Etymology of Arabic عنصر

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English - USA
I am wondering if anyone knows of, or has any ideas about, where the Arabic word عُنْصُر ʿunṣur "element; race" comes from.

Also, is the word at all related with the Arabic word العنصرة "Pentecost" (which I notice has the same root consonants as the Talmudic Hebrew word for Pentecost - עצרת - aside from additional ن/n in the Arabic word)?
  • rajulbat

    Senior Member
    English - United States (Houston)
    If I properly understood the entry in Taj al-Arous, it is the

    measure of
    ع ص ر
    which is the same root as to squeeze, and juice (that which is squeezed).
    And also age (as in era, Middle Ages).
    The nun is inserted, according to the Taj, to simplify pronunciation. Other examples following the same pattern provided in the entry are: sunbal (hyacinth), unsal (squill, sea onion), and unqar (the stem of papyrus or other similar grasses whose stems start out white and turn mahogany as they mature).

    ْقد يجي‌ءُ نحوُه من المَضْمُومِ كثير نحو السُّنْبَل، ولكنَّهم اتَّفَقُوا في العُنْصَر والعُنْصَل والعُنْقَر. ولا يَجِئ في كلامِهِم المُنْبَسِط على بِناءِ فُعْلَل إِلّا ما كان ثانِيه نُونًا أَو هَمْزَةً نحو الجُنْدَب والجُؤزَرُ: وجاءَ السُودَدُ كذلك، كراهِيَةَ أَنْ يَقُولُوا: سُودُد، فتَلْتَقيَ الضَّمّات مع الواو ففَتَحُوا.
    Its pronunciation may be from the excess of damma ("u" sound). The "fu3alal" measure is not found in their simplified speech except where the second letter is a nun or hamza, as in jundab (grasshopper), and ju'zar [??]...

    Or something like that. Others feel free to correct.
    Last edited:
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