Category Archives: Cunning Linguist

Gorgeous-stan!

‘That Georgia’s on my, ma ma, ma ma, ma ma, ma ma, ma my, mind!!’

So barked Paul McCartney on the Beatles counterculture rocker ‘Back in the U.S.S.R.’; that outrageously subversive Cold War reimagining of both Ray Charles’s lyric and Beach Boys’ Americana.

Recently, Anthony Bourdain remarked that of all the places he’s been, the Georgian people are some of the most strikingly beautiful. In fact, the landscape, people and architecture has always been noted by travelers as one of the most ‘gorgeous’ on the planet.

The name Georgia comes not form King George, nor is it related in any way to England. It stems from the Persian word gurğ/gurğān (wolf) which is how the ancient Iranians referred to their Caspian & Black Sea regions as– “land of the wolves.” After many back and forth battles, Georgia was taken from Persia by the Russians in 1801 and went on to become an independent state after the fall of the Soviet Union. Regardless of the actual etymology, I say that given its gorgeous landscape, gorgeous architecture, and gorgeous people, it’s no wonder the Persians still refer to their lost province as ‘Gorgestan’ 😉

A. Darius Kamali