Persian: خوشگل


New Member
English - US
Good evening all,

I'm interested in the etymology of خوشگِل. I can't seem to find any modern definitions for گِل other than mud. فرهنگ عمید provides an archaic and figurative meaning of nature, essence (ذات، سرشت). Given that, I suppose خوشگل could have previously meant good-natured more or less and changed in usage to simply mean beautiful, but I'm just guessing and have no clue. For all I know, it could be dialectal in origin.

Thanks in advance
  • PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    Persian - Iran
    In modern Persian, as you have gathered, خوشگل means beautiful, pretty also handsome and nice looking.

    Mud/گِل and by extension clay, is used to make various objects, the finer the clay the finer the final clay object will be, I believe خوشگِل is a metaphoric reference to the 'fine clay' from which a person is made.

    There's also the religious tradition that god made man, in his own image, from earth/mud, although I don't believe خوشگِل was developed from this idea.
    Last edited:


    New Member
    I believe that "gel" in this context does mean clay or mud. Because the antonym in Dehkhoda dictionary is "badgel" (bad clay).
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