In Spanish — camisa. In Arabic — قَميس, pronounced qamees. Coincidence? The reference that I can find is to “chemise” but I’m wondering which is the root and which is the corruption. Anybody know?
Filed under arabic, spanish
I would be very surprised if the Spanish did not come from the Arabic. Look at this image from Google of “Portuguese Vocables in Asiatic Languages” – it may give a clue to the ultimate origin. It’s been attributed to Punic and Latin (cama) sources, but the word qamis apparently appears in the Koran in the chapter about Joseph (he of the amazing technicolor qamis.Speaking of which, they just had a really neat exhibit on Koranic manuscripts at the Walters, but it closed at the end of April. >Here’s a link to one picture. There were two really tiny Korans, plus a page of a very massive one. One page was about 6′ tall. That’s one big Koran.
Oops, forgot to link to the image of that Portuguese book.
Baltimore Snacker, you have mad, mad Google skills. I didn’t think to search based on latin; did dictionary searches and checked out the Word Reference Forums. Lots of interesting stuff there, but nothing on camisa/qamis/qamees. Thanks for the link! I missed the exhibit at the Walters. Meant to go, but then forgot until after it closed.
Back to an earlier post: On the usted/ustath question, I found a book on Arabic influences on Spanish in the early Middle Ages that has a citation to an old (1963) article about possible Arabic influence on usted. Need to find out if any of the local universities have that journal on film/fiche, or if I can get a copy through the public library.
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