"Giaour" or "Ghiaour" written "gâvur" in modern Turkish, is a derogatory word used by Turkish people to describe all who are non Muslims, with particular reference to Christians and at times to Greeks [James Lewis Farley, "Turks and Christians",Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 1402187866] [James Finn. "Stirring Times, Or, Records from Jerusalem Consular Chronicles of 1853 To 1856", 2004, p. 12] and Armenians.

The word is a Turkish adaptation of the Persian "gdwr" or "gbr", an infidel. The term was first employed as a term of contempt and reproach, but has become so general that in most cases its use is only mildly pejorative. A similar fate happened to the Arabic equivalent "kaffir", or unbeliever, which was so widespread that it became the proper name of various peoples and countries (see Kaffir). The word was so common it was sometimes even used without being intended as an insult by the Turks who didn't see anything wrong with it. [Francis Lieber, Thomas Gamaliel Bradford, Encyclopaedia Americana: A Popular Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature, 1831]

The word is borrowed into some languages in the Balkans, like "Гяур" in Bulgarian, "Ghiaur" in Romanian, "kaurin" in Serbian and Croatian and "kaurr" in Albanian.

ee also

* "The Giaour", a poem by Lord Byron



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  • giaour — [ ʒjaur ] n. m. • 1740; mot turc « incroyant » ♦ Hist. Terme de mépris appliqué aux non musulmans en Turquie. ⇒ roumi. ● giaour nom masculin (turc gâvur, de l arabe kāfir, infidèle) Terme péjoratif par lequel les Turcs désignaient les non… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Giaour — Giaour, n. [Turk. giaur an infidel, Per. gawr, another form of ghebr fire worshiper. Cf. {Kaffir}, {Gheber} .] An infidel; a term applied by Turks to disbelievers in the Mohammedan religion, especially Christrians. Byron. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • giaour — GIAOUR: Expression farouche, d une signification inconnue, mais on sait que ça se rapporte à l Orient …   Dictionnaire des idées reçues

  • giaour — 1560s, Turkish term of contempt for non Muslims, from Pers. gaur, variant of gabr fire worshipper, originally applied to the adherents of the Zoroastrian religion …   Etymology dictionary

  • giaour — [jour] n. [prob. via It < Turk giaur (modern sp. gâvur) < Ar kāfir, infidel: see KAFFIR] in Muslim usage, a non Muslim; esp., a Christian …   English World dictionary

  • giaour — (ji a our) s. m. Mot par lequel les Turcs désignent tous ceux qui ne font pas profession de l islamisme. Le Giaour est le titre d un poëme célèbre de lord Byron. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Turc, giaour, incroyant, traduction de l arabe kafîr. SUPPLÉMENT AU… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • giaour — /jowr/, n. Turkish. an unbeliever; a non Muslim, esp. a Christian. [1555 65; earlier gower, gour < Turk gâvur < Pers gaur, var. of gabr Zoroastrian, non Muslim; sp. giaour < F, with gi repr. Turk palatalized g, later taken as sp. for j] * * * …   Universalium

  • giaour — noun Etymology: French, from Italian dialect (Venetian) giaur, from Turkish gâvur, from Persian gawr, gabr Date: 1564 one outside the Islamic faith ; infidel 2a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • giaour — noun /ˈʤaʊə/ A non Muslim, especially a Christian, an infidel; especially as used by Turkish people with particular reference to Christians like Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Serbs and Assyrians. We men are not a race of freebooters or giaours;… …   Wiktionary

  • GIAOUR —    the Turkish name for an unbeliever in the Mohammedan faith, and especially for a Christian in that regard …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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