Zarathustra was an ancient Persian religious leader who started Zoroastrianism. He's immortalized today through Friedrich Nietsche's book Also Sprach Zarathustra and the musical piece named after it. There are several etymological proposals for his name, but the most widely accepted one is that it comes from a combination of the words zarant, meaning "old", and ushtra, meaning "camel" (implying that Zarathustra owned old camels, not that he was one). Zarant comes from the same source as the Greek root gerontos: the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction gere, which meant "to grow old". Ushtra also has Indo-European cognates that imply a PIE origin, but there there are no reconstructions for it. It probably had the same meaning for a while and a generally similar sound, though.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.