Languages Are Fluid

Did you know that:

In France ‘entrée’ stands for ‘hors d’oeuvre’ or ‘appetizer’ and not the main course?

And so the ‘manicure’ comes from the French word ‘manucure’?

It is interesting how languages change over time when they travel from mouth to mouth. But if we look at the origins of words we can learn a lot!

As an example, there is neighborhood in Abadan, Iran that is called Kafisheh (کفیشه or
Kafeesheh). Abadan (Persian: آبادان Ābādān, pronounced [ʔɒːbɒːˈdɒːn]). It is a city and capital of Abadan County, Khuzestan Province, which is located in the southwest of Iran. It lies in Abadan Island and has a history intertwined with the British exploitation of the rich oil fields in the region.

It was not until the 20th century that rich oil fields were discovered in the area. On 16 July 1909, after secret negotiation with the British consul, Percy Cox, assisted by Arnold Wilson, and Sheik Khaz’al agreed to a rental agreement for the island, including Abadan. The Sheik continued to administer the island until 1924. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company built their first pipeline terminus oil refinery in Abadan, starting in 1909 and completing it in 1912, with oil flowing by August 1912 (see Abadan Refinery). Refinery throughput numbers rose from 33,000 tons in 1912–1913 to 4,338,000 tons in 1931. By 1938, it was the largest in the world.

So the British presence in Abadan brought Western language and culture into the city.
Consequently, a coffee shop opened in one of the neighborhoods. So the coffee shop became a landmark and the neighborhood became known as the “Coffee Shop”. The locals who were unfamiliar with English pronounced the word differently. And so over time, the word Kafisheh or کفیشه was born.