The word rook and Persia

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Francis Fields
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:50 am
Location: Sunny

The word rook and Persia

Post by Francis Fields » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:52 pm

According to the Oxford English Dictionary 1752, the first edition of which there were 27 volumes, the word rook means wind from a chariot. I have seen a chess book that says rook means chariot. In the 11th edition of the OED it says that rook simply means wind. The word rook is believed to come from the Persian word for wind anatalogically, rukh.

There is the story of chess being invented in Persia. The mountains in the East and West representing the two armies and the plains in between the board. Tehran means seat (for the shah) is part way up the mountain. Does he direct the two armies?

"When the night descends the wind increases." Persian proverb.
"Politics is the enemy of the people who said that?" Samuel Johnson (the playwright not the architect)

Tim Harding
Posts: 1733
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by Tim Harding » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:13 pm

Francis Fields wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:52 pm
According to the Oxford English Dictionary 1752, the first edition of which there were 27 volumes, the word rook means wind from a chariot. I have seen a chess book that says rook means chariot. In the 11th edition of the OED it says that rook simply means wind. ...
Since the first edition of the OED (edited by Sir James Murray, father of chess historian Harold Murray), began in the 1880s and was completed in 1928, and had 10 volumes, while the edition currently in preparation is the 3rd, I think we can assume you are thinking of some other dictionary entirely, or else you have a total disregard for facts?
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3382
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:36 pm

Francis Fields wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:52 pm
According to the Oxford English Dictionary 1752, the first edition of which there were 27 volumes, the word rook means wind from a chariot. I have seen a chess book that says rook means chariot. In the 11th edition of the OED it says that rook simply means wind. ...
Tim Harding wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:13 pm
Since the first edition of the OED (edited by Sir James Murray, father of chess historian Harold Murray), began in the 1880s and was completed in 1928, and had 10 volumes, while the edition currently in preparation is the 3rd, I think we can assume you are thinking of some other dictionary entirely, or else you have a total disregard for facts?
Mr Fields is well known for making posts with content which might be acceptable on April 1st, but to my mind are quite unacceptable on any other day.

John McKenna
Posts: 3561
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by John McKenna » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:24 pm

Francis may have meant Samuel Johnson's famous dictionary, which he has mentioned before -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Diction ... h_Language
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John Upham
Posts: 4267
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by John Upham » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:08 pm

John McKenna wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:24 pm
Francis may have meant Samuel Johnson's famous dictionary, which he has mentioned before -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Diction ... h_Language
Is this the same dictionary that famously missed out

Contrafibularity, PERICOMBOBULATION, Anaspeptic, Frasmotic and Interfrastically ?
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChessNew
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

NickFaulks
Posts: 4908
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:36 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:36 pm
Mr Fields is well known for making posts with content which might be acceptable on April 1st, but to my mind are quite unacceptable on any other day.
David, I fear that you are too censorious. This thread has clearly piqued the arcane interests of several of our esteemed colleagues, to the benefit of all.

Pete Morriss
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:26 am

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by Pete Morriss » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:07 pm

John McKenna wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:24 pm
Francis may have meant Samuel Johnson's famous dictionary, which he has mentioned before -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Diction ... h_Language
Johnson's Dictionary is available online. There is nothing remotely resembling Mr Field's claim in the entry for 'rook'.

John Upham
Posts: 4267
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by John Upham » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:11 pm

Maybe FF is a script writer for Donald T. ?
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChessNew
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

John McKenna
Posts: 3561
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by John McKenna » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:56 pm

John (and Peter), I am not responsible for the contents, or lack thereof, of Dr. J's legendary lexicon.

'Rook', Francis, came into English through Arabic rukh via Persian from the Sanskrit word for a chariot ratha.

Thanks for the encouragement, Nick.

Tim (and David) may be sticklers for the actual facts, but...

When the post-truth Sun ascends the alternative facts increase. (Trumpian proverb)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3382
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:48 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:36 pm
Mr Fields is well known for making posts with content which might be acceptable on April 1st, but to my mind are quite unacceptable on any other day.
NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:36 pm
David, I fear that you are too censorious. This thread has clearly piqued the arcane interests of several of our esteemed colleagues, to the benefit of all.
Nick, I make no apology for warning that anything posted by Mr Fields is likely to be spurious. I don't like seeing respected members of this Forum being maliciously deceived.

However, it is Carl's call and he appears to share your view. I shall therefore leave things there.

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:43 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:48 pm
Nick, I make no apology for warning that anything posted by Mr Fields is likely to be spurious. I don't like seeing respected members of this Forum being maliciously deceived.
I'm not expressing any opinion, one way or the other, on Mr Fields but I do feel that anyone who consistently and deliberately posts misinformation on this site should - if he or she disregards a suitable warning - be barred. I can't be alone in finding this site the source of useful information and, if I'm faced with having to double-check everything in case it's yet another spoof, the value of the site is in my opinion somewhat diminished.

Alistair Campbell
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by Alistair Campbell » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:49 pm

John Upham wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:08 pm
John McKenna wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:24 pm
Francis may have meant Samuel Johnson's famous dictionary, which he has mentioned before -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Diction ... h_Language
Is this the same dictionary that famously missed out

Contrafibularity, PERICOMBOBULATION, Anaspeptic, Frasmotic and Interfrastically ?
Francis Fields wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:52 pm
The word rook is believed to come from the Persian word for wind anatalogically, rukh.
Does it have "anatalogically"?

Colin Purdon
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:45 pm

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by Colin Purdon » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:48 pm

For the record, my copy of the OED (published 1979, copyright 1971) has this statement regarding the derivation of the chess sense of rook: "The ultimate source is the Pers. rukh , the original sense of which is doubtful".

I don't have access to the 1752 edition, for the good reasons already mentioned.

User avatar
Carl Hibbard
Posts: 5698
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:05 pm
Location: Evesham

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by Carl Hibbard » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:15 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:48 pm
David Sedgwick wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:36 pm
Mr Fields is well known for making posts with content which might be acceptable on April 1st, but to my mind are quite unacceptable on any other day.
NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:36 pm
David, I fear that you are too censorious. This thread has clearly piqued the arcane interests of several of our esteemed colleagues, to the benefit of all.
Nick, I make no apology for warning that anything posted by Mr Fields is likely to be spurious. I don't like seeing respected members of this Forum being maliciously deceived.

However, it is Carl's call and he appears to share your view. I shall therefore leave things there.
I am unsure to be honest although it probably does deserve moving to the not chess section along with the more silly posts.
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Pete Morriss
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:26 am

Re: The word rook and Persia

Post by Pete Morriss » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:09 pm

Colin Purdon wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:48 pm
For the record, my copy of the OED (published 1979, copyright 1971) has this statement regarding the derivation of the chess sense of rook: "The ultimate source is the Pers. rukh , the original sense of which is doubtful".

I don't have access to the 1752 edition, for the good reasons already mentioned.
The entry for the third edition of the OED (November 2010 - available online but a subscription needed) gives more information. It says that the word came to English from French, and was originally "Sanskrit ratha chariot, on account of the piece representing a chariot in the Indian version of the game". It goes on to say "perhaps influenced by Persian ruḵ", better known in English as roc, a gigantic mythical bird of prey. It then adds
Early chess-pieces showing chariots are known both from Asia and Europe, and the most common shape of the rook in the medieval Near East and Europe can be interpreted as a stylized pair of horses; archaeological evidence also shows that an association with the mythical bird (see roc n.) was occasionally made in Central Asia at an early date.
Perhaps the more erudite members of the forum will know where the OED got all that from? I thought that the current shape of the piece came from a representation of a military howdah; I don't know where I got that idea from - maybe because I grew up near to the Elephant and Castle in South London.

Post Reply