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Click to Expand/Collapse OptionEtymArab
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balkūnaẗ بلْكونة , var. balkūn , ‎balakūnaẗ , pl. ‑āt
ID 093 • Sw – • BP ??? • APD ... • Aut SG
BLKN
n.f.
balcony – WehrCowan1979.
A current belief is that the word is one out of a plentitude ‎of loans from mPers which testifies to the intense interaction between Arab and Iranian ‎culture during the first centuries of the Muslim expansion. Arabic was then »invigorated by new ‎elements of ideas and images, stimulated with fresh conceptions of excellence and eloquence, and ‎enriched [...] with a new vocabulary. Persian, in particular, was responsible for the introduction of ‎new terms in the fields of luxury, ornaments, handicrafts, fine arts, government administration, ‎and public registers."1 . ‎‎According to this view, bal(a)kūnaẗ is one out of the significant number of terms from material culture that found their ‎way into Arabic. However, given that the European words for ‘balcony’, which for a long time were believed to derive from the same Pers source, probably are not of Pers but Germ origin, the probability is high that the Ar word is not from Pers but from a European language, probably Ital.
1. Khalafallah, “ʕArabiyya: Early Middle Arabic", in: EI² .
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EALL (Asbaghi, “Persian Loanwords”): a loan from mPers bālā ‘top, upstairs’ + ḫānag ‘house’.
▪ However, etymological dictionaries of Ge do ‎not trace Ge Balkon back to Pers origins, cf. EtymDuden1963: »Das ‎Substantiv wurde im 18. Jh. aus frz. balcon < it. balcone entlehnt. Das it. Wort selbst ist ‎‎germ. Ursprungs und gehört wohl im urspr. Sinne von ‘Balkengerüst’ zu dem unter Balken ‎behandelten, ins Roman. gelangten germ. Wort (ahd. balko = langobard. *balko).« Kluge2002, though calling this etymology in doubt, retains European origins: »Das italienische ‎Wort galt [...] als aus dem Langobardischen entlehnt [...]; doch rechnen neuere Untersuchungen ‎‎[Korth 1973] mit einem früh-rom. *pālica , einer Ableitung aus lat. pālus ‘Pfahl’. Wieder anders ‎Kahane [1976/77]: Das Wort ist germanisch und die Bedeutung ursprünglich (wie oberdeutsch) ‘Fensterladen’, von dem zum Balkon führenden Fenster.« It seems as if this opinion has to be ‎revised. For English and French, Wikipedia entries acknowledge the possibility of a Persian origin, ‎cf. Balcony in en.wiki, where it says: »probably cognate ‎with Pers term ‏‎bālkāneh or its older variant ‏‎pālkāneh «.
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