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qahwaẗ قَهْوَة
ID 721 • Sw – • BP 1840 • APD ... • Aut SG
1 coffee. – 2 (pl. qahawāt and qahāwī ) cafe, coffeehouse | q. sādaẗ coffee without sugar – WehrCowan1979.
“Of uncertain etymology [...]. Originally a name for wine [...], this word was transferred towards the end of the 8th/14th century in the Yemen to the beverage made from the berry of the coffee tree. The assumption of such a transference of meaning is not, it is true, accepted by some who consider ḳahwa—at least in the sense of coffee—as a word of African origin and seek to connect it with the alleged home of the coffee tree, Kaffa, although they also assume contamination with ḳahwa ‘wine’ [...]. On the other hand, it should be noted that the holders of this view do not prove that coffee was exported from Kaffa as early as 1400, and do not quote a similar word in the languages of Ethiopia and adjoining lands, while the usual word for coffee there (būn for tree, berry and beverage [...]) has passed in the form →bunn (in rhyme also būn ) as a name of the tree and berry into Arabic. But as it is probable that the drinking of coffee spread in the Yemen out of Ṣūfī circles and a special significance was given to wine in the poetical language of the mystics, a transference of the poetic name for wine to the new beverage would not be at all impossible” – van Arendonk.
From Kaffa in East Africa, coffee was exported to Southern Arabia (main port al-Muḫà, hence Mokka ) on the Red Sea coast. By 1550 the first coffee-houses emerged in Istanbul. In Europe, coffee came to be known by the turn from lC16 to eC17 via Venetia where it had arrived in 1580 – Osman2002.
See DISC below.
▪ Like van Arendonk1974, also Kaye1986 excludes a relation with Kaffa, the region in the highlands of southern Ethiopia where coffee was grown, mainly for two reasons: a) phonologically, a development from kafa‑ (as Kaffa is in Eth languages) to Ar qahwah‑ is highly unlikely, since there is no reason why /k/ and /f/ should have become /q/ and /w/, respectively; b) in the local languages, the word for ‘coffee’ is bunn‑ or būn (qawa‑ and ʔawa also occur, but these are loans from Ar).
▪ Kaye1986 reports that according to The Oxford English Dictionary, qahwaẗ “is said by certain Arab lexicographers to have originally meant ‘wine’ or ‘some kind of wine’, and to derive from a verbal root qahiya ‘to have no appetite’” [→qahiya ], coffee like wine taking away the appetite. The author accepts the transfer of meaning ‘wine’ > ‘coffee’ (among Sufi circles in Yemen), but not the relation to qahiya . Instead he connects it to a “Proto-Central Semitic” *√qhh ‘dark’ which still occurs in Hbr qāhā(h) , Aram Syr qehā ‘to be blunt, dull’, Hbr qehɛ(h) ‘dark’ as in kɔħol qehɛ(h) ‘dark blue’, wine being *‘the dark one’. In a similar vein, Huehnergard2011 thinks that Ar qahwaẗ ‘coffee, < wine’ “originally perhaps [was] ‘dark stuff’”. He sees a confusion of Sem *qhw and *khw (lemma starts: “qhw. Also khw [!]”) and connects qahwaẗ to Ar kahiy‑ ‘to be(come) weak’, Aram kəhā , qəhā , Hbr kāhâ , qāhâ ‘to be(come) dim, faint, dull’, all of which may go back to Central Sem *q/khw ‘to be(come) weak, dim, dull, dark’.
v1 From Ar, the word passed into Tu (kahve ), from there via Venetian traders into Ital (caffè ), and from there C17 into Fr (café ), and via Fr into Ge. (Ru kófe is either from Engl coffee or Du koffie ) – Kluge, EtDUD.
v2 eC17 According to Osman2002, the oldest attestation of the use in Europe of the loan-word for a ‘coffee-house’ dates from 1601 (France). In this meaning, Fr café was loaned into Ge; however, the earliest attestation there is as late as 1833.
qahwātī, qahawātī, pl. ‑iyyaẗ , n., (syr.) coffeehouse owner : nsb-adj. made from pl.
qahwaǧī, pl. ‑iyyaẗ , n., coffeehouse owner; coffee cook: ‑ǧī .
maqhan, ‑à and maqhāẗ, pl. maqāhin , ‑ī , n., café, coffeehouse: n.loc.
maqhāyaẗ , n., (yem.) café, coffeehouse: n.loc.
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