Seeking Farsi four letter words


Seeking Farsi four letter words
by Ari Siletz

Here's how you turn DOG into GOD one letter at a time: DOG   DOT   GOT   GOD. The connection between these two words is not in meaning but in their being spelled exactly the reverse of each other. Here are some Farsi words transformed one letter at a time where the connection is in the meaning.

[گرم     گرد     سرد]

Too easy? Let's make the same connection with two steps in between:

[داغ   داد  درد   سرد]

or three steps in between:

[گرم    گرد      خرد  خرک    خنک]

Here's a 12 step one, turning yellow into its opposite color blue via the intermediate color green:

[زرد   سرد   سود   سوت  سوز  سبز  ساز  تاز   تیز   لیز  لرز  لری  آری  أبی]

Four letter words (the subject of this blog, by the way) are a pain. I tried changing black into white but it fought back and ended up right where it belonged.

[سیاه  سیاح    سلاح    سلام    کلام     کلاغ]

So I'm looking for four letter Farsi word transformations that connect via a meaning--opposites, different color, taste...anything meaningful.


1. Any word in Dehkhoda is a Farsi word.

2. Tashdid, hamzeh and stuff aren't important, but correct spelling is.

3. compound words, plurals, possessives etc. are discouraged though allowed if the ghaafieh gets too tang.

Prize is a decent bottle of wine. Entries will be judged by number of letters in the word, number of steps (the higher the better, this isn't an efficiency puzzle), and overall aesthetic quality of the connection.

But don't fret the rules; go for aesthetics. After all, the sexiest and most spiritual transformation is in two letters with only one step in between:

[من   تن‌   تو]


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Thank you Ari jan,

by Hajminator on

For your blog which was really fun. I took a lot of pleasure to play the game with others.

Ari Siletz

Congratulations Hajminator!

by Ari Siletz on

Who tied for second place with a score of 7.1.  And who graciously agreed to have this result published. Thank you for your enthusiastic participation and excellent entries, Hajminator.

Anahid Hojjati

Ari jan, this wine sounds fantastic. Thanks for selecting it.

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear Ari, thanks for writing the blog, having a competition about it and selecting such a great wine. I love BlackBerry, Walnut , raisins, and all other flavors sound interesting too.  

I really enjoyed participating in this competition and in the process,I learned.

Ari Siletz

Envelope: Anahid Hojatti

by Ari Siletz on

With a score of 8.06.


Announcing the prize in the tradition of TV game shows.

Anahid will receive a bottle of "Seven Deadly Zins." It is a great Zinfandel wine from Lodi in the California Central Valley. The first time I saw this wine at a party, I told the host that I never drink anything out of a bottle with the word "deadly" on it. But here's what one reviewer lived to say about the wine"

  "It has a spicy nose with a bit of raspberry, tomato, pepper and cola.  It’s very clearly a Lodi Zinfandel right from the first whiff.  Raisins, jammy blackberry, walnut and black pepper make for a big, bold palate with plenty of complexity.  It has good concentration too, and a fairly long finish with a hot spiciness."

Ari Siletz

Scores are in

by Ari Siletz on

I have sent out emails with the scores. If you haven't received the email please let the blog know. Highest average score was 8.06 out of ten. A couple of contestants don't have contact buttons active. So if you didn't get a score please activate your contact button.

This was the most often in a single day that I had used Dehkhoda. Many thanks for being good sports and taking part in the game.



Ari jaan if I win send my bottle of wine to Faramarz!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred

Anahid Hojjati

Thanks Ari jan for your explanation, Anon, do you think that...

by Anahid Hojjati on

Thanks Ari, you picked the judges, so I am sure you chose ones who will do a good job. In any case, it was a great exercise. Thanks. But my question is to dear Anonymouse whether he seriously thinks he is in the running :)?

Ari Siletz

Doctor Mohandes

by Ari Siletz on

When I send the contestants their scores, I will ask if they would mind if I published their scores. I hope we get to publish quite a few results.

Ari Siletz

Anahaid, Anonymouse

by Ari Siletz on

The "American Idol style" only has to do with there being three judges--and that only to add humor to a game which is obviously not about winning but playing.  It's pretty straightforward . Three anonymous judges have been asked to visit the blog (if they hadn't already) and send a single 1-10 opinion on each contestant via email to me.

The judges instruction set is also simple. Here it is:

"The rules are in the body of the blog, beyond that it's all at the judge's discretion. "

I'll average the three grades for each contestant and determine the "winner."  After that I will contact the "winning" contestant through his/her IC contact and ask where to send his/her prize. I will also email each contestant their score, the highest score, and judges comments about that contestant--if any.

So far two judges have completed their analysis and sent in their scores with no specific comments. One judge is delighted to see the effort and impressed by the quality of the entries. The third judge is having internet trouble for the moment so I may have to call and get the results on the phone. 


Removing names

by Doctor mohandes on

Not fair to those who went through the mental task of thinking and coming up with the sequences.

They deserve to be rewarded by having their names mentioned,

My dah shahi!

Anahid Hojjati

Dear Ari, Anonymouse's suggestion is a good one

by Anahid Hojjati on

Ari jan, it is good that Anonymouse brought this up. I was wondering what happened to this competition. His suggestion about removing names is a good one. Whoever wins, it was an educational and fun competition.


Ari jaan if you're going to have an American Idol judging

by Anonymouse on

I suggest removing the names of the authors who made the four letter words sequence.  Just enter the four letter words sequence and ask for the votes.

Judges can haggle over the "pitch" and "genre" and "wow factor" and other irrelevant feel good judging comments, but the votes will carry the day.

Or you can allow the judges to score and add their scores to public votes and add up the comments, ala Dancing Stars, and then make a complete fool of judges when Bristol Palin wins the competition over the semi-professional dancers and entertainers!  I'm rooting for Bristol in that stupid show! 

Everything is sacred


I agree Ari jan,

by Hajminator on

Computer programs are designed for efficiency, and Humans seek enchantment. For your test, I concur that we would like to see longer sequences in order to be amazed by the magic of senses (I also fell into that trap).

Anyway, if I knew the competition was of "American Idol" type, I would have put on my sexiest dress for the show ;) and, thanks for the blog it was really fun.

p.s. Now, when we see the lightning without a drop of rain, we could say with impunity: "cheh havayeh olaghi"

Ari Siletz

Thanks Hajminator

by Ari Siletz on

Yes, a compromise has to be made in the rules to balance efficiency and capacity for expression. For instance it would be a shame to remove cholaagh and olaagh in your chomagh to Kado sequence even if a shorter edit distance could be found. The comic effect aside, the apparent misspelling of a common Farsi insult turning out to be my own ignorance of the meaning of the word delivered a high level of irony.  Hence the call in the game for aesthetics being the main criteria.

By the way, as the blog is about to roll off the main page, I am putting together three judges "American Idol" style to go over the entries and figure out a winner.


Transforming [Chomagh -> Kado]

by Hajminator on

[چماق - چلاق - الاق - الاو - کلاو - کراو - کردو - کادو]

Ari jan, I'm tending to think that there always exists a path linking two antonyms of 4 letters using your rules. The length of the path is usually called the edit distance (in this case it's equal to 7). In natural language processing, the best transformation path is the one with the lowest edit distance

Virgin Goth


by Virgin Goth on


ur right - should have said nefrat

by MM on


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dorood bar

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Dorood bar shoma Anahid-e gerami!

Thank you for your kind words and your poetry. I love Persian poetry unfortunately I have little talent in writing it. Thankfully I am able to read and enjoy it.

Anahid Hojjati

Dorood bar VPK , and this one is for you with less Arabic

by Anahid Hojjati on

فراز   فروز  فروغ  دروغ  درود  سرود  سروش  خروش

Here is a poem using some of above words

فروغ آمد
فروزی کرد
سرودی گفت
خروشی کرد
چه زود اما
فرازش بود
درود بر او
درود بر سرودش باد

Thanks dear VPK for your comment.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Anahid Jan

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Your point is valid and I am not offended !! 

  • It is in fact right that Ari's exercise is more easily solved using Arabic words.
  • Ari said Farsi not Parsi.
  • What may seem a lingual hodgepodge to me may be a treasure trove to a poet. I could just imagine Sadi or Hafez welcoming all these additional words. It does not mean I like Arabic but I see their point of view. 


I have been trying to not spam this blog with my anti-Arabic venom :-) 


Attention all users of

by Simorgh5555 on

Please see this video posted by Fred:



The shame of Iranian women. 

Anahid Hojjati

شمول شمال کمال جمال جمیل جمول

Anahid Hojjati

شمول  شمال   کمال  جمال  جمیل  جمول

یکی از معانی شمول  «می» است و جمول یعنی زن فریه پس رابطه می تواند این باشد که آنکه می می آورد(ساقی) , شاید زنی فربه باشد.

Anahid Hojjati

Ari jan, the key to this Farsi exercise is in Arabic

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear Ari, friends like VPK will not like my answer but one will do much better in this if they consider that many words presently in Farsi are "bar vazne" either

فاعل   فعیل  فعول

or any others that are 4 letter words. Using this guide, this exercise becomes easier, for instance:

کاسی  کاسب  کاذب  جاذب  جالب  غالب  غایب  نایب....

صراف   حراف  حریف  شریف  شریک...

so to do well think of 4 letter words that 3 of them are letters that indicate a verb in Arabic which is being used in Farsi, then you can come up with many words which are bar vazne 

فاعل   فعیل  فعول

and will also meet your criteria. So since Arabic words are used in Farsi in abundance, key here is in arabic, sorry VPK and other friends.



Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on



Loved shaaer to chaaker.

Couldn't find nekbar. What does it mean?

Here's another one for rahbar


 رهبر   رهبا  مهبا  مهتا  مهتر   منتر  عنتر


Ari Siletz

Yes, by George

by Ari Siletz on


 Amin Neshati, the text in your comment came in garbled but I gather this is how you turned enemy into friend:

دشمن      دامن     دادن     داده     دوده      دودم     دودل     دوال   دوات    دوست maghshoosh: Impressive display of obscure Persian words. As for not being used very often, you never know until you add it to your repretoire and find out how useful it is. For example, I can think of beard styles where                       

موی دراز که بر پوزه اسب بر آید (فید) فاید روزی بدرد بخورد.


سرخر، رهبر، نکبر، نکبت


سرخر، رهبر، نکبت
شاعر، شاطر، شاکر، چاکر
ماهر، ظاهر
قاطر، شاطر
مادر، نادر
ماهی، مادی
لوطی، طوطی، قوطی

Amin Neshati

Ari, by George, I've got it!

by Amin Neshati on

With a little help from Mohammad Mo'in:دشمندامندادندادهدوده = دودماندودلدوال = تسمهدواتدوست


سیاه ... سفید


سیاه سپاه سفاه سفیه/سفاد سفید

سفیه is plural for سفاه

سفیه: //

سفاد pardon the imagery: //

If you'd like to make it more of a political reference to Iran, go w/ the "safih" option and stick in "safik" before "sefid".

سفیک:  //


Lets change the rules a bit and demand that in going from "siah" to "sefid" you have to alternate the length of each subsequent word from 4 to 3 and vice versa, and you can do that only by dropping (adding) one letter of choice before or after any letter that's already present as you go from 4 to 3 (3 to 4) letters:

سیاه سیه سیده سید سفید

If it's not the destination that matters to you but the journey (learning words you're not likely to use again) then in the above in between "seyyed" and "sefid" stick the following

ساید اید فاید فید

ساید: //

اید:  //

فاید: //

فید:  //


Of course, if you really can't stop yourself then, you may come up with this alternating length sequence

سیاه یاه یاده یده سیده سید سفید

یاه: //

یاده: //

یده: //


[فاسد - فرسد - برسد - برید - نرید - نجید - نجیب]


رودکی میگه

 نه به آخر همه بفرسايد؟     هركه انجام راست فرسد نيست

به شیر بیشه هم بعضی موقعها میگن نجید

Ari Siletz

Amin Neshati, brilliant!

by Ari Siletz on

The stark brevity of your connection actually works poetically in favor of the sequence. I've worked out a sequence from Doshman to Doost, but the peace process is much too lengthy--which would be fine except that the in between words don't contribute any flavor to the underlying intent. Maybe you can do it in fewer than 20 steps.