Persian: اسپست

Haji Firouz


اسپست in Persian means alfalfa or lucerne - the plant, not the city.
I was wondering if it's pronounced /aspest/ or /espest/.
Also, wiktionary (اسپست - Wiktionary) suggests that the "constituents" of اسپست are اسب /asb/ ( horse) + خوردن /khordan/ (to eat), but where is khordan in اسپست? I don't see the connection, phonetically speaking.

Thank you and best regards,

Later edit: Wiktionary actually lists both variants /espest/ and /aspest/ (in this order), but I would expect it to be /aspest/ if it comes from /asb/...
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  • PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    Persian - Iran
    MacKenzie Pahlavi dictionary also says aspast means clover, lucerne, and I agree I can't see how ast in aspast can mean 'eating/feeding'.

    Thinking outside the box I can see this possibility: What if aspast is what horses like/choose to eat and the word I m thinking is pasand/پسند, so اسپ-پسند this may be the process of change: :asppasand -> aspasand -> aspast (probably pronounced aspasat)
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    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Contrary to what the linked Wiktionary article claims, Paul Horn did not derive aspast from asp and xwar, but rather from asp “horse” and a derivative of the verb ad- “to eat”, presumably ad+ta > ast “eaten”. ad- is cognate with Latin edo, English “eat”, and others. This root is rare in Iranian, though it does have derivatives in Ossetic and Pashto.


    Senior Member
    Persian - Iran
    Hi fdb,

    Isn’t the present tense “eats” more appropriate for this situation, so “horse eats”
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