Persian: خواب خرگوشی “deep/profound sleep”

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by romillyh, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. romillyh Member

    I am wondering if this phrase could have a pejorative (derogatory, insulting, or contemptuous) meaning in certain contexts. I am thinking of the subtle introduction of the idea of خر . The context is this:

    کارکنان این ستاد در خواب خرگوشیند

    The writer is referring to an objectionable act that has happened at this place (I take it that here ستاد means some kind of facility or HQ, as the wider context of the passage suggests).

    I am trying to gauge this writer’s feelings about those responsible for the incident, and how readers of the passage might “read” the sentence – i.e. what they might read into it as a subtext re the competence or nature of the کارکنان .
  2. darush Senior Member

    Hi romillyh,

    کارکنان /kaarkonaan/: workers in a place, staves
    ستاد /setaad/: HQ(as you mentioned), staff(military)
    خرگوش /xargush/: rabbit, hare
    خر : ass. in combinations as a prefix means 'big' or 'larg'. so, hare is 'large eared' in Farsi
    خوابِ خرگوشی: sleeping like a rabbit . I don't know how real rabbits or hares sleep but the idiom, as far as I know, means sleeping in the presence of danger(not long-lasting sleep), default.

    It means 'staves', there is no implication here.

    (I don't know is my reply satisfying enough?)

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    You might try “sleep of fools”.

    Darush has explained this nicely. However, he should note that “staff” in the sense of “personnel” does not normally have a plural in English. “Staves” is the plural of “staff” in the meaning “sticks”.
  4. romillyh Member

    @ fdb:
    That's very true – apart from in a musical score I think, and staff meaning a stick as you say. Actually I thought darush had done a typo for "slaves".

    "sleep of fools" . . yes, that's interesting. Anyone who wishes to know the source of the quote could pm me, and then my question might seem more relevant.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  5. darush Senior Member

    Thanks to fdb for correction and 'sleep of fools'!
  6. worldembracing New Member

    I believe the "khab-khargooshi" meaning "Sleeping hare" refers to the famous fable of The Tortoise and the Hare, meaning the people are not serious about their work.
  7. OmidTavana Member

    The rabbit is known to sleep while one or both eyes are half opened. So it seems that it is awake but it is not. خواب خرگوشی in Persian refers to the state of someone who is apparently awake, but he/she is sleeping actually. This phrase has no negtive essence and even you can use it for somebody who sleeps with eyes half opened.
    In this sentence, it actually means that although the worker of the Setaad are supposed to be awake and watch everything, but they are actually sleeping.
  8. Ray Ray Member

    Hi Romillyh,

    To answer your first question, I must say خر here is a part of the word خرگوش, so it is not offensive as it is completely a different animal. So the word, itself is not insulting, but the expression خواب خرگوشی seems sarcastic to me. So to answer your second question: if someone در خواب خرگوشی باشد means that he or she is not aware of what is happening, and doesn't want to be aware either. He or she prefers the situation as it is although there might be big problems around. I'd understand your sentence as: the people who work in that "setad" prefer not to know about a lot of things. That's why it seems sarcastic to me.

    I should add that خرگوش by itself symbolize a clever person in most contexts. We usually say خرگوش باهوش . This shouldn't be confused with خواب خرگوشی which contains a negative idea.

    hope it helps
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  9. romillyh Member

    Yes it does help. Including the khargushe ba hush! Many thanks.

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