rook as name of the chess piece
mzamon
I have found it as a persian word but not its persian meaning?
There seems to be no connection to the common use of rook as a crow type bird
Thanks!
AdSumADS
It's in the piece's capacity to fly a great many spaces until obstructed, in a striaght-line (as-the-crow-flies), as, figuratively speaking, birds do, that the reconciliation is made.
AtoZ
Taken from www.takeourword.com/Issue009.html on the origin of Elephant and Castle as a pub name.
"The pub has a splendid old inn-sign showing an elephant equipped for battle with a castellated howdah on its back, rather like a castle from an old chess-set. Speaking of which, have you ever wondered why, in chess, a castle is often called a rook? Well, first, chess originated in India and came to us via Persia and the Middle East. The game was essentially a battle in miniature with the castle representing a war-elephant. The next part of the story involves, incredibly, a gigantic legendary bird called the rukh or simurgh. The illustrators of medieval Persian manuscripts produced magnificent works of art but they were unfamiliar with perspective. Thus, in order to show the vast size of the rukh within the scope of a miniature illustration, they routinely showed the bird holding an elephant between its claws. As chess-playing spread westwards, people who had never seen an elephant recognized one of the pieces as the animal held by the rukh. So they called it a rook."
AtoZ
On the other hand, maybe there's a little folk etymology going on in the above.

http://misc.traveller.com/chess/trivia/a.html
gives the following:

"The first references of chess in Arabic occur in 720 in romantic poems by Kutaiyira Azzata and al-Farazdaq. The Arabicized name of the Persian Chatrang became shatranj. The pieces were called Shah (king), Firz (minister or queen), Fil (elephant or bishop), Faras (horse), Rukh (chariot or boat), and Baidaq (foot-soldier)."

Frank Pierce
On Elephant and Castle, I'd heard a different, or perhaps even earlier origin:

L'Enfante d'Castile or in effect, a Spanish Princess (a reference to Henry VIII's first wife??). Garbled enough in English, it became Elephant and Castle.

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