Tuesday, 26 February 2008

some words of Dravidian origin

bandicoot: Telugu పందికొక్కు pandikokku literally "pig-rat"

betel from Portuguese, from Malayalam വെട്ടില (?) veṭṭila from വെറു veṟu "simple" + ഇല ila "leaf"

brilliant and beryl: Perhaps from Pali veḷuriya "precious stone, lapis lazuli", perhaps from a Dravidian source akin to Tamil விளர் viḷar "To become pale; to whiten", வெளிறு veḷiṟu "whiteness" (AHD)

candy: "probably from Dravidian" (AHD) - compare Tamil ௧ண்டு kaṇṭu "1. clod, lump; 2. wen; 3. bead or something like a pendent in an ornament for the neck"

catamaran: Tamil கட்டுமரம் kaṭṭumaram from கட்டு kaṭṭu "to tie" plus மரம் maram "tree; wood"

cheroot: Tamil சுருட்டு curuṭṭu "To roll up, coil, curl, fold, twist" from சுரி curi "To be spiral, as conch; to whirl round, eddy, as water" (AHD)

coir: Malayalam കയറു kayaṟu "coir, rope, cord"

congee: Tamil கஞ்சி kañci "rice-water" (OED)

corundum: Tamil குருந்தம் kuruntam

cot: Hindi खाट khāṭ "bedstead" from Sanskrit खद्वा khadvā from Tamil கட்டு kaṭṭu "to tie, bind, fasten" (AHD)

curry: Tamil கறி kaṟi "eating by biting"

ginger: from Middle Indic (akin to Pali singivera) from Dravidian - compare Tamil இஞ்சி iñci "ginger plant" and வேர் vēr "root".

jute: Bengali jhuṭo from Sanskrit जूट jūṭ "twisted hair (of ascetics and Shiva)", probably of Dravidian origin - compare Proto-Dravidian *ǯuṭ- "tuft of hair"

mango: Malay manga, from Tamil மாங்காய் māṅkāy, from மா "mango" plus காய் kāy "unripe fruit"

mattar from Hindi मटर maṭar "pea", from Tamil மட்டை maṭṭai "inferior person or thing" (OED) (This dictionary has "a stupid fellow")

mongoose: Marathi मुंगूस muṅgūs "Bengal mongoose", of Dravidian origin - compare Tamil மூங்கா mūṅkā "A species of mongoose", Telugu ముంగిస muṃgisa, Proto-Dravidian *muŋ- "mongoose" (AHD)

mulligatawny: Tamil மிளகுத்தண்ணீர் miḷakuttaṇṇīr "Mulligatawny, a soup highly seasoned with pepper", from மிளகு miḷaku "black pepper" plus தண்ணீர் taṇṇīr "cold fresh water"

orange: Sanskrit नारङ्ग nāraṅga "orange tree", possibly of Dravidian origin

paratha: perhaps of Dravidian origin; cf Tamil பரத்து parattu- "to spread" (OED)

pariah: Tamil பறையன் paṟaiyaṉ "a caste" from பறை paṟai "Drum; The Paṟaiya caste, as drum-beaters"

patchouli probably from Deccan pacolī; the first part of the word is probably from Dravidian; cf Tamil பச்சை paccai "fragrant plant" (OED)

Rom, Romani: Romani rom "man", probably from Sanskrit डोम्ब ḍomba "lower-caste person", probably from Dravidian, compare Kannada ಡೊಮ್ಬ ḍomba "caste of acrobats, jugglers, clowns", Tamil டொம்பரவர் ṭomparavar, தொம்பர் tompar "A wandering tribe of singers and rope-dancers"

tank: Gujarati tānkh "cistern" (altho most dictionaries have ટાંકી ṭāṅkī) from Sanskrit तडग taḍaga "pond", "perhaps of Dravidian origin" (AHD) - compare Tamil தடாதம் taṭākam "pond, pool, tank" (Cologne), தட்டம் taṭṭam "tank, pond", Telugu తటాకము taṭākamu "A tank, reservoir, pond, pool"

teak: Malayalam തേക്കു tēkku "the teak tree"

3 comments :

Jon Boy said...

Huh. I'm kind of surprised by "candy." I'm not sure where I thought it came from before, but I don't think I ever would've guessed Dravidian.

goofy said...

"candy" gets a lot of mention online as being from Arabic, Persian or Sanskrit. The OED says "of Indian origin, cf. Skr. khanda ‘piece’". The AHD says goes even further to "probably from Dravidian".

Glen Gordon said...

Hahaha, cool: "The OED says "of Indian origin, cf. Skr. khanda ‘piece’". The AHD says goes even further to "probably from Dravidian".

So this then begs the question: What stranger did Proto-Dravidian get its candy from? ;)