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Irbocha vel ierbocha arabice talpa.


Irbocha ACD | Irboha f | I … Rboha B | Iruoca e

arabice om. f

ierbocha ACD | ierboha B | jerboca e | verboha f {possibly misread from a source version *yerboha}


Irbocha or ierbocha is Arabic for Latin talpa {"mole"}.


Wehr (1976): ﺟﺮﺑﻮﻉ /ğarbūʕ/ (= ﻳﺮﺑﻮﻉ /yarbūʕ/) "jerboa (zool.)". Siggel (1950: 74): ﻳﺮﺑﻮﻉ /yarbūʕ/ Jaculus Springmaus {i.e. "desert jerboa"}.

Zoological remarks:

Here Simon equates the jerboas [[1]] - the zoological genus Jaculus, hopping desert rodents occurring in North Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia but unknown in Europe - with the mole, an animal more familiar to him. The two animals only share the features of being relatively small and furry, but habitat and distribution are very different.

The most likely Jaculus species is Jaculus jaculus L., the "lesser Egyptian jerboa" [[2]], an animal that also digs for itself an extensive system of burrows.

The moles belong to the zoologically unrelated genus Talpa, which contains 9 species, of which several could have been on Simon's mind, but it is unlikely that he distinguished any at all. One possible candidate is the "European mole", Talpa europaea L., with a mainly Western and Eastern European distribution, touching the Mediterranean in France and the Balkans, or the "Mediterranean or blind mole", Talpa caeca Savi. Other species with a more restricted distribution could also be considered.

But of course the information given is far too vague to draw any firm conclusions.

For a different transcription of this word see Yerbaha.

Wilf Gunther 02/12/13

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