Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Arabic Word in English: Sugar

The English word SUGAR comes to English via French sucre and medieval Latin succarum (zuccarum; via the medieval Latin variant saccharum we get the English word "saccharine"). These words came to Europe via Arabic sukkar. It seems fairly certain that this Arabic word comes from Persian shakar, which is in turn from Sanskrit sharkara, meaning "rock-candy sugar" (originally just "rock, grit, gravel").

The English word JAGGERY, referring to a dark brown sugar made in India from palm sap, comes via Portuguese jagara from Kannada sharkare, which in turns comes from Sanskrit sharkara, the same word that also led to English "sugar."

The image below shows different kinds of sugar: (clockwise from top left) white refined sugar, unrefined sugar, brown sugar and unprocessed cane sugar.


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