Urdu: aab-i-must3mal? آب ِ مستعمل

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by iskander e azam, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. iskander e azam Senior Member

    Friends, I am asking for the usage (meaning and pronunciation is clear to me) of the following bolded word:

    آب مستعمل, this word is used in brackets beside the word دھوون which as we know means 'used water' or 'dirty water' ie the water that is left after something has been washed in it eg bath water or dish water in a sink, etc.

    The word appears to be derived from Arabic but to have little usage in Urdu.

    I find no uses of it online. Is the authoress just being fancy or do Urdu speakers use آب مستعمل?

    If they do then I would think it is part of educated or formal speech.

    All help appreciated.


  2. Alfaaz Senior Member

    She could have included it in brackets (as you have stated) so that those who might not be familiar with دھوون could comprehend the sentence...as a (Persian-Arabic based) translation or synonym of the word دھوون (Sanskrit based).
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  3. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    آب مستعمل aab-e-musta3mal = isti3maal shudah paanii =used water. The first would be very formal speech, but even the second might be regarded that way though less so. You hear it more. Otherwise we commonly say mailaa paanii (=dirty water) once something has been washed in it.
    دھوون dhowan is not common either in our speech.
  4. Sheikh_14 Senior Member

    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    Is dhowan a hindi equivalent of aab e mustamaal and in other words is that how it lands in the urdu glossary.
  5. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Yes it is Hindi but dhowan دهوون is in fact used in both Hindi and Urdu - from the verb dhonaa = to wash.

    H دهوون धोवन dhowan (i.q. dhownā = dhonā), s.m. Water in which anything (as clothes, dishes, rice, &c.) has been washed; a washed garment, &c. (also written dhoʼan, dhoṅʼan).

    and here. The vowelling is odd! Surely a typo!

    In present day Urdu neither aab-e-must3mal nor dhowan are very commonly used, nor for that matter isti3maal shudah paanii, though the latter is used more in our speech.

    Usually we refer to used water as dirty water (gandaa / mailaa paanii). This I suspect would be more common generally elsewhere too and in some ads I've heard it being used.

    Having said all this, aab-e-must3mal / dhowan / isti3maal shudah paanii / gandaa paanii / mailaa paanii can all be used synonymously, given the context.

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