fellow Indo-European languages, English and Persian have many words which share
a common Proto-Indo-European origin, and many of these cognate words often have
similar forms. However, this article will be concerned with loanwords, that is,
words in English that derive from Persian, either directly, or more often, via
one or more intermediary languages.
Many words of Persian origin have made their way into the English language
through different, often circuitous, routes. Some of them, like "paradise" date
to the cultural contacts between the Persians and Greeks in the Hellenistic
culture of Antiquity, and through Greek and then Latin found their way to
English. Or Mihrab from the time of Persian conflicts with Rome. Persian as the
second important language of Islam has influenced many languages in the Muslim
world, and its words have found their way beyond the Muslim world.
Persia remained largely impenetrable to English-speaking travellers, well into
the 19th century. This may explain why not quite as many Persian words as one
may imagine have made their way in English. Persia was protected from Europe by
overland trade routes that passed through territory inhospitable to foreigners,
while trade at Persian ports in the Persian Gulf was in the hands of locals. In
contrast, intrepid English traders operated in Mediterranean seaports of the
Levant from the 1570s, and some vocabulary describing features of Ottoman
culture found their way into the English language. Thus many in the following
list of English borrowings, though they were originally from Persian, arrived in
English through Turkish mediaries. Compare List of English words of Etruscan
origin for a similar situation.
Other words of Persian origin found their way into European languages and
eventually reached English at second-hand through the Moorish-Christian
cultural interface in the Iberian peninsula during the Middle Ages thus being
transmitted through Arabic or, much later, through Hindi during the British Raj.
from Medieval Latin azura, from Persian lājaward 
from Persian papoosh (پاپوش), from pa "foot" + poosh "covering." 
from Persian bakhshesh (بخشش), lit. "gift," from verb bakhshidan "to
"governor of Croatia," from Serbo-Croat. ban "lord, master, ruler,"
from Persian baan (بان) "prince, lord, chief, governor" 
possibly from Persian (khāneh "house"). 
from Persian بازار bāzār (="market"), from Middle-Persian bahâ-zâr
("The Place of Prices").
from pād-zahr (پادزهر) antidote 
from burah 
from bulbul nightingale (=type of migratory songbird native to Kenya)
from Persian buz "goat" + kashi "dragging" 
possibly from Persian kharabuz, Kharbuzeh (خربزه) melon. 
from Arabic gharafa (قرافه), "to pour"; or from Persian qarabah,
(قرابه) "a large flagon"
from kārawān =("to go")
possibly ultimately from Persian kazhagand (كژآكند) "padded coat,"
from kazh "raw silk" + agand "stuffed."
check (n.) from O.Fr. eschequier "a check at chess," from eschec,
from V.L. *scaccus, from Persian shah "king," the principal piece in a chess
game (see shah). When the king is in check a player's choices are limited.
Meaning widened from chess to general sense of "adverse event, sudden stoppage"
and by c.1700 to "a token used to check against loss or theft" (surviving in hat
check) and "a check against forgery or alteration," which gave the modern
financial use of "bank check, money draft" (first recorded 1798), probably
influenced by exchequeur. Check-up "careful examination" is 1921, American
English, on notion of a checklist of things to be examined. 
from Middle French eschec mat, from Persian shâh mât (="the King
cannot escape") 
from Russian Shach, from Persian shah ("the King"), an abbreviation
of Shâh-mât (Checkmate).
probably from Persian zanjifrah
from Hindi kamarband (كمربند), from Persian, from kamar (="waist") +
from Fr., lit. "half-cup," from demi- + tasse, an O.Fr. borrowing
from Arabic tassah, from Pers. tasht "cup, saucer".
fom Persian dēvān (="place of assembly", "roster"), from Old Persian
dipi (="writing, document") + vahanam (="house")
the name for Persian in Arabic. Standard Arabic lacks the /p/
phoneme, as a result, the Arabs who invaded Persia slowly began to refer to the
language and the people as "Farsi", rather than "Parsi". 
from Pers. Farangi: from the word French: a person from France: the
first foreigners that significantly influenced the government under the Ghajar
dynasty in Iran. 
from Persian فرمان farmân ("decree", "order").
from Persian خلنجان khalanjan, a plant.
possibly ult. from Medieval Gk. angourion "a kind of cucumber," said
to possibly be from Pers. angūr, "grape"
from Pers. gaur, variant of gabr "fire-worshipper" 
from Pers. Hindu "Indian"
from Persian Hind.
from Persian shaghāl, Any of several doglike mammals of the genus
Canis of Africa and southern Asia that are mainly foragers feeding on plants,
small animals, and occasionally carrion.
from yasmin, the name of a climbing plant with fragrant flowers.
from gulab (rose-water).
from jangal (forest)
or kebab, possibly from Persian kabab, or from identical forms in
Arabic and Urdu
from Persian خفتان khaftân.
from khaki (="made from soil", "dusty" or "of the colour of soil"),
from khak (= "soil")
from kushk (="palace, portico, pavilion") or Middle Persian gōak
from Pers. koh "mountain"." 
possibly from Persian limoo, also possibly from Urdu, Arabic, and
from Pers. lilak, variant of nilak "bluish," from nil "indigo"
from magus from Old Persian magu "mighty one" 
from magus, from Old Persian magu "mighty one", Priest of
from O. Pers. word for "man eater," cf. martiya- "man" + root of
khvar- "to eat." 
from the name of the Persian God Mithra.
from Persian Mithra
from Persian Mithra
from mughul (="Mongolian") 
from Persian Molla
ultimately from Middle Persian musk, from Sanskrit muska
(="testicle") from diminutive of mus (="mouse")
from Pers. musulman (adj.), from Arabic Muslim (q.v.) + Persian adj.
via L., from Gk. naphtha "bitumen," perhaps from Pers. naft "oil",
may be from Persian nargis (may also be a Pelasgian word)
from Milanese narans, from Arabic nāranj, from Persian nārang, from
Sanskrit nāraṅga, from some Dravidian language, possibly Tamil or Malayalam
via Portuguese pagode, from a corruption of Pers. butkada, from but
"idol" + kada "dwelling."
from Hindi paajaama, from Persian pāë (pāÿ) jāmah, from pAy (="leg")
+ jAma (="garment")
from Greek paradeisos (=enclosed park"), from Median/Proto-Kurdish
pairidaeza (="enclosure, park"), from pairi (="around") + diz (="mold, form").
The word is still used in Kurdish, and is pronounced Pardês.
from Old-Persian parasang
from Latin< Old Persian parthava-, variant form of the stem Parsa-,
from which Persia derives
from Pashmineh, made from pashm; pashm (= "wool")
a corruption of the Latin word "Persicum." Peaches are called in
Latin malum Persicum (Persian apple) prunum persicum (Persian plum), or simply
persicum (pl. persici). This should not be confused with the more modern
Linnaean classification Prunus persica, a neologism describing the peach tree
itself (from the Latin prunus, -i which signifies "plum tree").
from Pârsa+ Greek polis.
from Latin pistācium, from Greek πιστάκιον, from Persian pistah
from O.Fr. papegai (12c.), from Sp. papagayo, from Ar. babagha', from
Pers. babgha "parrot,"
via Hindi Panjab, from Pers. panj "five" + ab "water."
from Persian rukh (name of a legendary bird)
from Middle English rok, from Middle French roc, from Arabic rukhkh,
from Persian رخ rukh (=chess piece)
from Latin rosa, probably from ancient Greek rhodon, possibly ult.
from Pers. *varda-. Zie
from Persian: روشنك Roshanak, meaning "little star" its variants in
English are meaning "dawn." Variants include, Roxane and Roxanne. Diminutives
are Roxie and Roxy.Rokh-sána meaning "beautiful"
from Persian Spand (اسپند)
from Persian Shatrap and Shahrab.
from Pers. saqirlat "a type of red cloth"
from Pers. shimshir (Shamshir)
from Hindi sirsakar, E. Indian corruption of Pers. shir o shakkar
"striped cloth," lit. "milk and sugar".
from Persian Sipahi via Urdu
from sarây "inn"
from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, from
Persian Sarandip (="Sri Lanka"),
from shāh, from Old Persian χāyaþiya (="king"), from an Old Persian
verb meaning "to rule"
from shāl, sometimes said to be named for Shaliat, town in India
where it was first manufactured.
from Jerez in Spain, from Pers Shiraz, from the time of Rustamid
empire in Spain
from shisha or shisheh or شیشه
from Persian Sipahi via Turkish
via Hindi sitar, from Pers. sitar "three-stringed," from si "three"
(O.Pers. thri-) + tar "string"
from Persian Savâr.
from French espinache, from Arabic isfānākh, from Persian from
isfānāj, ispānāk, or aspanākh
from -istân "place" or "where one stands"
Possibly from Persian Shekar
possibly from Persian Somagh.
probably from Middle Pers. tambūr "lute"
from Pers. taftah "silk or linen cloth,"
With Persian suffix -stan
from Pers., lit. "the best of buildings;" or "the Crown's Place".
from Pers. talk "talc."
from Middle French tambour (="drum"), possibly from Middle Pers.
from Pers. tannur "oven, portable furnace,"
via Greek tigris from an Iranian source
from O. Pers. taq "veil, shawl."
from French tulipe, from Persian dulband
from Persian توران
from Persian dulband Band = To close, To tie
With Persian suffix -menistan
طوفان from Persian Tufân or Greek Typhon; also affected by Cantonese
With Persian suffix -stan
وزير etymology disputed; general references often derive it from
Arabic wazir, "viceroy", lit. "one who bears (the burden of office)", lit.
"porter, carrier", from Arabic wazara, "he carried". However, Jared S. Klein
derives it from Middle Persian vichir, from Avestan vicira, "arbitrator, judge".
Gk. form of O. Pers. Kshayarshan-, lit. "male (i.e. 'hero') among
kings," from Kshaya- "king" (cf. shah) + arshan "male, man."
meaning "Possessor of real estate" in Persian.
Zarathushtra or Zarathustra
the Persian prophet
feminine given name from Persian Zan (woman).
from Persian zargun, "gold-colored"
zircon + the suffix -ate, from Latin -atus
zircon + the New Latin -ia suffix
zircon + the New Latin suffix -ium
Note: "OED" means Oxford English
Dictionary. Ed. J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1989. OED Online Oxford University Press. Accessed May 3, 2006.
"babouche", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"baksheesh", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"ban, n.2", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"buzkashi", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"check, int. and n.1", OED
"checkmate, int. and n.", OED
"chess, n.1", OED
"cummerbund", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"Farsi, n. (a.)", OED
"giaour", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"Hindu, Hindoo, n. and a.", OED
"jasmine, -in, jessamine, -in", OED
"caftan", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"khaki", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"kiosk", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
"koh-i-noor", OED (marked as "not naturalized, alien")
c "mithras", OED
"Mogul, n.1 and a.", OED
"mullah, n.", OED
"musk, n.", OED
"Mussulman, n. and a.", OED