Punjabi: Jamnaa vs Janam lenaa/paidaa honaa


Senior Member
English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
Dear Foreros,

I've always deemed the above to have a subtle but very seminal distinction and wanted to puzzle out whether my internal inkling was correct or a wild miscalculation. Whilst it is clear and it doesn't require clarifying that janam lenaa and paidaa honaa are no different in that they mean to take birth (somewhat archaic English)/ to be born. However, I see jamnaa differently especially when employed in the oft-used phrase "jinne Lor ne wekhiyaa jameyaa nii" (feel free to correct the transliteration here). This cliche concerning the City of Lahore is generally translated into English to mean one who hasn't seen Lahore is yet to be born. However, I would take that a step further in stating that I see it to mean he who hasn't seen Lahore has yet to be conceived. In other words to me jamnaa has more to do with fertilisation and taking form inside the mother's womb than the act of birth so to speak.

Therefore, I have always wrongly or rightly perceived it to be concerned with conception/germination I.e. taking shape/root rather than birth. Here's what Platts has to say about it:

H جمنا जमना jamnā [jam˚ = Prk. जम्म(इ) or जम्मे(इ), fr. S. जन्म;+ = Prk. अणअं = S. अनीयं], v.n. To germinate; to sprout, shoot; to grow; to take root; to come up; to become set; to become firm or fixed; to become hard or concrete; to be collected, combined, or united; to consolidate; to be congealed or frozen, to congeal; to be coagulated, to coagulate; to curdle, clot, cake, become thick; to form sediment or precipitate; to be firmly placed, be settled, be located, be seated; to cohere, adhere, stick, cling together; to stand fast, be rooted (to a spot, &c.).

In case my assessment is inaccurate how else is one meant to refer to the act of conception/fertilisation of an egg? Personally I feel janeen (kaa) jamnaa does a fairly sound job.
  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Sheikh_14 SaaHib, there is no such language called Urdabi, at least not to the best of my knowledge. So, please ask the moderators to amend your title to give the language its correct name, namely Punjabi.

    No, the Punjabi "jamNRaa" has nothing to do with "conception" but has to do with "birth" or "growth".

    I have no idea if there is any connection with "janm lenaa".

    The correct Punjabi sentence is "jinne Lhore na'iiN vekhiya, o jammiyaa-ii na'iiN"

    One who has not seen Lahore is yet to be born.


    Senior Member
    Potentially relevant: entry in پنجابی کلاسیکی لغت and entry in Platts:
    H جامنا जामना jāmnā (caus. of jamnā, q.v.), v.t. (prov.) = jamānā, q.v.; — v.n. To be born; to be produced ( = jamnā; see jām).

    Qureshpor said:
    The correct Punjabi sentence is "jinne Lhore na'iiN vekhiya, o jammiyaa-ii na'iiN"
    One can also hear "jinne(N) l(h)aur na'iiN takkeyaa, o jammeyaa ii na'iiN"...?!

    Question: Is it jinne or jinnhe(N)/jinhaaN?
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