Khuda - Etymology

Etymology

The term derives from Middle Iranian xvatay, xwadag meaning "lord", "ruler", "master" (written as Parthian kwdy, Middle Persian kwdy, Sogdian kwdy, etc.). It is the Middle Iranian reflex of Avestan xva-dhata- "self-defined; autocrat", an epithet of Ahura Mazda. The Pashto term Xwdāi (خدای) is a New Iranian cognate.

Prosaic usage is found for example in the Sassanid title katak-xvatay to denote the head of a clan or extended household, or in the title of the 6th century Khwaday Namag "Book of lords", from which the tales of Kayanian kings as found in the Shahnameh ("Book of kings") derive.

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