The capital of Tajikistan (the greatest former SSR) is Dushanbe, a proper noun with a fascinating etymology. In the Tajik language, dushanbe means "Monday". This is because the village was right on the Silk Road and would have a huge and opulent bazaar every Monday, so that key facet became its name. Interestingly, dushanbe is a portmanteau of two Tajik words, do, meaning "two", and Shanbe, "Saturday". Monday was two days after Saturday, so the city named after Monday is in fact a couple days premature. Both components either are from or have cognates in Persian, which would make this Indo-Iranian and thus probably from Proto-Indo-European. Fun fact: from 1921 to 1961, Dushanbe went under the name Stalinabad, the time when it underwent its greatest expansion from the village to the glorious capital it is today.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a junior 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.