variants or less commonly barukhzy hound
plural -es
often capitalized B
: afghan hound

Word History


borrowed from Pashto Bārakzī, plural of Bārakzai, tribe and lineage name in Afghanistan and Baluchistan, literally, "descendant of Barak"

Note: The association of the dog with the Afghan tribal name may be factitious. The book British Dogs, Their Points, Selection, and Show Preparation, by William D. Drury, 3rd edition, London and New York, 1903, contains the following (pp. 138-39): "Some six years ago we received from Major Mackenzie a most interesting contribution upon these hounds, and in that the dog is described as bold and courageous to a degree. Moreover, the writer was speaking not only of a very large number that he had kept while residing in Switzerland, but also of the hound as found in Afghanistan. Major Mackenzie thus writes: 'The sporting dog of Afghanistan, sometimes called the Cabul Dog, has been named the Barukhzy Hound from being chiefly used by the sporting sirdars of the royal Barukhzy family. It comes from Balkh, the north-eastern province of Afghanistan, where it is believed that dogs of this variety entered the ark with Noah. That it is an old variety (probably the oldest domesticated breed in existence) is proved by very ancient rock-carvings, within caves of Balkh, of dogs exactly like the Barukhzy Hound of to-day. On some of these carvings, of colossal size, are inscriptions of much later date, that were written by invaders under Alexander the Great.'" Mackenzie's "very ancient rock-carvings" are pure fantasy, as well may be any genuine association of the dogs with "the royal Barukhzy family." A similar statement, reflecting the same source, can be found in Robert Leighton, The New Book of the Dog: A Comprehensive History of British Dogs and Their Foreign Relatives, vol. 4, "Special Edition" [London, etc.: Cassell, 1911?], chapter 56, "Oriental Greyhounds," by Florence Amherst, p. 481: "A very celebrated breed in the East is the Afghan Greyhound or Barukhzy hound. The name it bears is that of the royal family of the Barukhzy. This breed is chiefly found in the neighborhood of Cabul and Balkh." Appended to the article is a photo of a dog with the caption "BARUKHZY HOUND. PROPERTY OF MAJOR MACKENZIE (1888). Photograph by T. Fall". (Regarding the multiple identifications of the dog in this photograph—depending on the source, acquired from the Shah of Persia, or traded for a pony in Persia by Major/Colonel Mackenzie—see the interesting article by Jess Ruffner-Booth at the website The odd form Barukhzy appears to be unique to Clements Markham's A General Sketch of the History of Persia (London: Longmans, 1874), from which it may have been cribbed by British dog fanciers. Note, however, the more accurate form in the following: "The various breeds of Oriental greyhounds are grouped by Mr. Lionel Jacobs, the President of the Northern India Kennel Club, into Persian, Afghan, Barakzai, Arab, Ramour, and Poligar" (Herbert Compton, The Twentieth Century Dog (Sporting) Compiled from the Contributions of Over Five Hundred Experts, vol. 2, London: Grant Richards, 1904, p. 445).

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Dictionary Entries Near barukhzy

Cite this Entry

“Barukhzy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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