Language: Etymology of Persian word for alone

by fozolie


Having abismally failed in all attempts to find out the poet for the expression below I started wondering  about the Persian word Tanha. Since in Persian similar to other Indo-European languages new words are formed by adding words together or by addiing a suffixe or a prefix to an existing word, then it would be logical to assume the word was formed of "Tan" meaning body  together with "Ha" the plural suffix meaning people, then how did it become the word for lonely?  I am yet to find out the poet. Help!

دلا خو کن به تنهائی که از تنها (تن ها) بلا خیزد

سعادت آن کسی دارد که از تنها بپرهیزد




Recently by fozolieCommentsDate
History of Violance
Nov 30, 2012
More Congratulations to Iranians
Jun 28, 2012
King of Islam
Jun 27, 2012
more from fozolie

wow, that's such a paradox

by Q on

Tan is also used for "person" or "human". So the root of the word means its exact opposite!

interesting find...


Check Borhan-i-Qati'

by Zulfiqar110 on

The Mohammad Mo'in edition. I believe there is an entry on Tanha in it. But note that the Arabic word "fard" can be made to denote lonely as well. Perhaps this is one way tanha became current in Persian to denote lonely and loneliness.

For the expression, check Dehkhoda's Amsal va Hikam. Apparently a completely expanded and updated version of these volumes has recently been published in Iran.





Merci Souri Banoo

by fozolie on

But you are right to doubt it. I had done a search of his poems. Unless it was a one liner or an incomplete piece. Thanks all the same.

Mr. Fozolie


no, it was from Sharhriar

by Souri on

True or false, I don't know :)




I read somewhere, it's from Aashegh Esfahani

by Souri on

And another one that I like


بی وفایی کن ، وفایت می کنند

با وفا باشی ، خیانت می کنند

مهربانی گرچه آئین خوشیست

مهربان باشی ، رهایت می کنند