January 06, 2012


The Tibetan word for Persia or Persian is ta zig. Tshe-tan-zhabs-drung reports that Paṇ-chen dPal-ye in his Shambha la’i lam yig states that the name means “Tiger-Leopard” (stag gzig). See the Thon mi’i dgongs rgyan (p. 137): stag gzig nor gyi gling. But the issue is addressed in some length in Laufer 1916: 406.

1 comment:

  1. Some Bon scholars also want to spell it Rtag-gzigs, as a short version of Rtag-tu Gzigs, "Always Observing" [with compassion]. (Even in Bon sources, though, the Stag-gzig spelling is more common, and they were quite aware that in this country there ought to be a danger from those same two big cats.) But really, this seems to me like a good example of how Tibetans of the past have often tried to force locally sensible etymologies out of loanwords (it happens in other cultures as well, I should hasten to add), which then has an effect on the spelling. I'm off to try some of that Camel-bear cheese you recommended for using in place of feta in that Butane-ese dish. What was the name of it? (In your entry for buttermilk, if I remember right.)