Req: "dirty" words in Sanskrit

HFArnold at HFArnold at
Sat Nov 2 02:43:09 UTC 1996

     Now here's an interesting thread!
     One way to start researching this would be to flip through Whitney's
Sanskrit Roots, looking for those that are glossed in Latin, rather than in
English. The two that leap to mind are yabh, 'futuere,' and had, 'cacare.'
This approach may also broaden your Latin vocabulary in interesting and
unexpected ways.
     It won't, however, tell you what words Sanskrit speakers considered
"dirty," just what Victorian indologists did. The standard practice, until
quite recently, was to translate all "dirty" words and passages into Latin,
apparently on the theory that only real scholars could read Latin, and they,
of course, would not have a prurient interest in Sanskrit texts. I have one
German translation of the Kama Sutra in which all the good parts are in
Latin. Even this practice was not enough for Keith, who simply declared some
of the passages of the Taittiriya Samhita concerning the horse sacrifice

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