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thinking well, well wisher

duudh-shariik bahan

foster sister


related to grief and death, elegiac


vessel, vase, receptacle


one third, one-third part


curse, anathema, imprecation, reproach, reproof, rebuke

qahr Dhaanaa

to be wrathful, to rage


a hired labourer, worker

chale na jaa.e aa.ngan Te.Dhaa

a bad workman blames his tools

aage naath na piichhe pagaa

heirless, lone, lone wolf


magician, sorcerer, wizard, conjuror


the celebration of of an engagement, betrothal, engagement

nazar-bhar dekhnaa

to look carefully


slaves of the same master in relation to one another, slave colleagues


kindness, mercy


cage for birds


a decent way of desiring, nice way of asking


living, livelihood, course of life


state of just living a life (esp. with mediocre means), whiling away one's time means of livelihood, passing (one's) time, occupation, employment, subsistence, livelihood, means of living


spread, wide-spread, dispersed, diffused, diffuse

Home / Blog / Rihaaish: The Word we’ve All Got Completely Wrong!!

Rihaaish: The Word we’ve All Got Completely Wrong!!

by Rajat Kumar 21 November 2021 3 min Read

Rihaaish: The Word we’ve All Got Completely Wrong!!

Many times, languages behave quite weirdly. And this weirdness further shoots through the roof when two or more languages mingle, like Urdu and Hindi, Sanskrit and Persian, English and French, to name a few.

Grammar-enthusiasts would know that verbs and nouns, in all languages alike, have a love-hate relationship. For instance, in English, the word “play” can be both a noun as in a drama or act, or a verb, as in ‘We play’.

So, why are we beating around this Verb-Noun drama?

Because we have here a Murky, Muddy, Mr. Mime sort of a word that’s been around for long enough to make us believe that it’s Material.

‘Rihaaish’, a word that’s nowhere to be found in our classical poetry, but features a lot after its wane, means a stay, dwelling, residence, and also a delay (spatial).

is dil-e-tang me kyaa us ki rihaaish hoti
yani andar to nahi tha mire bahar koi tha

Zafar Iqbal

The word, by its inflection, is essentially a Persian one, strangely though, there is no such word in Persian. But wait, we have it in Urdu, we even have the compound ‘Rihaaish-Gaah’- a place of abode that’s a place of abode; yes, let that sink in!

So, what’s wrong with it? 
Precisely this:

In Persian, infinitive verbs often turn to Aorist Tenses wherein a word can simultaneously mean to be both a noun and an action that’s either completed or in continuation.

Enough of the Gyan, let’s dig into some examples:

  • Baaridan (to cast) turns to Baarish, which means both raining (v) and rain (n) itself
  • Maalidan (To rub) turns to Maalish, meaning both rubbing (v) and a massage (n) 

And endless other examples of the likes.

What’s noteworthy is that for the word ‘Rihaaish’ to exist, there has to exist an infinitive, something like ‘Rihadan’, and, bad news, there is no such word.

And, by that logic, there is no Rihaaish!

But then, there is such a word, and the question is, HOW?

To answer, let’s turn to some other words that might be of our help:

Know the word ‘dabaanaa’ (To press, squeeze)? Here’s how it formed, from the Pers. ‘dabish’ meaning bustling after someone, and also force, as a noun. Similarly, the words ‘Aazmaanaa, Talaashnaa, Taraashnaa', all follow the suit.

And pretty much this “INVERSELY” happened with Rihaaish. The only plausible explanation for this seemingly Persian word, is that it has been made up using the Hindi verb ‘Rahnaa’, to stay, to be.

Perhaps someone just threw all the rules of Persian grammar along with some Hindi verbs, tossed them offhandedly and Poof!! The word Rihaaish makes the scene!

The baffling thing is that this word finds itself entered in all major dictionaries like Anand Raj, Asifiya and others as a “colloquial” entry.

Now whether this word is logically correct, or is a logical error, is something that I leave up to you dear reader, should it even have a ‘Rihaaish’ in our language at all?

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