چرس=çerez?

Charas” is the name for a variety of hashish. I don’t smoke, because I’m not a criminal like you, but apparently it is religiously significant in certain Hindu sects.

charas

This is interesting because Nişanyan blames “çerez”, the word used in Turkey and Azerbaijan for light snacks, on “چرس” (caras), which (almost certainly not) coincidentally is the Persian spelling and pronunciation used for this same drug. Nişanyan, always happy to blame Sanskrit and even Dravidian languages for things, does not ascribe a Sanskrit origin to this term, which would imply that the Hindus took the word from the Persians. The closest-sounding Sanskrit word I can find is “चर्” (car). Even if this verb is the root behind the word, it’s not unique to Sanskrit, as the root is also in “Etymological Dictionary of the Iranian Verb” by Johnny Cheung.

If he’s correct, however, it would seem the word has undergone signifcant semantic shift, the historical meaning he ascribes to “چرس” (caras) doesn’t match up to either the contemporary usage–by Hindi-Urdu speakers or by Persian speakers–of this word for hashish or–by Turks West of the Caspian (or the Khazar) Sea–of its cousin “çerez/çərəz” for snacks.

The meaning he ascribes to the ancestral word is “alms given to a beggar”. While certainly one cannot fault the Turks West of the Caspian for giving lovely snacks to beggars, one cannot help but feel everyone East of the Caspian is being far more generous by handing out hashish to beggars!

Although ideally these beggars ought to be given both, so that after getting high on their چرس they can slake their munchies with some çərəz.

cerez

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