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Etymology of word «carpet» in the Armenian and other languages
November 22 , 2017 , 23:59
Etymology of word «carpet» in the Armenian and other languages

The Armenian words for carpet are "karpet" (Armenian: կարպետ) or "gorg" (Armenian: գորգ). Though both words in Armenian are synonymous, word "karpet" is mostly used for non-pile rugs and "gorg" is for a pile carpet.

Two of the most frequently used terms to designate woven woolen floor coverings emanate directly from the Armenian experience: carpet and kali/khali. The term "karpet" (Armenian: կապերտ), formed of root "kap" (Armenian: կապ) that means "knot", later to become "karpet" (Armenian: կարպետ) in colloquial Armenian, is used in the 5th-century Armenian translation of the Bible (Matthew 9:16 and Mark 2:21).[10] It is assumed that the word "сarpet" entered into French (French: carpette) and English (English: carpet) in the 13th century (through Medieval Latin carpita, meaning "thick woolen cloth") as a consequence of the trade in rugs through the port cities of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia. Francesco Balducci Pegolotti, a Florentine merchant stationed in Cyprus, reported in his La pratica della mercatura that from 1274 to 1330, carpets (kaperts) were imported from the Armenian cities of Ayas and Sis to Florence.

Armenian word "gorg" (Armenian: գորգ) is first mentioned in written sources in the 13th century. This word ("gorg") is in the inscription that was cut out in the stone wall of Kaptavan Church in Artsakh (Karabagh) and is dated by 1242—1243 AD.Grigor Kapantsyan, professor of Armenian Studies, considered that Armenian "gorg" (Armenian: գորգ) is a derivative of Hittite-Armenian vocabulary, where it existed in the forms of "koork" and "koorkas". Edgar H. Sturtevant, an expert in Hittite studies, explains the etymology of word "koork"/"koorkas" as "horse cloth".

As for the Persian "qali", which entered into Turkish as "qali" or as "khali" in Anatolia Ottoman Turkish and Armenian, it derives from the city of Theodosiopolis-Karin-Erzerum, known to the Arabs as Qali-qala from the Armenian "Karnoy k‘aghak", the "city of Karin". The name "Erzerum" itself, as is well known, is of Armenian origin from the usage Artzen ar-Rum. This latter term came into being after the destruction of the important Armenian commercial center of Artzen, 15 kilometers east of Theodosiopolos-Karin, by the Seljuks in 1041 after which the inhabitants fled to Karin, then in Rum, that is in Byzantine territory, renaming it Artzen in Rum or Arzerum/Erzerum/Erzurum.