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Most likely from Old Hindi उहु (uhu), उहुं (uhuṃ), from Sauraseni Apabhramsa ओहु (ohu), from Sauraseni Prakrit 𑀅𑀳𑁄 (aho), from Sanskrit असौ (asáu, that).[1][2] The inflected forms are formed by analogy with its proximal counterpart यह (yah).

For Old Hindi वो (vo), Chatterji suggested a derivation from Sauraseni Apabhramsa (o), from Sanskrit *अव (ava), attested in अवोष् (avoṣ), अवोर् (avor, of you both, gen. du.), from Proto-Indo-Iranian *avá. He suggested the term not being preserved in literature but continuing to be spoken. Compare Avestan 𐬀𐬬𐬀(ava).

Note that the second etymology explains plural वे (ve) as well, while the first does not. See there for more.


  • (Delhi Hindi) IPA(key): /ʋəɦ/, /ʋoː/
  • (file)


वह (vah) (Urdu spelling وہ‎) (demonstrative)

  1. that
    वह मकान बड़ा हैvah makān baṛā hai.That house is large.
  2. (distal) he, she, it; that one (distal third person singular personal pronoun)
    वह छोटा हैvah choṭā hai.He is small.
    वह छोटी हैvah choṭī hai.She is small.


Coordinate terms[edit]


  1. ^ “Development of Pronominal Systems from Apabhraṃśa to New Indo-Aryan”, in Indo-Iranian Journal, volume 39, issue 2, April 1996, pages 111-132
  2. ^ Oberlies, Thomas (2005) A Historical Grammar of Hindi, Grazer Vergleichende Arbeiten, →ISBN, page 23

Further reading[edit]