Urdu-Persian: gulaab (Rose)

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    As far as I know, in the modern Persian language the word "gulaab" for "rose" is not used. I think just "gul" is the current usage. I do remember reading something from a prose piece which must have been taken from older language where an old lady's beauty, in her youth, was compared with "gul-i-gulaab". In Urdu, gulaab is rose. Is gulaab used at all these days in Persian?
  2. Phosphorus Senior Member

    ًQureshpor SaaHib, I believe "gul" (modern Western "gol") has always been the New Persian word for "rose"/"flower" (actually "gol-eh sorkh", literally "red flower", is the particular Persian word for "rose").

    Persian "golaab" is universally used in the spoken and formal language, but in sense of "rose water".

    Your given example from a prose, "گل گلاب", is still employed-specially in the conversational Persian. They usually use it to imply "dearest", "beloved" or the like (e.g. salaam Alii aaghaa-yeh gol-eh golaab). It literally means a "rose [which is best to be used in distillation] of rose water".

    I presume that the Urdu word, "gulaab" ~ "rose", is just a semantic development, and eventually a shift (from "rose water" to "rose").
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you Phosphorus SaaHib. I am very much obliged. I have to say that this has come to me as a surprise. I was aware of "gul-i-surx", but a rose comes in many colours. What do you make of the following Hafiz bait? (Sorry, I can't seem to get the two lines aligned!)

    عروس بخت در آن حجله با هزاران ناز
    شکسته کسمه و بر برگ گل گلاب زده
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  4. Phosphorus Senior Member


    Welcome bro. Yes you are right for "gol-eh sorx" (I think this is because Iranians traditionally prefer the red ones).

    Well I am not sure, but I have the feeling that its actual reading goes as follows:

    Arusii baxt dar aan hiijla baa hazaaraan naaz

    Shikasta kasma-wu bar bargii gul, gulaab zada (~ she has broken? the wig and has sprayed rose water on petal)

    If this is the correct way to read, so it will be out of context.
  5. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    shikastah kasmah / shikasteh kasmeh wa bar barg-e-gul, gulaab zadah / zadeh

    Sorry, but why would this reading be out of context?

    kasma shikastan = To curl the lock of hair.

    Anyway, I found this explanation:

    واژه نامه

    • [*=right] حجله : اطاق آراسته ، حجـــره زينت كرده جهت عروس و داماد

    • [*=right] كسمه : موي پيچ خورده بر روي صورت

    In that chamber of privacy, notwithstanding all her graces, the bride of fortune ​

    Placed indigo; and, on the tress of (dark, fragrant) musk, musk shed.

    (Henry Wilberfoce Clarke)

    [Of course the above translation is not literal]
    شرح بيت

    **- بخت و اقبال مانند عروسي آراسته با هزاران ناز در آن حجله ; زلف را روي پيشاني شكسته و بر چهره مثل برگ گل خود گلاب زده بود،كسمه : يادداشت علامه قزويني در معني كسمه اين است : كسمه با فتح اول موئي باشد از زلف كه سر آنرا مقراض كنند و خم داده بر رخسار گذارند و آنرا پيچه نيز گويند،،،شاعر گفته :روزي كه گل از كلّه برون آمد مستباد سحر از جيب هوا بر زد دستاز سبزه بر ابروي چمن وسمه كشيد وز غاليه بر فرق سمن كسمه شكستبخت را عروس و سراي مغان را حجله عروس دانسته ، مي گويد اين عروس با هزاران ناز زلف را آراسته و بر صورت خود گلاب زده بود،حاصل معني اينكه سراي پير مغان حجله عروس بخت بود، كنايه از اينكه عاليترين درجه سعادت در سراي پير مغان تجلي داشت ، **
  6. Phosphorus Senior Member

    Dear Faylasoof SaaHib, I found it out of context since I felt that Qureshpor SaaHib has cited it to check whether it is a case of "gul-ii gulaab" or not. This is the way I perceived it.

    By the way if you wish to write down a modern Western Persian pronunciation, here you are:

    Shekasteh kasme-(v)o bar barg-eh gol, golaab zadeh
  7. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    This was indeed my intention, Phosphorus SaaHib.

    Here is that passage I was alluding to in one of my earlier posts.

    زنی بود گریه منظر و بینهایت زشت روی- اورا برای کوری عقد بستند و بمناکحش در آوردند-روزی زن بشوهرش گفت -افسوس که این صورت من چون آفتاب و رخسارۂ من چون گل گلاب از چشم تو پوشیده است

    Does n't this mean "like rose flower"?
  8. Phosphorus Senior Member

    Glad to have perceived you correctly, Qureshpor SaaHib.

    Yes in your given context it evidently means "rose" (lit. "rose of rose water").

    I checked it in Dehkhoda and got that it, in an exquisitely loose contrast with its modern conversational usage, primarily means "rose" (~ "gol-eh sorx") or "a rose which is [best to be] used in distillation of rose water". Here is the link:

  9. Phosphorus Senior Member

    Also if you by chance seek to figure out any correspondences between "gulaab" and "rose" on one hand and "gul" and "flower" on the other hand, I have to affirm its possibility in the given context is zero. That is you cannot compare it with cases such as "gol-eh shaqaayeq" ~ "papaver flower", in which muDHaafun ilayh is itself a flower name; but "gol-eh golaab" is best compared with for instance "gul-eh surx" in which the latter element is not the name of a flower at all.

    Urdu "gulaab" in sense of "rose" (Per. "gol-eh golaab") is a further semantic development through dropping the first part, namely "gul". For similar examples I can point out Mazandarani dialects of Tehran (particularly that of Taleghani) "red" which means "red apple" but is actually derived from an earlier form of "red sif*" (cf. Per. "siib-eh sorx"; here "red" is an English loan).
  10. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you. As you've probably become aware, in Urdu the primary meaning of the word "gulaab" is "rose".

    When I first came across the term "gul-i-gulaab" in the passage that I have quoted, I took the meaning "the flower that is rose" that is..

    gulii kih naam-ash gulaab ast.

    But now I learn that gul-i-gulaab really means..

    gulii kih 3arq-ash gulaab naamiidah mii-shavad.

    Have I understood correctly?
  11. Phosphorus Senior Member

    Welcome brother. Yes now I am all aware of that.

    You have indeed got it correctly, Qureshpor SaaHib.
  12. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Ok I see, janaabe-e-phosphorus SaaHib!

    Incidentally, the author of the English translation I present in post#5 is not mentioned on the website from where I copied it but I recognise it as essentially that of Henry Wilberfoce Clarke, though with a slight modification.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  13. Phosphorus Senior Member

    I see, it's okey Faylasoof SaaHib.
  14. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Just one example from an Urdu poet's Ghazal (Miir Taqii Miir 1723-1810, also known as xudaa-ye-suxan)

    naazukii us ke lab kii kyaa kahiye!
    paNkhaRii ek gulaab kii sii hai!

    Oh how delicate are her lips!
    Just like the petals of a rose!
  15. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    And an example where "gulaab" means "rose water"!

    ab 3itr bhii malo, takalluf kii buu kahaaN
    vuh din havaa hu'e kih pasiinah gulaab thaa!

    There is not a hint of formality any more in putting on perfume
    Gone are the days when even my perspiration was rose water!

    Maadhu Ram Jauhar
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012

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