English words derived from Persian

Wikipedia is a siren that lures you deep into a maze of interesting articles and causes all productivity to drop to zero. It should be blocked by all self-respecting enterprises that want to get anything done. I happened to open it today after Stuart posted a link and ended up wandering to my favorite subject, Languages, and spending hours just reading all this stuff.

Now to bore you with my great interest in languages. I also love to study history and a recent historical movie prompted me to learn more about Persia and Persian. Here is one Wikipedia article about English words that were influenced or derived from Persian, some via Urdu:


Urdu borrows heavily from Persian so there is a lot of relation between these three languages. Here are some examples that I never even thought about until now, though the origin of some is questionable:

  • Aubergine – “bengan” in Urdu
  • Checkmate – from Persian “sh

3 thoughts on “English words derived from Persian

  1. Maybe “Tufan” is how 台風 (taifuu) got its trailing n?
    I think “Satan” also comes from “Shaitan”. (I only remember this phonetically because a lady I worked with in a Persian rug store used to call me “Shaitan bezorg”…)

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