An Etymological Dictionary of Astronomy and Astrophysics

فرهنگ ریشه شناختی اخترشناسی-اخترفیزیک

M. Heydari-Malayeri    -    Paris Observatory


An Etymological Dictionary of Astronomy and Astrophysics


The astronomical part of this work has benefited from contributions and interactions with my fellow astronomers at Paris Observatory. I am indebted to all of them, and would like to thank, in particular:

Dr. Françoise Combes, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, with whom I discussed routinely and who, in spite of all her commitments, spent time reading the definitions and made many constructive comments.

Dr. James Lequeux, ex-Editor in Chief of the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, whose critical reading of the whole work, from Alpha to Omega, proved invaluable.

Professor Pierre Léna, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, who supported my project and encouraged me to pursue it.

Dr. Thibaut Le Bertre, Directeur de Recherche, CNRS, who read many parts of the dictionary carefully and made helpful comments.

It is also my pleasure to acknowledge the contributions of several other colleagues according to their fields of speciality, mainly:

Dr. Grażyna Stasińska, Dr. Roland Grappin, Dr. Suzy Collin-Zahn, Dr. Jean-Paul Zahn, Dr. Jean Schneider, Dr. Jean-François Lestrade, Dr. Fabrice Martins (GRAAL, Université Montpellier II), Dr. Serge Koutchmy (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris), Dr. Vassilis Charmandaris (University of Crete, Greece), Dr. Nolan R. Walborn (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA), Dr. Étienne Artigau (Université de Montréal, Canada), and Dr. Farhad Yusef-Zadeh (Northwestern University).

I am also grateful to Professor Christopher Stubbs, Harvard University, whose heartening message I received precisely when the project needed an impulse.

The linguistic part of this work relies on my studies of Persian classical literature, comparative linguistics of Indo-European languages, and my investigations on Persian dialects. In my youth I devoted a lot of time to these matters.

During my collaborations with Dr. Mir-Shamseddin Adib-Soltâni, between 1966 and 1975, I learnt so much about the origin and history of words, comparative linguistics, mechanisms of scientific terminology, and simply what a word really means. Those years in Tehran are unforgettable and I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Adib-Solâtni.

The terminology part of this work could not have been carried out without the sources presented in the section References.

I am particularly grateful to Professor Alexander Lubotsky (Leiden University) for his online Indo-European Etymological Dictionary project. This great database was an indispensable tool for my work.

Similarly, I am indebted to Mr. Douglas Harper for his valuable Online Etymology Dictionary, which I consulted on a regular basis.

Other precious sources were: Francis Joseph Steingass A Comprehensive Persian-English dictionary.
The, An Service,
The Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon (from Monier-Williams' 'Sanskrit-English Dictionary'),
Ralph Lilley Turner, A comparative dictionary of Indo-Aryan languages,
S. C. Woodhouse, English-Greek Dictionary, and
Dehxodâ Dictionary, Loqat-nâme-ye Dehxodâ.

I would like to pay homage to all the authors and the people in charge of the corresponding websites.

I was also encouraged by Professors Philip Huyse, Directeur de l'UMR 7528 "Mondes iranien et indien," Daryoush Ashouri (Paris), Jalil Doostkhah (Townsville, Australia), and Nader Heydari (Tehran). Dr. Gérard Gautier was so kind as to provide me with several Kurdish language resources. Sincere thanks are due to them.

In particular I constantly received warm encouragements from Mr. Yusef Amiri (Montréal), who moreover provided the Persian translation of the Introduction. I am grateful to him.

All along this project I received messages from many Iranians, mainly university students, stimulating me by assistance and approval to pursue this project. I offer this work to all of them.

Regarding technical aspects, I would like to thank Professor Peter Selinger (Dalhousie University, Canada) whose code made things easier for me by solving the problem of writing properly "left to right" (English, French) and "right to left" (Persian) in the same file. Owing to his Farsiweb, I wrote Persian in Roman characters, from left to right, and then converted into Persian signs. I also received computer assistance from Dr. Alain Coulais and Mr. Djilali Zidani (Paris Observatory) and would like to thank them.

The back-end workflow, the front-end interface, the database facilities for the dictionary (MySql/Php5) and the Web Design are the creations of Mr. Mahyar Sepehr. Voluntarily and out of love for science, culture, and multi-disciplinarity, he devoted a great deal of time to this project alongside his main occupations. I would like to thank him profoundly for the great job he has done.

Last but by no means least, I owe enormously to my wife, Soheila Faramarzi, and my daughters Mélanie (Pégah) and Chirine, for their patience and loving support.