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In Turkish rüzgâr means "wind". From the looks of it (especially the long â vowel which is not native to Turkish) it seems to be of Persian origin: "روزگار". Some sources verify this too.

But in Persian (at least modern Persian) "روزگار" has a completely different meaning: "Time"!

So I was wondering what is the reason for that word to have that different meaning in the borrowing language. If it's a major shift in meaning, then what can the logic behind it? If it originally meant "wind" in Persian too, then do we have any samples of old Persian texts or poems verifying this?

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  • 3
    According to wiktionary, Persian روزگار has a wide range of meanings, including "wind". Even in English we have the metaphor wind of time Oct 19 at 12:57
  • @JK-rEinStAtEmoNiCa if that isn't related to wind up clocks :) I only know turn of tides and wind of change
    – vectory
    Nov 6 at 21:26
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The semantic shift seems to be: time > weather > wind

For the first step compare Latin tempus “time” > French temps (“time, weather”).

For the second compare German Wetter (“weather”) with Russian veter (“wind”).

The Persian rūzgār is a common word meaning “time”. To my knowledge it is not used for “wind” in Persian in any period. This meaning is indicated in some dictionaries, but it seems to be at best a Turkism.

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  • 3
    Nice examples in other languages 👌
    – Mousa
    Oct 19 at 16:47
  • 1
    To Latin tempus and French temps one can add English (borrowed from French) tempest "storm" Oct 20 at 10:14
  • Russian word "veter" comes from PIE word for wind (cognate to English wind)
    – Anixx
    Oct 20 at 12:02
  • @Anixx. I do not claim otherwise.
    – fdb
    Oct 20 at 12:08
  • 2
    In Hungarian, idő means both time and weather as well.
    – Szabolcs
    Oct 20 at 13:33
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While certainly not the common term in contemporary speech, “روزگار” can mean “wind”, account to the Steingass dictionary (which covers older usages). Here is the pertinent entry:

روزگار rozgār, روزگاران rozgārān, The world; fortune; time, season, an age; day; vanity; wind, air; slaughter; service, employ, situation; labour, toil; occasion; earning;

(thereafter follow the word as it is used in various constructions)

Citation:

Steingass, Francis Joseph. A Comprehensive Persian-English dictionary, including the Arabic words and phrases to be met with in Persian literature. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1892.

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  • The basic problem with Steingass (or rather with the Indo-Persian dictionary that he copied from) is that he does not distinguish literal and metaphorical meanings, Or do you really believe that the word for "time" can also mean "slaughter"?
    – fdb
    Oct 20 at 8:36
  • I wouldn't have guessed “wind” either. :-) In some dictionaries or glossaries, it's true that what you get is a list of possible translations values, which can be a somewhat random selection.
    – adam.baker
    Oct 20 at 13:18
  • @fdb we have words that are autoantonyms in English. Literally anything is possible.
    – vectory
    Nov 6 at 21:12
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I found that in Middle Persian, rōc-kār can mean "season": Henrik Samuel Nyberg.1974.A Manual of Pahlavi, Part II.Glossary pp.170

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