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Turkic etymology :

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Proto-Turkic: *čāj
Altaic etymology: Altaic etymology
Meaning: 1 small river 2 sand, pebbles 3 flood, freshet 4 shallow
Russian meaning: 1 речка 2 песок, галька 3 половодье, наводнение 4 мелководный
Turkish: čaj 1
Middle Turkic: čaj 1, čeke 2
Azerbaidzhan: čaj 1
Turkmen: čāj 1, čǟge 2
Shor: šajɨq 3
Oyrat: čaj-r-am 4
Yakut: čaj 2 (?)
Bashkir: saj 'a river weed' (?)
Balkar: čaj (in the hydronym qaračaj)
Comments: The word is poorly attested (almost only in some modern Oghuz languages and Chag., see VEWT 95, Лексика 94; the Yakut parallel is phonetically unclear - borrowed from Tuva or Altai?). Turk. *čāj-ka (Turkm. čǟge, Chag. čeke) > Kalm. cekɛ̄ (KW 426). The forms (despite semantic difference) may have an Iranian origin: Pers. (Pekhl.) čāh 'well, spring' < *čāɵa > Av. čāta, Kurd. čāl, Bel. čāt, Osset. čad 'lake', Wakhi čot 'pond' (Horn 97, Аб. 1, 285, 329, Расторгуева 1990, 191, ЭСВЯ 130); a certain Persian loan is Khal. čā 'Brunnen, Grube'. Osset. č'aj 'well' is regarded by Abaev as a borrowing from Pers. through Georgian (č̣a 'well'). The relationship to the verbal stem čāj- 'to swill' (ОСНЯ 3, 59-60) ( < 'wash water off from the surface'?) is yet to be determined.
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