Names Of Dairy Products In Turkic And Mongolian Languages


This article examines the names of dairy products in the Turkic and Mongolian languages on the material of the Bashkir language, the language of the Siberian Tatars and the Kalmyk language. The material for the research was the dictionaries of the Turkic and Mongolian languages, as well as the materials of dialectological expeditions from 1980 to 2000. All Turkic and Mongolian peoples to this day continue to traditionally breed five (four) types of livestock – horses, cows, sheep, goats and camels, from which they receive milk and meat for preparing a wide variety of dishes. Dairy food occupies a special place among these peoples, since this food belongs to those dishes from which both daily life and a festive reception begin. It was possible to find out that dairy farming and methods of preparing many dairy products have existed since ancient times and are still preserved among these peoples. Considering the names of dairy products in the Bashkir language, the language of the Siberian Tatars and the Kalmyk language, a list of terms presented in the Old Turkic and old-written Mongolian languages is provided, since the presence of words in it that have analogies to modern terms indicates their antiquity. Further study of this layer of vocabulary in etymological terms allows us to draw a conclusion about the mutual influence, especially of the Turkic languages, in which the terms of dairy products were formed, since a number of Mongolian terms have analogies in the Turkic languages.

Keywords: Bashkir language, Kalmyk language, language of Siberian Tatars, Old Turkic language, Old Mongolian language, dairy products


As it is known, the Turkic and Mongolian languages belong to the Altaic language family; several generations of Altaists have identified many vocabulary matches, although a complete list of these correspondences has not yet been finally established. At the same time, many researchers note that the largest number of these matches is observed in relation to the Turkic and Mongolian languages. According to Rassadin (2015), “one of the most important tasks of Altaic studies is to identify and establish common lexical elements, at least between the Turkic and Mongolian languages, and then between other Altaic languages” (p. 924). Following his concept, we believe that it is better to identify common Turkic-Mongolian vocabulary as part of separate thematic groups that make up whole complexes of the corresponding vocabulary, which belong to the most important aspects of the life of the Turkic and Mongolian peoples. With the creation of the “Comparative-historical grammar of the Turkic languages. Vocabulary” (2001), it became possible to obtain the most complete and accurate lexical material in all Turkic languages, the same opportunity is given by researchers of the vocabulary of the modern Bashkir language, for example, Vakhitova (2007) and "Bashkir-Russian Dictionary" (Uraksin, 2005), we take material on the modern language of the Siberian Tatars from the Tatar-Russian Dictionary (2007) in two volumes, as well as from the works of Nurieva (2015) and Nurmukhametova and Satarova (2016). We take material on the modern Kalmyk language from the Kalmyk-Russian Dictionary (1977) and from the work of Nugteren (2011). The source of lexical material on the old-written Mongolian language is the well-known dictionary of Kovalevsky (1849), since in connection with the expansion of the Mongols and the establishment of the Yuan dynasty in the XIII-XIV centuries almost all Turkic languages have experienced a strong influence of the Mongolian language and the material from modern Turkic languages cannot provide objective criteria for establishing the Turkic-Mongolian correspondences. Only the language of the old Turkic texts, the vocabulary of which is recorded in Old Türkic Dictionary (1969), can be considered freer from the Mongolian influence. The presence of one or another Mongolian lexeme in the old Turkic language and its common Turkic character in modern Turkic languages, as well as its revealed Turkic proto-form, can serve to some extent as an objective criterion for borrowing this lexeme in ancient times from Turkic languages.

Problem Statement

Language is inextricably linked with the life of the people, their culture. Traditions and customs are one of the essential ethnic characteristics that determine the national color of the culture and ethnic face of a particular people. The traditional culture of the Turkic and Mongolian peoples, according to the majority of scholars, has undergone a significant, sometimes irreversible transformation. The fact that the vocabulary reflecting the traditional material and economic culture is archaized in many of its elements or completely leaves the active vocabulary of speakers can be considered as evidence of this phenomenon. Along with them, valuable material is lost, which requires complex linguistic research. In this regard, the lexical composition of the material and economic culture of the Turkic and Mongolian ethnic groups with the component "dairy products" in a comparative aspect is chosen as an object of compehensive study. The food traditions of a certain people are formed over a long time under the influence of factors of the surrounding reality: geographical, political, economic ones. Traditional food is individual and unique, thus we can say that knowledge of the culture, history, foundations, customs of the people is necessary for the correct deciphering of the food code.

Research Questions

This article examines a complex of terms developed by the Turkic and Mongolian languages in relation to dairy products, the analysis of which is carried out on the material of the modern language of the Siberian Tatars, Bashkir, Kalmyk languages. The basis of all dairy products is whole milk, which in all Turkic languages and Mongolian languages is called in general similar: the language of the Siberian Tatars, Bashkir, Old Turkic, Kalmyk, old-written Mongolian.

Dairy products, together with meat products, form the basis of nutrition for all Turkic and Mongolian peoples and tribes. Depending on the processing methods and the characteristics of technology, these products are solid or liquid, sour and sweet, fatty and fatless, refreshing and exciting. When preparing dairy products from milk, various technologies are used: fermentation, distillation, filtering, drying, dilution with water or tea. Processed milk is usually consumed. However, the Turkic and Mongolian peoples do not process milk in the same way, and they do not get exactly the same products as a result of this processing. In this regard, it is advisable to consider separately the system of terms for dairy products used in the Turkic and Mongolian languages.

One of the favorite summer dishes of the Siberian Tatars is milk noodle soup seasoned with green onions, raw egg and is called.

Sour milk in the dialects of the Siberian Tatars is conveyed by the words in the meaning of "sour milk", "curdled milk".

The milk obtained in the first two or three milking after the calving of a cow was called"colostrum". A refreshment made from colostrum after the calving of a cow was called.

is a dairy dish that is associated with cattle breeding traditions. It is typical for the food of many other Turkic peoples. Colostrum was boiled in a kettle or in pots. It turned out to be a thick dish like scrambled eggs. Compare the Old Turkic"first milk, colostrum".

The fatty part of the milk was separated by settling the milk in the cellar. The cream and sour cream obtained in this way are conveyed by the words. A cream called is usually added to tea. The milk left after the separation of the cream is called "blue milk" by Siberian Tatars, prak () is a distorted form of the Russian word "obrat", which is also characteristic for the Bashkir language.

Sour cream and cream were used to make butter, which in the language of the Siberian Tatars has the following synonymous variants:.

An interesting phrase is. In the past, the cream was usually churned in special hollowed-out narrow and tall tubs with the meaning “tub for manual churn” with the help of wooden churn staffs. The defined word on foot is derived from the verb meaning “to shove”, since the churn staff was vertically shoved into a tall narrow tub. Therefore, butter obtained by churning was called, and the remaining whey was called.

The butter was melted, this butter is called (literally yellow butter) meaning "ghee". Look: Kalmyks, in order for the butter to retain its qualities for a long time, melted it and ghee was obtained, which was called (literally yellow butter).

The sediment remaining after melting butter in the language of the Siberian Tatars is denoted by the word, and the curd mass that settles on the walls of the boiler during the distillation of airan is called.

Sour milk is called, it is used as a seasoning in soup, it is used for tea. Leaven for katyk is known as < = in the meaning of "to leaven, to make sour".

A fermented milk drink based on katyk is used by the Turkic, North Caucasian, South Caucasian, Balkan and Turkish peoples called () and it has been used for more than 15 centuries.

Milk after skimming was used to make fermented milk products – or. The milk was pre-boiled, then poured into pots. When it cooled down to the temperature of fresh milk, it was fermented with a small amount of old katyk (). The fermented milk was placed in a warm place for several hours, which made it turn into a thick, homogeneous mass, then it was lowered into the cellar. was made from by diluting it with cold water, stirring it with water.

The curd sour mass after the distillation of is called in the meaning of "strained sour milk" < = in the meaning of "to strain off, to filter".

Curd is made from whole milk or skim milk called. For quick fermentation of milk, leaven was added to it. After the formation of a thick mass, it is poured into a tissue bag. After all the whey drains out, the resulting mass is kept under a heavy object until ready.

Besides that, was prepared by boiling. The milk was boiled in a pot, when it boiled, leaven was added to it and boiled until the milk curdled. The resulting mass was filtered through a cloth.

The thick whey left after the preparation of the curd is called, meaning "curd (milk) whey."

The Tatars' favorite dairy product was, compare the Old Turkic meaning "kurut, dried curd". Its preparation method is the same as for. The difference of the is that the milk is boiled until the whey is completely evaporated and a reddish-brown mass is obtained. In another way, it is also called (literally red cottage cheese).

Among the Bashkirs, like the Siberian Tatars, milk and dairy products, along with meat, are also staple food. In the Bashkir language, dairy products are called, a collective name for dairy products (Sabirianova, 2009).

Butter in the Bashkir language is called by the word. According to Sabirianova (2009), the word, in all likelihood, is newly formed, since it is absent in the language of Old Turkic written monuments. Instead, the word “butter, fat” was used, which has survived in most modern Turkic languages. In the Bashkir language, the root = was preserved only in the derivative words iaғ-yu “to smear” in the meaning of “to add butter”; iagynys, iagynty, iagyndy, ioganys, iogos “a stroke of butter or sour cream”.

Sour milk, fermented from boiled milk, is called, and the sour milk is called. The leaven for is called, (Uraksin, 2005).

The most common dairy food is "kurut", which is widespread in all areas where Bashkirs live. is consumed both fresh and dried. Here are the types of and their names: "red kurut"; "white kurut", "frozen sour milk"; “liquid salted kurut (prepared for the winter)”,oitmaҡ “liquefied kurut”, Old Turkic meaning “cheese” (see: Mongolian). Food made from fresh with the addition of sour cream or milk is called.

Curd obtained from fresh milk boiled with is called, with prolonged boiling it is called "red curd" or erek "dry-boiled cottage cheese, slightly seasoned with butter."

The whey obtained when making curd is called.

A drink made from mare's milk (kumis) is known to almost all Turkic and Mongolian languages, in the Old Turkic language, fresh kumys is called, kumis of a two-day fermentation period is called, smoked kumis is called, the name for autumn thick kumis isexcessively sour kumis is called. The leaven for kumis is called

A drink made from sour milk and water in the meaning of whey, separated when butter is churned, is called.

Moreover, milk and dairy products are active ingredients in cooking soups and have medicinal properties.

In the Bashkir language, the names of flour porridge cooked with sour cream are richly represented. The Bashkir-Russian Dictionary (Uraksin, 2005) gives the following names for this dish:,,,,,,,,,,,.

The Kalmyks also had a very developed dairy farming and they mastered different methods of processing milk. In the Kalmyk language, there are various terms for naming all kinds of dairy products. The Kalmyks' milk processing technology is basically the same as that of the Tatars and Bashkirs, there is only a slight difference in terms.

How are these terms represented in the literary Kalmyk language?

Milk and products made from it were also the staple food for the Kalmyks. An important role in the nutrition of the Kalmyk population was played by the so-called Kalmyk tea called, which was brewed with milk, seasoned with salt and butter. Sometimes Kalmyk tea was seasoned with flour fried in butter or lard. Such tea was called (literally roasted tea). The Kalmyks also put crushed nutmeg, which is called zat, sometimes black pepper with bay leaves, into ready-made tea. A lot of milk was used for Kalmyk tea, which is still very popular today. The remaining milk was used for processing.

In the summer, when there was a lot of milk, butter was obtained (the Kalmyk name of butter is). The milk was settled in a dark and cool place in a special container, after settling cream appeared on the surface of the milk, which was collected in a special vessel. When a lot of cream accumulated, it was churned with the help of a special churn staff an old-written Mongolian meaning "a churn, a dasher, a mixer (for churning mare's milk when making kumis or butter)" in a large bowl, an old-written Mongolian (for the preparation and storage of kumis); a tall wooden vessel (for kumis)" until butter emerges. The ready-made butter was washed with cold water and stored in sheep's stomachs. The oil was reheated to obtain ghee (literally yellow butter). The Kalmyks used the residue (,) for food. After skimming the cream, curdled milk () remained, which was poured into a large bowl, where was stored – a special drink of the type of kumis made from sour milk, which was fermented with a special leaven (,,)., or, an old-written Mongolian meaning “ayran, ayrak, kumis; sour mare's milk”, the Kalmyks prepared both from cow's and mare's milk. After the winter interval, usually last year's old served as a leaven, to which mare's milk was constantly added and mare kumis (,) was obtained, or cow's milk, if they were making cow kumis (,). A few days later, vodka () was distilled from the fermented using a special device. After that, milk vodka, an old-written Mongolian in the meaning of "vodka (mainly made from sour milk; strong alcoholic drinks)" was obtained. The curd mass remaining in the pot as a result of this distillation was appreciated, it was called, the old-written Mongolian meaning “the remainder of fermented milk after the distillation of wine; distiller’s wash, home-made beer"; it was mixed with fresh milk and the so-called national food of the Kalmyks,, the old-written Mongolian meaning "fermented milk, curdled milk" was obtained, and the curd scum remaining on the walls of the boiler is called, the old-written Mongolian meaning “curd mass (remaining after the distillation of milk vodka)” is a favorite delicacy of the Kalmyks, into which they poured fresh milk and ate it. Sometimes fresh milk was milked into the and a dairy product called was obtained. Also, the was filtered and whey and curd mass, were obtained from it. In the heat, or was diluted with cold water, thus obtaining the drink, the old-written Mongolian meaning “water with milk, a milk drink made from water and sour milk; diluted tarak”, which quenched thirst. In addition, strained through the fingers while squeezing it in a fist, a curdm mass was obtained, which was dried on special trays. The resulting product is called.

Sheep's milk was used to prepare soft cheese, the old-written Mongolian in the meaning of "dried curd (slightly reddish in color)" like feta cheese. The Kalmyks remove the skin from boiled milk, the old-written Mongolian in the meaning of “foam; film on liquid "and dry it, they also eat colostrum uurg, the old-written Mongolian in the meaning of "colostrum; first milk after childbirth, calving" use – milk-bleached boiled water instead of tea.

Thus, the study of the names of the thematic group of dairy products available in the Bashkir, Kalmyk languages and in the language of the Siberian Tatars shows the antiquity of this layer of vocabulary. It reveals a lot in common with other Turkic and Mongolian languages.

Purpose of the Study

To consider and describe the thematic group of vocabulary related to the names of dairy products in the Turkic and Mongolian languages.

Research Methods

A set of methods and techniques for analyzing factual material was used in accordance with the set goal of the work: descriptive, comparative-historical research methods and techniques for a comprehensive description of linguistic material.


At was possible to find out that dairy products and methods of their preparation came to the proto-Mongols from time immemorial, along with the names from the ancient Turks and are still preserved among the modern Mongol peoples. Considering the terms of dairy products in the Turkic and Mongolian languages, a list of terms presented in both the old-written Mongolian and the Old Turkic languages is given, since the presence in them of words that have a complete analogy to modern terms indicates their antiquity. Moreover, the above list of words clearly indicates that the terms of dairy products have long been formed in the Turkic and Mongolian languages, apparently, back in the Common Turkic and Common Mongolian eras, when dairy farming was organized among these tribes.


The material considered indicates that dairy products in all its complex of terms of this lexico-thematic group were borrowed by the ancient Mongols from the ancient Turkic tribes.

Further investigation of this layer of vocabulary, especially in terms of its etymologization, will reveal the external influence, especially of the Turkic languages on the Mongolian, in which the terms of dairy products were formed, since a number of Mongolian terms have analogies in the Turkic languages, such as: Turkic – milk, – a drink made from sour milk, – skin of boiled milk, – boiled water diluted with milk, “sour milk diluted with water; sour milk, from which butter is separated, churning", – homemade cheese,, – curd, homemade cheese, – sediment when melting butter, – dried curd, cheese.


The study was carried out with the financial support of the intra-university grant No. 1095 "Mongolian and Turkic languages: from Altai unity to the present time (genetic relationship and areal phenomena)"


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Chavdatovna, A. K., Trofimova, S. M., Usmanova, M. G., Ekba, Z. N., & Basangova, Z. D. (2021). Names Of Dairy Products In Turkic And Mongolian Languages. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1587-1593). European Publisher.