I recently posted a question on Linguistics:SE asking for a proper etymology of the name "Tarim" as in "Tarim Basin", as well as the name's possible connection with Tocharian (Please see the description of that question).

I originally expected these information to be readily available from etymological database like StarLing, and I was surprised to find it extremely difficult to place a single, proper etymology of the word. After a few days of search and inquiry, I am still unable to trace the name back to a definitive origin, and the question remains unanswered. I realize that this could be in part due to the limitation of consulting with only English sources.

As a result, I decided to repost the question here on History:SE, and instead of focusing exclusively on the etymological aspects of the name, I would also like to ask for a historical overview -- when did this word begin to be associated with the river / basin, and from which language did the name originate? Additionally, I would highly appreciate if someone could provide me with relevant information concerning the word's origin and historical development from non-English sources.

Thank you.

  • Brittanica.com says in their article on the Tarim Basin tthat "The word tarim is used to designate the bank of a river that flows into a lake or that is undifferentiable from the sands of a desert." No cite in the online article though.
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 19 '19 at 22:48
  • Right, and its probably a modern, western name.
    – John Dee
    Feb 20 '19 at 0:14

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