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From Ottoman Turkish چوبان(çoban), from Middle Turkic ‘çupan’, Proto-Bulgar ‘çoban’. Loaned into Proto-Mongolian *čolbun "Venus".[1] Persian چوپان(čupân) is fraught with an uncertain reconstruction from Avestan *fšu-pāna ‘nomadic livestock herder’ (TMEN 1130). Another theory suggests the usage of heavenly body names as titles in Turkic tradition.[2] Accordingly, the Middle Turkic čopan and Proto-Bulgarian čoban (both meaning ‘minor official/village headman’) most likely resulted from an earlier phonetic loss of / l / during the Proto-Turkic stage, and is thus related to the Hunnic title "Ζόλβων" (Zólpan) which Moravcsik connected with Turkic čolpan ‘The planet Venus’ (1958: 131). As stated in ED by Clauson, the word čoban in the noun phrase čoban yıldızı ‘the Planet Venus’ in Turkish comes from the word čolpan. Compare the phrases which has been used as a determinant of time by shepherds to lead their livestocks for grazing early in the morning:

  1. "Čolpan tuvdu taŋ kattı" ‘Venus rose, (and) the dawn broke’ in Kumyk and
  2. "Colpan čıkmay taŋ atmaz" ‘Dawn does not break unless Venus rises’ in Karačay-Balkar (Tenišev 1997: 51).

Furthermore compare šolpan and šoban, both meaning ‘the planet Venus’ in Kazakh, and čoban and čolpon, both meaning ‘shepherd’ in Kirgiz.

Karaağaç lists etymological links with the words al ‘red’, alev ‘flame’, alıš- ‘get used to’, ıšık ‘light’, čil ‘speckle’, yıldız ‘star’ and ısın- ‘get warm’ (2008: 207).



  1. Venus (planet)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hatice Şirin User: Čolpan ‘THE PLANET VENUS’ IN TURKIC, in Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia, vol. 19: 169–178. Kraków 2014.


çolpan (definite accusative nın, plural çolpanlar)