Turkish ada (island)

What is the etymology of the Turkish word "ada" (Serb. ada; from Turkish)?
I tried many books but couldn't find anything essential. I would be very
grateful if someone could give me some hints…

Yusuf B Gursey Wrote: well,
there is H. Eren's turkish etymological dictionary
(in turkish) and
Doerfer's Turkic and Mongolic loanwords in New Persian – TMEN (in german). a
loanword in persian as ada:G (G = *gh*, frequently represented by greek

Azeri ada , Turkmen ada , Kazan Tatar ataw , Bashkir ataw , Karakalpak ataw
, Chuvash ută (variant: otă) .

Codex Comanicus atov , Chaghatay (the standard of post-mongol eastern turkic)

the earliest attestation is in Ibn Muhanna's dictionary of eastern turkic as
adaG in the 13th cent. . but it is considerably older than that (it is
archaic) as evidenced by its presence in Chuvash. that it has been in
Chuvash for some time is evidenced by its presence as a Chuvash loanword in
Cheremiss otŏ and Votyak (Udmurt) as oton . so it is not a loanword in
Chuvash from other Turkic languages. Chuvash is estimated to have diverged
from the rest of Turkic by about 2000 years or so, give or take a couple of

the reconstructed proto-form given by Doerfer is *a:taG .

nevertheless, many turkic languages have derivatives of Old Turkic otruG
"island". Kazan Tatar normally uses utraw . Chuvash has the variant utrav
which is regarded as a loan from other turkic languages. probably Kazan
Tatar. in Altay (S. Siberia) and Baraba it is ortalIk , with variants in
neighboring turkic langauges, leading one to suspect that this word has to
do with orta (<= ortu, orto) "middle" of something.

there is also aral "island in other turkic languages, not an old word. I
assume from ara /?<= a:ra/ "between, space in between, middle of a thing,

the logic is that early eastern turkic preserves -G / -g after the second
syllable, later eastern turkic transorms it to -q / -k ,languages like Kazan
Tatar, Karakalpak transform it into -w, Oghuz languages (Turkish,
Azeri,Turkmen) drop it, so does Chuvash, even if the voiced velar is in the
first syllable. Turkmen preserves the original long vowels. OTOH if there
was intervocalic -d- Chuvash has the sound change -d- => *-*dh*- => *-z- =>
-r-. soit must have been original -t-. the voiced -d- can be explained as
due to the original long vowel. hence *a:taG .

You see… ada is a clear-cut Turkish
loanword in Serbian; but there is another Serbian word for island –
otok. Some phonetic similarity between
these two words might, of coarse, be coincidental. On the other hand, there are
the Turkish words dağ 'mountain' and
dağlamak 'brand, stigmatize', which
might be in a certain mutual relation, similar to Serbian
planina mountain' and
pečat 'stamp, seal, impress, stigma'
(from *plekotina, Lat.
bulla 'bubble'); the Serbian verbs
peći 'burn' and
pečat 'stamp, seal, brand' are probable
related via the noun plik 'blister'.

It is a long story and I have no time to explain it in all details, but the
essence is that Turkish dağ and
dağlamak are standing in a similar
relation as Serbian planina mountain'
vs. pečat 'seal, stamp, brand', i.e.
peći 'burn'. Sanskrit दह्
dah 'burn',
'mound' and Pers. daġ 'burn' (Ave. dax) appeared to be related to both
dağ and
dağlamak (damga

The question is: is Turkish dağ related
to dünya 'world' (similar as Latin
globus is a kind of swelling)? There is
a Serbian word denuti 'hay mounting'
and denjak 'bale, pack' (Turkish
denk 'bale, pack',
denge 'balance'). I don't know if
Turkish denk is an original Turkish
word or a loanword from Persian (Skt. दिह् dih
'increase, accumulate'). In this case, Serbian
'bale' seems to be clearly derived from
denuti/dignuti 'elevate, hoist, heave,
pick up' (Serb. denuti seno 'to stack
the hay', and u-tegnuti 'tighten'
(Goth. deigan) but, nevertheless, it
cannot be excluded that it has been borrowed from Turkish.

Let us now go back to Serbian otok
'bump, island'. This word is clearly connected to earlier
oteklina and
odebljanje/zadebljanje (swelling; all
from *h/o-teh-(b)l-hna) and it might
be, what is astonishing, related to ada
as well as to Turkish dağ and,
possible, dünya. This might also
indicate that Turkic and IE used the same ur-basis for the all above-mentioned

Yusuf B Gursey Wrote: many
arabic words entered turkish through persian
, so a priori there is no
contradiction. I don't think dünya, the arabic dunya: has a simple arabic
etymology (see my post), is one of them as it is Qur'anic (so it could have
entered through the study of the Qur'an) and persian prefers a native
persian word jaha:n (also jiha:n), that is also used in turkish, though less
frequently, as cihan (also used as a proper name, whereas dünya isn't). OTOH
it is true that many arabic words came through the intermediary of persian,
as they agree in usage and frequency with persian rather than classical
arabic. historically, the Turks were first introduced to Islam mainly
through Persian (or if you like Tajik, i.e. central asian persians)
missionaries. this is evidenced through the use of persian words for many
fundamental religious terms. so came the initial introduction to arabic,
though of course, Turks began to study classical arabic on their own.

BTW colloquial arabic words in Turkic languages is extremely rare, in
Turkish they are mostly colloquial words as well, and are found in
substantial numbers only in the dialects of Turkish in SW Anatolia.

Iraqi Turkmen, essentially a dialect ofAzeri (not to be confused with
Turkmen of Turkmenistan and adjoining areas), which uses the Turksish of
Turkey for literary purposes, is really the only Turkic language which has a
high degree of colloquial arabic loans and direct arabic influence not
through bookish learning.

Maybe, the Sanskrit word चिह्न cihna
'sign, mark, stamp' could be of some help here. I am more than sure that Serbian
znak 'sign' is a cognate of Latin
signum signi as well as I am sure that
znak was derived from the same basis as
zemlja 'earth' (zemnik
= znak 'sign';
sign originally meant "an object on the
land that marks the border of something"). There is another Skr. word सञ्चक
sañcaka 'stamp, mould', a possible
cognate of Turkish sancak 'sanjak,
district, flag, ensign'; cf. OTur. sanç-
'pain, twinge, _stitch_'; a similar logic as Serbian
ubod 'stitch'
vs. obod 'margin, border'). Now we can
speculate about Turkish cihan (derived
from the OPers. gēhān 'universe') as to
be related to Greek γη, 'earth',
γέηθεν 'from the earth', ModGr. γήινος 'earthly'.

Sign (znak, oznaka, Tur.
simba from
signum or, more plausible, from Gr.
σύμβολον 'symbol', which is the same word as the above-mentioned Serbian
zemnik, from
*he-ml-gnik => zemljanik => zemnik => znak)
is also related to znanje 'knowlede'
and hence, probably, the Serbian word zanat
'art, ploy, craft, trade' (Skr. jñata
'knowledge'; Serb. znati 'to know how';
zanimati se 'to be interested in'). In
fact, the word znanje 'knowledge' is
logically connected to the words znak/oznaka
'sign' because we can not acquire any new knowledge without the learning the
"signs' first; and, at the dawn of humankind, those signs were the signs that
were put/found on Earth (na zemlji; zemlja
'earth'; Serb. znamen, znamenje, znak

Of course, I do not know is it possible to draw a similar parallel among these
words in Arabic (sancat 'craft' etc.)

As you say Kriha, Slavic otok (Russ. otekatь 'swell'; OSl tokъ) is 'swelling bloating, bump' and that word, of coarse, is related to tok 'flow' – nobody denies it. But, otok is also related to words like debljina 'fatness, thickness' and tegljenje 'towing. Tug'. as I said above, otok is the same word as Serbian oteklina 'swelling' (from *ote [h]-bl-gn-). In fact, Serb. tegljenje 'tugging' is nothing else but udaljavanje/_udaljenje_ 'to make a distance, to move away' and it is clearly related to the movement (flow) of water (Serb. odlinuti 'to pour out', odlivanje 'decanting' => udaljavanje 'distancing'. Slavic tok is, in fact, derived from the same basis as the above-mentioned words, including other words from the root *do(b)l-g- (a variation of *ohe(h)-bl-gn-), like Serbian dug 'long' (from *dol-b-g-; Russ. dolgo, Cz. dlouho, Pol. długi).

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