typhoon

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English[edit]

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A typhoon.

Etymology[edit]

Its ultimate origin is generally thought to be Sinitic: Chinese 大風大风 (“big wind”), Cantonese daai6 fung1.

It entered English as early as 1588,[1] perhaps via Portuguese tufão (attested since at least 1560)[2] from Arabic طُوفَان ‎(ṭūfān) (compare Hindi तूफ़ान ‎(tūfān), Persian توفان ‎(tufân)).[3][4][5]

Within English, its form was influenced by Ancient Greek Τυφῶν ‎(Tuphôn, Typhon, father of the winds).[6] (Some sources suggest the term originated in Greek and travelled via Arabic to Chinese before making its way back to Europe,[3] but this is implausible.)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

typhoon ‎(plural typhoons)

  1. A weather phenomenon in the Eastern Pacific that is precisely equivalent to a hurricane, which results in wind speeds of 64 knots (118km/h) or above. Equivalent to a cyclone in the Indian Ocean and Indonesia/Australia.
  2. World War II aircraft, Hawker typhoon.
  3. A Eurofighter Typhoon.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas Hickock's translation of The voyage and trauell of M. Caesar Fredericke, Marchant of Venice, into the East India, and beyond the Indies: "concerning which Touffon ye are to vnderstand, that in the East Indies often times, there are not stormes as in other countreys; but euery 10. or 12. yeeres there are such tempests and stormes, that it is a thing incredible, but to those that haue seene it, neither do they know certainly what yeere they wil come." (“typhoon” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).)
  2. ^ Frederick Hirth, The word "Typhoon," its history and origin, in The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1880), discusses the presence of words with roughly this sound and meaning in Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Hindi and Greek — and uncertainty about which language it derives from — and notes the early Portuguese attestation.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Arabic Contributions to the English Language: An Historical Dictionary by Garland Hampton Cannon and Alan S. Kaye considers typhoon "a special case, transmitted by Cantonese, from Arabic, but ultimately deriving from Greek. [...] The Chinese applied the [Greek] concept to a rather different wind [...]"
  4. ^ Andrew Delahunty, From Bonbon to Cha-cha: Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases
  5. ^ Tai Whan Kim, The Portuguese Element in Japanese: A Critical Survey (1976): several points suggest that the Portuguese word came from the Arabic, not from Chinese tai-fung ...
  6. ^ F. Corriente Dictionary of Arabic and Allied Loanwords. Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Galician and Kindred Dialects (2008), page 457a: tifò (Ct.), tifón (Cs.) and tufão (Pt.): was prob. first acquired by Pt. during the initial explorations of the Indian Ocean, < Ar. ṭūfān "flood; hurricane", and phonetically contaminated by Gr. typhṓn, name of the mythical monster causing volcano eruptions and hurricanes.