Connecting Histories in Afghanistan: Glossary
 

This Glossary contains all of the words mentioned in the text as well as some additional local vocabulary that is relevant to the subject matter of this book. For Persian words I have followed the transliteration scheme used in the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. The following are Pashto phonemes rendered in Arabic letters and their equivalents in English letters, some of which include a diacritic:

The Pashto ښ is rendered x

The Pashto ځ is rendered dz

The Pashto څ is rendered ts

The Pashto ژ is rendered zh

The Pashto ږ is rendered g

The Pashto ړ is rendered r

The Pashto ڼ is rendered n

The Pashto ډ is rendered d

The Pashto ټ is rendered t

The five variations of [ی] in Pashto are not distinguished, each being transliterated as [ey].

English words are transliterated in the Pashto and Persian singular. Pluralization in Persian is rather uniform, while in Pashto it is far more irregular. There is no gender distinction among Persian words, but such marking is integral in Pashto and affects both the pluralization of words and their casing in actual usage. Most words in Pashto are inherently conceptualized as either masculine or feminine, but some Pashto words can assume both masculine and feminine forms, while others are basically gender neutral.

The voweling of these words is based upon a combination of two accents. The first is their local pronunciation in east and southeast Afghanistan as articulated by my father, who was born and raised in that region, and the second is my mid-western American accent. The result is some variation in the transliteration of one long and two short vowels within and between languages. In specific terms, the long vowel [و] is expressed as both ū and o, the short vowel [ َ ] is sometimes rendered [e], as is the short vowel [ ِ ].

The Afghan dialect of Persian, Dari, differs from Iranian Farsi in three main ways. The long [ی] pronounced [i] in Farsi assumes more of an [ay] sound in Dari, the long [و] pronounced [ū] in Farsi sounds more like [o] in Dari, and the short [ ِ ] pronounced [i] in Farsi sounds more like [e] in Dari. There is a much larger array of dialects in Pashto, which means that a number of phonemes have a range of alophones. This variation is much larger than the 'hard' [kh] and 'soft' [sh] pronunciations of [ښ], and involves at least [ځ] sounding as either [z or dz] and [ږ] being articulated as either [g] or [zh] depending on spatial location and accent.

Some words are found only in Pashto, others just in Persian. In Afghanistan during the early twentieth century, a number of Pashto words were incorporated into the Persian used by the Durrani state and its administrative apparati. When this occurred, there was often a significant transformation in the expression of the term in question. For example, the Pashto "woleswaley" (administrative division) became "woleswali" in Persian, and the Pashto "lmar" (sun) was Persianized to "elmar" in the context Durrani administration, official titulature, and state awards such as medals.

The large number of monetary units and textiles found in nineteenth-century Afghanistan are not incorporated here. For notice of some of the metallic currencies, their relative values and associated pricing schemes used in the markets of our concern, especially during Abd al-Rahaman's reign, readers can refer to Gregorian pp. 401-403, and Kakar, 1979, pp. 215-220 and 235-241. For some of the weights and measures used in nineteenth-century Afghanistan see Furdoonjee, Gregorian, pp. 404-406, Kakar, 1979, pp. 235-241, Jenkyns, pp. 21-22, Warburton, pp. 11-12, and "Memorandum of Information Available in the Foreign Department on the Government, Revenue, Population, and Territorial Divisions of Afghanistan," N.A.I., Foreign Secret (Supplementary) K.W., January 1880, Proceeding Nos. 536-544. For textile descriptions and terminology readers are directed to the Appendix in Habib, pp. 69-70.

ENGLISH PASHTO PERSIAN
Account book de ḥesāb ketāb ketāb-i ḥesāb
Accounting ḥisāb kawul ḥisāb dārī
Administrative division wuleswāley wuleswālī
Afghan hundi ḥawāla ḥawāla
Afghan nomad trader kochey, lohāney, pāwenda kūchī, lohānī
Agent or factor gumāshta
Almond agent bādāmī
Almond bādām bādām
Antimony stone rānza sorma
Apple mana saib
Apprentice zda kawunkey shāgird
Apricot zardālū zardālū
Arbitration council panchāyat
Bangle bangrey chorī
Barley orbaxey jao
Government Bill collector (this item should now be moved into a new alphabetical location) muḥaṣil
Bill of exchange hundī hundī
Bird mergha parenda
Black sugar gora gūr
Blue asmānī/nīlī asmānī/nīlī/ābī
Bookkeeping ketābat ketābat
Brass mes mes
Bridle qaiza (for the animal) and jelao (for the rider) qaiza (for the animal) and jelao (for the rider)
Broker dalāl dalāl (alternately ‘arth furosh in Peshawar)
Brokerage duty dalālī (also meaning occupation of brokerage)
Budget bodeja bodeja
Bull ghweyey gao (genderless in Persian, modified by nar gaw for bull)
Business house tujārat khāna
Buyer akhestūnkey kharīdār
Cadastral daftarī
Camel ūx shutur
Candle sham' sham'
Caravan kārwān kārwān
Carpet qālīna qālīn
Century pairey qarn
Cherry gailās gailās
Chief secretary mīr munshī
Citadel (in Kabul) bālā ḥeṣār bālā ḥeṣār
City xār shahr
Clerk kateb/merza kateb/merza
Clothing kālī lebās, kālā
Coat kurtey kurtī
Color rang rang
Commercial contract teka dār teka dār
Confiscation zabṭ zabṭ
Contract qarardad qarardad
Contractor qarār dādī qarār dādī
Cooked (e.g., 'real' rupees) pukh pukhta
Cotton punba punba
Countryside aṭrāf aṭrāf
Cow ghwā gao (genderless in Persian, modified by mada gao for cow)
Crop harvest ḥāṣel ḥāṣel
Crown lands khāleṣā khāleṣa
Cultivator dehqān dehqān
Cumin zīra zīra
Customs gomrok gomrok
Debt qarz qarz
Deputy nāyeb nāyeb
District 'alāq 'alāqa
Document sanad sanad
Domestic bahraney dākhelī
Dried apricot keshta keshta
Dried chickpeas nakhod nakhod
Dried curd (whey) korat qorūt
Dried fruit wucha maiwa maiwa-ye khushk
Durrani government manual dastūr al-'amal
Durrani government regulation (written order) nezām nāma
(to) Dye rang warkawul rang dādan
Dyeing rangawel rangraez
Elephant fīl fīl
Embroidery gul gandel gul dozī
(to) Exchange badlawul badal kardan
(to) Export ṣāderawal ṣāder kardan
Exports ṣāderāt
Fall maney khazān
Farming mzaka larel/deqānī deqānī/zamīn dārī
Field or land mzaka zamīn
Fig anjīr anjīr
Flower gol gol
Food ḍoḍey/rozi nān/rozi
Fort holder qalā dār qalā dār
Fort qalā qalā
Fort-holder (state military officer) fawjdār
Fort-holder (local reckoning) qalādār qalādār
Fort-holder’s tax fawjdārī
Fresh fruit tāza maiwa maiwa-ye tāza
Fruit tax maiwa dārī maiwa dārī
Fruit tree de maiwey wana darakht-e maiwa
Fruit maiwa maiwa
Garden-Orchard bāgh bāgh
Ghee (clarified butter) ghwarī roghan
Goat hair de ūzay waixta pashm-e buz
Goat ūza buz
Government hukūmat hukūmat
Grape box (for export and consumption during the cold season) qoṭey qoṭī
Grape angūr angūr
Green shīn sabz
Hair weyxte mūī
Hashish majun/mofarah majun/mofarah
Hat khwaley kolā
Horse ās āsp
House kor khāna
(to) Import wāredawal wāred kardan
Imports wāredāt
Indian technical foreman mestarī mestarī
Indigo nīl nīl
Iron ayīn ayīn
Irrigation canal wiyāla joī
Land revenue mālīa mālīa
Lapis lazuli lājward lājward
Lease ejāra ejāra
Load bār bār
Marijuana chars chars
Market bāzār bāzār
Meat ghwaxa gosht
Melon khatakey kharbūza
Metal felez felez
Money changer (and banker) sarrāf sarrāf
Money paisa paisa
Monopoly enḥeṣār enḥeṣār
Mortgage geraw geraw
Mountain pass kotal kotal
Mountain skirts/plains de ghare lamena dāman
Mountain ghar koh
Mulberry tūt tūt
Mushroom samāruq samāruq
Neighbor (and/or dependent when referencing non-Pashtuns economically subordinated to Pashtuns) hamsāya hamsāya
Occupation kesb kesb
Official (manager, or supervisor or coordinator) sareshtadār
Oil thail thail
Opium bang bang
Orange nārenj nārenj
Paper pass rāhdārī rāhdārī
Peach shaftalū shaftalū
Pear nāk nāk
Pepper mrech murch
Pinenuts dzalghozī jalghoza
Pistachio pesta pesta
Plum and Prune ālū ālū
Pomegranate anār anār
Price baia bahā
Prison bandīkhāna zendān/bandīkhāna
Profit gaṭa fāīda
Province welāyat welāyat
Public treasury khazāna khazāna
Raisin mamīz keshmesh
Raw (e.g., book-money rupees) napokh khām
Red sūr surkh
Rent kera kera
Residential quarter maḥala maḥala
Rice wrīzey berenj
Ritual rawāj rawāj
Road-Path lara rah
Roses gulābuna gulābhā
Saddle zīn zīn
Saffron za'farān za'farān
Salt mālga namak
Saltpetre nawshāder nawshāder
Season mosūm mawsom
Secretary munshī/mirzā munshī/mirzā
Security amneyat amneyat
Seed dāna tokhm
Seedless baidāna
Sheep pase gosfand
Signature emzā emzā
Silk wraixum abraishum
Skin post post
Spring pesarley bahār
State formation dawlat jorawul dawlat sākhtan
State dawlat dawlat
Straw khas kah
Sugar būra būra/shakar
Sugarcane naishakar naishakar
Summer dobey tābestān
Tax māliya māliya
Tea chāī chāī
Timber largī chob
Tobacco tambākū tambākū
Trader (merchant) sawdāgar tājer/sawdāgar
Transit toll rāhdārī rāhdārī
Transport naqlawul naql dādan
Tree wana darakht
Tumeric zardchoba zardchoba
Turban langoṭey lungī/langota
Valley dara dara
Village keley deh
Village leader malek malek
Walnut chārmaghz chārmaghz
Watermelon hendwāna tarbūz
Wheat ghanem gandum
Wine sharāb sharāb
Winter zamey zemestān
Wool pashm pashm
Woolen overcoat/cape postīn postīn
Woolens pashmī pashmī
Woven obedaley bafta shoda
Yellow zaīr zard