What is in a name?

Business in Control is a business name owned by Bardak Ventures Pty Ltd my family company formed in 1982.  People often ask about the strange name “Bardak” so …

Where did the name Bardak come from ….. ?

The first Bardak company was established sometime in 1980 using a shelf company structure. Shelf companies are empty companies all set up and ready to go. Hence you buy them “off the shelf”. The lawyers who set up these empty companies needed to give them names and instead of no. 1 company, no. 2 company etc.. decided to choose names from a series of fantasy books known as: “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”. These books have many characters and therefore many names.

The name Bardak comes from one of these characters who was called Baradakas. Bardadakas was a powerful god, who stood on the mountain delivering power to the people. This is as I recall it. Anyway, the story is that we (my husband and I) decided to keep the name as we liked the idea of Baradakas. After all our new venture at the time was operating in the power industry.

The following list has been extracted from various web sources and shows that the word we coined for the company is in fact a real word with a long history in other languages. However, those words have nothing to do with our Australian company, but it is interesting, nevertheless to be aware of the other meanings.

In Hebrew “bardak” means a hopeless tangle — of circumstance, things and/or incompetence. (Hardly appropriate for a serious business venture!)

There is also a word in Hungarian I believe, that means the cooking pot that hangs over the fire in a fire place.

Bardak means something like “glass” in Turkish, and it was loaned into Russian with that same meaning. However, in Russian its meaning later changed to that of “brothel”. (That seems like a strange shift). Colloquially it has adopted the meaning of “mess” or “disorder”. This is the meaning that was borrowed into Hebrew. In Azerbaijani, a Turkic language, a prostitute is called a bardak.

Another explanation: Russian bardak has nothing to do with the Turkish one. In Russian this word has two senses:

  1. Bardak – colloq. diminutive from Russian < bordel = brothel.
  2. Bardak – a mess. A bardak is a soldier’s haversack. < French barda < Arab bardah = saddle sack.

The sense of a mess is because in a sack, all things contained therein are usually in a mess. The two homonyms (bardak) might influnce each to other because in the brothel it is also a mess, more or less… Whether there is any connection between Arab bardah and Turkish bardak – is another question, but it has nothing to do with the modern Hebrew word. The word bardak is indeed Turkic. Bart, in 11th century, meant a water pot.

From a Russian translation dictionary, there are two meanings. 1. Brothel. 2. Figuratively means disorder, mess, chaos. Historically the word describes a large earthenware vessel with big openings. The figurative meaning is more commonly used.

Bardak Siah Palace was the name of an ancient Persian king’s palace situated near township of Dashtestan in the northern part of Bushehr, a Province of Iran. In 2005, archaeologists discovered a fragmentary sculpture featuring the head of Darius the Great (r. 521 BC- 485 BC) and a servant carrying an umbrella behind him. It was unearthed at the Persian king’s palace, known as the Bardak Siah Palace, which was discovered in 1977. An inscription was also recovered, with handwriting in Neo-Babylonian language.

So there you have it. The “Bardak” in Bardak Ventures Pty Ltd is in no way related to any meaning of the word “Bardak” coming from languages other than English. It is simply a made up word that the founders of the company liked and kept.