The word is a metathesis of Alborz, which is ultimately derived from Harā Bərəzaitī, a legendary mountain in Iranian mythology. Harā Bərəzaitī reflects Proto-Iranian *Harā Bṛzatī. *Bṛzatī is the feminine form of the adjective *bṛzant (“high”), the reconstructed ancestor of modern Kurdish barez (“high, tall”) and modern Persian برز (barz, “high, tall”). Harā may be interpreted as "watch" or "guard", from an Proto-Indo-European root *ser- (“protect”). In Middle Persian, Harā Bərəzaitī became hlbwlc (Harborz), Modern Persian البرز (Alborz), which is cognate with Elbrus.