Does anyone have any insight into this? Anyone know what the word for "owl" was in older Indo-Iranian languages (Middle Persian, Old Persian, etc.)? It must not be directly derived from Sanskrit, as the Sanskrit word is 'uluka.'
I found similar-sounding words for "owl" in other languages that may have been borrowed into or from Persian:
Arabic: بومة (buma)
Armenian: բու (bu)
Georgian: ბუ (bu)
Kurdish: bu, pû
Jewish Neo-Aramaic: buma
Macedonian: буф (buf), був (buv)
Spanish: búho (from Vulgar Latin 'bufo')
It's clear that Armenian, Georgian, and Kurdish share the same word for owl, which is not unusual considering that they have a great deal of vocabulary in common. What I can't figure out is whether "bu" is related to the Persian "buf," or just coincidentally similar? I think Arabic and Jewish Neo-Aramaic can be safely ruled out as sources for the Persian word, as Persian has an additional word for owl (بوم 'bum') that was borrowed from Arabic.
I am not looking for translations of the word for "owl" into other languages, unless there's a chance that they may be related to the Persian word.