List of English words of Arabic origin (G-J)

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The following English words have been acquired either directly from Arabic or else indirectly by passing from Arabic into other languages and then into English. Most entered one or more of the Romance languages before entering English.

To qualify for this list, a word must be reported in etymology dictionaries as having descended from Arabic. A handful of dictionaries has been used as the source for the list.[1] Words associated with the Islamic religion are omitted; for Islamic words, see Glossary of Islam. Archaic and rare words are also omitted. A bigger listing including many words very rarely seen in English is available at Wiktionary dictionary.

Loanwords listed in alphabetical order[edit]


غربل gharbal, to sift. Common in Arabic before year 1000.[2] Early records in European languages are at seaports in Italy and Catalonia. They include Latin garbellare = "to sift" in year 1191 sifting drugs and resins, Latin garbellus = "a sieve for sifting spices" in 1227, Latin garbellare sifting dyestuffs in 1269, Italian gherbellare = "to sift spices and drugs" in 1321.[3] They begot English garbele = "to sift spices" starting 1393. In later-medieval Europe, pepper and ginger and other spice trade items were always imports from the Arabic-speaking Eastern Mediterranean, and the same goes for many botanical drugs (herbal medicines) and a few expensive colorants. The spices, drugs and colorants contained variable amounts of natural chaff residuals and occasionally contained unnatural added chaff. In England among the merchants of these products in late medieval and early post-medieval centuries, garble was a frequent word.[4] Sifting and culling was word's usual meaning in English until the 19th century and today's meaning grew out from it.[5][4]
قزّ qazz, silk of any kind – this is uncertain as the source for the Western word, but etymology dictionaries are almost unanimous the source is probably from medieval Arabic somehow. The English is from late medieval French gaze, pronounced gazz | ga:z in French, meaning "high-quality lightweight fabric having an aspect of transparency" (very often silk but not necessarily silk). Al-qazz = "silk" was frequent in medieval Arabic, and it could be relatively easily transferred into the Latin languages because much of the silk of the medieval Latins was imported from Arabic lands.[6] Other propositions involving other Arabic source-words for the French gaze have also been aired.[6] In the West the word has had varying sense over time, something it has in common with a number of other fabric names. [5]
غزال ghazāl, gazelle. Two species of gazelle are native in the Middle East. The word's earliest known record in the West is in early 12th-century Latin as gazela in a book about the First Crusade by Albert of Aix.[7] Another early record is in late 12th-century French as gacele in a book about the Third Crusade by Ambroise of Normandy. Another is in late 13th-century French as gazel in a book about the Seventh Crusade by Jean de Joinville. [6]
gerbil, jerboa, gundi, jird 
These are four classes of rodents native to desert or semi-desert environments in North Africa and Asia, and not found natively in Europe. Jerboa is a 17th-century European borrowing of Arabic يربوع yarbūʿa = "jerboa" [7]. Early-19th-century European naturalists created "gerbil" as a Latinate diminutive of the word jerboa.[8] [8]. قندي qundī = gundi, 18th-century European borrowing [9]. جرد jird = jird, 18th-century European borrowing[9] [10].
غول ghūl, ghoul. Ghouls are a well-known part of Arabic folklore. The word's first appearance in the West was in an Arabic-to-French translation of the 1001 Arabian Nights tales in 1712.[7] Its first appearance in English was in a popular novel, Vathek, an Arabian Tale by William Beckford, in 1786.[10] Ghouls appear in English translations of the 1001 Arabian Nights tales in the 19th century. [11]
زرافة zarāfa, giraffe. The giraffe and its distinctiveness was discussed by medieval Arabic writers including Al-Jahiz (died 868) and Al-Masudi (died 956).[11] The earliest records of the transfer of the Arabic word to the West are in Italian in the second half of the 13th century,[7] a time at which a few giraffes were brought to the Kingdom of Sicily and Naples from a zoo in Cairo, Egypt.[12] [12]


haboob (type of sandstorm) 
هبوب habūb, gale wind. The English means a dense, short-lived, desert sandstorm created by an air downburst. Year 1897 first known use in English.[13]
حريم harīm, women's quarters in a large household. The Arabic root-word means "forbidden" and thus the word had a connotation of a place where men were forbidden. (Crossref Persian and Urdu Zenana for semantics.) 17th-century English entered English through Turkish, where the meaning was closer to what the English is. In Arabic today harīm means womenkind in general.[14]
حشيش hashīsh, hashish. Hashīsh in Arabic has the literal meaning "dried herb" and "rough grass". It also means hemp grown for textile fiber. Its earliest record as a nickname for cannabis drug is in 12th- or 13th-century Arabic.[15] In English in a traveller's report from Egypt in 1598 it is found in the form "assis". The word is rare in English until the 19th century. The wordform in English today dates from the early 19th century.[16] [13]
henna, alkanet, alkannin, Alkanna 
حنّاء hinnā, henna. Henna is a reddish natural dye made from the leaves of Lawsonia inermis. The English dates from about 1600 and came directly from Arabic through English-language travellers reports from the Middle East.[17] [14]. Alkanet dye is a reddish natural dye made from the roots of Alkanna tinctoria and this word is 14th-century English, with a Romance-language diminutive suffix '-et', from medieval Latin alcanna meaning both "henna" and "alkanet", from Arabic al-hinnā meaning henna.[18] [15]
hookah (water pipe for smoking)
حقّة huqqa, pot or jar or round container. The word arrived in English from India in the 2nd half of the 18th century meaning hookah.[19] The Indian word was from Persian, and the Persian was from Arabic, but the Arabic source-word did not mean hookah, although the word re-entered Arabic later on meaning hookah. [16]
hummus (food recipe)
حمّص himmas, chickpea(s). Chickpeas in medieval Arabic were called himmas[2] and were a frequently eaten food item.[20] In the 19th century in Syria and Lebanon the word was commonly pronounced hommos.[21] This was borrowed into Turkish as humus, and entered English from Turkish in the mid-20th century. The Turkish and English hummus means mashed chickpeas mixed with tahini and certain flavourings. In Arabic that is called himmas bil tahina. See also the list's Addendum for Middle Eastern cuisine words. [17]


jar (food or drink container) 
جرّة jarra, an earthenware jar, an upright container made of pottery. First records in English are in 1418 and 1421 as a container for olive oil.[22] Documents for Catalan jarra start in 1233, Spanish jarra in 1251, Italian iarra in 1280s.[23] Arabic jarra is commonplace centuries earlier.[2] For the medieval Arabic and Spanish word, and also for the word's early centuries of use in English, the typical jar was considerably bigger than the typical jar in English today.[22] [18]
jasmine, jessamine, jasmone
ياسمين yās(a)mīn, jasmine. In medieval Arabic jasmine was well known.[2] The word has an early record in the West in southern Italy in an Arabic-to-Latin book translation about year 1240 that mentions flower-oil extracted from jasmine flowers.[7] In the West, the word was uncommon until the 16th century and the same goes for the plant itself (Jasminum officinale and its relatives).[24] [19]
jerboa, jird
see gerbil
jinn (mythology) 
الجنّ al-jinn, the jinn. The roles of jinns and ghouls in Arabic folklore are discussed by e.g. Al-Masudi (died 956). (The semantically related English genie is not derived from jinn, though it has been influenced by it through the 1001 Nights tales). [20]
julep (type of drink) 
جلاب julāb, rose water[2] and a syrupy drink.[7] Arabic was from Persian gulab = "rose water". In its early use in English it was a syrupy drink.[25] Like the words candy, sugar, and syrup, "julep" arrived in English in late medieval times in association with imports of cane sugar from Arabic-speaking lands. Like syrup, julep's early records in English are mostly in medicine writers.[25] [21]
jumper (dress or pullover sweater) 
جبّة jubba, an outer garment.[2][26] In Western languages the word is first seen in southern Italy in Latin in 1053 and 1101 as iuppa, meaning an expensive garment and made of silk, not otherwise described. Mid-12th-century Latin juppum and late-12th-century French jupe meant some kind of luxury jacket garment.[27] In English, the 14th-century ioupe | joupe, 15th-century iowpe | jowpe, 17th-century jup, juppe, and jump, 18th jupo and jump, 19th jump and jumper, all meant jacket.[28] [22]

Addendum for words that may or may not be of Arabic ancestry[edit]

This English word is not found in bygone centuries in French or other languages. The early meaning in English was poultry entrails and its earliest known record in English is 1422.[29] Its parentage is not clear. Some nouns formed by suffixing -age to verbs in late medieval English and not found in French: cartage (1305), leakage (1444 lecage), steerage (1399 sterage), stoppage (1465), towage (1327).[29] Garbage is arguably from English garble = "to sift" (first known record 1393[29]), which clearly came to English through the Romance languages from Arabic gharbal = "to sift". The forms "garbellage" and "garblage" meaning the garbage or inferior material removed by sifting, are recorded spottily in English from the 14th through 18th centuries and those are clearly from garble.[4] [23]
genet/genetta (nocturnal mammal) 
Seen in 13th-century English,[29] 13th-century French and Catalan, and 12th-century Portuguese.[7] It is absent from medieval Arabic writings.[30] Nevertheless, an oral dialectical Maghrebi Arabic source for the European word has been suggested. جرنيط jarnait = "genet" is attested in the 19th century in Maghrebi dialect.[31] But the absence of attestation in Arabic in any earlier century must make Arabic origin questionable. [24]
The name is ultimately descended from ancient Greek kithara, which was a plucked string musical instrument of the lyre type. Classical and medieval Latin had cithara as a lyre and more loosely a plucked string instrument. So did the medieval Romance languages. Cithara was pronounced "sitara". Cithara is unlikely to be the parent of the French quitarre (c. 1275), French guiterne (c. 1280), French kitaire (c. 1285), Italian chitarra (c. 1305; pronounced "kitarra"), and Spanish guitarra (1330–1343), each meaning a gittern type guitar.[32] The reason it is unlikely: A change from ci- to any of qui- | gui- | ki- | chi- has almost no parallel change in form in other words within the Romance languages around that time; i.e., change from sound /s/ to sound /k/ or /g/ is a rarity. Hence the qui- | gui- | ki- | chi- form (which is essentially all one form) is believed to have been introduced from an external source. A minority of dictionaries report the external source was medieval Greek kithára = "lyre, and more loosely a plucked string instrument", a common word in medieval Greek records. A majority of dictionaries report the external source was Arabic قيتارة qītāra | كيثرة kaīthara, with the same meaning as the Greek. An Arabic name of roughly the form qītāra | kaīthār is extremely rare in medieval Arabic records, which undermines the idea that Arabic was the source.[33] Lute and tanbur on this list are descended from names that are common in medieval Arabic records for guitar-type musical instruments. [25]
Medieval French hasart | hasard | azard had the primary meaning of a game of dice and especially a game of dice where money was gambled. The early records are in northern French and the first is about year 1150 as hasart,[7] with multiple records of hasart in northern France about year 1200,[7] and Anglo-Norman hasart is in England before 1216,[34] and Anglo-Norman has hasardur and hasardrie at and before 1240,[34] which is followed by Italian açar about 1250 with the same meaning as hasart | hasard,[35] and Italian-Latin azar(r)um and azardum later in the 13th century,[36] and Spanish azar starting around 1250,[37] and English hasard about 1300.[29] According to its etymology summary in a number of today's dictionaries, the French word was descended through Spanish from an unattested Arabic oral dialectical az-zār | az-zahr = "the dice" – but that is an extremely improbable proposition because that word has no record in Arabic with that meaning until the early 19th century.[38] An alternative proposition, having the advantage of attestation in medieval Arabic, derives it from medieval Arabic يسر yasar = "playing at dice".[39] Conceivably this might have entered French through the Crusader States of the Levant. The French word is of obscure origin.[40]


  1. ^ The dictionaries used to compile the list are these: Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales: Etymologies, Online Etymology Dictionary, Random House Dictionary, Concise Oxford English Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, Collins English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Arabismen im Deutschen: lexikalische Transferenzen vom Arabischen ins Deutsche, by Raja Tazi (year 1998), A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (a.k.a. "NED") (published in pieces between 1888 and 1928), An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English (year 1921) by Ernest Weekley. Footnotes for individual words have supplementary other references. The most frequently cited of the supplementary references is Glossaire des mots espagnols et portugais dérivés de l'arabe (year 1869) by Reinhart Dozy.
  2. ^ a b c d e f A number of large dictionaries were written in Arabic during medieval times. Searchable copies of nearly all of the main medieval Arabic dictionaries are online at and/or One of the most esteemed of the dictionaries is Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari's "Al-Sihah" which is dated around and shortly after year 1000. The biggest is Ibn Manzur's "Lisan Al-Arab" which is dated 1290 but most of its contents were taken from a variety of earlier sources, including 9th- and 10th-century sources. Often Ibn Manzur names his source then quotes from it. Therefore, if the reader recognizes the name of Ibn Manzur's source, a date considerably earlier than 1290 can often be assigned to what is said. A list giving the year of death of a number of individuals who Ibn Manzur quotes from is in Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, volume 1, page xxx (year 1863). Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon contains much of the main contents of the medieval Arabic dictionaries in English translation. At, in addition to searchable copies of medieval Arabic dictionaries, there are searchable copies of a large number of medieval Arabic texts on various subjects.
  3. ^ Regarding Italian-Latin garbellare meaning "to sift spices, drugs, dyes and resins", a set of examples at the port of Genoa in and around the 13th century is in the downloadable book Vocabolario Ligure, by Sergio Aprosio, year 2001 on page 419, including wordforms garbellatura, garbellus, etc. An example at the port of Marseille in Latin in the mid 13th century is at Du Cange. Examples at the port of Pisa in Italian in the early 14th century are at garbel @ Tesoro della Lingua Italiana delle Origini, including wordforms gherbellare (verb) and ghierbello (noun). Examples at the port of Valencia in Catalan in the early 14th century are at Ref, Ref, Ref, where the sifted materials were spices and dyes and the wordforms included garbellar | guarbellar | garbellada. In Italian with date around 1340 the word occurs more than two hundred times in a merchant's handbook, Francesco Pegolotti's La Pratica della Mercatura, where it comes up in the context of quality-control of spices, drugs, dyes, and resins, and is spelled both garbell__ and gherbell__. In Spanish there is a not-common garbillo = "sieve". It entered Spanish from the Catalan garbell. Its uncommonness in Spanish is shown by the CORDE Spanish text database, which does not have it in medieval Spanish, and rarely has it in post-medieval Spanish. One of the uncommon instances in Spanish in the CORDE database is in year 1509 in a translation to Spanish of a medicine book written in Italy in Latin by Theodoric of Lucca (died c. 1298), spelled in Spanish garbelladura. In German in 1420 there is gerbelieren = "to cleanse wares from impurities", clearly from the Italian gherbellareRaja Tazi 1998. French grabeler = "to sift spices or drugs" (1439) is understood to be from the Italian and Catalan and ultimately from the Arabic gharbalgrabeler @ From the medieval use contexts and the locations where the early Latinate records are found, the inference is made that the Arabic word entered Italian merchant vocabulary from the Mediterranean-wide sea-commerce in spices, drugs, colorants, and resins. For background information on such commerce by Italians in Arabic-speaking cities, Pegolotti is good. In addition to the Italian Maritime Republics, the Catalans based at Barcelona and Valencia were active in the Mediterranean-wide sea-commerce in the same way as the Italians – Ref (spices on page 40).
  4. ^ a b In England around year 1400, either in English or in Anglo-Norman French, all of the following words referred to sifting removal of stalks and impurities from spices: garbel, garbelage, garbelen, garbelinge, garbalour, garbelure, garbellable, ungarbled – Middle English Dictionary. For example in an Act of Parliament in 1439 applying to English ports where spices were offered for sale, any spices not "trewly and duely garbelyd and clensyd" were subject to "forfaiture of the said Spiceries so yfound ungarbelyd and unclensyd". Garbled meant that the parts of the spice plant that were not part of the spice were removed. Garble was also used as a noun for the refuse removed by garbling; e.g. in an Act of Parliament in 1603-04: "If any of the said Spices... shall be mixed with any Garbles..." – ref: NED. The verb Garble has records in England starting from 1393 documented in the Middle English Dictionary at ref and ref. A Garbler or Garbelour, also 1393, was an official in the City of London who could enter a shop or warehouse to view spices and drugs, and garble them, to check them for compliance with rules against having cheaper stuff mixed in with them. Meanwhile, the early meaning of the English "garbage" (first known record 1422, in London) was the low-grade yet consumable parts of poultry such as the birds' heads, necks and gizzards – ref: MED. Over the next two centuries "garbage" gradually came to mean the refuse parts of butchered animals – ref: Lexicons of Early Modern English. In the early 18th century Nathan Bailey's English Dictionary defined garbage as "the entrails, etc., of cattle", and defined garble as "to cleanse from dross and dirt", and defined garbles as "the dust, soil or filth separated by garbling" – ref. Nathan Bailey says the parent of garbage is garble (together with the suffix -age). Most dictionaries today disagree with Bailey. They say instead the parent of garbage is unknown. The influential New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (year 1901) says the word garbage is "of obscure origin". To that dictionary's knowledge, however, the earliest record for garbage is 1430 and the earliest for garble is 1483 (ref: NED), which, if it were true, would imply that "garbage" existed in English prior to the arrival of garble. The fact that garble has records from 1393 makes it easier to believe that garbage probably or possibly came from garble.
  5. ^ English verb "garble" in New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (year 1901).
  6. ^ a b In medieval Arabic al-qazz meant "silk" including "silk garment", "silk fabric", "silk yarn", and "raw silk", and it is a common word in medieval Arabic – see دمقس AND القزّ @ and القزّ @ Latin Gazzatum = "luxurious clothing" is in Latin in 1279 – Du Cange. In medieval Latin that is a rare word and it looks foreign although the -atum part of it is a common Latin suffix. The Latin suffix -atum means "having properties characteristic of". So gazzatum clothing is clothing having properties of gazz (whatever gazz is). French gaze is pronounced like English gazz. French gaze has its first record in 1461 as man's robe made of In French in 1483 it is some kind of garment fabric and is spelled gazDMF. In French in the later 16th century gaze was "high-quality light-weight fabric having transparency" (example: Cotgrave's French-English dictionary year 1611, where Cotgrave's English "tiffany" meant transparent silk). The French gaze is the parent of English gauze (1561), Spanish gasa (1611), German Gass (1649), German Gaze (1679), Italian garza (1704), Catalan gasa (1736) – Raja Tazi, year 1998 page 201. Excepting small quantities, silk was not produced in Latin Europe until the 14th century. Instead almost all the silk fabric of the medieval Latins was imported from Byzantine and Arabic lands, pre-14th century; and importing continued in the 14th and 15th centuries – "Silk in the Medieval World" by Anna Muthesius in The Cambridge History of Western Textiles (year 2003). Hence multiple mercantile routes existed by which an Arabic word for silk could have entered Western languages. A change from 'q' to 'g' in going from Arabic qazz to a Western gazz has parallels in other Arabic loanwords in the West, which are noted by Dozy year 1869 page 15, Devic year 1876 page 123, and Lammens year 1890 page xxvii - xxviii. In medieval Arabic there was also الخزّ al-khazz = "silk fabric; half-silk fabric; fine fabric" and it was a commonly used word – الخزّ @, الخزّ @, Lane's Lexicon page 731 – and an Arabic 'kh' converted to a medieval Latin 'g' has parallels in Algorithm, Magazine, and Galingale. As a separate idea, some of today's dictionaries report that the late medieval French name gaze originated from the name of the Middle Eastern coastal town Gaza. This is an old idea which can be found in Gilles Ménage's Dictionnaire Étymologique year 1694. But the idea comes without supporting evidence, and comes lacking a fabric definition for the supposed exported fabric, and moreover the historical records are such that "the existence of a textile industry in medieval Gaza is not assured" –
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h More details at Etymologie in French language. Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales (CNRTL) is a division of the French National Centre for Scientific Research.
  8. ^ Book, Addenda au FEW XIX (Orientalia), by Raymond Arveiller, year 1999, on pages 132-134 for jerboa | gerboa | gerbo and gerbil. Gerbil is a diminutive of gerbo, and gerbo came from jerboa in the 18th century.
  9. ^ The word Jird is rare in the European languages until the 20th century. One early record is the following English from Travels, or, Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant, by Thomas Shaw, year 1738 (and translated to French 1743): "The Jird and the Jerboa are two little harmless animals which burrow in the ground.... All the legs of the Jird are nearly of the same length, with each of them five toes; whereas the fore-feet of the Barbary Jerboa are very short and armed only with three."
  10. ^ "Ghoul" in NED (year 1900).
  11. ^ Al-Masudi's 10th-century Arabic, together with modern French translation, is online in chapter 33 of Al-Masudi's Prairies d'Or.
  12. ^ Book The Giraffe in History and Art by Berthold Laufer (year 1928), chapter headed "The Giraffe among the Arabs and Persians" and chapter headed "The Giraffe in the Middle Ages".
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ Book The Herb: Hashish versus medieval Muslim society, by Franz Rosenthal, year 1971, pages 41–45.
  16. ^ "Hashish" in NED (year 1901).
  17. ^ Henne pronounced hen-ne and meaning henna is in Latin in the 13th and 14th centuries – ref, ref. But it is rare in medieval Latin – ref, ref. The word is not on record in French until 1541 and English until c. 1600. Today's English dictionaries report that the English was borrowed directly from Arabic hinnā, because the early English records are in travelers' reports and generally do not conform well to the Latin spelling – ref: NED. Henna was in use in the Mediterranean region from antiquity and the name for henna in classical Latin was cyprus (kupros in ancient Greek).
  18. ^ The active dye chemical in both alkanet and henna is a naphthoquinone derivative (alkannin in alkanet, lawsone in henna) and the two dyes are similar in several ways. The name alcanna | alchanna = "alkanet dye" has late medieval records in Latin, and some Romance languages, and English. Examples from 14th- and 15th-century English are in the MED. The same word alcanna | alchanna was also in use in late medieval Latin meaning "henna". An example noted by Raja Tazi (year 1998) is that in Gerard of Cremona's Arabic-to-Latin translation of Ibn Sina's Canon of Medicine, Ibn Sina's Arabic hinnā was translated to Latin alcanna. An example of the Latin spelling alchana meaning henna is in Simon of Genoa's medical dictionary, dated late 13th century. In the Arabic alphabet there are two letters h, one like a Latin and English h, and the other with a stronger sound, and the h of al-hinnā is the strongly pronounced one, which helps explain why it got rendered as 'ch' or 'c' in Latin (the same rendering is seen in the medieval Latin wordform Machometus | Macometus meaning the Prophet Mahommed – Ref). The rendering most likely originated in Italy. In Italy in Latin, and Italian, if it had been rendered as hanna there would have been much tendency to pronounce it "anna" (still true in Italian today). The often weak and disappearing pronunciation of the sound /h/ in Latin, especially in Italy, is an aspect of Latin pronunciation (the sounds of Latin). Medieval Italian had alcan[n]a = "henna" + "alkanet" – TLIO. Medieval Catalan had alquena = "henna" – Vocabulario del Comercio Medieval. This was not in Spanish, where the form was alheña | alfeña = "henna". Medieval Spanish has practically no example where an Arabic letter h got converted in Spanish to Spanish 'c' or /k/ sound (examples come from Catalan) – ref: Dozy 1869 and Steiger 1932. And medieval Spanish has no records of alcana or alcaneta meaning henna or alkanet – Dozy 1869 and Maíllo Salgado 1998 and Corriente 2008. The alkanet dye plant Alkanna tinctoria was in use in the Mediterranean region as a dye since antiquity (was called anchusa in classical Latin). In medieval Arabic it had several names, none related to al-hinnā – see الشنجار @ and e.g., e.g..
  19. ^ "Hookah" in New English Dictionary on Historical Principles.
  20. ^ Book Medieval Arab Cookery: Essays and Translations, by M. Rodinson, A.J. Arberry and C. Perry, year 2001.
  21. ^ The Arabic dictionaries spell it "himmas" but the people pronounce it "hommos", said Henri Lammens, who lived in Beirut in the 19th century – Remarques sur les mots français dérivés de l'arabe, by Henri Lammens, year 1890, page 93. It was pronounced "homos" in Egypt in the 18th century – Flora Aegyptiaco-Arabica, by Peter Forskal, year 1775, page LXXI (in Latin).
  22. ^ a b "Jar" in the Middle English Dictionary: a quote dated 1421. The same dictionary has another quote for "Jar" dated 1418. The jars hold olive oil in both of those cases. Jar was rare in English until the 17th century, and the 17th century English jar still had the primary meaning of a large earthenware jar holding imported olive oil (or less often other vegetable oil) used as fuel for oil-lamps. This can be seen from a search for jar | jarr | jarre | iar | iarre at Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME). More on the early meaning of "Jar" in English is in New English Dictionary on Historical Principles.
  23. ^ Gerra @ modern Catalan dictionary reports the first record of gerra in Catalan is in 1233 spelled jarra. Jarra @ Corpus Diacrónico del Español has its earliest record in Spanish in 1251. Iarra @ Girolamo Caracausi, year 1983 reports early records in southern and northern Italian in the 1280s.
  24. ^ Jasmine is rare in late medieval Latin. In French it is not found until the early 16th century, except for one isolated instance in the 14th century as Spanish and Catalan have their first instances in the 14th century while the earliest in Portuguese is about 1500 – DEAF. It is in Italian in the 14th century in the form gelsominoTLIO. During the 16th century the plant became common in gardens in western Europe, including England. An English botany book in 1597 said correctly that the plant was unknown to the ancient Greek botanist DioscoridesGerarde's Herball, 1597. The plant was unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In late medieval southern Italy the jasmine flower-oil was sold under a Latin name of the form sambacus | zambacca which was from Arabic zanbaq = "jasmine flower-oil"; crossref sambac.
  25. ^ a b "Julep" in New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. Similarly in An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, by Walter W. Skeat, year 1888.
  26. ^ Dictionnaire détaillé des noms des vêtements chez les Arabes, by Reinhart Dozy, year 1845. On pages 107 - 109 it quotes the garment word jubba from some medieval Arabic records.
  27. ^ All the Western languages in the late medieval period had iuppa | juppa as a kind of jacket. The earliest Western record, year 1053 southwestern Italy, just has iuppa named in a list of valuable goods at an abbey, with many of the other listed goods made of silk (text is online in Latin). The next earliest, year 1101 southeastern Italy, involves a gift of a silk iuppa (online in Latin). Other records of a somewhat early date in Latin, French and Italian include: instances where the juppa garment was banned or restricted at monasteries because it was considered too luxurious, instances where it was made of silk, instances where it was buttoned in front with jeweled buttons, instances where it was an item in a Last Will and Testament, instances where it was being worn on a battlefield, and instances where it was said to be worn by Muslims and made in Muslim lands – refs: Jupa @ Du Cange (Latin J pronounced Y); Jupe @ Women's Costume in French Texts of the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, by Eunice Rathbone Goddard, year 1927; Iuppa @ Arabismi Medievali di Sicilia, by Girolamo Caracausi, year 1983; Giubba @ TLIO. The earliest record in French is in a poem, Partonopeus de Blois, dated 1170-1188, in which a Christian princess is described as wearing "a purple-ish jupe well-made of Muslim workmanship" – ref, ref, ref. The medieval jupe could be a man's or a woman's jacket. The style or shape of the jacket is not clear in its early records in Latin Europe but indications are it was short in length – see Goddard 1927, above. In 14th and 15th century Europe the shape was like the pourpoint jacket (pictures of 14th century pourpoint) and the Doublet jacket.
  28. ^ Examples in late medieval English are at Joupe @ The Middle English Dictionary; see also Jupon @ The Middle English Dictionary. Jupe continued in use in Scots English as late as the mid-19th century, meaning jacket, but in standard written English jupe became near-extinct or very rare about two centuries earlier – ref: NED. In a German-to-English dictionary dated 1706 the German Joppe or Juppe was translated as standard English "a jupo, jacket, or jump" – ref: Ernest Weekley. Bailey's English Dictionary in 1726 defined a jump as "a short coat; also a sort of bodice for women" – ref. Webster's English Dictionary in 1828 defined a jump as "a kind of loose waistcoat worn by females" – ref. Webster's English Dictionary in 1913 defined a jump as "a kind of loose jacket for men" – ref – and defined a jumper as "a loose upper garment; a sort of blouse worn by workmen over their ordinary dress to protect it" – ref. New English Dictionary on Historical Principles published in 1901 defined a jumper in year 1901 as "a kind of loose outer jacket reaching to the hips, made of canvas, serge, coarse linen, etc., and worn by sailors, truckmen, etc." – ref: NED. That dictionary has more on jup, jupe, jump, and jumper as jackets. Most dictionaries say: jumper = "jacket" is from jump = "jacket" which is from jupo | jup = "jacket". Some dictionaries also say: the alteration from the older jup | jupe to the newer jump can have occurred through the influence of the unrelated common English word jump. Such an alteration – where the less-common word becomes phonetically 'contaminated' by a somewhat-comparable more-common word – is called assimilation by "folk etymology". Dictionaries reporting in favor of the ultimate ancestry of jumper in the medieval Arabic "jubba" include NED (1901), Weekley (1921), Klein (1966), Partridge (1966), Ayto (2005), Concise OED (2010), Collins English (2010), Webster's New World (2010), and American Heritage (2010), although some of these also flag the case as incompletely established. It is universally accepted that medieval English jupe descended from Arabic jubba but in the judgment of some dictionaries the descent of English jumper from English jupe is incompletely documented.
  29. ^ a b c d e As documented in the Middle English Dictionary (the "MED").
  30. ^ Glossaire des mots espagnols et portugais dérivés de l'arabe by R. Dozy & W.H. Engelmann. 430 pages. Published in 1869.
  31. ^ Journal Asiatique, year 1849, vol I page 541.
  32. ^ Dictionnaire Étymologique de l'Ancien Français (DÉAF) has records for the guitar word in French in the later 13th century with spellings quitarre, guiterne and kitaire. Early records in Italian and Spanish are cited in "Lute, Gittern, & Citole" by Crawford Young, a medieval history article published in A Performer's Guide to Medieval Music (year 2000). Chitarra appears in the Italian writer Dante at or before 1307 (Dante's text is online) and another early record in Italian is around 1300 as chitarre in a poem entitled L'Intelligenza (which is online). Additional early records in Italian, dated 1313, 1324-28, and 1334, are at chitarra @ Italian chitarre was pronounced ki-tar-re. Italian etymology dictionaries say the Italian word came directly from Greek kithára – e.g. In Spanish the earliest reliably dated record of the guitar word is as guitarra in a poem entitled Libro de buen amor dated 1330-1343 (a note about dating issues concerning two other Spanish texts is at Ref). Spanish etymology dictionaries say the Spanish word originated in Spain from an unrecorded Andalusian Arabic qītāra – e.g. guitarra @ Diccionario RAE. But that claim by the Spanish etymology dictionaries has to be doubted for the reason that forms of the word have multiple records in France and Italy for many decades beforehand. That is, the chronology of the records clearly admits the possibility that guitarra entered Spanish from French and Italian. In France (the south of France particularly) and Italy from broadly around that time period there are many instances in which a word-initial /k/ sound got altered to a /g/ sound. Four examples that later ended up in English are "grease", "gourd", "gulf" and noun "grate" (whose etymologies are briefly summarized by English dictionaries and more details on them are given in French dictionaries at CNRTL, DÉAF, and DMF, plus Ducange).
  33. ^ According to minority opinion, the word "guitar" does not have Arabic ancestry. The basis for this opinion is, firstly, the scantiness of records of such a name in medieval Arabic and the abundance of records for guitar-type instruments under other names in medieval Arabic; and, secondly, the medieval Greek kithára (and medieval Latin cithara), meaning a plucked string instrument, has the potential to be a non-Arabic source for the French quitarre (c. 1275) and Italian chitarre (c. 1300); and, thirdly, the guitar word has numerous records in French and Italian for 50 years before it is on record in Spanish, which undermines an hypothesized route of transmission via Arabic Iberia. Among the experts with this opinion is Reinhart Dozy, who omits guitarra from his 1869 book Glossaire des mots espagnols et portugais dérivés de l'arabe (Ref). Records of qītāra | qīthār are found in Arabic after guitar had become established in the Romance languages. Reinhart Dozy's 1881 book Supplement Aux Dictionnaires Arabes attributes the post-medieval Arabic qītāra | qīthār to borrowing from the Romance languages (Ref). Others with this minority opinion include Concise OED (2010), NED (1900), Henri Lammens (1890), Friedrich Diez (1864). The experts at do not have the minority opinion but they are unable to cite a medieval Arabic record of the form qītāra | qīthār. A couple of records do exist for a medieval Andalusian Arabic kaythara = "lyre or plucked string instrument". One of these is in an approximately 12th-century Latin-Arabic dictionary written in Spain by someone who was more proficient in Latin than Arabic: Glossarium Latino-Arabicum. The other too is in a Latin-Arabic dictionary written by a native Spanish speaker, estimated dated around 1300: Vocabulista in Arabico. Those two Latin dictionaries are not fully reliable about Arabic, and there is no record of kaythara in actual Arabic writers. Also the form kaythara, with a kay- or kai-, is relatively "unsuitable to be the immediate etymon of the Romance word" in Spain (qītāra would be more suitable) – F. Corriente year 2008 page 320 (see also F. Corriente year 1997). Several very large entirely Arabic dictionaries were written in medieval times (including the Lisan al-Arab which occupies 20 printed book volumes) and none of them has a word of the form kaythara | kīthār | qītāra | qīthār | qithār etc. The geographer Al-Masudi (died 956) wrote about the musical instruments that were used by the medieval Greeks. He indicated that he had gotten his information from a certain medieval Greek informant. In that context, Al-Masudi wrote that القيثارة al-qīthāra is a musical instrument with twelve strings used by the medieval Greeks – Ref. Some manuscript copies of Al-Masudi's book have it mis-spelled القشاوة al-qishāwa, which is signalling that the transcriber was unacquainted with the word – Ref. A book about musical instruments by Ibn Khordadbeh (died c. 912) has the same statement that القيثارة al-qīthāra is an instrument of the medieval Greeks – Ref. Other than stating it is an instrument of the Greeks, no such word is known in medieval Arabic. The proposition that the Western word descends via Spanish from Arabic is an old tradition that goes back to Gilles Ménage's year 1670 Dictionnaire Etymologique (Ref) which for its evidence noted the presence of the word in 17th century Arabic – but not in medieval Arabic. In medieval Greek kithara[s] was common as a name for a lyre and more loosely a plucked string instrument – some examples are in the Suda compilation.
  34. ^ a b Hasart in the Anglo-Norman Dictionary, quoting from the text Le Petit Plet which is dated early 13th century before year 1216. The Anglo-Norman Dictionary also documents from before year 1216 Anglo-Norman hasardur = "person who plays the hasard dice game", and from circa 1240 Anglo-Norman hasardrie = "hazardry, i.e. hazarding money in the dice game called hazard". These records underscore that the root-word was well-established in Norman French before it started to show up in Italian (first known record c. 1250) or Spanish (first known record 1283).
  35. ^ See azaro @ Tesoro della Lingua Italiana delle Origini (TLIO). Relatedly, Italian has zaroso = "hazardous" in 1304 (ref) where Italian -oso equals English -ous.
  36. ^ Du Cange's Glossary of Medieval Latin.
  37. ^ Azar at Corpus Diacrónico del Español of Real Academia Española.
  38. ^ With regard to proposed ancestry of "hazard" in an Arabic az-zār | az-zahr meaning dice, Walter Skeat (1888) says the Arabic is "a word only found in the vulgar speech" in Arabic and that's why it's hard to establish it, but he believes Persian zar -> Arabic al-zar [equals Arabic az-zar] -> Spanish azar -> French hasard -> English hazard. The same judgment is made by today's Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Concise OED. The earliest known record of Arabic az-zar | az-zahr = "dice" is in the early 19th century in oral dialect in Egypt, whereas the Western azar | hasard = "game of dice; hazard" is in French, Italian, Spanish and English since the 12th and 13th centuries. Hence Ernest Weekley (1921) says Arabic "az-zahr (al-zahr) is a word of doubtful authority which may have been borrowed from Spanish azar or from Italian zara." John Florio's year 1611 Italian-English dictionary has Italian zara = "dice" (ref) and Florio also has Italian azara = "hazard" (ref). Marcel Devic (1876) notes zahr may have entered Arabic post-medievally from Turkish zar = "dice". In year 1680, F. Mesgnien Meninski published a multi-volume dictionary of Turkish, Arabic and Persian. It lists زار zār = "dice" as a Turkish word, and Turkish only (and it does not have زهر zahr = "dice" in any of the three languages) – ref. Dice is called zar in today's Azerbaijani, Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, Romanian, and Albanian, as well as Turkish. Thus the word is in all the languages of the former Ottoman Empire and has to have been for some centuries, while the Arabic zahr has not been in writing as a dice until the 19th century, and this goes to support a judgment that the word in Arabic is a late borrowing from Turkish.
  39. ^ The rootword يسر yasar = "playing at dice" and "gambling" is in the medieval Arabic dictionaries at It is also in Richardson's 1852 Arabic–English dictionary (ref), though not in the Arabic dictionaries of today. The idea of deriving the medieval French hasart from the Arabic yasar is mentioned at,, and
  40. ^ [3]