Derivation of word "Hindu"

Jakub Cejka Visitor-Sanskrit jakub at
Mon Jun 16 22:45:09 UTC 1997

My goodness, this is supposed to be a scholarly list, am I wrong. Before
starting the so much popular attempts of etymologizing "hindu" from
Sanskrit (it was even at the Bangalore conference!) as you don't like the
idea it would be from persian, or as you find it improbable, first check,
the rules of phonetic change for Avestan for example show you clearly,
that the word Sindhu if an ancient Iranian was to pronounce it, had to
become Hindu.  (initial s- > h-  and loss of aspiration). So at least you
are bound to admit that there was a word Hindu in usage among the ancient
Persians (as they were of course not ignorant of the river named Sindhu in

Jakub Cejka
Dept. of Sanskrit, University of Pune
Ganeshkhind, Pune, India  411 007

e-mail:  jakub at  
(valid till June 97 approx.) 

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list