This one goes to the Urduphiles, out there.
A proverb was used in a newspaper headline: "Hukmaran Hosh kay Nakhun lain". Literally: Government should trim the nails (nakhun) of sense (hosh), the Jama'at-i Islami. (Leaving aside the JI from this discussion) Meaning that someone is being stupid, or doing something without much thought, and should change? "Nakhun Laina" is to pare one's nails.
For the life of me, I cannot figure out 1. Why does "hosh" have nails? Or why would it give those nails? Or why would it trim those nails? What is it about the nails? That is, wth does anything like trimming one's nails have to do with anything like, being smart? Moreover, why is "hosh" anthropomorphized? My random guess is that there is some verse behind this. That, or Sa'adi. He is behind every non-sensical idiom.
Apparently, in English, "cutting nails" has some associations - Shakespeare name-checked that a few times. From a ditty cited in Dictionary of Proverbs: "Cut them on a Monday, you cut them for health; Cut them on a Tuesday, you cut them for wealth; Cut them on a Wednesday, you cut them for news; Cut them on a Thursday, a new pair of shoes; Cut them on Friday, you cut them for sorrow; Cut them on a Saturday, see your true-love tomorrow; Cut them on Sunday, the devil will be with you all the week". This being the height of 1830 rhyme-fest.
Cut them in Urdu, you grow sensible?
Any help would be appreciated.
Here is Platt's translation of "hosh":
P Ù‡ÙˆØ´ hosh [Pehl. hÃ´sh, or hush; Zend ushi, fr. ush = S. à¤‰à¤·à¥ (à¤“à¤·à¤¤à¤¿)], s.m. Understanding, judgment, intellect; sense, discretion;â€”mind, soul:â€”hosh uá¹›nÄ or uá¹›-jÄnÄ, or hosh bÄá¸µáº–ta honÄ, or hosh parÄganda honÄ, 'The senses to fly or to be lost'; to lose (one's) senses; to be or become confounded; to become senseless or silly:â€”hosh pakaá¹›nÄ, v.n. To bethink oneself; to recollect;â€”to get sense; to arrive at the age of discretion:â€”hosh jÄte rahnÄ, or hosh daá¹…g honÄ, v.n. To lose (one's) senses, &c. (=hosh uá¹›nÄ, q.v.):â€”hosh sambhÄlnÄ (with gen.), To get sense, &c. (i.q. hosh pakaá¹›nÄ, q.v.):â€”hosh-mand, adj. Intelligent, prudent, sensible (syn. Ê aql-mand):â€”hosh-mandÄ«, s.f. Intelligence, understanding; sensibleness, sense; wisdom:â€”hosh-meá¹… ÄnÄ, v.n. To come to (one's) senses; to come to oneself, to recover (one's) senses (after intoxication, or fainting):â€”hosh-o-hawÄs, s.m. Sense and understanding:â€”bÄ-hosh, adj. Intelligent, prudent, sensible, judicious, wise:â€”be-hosh, adj. Without understanding; unwary, insensible; foolish, insane;â€”deprived of sense or consciousness; unconscious; in a faint; intoxicated; stupefied;â€”delirious;â€”dead:â€”be-hosh karnÄ, v.t. To stupefy, make insensible; to intoxicate:â€”be-hoshÄ«, s.f. Senselessness; unconsciousness; stupefaction; intoxication.
And here is "nakun":
P Ù†Ø§Ø®Ù† nÄá¸µáº–un (nÄá¸µáº–Ëš = S. à¤¨à¤–+un = Å«n = wan = wÄn = S. à¤µà¤¾à¤¨), s.m. Nail (of the finger or toe); talon, claw:â€”nÄá¸µáº–un-se likhnÄ, v.t. To write with the finger-nail (considered an accomplishment):â€”nÄá¸µáº–un-gÄ«r, or nÄá¸µáº–un-tarÄsh, s.m. A small knife, or scissors, for paring the nails:â€”nÄá¸µáº–un lenÄ, v.t. To pare the nails;â€”to trip, or stumble (a horse):â€”nÄá¸µáº–un-meá¹… paá¹›e-rahnÄ, v.n. To be in (one's) possession; to be lying in the pocket.
S**t I do, when I need to be doing S**t.
Update: I think, I have it: Hosh kay Nakhun lo: Figuratively, Get Some Sense: 'Even something as trivial a nail clipping' FROM hosh. Why Hosh is personified? I still don't know.
Ghalib's couplet(prophecy?): Phir lahoo khodnay laga nakhun Aamd e fasle lala kari hai
Dunno if it matches the hosh part but that sentiment is definitely what the JI has in mind. thanks!
"Cut them in Urdu, you grow sensible?" Cutting hair and nails is an act of purification for some Hindus (except at night-- DO NOT comb hair, cut nails and hair at night). Maybe it is a plea for the government to purify the senses of the populace.
In Dari (the Afghan variant of Farsi) "nakhun" is sometimes used to refer to nail or finger ("angusht" would be proper). "Grabbing a finger" would make a little more sense than trimming nails.
I am thinking that Ù†Ø§Ø®Ù† in this sense of Ù†Ø§ÙƒÙ† Ù„ÛŒÙ†Ø§ is equivalent to Ù†Ø§Ø®Ù†Û, meaning cataract (of the eye). A cataract, of course, looks like a fingernail. There is an expression, Ø§Ù“Ù†ÙƒÚ¾ÙˆÚº ÙƒØ§ Ù†Ø§Ø®Ù† Ù„ÛŒÙ†Ø§, which means to remove the cataract from the eye, i.e. see clearly. I think that is the meaning when Ù†Ø§Ø®Ù† Ù„ÛŒÙ†Ø§ is applied to Ø¹Ù‚Ù„ or ÛÙˆØ´. I think the vision metaphor certainly works for both.
I have always thought it to mean "grow some awareness (like finger nails)". Where did you get the cut from? I like Punjabi's akal noun hath pa.
Why you had the time to go into so much detail we won't bring up - but the fact that you did is awesome. Finally something in my RSS Reader that has educational value, and in this case intrinsic value. Cheers.