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Asfidegi arabice cerusa.


arabice (arace j) ej | ara. (a͠ p) ABC p | aut f


Asfidegi is Arabic for Latin cerusa {"white lead, ceruse"}.


Wehr (1976): ﺍﺳﻔﻴﺪﺍﺥ /isfīdāğ/ "white lead, ceruse". Siggel (1950: 76): ﺍﺳﻔﻴﺪﺍﺥ /isfīdāğ/ Bleiweiß {i.e. "white lead, ceruse"}.

A vocalisation closer to Simon’s form Asfidegi is found in Karbstein (2002: 37): Blei {i.e. "lead (metal)"} ﺍﺳﻔﻴﺪﺍﺝ ﻭﻫﻮ ﺍﻟﺮﺻﺎﺹ ﻋﺠﻤﻴﺔ ﺍﺑﻠﻮﻣﻪ /asfīdāğ wa-huwa al-raṣṣāṣ ʕağamiyatu ublūmuh/ "/asfīdāğ/, that is /al-raṣṣāṣ/ {lead metal} and in Romance /ublūmu/". Apparently the word in this form was still in use in the early 17th c. among the Spanish Morisco community when this glossary was compiled. The compiler has wrongly equated ﺍﺳﻔﻴﺪﺍﺝ /asfīdāğ/ "white lead", a lead carbonate, with the basic metal "lead" ﺭﺻﺎﺹ /raṣṣāṣ/, cf. Rasas.

ﺍﺑﻠﻮﻣﻪ /ublūmuh/ is Spanish plomo "lead" adapted to the Arabic sound system and syllable structure, i.e. /p/ > /b/, and avoiding word-initial consonant clusters: */blū/ > /ublū/ .

The word is of Persian origin, cf. Steingass, (1892: 58): اسفیداب /isfedāb/, or اسفیداج /isfedāj/ "White water, ceruse, a paint used by women", with اسفید /isfed/, meaning "white, bright, splendid" and اس /āb/ "water".

WilfGunther 21/02/2015

For further information see Cerusa, Albayad, Affidegi.

See also: Alhabar, Abarum, Espidagum

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