Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: baki and Baki


Azerbaijani Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia az
Other scripts
Cyrillic Бакы


Baku is long attested under the Perso-Arabic name باکو (Bākū). Early Arabic sources also refer to the city as Bākuh and Bākuya,[1] all of which seem to come from a Persian name. Further etymology is unknown.

A popular etymology[2] in the 19th century considered it to be derived from Persian بادکوبه(bâd-kube, wind-pounded), compound of باد(bâd) + کوب(kub) + ـه(-e).[3] Another and even less probable folk etymology explains the name as deriving from Baghkuy, from Middle Persian [Book Pahlavi needed] (*bgkwdk' /*baykōyōē, *bakkōyōē/) compound of [Book Pahlavi needed] (bg /bay, bag/, God; lord) + [Book Pahlavi needed] (kwd /kōy/, street, lane) + [Book Pahlavi needed] (-wyk' /-ōē/), meaning "God's town". The name Baghkuy may be compared with Baghdād ("God-given") in which dād is the Old Persian word for "give".

During Soviet rule, the city was spelled in Cyrillic as Бакы in Azerbaijani (while the Russian spelling was and still is Баку́ (Bakú)). The modern Azerbaijani spelling, which has been using the Latin alphabet since 1991, is Bakı; the shift from the Perso-Arabic letter و (ū) to Cyrillic ы and, later, Latin ı may be compared to that in other Azerbaijani words (e.g. compare قاپو(qāpū) in old Perso-Arabic spelling with modern Azerbaijani qapı (door)) or in suffixes, as و was often used to transcribe the vowel harmony in Azerbaijani (which was also the practice in Ottoman Turkish).


This entry needs audio files. If you are a native speaker with a microphone, please record some and upload them. (For audio required quickly, visit WT:APR.)

Proper noun[edit]


  1. Baku (the capital city of Azerbaijan)


Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Historic Cities of the Islamic World[1], Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2007, archived from the original on 2018-09-20, page 47
  2. ^ "The origin and etymology",
  3. ^ Reza Ordoubadian (), “Culture & Religion on Podium: Politicizing Linguistics”, in The Podium[2], Iran Chamber Society, archived from the original on 2007-10-13

Further reading[edit]