List of English words of Persian origin
As Indo-European languages, English and Persian have many words of common Proto-Indo-European origin, and many of these [cognate] words often have similar forms. Examples of these include: English (Mother) and Persian (Mādar), English (Father) and Persian (Padar), English (Daughter) and Persian (Dokhtar), English (Brother) and Persian (Barādar) and English (Name) and Persian (Nām). However, this article will be concerned with loanwords, that is, words in English that derive from Persian, either directly, or more often, from one or more intermediary languages. One need to be aware that some English words do have the Persian origin, but they are imported words, due to some social or historical events, such as the English word (jungle) and the Persian (jangal), which has been imported to English, when India was under the control of British Empire, and Persian was one of the official languages for governmental writing. The English word, jungle did not exist prior to the colonial era in India.
Many words of Persian origin have made their way into the English language through different, often circuitous, routes. Some of them, such as “paradise”, date to cultural contacts between the Persians and the ancient Greeks or Romans and through Greek and Latin found their way to English. Persian as the second important language of Islam has influenced many languages in the Muslim world, and its words have found their way beyond the Muslim world.
Persia remained largely impenetrable to English-speaking travelers well into the 19th century. Persia was protected from Europe by overland trade routes that passed through territory inhospitable to foreigners, while trade at Persian ports in the Persian Gulf was in the hands of locals. In contrast, intrepid English traders operated in Mediterranean seaports of the Levant from the 1570s, and some vocabulary describing features of Ottoman culture found their way into the English language. Thus many words in the list below, though originally from Persian, arrived in English through the intermediary of Ottoman Turkish language.
Many Persian words also came into English through Urdu during British colonialism. Persian was the language of the Mughal court before British rule in India even though locals in North India spoke Hindusthani.
Other words of Persian origin found their way into European languages— and eventually reached English at second-hand— through the Moorish-Christian cultural interface in the Iberian peninsula during the Middle Ages thus being transmitted through Arabic.
Literally “Land of Afghans” in Persian.
Etymology: Spanish from Arabic al-faṣfaṣa : al-, the + faṣfaṣa, alfalfa (variant of fiṣfiṣa, ultimately (probably via Coptic p-espesta : p-, masculine sing. definite article + espesta, alfalfa) from Aramaic espestā from Middle Persian aspast, horse fodder.
Etymology: Meaning “Man of Army / One With Army” “Ar” short for “Artesh” meaning (Army) + “Mand” which relates to conduct to the prior word.
Etymology: Persian حشاشين
Etymology: from French babouche and Arabic بابوش, from Persian pāpoosh (پاپوش), from pa “foot” + poosh “covering.” a chiefly oriental slipper made without heel or quarters.
Etymology: Persian بابل bābul; akin to Sanskrit बब्बुल, बब्ब्ल babbula, babbla (Acacia arabica). an acacia tree (Acacia arabica) that is probably native to the Sudan but is widespread in northern Africa and across Asia through much of India
Etymology: French badiane, from Persian بادیان bādiyān ‘anise.’
بغداد, From Middle Persian Bhagadad (< baga ‘god’ and dāta ‘given, gave’) meaning “Gifted by God”
Etymology: Persian بختیار Bakhtyār, from bakhtyār fortunate, rich, from bakht fortune, prosperity + dār (> yār; cf. shayriyār ‘sovereign, king’ < xshatra ‘dominion, country’ > shahr ‘country, city’ + dār ‘having power over s.th.) ‘haver/having,’ i.e., ‘he/she who possesses fortune’. a member of the Bakhtiari people.
from Persian bakhshesh (بخشش), lit. “gift,” from verb بخشیدن bakhshidan “to give, to give in charity, to give mercifully; (hence, also) to forgive”. a gift of money
Etymology: probably from Hindi बालाघाट, from Persian بالا bālā ‘above’ + Hindi gaht ‘pass.’ tableland above mountain passes.
Etymology: بالاخانه bālākhāna from Persian بالا bālā ‘above’ + خانه khāna ‘house, upperhouse, room’
“Baldachin” (called Baldac in older times) was originally a luxurious type of cloth from Baghdad, from which name the word is derived, through Italian “Baldacco”. Baghdad is a Persian word meaning ‘Gifted by God’.
Etymology: Persian بلوچ، بلوچی Baluch, Baluchi. an Indo-Iranian people blended from a mixture of the Veddoid type isolated in the Hadhramaut and of the Irano-Afghan type and located in Baluchistan in the southwestern part of Pakistan.
Etymology: from Baluchistan, country of western Asia, from Persian بلوچستان Baluchistaan. a rug in somber colors (as mulberry and deep blue) woven by nomad tribes in Baluchistan and especially Seistan.
“governor of Croatia,” from Serbo-Croat. ban “lord, master, ruler,” from Persian baan (بان) “prince, lord, chief, governor”
possibly from Persian (خانه khāneh “house”).
Etymology: Persian برسم barsam, from Middle Persian برسم barsum, from Avestan بارسمان barsman. a bundle of sacred twigs or metal rods used by priests in Zoroastrian ceremonies.
Etymology: Hindi बस bas, from Persian بس. The word means Enough, Stop.
from Persian بازار bāzār (=”market”), from Middle-Persian بها-زار bahâ-zâr (“The Place of Prices”).
Etymology: Hindi बाज़ीगर bazigar, from Persian بازیگر. literally means a ‘player’ (< bāzi ‘game, play’ + participial suffix -gar; cf. English suffix -er, viz. “play-er”)and it refers to a gypsylike nomadic Muslim people in India.
Etymology: Middle French bedegard, from Persian بادآورد baadaaward. gall like a moss produced on rosebushes (as the sweetbrier or eglantine) by a gall wasp (Rhodites rosae or related species)
Etymology: Hindi बेगार begaar, from Persian بی-کار bi-kār. Meaning ‘without work’, forced labor.
Etymology: Hindi बेगार begaar, from Persian بی-کار bi-kār.. Meaning a person without work, a forced laborer.
Etymology: French beige via Old French bege, perhaps from Italian bambagia cotton, from Medieval Latin bambac-, bambax, from Middle Greek βαμβάκ bambak-, βάμβαξ bambax, probably from a Turkish word represented now by Turkish pamuk cotton, probably of Persian origin; akin to Persian پامبا pamba cotton. cloth (as dress goods) made of natural undyed wool. a variable color averaging light grayish yellowish brown. a pale to grayish yellow. “beige” /bazh/ may derive from “camBYSES” (Gk. βίσσος “byssos” fine cloth, “bysses.byses” fine threads. Persian princes’ robe)<Persian “kamBUJIYA”<Babylonian “kamBUZI” title of kings of Babylon who wore the robe each New Year.
Etymology: French Bellérique, from Arabic بالعلاج balilaj, from Persian بليله balilah. the fruit of the bahera. compare to MYROBALAN.
Etymology: modification of Persian بالم balam. a Persian-gulf boat holding about eight persons and propelled by paddles or poles.
Etymology: Hindi बेनाम benaam, from Persian بنام banaam in the name of + i. made, held, done, or transacted in the name of.
from pād-zahr (پادزهر) antidote. Also used in the following words BEZOAR, ORIENTAL BEZOAR, PHYTOBEZOAR, TRICHOBEZOAR, WESTERN BEZOAR. any of various concretions found in the alimentary organs (especially of certain ruminants) formerly believed to possess magical properties and used in the Orient as a medicine or pigment —
Etymology: from Persian بهشت bihisht heavenly one. India: a water carrier especially of a household or a regiment.
Etymology: Hindi भुमिदर bhumidar, from भूमि bhumi earth, land (from Sanskrit भूमि bhuumi also Persian بومی Bumi and Old Persian