Persian, Hindi: gap

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Wolverine9, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Is gap "gossip, talk" a loanword from one language to the other or just a cognate that happens to be in exactly the same form (eg. naam "name", tan "body", and rang "color")?
  2. Treaty Senior Member

    گپ was used in Persian at least since 10th c. (by poets Onsori and Anvari, search in Besides there are seemingly cognates in Persian (گفتن، غاب، یابه). I don't think it is borrowed from another language.

    I'm curious to know if the use of گپ in Hindi predates Mughal era. Interestingly, Anandraj (16th c. Indian author of a Persian dictionary) considers گپ شپ (Hindi gapasapa) as a Persian word (cited in Dehkhoda's entry for گپ). While it is not found in Persian literature or conversation (though similar structures like شپ شپ exist).
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In Afghanistan they say gap zadan for “to speak” (in Persia ḥarf zadan). I do not think gap can derive from guftan etc. Rather, it seems to be imitative/onomatopoetic like English “gab, gabble, chatter” and the like.
  4. Treaty Senior Member

    It is very likely.By the way, gap zadan is used for "to speak" and "to chat" all over Iran (including other Iranian languages: some Kurdish languages, Gilaki, ...).
  5. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Although not included in the title as target language, I hope I'll be allowed to drop a line about Urdu:

    gap (gapeN) karnaa/maarnaa, gap-shap are used - not in the sense of ''to speak'' but ''to talk'', ''chat'', ''chatter'', ''gossip''.
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I think you meant to say "Urdu" here. On the other hand, perhaps you are merely using the title of the thread.

    Unfortunately, there don't seem to be "" type search engines available for Urdu. At least I am not aware of such engines so it is not easy to find word usages. You will find "gap shap" and "gap-o-shap" in Steingass. I know fdb has some misgivings about this dictionary as it is thought, perhaps quite rightly, to be under Indo-Persian influence.

    My understanding is that "gap" is a Persian word and not an Indic one. One of the oldest examples that I have been able to find is from the work of Sanai who lived between 11-12 centuries. One of our well known Urdu dictionaries (Farhang-i-Asifiyyah) gives this word's origins to be Persian. All this of course is no definitive proof.

    As you will all know, a number of Persian verbs are formed with daadan and xvurdan, e.g shikast daadan/xvurdan. In Urdu, the daadan/xvurdan are translated exactly giving "shikast denaa/khaanaa". It is interesting to note that one of the verbs for "gap zadan" is "gap maarnaa" or using the Urdu plural of gap > gappeN, "gappeN maarnaa". I am no etymology expert but for me, this is a good indicator. Otherwise, it matters not to me if the word is of Indic background or Persian.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  7. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    Where has this "shap" in "gap-shap" come from and what does it mean?

    Could it have come from "gap-e shab - lit. night talk" which becomes "gap-e show" in southern dialects and means "folk tales/folk stories" which are told to children in bed?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  8. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    There is a Persian "shap" (splashing sound), but in this context "shap" is probably a meaningless rhyming word with "gap". Is "gap-shap" used in Persian?
  9. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member


    Do you have this word in Hindi/Urdu too?
  10. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Yes, "shap" (splashing sound) is a loanword from Persian.

    As for the etymology of "gap", it doesn't seem to be a loanword from Persian to Hindi or vice versa. Turner provides the following details about the etymology in NIA languages:

    gappa 4022 *gappa ʻ talk ʼ. [Onom. cf. jálpati?]
    K. gaph, dat. °pas m. ʻ joke ʼ; P. gapp f. ʻ tittle -- tattle ʼ, gappī m. ʻ boaster ʼ; Ku. gaph ʻ absurd news ʼ; N. gaph ʻ tittle -- tattle ʼ, gapphar ʻ boaster ʼ; A. gap ʻ boast ʼ; B. gappa ʻ tittle -- tattle ʼ, Or. gapa, H. G. M. gap f.
    Addenda: *gappa -- : WPah.kṭg. gɔp f. (obl. -- a) ʻ gossip ʼ, J. gap f.
  11. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Please note three points: *gappa is a reconstructed form. Turner does not cite any Old or Middle Indian parallels. He at least considers the possibility that these words are onomatopoetic, like English "gab, gabble" etc.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  12. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    It is worth mentioning that the word "gap" means "big/huge/large" too.
  13. PersoLatin

    PersoLatin Senior Member

    Persian - Iran
    Came across this on Dehkhoda:
    .(گپ شپ . [ گ َ ش َ ] (اِ)سخن بیهوده و بی معنی و سخن لاطایل . (ناظم الاطباءخ

    Also this : تحقيق در واژه گپ شب
    This says گپ comes from گپتن or گفتن

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