NoRooz NEVER cowbug

If we can't stand up for NoRooz, then what do we stand for?


NoRooz NEVER cowbug
by bahmani

Once again, my personal NoRooz tradition and mission of bashing the inherently wrong and unduly horrendous English spelling of nowruz begins like Spring herself, anew.

Once again, I carefully prepare to gird my loins as the necessary backlash arrives from those haplessly less versed than I in Anglicus Lactosa, and hopelessly trapped in Encyclopaedia Iranica, and we begin our endless dance once again.

Let me throw the first punch. Nowruz is the most stupid English spelling ever concocted by anyone.

Now sounds like you would say "Cow How Brown and uh... Now".

Ruz comes off as, "Bug, Rug, Hug, Pug".

cowbug certainly does not sound like NoRooz. Which is of course the perfect English spelling.

Now many will give the traditional Yarshater/Iranica/United Nations excuse, and some will even bring the Presidential and Congressional proclamations that have been conned into using the defamatory cowbug instead of the pristine NoRooz.

And to them I would say, "Big deal! So you managed to con the White House and various US politicians! Since when do they know ANYTHING about Iran? You've merely proved the obvious!"

The Yarshater scientific experiment yielding the abomination spelling of cowbug, was a good idea except they forgot to use English linguists and instead chose Persian linguists.

Which is of course, backward. You use Persian linguists to define the correct phonetic spelling of a word in Farsi. You use an ENGLISH linguist when trying to find the best English spelling.

See how that makes more sense?

What the Yarshater goosehunt (goozhunt?) did was incorrectly invent a new word that few if any can pronounce unaided. There goes our brandable logo.

Surveys using more science than the Yarshater effort have shown that when shown cowbug, less than 4% will ever come anywhere near to pronouncing it correctly. Yet over 98% will say NoRooz perfectly correct, every single time!

Doubt this? Do it yourself.

Unfortunately many groups and other cattle have chosen to ignore reason, as well as the very clear and simple phonetic rules of the English language and mistakenly go along with the often strong-arm tactics of the hidden Yarshater Militia who will subtly remind you to correct the spelling back to cowbug.

I say down with tyranny and cowbug! If we can't stand up for NoRooz, then what do we stand for?

There, the line in the sand has been once again drawn for the cowbugs out there to cross, happy hunting, and Happy NoRooz!


more from bahmani
Mohammad Ala

Happy Nowruz

by Mohammad Ala on

Happy Nowruz.

It was about 1995 that I started using Nowruz in English.  This is what Dr. Ehsan Yarshater came up with.

I can go along with your spelling of Nowruz also.

The problem: as of March 20, 2011, if you look at Home Page, you will notice that Nowruz is spelled six different ways.  I am sure if one ask Iranians to write their own, they will come up with many different ways of spelling it.  This is where the problem lies.  Outsiders reading our notes and/or articles will wonder what seems to be the problem!

Moreover, consider different dialects/languages.  For example, a Parsi in India cannot or won't say Norooz.

Happy Nowruz to everyone.  Happy Norooz to everyone. 




by zuruz on


Our Nowruz is the most ancient & sacred day that origins from thousand of years by Persians and promoted by Persian Empires throughout world history. This day is a revolutionary day that makes miracles and rejuvenates the nature around the world. This day of celebration by people, nature and renew their shape, color, beauties all over the world. Nowruz is an International day which has been recognized by the United Nation and we should be proud of Nowruz. Nowruz influences, promotes peace and celebrations, jubilation and freedom globally and we have moral responsibility to keep it alive for our new generations. If Mullah Regime in Iran or people affiliates to Islamic Republic do not like Nowruz and do not respect and believe the ancient Persian traditions it is too bad! They need to either love it or leave it or find another Arabic niche other than Persia/Iran. Because those mentality are not welcomed by Persians/Iranians who always loved their historical traditions & heritage and each inch of Iran territory. Historically, no powers were ever able to stop it and will never be stopped from practicing the thousands of year cultural traditions by present and future regimes.



Norooz it is

by Aahoo on

Dear Bahmani: Thanks for your article. For years I cringed at any and every spelling of this word and wished for a universal spelling of our beloved Norooz. I cannot agree more with you that Nowruz is the worst spelling chosen for such a beautiful word. However I respectfully disagree with your suggested writting of NoRooz as it appears to incorporate the word No-- a negativism we certainly do not wish to have associated with this.

I am no linguist but I always spelled it Norooz because it phonetically made sense. So let's hope that this will stick and we all spell our beloved New Year Norooz. 

Once and for all, happy Norooz.




by alx1711 on

I believe it shoulf be written and i always write it as;

"Nov Ruz",

Nov driven from latin Nova or in English New.

So in parsi we say Nov Ruz or New Day.

I belive nowruz is incorrect spelling.


Negative connotation

by Monda on

a child's observation was: it's kinda like NoWar. Which is good enough for me.

Happy NoRooz Bahmani! 


I have learned never to criticize Jews

by bahmani on

Because it often leads to the conclusion that Iranians and Jews usually have a lot in common with each other.

They certainly don't like that usually, and a fair amount of us seem to object too, so it never pays off.

Although I am big Star Trek fan, and both Kirk and Spock are Jews.

Wait! I think I just made my own point!

Live Long and Prosper! V

Red Wine


by Red Wine on



Farsi or Parsi?

by Pouneh on

Gosh, I feel like this would make a great topic for the Dr. Phil show cause you can go in circles forever. Now who was that professor trying to convince us that our language is not Farsi but Parsi? I like the good nature tone of this article. But really should we be concerned about the image of a word or the concept behind it? I wish I didn't have to think twice about taking my kids out of school to celebrate Norooz on years when 'saleh tahvil' is during the work day. When it comes time to thinking about the best choice of letters to express a sound, I really can't discriminate between 'u', 'w', and 'o'. They are all the same as far as I'm concerned.

Jahanshah Javid

NoRooz Rules!

by Jahanshah Javid on

I like Norooz. For no linguistic, historical, cultural reasons. I guess as a journalist I think it's simple and it does the job. Most non-Iranians pronounce it best.

Throw in a "w" or a "u" and people get weirded out...

Ari Siletz

Prefer "Norooz"

by Ari Siletz on

But if doing a writeup on a gathering that bills it as "Nowruz," then I say "Nowruz peeruz" and go along. HG's point about "Hanukah" is well taken.  "Kereesmas," however would be pushing it!

Anahid Hojjati

Dear Bahmani, نوروزتان پیروز

Anahid Hojjati


To all IC readers, writers, commentators, investors old and new and all upset with any spelling of NoRooz, take it easy and

نوروزتان پیروز

هر روزتان نوروز

warning; this comment is in danger of perpetual change into another version which will spell nurooz yet another way.

hamsade ghadimi

much ado about nothing

by hamsade ghadimi on

much ado about nothing bahmani.  while i agree with you that NoRooz sounds better (in english, of course) than Nowruz, i think that Norooz sounds even betterer.  i just don't like to accentuate 'no' in the word.  with your spelling, perhaps the french should spell it NonRouz. 

the jews celebrate hanukkah, chanuka, chanukah, chanukkah, channukuah, hanukah, hannukah, hanukkah, hanuka, hanukka, hanaka, haneka, hanika, and khanukah in the same eight day period all over the world.  throw in different languages, there are probably an exponentially higher number of spellings. i don't see any jew throwing a hissy fit on the correct spelling. let's just be happy that our beloved celebration is recognized.

secondly, those who do celebrate norooz that are not iranian (e.g. afghans, tajiks), may even have a different pronounciation (e.g. navrooz).  therefore, we have the classic case of impossiblity theorem in satisfying everyone. sal no eidoon baad. :)


LOL! What a fun piece!

by ComraidsConcubine on

 only problem with NoRooz is that it could end up as no day, as in none, turning the whole thing into pinglish cowdung. ;)