Change in Word Meanings

Mon Apr 21 21:48:01 UTC 1997

      Change in Word Meanings

Some tamil words have acquired almost opposite meanings
over time. Examples:

1) n^ARRam - originally good smell, but now it signifies bad odour.
When Andal sings "karuppUram n^ARumO? kamalappU n^ARumO?",
the pleasant smell of lotus, camphor are referred.

2) mANTa - originally lofty (related to mANpu), 
but now it is "dead/destroyed"

"maaNTa en manaiviyoTu" - puRam song by picirAnthaiyAr.

"uram mANTa thamizhar" - has double meanings.

3) kuppai - Originally, it seems to mean "heap/kuviyal" only.
There is a village by name, neRkuppai (heaps of paddy).
But now it means dirt/garbage.

4) iRantha - originally, crossing, ending etc.,
In sangam poetry, "neTunjcuram iRanthAn" meant
crossing a large tract of wasteland.

5) kazhakam - originally, a gambling place.
Now, thamizhk kazhakam - tamil society etc.,

Can you please add some more Tamil words like this?
Any examples from Sanskrit?
N. Ganesan

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