Etymology of Persian کهکشان (kahkašân)

Artaxerxes I

Senior Member
German, Persian
Dear forum members,

could someone please give me insight about the origin of the term کهکشان with the meaning "galaxy"? All dictionaries of Iranian languages which i have consulted are silent on that matter.

Thanks in advance!
  • boraray

    Consult this article: List of names for the Milky Way - Wikipedia
    In a large area from Central Asia to Africa, the name for the Milky Way is related to the word for straw. It has been suggested that the term was spread by Arabs who in turn borrowed it from Armenia.[12]
    The Armenian legend mentions an Assyrian king named Barsham from whom Vahagn (the Armenian fire-god) stole straw to take back home. This barsham sounds like Aramaic bar shem (son of Shem) referring to the Biblical Ashur son of Shem, the patriarch of Assyrians. The deity vahagn comes from the Old Iranian Vərəθraγna (Bahram). It is possible the rest of the myth (stealing straw theme) is originally Assyrian or Iranian. Historically, it was likelier for Arabs to get an idea from Iranians or Assyrian Christians than from Armenians.