"Curry" and its origins?

Geeta Bharathan geeta at LIFE.BIO.SUNYSB.EDU
Thu Feb 5 17:16:24 UTC 1998

On Wed, 4 Feb 1998, Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan wrote:

> miLaku occurs in Classical Tamil. "kaRi" in CT also refers to biting as well
> as the pepper plant/pepper. The word "miriyal" is also used in CT for pepper.
> kuzampu must have been of very ancient usage. According to Burrow and
> Southworth, Vedic karambha is said to be derived from kuzampu.

Does the difference in consistency/coninuity of usage imply anything about
which word was the "original" one for pepper? I find it fascinating that
miLaku should still be in use as the word for pepper, while connotations
for kaRi should have been so variable over time (not to speak of its
mutation into curry powder, etc in modern times and in other languages).


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