Persian: "سیر" ~ "sir"

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Phosphorus, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Phosphorus Senior Member


    What is the exact etymology of Persian "sir" ~ "سیر" ("satisfied", "not-hunger"). What is its Avestan equivalent? I bumped against Avestan "thrafta" and I only found it similar to Middle Iranian "siruftan*" ~ "satisfy".

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Phosphorus Senior Member

    The Middle Persian form of New Persian "sir" is "sagr", which suggests such a development: "sagr" > "sayr*" > "ser" > "sir". It seemingly precludes any kinship with the aforesaid Avestan word.

    Also here "" it holds Avestan "thrush" in sense of "nourished" and "thrâthra" ~ "nourishment". I wonder if this Avestan root could be a cognate of modern Kurdish "tér" ~ "saturated" ("not-hungry")? Or Kurdish "tér" is related to New Persian "sir"?
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, the Middle Persian form is sagr > NP. sēr (Western Persian sir). It is a regular sound shift, as in dagr > dēr, šagr > šēr. But I am not aware that anyone has been able to trace it back further than sagr.

    May I add that the Avestan dictionary which you found on line is worthless. I do not understand why a dictionary with the date 1995 does not even mention the standard Avestan dictionary by Bartholomae, published way back in 1904, to say nothing of all the recent work by Hoffmann, Kellens, Humbach, Hintze etc., etc.
  4. Phosphorus Senior Member

    I see. Thanks for your additional note on the aforesaid Avestan dictionary. Unfortunately I only have an Avestan grammar manual written by W. Jackson. So, in case you possess a reliable Avestan lexicon, could you please look up something in there resembling "thrafta", "thrathra", or "thrush" in sense of "nourishment" or probably "saturation". I appreciate it.
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    There is an adjective ϑrąfəδa- or ϑrąfδa- meaning “well-fed, satisfied” and a noun ϑrąfš- “satisfaction”. They belong with the Skt. verb tṛmpati “he is satisfied” (Bartholomae col. 806) and imply an Indo-Iranian root *tramp-.

    There is also a verb, ϑru- “to feed”, 3 singular aorist injunctive middle ϑraoštā. It has cognates in Germanic like OHG trouuen “grow” and English thrive. (See Pokorny 1095; J. Cheung Etym. dict. of the Iranian verb, pp. 394-5; for the inflexion: Hoffmann p. 231)

    Neither of these can have anything to do with MP. sagr, unfortunately, but it might be worthwhile to pursue the possibility of connecting the former with Kurdish tér (zero-grade *tṛmp- ?)

    Jackson's Grammar is good, but old. If you can read German you can get Karl Hoffmann, Avestische Laut- und Formenlehre (2004). It is now the best grammar available.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  6. Phosphorus Senior Member

    Thanks a lot pal. Yes the Avestan entries evidently have nothing to do with the Persian counterparts. The only thing that misled me in this case was my notion of a Middle Persian, or maybe Parthian, word such as "siruft-" in sense of "satisfaction". I checked my Middle Persian and Parthian glossaries again but I could not notice 'em.

    Kurdish "tér" is most likely related to your aforesaid Avestan root.

    My German is really meager but I think I can manage it.

    Many thanks for your citations and helpful contribution, I appreciate it.
  7. aruniyan Senior Member


    Tamil words,

    Thiru (wealthy,good condition, with its complete state) This is used similar to Sanskrit word Shri. Thiru is also used as prefix when referring God, holy places, rivers etc...
    Thirunthu(transform, correcting)
    Thiri (Change form, Changing) etc....

    Tharu(To give/provide.)

    Seer - Set right, normal state.

    Dont have any Persian knowledge to relate, just listing similar sounding words.
  8. Phosphorus Senior Member

    Thank you for your contribution Aruniyan. I wonder what is the Avestan cognate of Sanskrit "shri"?
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Iranian *sri- : *sray- occurs in simple, comparative and superlative forms.

    The simple form is *srīra-, like Skt. śrīla- (both with r/l extension), represented by Avestan srīra- “beautiful”, Sogdian šyr- “good”, Khotanese śśära- “good”, Balochi šar “good”.

    The comparative is *sray-ah- (without the mentioned extension), Avestan sraiiah- “more beautiful”, Skt. śreyas-, Sog. šyʼtr “better” (i.e. *srayah-tar, doubly comparative, like Persian bih-tar), Pashto ẋə “good”.

    The thematisized zero-grade *sry-a- is perhaps the source (via *srya-ka > *srag > *sarag) of New Persian sara “good, excellent” and the Arabic loan word saraq “a kind of silk” (unless from σηρικόν).
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  10. Phosphorus Senior Member

    Many thanks pal, excellent as always.

    By the way the proposed development for Middle Persian "sagr" is interesting.
  11. ideaWord New Member

    Can you make a reference to these marvelous information?
    I need it.
    Thanks fdb!
  12. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Thank you! Please look at my private message.

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