Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users

Dashboard
Notifications
Mark all as read
Q&A

What is the origin (etymology) of the word مسدس (pistol)?

+6
−0

In Arabic the word مُسَدَّس refers to pistol when an arm is meant (see here on wikipedia).

But it also refers to a hexagon (see here on wikipedia) -also سداسي أضلاع or سداسي- as it is a description of a geometrical object that has six edges.

As the number:

six سِتَّة

while anything related to this number might be:

سداسي
مُسَدَّس
etc.

I wonder if there's a connection between the word مُسَدَّس (pistol) and the number six and what it is?

I must guess maybe the first pistol had six bullets and that's why Arabs named it so, but I want so clarity.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

0 comments

1 answer

+3
−0

In English, "pistol" might primarily mean pretty much any single shot handgun, and only by extension the word my also be used to mean a revolver which can shoot several times, for example six times, before reloading.

In Arabic, it's the opposite. مُسَدَّس primarily means a "sixshooter", and only by extension, the word can refer to any revolver whatsoever, and even to a pistol which isn't a revolver.

The (historical) root of the word is S-D-S, meaning indeed six. You might enjoy seeing how an old cognate word (Akkadian for "six") was written in cuneiform, long before any handguns were available: 𒐋

The prefix مُ (this is copy and pasted from the right hand side, therefore from the beginning of مُسَدَّس) has meanings like "he who (does)", "the place which (does)", "the thing which (does)". Therefore مُسَدَّس could be loosely interpreted as "the thing which acts six times". But it means a "sixshooter" or by extension any other pistol.

Caveat: I don't speak any Arabic. I have started from here:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/مسدس#Etymology

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comments

Sign up to answer this question »

This community is part of the Codidact network. We have other communities too — take a look!

You can also join us in chat!

Want to advertise this community? Use our templates!