Around the World in 1001 Words

You Are invited to A Lecture by Jirair Tutunjian

Fascinating & Entertaining Tales about Armenian and English Words
Origins and Similarities Between the Two Languages
Did you know "thug" and the Armenian "stahag" are the same words?
Did you know the Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Phoenician word for God
derives from Armenian?

You Are invited to A Lecture by Jirair Tutunjian

Fascinating & Entertaining Tales about Armenian and English Words
Origins and Similarities Between the Two Languages
Did you know "thug" and the Armenian "stahag" are the same words?
Did you know the Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Phoenician word for God
derives from Armenian?

  1. Please Attend in Large Numbers

    I am thrilled that Jirair, one of the most erudite people I have met, has finally decided to share his fascinating insights into our language. I wish I could be there.

    Perhaps all our community centers across this vast country should make an effort to invite Jirair to give this (and similar) lectures. I am sure it will be equally fascinating for non-Armenians.

    Best of luck. Please post a video if possible.



  2. I Wish I Could Attend

     I wish I could attend this lecture. I love the whole concept of words being used in different cultures and languages.

    Are adamant and ադամանդ the same words? Can it be that the English meaning has evolved, while the Armenian has kept its original meaning?

    1. Adamant Atamant

      Dear Raffi,

      The Armenian "atamant" and the English "diamond"/"adamant" are certainly related.

      They derive from ancient Greek. Adamant, in Greek, meant "untameable"–usually an animal or a plant. Since diamond is extremely hard, the adjective became also the noun: the gem’s name became diamond. Armenians and the English borrowed the word. Armenians use it as the name of the gem "atamant") while the English have retained both meanings–firm ("adamant") and as the gem’s name ("diamond").

  3. Around the World in 1,001 Words

    I am very interested in "Around the world in 1,001 words" lecture but live in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. How can I attend? Will it be recorded or uploaded on Youtube? is there an article I can read?

    Thank you.


  4. Jirair the Legendary Scholar

    It’s about time to acknowledge Jirair’s credentials and dedication to writing, He could, of course, sit back and enjoy his retirement and have more time for his family.

    I knew Jirair back home in Jerusalem (40 to 50 years ago) and also knew he would be an academic rather than a tradesman when most of us became jewelers or photographers in Jerusalem.

    Keep up with the good work, Jirair.  I hope we hear more from you.


  5. Sharing in Lugano

    I would very much like to share Mr.Tutunjian’s thoughts with our small Armenian community here in Lugano, once it is recorded and available either on YouTube or on DVD.

  6. This is a very interesting

    This is a very interesting subject and I will surely attend and be honoured to meet Mr. Tutunjian in person!

    I always found similarities between Native-Indian and Armenian words, e.g.: Okanagan vs Օգնական and there are few others as well that I forgot. Maybe Mr. Tutunjian can shed some light on this as well.  How would it be possible to have similar words when these two cultures didn’t even know each other’s existence until the 16th century?


    1. Okanagan Oknagan
      Thank you for your interest. Oknagan and Okonagan are not related. In the more than 5,000 languages in use nowadays, there are countless unrelated similarities.

  7. Moot

    Is the English word moot of Armenian origin? I bet LA will make a good stop going around the world in 1001 words.

    1. Moot and Moot

      Dear Vahe,

      The origin of the modern English "moot" is "mot" from Middle English. Mot meant to get together (to debate). Thus it came to mean a debatable point. It’s not related to the Armenian moot.

      1. Hair and Hair

        Սիրելի Jirair
        What about the English word "hair", it sounds the same as ours and means….հեր.
        Years ago an Azzie promoted his car dealership in NJ. I went to check on a car and found out that he is Indian and his name is Azad and means…… ազատ.

        These two words are the only tangible connections I have made being told in my early classrooms of the one time Sourp Nshan Armenian School in Beirut that our language is of Indo-European origin.         

        1. Hairy Problem

          Dear Vahe,

          The Armenian "hair" and the English "hair" are identical. Their origin is Indo-European. In fact, in the ancient Armenian poem about the birth of Armenian god Vahakn, there’s a line which says, "Yev ee potsouyn vazer khardyash badanegig. Na hoor HAIR ooner…" (And in the fire ran a blonde lad. He had fiery hair…"

          "Azad" is of ancient Persian origin. Because of the political-military-cultural influence of Persia over Armenia, Afghanistan and northern India, long ago the word entered various languages of the region. Azeris also use the word.

          I have a list of hundreds of Armenian words which are similar to those in various European languages. These words are separate from words Armenians have later adopted from Greek or Latin.

          Bottom line: There is absolutely no doubt that Armenian is an Indo-European language.

  8. Around the World in 1001 Words

    Dear Mr.Tutunjian,

    I will appreciate if you could kindly tell us about the armenian word "madid"(pencil),and the italian word "matita" which has the same meaning. How it comes the Italians use the word "matita" instead of latin word of "pencillus" (pencil) which means according to Wikipedia "little tail"? Do you think Leonardo Da Vinci after his visits in Armenia brought with him the armenian word "madid" ?

    Gaidzag Magdassian

    1. Ajarian Says

      Dear Mr. Magdassian,

      Hrachya Ajarian In "Hayeren Armadagan Pararan" says that the origin of the Armenian ‘madid’ is the Persian and Arabic ‘mudad’ (ink). I would guess that it’s also the orign of the Italian ‘matita’. Medieval Persians and Arabs had easy access to various inks of the East. I doubt that there’s a madid/matita connection with Da Vinci.

      It’s interesting that the English–from their far away island–adopted the Latin word ‘pencillum’ (little tail) while the Italians imported the word from the Middle East.

  9. Speaking tour?

    Sireli Jirair:

    Please take this sparkling show on the road and visit eager listeners in NY-NJ and Boston.


    L & D

    1. Invitation
      Sireli Lucine,
      "If you build it, they will come."
      If I am invited, I would love to deliver the talk in Boston and the New Jersey area.

    2. Community Invitation

      Hello Lucine, it should be the responsibility of each community to invite Mr. Tutunjian to their city for the tour that you are recommending. So if each city will have a dedicated person who can convince their community leader to invite Mr. Tutunjian, then it might be possible, assuming that he has the time to travel.


  10. Very Interesting

    Dear Jirair,

    Very interesting work. I want to know if the Armenian word "karnug" is the same as the Portuguese "carneiro". They have the same meaning in both languages.

    Best regards.

    Maria Cristina


    1. Karnoug and Carneiro

      Dear Maria Cristina,

      The Portuguese ‘carniero’ derives from late Latin ‘carnalis’–a derivative of Latin ‘caro’ (flesh, meat). I don’t know whether the word has an earlier root, such as Indo-European. In Armenian there’s no related word with similar or close spelling. However, there’s the theory that the Armenian ‘karnoug’ (lamb) originates in ‘karoun’ (spring). The idea being that most lambs, at least in the old days around the Mediterranean, were born in the spring.

      You might be interested that there are many English words based on the Latin carnalis: carnage, carnation, carnivorous, carrion, charnel. Your famous Rio Carnavale means ‘raising flesh’–that is removing meat from the diet during Lent. The carnivale is the last chance, before the start of Lent, to eat meat, to have a good time… and party on the Copacabana.

    2. More on Carneiro

      Dear Maria,

      More on Carneiro and Armenians. In the ’30s Primo Carnera (not his real name) was the world heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Born in Udine, Italy to Armenian parents who had survived the Genocide of Armenians. Carnera (I guess it means Prime Meat) was 6ft. 6" tall and weighted 284 lbs. He moved to the United States to fight top boxers.

      After retiring from boxing, he became a wrestler, appeared in a couple of American and British movies. He later owned a restaurant and a liquor store in Los Angeles. He was no real boxer. He made it to the big times because of his size. The film "Requiem for a Heavyweight" was based on his life. Jack Palance played him in a movie and Sean Connery in a play. Unfortunately, I don’t know Primo Carnera’s Armenian name.


      1. Re Primo Carnera

        Dear Mr. Tutunjian,

        According to Wikipedia and Boxrec Boxing Encyclopedia Primo Carnera was born on  26 October 1906 in Sequals, then province of Udine, now Perdenone, Italy.

        There was no mention of his Armenian origins. I am interested to know about the source of your information.


        1. Carnero’s Name

          Dear Mr. Magdassian,

          Several years ago I read about it in an article about Italian-Armenians. It also said that singer Adriano Celentano is also Armenian. I will try to find the article. It will take me some time.

          Admittedly circumstantial evidence re Primo Carnera’s real name. Electronic sources (Google, Wikipedia) don’t reveal his real name. It’s always Primo Carnera, obviously a made-up name for a boxer. Why isn’t his Italian (?) name not mentioned?


          1. Primo Carnera III

            In Oct. 5,.1931 "Time" magazine, in its cover story, reported that Primo Carnera was an Italian heavyweight boxer.

            Over the centuries there were many Italian/Armenians who contributed to Italian science and culture, such as the eminent doctor of medicine Giorgio Baglivi; Anton Sourian, Zaccaria Seriman, Vittoria Aganoor, noted chemist Giacomo Luigi Ciamician and many others. After all my research, I could not find any source referring to Primo Carnera as being of Armenian origin and that he came to Italy after the Genocide. My research explicity shows that he was born on 1906 in Udine.

            As for favorite singer Adriano Celentano being Armenian, it reminds me of my youth in Beirut when we thought our film hero Gregory Peck was Armenian and his name was Krikor Ipeckian!

            Gaidzag Magdassian


  11. An interesting subject

    Although I’ll not be able to attent the lecture of Mr. Jirair Tutunjian, but God willing we will arrange a lecture event in our community.

    Vancouver BC

  12. I would love to hear Jirair

    I would love to hear Jirair Tutunjian

    When is his trip to New York?


    1. 1,001 Words Tour

      Dear Zarmine,

      I have been invited to deliver the speech in Montreal in November and possibly in Vancouver. If I receive invitations from other North American Armenian communities I will do my best to accommodate them. Thank you for your interest.


  13. About another Armenian word….

    Now that we are talking about origins / connections to other languages of Armenian words, I would like to ask the origins of " Sourge" = coffee. It seems that it has no similarity to any other language . Coffee not being originated in Armenia ( Eastern or Western )  where did the word  " sourge"come from?

    1. Serge’s Sourj
      There are two opinions on the origin of the Armenian sourj (coffee).
      The first maintains t’s an original coinage, unrelated to any other Armenian word.
      The second, by a Mkhitarian scholar at San Lazzaro, believes it’s the contraction of "sev choor" (black water).

  14. La matita

    The Italian word for pencil is "matita."

    In Tajik, the word for blue is "kaput."

    In Konkanee, to shine is "shogshogat."

    I know of at least 30 words in Hindi which are very similar to Armenian.

    I love finding out about these similarities.

    Please come and give a lecture in Montreal, Jirair djan.

    1. Matita and Madid
      Dear Mr. Dikranian.
      I will deliver my talk in Montreal in November. Date and place will be announced in Keghart as soon as details are finalized.

  15. Armenian word for gypsy

    Baron Tutunjian:

    I have heard from several sources that the word "gypsy" did not come about by those who thought the people came from Egypt, but a shortening of a word from the Armenian — that is, "Punjabtsi," meaning a person from the Punjab. Many non-Armenian researchers claim that gypsies/the Romani originated from the Rajasthan/Punjab regions. Your thoughts?


    1. Armenian Gypsy

      The Armenian word for gypsy is not "punjabtzi."

      The correct word is " knchoo."

      1. Origin of the Word Gypsy

        I should have been more clear in my question (even if your answer would be the same). What I wanted to know is if the English word, gypsy, could have Armenian origins, and if the gypsy people were once called Punjabtsiis by the Armenians.

        1. Origin of the word gypsy

          This is the first time I hear that "gypsy" means "punjubtsi"  in Armenian, since we already  have a word for    gypsy   which is "knchu" and the origin of which is quite unclear with me. It is true that we use the suffix of "tsi" for people belonging to a certain place but in this case the alteration of "tsi" into gypsy seemed a distant possibility for me since it looks more likely that "gypsy" derives from Egyptian due to the similarity of the pronunciations.   At this point though it needs an explanation that if the people are from India why they are called Egyptians. 

          1. Gypsy Origin

            Gypsies (Roma) origin is India (some believe Punjab and others Rajasthan). In the Middle Ages, they migrated to the Middle East. There they split into two groups–one settled in Armenia, while the other in Egypt. Those who settled in Armenia eventually continued on to Europe, so did the Egyptian Gypsies. Because the second group came from Egypt and were dark-skinned, Europeans called them Gypsies–a corruption of Egyptian.
  16. English – Armenian Word Similarities

    I offer you the following words that are similar in Armenian, English and Russian.

    To amaze, or smile – զմայլվել (zmailvel) – изумлять(ся) [izoomlyat’sa] – I believe their phonetics and meaning are rather similar.

    feather – փեթուր [petoor] – перо [pero]

    come – կյամ -Artsakh dialect [kyam]

    What do you say?

    1. The Armenian Zmayl(eel)
      The Armenian zmayl(eel) and the English smile have a similar Sanskrit root: smi. So do the Armenian "pedoor", the English "feather" and the German "feder". Their Sanskrit root is "patrata/pattra".
      The Armenian "kaam", the Artskah "gaam" and the English "come" are the same words, as in "Yes goo kaam" and "I come".


  17. Origin of “ian” Suffix

    Dear Mr. Tutunjian,
    I have not been able to find any information about the origin of the suffix "ian" for so many Armenian surnames.
    Does it have a specific meaning (I see it is often attached to first names, as in Dickranian) and does it have any relation to similar suffixes in Persian or Indian surnames? When did the practice start?

    Best regards,

    1. Origin of “ian” Suffix

      Dear Nello,
      "Ian" is an Indo-European suffix. It means "belonging to/coming from/famous for/related to". Thus "NorwegIAN", "beauticIAN" and "amazonian". It can also relate to profession (Varjabedian) or physical looks (Sevian). "Ian" attached to a first name means that a person with that first name, and then his family, were identified in their neighborhood, village, town by the name. In all instances, the meaning of the suffix is consistent with its Aryan roots. In addition to Iranians and Indians, other Indo-Europeans also use the same suffix, if not as widely as Armenians.
      Jirair Tutunjian

      1. Armenian, a Yanian Language

        The fact that "ian" is not exclusively Armenian in denoting what it means reinforces that the use of "yan" is not only unnerving but also wrong unless preceded by a vowel.
        Recently, I read over again Antranig Zaroukian’s book entitled "Medzereh yev Mouysnereh" ("The Greats and the Others"). In it he superbly presents the persona of Nicol Aghablian, an Eastern-Armenian intellectual and linguist, and Levon Shant, a Western-Armenian intellectual and linguist, working side by side in Jemaran and collaborating to educate a cadre of post-Genocide Armenian students to assume literary ownership of our language.
        I do not think that such collaboration is possible nowadays because of the post Soviet adulteration of Eastern Armenian that continues its rampant course. There does not seem to be any indication from the Eastern-Armenian literary leadership for a change in course or at a least critically review to justify such literary practice. On the contrary, they seem to disdain Mesrobian spelling as Tourkahay, i.e. Turkish-Armenian language.
        As an avid reader in Armenian, I have been avoiding Eastern Armenian because of the proliferating Armenianized foreign words and spelling that looks odder by the day.

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