For many years the exact meaning of the Old Persian (OP) word dahyu-/dahyāu- and its Avestan (Av.) equivalent dax́iiu-, daŋ́hu- has been disputed between two opinions: a. 'territorial connotation', b. 'ethnic connotation', generally: 'land' or 'people'. The same word, in the form dayāuš, has also been attested in the Achaemenid Elamite (AE) texts as an Iranian loanword and consequently the notion of the word has been influenced by how OP dahyu- is interpreted.
In this paper, through AE linguistics and texts, it will be shown that AE dayāuš has fundamentally an 'ethnic connotation' and could generally mean 'people', regardless of the fact that we accept, in addition to the 'territorial connotation', the same connotation for its Iranian origin, as well as Av. and OP equivalents.