in Andreas Tietze: Sprachgeschichtliches und etymologisches Wörterbuch des Türkei-Türkischen, Istanbul/Wien 2001 – not available to me for the time being. Only one volume was published before the author passed away. It covers the first six letters of the alphabet (A-E).
    :) :)
  3. Maroseika Moderator

    Mongolian origin is very probable.
    Burat word is airak.
    Mari - aeran, Chuvash - uyran, Tatar - aryan - all these are probable loaned from Turkish thru Crimean Turkish.
  4. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    I don't have a copy of Tarihi ve Etimolojik Türkiye Türkçesi Lugatı, either. Hope somebody else has access to an online library.

    On this page, meanwhile, I just found the following data.

    I'd like to hear what you all think.
  5. Tangriberdi Member

    Türkiye, Türkiye Türkçesi
    No that is impossible. If was possible the form in Chuvash would be ayran as well.
    It is not a recent word.
    It is a historical word.

    But the meaning is somehow unclear.
  6. dudasd

    dudasd Senior Member

    I would start research from the Turkish word "ayrı" (apart, separated) and derived verbs (like "ayrı durmak", "ayrı olmak" etc.). Originally, ayran was made of "separated" milk - more precisely, of buttermilk (product resulting from separation of butter from milk). Now we "only" have to find out the origin of "ayrı". One of my dictionaries gives me the information that "ayrı" became (by metathesis) from "ayır" - well, we do have verb "ayırmak" - "to separate, to split" now. And the earlier form of "ayır" was "adır" - but I can't trace it further to past because I don't have enough valid sources. Though, perhaps this small research of mine will be useful.
  7. Maroseika Moderator

    Sorry, but my source gives for Chuvash uyran.
  8. dudasd

    dudasd Senior Member

    A small addition: seems that the root is of the old Turkmen origin: *ad- ; nowadays it can be recognized in word "ada" (island). So obviously it means separation. Nothing with "bitter" and "rank". :)
  9. ancalimon Senior Member

    Maybe there really is a link between *ad meaning seperate.

    According to some late theories, the word "at" (meaning horse, throw, sudden~instant~very fast movement, jump at the same time) originally meant "the journey of the soul to Upperword" in Proto-Turkic. I think this might be related with this separation meaning.

    Apart from ada, we also have the word oda meaning room.

    Maybe the word "ad" meaning "name" is also related with this separation meaning.

    On the other hand, I'm more inclined to think that none of the above are related with ayran.

    I think:
    1-) It might be related with the root *ạrɨ- meaning 1 clean, pure, to be clean 2 to clean, purify. So there might have been a change from aryan to ayran.
    2-) It might be related with the root *egir- meaning to twist, spin. (this makes sense when you think about how ayran is made)
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  10. Dhira Simha Senior Member

    Perhaps you would be interested to know that in Sanskrit there are words: aira 'relating to or consisting of water or refreshment or food' and aireya an intoxicating beverage. The latter is probably unrelated but aira is interesting. It derives from an ancient Vedic root irā (इरा) 'any drinkable fluid; a draught (especially of milk)' and is probably related to the verbal root īr 'to agitate':

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