"Curry" and its origins?

Richard Salomon rsalomon at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Wed Feb 4 20:07:50 UTC 1998

Food for thought:
As regards the question, in general, of what "curry" implies in indigenous
and English use: it caught my eye that E. Hultzsch, and others following
him, translated suupa- in Asokan rock edict 1 as "curry."  This word
occurs in
the context of Asoka's concerns about the number of animals (including
"peacock' [moraa] and "deer" [mago]) being killed for food (suupaathaaya),
so evidently
suupa- refers to meat dishes.  Does this term then perhaps correspond to
Kannada kaRi,
etc? (and was Hultzsch, who I think knew Kannada, consciously thinking of
this in his translation?).

[The terms are quoted according to the Girnar version of RE I; others are

R. Salomon

On Wed, 4 Feb 1998, Bh. Krishnamurti wrote:

> The original word is Proto-South Dravidian *kaRi 'seasoned vegetables or
> meat'. Tamil, MalayaaLam kaRi, KannaDa kaRi, KoDagu kari, TuLu kajipu (Drav
> Etymological Dictionary (Revised), entry:1391. KannaDa kaDi is not a cognate
> of these. This item was borrowed into many European languages probably
> through Portuguese and English. Its etymology can be found in the Great
> OXford English Dictionary.

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