There’s an extremely interesting discussion going on over at Jabal al-Lughat. Lameen starts by pointing out that “in all dialects of Arabic, adjectives normally follow the noun” but quotes T. M. Johnstone (Eastern Arabian Dialect Studies, Oxford UP 1967):
The (Persian) adjective kooš precedes the noun it qualifies. It does not occur in association with defined nouns. It is not inflected for gender or number. Thus:
kooš walad, bint a good boy, girl
and asks about the situation of the word in Persian (where it is now pronounced khoš and its meaning is ‘pleasant, happy’ rather than ‘good’). Much interesting discussion follows; MMcM (a frequent commenter in these parts) gives a useful link to Paul Horn’s Grundriss der neupersischen Etymologie, where you can see related words in the Iranian languages, and bulbul (ditto) quotes Haim Blanc’s Communal dialects in Baghdad. The most recent comment at the moment is by Eli (I don’t know whether he’s the Eli Timan mentioned by Peter Austin in this thread), who says:
1- khOsh is used in all Iraqi dialects. it is common to both noun-adjective and adjective-noun sentence structre positions, although it is normally placed before the noun it qualifies. It is of common gender and number. Examples خوش ولد خوش بنت
2- It behaves almost like an adverb, and denotes more than just ‘Good’. It is like aHsan walad (best boy). It emphasises the quality of the noun it qualifies…
(He gives more information on the word’s use and connotations.) I find all this fascinating, and I look forward to whatever else may turn up on the word’s origins, spread, and syntactical oddities.