Persian: دم/dam “breath” also “close to”

PersoLatin

Senior Member
UK
Persian - Iran
Has دم meaning “close to” i.e. a preposition, developed from دم meaning breath?

This question was briefly discussed in another thread, in its post 6 I suggested that the answer to above is yes, so I’d like other members’ views.
 
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  • mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    Maybe دم in the sense of ‘a very short span of time’ gave rise to both ‘an intake of breath’ and ‘the edge’, or ‘the nearest possible outer point’. Here I am just throwing a thought into the pot, as it were. There is no proof I am aware of that explains a possible خویشی (affinity?) between the three senses one way or another.

    But دم also means ‘stuffy air’, ‘heat’.
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    But دم also means ‘stuffy air’, ‘heat’.
    Those are secondary meanings which make perfect sense, compare that with the Latin for “breath” which has given us aspiration/آرزو, spirit/روان as well as many other secondary meanings.

    But “close to” can’t be classed as a secondary meaning, it may be classed as tertiary.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Has دم meaning “close to” i.e. a preposition, developed from دم meaning breath?

    This question was briefly discussed in another thread, in its post 6 I suggested that the answer to above is yes, so I’d like other members’ views.
    I would also say yes. The act of breathing دمیدن or دم زدن as we all know consists of inhalation and exhalation which takes a very small amount of time. Before the age of atomic clocks, for us human being the smallest space of time was a "moment" and the Persian speaking peoples gave this span the name "دم". This span of breath not only was given a time frame but also a space frame. This space is so small that the width of a sword blade or its edge became known as دمِ شمشیر. When one is at a very short space away from someone's door, one is at its threshold or دمِ در. So, you can see how time and space are interlinked almost as if Einstein himself had been a Persian speaker! :)
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    When one is at a very short space away from someone's door, one is at its threshold or دمِ در.
    As a native speaker when I read دم در/dame dar, just now, ‘door’s breath’ came to my mind, maybe دم here refers to air that flows through gaps of a door, literally one’s so close to the door that one feels the subtle draught around it, its breath.
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    This space is so small that the width of a sword blade or its edge became known as دمِ شمشیر
    I suppose this can have more than one meaning: 1) the steam or heat/دم produced when a sword is dipped in water during its manufacture, 2) the draught/rush of air (breath) produced by a sword when it is swung in an attempt to kill someone, and I suppose having felt دمِ شمشیر and lived to tell the tale is taken as being extremely lucky, otherwise دمِ شمشیر means certain/imminent death.

    I am searching for examples of دمِ شمشیر/dame ŝamŝir in text to check which of these fits better, I am sure Qureshpor already has good examples. So far I can only find examples of dome ŝamŝir "the sword's tail", and references to drinking from the sword's tail equivalent to "living by the sword".
     
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    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    PersoLatin, unfortunately I don’t have any examples for دم شمشیر to offer. There is of course دم قیچی. I’d be quite interested to see what you would make of that. To me the two come from the same place, or could do so. But I’m not sure.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    The following examples are linked to the "edge" meaning.

    (از دم شمشیر گذراندن گروهی را ؛ همه ٔ آنان را کشتن و از پای در آوردن. (یادداشت مؤلف

    ھر کس که دید گوشهء ابروی دوست
    باکے نباشد از دم شمشیر دشمنش

    فروغی

    بر صف اهل ملامت خویش را تنها زدم
    برنگشتم تا دم شمشیر و خنجر برنگشت

    دانش

    دشمن ز دو پستان اجل شیر بنوشد
    بگذارد حنجر به دم خنجر پیکار

    منوچھری

    خویش جانم بوی بغداد و دم دجله ست و بس
    کز همه آفاق استقبال ایشان می کنند

    خاقانی

    ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔

    (کنایه از آبداری و تیزی تیغ ودهن تیغ و روی تیغ تیز گویند و با ریختن و برگشتن مستعمل است. (از آنندراج -||

    مکش تیغ زبان صائب به هر بیهوده گفتاری
    که از عاجزکشیها این دم شمشیر می ریزد

    صائب تبریزی

    ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔

    In terms of its spacial usage (very close to etc)

    (مقابل. برابر. نزدیک. سخت نزدیک. متصل. پیوسته : دم در. دم مرگ. دم دهان. (یادداشت مؤلف ) ||

    ز بهر یکی چوب بسته دوال
    شوی خیره اندر دم بدسگال

    فردوسی

    دم چشم مخالف از تف و نم
    باد ایلول و ابر نیسان باد

    مسعودسعد

    Source: Dehkhoda and شعر کھن
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    (کنایه از آبداری و تیزی تیغ ودهن تیغ و روی تیغ تیز گویند و با ریختن و برگشتن مستعمل است. (از آنندراج -||

    مکش تیغ زبان صائب به هر بیهوده گفتاری
    که از عاجزکشیها این دم شمشیر می ریزد.

    صائب تبریزی
    This one is interesting, here دم has taken on the meaning of ‘the cutting edge of sword’s blade’ which is not the same as other meanings we know of دم, any thoughts?
     
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