Is the word angel an Iranic loan?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by mojobadshah, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. mojobadshah Senior Member

    Haug has interpreted angra in Yasna 43.15 as the Ahurians of pre-Zarathushtrian times. He connects this Avestan form with the angiras of the Vedas. There angiras means "messenger." Angareion is a Greek rendering of the Persian angaros "messenger" in Herodotu's Histories. These forms must obviously be related to the angra of the Yasna. Is the Persian angaros also where the Greek word angelos "angel" comes from after r > l shift?
  2. Treaty Senior Member

    I don't have any idea about root of angel. However, this translation is weird for me (though I am not familiar with Avestan). Angr- usually means evil or enemy (like English angry). In that verse the notion is to avoid people who turn the good people (ashaonu) into evil people (angreng).
  3. mojobadshah Senior Member

  4. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Under what language heading is your query linked to?
  5. mojobadshah Senior Member

    I'm not sure what you mean. This was posted under Indo-Iranian languages. I would like a response in English.
  6. Treaty Senior Member

    Look at texts:
    I think this thread is also related to "etymology" forum.
  7. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    The ultimate etymology of angel is unknown, though it may be Iranian (Oriental). Here's what the Online Etymology Dictionary has to say:


    14c. fusion of O.E. engel (with hard -g-) and O.Fr. angele, both from L. angelus, from Gk. angelos "messenger," possibly related to angaros "mounted courier," both from an unknown Oriental source, perhaps related to Skt. ajira- "swift." Used in Scriptural translations for Heb. mal'akh (yehowah) "messenger
    (of Jehovah)," from base l-'-k "to send." The medieval gold coin (a new issue of the noble, first struck 1465 by Edward VI) was so called for the image of archangel Michael slaying the dragon, which was stamped on it. It was the coin given to patients who had been "touched" for the King's Evil. Angel food cake is from 1881; angel dust "phencyclidine" is from 1968. Angel-fish (1668) was so called for its "wings."
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  8. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In Classical Greek ἄγγελος means “messenger”; only in Christian and Jewish writings does it become a designation for supernatural beings.

    Avestan aƞra- is an adjective meaning “evil” or “destructive”. It is cognate with Sanskrit asra- “painful”.

    So it should really be obvious that they have nothing to do with each other.
  9. mojobadshah Senior Member

    Haug also says this:

    The Bactrian Angro now that is identical to the sounds even with Angiras, also has the same meaning as well as 43.15 where the angreng of fire, that is, of the lighters of Feure, is mentioned. It's an almost-lost relation of the righteous and pious, the loyal followers of the old fire service. In our place this otherwise quite rare word is used only in order to form a paronomasia with anro. The form Angro belongs to the shortened Vedic Angira (for Angiras). – The Erste Abtheilung, Die Gatha’s des Zarathustra pg. 101
  10. mojobadshah Senior Member

    isn't an unknown Oriental source. It's Persian. It's attested as early as Herodotus in reference to the Persians. The angaros were the mounted couriers of the Persian Emperor. They were the original postmen. The ancient pony express. Cyrus the Great developed the system. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow would stop them from performing their appointed duty.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  11. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Martin Haug was a pioneering scholar in the middle of the 19th century. We have actually learnt a little bit more about Iranian languages in the mean while.
  12. mojobadshah Senior Member

    Just finished reading a book called "Mithraic Iconography and Ideology." It was published in 1969. Leroy Campbell says that "the word angra is closely related to Sanscrit ang- move quickly, in angiras, fiery messengers (cf Greek angelos), anga, limb of the body, anguli, finger as a mover, angara hot coals (cf. Eng. anger, moved to anger).

    Is this dated too or could Haug have been right?

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