Thursday, April 24, 2014

Persian Word of the Day- Toop

Today's word of the day has a double meaning. توپ toop means ball in everyday Persian, and when I think of toop, there is a specific one that comes to mind. If you spent any time in Iran as a kid, you know what I'm talking about- that red and white striped ball known as toope pelāstikiye do laye, the two-layer plastic ball. All Iranian kids had at least one growing up. It was our kick ball, our soccer ball, our everything. It would likely bust after a couple of kicks, hence the double layers. 

When Jason Jones from The Daily Show visited Iran in 2009, he unknowingly played with this Iranian treasure with some kids in Naghshe Jahān Esfahan before introducing them to the American football. (Skip ahead to 1:05 to see this- better yet, just watch the whole thing!)

But of course I wouldn't give you a word that simple, would I? (Maybe I would...) As informal or slang Persian, toop means that something is awesome/excellent. Maybe the party you went to last weekend was toop, and the pictures you put on Facebook were really toop, too. I think that clip from The Daily Show was pretty toop. Toop can also mean rich. Referring to a person, you might hear vazesh toope, his situation is toop, meaning he's rich. 

My cousin often says that there are so many positive qualities in Iranian and American cultures that if a person takes the best of both, they would be something incredibly toop. So does that mean I'm toop? 



  1. I'm going to just assume that this is where the term "ballin'" originated. Persian hip hop kehrossovehr!

  2. Hi Pontia,

    Nice blog that you have here!!

    I live in Mysuru, India. Since we have many Iranian students around our neighborhood, I decided to attempt learning Persian on my own a couple of months back. It's been good, so far.

    Actually, learning Persian turned out to be easier than I expected it to be.
    1. The grammar of Persian is very simple
    2. The lot of Hindi/Urdu vocabulary is derived from Persian. (though the pronunciation is different, as you will notice if you watch any Bollywood movie)

    One thing that I keep coming across is the false friend words, where the common meaning in Hindi is different or slightly different than the common meaning in Persian. 'toop' is one of those words.

    In Hindi, 'toop' (pronounced 'top') commonly means cannon

    Other words that I can think of
    'shekast' (pronounced 'shikast' in Hindi) commonly means defeat.
    'demagh' (pronounced 'dimagh' in Hindi) commonly means brain.
    ....and there are many more...

    BTW, our slang usage of 'top' is the same as you described. A 'top cheez' means something awesome/great.

    1. Thanks for your comment. There really are a lot of similarities. I'm glad to hear you are learning Persian. It should def be easier for you with the similarities- false or not. Hope my blog can be a complement to your learning :)


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