Where does سبز come from? (Wiktionary has no etymological information.) Urdu and Hindhi have the word "sabzi", which is derived from it, but is there a PIE root from which this derives, or is Old Persian the furthest back we can trace it?

  • 1
    Why are some people trying to close this excellent question?
    – fdb
    Oct 26, 2019 at 16:03
  • @Fdb in what way does it related to the study of linguistic systems? This is a philology question, not a linguistics question.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 27, 2019 at 13:54
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    @curiousdannii. It is about Indo-European etymology, a core discipline within linguistics.
    – fdb
    Oct 27, 2019 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


The origin of sabz is debated. One suggestion is that it derives from Iranian *spar “to blossom, to sprout”, and is thus cognate with Latin spargo, English sprig etc. The derivation is phonologically complex. If you have access to a university library look up the complicated argumentation by W.B. Henning, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 1947, pp. 46 (bottom) to 47, (also in his Collected papers, vol. 2, pp. 280-1).


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