Persian: xarĉang/ خرچنگ (crab) and PIE roots *qarq-/qar-tu-

PersoLatin

Senior Member
UK
Persian - Iran
Is all, or the initial 3 letters, of xarĉang (crab) related to PIE root *qarq-, or *qar-tu-? The explanation I know is: xar + ĉang meaning large + claws/talons, but if xar is cognate with *qarq-, or *qar-tu-, that would also make sense.

cancer (n.)
Old English cancer "spreading sore, cancer" (also canceradl), from Latin cancer "a crab," later, "malignant tumor," from Greek karkinos, which, like the Modern English word, has three meanings: crab, tumor, and the zodiac constellation (late Old English), from PIE root *qarq- "to be hard" (like the shell of a crab); source also of Sanskrit karkatah "crab," karkarah "hard;" and perhaps cognate with PIE root *qar-tu- "hard, strong," source of English hard.
 
  • CyrusSH

    Banned
    Persian - Iran
    I thought the same about xargush (hare), in Hindi/Urdu other than khargush, the word kharha is also used for "hare". I think proto-IE *kar- could used as a prefix to form names of animals.
     
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    Treaty

    Senior Member
    Persian
    "Crab" starts with [k] in MP karčang, karžang or qiržang not [x] or . So, I guess at least the "big-claw" etymology is not the case.
     

    desi4life

    Senior Member
    English
    I thought the same about xargush (hare), in Hindi/Urdu other than khargush, the word kharha is also used fore "hare". I think proto-IE *kar- could used as a prefix to form names of animals.
    I think xargush (xargosh in Hindi/Urdu) and kharhaa both mean "donkey-eared". The hare has a long ear like that of a donkey.
     

    desi4life

    Senior Member
    English
    haa means "ear" in Hindi/Urdu?
    No, I'm basing it on a reconstructed *kharabhaka "hare" as indicated by Turner.

    kharabhaka 3823 *kharabhaka ʻ hare ʼ. [ʻ longeared like a donkey ʼ: khara -- 1?]
    N. kharāyo ʻ hare ʼ, Or. kharā, °riā, kherihā, Mth. kharehā, H. kharahā m.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I think xargush (xargosh in Hindi/Urdu) and kharhaa both mean "donkey-eared". The hare has a long ear like that of a donkey.
    I agree, xar in xarĉang can't be the same as in xarguŝ and that's why I asked the question .

    MP xarbuz means oryx, and this time xar must refer to the body size i.e. "donkey-sized goat" which can easily develop into "large goat" hence 'xar meaning large, in some compound words'.
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    NP & MP also has خار/xâr (thorn, thistle, prickle, bramble) as in xârpuŝt/thorny-back (porcupine), also there's NP خارا/xârâ (granite)

    The Greek karkinos "cancer," literally "crab", is close to MP karĉang/karzang but that can't be it as it casts doubts on the meaning of the second part ĉang, which we are sure is claws.
     
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    CyrusSH

    Banned
    Persian - Iran
    No, I'm basing it on a reconstructed *kharabhaka "hare" as indicated by Turner.

    kharabhaka 3823 *kharabhaka ʻ hare ʼ. [ʻ longeared like a donkey ʼ: khara -- 1?]
    N. kharāyo ʻ hare ʼ, Or. kharā, °riā, kherihā, Mth. kharehā, H. kharahā m.
    Is it a compound or not? Does abhaka mean "ear"?
     

    desi4life

    Senior Member
    English
    *kharabhaka, if such a form existed, would literally mean "like a donkey". I think "long-eared" was just an inference by Turner. I noticed Turner put a "?" in the explanation of the reconstructed form, meaning he felt uncertain about it. I found an updated etymology that considers Hindi kharhā to be derived from a Dravidian language loanword, in which case kharhā would have no connection to "donkey" or to the Persian xargūŝ. A Persian dictionary explains the literal meaning of xargūŝ as "ass-ear".

    Meanwhile, Mackenzie's Pahlavi dictionary expresses an uncertainty about *karzang and mentions the transcription to be doubtful, which means *karzang may not be the correct word in Pahlavi. Is k > x a typical sound shift from Pahlavi to Persian? It doesn't seem that way from the words I looked at.
     

    CyrusSH

    Banned
    Persian - Iran
    *kharabhaka, if such a form existed, would literally mean "like a donkey". I think "long-eared" was just an inference by Turner. I noticed Turner put a "?" in the explanation of the reconstructed form, meaning he felt uncertain about it. I found an updated etymology that considers Hindi kharhā to be derived from a Dravidian language loanword, in which case kharhā would have no connection to "donkey" or to the Persian xargūŝ. A Persian dictionary explains the literal meaning of xargūŝ as "ass-ear".

    Meanwhile, Mackenzie's Pahlavi dictionary expresses an uncertainty about *karzang and mentions the transcription to be doubtful, which means *karzang may not be the correct word in Pahlavi. Is k > x a typical sound shift from Pahlavi to Persian? It doesn't seem that way from the words I looked at.
    I believe the fist part khar has an Indo-European origin but the second part gush probably relates to lagush/laghush (لاغوش) which is loanword from Greek lagoos. In fact khargush could be a product of mixing different words.
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    MP xarbuz means oryx, and this time xar must refer to the body size i.e. "donkey-sized goat" which can easily develop into "large goat" hence 'xar meaning large, in some compound words'.
    I think this and similar words is how xar came to mean "big". xarvâr means "a load a donkey can carry", which is a large weight.

    I know that xar is still used in some dialects as an adjective meaning "huge", like xar dig e! "It's a huge pot!" although it's considered rather informal.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I think this and similar words is how xar came to mean "big". xarvâr means "a load a donkey can carry", which is a large weight
    This is not the same as those where خر/xar means large/big, خروار is colloquial for خربار/xarbâr “donkey load”, used as a measure/size where xar/خر really means a donkey.
     
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    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    That's what I mean; it must have originated in terms where خر really meant "donkey", but since خربار is a large weight, it reinforced the connotation of "big". The same with xarbuz as you had explained in that quote.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    It has been suggested that xar-gōš (ostensibly: “donkey’s ear”) is a folk-etymological reinterpretation of Middle Persian *dagr-gōš “long eared” > *darg-gōš > xargōš. The prefix xar- “big” was then abstracted from this. This is supported by Digor тӕрхъос , Iron тӕрхъус “hare”.

    Persian karzang > xarčang displays the same sort of folk etymology.
     

    Vukabular

    Senior Member
    Serbian
    Is all, or the initial 3 letters, of xarĉang (crab) related to PIE root *qarq-, or *qar-tu-? The explanation I know is: xar + ĉang meaning large + claws/talons, but if xar is cognate with *qarq-, or *qar-tu-, that would also make sense.

    cancer (n.)
    Old English cancer "spreading sore, cancer" (also canceradl), from Latin cancer "a crab," later, "malignant tumor," from Greek karkinos, which, like the Modern English word, has three meanings: crab, tumor, and the zodiac constellation (late Old English), from PIE root *qarq- "to be hard" (like the shell of a crab); source also of Sanskrit karkatah "crab," karkarah "hard;" and perhaps cognate with PIE root *qar-tu- "hard, strong," source of English hard.
    In my opinion all these words: xarĉang, crab, karkatah, kharha, καρχαρίας, shark, καρχαλέος, karčang, kharhaa, خار/xâr , crown, horn..... and Serbian words: rak "cancer", kraba "crab", kruna "crown", krak "prong", zrak "ray", korak "footstep", karpati "carpathians", krap "carp" and many more are derivated from *kr- >> *kar- related to the shape ▲▲ and something sharp and pointed like donkey ears, horns, crown, crab claws, top of the mountain, shark teeth, fish scales (carp)....in Serbian fish scales - "krljušt"
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    In my opinion all these words: xarĉang, crab, karkatah, kharha, καρχαρίας, shark, καρχαλέος, karčang, kharhaa, خار/xâr , crown, horn..... and Serbian words: rak "cancer", kraba "crab", kruna "crown", krak "prong", zrak "ray", korak "footstep", karpati "carpathians", krap "carp" and many more are derivated from *kr- >> *kar- related to the shape ▲▲ and something sharp and pointed like donkey ears, horns, crown, crab claws, top of the mountain, shark teeth, fish scales (carp)....in Serbian fish scales - "krljušt"
    Thank you. I now believe kar in karĉang (crab) meant 'hard' along the lines of what you say, but because of the of oversized appearance of its claw(s), kar took on a secondary meaning of large/big, at some point k>x happened too and the rest is.....
     
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