50 Words of Arabic Origin

  • ALGEBRA (الجبــر: More on the eponymous founder of Algebra as an independent mathematical discipline here.)
  • ALGORITHM (خوارزم: More on the eponymous founder of algorthimics here.)
  • ALKALINE (القلوي: Meaning “non-acid, basic.”) 
  • ALMANAC (المنــــــاخ: Literally meaning “climate”)
  • AVERAGE (From Old French avarie, itself from the Arabic term عوارية, meaning “damaged goods”, from عور meaning “to lose an eye.”)
  • AZIMUTH (السمــــــــت: This concept is used in several fields, such as الفلك/astronomy، هندسة الطيران/aerospace engineering، and فيزياء الكم/quantum physics.) 
  • CIPHER (صِفـــــــــــــــــــــــــــر: The term “cipher” is now mostly applied in cryptography—see الكَندي/Al-Kindi’s work.)
  • ELIXIR (الإكسيــــــــــــــر: Something like a“syrup”—also an Arabic term, possibly borrowed from Persian.) 
  • NADIR (نظيـــــــــــــر: It is the opposite of the zenith.)
  • SODA (صـــــــــودا.)
  • ZENITH (سمت الرأس: Literally the “azimuth of the head”، it is the opposite of the “nadir.”) 
  • ZERO (same as “cipher.”)

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