Urdu & Hindi: saugand

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by nawaab, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. nawaab Member

    Is saugand rarely used in Urdu? I always hear and read qasam instead. I know it's common in Farsi and also in Hindi (as saugandh). Why does it seem to be more common in Hindi than in Urdu?
  2. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    nawaab SaaHib, you make a valid point. I don't really know why "saugand" has been placed on the back burner, giving "qasam" preference. Perhaps other friends might be able to offer an explanation.

    "saugand" (oath) of Persian origins is not the same as "saugandh" (fragrance). There is also "su-gandh" with similar meaning to saugandh.

    Here is Ghalib, using it in his Persian Ghazal.

    vujuud-i-uu hamah Husn ast, va hastii-am hamah 3ishq
    ba- baxt-i-dushman-o-iqbal-i-dost saugand ast

    Her existence is nothing but beauty, my being, all love
    Oh, I swear by the fortune of both my friends and foes

    Here is a quote from a Ghazal by Amir Minai (I believe).

    iHsaaN nah uThe gaa naa-kasoN kaa
    saugand hujuum-i-be-kasii kii
  3. nawaab Member

    Thank you for the ghazals. I very much enjoy Ghalib.

    I hope other people have information about saugand and why it's not very common.

    I meant that in Hindi, the Farsi saugand is written as saugandh, or at least it's romanized that way. For instance, I think there's a movie "Ganga ki saugandh"
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  4. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    We don't always have an answer about word usage and why qasam has taken over saugand, which is hardly used.
  5. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    I began looking into this and realized that this rabbit hole goes deeper and branches wider than I had thought.

    Afaik saugandh only means vow or oath and never fragrance. Only sugandh means that, from the root -gandh (smell, there are cognates in Old Persian, Tajik and Baloch, and in the good-old gand/gandagi in modern HU). Su- is 'good' (as in su-astika = swastika) and cognate with the greek 'eu-'. I suspect this is one of those words that Hindi speakers think is hardcore Sanskrit (just like 'va'/and) but is actually Persian-rooted. This is probably why it is often pronounced as a -dh instead of a -d in Hindi diction. I feel it is used much more in religious and/or Sanskritized contexts, e.g this one, and isn't really in common use. Qasam is way more common.

    Update: I see that there is some possibility for confusion here in adjectival forms, e.g. bhugol (geography) > bhaugolik (geographic), sugandh (fragrance) > saugandhik (fragrance-related). But afaik people don't confuse saugandhik (hardly ever used) with saugandh (used more frequently, but much less than qasam in common speech). Interestingly, -gandh by itself is usually negative, kind of like '-buu' in Punjabi. Only when modified by su-/xu(sh)- does it become positive. Bizarrely, gand comes from an older IE root which meant to 'beat' and only in Indo-Iranian did it morph to mean the smell/stink/filth-related things. It is apparently related to the words defend and offend in English! No one really used -gandh anymore in normal HU (virtually completely supplanted by xush/bad-buu), so this is yet another example of how Persianization brought back a defunct Sanskritic term with a slightly altered meaning into HU (dirt, instead of smell).

    Sorry if I went off-topic, but this might be useful context nonetheless.
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Thank you for the above. This is what Platts says.

    P سوگند saugand, s.f. An oath, asseveration; swearing (syn. soṅh, soṅ):—saugandā-saugandī, s.f. Mutual asseveration or swearing:—saugand dharnā = saugand khānā, q.v.:—saugand denā (-ko), To administer an oath (to), to swear (one):—saugand-se kahnā, To declare upon oath:—saugand khā-ke, adv. An oath:—saugand ḵẖānā, To take an oath, make oath, to swear.

    S سوگندهہ सौगन्ध saugandh, adj. Possessing a fragrant odour, sweet-scented, fragrant;—s.m. Sweet-scentedness, fragrance;—a kind of fragrant grass:—saugandh-sanā, adj. (f. -ī), Impregnated with perfume.

    H سوگندهہ सूगन्ध sūgandh, adj. & s.f.=su-gandh, q.v.:—sūgandh-sanā, adj. (f. -ī), Impregnated or mixed with perfume.
  7. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    ^ Might well be true in Sanskrit and who am I to argue with Platts. I don't speak it. In Hindi, I haven't come across 'saugandh' as ever meaning anything other than 'oath' or 'vow'. 'Ganga ki saugandh', 'Mamta ki saugandh', 'Meri saugandh', 'Teri saugandh', 'Mati (MaaTi) ki saugandh' (Bhojpuri language), 'Sindoor ki saugandh', 'Saugandh Geeta ki', 'Saugandh Ganga Maiya ke' (also Bhojpuri), and simply 'Saugandh' (1961 version) and 'Saugandh' (1991 version) are all movies based on an initial YT search, and the word always means only one thing :) BTW the 1961 Saugandh has some little known Rafi songs, QP sahab - I liked them.
  8. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    Also, some Google statistics on word-occurrence:
    सौगन्ध - 7920
    सौगंध - 27400
    क़सम - 111000
    कसम - 782000

    It's no contest at all. Qasam blows saugandh out of the water.
  9. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    hindiurdu SaaHib. Platts is only a human being, like us. He may have made a mistake. I posted quotes from his dictionary to show what he had written. I have n't carried out any research on these words, so I can not really comment beyond this. I shall seek out Rafi songs, however!
  10. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Found this in Platts too:

    H سوگندهہ सौगन्ध saugandh, सोगन्ध sogandh, s.f. corr. of saugand, q.v.
  11. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    This is possibly the solution to the issue.
  12. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Yes, qasam is way more common, and "shapath" is also quite common, though lagging by far qasam. "Saugandh" (meaning oath; never used in the sense of fragrance in Hindi, for which the word is sugandh) is rarely used; but, it's interesting, that "saugandh" seems to have been appropriated by those wanting to eschew all Persian-origin words - under the impression that the word is shuddh.

    "gandh" is used quite a lot to mean "smell" (with "durgandh" meaning bad smell, "sugandh" meaning good smell); it's certainly not defunct. Sometimes, as you mentioned, the word standalone can mean "bad smell" (just like "buu" or even the English word "smell" when used in Hindi), but that depends on the context. "Baas" is another word for bad smell ("yeh bohat baas maar rahaa hai").
  13. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I find it somewhat amusing that saugandh is used in shuddh Hindi. If authors want to use a common colloquial word, they should opt for qasam; if they want to use a Sanskrit derived word, they should choose shapath. The fact that many of them use uncommon words such as saugandh by mistakenly thinking they are shuddh Hindi makes me somewhat doubt their credentials and their true knowledge of the language they're writing in.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  14. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    I think the mistaken belief that saugandh is 'shuddh Hindi' rather than a Persian loanword may answer nawaab SaaHib's question about why it is commonly used in Hindi but replaced with qasam in Urdu. Those who allow identitarian factors to affect their speech, whether consciously or unconsciously, may either favor this word (as would be the case for Hindi speakers trying to avoid words they associate with Urdu) or avoid it (Urdu speakers who associate the word with Sanskrit).
  15. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ Please note, eskandar, that nawaab finds saugandh to be more common in Hindi than in Urdu, but he or any other user hasn't said that the word is commonly used in Hindi. "qasam"/"kasam" is by far the most common word in Hindi as well, and those who want a shuddh word usually go for "shapath" (in certain contexts, of course, only "shapath" is used, even by those who otherwise use "kasam": e.g., "raashTr-patii kaa shapath lenaa"); "saugandh" is not that much used, especially now. In the '60s and '70s, maybe, it was used quite a bit more (Ganga kii saugandh, and so on).

    Often, since Hindi has words from Persian as well as Prakrit/Sanskrit sources, synonyms do not remain synonyms: each one acquires a distinct flavour. We discussed this in the controversial kitaab/pustak thread. To be more relevant here, "shapath" connotes a gravity of the vow or of the object of the vow that a mere "kasam" doesn't - this only from the perspective of Hindi. "saugandh" is somewhere in between: more close to "shapath" than "kasam". It is hence also one of the reasons that in matters of gravity, some prefer "saugandh" instead of "kasam" - not just some blind wish to search and replace words not perceived as shuddh with those perceived as shuddh.
  16. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    That's a good explanation. Just one question. Isn't the word in bold supposed to be kii instead of kaa?
  17. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    No, Wolverine9: "raashTr-patii kii shapath" but "raashTr-patii kaa shapath lenaa" (since here it reduces to "raashTr-patii kaa lenaa").
  18. JaiHind Senior Member

    India - Hindi
    How can one say why one word is or is not more common than others... It just "happens".

    You are right that it is common in Hindi, be it in written or spoken Hindi. I would also agree with some members above that for "formal occasions", words like "shapath" is used instead. "Saugandh" is for "personal" vows. Some writers will use more of it than others, which always happen.
  19. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    One thing that I realized is that qasam has the kind of idiomatic richnesses that other words lack. Qasam lenaa, qasam uThaanaa, qasam khaanaa are all correct. I think saugand(h) lenaa and saugand(h) khaanaa are also both correct. However, only shapath lenaa is correct. In "shuddh" Hindi another word is praNR which also only comes with lenaa. This suggests that the last two are narrower and less natural in common speech. There's also qasam denaa, which means to give your word to someone. Afaik you can't do that with any of the other words. I think shapath dilvaanaa means to swear someone in, which also implies a more official use for the word. Ahad also seems similarly limited. Ahad karnaa. I guess there's a fine line between swear, oath and promise.
  20. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ There's also praNR karnaa, HU, a very common construction. As for qasam lenaa and qasam uThaanaa, they are not at all common constructions to me (in fact, never heard the latter). I never heard of "qasam denaa" as well: you seem to be using it in the same sense as "vachan denaa". Interesting.

    EDIT: praNR is meanwhile a resolution, like those that people take on New Year. I see it as distinct from vow. Maybe a specific kind of vow, OK, but still not the same.

    EDIT2: On further thought, I do have heard "qasam denaa" quite a bit. Haven't used it or heard it since years, hence completely slipped off mind.
  21. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I googled the above forms in devanagari script. All of the combinations of qasam/shapath/saugandh khaanaa/lenaa/uThaanaa seem to be correct and the various forms are even used by authors in books. It's just that qasam khaanaa and shapath lenaa seem to be the most common forms. qasam/shapath/saugandh denaa/dilaanaa/khilaanaa/uThvaanaa mean 'to administer an oath'. qasam khilaanaa and shapath dilaanaa seem to be the most common in this case. Some of these constructions are also listed in Platts.

    Is it praNR or praN? Doesn't it mean the same as vaʻda/vaadaa or pratigyaa? praN appears to be more common with karnaa than lenaa.
  22. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    It's प्रण, to avoid transliteration confusions. "vaadaa/vachan" means a promise given to someone, whereas pratigyaa is exactly synonymous to saugandh, both having the same degree of heaviness. It is occasionally used to mean "resolution" (which a praN means), since a resolution is after all also a vow. In fact, at times even "vachan lenaa" could mean the same as "praN karnaa" or "pratigyaa lenaa".

    "vachan lenaa", "vaadaa karnaa", "pratigyaa lenaa/karnaa" and "praN karnaa/lenaa" are the most common forms* as per my opinion.

    *EDIT: By most common forms, I mean the most common verbs associated with vachan, vaadaa, pratigyaa and praN.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  23. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    Afaik the prevalent convention on this forum appears to beer NR for ण and N for nasal n as in aNguur (grape) to contrast from a regular n as in anthak (untiring).

    I think qasam uThaanaa means to take a qasam/oath. Qasam uThvaanaa would mean to administer one or more commonly to induce someone to take a qasam (unhone marte dam meN mujhse ye qasam uThvaaii thii, maiN majbuur huuN). I also realized that saugand(h) in the sauN form is extremely prevalent in Punjabi. Qasam is dimply the most natural word for H/U. When someone is being very sincere about something they say "Qasam se, aisaa hi hua thaa." Which means "Believe me ...." Similarly swearing in for the armed forces is called a "qasam parade". There are probably dozens more examples. No other word enjoys this level of idiomatic entrenchment.
  24. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    vachan denaa is very common too.

    I also thought that it's derived from saugand, but Platts and Turner both connect it with shapath. I guess that, in addition to Punjabi, it also has regional/dialectical usage in Hindi or Urdu.

    Just saw this dictionary. It looks useful. See here and here.
  25. nawaab Member

    Thanks for the responses everyone! Your feedback has been informative.
  26. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Just to iterate, both in Urdu and Hindi qasam (kasam) is very common. The fact that saugand has virtually dropped from common Urdu usage may not be easy to explain, just like many other words one can think of. I certainly don't feel the way eskandar SaaHib feels:

    As you well know eskandar SaaHib, and as I've said this before, Urduphones are not at all shy of using Sanskrit words since many have become part of the language. In fact, I know of many situations where we prefer an Indic word (Sanskrit, Prakrit etc.) to Persian / Arabic (or Turkish). So I wouldn't hazard a guess as to why suagand has become so rare in everyday Urdu speech. Still found in our literature.

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