Etymology of honorific particle jI

Valerie J Roebuck vjroebuck at MACUNLIMITED.NET
Thu Jun 23 16:07:17 UTC 2005

I remember being told something similar but not exactly the same, 
viz. that it came from jiiva, "life", "soul", so that you were 
literally saying "my father's soul said".  Not an impossible 
development, when in Sanskrit you could very well say "my guru's feet 

Valerie J Roebuck
Manchester, UK

At 5:00 pm +0200 23/6/05, Artur Karp wrote:
>At 15:59 2005-06-23, you wrote:
>>Yes, it is accepted; and it has a beautiful counterpart in
>>Urdu and Persian _jaan_, also meaning 'life' as well as
>>being used as an honorific/term of endearment.  The Hindi
>>(etc.) _jii_ might well be a calque of the Persian word.
>>The root is also contained in Hindi _jii-naa_ 'to live'.
>Thank you, Hans-jii
>It's just that  I have personal difficulty with imagining someone 
>repeating during one short conversation several times something like 
>"may you live!", and then obtaining in answer a similar portion of 
>"'may- you-live!"s. Persian calque? Possibly. But I have some buts, 
>oops - doubts.
>Is jiiva/jiivatu attested in some sanskrit (prakrit) texts in 
>expressions equivalent to maataa-jii, pitaa-jii? Or achhaa-jii? Or 
>with the meaning of "yes, right"? Or in phrases like pitaa-jii ne 
>kahaa? "My father-may-you-live! said". Strange, if I may say. Sounds 
>a bit incongruous.
>How and by whom was this etymology accepted?
>Artur Karp

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