MooT Question Icon

Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.

A picture of a moot game

The critically-acclaimed board game MooT
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
To join our mailing list and get
free brain-twisting MooT questions sent to you irregularly,
enter your email address and then press submit.

E-Mail address:

Back to home page

Answer: the Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal literally means "the best of buildings" in Persian. It labels a mausoleum in Agra, India, built in the 1630s by Shah Jahan for his just deceased favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal.

The name comes from Taj Persian, the language of the Mughal court, meaning crown, and Mahal means palace. Most sources suggest that Taj Mahal is a shorter variant of Mumtaz Mahal, the nickname of Arjumand Banu Begum, meaning First Lady of the Palace.

Before it became the name of one of the world's most beautiful buildings, Taj Mahal was the name of a woman. She was Arjumand Banu Begum (begum is a title for a Muslim woman of high social rank), the favorite wife of Shah Jahan, who was the Muslim ruler of India's Mughal Empire from 1628 to 1658. He affectionately called her Mumtaz Mahal, meaning “ornament of the palace.” The name Taj Mahal…

Copyright 1998-2009 Blair Arts Ltd. All rights reserved.