Lately I’ve been reading about World War One, and I happened on the kind of detailed, specialized site I love: Gallipoli Placenames. If you get confused between Abdel Rahman Bair and Abdul Yere, look no further: the first is “The great northern spur of the Sari Bair range, coming off Hill 971 and stretching its lower slopes as far north as the plain east of Hill 60,” and the second is “Turkish Anzac sector. The northern one of the two hills forming Hill Q.” And Anafarta could really be confusing if their entry didn’t separate it out for you:

(1) The Turkish name for the Suvla front.
(2) There are two villages inland from Suvla Bay called Buyuk (big) Anafarta and Kuchuk (small) Anafarta.
(3) Nickname (‘Anafarta Annie’) of a Turkish long-range artillery gun firing from the hills of the Anafarta Spur.

Now if only someone would produce a glossary or list of abbreviations for the novels of Pat Barker! I’ve just started Regeneration, and every once in a while she throws in an unexplained term like VADs or CCS, and although it only takes me a few seconds’ work with Google to discover that the first stands for Voluntary Aid Detachment and refers to nurses, while the second stands for Casualty Clearing Station (a kind of small mobile field hospital, the WWI equivalent of a MASH unit), not everyone is as expert at ferreting out such things as I (the Acronym Finder gives a daunting 175 hits for CCS), and it would be convenient to have them gathered in one place. (It would be even more convenient to have a glossary in the book itself, of course.)


  1. Eskandar Jabbari says

    Cool site; too bad it doesn’t have those Turkish placenames written with Turkish spelling (though I’m sure the English orthography is easier to understand for the majority of readers. “Buyuk Anafarta” and “Kuchuk Anafarta” should be “Büyük Anafart” and “Küçük Anafarta,” respectively. It only stood out to me because I immediately recognized ‘küçük’ as a loan from Persian کوچک (kuchak, meaning small), which makes me wonder if ‘büyük’ is an indigenous Turkish word, or if it’s derived from Persian بزرگ (bozorg, meaning big).

  2. Good question. The Old Turkish word was ulugh, so büyük could well be a borrowing, but it doesn’t look much like bozorg. Anybody know the history of the word?

  3. I’m not sure küçük is a Persian loan. A search for “small” (the link is too big, and I don’t know how to put it in here in a tidy manner) has thrown the following (I’m skipping the usual suspects and including only Siberian languages):
    Khakassian: kǝčǝg
    Oyrat: kičü
    Yakut: kuččuguj
    Dolgan: kuččuguj, küččügüj
    The root is certainly there.
    Another search – for “high” – has these:
    Proto-Turkic: *bEdü-k
    Altaic etymology:
    Meaning: 1 big 2 high
    Russian meaning: 1 большой, крупный 2 высокий
    Old Turkic: bedük 1 (Orkh., OUygh.)
    Karakhanid: beđük 1 (MK, KB)
    Turkish: büjük 1
    Tatar: bijek 2
    Middle Turkic: bejik 1, 2 (Abush., Sangl.)
    Uzbek: bujuk 1, 2
    Uighur: büjük 1, 2
    Sary-Yughur: bezɨk 1
    Azerbaidzhan: böjük 1
    Turkmen: bejik 2
    Khakassian: pözǝk 1, 2
    Shor: mözük 2
    Oyrat: bijik 2
    Halaj: bidik/büdük 1
    Tuva: bedik 2
    Tofalar: bedik 2
    Kirghiz: bijik 1
    Kazakh: bijik 1
    Noghai: bijik 1
    Bashkir: bejek 1
    Balkar: mijik 1
    Gagauz: bǖk 1
    Karaim: büjüḱ 1
    Karakalpak: bijik 1
    Kumyk: bijik 2
    You can run a search for yourself:\data\alt\turcet&root=config&morpho=0
    I’s say the direction of borrowing was opposite.

  4. Certainly looks like it! Here‘s the page with ‘small’ (scroll down) and here‘s the one with ‘big’ (and that’s a very useful site – thanks).

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