Thursday, 25 November 2010

paan and fern

Paan or pan is a preparation of betel leaves and other ingredients which is chewed as a stimulant. It's quite buzzy. It also stains your mouth red.

Hindi पान pān is from Sanskrit पर्ण parṇa "feather, leaf" (OED) from PIE *por-no- "that which carries a bird in flight" (possibly). From the same PIE form is English fern, so called because it has feathery fronds.

*por-no- is a suffixed o-grade form of *per- "lead, pass over".

1 comment :

Ray said...

While paan in Hindi usually refers to the betel leaf preparation, in Marathi and Konkani it just means "leaf" while also being used specifically as in Hindi.