Bags, satchels and briefcases

In Romanian the word for a satchel, school bag or briefcase is ghiozdan [giˈozdan]. When I learnt this, I wondered where it might come from – it certainly doesn’t look Latin or Slavic.

Ghiozdan actually comes from the Turkish word cüzdăn (wallet, billfold, purse, pocket book).

A related word is servietă (briefcase), which comes from the French serviette (towel, napkin, serviette, briefcase).

There are in fact quite a few Romanian words borrowed from Turkish, including:

– bacșiș = tip, gratuity; baksheesh. From bahşiş (tip)
– basma = handkerchief. From the Turkish basma (printed cloth)
– degeaba = for nothing, for free; in vain. From the Turkish caba (effort)
– liliac = lilac; bat. From the Turkish leylak (lilac)
– murdar = dirty. From the Turkish murdar (uncleanly)

Sources: Wiktionary, Google Translate

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