Croatian,Bosnian,Serbian: etymology of the word watermelon

dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
In Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian there are four words for watermelon. One is the most used lubenica, the second being karpuza, the third being bostan and the final being stambol.
I presume that all the words except lubenica are taken from Turkish language. I would like to know their Turkish etymology and if those words are still used in today's Turkish language or did they just disappear or are they preserved in some dialects of the Turkish language. I'm not interested in the etymology of the word lubenica, the standard word.
 
  • valo__fan

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    In today's Turkish we use karpuz as watermelon and bostan as the area where watermelons and the other familiar fruits grow up. Hope it helps;)
     

    dihydrogen monoxide

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    In today's Turkish we use karpuz as watermelon and bostan as the area where watermelons and the other familiar fruits grow up. Hope it helps;)

    I've asked around and it seems that in these above mentioned languages bostan can mean watermelon and the area where other familiar fruits grow up.
     
    I guess the last word "stambol" comes from "İstanbul". Karpuz seems to be the only word for "watermelon" in Turkish and "bostan" has several meanings and usually used in villages.
     

    dudasd

    Senior Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    Lubenica comes from the same root as lubanja/lobanja (scull): Pra-Slavic (and Pan-Slavic) word "lub" meant "shell, bark" or any other firm and strong material that envelops something. The word "lub" is used even nowadays in some more specified meanings, like "lub cipele" - the strenthened callote of the shoe, the part that envelops and protects one's heel.

    PS Only now I realized that this was not the question... but I guess it can't spoil the thread, it may be interesting for those who don't know.
     
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    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I guess the last word "stambol" comes from "İstanbul". Karpuz seems to be the only word for "watermelon" in Turkish and "bostan" has several meanings and usually used in villages.

    I don't know whether it's the same word, but in Arabic bustaan is an orchid, a tree garden or a fruit garden; it's borrowed from the same word "bustaan" in Persian which means "garden".
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    According to Max Vasmer Turkish karpuz came from Persian χarbūza, χarbuza - "melon" (not watermelon!), literally - donkey cucumber, from χer - donkey (Avest. χara) and Middle-Persian būčinā - cucumber.
    Also, Ukr. гарбуз, Rus. арбуз.

    The place where watermelons grow up - bostan (Russian бахча, баштан) is from the Turkish word meaning "vegetable garden in the field" < Persian baɣčä - same sense.
     

    dihydrogen monoxide

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    According to Max Vasmer Turkish karpuz came from Persian χarbūza, χarbuza - "melon" (not watermelon!), literally - donkey cucumber, from χer - donkey (Avest. χara) and Middle-Persian būčinā - cucumber.
    Also, Ukr. гарбуз, Rus. арбуз.

    The place where watermelons grow up - bostan (Russian бахча, баштан) is from the Turkish word meaning "vegetable garden in the field" < Persian baɣčä - same sense.

    Are those words then from PIE heritage? If they are, what are their roots and cognates?
     
    The place where watermelons grow up - bostan (Russian бахча, баштан) is from the Turkish word meaning "vegetable garden in the field" < Persian baɣčä - same sense.

    Are you sure about that? Because "baɣčä" looks like "bahçe" which means "garden" rather than the "bostan".


    I don't know whether it's the same word, but in Arabic bustaan is an orchid, a tree garden or a fruit garden; it's borrowed from the same word "bustaan" in Persian which means "garden".

    Yes Mahaodeh, that sounds logical.

    It is ironic though that Turkish, which is not even Indo-European, "Indo-Europeanized" other IE languages. And also I don't understand why there are so many non-Altaic Turkish words even for simple things like watermelon, melon etc.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Are you sure about that? Because "baɣčä" looks like "bahçe" which means "garden" rather than the "bostan".
    This is according to Vasmer. But I don't see any contradiction: "bostan" is a vegetable garden in the field, steppe.
    According to the Iranian etymology dictionary, this word originally meant "allotment" (baxsa), and not only land plot, but actually allotment of any nature.

    And moreover (different Iranian languages):
    *baji - tax
    *baxtra - share
    *baxtar - the one who allots
    *baga - share, fate
    etc, etc...
    And the main stem of all these - *bag, *baxs - to allot.

    As you see, the meaning "garden" is rather occasional in this case, and could mean actually any ground plot, alloted to somebody by... But by whom?

    And here is the most fabulous in all this story, because the stem *bag is the same like in Russian богатый (rich) and Russian бог (god).
    All these words originate from the Indian bhaj - to allot, to endow.

    From the water-melon to the God...
     
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    This dictionary says
    ~ Fa būstān/būyistān bahçe, özellikle çiçek bahçesi ~ OFa bōyistān a.a. < OFa būy/bōy güzel koku " bu2, +istan

    that "bostan" comes from the Persian words "boy"+"istan": "nice odour" + "istan": Garden esp. a flower garden.

    For the word "bahçe" the same dictionary says that
    ~ Fa bāġça a.a. < Fa bāġ her çeşit bahçe " bağ2

    So finally the word "bağ" (shown above as bağ2)
    ~ Fa bāġ her çeşit bahçe ~ OFa bāġ 1. kısmet, pay, mülk, 2. bahçe
    and yes bağ means not only any kind of garden but also means a "lot", "share", "property" etc.

    So all the words seem to be related to one another but I am lost :)
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Interesting, in Russian, the related word arbuz (which is χarbuz in Ukrainian), actually means watermelon. ;)
    That's rather often case when exotic things are confused and mixed up. For example, Russian слон (elephant) derivates from Turkish arslan (lion).
     
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