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We know that Abbottabad is named after Major James Abbott, an officer in the Indian Army who founded the town. But where does the "...abad" come from? Does it have any relationship to the English word abode?

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I edited this to include the question from the Language Log post about the relationship to English abode. Otherwise the question was in danger of being closed as off-topic. –  JSBձոգչ May 6 '11 at 13:25
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Talk Abbotabad place to hide. –  corsiKa May 6 '11 at 17:03
    
+1 @glowcoder haha Talk Abbotabad place to hide twice! emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2011/05/03/… –  Paul Amerigo Pajo May 7 '11 at 1:12

5 Answers 5

I am an native Urdu speaker, and another word is abadi which means population or a place where some population exist.

Abad used in terms of to populate, or get settled on location, or residence or to reside.

There are many other cities with suffix abad like, Islamabad, Muzaffarabad, Khroatabad etc etc.

So Islamabad will mean something like residence of Islam (it can be a name of person as well) Abbotabad will mean like place populated by Abbot, or residence of Abbot.

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This was just discussed in depth on Language Log. After a long discussion giving a variety of different perspectives on the etymological roots of -abad, we get this conclusion:

So where does all of this leave us? On the one hand, the experts are not entirely agreed upon the etymological derivation of the Persian place name ending -aabaad, but it most likely comes from an Iranian root paa ("protect"). On the other hand, the English word "abode" appears to come from a Proto-Indo-European root *bheidh ("stay, wait"). In any event, I have not discovered any etymological or historical evidence indicating that Persian -aabaad and English "abode" are related.

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+1 Any connection with Germanic -burg? It begins with a labial occlusive as well, and I think it also means something similar to "protect"...? –  Cerberus May 6 '11 at 13:19
    
@Cerberus, I haven't done any research on it, but initially I'm very doubtful that there's any relationship, since the Germanic root has an added -r-, and the final consonants don't match. –  JSBձոգչ May 6 '11 at 13:24
    
@JSBangs: Yeah, that is what I thought... there is a small chance that -burg consists of two roots... but I have no idea, really. –  Cerberus May 6 '11 at 13:28
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Nobody has mentioned that there are a lot of cities in the region ending with abad, the two most prominent ones being Hyderabad, India and Jalalabad, Afghanistan. –  Peter Shor May 6 '11 at 13:29
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Just to note, I've been talking with a friend of mine from the area and he seems to think it comes from Urdu, originating from Persian to mean 'abode, town or settlement', as in Islamabad meaning 'abode / settlement of Islam. I'm digging a little more. –  Grant Thomas May 6 '11 at 13:33

From: Wikipedia

Etymology: The name of the city is a compound containing two words, Abbott and Abad.

Abad: a place of living.

But this seems interesting, since, in Spanish

Abad: Abbott.

From: Google Translate

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here's an (and probably an easier) entry about آباد

Per Lubotsky, from Common Iranian *āpāta-, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- (“to protect”), whence also Persian پاییدن (pāyīdan).

Commonly compared to Sanskrit आवास (ā-vāsa, “abode, residence, dwelling”), which is most likely from Sanskrit root √vas (“to dwell, live, stop, stay”).

here's the entry on *peh₂-

Semantic shift from "protector" towards "shepherd, herder" can be seen in many branches, signifying the importance of herding. Unusual is the o-grade root in Greek ποιμήν (poimḗn, “shepherd, herdsman”), where the abstract nomina agentis suffix *-men usually binds e-grade, but that hardly seems sufficient to reconstruct *h₃ in the root and to separate it from *peh₂-.

Can we find a word that has the same meaning of "abad" via "vasati"? Well, you could through one of the descendants in Hindi बस्ती (bastī)

बस्ती • (bastī) f., Urdu spelling بستی

  1. settlement, village, small town

so although you'd end up with with -abad that means city and bastī that means a small town (and arguably - an abode) - they're probably not related.

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-Abad comes from Hindi/Urdu word which means 'populated'. 'Abadi' mean population. There are many cities in the Indian Subcontinent and also Afghanistan(e.g. Jalalabad) ending with -abad.

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