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laachaar

helpless, destitute, having no remedy, powerless

tavaazun

balance

tuumaar

long story

'aalii

elevated, eminent, exalted, grand, noble, sublime, lofty, high, honorable, respected, venerable

munsif-mizaaj

temperament of justice, fair-minded, lover of justice, just-minded, just in temperament, (a person) of propriety or taste

minan

humble and earnest supplications, entreaties, obligations, favours

poshiida

concealed, hidden, secret, covered, veiled

furqat

separation (of lovers), absence (of a beloved person or friend)

Gaazii

one who fights against infidels

fard-e-jurm

charge sheet, indictment, calendar of crime

hijrat

migration, leaving of country and friends

maarg

mirgii kaa daura

epileptic seizure/ fit

chaubaaraa

top room of a house with windows on all four sides, topmost storey of a house

saraab

a vapour resembling the sea at a distance (formed by the rays of the sun or moonlight on a sandy plain)

harfii

literal, relating to letters

maa'zarat

excuse, apology, plea

naa.ib-qaasid

muKHtasar

short, succinct, abbreviated, abridged, concise

bezaar

sick of, displeased, tired of, weary, vexed, disgusted, apathetic, out of humour

gardan par chhurii phernaa

sang-e-maahii

the genus of aquatic animal whose back is hard like stone

musalsal

'ahd-e-vafaa

fulfill the promise

tark-e-duniyaa

abandoning worldly pleasures, becoming hermit

saffaak

a great shedder of blood, a cruel man, a butcher, tyrant

subuk-KHiraam

fast walker, fast runner, fast speed

me'yaar

an assay-balance, a touchstone

khisyaanii billii khambaa noche

an embarrassed or ashamed person tends to vent his/her feeling by quarrelling

shariik-e-hayaat

life partner, wife or husband mostly used for wife

lams

sense of touch, tactile sense

iKHtiyaar

jurisdiction, management, rule, sway

chaukaa cha.Dhaanaa

fixing dentures, fixing artificial teeth

gardish

faash

apparent, revealed, divulged, known, manifest, obvious

du'aa mustajaab honaa

mustajaab

qurbat

tifl-e-maktab

a school boy, inexperienced

yaum-e-vilaadat

birthday

az-sar-e-nau

anew, afresh, over again

kam-zarf

poor-spirited, Shallow, of little capacity, stupid, silly, witless

ruu-posh

hiding the face

zuud-pashemaan

repenting too soon, one who repents soon

dastaras

range of authority or control, within (one's) reach or power; to be reached with the hand, come to hand, able, approach, access, command, control

polaj

land sown every year

shiddat

abundance (of thirst, tears or lamentation, etc.)

musht-e-KHaak

(Literary) handful of dust, human being, man

aziyyat

wanton injury, molestation, annoyance, oppression

sinf

genre, sex, gender, species

faasiq

sinner, transgressor, adulterer, fornicator, rake, impious, vicious, scoundrel

'ohde

commission, office, post

munaafiq

hypocritical, a hypocrite, dissembler

mutma.in

In a state of rest, or ease, or quiet, enjoying repose and ease, still, quiet, tranquil, content, safe, secure

Urdu

Rekhta, Hindawi

sinf-e-suKHan

genre of poetry, form of poetry

aahan

iron, steel

jaan-e-man

(Literary) my life, my dear, darling

matlab

mean, sense, meaning, motive, aim, object, concern, purpose, wish, desire, selfishness, question, petition

'ahd

time, season, epoch, age

Gizaa-e-saqiil

heavy or hard to digest food

Garq

drowning, sinking, immersion

ham-'ahd

contemporary, coeval

'ahd-e-hukuumat

period of reign, period of rule

'ahd-e-nau

modern or present age

tajdiid

renewal, revival, novelty, renovation

KHud-saaKHta

home-made, self-appointed, self-styled

qanaa'at

contentment, satisfaction, tranquility, abstinence, ability to do without

Gair-muhazzab

uncivilized, uncultured

raqs

dance, dancing

'umr-e-daraaz

long-life, may (your) life (be) long

tazliil

humiliation, abasement, indignity, disgrace, degradation

qaul-e-faisal

ultimate judgement, statement that settles an issue

zulf-e-daraaz

long tresses, long locks

sarzanish

reprimand, chiding, dressing down, reproof, rebuke, reprehension

saqaafat

customs and beliefs of a specific country or group, culture

'avaamunnaas

public, common people, populace at large

aa.iin

constitution, law, code, enactment, regulation, statute, set rules or laws

zinaa-bil-jabr

rape, ravishment

e'timaad

confidence, faith, trust, reliance, dependence

e'tibaar

confidence, trust, belief, faith, reliability, credibility

baad-e-sabaa

morning breeze, the zephyr, a refreshing wind

rashk

the process of copying something achieved by someone else and trying to do it as well as they have, effort to match or surpass a person or achievement, typically by imitation, emulation

'alaamat-e-buluuG

sign of puberty, signs of being young

qaumii-salaamatii

national security, the safety of a nation, or actions taken to protect it

ziist

life, existence

'azm-e-safar

determination to travel

raqiib

a watcher, guardian

alfaaz

words, articulate sounds, terms

qillat

littleness, smallness; fewness, paucity, deficiency, scarcity, insufficiency

amvaat

deaths

taGaaful

feigned negligence, intentional connivance

firaaq

separation, disunion, abandonment

bad-nasiib

unfortunate, unlucky

'aduu

enemy, foe, oppositionist , opponent,

anjum

stars

'adl

justice, fairness, equity, rectitude

chilman

a hanging screen made of reeds or spilt bamboo for obstructing view, curtain, a venetian blind

difaa'

defence, repulsion

ulfat

love, affection, friendship, intimacy, familiarity, attachment, kindness

ranjish

indignation, grief, unpleasantness (between persons)

samaa'at

hearing, listening, (of a lawsuit)

dil-aazaarii

heart afflicting, torment of the heart, vexation of spirit, anxiety, trouble

tauhiin-e-'adaalat

contempt of court

mansuuba

plan, design, scheme, project

'adaavat

hostility, malice, enmity, animosity, hate, hatred, resentment, vindictiveness, malice, feud

'azm

determination, resolution, intention, fixed purpose, bent, aim, undertaking

shab

night, night time

aaftaab

sun

Home / Blog / All that you don’t know about the word Ustad, is keeping you from becoming one!

All that you don’t know about the word Ustad, is keeping you from becoming one!

by Rajat Kumar 18 November 2021 2 min Read

All that you don’t know about the word Ustad, is keeping you from becoming one!

shaagird hain ham 'miir' se ustaad ke 'raasikh'
ustaado kaa ustaad hai ustaad hamaaraa

I am, Raasikh, the protégé of the masterly ‘Mir’
It is my master who’s the master of all masters
Rasikh Azimabadi

If you’ve spent hundreds of hours scouring through dictionaries, like I have, you must have noticed the label ‘vulg.’, which shows that the word you’ve arrived on has become ‘vulgarized’ or ‘corrupted’, indicating it’s no longer pronounced or written as it first was or intended to be.

And so is the case with the word featured today, Ustad. Literally meaning a master, teacher, or expert. While it has also come to be used as a close friend when addressed casually, it begs the question how can a word, which is literally the very definition of masterdom, slip up like a tenderfoot? Let’s find out.

Among the many loan-words which came into Urdu from Persian, Ustad, originally came from the Zend language, even appearing in the Zoroastrian religious text ‘Avesta’. A person who understood the Avesta text was called ‘Avesta-Ved’, meaning a knower of Avesta. Through its growing use, the word ripened into ‘Avesta-Viid’, and gradually, completely morphed into its modern-day version Ustad.

But this bit of history isn’t all, there’s more to it. 

In Persian and Urdu, it came to be pronounced differently, Ustaz (with Zal) in the former, and Ustad (with dal) in the latter. While both uses are correct, its Urdu version entered the Arabic-speaking diaspora, and -surprise, surprise- underwent change again! 

In Arabic, Ustad adapted to and pluralized according to the rules of Arabic grammar, spelling out as ‘Asaatiid’. In Urdu, interestingly, its Persian plural “Asaatiza” became the custom, while singularly it still remained ‘Ustad’. 

Oh, and let Rasikh’s verse above be a reminder that Ustad can still pluralize and reappear as ’Ustaado.n’, as per Hindi grammar rules.

So, what did we learn today? To unlearn is as important as it is to learn. After all, even languages do so!

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