H-ASIA: Term for opium query (fwd)

Carolyn Brown carolyn-b-brown at uiowa.edu
Thu May 16 13:56:40 EDT 1996


>Colleagues:
>
>I forward herewith a query to H-ASIA which I think might also find
>responses on the Indology list.
>
>Frank Conlon
>
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>                                H-ASIA
>                             May 15, 1996
>
>Query on term for opium
>****************************************************************************
>From: Richard Barz <Richard.Barz at anu.edu.au>
>
>I have an etymological problem that I need help with.  There is a Hindi
>word, chandukhana (caNDuukhaanaa), which means "a place where opium is
>used", the word chandu (the suffix "khana" means 'house') has no likely
>Hindi root.  Since one Hindi-English dictionary defines chandu as "a mixed
>preparation of opium (of Chinese type) for smoking", could chandu be a
>borrowing from Chinese?  Does anyone know of such a word with the meaning
>of opium or some type of opium?
>
>
>Richard Barz
>Australian National University
><Richard.Barz at anu.edu.au>
>===========================================================================
You might want to explore other Indian languages before assuming that
chandu must be a borrowing from Chinese (a quick but inexpert dictionary
search suggests it isn't). Although this doesn't in itself get you nearer
to determining the etymologtical root, in Bengali chantu (caNtu) is an
intoxicating preparation made from opium; opium itself is called aphim
(aaphim).

Carolyn Brown
International Writing Program
University of Iowa






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