Don’t like Arabs?

Quite a bit of Science comes from Arabic Scholarship: for example, quite a bit of the basis for astronomy came from the Arabs.  As did navigation and mathmatics (e.g., Algebra comes from the Arabic, الجبر al-jabr “restoration”, and much of its methods from Arabic/Islamic mathematics).

A beverage made from the wild coffee plant seems to have been first drunk by a legendary shepherd on the Ethiopian plateau, the earliest cultivation of coffee was in Yemen and Yemenis gave it the Arabic name qahwa, from which our words coffee and cafe both derive.  At first, coffee had been viewed with suspicion in Europe as a Muslim drink, but around 1600 Pope Clement VIII is reported to have so enjoyed a cup that he said it would be wrong to permit Muslims to monopolise it, and that it should therefore be baptised.

Alcohol may have been distilled in c800AD by Jabir Ibn Hayyan from Kufa in Iraq, and our word “alcohol” derives from the Arabic “al kuhul”… many Arab countries, like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Morocco, make wines and beers, even though Islam does not permit the drinking of alcohol

10 borrowed Arabic words

  • The word cheque comes from the Arabic word saqq, and reflects the sophistication of finance in Arab countries in the early middle ages
  • The word algorithm is derived from the name of Abū Abdallah Muḥammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi whose name (al-Khwarizmi) is, in Latin, Algoritmi
  • Cipher comes from Arabic sifr, meaning “zero, naught, nothing”
  • The word for cotton derives from the Arabic qutn
  • Ghoul is an Arabic word for “a desert demon which can appear in different forms and shapes; an ogre or cannibal”
  • The English magazine is a word borrowed from the Arabic makhzan, meaning “storehouse”
  • Nadir has its origin in Arabic nazir, indicating “opposite, facing, parallel”
  • Tamarind refers to Arabic tamr hindi, literally meaning “Indian date”
  • The word safari has its root in the Arabic word safar, which means “journey”
  • Tariff comes from Arabic ta’rif, which means “notification” or “definition”
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Posted 19/04/2013 by lacithedog in Arab, Arab Defamation, Arabs, Astronomy

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