A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Mon Jun 28 19:51:29 UTC 1999

I'd have to agree with Prof. Dankoff. All the dictionaries I have at my
disposal, Hony & Iz Turkish-English Dictionary, Redhouse Yeni
Turkce-Ingilizce Sozluk, the old Redhouse dictionary of Ottoman Turkish
and the Redhouse Cagdas Turkce-Ingilizce Sozlugu-- all give the meaning of
kulbasdi (umlaut over the u, undotted i) as meaning variously a
cutlet, grilled cutlet or simply grilled meat. Perhaps the "basdir-"
element refers to a flattened or even pounded piece of meat, like a
I think the common Turkish word for sausage is "sucuk" which the Okyanus
dictionary lists as "eski Turk." that is an old, native Turkish word.


 On Mon, 28 Jun 1999, Jim Rader wrote:

> from Turkish <pastirma> / <bastirma> (no dot over <i>), "cured spiced
> meat." <Bastirma> looks like the so-called "short infinitive" of a
> verb <bastir->, a causative of <bas-> "to press."  Turkish, if I
> recall correctly, has lots of nominalized short infinitves of this
> sort, e.g, <dolma> "stuffing, filling," from <dol->, "to become
> full."  There is fluctuation between initial <p> and <b> in other
> native (i.e., non Perso-Arabic) words, e.g., <pasmak>/ <basmak> for
> "slipper" (cedilla under <s>).
> Curiously--or maybe not curiously depending on your inclination--a
> word for "sausage" common to nearly all Slavic languages (and
> likewise taken into Yiddish) is also thought to have been borrowed
> from Turkic at a much earlier date.  This is, to give the Common Slavic
> reconstructions, <*kulbasa> (breve over <u>)/<*klobasa> (two
> protoforms are needed to give all the right outcomes), hence Polish
> <kielbasa> (slash through <l>), which is pretty naturalized in
> English to my ear.  The putative Turkic source is <kulbasti> (umlaut
> over <u>, no dot over <i>), from <kul>, "ashes, cinders," and <basti>
> "pressed meat," a derivative from the same <bas-> as above. (Exactly
> where and when this compound is attested I don't have at hand.)
> I once discussed the <pastrami> etymology with Robert Dankoff, a
> Turcologist at the University of Chicago.  He had serious
> reservations about Turkish as the ultimate source, because he felt
> that the pastoral Turks would not have contributed to Anatolia very
> sophisticated technology for meat preservation.  Of course, it's
> possible that the Turks just gave a name to a technique already known
> among the settled Anatolian peoples that preceded them. Such would
> not have been the case with the <kielbasa> etymon, though, which goes
> back quite a bit further into the Turkic past....

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