Etymology of 'tanU'

S Krishna mahadevasiva at
Sat Jul 12 15:02:50 UTC 1997

S.Palaniappan writes:
>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 
wo    --------------------------------
>I think there is a book which lists all the words like this. I have 
>the title.

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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