Etymology of 'tanU'
mahadevasiva at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 12 11:02:50 EDT 1997
>As for some of the other points, there have been other words borrowed
>north India. I think 'jungle' is from Hindi. I am sure there are other
>I think there is a book which lists all the words like this. I have
Please don't get me wrong here. I am not trying to nitpick or find
fault. It is simply that I am interested in a clearer explanation of
some of these derivations and the linking of these derivations to actual
historical events. It must be remembered that mere verbal feats
can result in incorrect conclusions if not backed up by historical
facts. As an example, you have : "Napoleon" can be derived from
"Nripa-Simha"( Nripa became Napo and Simha is lion/leon). It must be
remembered that names like Nripasimha were common among ancient Indian
royalty. This theory sounds perfect until one realises that Napoleon had
nothing to do with India in his whole life and so, why would he look to
India for inspiration when he picked a name?
I would also like to point out that there were borrowings/lendings
etc in TWO DIFFERENT HISTORICAL STAGES. The first is the classical
period i.e. in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. This is the period that we
have in mind when naarangam-naaranga-naaranja is being discussed. This
is also the period that we have in mind when we discuss tukki-togai etc.
It is because of the fallacy between this historical stage and the
Spanish Moor interaction with India ( 12th century or later)I believe
that the derivation of Sp. naranja from any of the Indian languages is
not that convincing.
The second stage of borrowing of Indian words into European languages
is much later; we are talking about the 17th/18th century A.D. when the
Westerners came to India to stay, as opposed to trade. If one were to
examine the history of this period, one would discover any number of
words being borrowed into the European languages from the Indian
languages. The example of "jungle" from Hindi belongs to this period.
Likewise, I've been told that the word "loot" comes from
Hindi "lootna" and had soemthing to do with the 1857 war.(I myself
haven't confirmed this). Likewise, the word "Khidmautgaur" was borrowed
from Urdu "Khidmat". "Bungalow" also belongs to this category.
From the South Indian languages, we have "curry" ( from Tamil/Malayalam
"Kari", "Mulligtawny" soup ( from Tamil "Mizhakku taNNIr"),
"catamaran"(from Tamil),"bandicoot"( from Telugu pandi kokku) etc etc.
It is very important to keep these historical periods in mind when one
examines borrowed words from one culture onto another.
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