Friday, 11 June 2010

samosa and bagel

Two of my favourite foods, together at last.

Samosa is from Hindi समोसा samosā, probably from a Persian form equivalent to Sanskrit sam plus bhuja and meaning "having equal sides". Samosas do have somewhat equal sides, if you make them right.

Sanskrit bhuja means "the side of any geometrical figure", but also "arm, branch, bough, bending, curve". The latter meanings let us trace it Proto-Indo-European *bheug- "to bend".

In Germanic, the variant form *bheugh- is found in Yiddish בייגל beygl, a diminutive formed from Old High German boug "ring". Bagels are vaguely ring-shaped, if you make them right.


be_slayed said...

What Platts actually argues (and I think he's likely correct in this case) is not that samosa derives from Skt. sam + bhuja, but rather that it comes from Persian sam-būsa where these two elements are equivalent to (i.e. cognate with) Skt. sam and bhuja.

goofy said...

Thanks. Sometimes I find Platts hard to follow.