Origin and symbology of "Monsoon rain"

Alan Entwistle entwistl at u.washington.edu
Wed Oct 26 22:47:04 UTC 1994

Do we need to propose Persian as an intermediary? See "Hobson-Jobson", 
which suggests that the Portuguese adopted it directly from Arab pilots.
			Alan Entwistle

On Wed, 26 Oct 1994, Aditya Behl wrote:

> >> I understand it derived from the same root as "Mausam" or season. This 
> >> word is probably from Persian but some one else can give you better 
> >> etymology.
> >
> >American Heritage Dictionary lists monsoon as deriving from the
> >obsolete Dutch word monssoen, from the Portuguese mon,c~ao, from the
> >Arabic mausim. My PLATTS Urdu, Classical Hindi and English Dictionary
> >(never far from my side) also shows the Urdu word mausim deriving from
> >Arabic mausim (time, season), from the root wasama ('brand,
> >describe'). Apparently, Persian does not use this word for the meaning
> >of time or season.
> Persian does use mausam as a loan word from Arabic, cf. Steingass, p. 1344,
> to mean time, season, place of meeting, the season of the Hajj, etc., as
> well as in izafat constructions such as mausam-i bahaar, the season of
> spring, mausam-i khizaan, autumn, and so on. The Persian usage is probably
> the intermediate step for the Urdu borrowing from the Arabic, and then, as
> you've shown, the word goes through Portuguese into European languages.
> Aditya Behl

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