No other Jedi rank seems to have an equivalent 'title' - initiates are Jedi Initiates, knights and masters are Jedi Knights and Masters. Yet only the rank of Jedi Apprentice has this special word for the rank. Even the equivalent Sith term is just Apprentice (and initially Acolyte)

As such does any EU (or canon) source detail the significance / origin and or literal meaning of the word 'Padawan' (assuming that literal meaning could be something other than 'apprentice/learner' as well) used to refer to Jedi apprentices? Is there any similar non-"English" titles (even if antiquated) for any other ranks?

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    Why would anyone downvote this? It's actually a pretty good question. I'd upvote to compensate, but I'm already planning to upvote just because it's a perfectly good question. – James Sheridan Oct 28 '14 at 10:29
  • I think it's a good question. When I first saw this film, I assumed there were plenty of titles besides Knight for Jedi. Maybe Jedi: Ambassador, Enforcer, Researcher, Mentor, Crafter. But no, all they mentioned in the movies was Padawan, Knight and Master. – Mikey Mouse Oct 28 '14 at 12:00
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    I've always assumed 'Padawan' was older than a youngling, but not yet apprenticed to a Master. Thus, Masters refer to their apprentices as 'Padawan' the way a college coach may refer to a player as 'kid.' – Michael Itzoe Oct 28 '14 at 13:47
  • Out of universe, the only etymology I can find for the word is the Padawan municipality in Malaysia. Quoth Wikipedia, "There is a story of a Bidayuh village elder named Kinyau stayed in an area named Sibanyai 900 years ago. One day, he discovered white beads which has mystical healing power and they called it Birawan. These beads can also bring peace, prosperity, and tranquility to the area. The village elder has an eldest son named Padja. Therefore, the village elder decided to rename the area as "Padawan" in memory of his son and the mystical beads." – Brian S Oct 28 '14 at 14:04
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    @DVK: Oh, I know the feeling. I have an answer with 100 upvotes, but 2 downvotes. What sort of miserable tool downvotes an answer with 100 upvotes? I've seen it on plenty of other questions and answers as well, but that's especially annoying to me as 100 upvotes is a pretty big milestone. Shisa here has 11 upvotes as of my typing, of which I gave the first. Which means two people came along and downvoted a very good question, which no one has successfully answered in 22 hours, just because they're annoyed that they can't come up with a question this interesting. – James Sheridan Oct 29 '14 at 3:25

The terms for Apprentice and Padawan are interchangeable.

In Episode 2, Master Kenobi often refers to Anakin as 'my very young apprentice' when he's chiding him for a decision he's made. He also uses the term 'padawan' for Anakin at a couple of points.

See article here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Padawan

A Padawan, Padawan learner, Jedi Apprentice in Basic, or Jedi in Training, referred to a Force-sensitive adolescent who had begun one-on-one instruction with a Jedi Knight or Master outside of the Jedi academy. Having passed the Initiate Trials and ascended in rank from an Initiate, Padawans were given more responsibilities within the Jedi Order but were subject to the demands of their masters.

We can also see the definition for padawan here, from:http://www.definitions.net/definition/padawan

Origin: Coined by George Lucas for the Star Wars franchise. Sometimes said to have been derived from Sanskrit, or from Padawan, a region of Malaysia.

From what I saw during research for this, there is no in-universe explanation for the origins of the term. Before episodes 1,2, and 3 Apprentice was just used to describe a Jedi learner, but in the newer episodes the terms are interchangeable. Lucas didn't really make a backstory for why this is the term in-universe from the looks of things.

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  • This explains the out-of-universe etymology, but the question is looking for the in-universe etymology. – Null Oct 31 '14 at 15:21
  • From what I found researching, and what the 2nd link explains it's just a term. I don't think the origins of it in-universe have been explained, as far as I know. – Ryguy Oct 31 '14 at 15:22
  • Then the answer should be that there is no in-universe explanation as far as we know. I don't see that anywhere in your answer. The fact that the word was invented by George Lucas doesn't mean it lacks an in-universe etymology. – Null Oct 31 '14 at 15:29

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