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Click to Expand/Collapse OptionEtymArab
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ǧilbāb جِلْباب , pl. ǧalābībᵘ
ID 151 • Sw – • BP – • APD ... • Aut SG
long, flowing outer garment, loose robe-like garment – WehrCowan1979.
1)Weninger2007 follows Jeffery1938 in assuming that the word ‎is a loan from Gz gəlbāb ‘covering, veil, wrapper’. ǧilbāb may therefore have an origin that is different from that of →ǧallābaẗ or →gallābiyyaẗ to which it is often connected. These, too, denote some kind of loose garment, but seem to be derived from →ǧallāb ‘trader, importer’, thus probably being originally the name of a dress worn by (slave) traders, or by slaves themselves. (Another opinion sees ǧallābaẗ and gallābiyyaẗ as a contamination of ǧilbāb .)
2)The borrowing from Gz is likely to have occurred already in pre-Islamic times, its cultural background being the intensive trading contacts between the Arabian peninsula and Ethiopia.
eC71 Q 33:59 qul li-ʔazwāǧika wa-banātika wa-nisāʔi ’l-muʔminīna yudnīna ʕalayhinna min ǧalābībihinna ḏālika ʔadnā ʔan yuʕrafna fa-lā yuʔḏayna ‘Sag deinen Gattinen und Töchtern und den Frauen der Gläubigen, sie sollen (wenn sie austreten) sich etwas von ihrem Gewand (über den Kopf) herunterziehen. So ist es am ehesten gewährleistet, daß sie (als ehrbare Frauen) erkannt und daraufhin nicht belästigt werden’ (Paret).
1. “The verses of the Qur’an in which the wives and daughters of the Prophet are commanded ‘to draw their veils close to them” [Q 33:59, ...] and “to the believing women... to cast their veils over their bosoms” [Q 24:31, ...] probably date from the year 5” – Chelhod1966.
Gz galbaba ‘voiler, couvrir d’un voile, recouvrir’, gəlbāb ‘voile, couverture, envelope; Te gälbäbä , Tña (ʔa)gʷälbäbä ‘cacher, voiler, couvrir’; Tña ǧälbäbä (ǧ!) ‘loucher, cligner’ – DRS , glbb-2.
▪ According to Jeffery1938, 102, ǧilbāb is »an article of women’s attire [...] mentioned in the Qur’ān, though the Lexicons differ considerably as to the exact meaning (cf. ‎LA , i, 265). – The difficulty of deriving the word from ǧalab‑ is of course obvious, and ‎Nöldeke, Neue Beiträge , 53, recognized it as the Eth [Gz] gəlbāb , from galbaba ‘to cover’ or ‘cloak’, which is quite common in the oldest texts. It was apparently an early borrowing, for it ‎occurs in the early poetry, e.g. Div. Hudh , xc, 12«. – This opinion is maintained also by DRS (1994) and Weninger2007: probably a pre-Islamic loan from Gz gəlbāb ‘covering, veil, wrapper’.
▪ According to DRS (1994), the Eth forms ultimately go back to a Sem *glb ‘skin, etc.’ (cf. Ar →ǧulbaẗ ). DRS, glbb-2. The meanings ‘to cover, cloak’ and ‘garment’ would then be explicable as ‘to put on ( like) a skin’.
In contrast, Huehnergard2011 (s.v. glb ) holds that ǧilbāb , together with the dialectal →ǧallābaẗ‑ and →ǧallābiyyaẗ , ultimately, goes back to the vb. →ǧalab-‑ ‘to attract, bring, fetch, import’, which in turn can be traced back to a WSem *glb ‘to catch, fetch’. While ǧallāb(iyy)aẗ , according to Huehnergard, derives from →ǧallāb‑ and would thus originally have meant the dress of the a ‘(slave) trader, importer’, the author does not give details on the semantics of ǧilbāb .
▪ Yet another opinion is held by Marçais1956, who thinks that »the Old Arabic djilbāb ‘outer garment’« (which he, too, believes to be a foreign word) is prior to forms like ǧallābaẗ or ǧallābiyyaẗ ; according to the author, it is not surprising that these should have developed from ǧilbāb by way of »dissimilative dropping« of the last b .
taǧalbaba ‘to clothe o.s. (bi‑), be clothed, be clad (bi‑ in a garment, also fig.): II, denominative of ǧilbāb .
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