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What game derives it's name from the Persian word 'shah'?

Question #16793. Asked by Missprissy.
Last updated Sep 18 2016.

Jack Flash
Answer has 2 votes
Jack Flash

Answer has 2 votes.
The word chess, or the game of kings, gets its name from the Persian shah, a king. At the end of the game the term checkmate derives from the Arabic shah mat, the king is dead. Source: Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

Feb 23 2002, 3:53 AM
Answer has 5 votes
Currently Best Answer
24 year member
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Answer has 5 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.

When researching this for the game, I found this very detailed explanation:

Checkmate: Chess was already an ancient game when the Persians introduced it to the Arabs. The Arabs retained the Persian word shah for king, the most important piece in the game, and when the shah (pronounce shag by Arabs) was maneuvered into a helpless position, ending play, they exclaimed shah mat, '(your) king is dead.' Soon after the Arabs introduced chess into Spain in the 8th century this expression became xague mate, from which derived the French eschec mate and finally the English checkmate.

Response last updated by Terry on Sep 18 2016.
Feb 23 2002, 6:04 AM
Answer has 2 votes

Answer has 2 votes.
Two remarks: the Hebrew word for Chess is also Shach Mat like in Arabic. McGruff transcripted the word correct but the g stands for guttural consonant, just like Gaza is pronounced Raza in Arabic and Aza in Hebrew both are guttural consonant transcripted in English as a G.

Feb 23 2002, 11:49 AM
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