Both the xebec and the sambuk are relatively similar types of ships, and both have weird names that are relatively similar in construction. Sadly, they aren't confirmed to be related in origin. The xebec, the main focus of today, is a small and speedy kind of boat used to navigate the Mediterranean in the olden days. It is evident from a glance that this word is foreign, and anything foreign involved with Mediterranean trade must have come from the Arabs. This glance proved to be accurate, because, through French chebec and Italian sciabecco, and under Spanish influence, xebec comes from Arabic shabbak, with the meaning "small warship", only a slight deviation from today. This is from the Proto-Semitic root s-b-k, which meant something like "net", because wood had to be intertwined like a net to make the ships. Meanwhile, sambuk came from Middle Persian and most of the etymology is obscure to us. Note the letters s, b, and k, and the unconfirmed origin. Perhaps there's the slightest chance...
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.