Urdu: four letter Arabic words tashdeed on second letter

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Alfaaz, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Background: (Note: I'm not sure if I should ask this question in the Arabic forum or Urdu forum (Indo-Iranian Languages)...so am posting in both to see what the different replies might be!) Arabic forum post here!

    خبرناک / Khabarnaak, an Urdu program on a Pakistani TV channel has a segment زبان و بیان (zabaan = lisaan لسان) zabaan-o-bayaan, in which the host discusses various غلط العام ghalat-ul-a'am , wrong pronunciations and usages of words, phrases, and grammar.

    In a recent episode, it was said that عربی الفاظ مشتمل on four حروف with a شد/تشدید on the second حرف .... represent an element of repetition.

    Examples given:
    حَمّام : a place to get hot water over and over/again and again
    قوّال : a person who recites/sings اقوال over and over/again and again

    Question: Is this "rule" correct? Could members provide a few more examples of such words? (Browsing the Online Urdu dictionary for Arabic derived four letter words with a tashdeed on the second letter, the rule seemed to make sense in many cases like
    صِدِّیق but not for some like شَوّال ...which could be due to my lack of knowledge!)

  2. UrduMedium

    UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    ^ I believe it represents constancy of state (or very high frequency/repetition). Often used to signify professional status for that reason.


    naqqaal: professional showman (?)
    xabbaaz: baker (not used in Urdu though)
    sattaar: one who is always covering others' faults
    3attaar: fragrance merchant
    dallaal: broker
    3akkaas: photographer/sketch artist
    Haddaad: blacksmith (not used in Urdu)
  3. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    This pattern (fa33aalun) is a modified form of the active participle (ism ul faa3il), called in Arabic grammar: Siighah mubaalighah ismu'l faa3il.

    It denotes: 1. The person doing the action (= ismu faa3il) 2. intensity in the action (mubaalighah). Intensity in this pattern is mostly interpreted as the constant repetition of this action, thus:

    3abbaas : means a person who always frowns, never smiles (hence, it is a name to describe the Lion).

    kadhdhaab: a person lying all the time, a compulsive liar.

    dajjaal the major impostor is also on this pattern.

    It is also used to describe professions as in all the examples mentioned by UrduMedium Sb. Note that in modern Arabic, it is also one of the patterns used to name some machines, adding a ta marbuuTah for feminine: ghassaalah (washing machine), thallaajah (fridge).

    Note that there are at least four other patterns in Arabic to the Siighah mubaalighah ismu'l faa3il, some of which are also used in Urdu. These patterns are:

    fa3iilun (Ex: samii3, 3aliim, both Names of God)

    fa3uulun (Ex: shakuur: someone very thankful, kadhuub: big liar, akuul: big eater)

    fa3ilun (Ex: 7adhir : someone very cautious)

    mif3aalun (Ex: mi36aa2 : someone very generous)
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  4. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Thanks to both of you for the detailed and informative explanations!

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