Urdu/Punjabi/Hindi: dard (gender)

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marrish

Senior Member
اُردو Urdu
Hi, the noun dard in Urdu, meaninng pain is a peculiar word. I hear it very commonly being used as a feminine noun, like مجھے درد ہو رہی ہے mujhe dard ho rahii hai. I haven't yet come across of this gender assignment in [classical] Urdu poetry or prose. Platts doesn't acknowledge the feminine possibility either. The usage of feminine is prevalent among Punjabi speakers for sure, but not only, I heard this from a couple of friends with a Hindi background, too.

How about the correctnes of such usage? Its popularity? Is it an example of a recent gender shift?
 
  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Hi, the noun dard in Urdu, meaninng pain is a peculiar word. I hear it very commonly being used as a feminine noun, like مجھے درد ہو رہی ہے mujhe dard ho rahii hai. I haven't yet come across of this gender assignment in [classical] Urdu poetry or prose. Platts doesn't acknowledge the feminine possibility either. The usage of feminine is prevalent among Punjabi speakers for sure, but not only, I heard this from a couple of friends with a Hindi background, too.

    How about the correctnes of such usage? Its popularity? Is it an example of a recent gender shift?

    As you have indicated "dard" in Urdu is masculine. I have not heard it to be feminine in Punjabi. "piiR" (pain), yes but not "dard".
     

    nineth

    Senior Member
    Hindi, Telugu
    In Hindi, it's masculine; it would sound a little odd to me if someone uses it in a feminine form, but not too much. PeeDa, which is roughly equivalent, is feminine and this could possibly be the source of confusion, and it really sounds weird (or much weirder) if someone uses peeda in a masculine form.
     
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    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Hi, the noun dard in Urdu, meaninng pain is a peculiar word. I hear it very commonly being used as a feminine noun, like مجھے درد ہو رہی ہے mujhe dard ho rahii hai. I haven't yet come across of this gender assignment in [classical] Urdu poetry or prose. Platts doesn't acknowledge the feminine possibility either. The usage of feminine is prevalent among Punjabi speakers for sure, but not only, I heard this from a couple of friends with a Hindi background, too.

    How about the correctnes of such usage? Its popularity? Is it an example of a recent gender shift?
    Although I have heard some people treat dard as feminine, it is, as we all agree, a masculine noun in Urdu and Colloquial Hindi:


    P درد dard [Pehl. dart; Zend drīta, fr. dar = S. dar], s.m. Pain, ache; affliction; pity, compassion, sympathy; affection

    ... and as you affirm, there is no evidence of it being treated as feminine in either Urdu prose or poetry. Here are some examples from Ghalib and Daagh Dehlavi:


    عشق سے طبیعت نے زیست کا مزا پایا
    درد کی دوا پائی، درد بے دوا پایا

    غالبؔ

    درد مِنّت کشِ دوا نہ ہوا
    میں نہ اچھا ہوا، برا نہ ہوا

    غالبؔ

    شیریں کے لیے تیشہ زنی اس نے نہیں کی
    فرماتے ہیں وہ درد تھا فرہاد کے سر میں

    داغ

    All have dard as masculine. Poets and writers from Lucknow did the same.

    In Hindi, it's masculine; it would sound a little odd to me if someone uses it in a feminine form, but not too much. Peeda which is roughly equivalent is feminine and this could possibly be the source of confusion, and it really sounds weird (or much weirder) if someone uses peeda in a masculine form.
    I agree with this! It does sound odd to me too but as I have heard it often enough used as a feminine by some people, and I do understand why they use it thus, I no longer react. But for us it has always been masculine.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Hi, the noun dard in Urdu, meaninng pain is a peculiar word. I hear it very commonly being used as a feminine noun, like مجھے درد ہو رہی ہے mujhe dard ho rahii hai. I haven't yet come across of this gender assignment in [classical] Urdu poetry or prose. Platts doesn't acknowledge the feminine possibility either. The usage of feminine is prevalent among Punjabi speakers for sure, but not only, I heard this from a couple of friends with a Hindi background, too.

    How about the correctnes of such usage? Its popularity? Is it an example of a recent gender shift?

    Searching on the net, to my surprise, I came across the following examples.

    بعض عورتوں کو تو آدھے سر کی درد ہوتی ہے ، اوریہ دردیں تھکا دینے والی ہوتی ہیں


    ba3z 3auratoN ko to aadhe sar kii dard hotii hai, aur yih dardeN thakaa dene vaalii hotii haiN

    اگر یہ سزائیں آج اِسی طرح نہ ہوتیں تو ہمیں یہ تجربہ کبھی بھی نہ ہوتا کہ بچے کی پیدائش کے وقت جو دَرد ہوتی ہے وہ کیا بلا ہوتی ہے

    agar yih sazaa'eN aaj is tarH nah hotiiN to hameN yih tajribah kabhii bhii nah hotaa kih bachche kii paidaa'ish ke vaqt jo dard hotii hai vuh kyaa balaa hotii hai.

    भारी दर्दें सहती हुई जच्चा हस्पताल पहुंची और नवजात शिशु को जन्म दिया!

    bhaarii dardeN sahtii hu'ii jachchaa haspataal pahuNchii aur navajaat shishu ko janm diyaa!
     
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    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    There is a wide agreement that dard is masculine both in Urdu and in Hindi. This is surely so in the literary language. The examples kindly provided above prove it clearly. But, as Qureshpor SaHib too admits, the usage does not apparently follow the norm. Many other feel dard as feminine doesn't sound too weird, though. The point I was trying to make is whether it is a sort of recent shift, or a gender shift in making?

    I am aware of the Punjabi and Hindi feminine words which can be used in place but I'm wondering whether it is the reason for this alone or whether dard as feminine noun is used in part of the world not possibly influenced by tthis.
     

    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    There is a wide agreement that dard is masculine both in Urdu and in Hindi. This is surely so in the literary language. The examples kindly provided above prove it clearly. But, as Qureshpor SaHib too admits, the usage does not apparently follow the norm. Many other feel dard as feminine doesn't sound too weird, though. The point I was trying to make is whether it is a sort of recent shift, or a gender shift in making?

    I am aware of the Punjabi and Hindi feminine words which can be used in place but I'm wondering whether it is the reason for this alone or whether dard as feminine noun is used in part of the world not possibly influenced by tthis.
    Searching the net can provide you with all sorts of examples and many usages which are non-standard, others just wrong! This is not restricted either to this particular topic or the languages under consideration. It all depends on where you end up in your search and yes of course you can find examples of درد dard treated as feminine now but the point I was making was that as far as I know in the standard Urdu of the Delhi School (dabistaan-e-dilli) - I mean Old Delhi School, which is now dead - or that of Lucknow (dabistaan-e-lakhnau) - which seems to be tottering - this has never been treated as feminine.

    To find out if this gender shift is recent and / or may be in the making under the influence of other languages where a synonym is feminine would require more research but in Hindi too it is masculine, as mentioned above. I had a look at my McGregor's Hindi-English Dictionary to see if it says anything about this gender shift but all I saw was: दर्द dard (P.) m. pain .... (where 'P' = Persian and 'm' = masculine).

    In the Urdu of Bihar too درد dard has always been masculine. However, having met many Urdu speakers (teachers included) in both India and Pakistan whose standard of Urdu grammar and vocabulary has something to be desired, means one shouldn't be surprised to find that they sometimes can't be sure of the gender of the noun they are using! For Urdu I also noticed an indifference by some to zer and zabar, i.e. not distinguishing the 'a' and 'i' vowel sounds, interchanging one for the other and not realizing they have changed the meaning! I see all this part of the same broader issue of poor language standards.
     
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    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    I have only ever heard dard being used as feminine with the plural dardeiN being just as common. Even with sar-dard the plural that's most often heard is sar-dardeiN. The only time you hear it being used in the masculine is in poetry or when the izaafat is used. So dard e sar and dard e dil tends to be masculine.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    No, Sheikh SaaHib, this is not true. "dard" is almost always masculine in Urdu speech and writing. Its gender has nothing to do with the izaafat.
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    marrish said:
    I haven't yet come across of this gender assignment in [classical] Urdu poetry or prose. ... The usage of feminine is prevalent among Punjabi speakers for sure, but not only, I heard this from a couple of friends with a Hindi background, too.

    ... Is it an example of a recent gender shift?
    Qureshpor said:
    As you have indicated "dard" in Urdu is masculine. I have not heard it to be feminine in Punjabi.
    Qureshpor said:
    Searching on the net, to my surprise, I came across the following examples.
    As everyone has already stated, dard is masculine in Urdu. However, one context in which dard is very often heard being (incorrectly!?) used as feminine by some speakers is to refer to labor/uterine contractions.
    • Punjabi: Doctor SaaHib/ah, dardaaN shuruu3 ho gai'yyaaN ne.
    • Urdu: Doctor SaaHib/ah, dardeN shuruu3 ho ga'ii haiN.
    This usage is interestingly attested in Urdu Lughat as well, with a literary example from 1935:
    دَرْدِیں لَگْنا محاورہ

    (عور) درد لگنا ، دردِ زِہ اٹھنا .

    خورشید جہاں بیگمُ کو مِیٹھی مِیٹھی دردیں لگیں .

    ( ۱۹۳۵ ، بیگماتِ شاہانِ اودھ ، ۵۱ ).
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    As everyone has already stated, dard is masculine in Urdu. However, one context in which dard is very often heard being (incorrectly!?) used as feminine by some speakers is to refer to labor/uterine contractions.
    • Punjabi: Doctor SaaHib/ah, dardaaN shuruu3 ho gai'yyaaN ne.
    • Urdu: Doctor SaaHib/ah, dardeN shuruu3 ho ga'ii haiN.
    This usage is interestingly attested in Urdu Lughat as well, with a literary example from 1935:
    Thank you Alfaaz SaaHib. I have not come across this usage in Punjabi.
    دَرْدِیں لَگْنا محاورہ

    (عور) درد لگنا ، دردِ زِہ اٹھنا .

    خورشید جہاں بیگمُ کو مِیٹھی مِیٹھی دردیں لگیں .

    ( ۱۹۳۵ ، بیگماتِ شاہانِ اودھ ، ۵۱ ).
    Thank you also for providing a literary reference. Who is the author of this book?

    The masculine for the muHaavarah "dard lagnaa" seems to go further back in time and is still in vogue.

    Urdu Lughat
     
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