Kabul - vijtAzva - svayambhU

George Thompson thompson at JLC.NET
Wed Oct 21 18:22:04 UTC 1998

In response to Erik Seldeslachts's first question:

>I have two questions:
>1) What is the etymology of the name of Kabul (Afghanistan) ? Is it
>Iranian, or might it be Indo-Aryan ?
Kabul = Vedic ku'bhA, a river name. I don't think that there is a
successful etyomology for it, so that we cannot say that it is either
Indo-Aryan or Iranian [where it does not appear to be attested]. Kuiper
[*Aryans in the Rgveda*, p.89] suggests that it is "a local river name that
was adopted by the Indo-Aryans." Similarly, see Witzel's articles in the
Erdosy volume. The river is cited by Greek authors as kOphEs, kOphEn, in
Latin as Cophes.

Hope this helps.


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