Etymology of margaritas/murwārid


Senior Member

Etymonline states that the origin of the Greek margaritas is uncertain, probably from an Oriental language (e.g., Sanskrit). Gharib Sogdian dictionary (#5435) mentions *marga-ah(a)r-ita (held by the pearl oyster) as a likely source for Middle Iranian murwārid (and the like). Is there a consensus on the etymology of margaritas/murwārid?
  • Let me give you Beekes' etymological entry for the Greek «μαργαρίτης» mărgărítēs (masc.) --> pearl.

    Robert Beekes 'Etymological Dictionary of Greek' said:
    An oriental loanword, mostly assumed to be from Iranian, MP marvārīt, MoP marvā-riδ 'pearl' (acc. to Schiffer RPh. 63 (1937): 45ff.), but critical discussion in Brust 2005: 432ff. The older view derives it from Skt. mañjarī 'flowering bead' (epic class.), 'pearl' (lex.), with -ίτης added in Greek, like in numerous other stone names. The by-form mañjara- (n.) would agree well with μάργαρον, but the late and rare occurrence of both the Skt. and Greek form is no support for a direct identification. Suggestion by Gershevitch 1989: from Iran. *mr̥ga-ahri-ita- 'born from the shell of a bird' = 'oyster'.
    From μαργαρίτης, Lat. margarita, etc


    Senior Member
    It reminds me the word amarga(bitter). I remember in one of the lesson I attended long time ago,pearl is formed due to irritations caused by foreign objects that accidentally penetrated the inner sensitive part of clam.the clam is able to prevent such irritations by coating the foreign object with substance called Nacre or naker ( a calcium compound).as irritated clams grow older, the pearl inside grow bigger too.That irritation caused bitterness and clearly it is where margaritas is derived. The same word margarita or butter spread means applying a spread( as some toasted breads taste bitter) same as applying nacre to object that caused irritations in clams!
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