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"Mosque" is an English effort to capture the Arabic word, 'masjid'
(pronounced in Arabic mas-jeed). The Arabic root is 'sajada', meaning 'to
worship' or 'to bow down before God.' The prefix 'm' combined with the
particular form of the root -- 'sjid' -- produces the meaning, a 'place to
worship.' 'masAjid' is the plural.
In Egypt and some parts of North Africa, the practice is to pronounce a 'J'
as we pronounce a hard 'G', though without changing the spelling. Thus in
those areas 'masjid' is pronounced 'masgid', and it is likely that it is
from this pronunciation that 'mosque' was rendered. French, Italians, etc.
rendered the pronunciation and spelling in different ways, e.g. 'mosque'e'
in French. See, for example, 'La Grande Mosque'e de Paris' in the 5ieme.
Alas, no relationship to mosquito. Perhaps, in between persecuting their
Muslim and Jewish subjects, Isabella and Ferdinand found time for some
> > > Is it true that the word mosque is actually a derisive term
> > > related to the Spanish for mosquito? That's what I read in _The
> > > Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam_ (by Yahiya Emerick; ISBN
> > > anyway.
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