a can of worms

Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at unice.fr
Mon Jun 16 06:41:25 UTC 1997

At 3:15 +0200 16/06/97, S Krishna wrote:
>P.S: It would be interesting to see if the word "worm" as in
>"You opened up a can of worms" has anything to do with the Indian
>family name "Varma/Verma"? Verma=Werma=Worma=Worms, howzzat?;-),;-)

	The eurindian names of the worm are apparently from three distinct
roots (perhaps related ?):
	- Indo-iranian, Baltic and Celtish:
	*kvRmi- > skr. 'kRmi-', lit. 'kirmis', irl. 'cruim', welsh 'pryf'
and fr. 'kermes' (name of the oak's worm who give the red colour
'vermillon' < lat. 'vermiculum') < esp. 'alkermes' < arabo-persian
'al-girmiz'), fr. 'cramoisi' (red colour, id.).
	- Germanic, Latin, Greek:
	*wRmi- > got. 'waurms', old eng. 'wyrm', eng. 'worm', germ. 'Wurm',
lat. 'vermis', fr. 'ver', 'vermine', gr. 'rhomos' (wood worm).
	*wel(mi)- > 'helmis', gen. 'helminthos' (parasite worm), 'eulai'

	So, it's more probable Varma is coming from one of the two roots vR-.
	It's a name for kSatriyas ?


Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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