One of a Kind Artist II

Beirut-born Karekin Dickran (1945-2012) was an artist, polymath, amateur etymologist, Armenologist, a student of semiotics, mythology, and ancient Armenian pictographs– among other disciplines and pursuits. A “Trchnots Pouyn” (Jbeil, Lebanon) student, he studied in Denmark where he eventually settled. A passionate patriot with an original mind, he corresponded with Keghart Editor Jirair Tutunjian from 2005 to 2012 mostly about etymology and Dickran’s series “the Genesis of Civilization”. This is the second of our intermittently published selection of the correspondence. The letters are edited and abridged.–Editor.

Toronto, June 1, 2010

Dear Karekin,

A couple of quick questions.
In Arabic chair is koursee. The phonetic similarity is obvious. The Arabic tawla (table) is derived from the Italian tavola. I am wondering whether the Armenian chorse (four), which is related to carre, is linked the four legs of a chair.
By the way, the Arabs seem to have taken most the names for their currencies from the Europeans:
Dinar (Roman and Greek dinarius)
Dirham (Greek drachmes, like our dram/tram)
Rials of Saudi Arabia (Portuguese and Spanish reals/rey=king)
Leira (Lebanese from Italian Lira. Also Lebanese/Syrian Frang from Franc)
Gneh (Egyptian pounds from British guinea).
There must be an interesting story here.


P.S. Do you know whether the Armenian “pees” (bad) is derived from French?

Fri, 11 Jun 2010

Dear Jirair,

I think the Armenian “pees” is Turkish and has nothing to do with Armenian. The Armenian vad is the root of the English bad.  Here is the story of “chors”.

Armenian karort, Danish kvart, French quatre, ‘English quadr (quadruped)

It is well-known that the Armenian sound kh in related languages is changed to q, k, or h. As in Armenian khar, kar and har, meaning burnt/heat. The case is the same with the Armenian ch changing to k or q.

Four means something that consists of four parts, which is Armenian chorkh/chors. The sound ch can be changed to kh and q, c as in the case of the Armenian word for cross (khach/hach), meaning cross or four pointed. For example, the Armenian 40 is karasoun/kharasun which brings us to another Armenian word with the same root; chorr.ort/karort meaning: fourth part or quadr. In Old Indian: catúr, cátasrah is four; caturthá is fourth, catvara a quadr.angular place. Armenian charort/karort means quadr in English. Danish kvart, probably lent from German quart noun, and quarte as Dutch kuart, French quart. All from the Latin quartus/quarta meaning the fourth of quart, half and whole. New Persian chah Çr or kaÇr. Proto-IE: ketwor meaning four. Old Greek: téssares, téttores, tetra meaning four and fourth. Germanic: fidwÿr, fidur meaning four and fourth. Latin: quorta quattuor; quartus meaning four, fourth. Celtic and Old Irish: cethir (f. cethïoir). Tokharian: Êtarte meaning fourth. Probably the root of the word small is the Armenian manr derivative of mei extended to meiu- the meaning was little (hand), minus the thumb. The Armenian haruir meaning hundred is also hundred in Danish. The Armenian hink is cinque. I will tell you more than you asked, Jirair. Here we go.

Armenian Lu, Lur. Danish lure/liud. Old English hlüd. English Lis.ten

Here is an interesting story about the Armenian lurr and ganch(el):

In Armenian lu has a root meaning news; lurr meaning silence. There is no doubt that the Viking blowing instrument called lur has direct connection to Armenian word lur meaning news, to declare the news or the arrival of a dignitary. Oldgerman ludara meaning rock to sleep, probably connected to Armenian oror. Armenian lse(l) meaning to hear, to listen. Proto-IE: k’lew(e),, kleu, kleua meaning to hear, to listen, to proclaim. Old Indian: Êrnuóti meaningto hear. In Danish, lytte has its root in lureeavesdrop, meaning to see, to peep, lie in wait [peeping Tom] from which Danish lyde meaning sound and lyd, meaning stillness, calm, in old Danish liud. Norwegian lyd, dialect ljod. Swedish ljod meaning sound. Oldnordic hljod meaning silence. Gothic hljup meaning to listen. Oldgerman liodar and Oldenglish hleopor. Middle German lüt. German laut is probably connected to Old English hlüd meaning loud in English. Old Saxon hlüd. Old Germanic hlüt. Oldirish cloth meaning fame as in Latin: clueÿ, clueo and inclutus meaning fame, famous. Oldkirgis, slovo meaning slava meaning famous. Greek klytos meaning famous, kleos meaning: honor. Old Greek: kléÿ. Avestan: surunaoiti meaning heard. Nostratic etymology: Albanian: k´uhem. Slavic: slüt´. Baltic: ãlaw-iÇ. Celtic: OIr ro-clui-nethar meaning: heard. Tokharian: käln- meaning to call, connected to Armenian Kanch, kanchel, ganchel meaning to call.

Here’s some more, Jirair.

Armenian Der [an.Der]. Danish Herr. Herr.løse English Herr or Der.elict
Armenian [an] Der, the prefix an (which sounds un) means without and the suffix der means sir, master, thus ander/underr means without master or owner. Un has the same meaning in English [unable, untie]. Der.outioun means state, government [Arm. garavarutioun]. Der is connected to English heir and German Herr and Danish Herr both meaning a baron and sir. Probably with the sound change from Armenian D to H. Swedish and Norwegian herre. Old Nordic herra from Old Saxon hero and Oldgerman hero, German Herr, Old Frisian héra. There are a long rang of words derived from Derr or Herr such as Danish herred meaning mastered district. Herre.dømme meaning mastery, dominion, control. Herre.mand meaning lord of a manor. Other words from the same root: Hus.herr meaning the master of the house (husband), German hausherr/hersker means ruler. German Herrscher. Danish Herlig from Old Saxon hérlik, means glorious, grand or magnificent. German herrlich. Connected to to Old English har meaning gray-haired which also has a connection to Armenian ale-e-her meaning gray-haired/ honorable.


1 comment
  1. Karekin’s Knowledge

    I would like to congratulate the editors for publishing the correspondence. Karekin Dickran was a fount of knowledge about our identity and roots. It's a great experience to read his letters… letters full of gems unknown to most Armenians, let alone the world. What a huge loss to the Armenian nation that this "walking encyclopedia" of Armenology died so young. I hope there are more letters.

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