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See also: farsi and farsí


Alternative forms[edit]


Apparently first used widely in English in the late 1960s or early 1970s.[1] From Persian فارسی(fârsi), meaning "relating to Fars", the Arabicized form of the name of the province of Pars (پارس(pârs)) which was adopted in Iran following the Arab conquest of Persia in the 7th century. The sense for the hijra argot is from Hindi फ़ारसी (fārsī) from the same word.


  • enPR: färʹsē, IPA(key): /ˈfɑː(ɹ)si/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑː(ɹ)si


Farsi (uncountable)

  1. (proscribed) The Persian language.
    • 1820, William Erskine, "On the sacred books and religion of the Parsis", Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay, volume II, page 315
      That the Farsi or Persian is not a language derived from the Pehlevi, but a collateral and independent tongue, seems to be sufficiently certain.
    • 1991, Richard Felix Staar, Foreign Policies of the Soviet Union, page 91:
      In July 1984, Radio Iran Toilers began broadcasting in Farsi from Afghanistan; by the end of 1988 it was transmitting twenty-one hours a week.
    • 1999, Maria O'Shea, Culture shock! Iran, page 75:
      The method of writing Farsi is logical, although reading can be trickier, as one has to guess at the unwritten consonants of unfamiliar words.
    • 2001, Dan Baumann, Imprisoned in Iran: Love's Victory Over Fear, page 20:
      We chatted away in Farsi.
    • 2009, Vit Bubenik, "The rise and development of the possessive construction in Middle Iranian with parallels in Albanian", page 97 in Grammatical Change in Indo-European Languages, Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 305
      For instance, in Farsi pošt means 'back' (noun) as in pošt=am dard mikonad 'my back hurts' []
  2. An argot of hijras, or catamites, in North India and Pakistan.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Popular use of the term "Farsi" in English is relatively recent.
  • Iran's Academy of Persian Language and Literature states that "Farsi" is not an appropriate term to use for the Persian language in English. Some groups debate over the use of "Farsi" at all as an English word.[2][3][4][5]
  • ISO formerly called the language "Western Farsi", but now designates it as "Iranian Persian". Ethnologue lists the language as "Iranian Persian", but also gives the terms "West Persian", "Western Farsi" and "New Persian".



See also[edit]


Farsi (comparative more Farsi, superlative most Farsi)

  1. (proscribed) Persian


  1. ^ Brian Spooner (1994) "Are we teaching Persian? or farsi? or dari? or tojiki?" in Mehdi Marashi (ed.) Persian Studies in North America: Studies in Honor of Mohammad Ali Jazayery, page 176
  2. ^ “Fársi:''recently appeared language!''”, in PersianDirect[1], Persiandirect.com, accessed 2011-12-23, archived from the original on 3 March 2016
  3. ^ “Persian or Fársi?”, in PersianDirect[2], Persiandirect.com, accessed 2011-12-23, archived from the original on 15 September 2016
  4. ^ “Announcement of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature about the name of Persian language”, in (please provide the title of the work)[3], Heritage.chn.ir, 2005-11-19, archived from the original on 18 September 2010, retrieved 2011-12-23
  5. ^ “متنِ اعلامِ نظرِ شورای فرهنگستانِ زبان و ادبِ فارسی درباره‌ی کاربردِ Farsi به جای Persian در مکاتباتِ وزارتِ امورِ خارجه”, in Nāme-ye Farhangestān [The Quarterly Journal of The Academy of Persian Language and Literature][4] (PDF, in Persian), volume 1, issue 1, Tehran, Spring 1995, archived from the original on 4 March 2016, retrieved 26 December 2012, page 152

Further reading[edit]