Iraqi Arabic: زقنبوت zaqnabuut (etymology)

Ihsiin

Senior Member
English
In Iraqi Arabic we have the word زقنبوت, zaqnabuut, meaning 'poison', and more generally used as an insult or a term of abuse. Can anyone shed light on the origin of this word?
 
  • origumi

    Senior Member
    N/A
    I cannot help about etymology, only add that Judeo-Neo-Aramaic also has this word, and also root z-q-n-b in general, usually as (eat) poison, meaning go to hell. As far as I know Kurdish (at least certain dialects) also shares it. Yet these are likely to be borrowed from Iraqi.
     

    Ihsiin

    Senior Member
    English
    Thanks Origumi. The -uut ending made me suspect that the word entered Arabic from Aramaic, and the fact that the word exists in Jewish Neo-Aramaic makes me a little more confident in this.
    I'm not sure I'm clear on what is meant by the entry for the z-q-n-b root in general. Does the Aramaic have the verb zaqnab as well as the word zaqnabuut? I think I will look up this book in the library.
    Thanks once again.
     
    Last edited:

    ancalimon

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    In Turkish we have a similar word from Arabic which also means poison. "Zıkkım". It's also a tree. (Zakkum)

    There is also a curse that is said to people (nowadays mostly as a joke): Zıkkımın kökünü ye (eat the root of Zıkkım). It roughly means "go to hell" or "damn you".
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    The -uut ending is Aramaic I believe and can be found in words like 3ankabuut.

    One thing I always wondered about is how words meaning "poison" can be used as a rude way of saying "eat". Often it means to eat angrily or hungrily.

    Iraqi إتزقنب
    Gulf إزحر
    Other dialects إتسمّم (?)

    The Gulf one comes from Persian زهر مار "snake poison", and interestingly, Persian also uses it as a verb in this way! = زهر مار کن

    Is this usage present in Aramaic or other languages besides Arabic and Persian?
     

    momai

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Syria
    The Gulf one comes from Persian زهر مار "snake poison", and interestingly, Persian also uses it as a verb in this way! = زهر مار کن
    Amazing! I now know where Syrian اتزهرم with the same meaning comes from.
     
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