Etymology of puujaa

Fri Oct 13 15:36:52 UTC 1995

While we are discussing possible -- and theoretical -- etymologies of
"puuja" in Tamil, it may be of interest to note a widespread folk
etymology of the term I found in the Tirunelvelli and Madurai Districts
of Tamilnadu. Priests frequently insisted that the word comes from a
compound of the Tamil terms "puu" (flower) and "cey" (to do or make).
Doing puja, they insisted, derives from worship that involved an offering
of flowers. My own disclaimer is that I never ceased to be amazed by
the creative etymologies that Tamil chauvinism managed to find. The
orange, for example, was regarded as originally a Tamil word, describing
the "six" or "five"  ("aaru" or "ainju) sections of that fruit.
So, beware..;a<OY|0

					W. Harman
					DePauw University

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list