Tamil words in English

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 6 02:55:14 UTC 1998

>> On Thu, 5 Feb 1998, N. Ganesan wrote:
<<<< Some Tamil words that have entered English.

 English   Tamil

>> > orange < nAraGkaay

 I remember that the standard derivation of the word "orange" is
from Sanskrit nAraGgam i.e.
Sanskrit narangam----> Farsi naarang---->Arabic naranj....Old french
(forget what it becomes here....)---->Orange
(I think that prof Luis Gonzalez-Reimann discussed this on INDOLOGY
net 6-7 months ago)
One of the theories about the word nAraGgam in Sanskrit is that it
comes from tamizh "naru" (fragrance), but has this theory been accepted?

>> > koel < kuyil

 This is very interesting..i.e. koel (which is a bird) from kuyil...
However, the word koel is used only in Indian English and not in other
parts of the world, where it is invariably the nightingale...
The same is the case with the word "aNaikaTTu"/anicut...in fact I
read a book called the "The Thousand rarest wprds in English" some
time ago which listed "aNaikaTTu"/anicut and the Sanskrit grammatical
forms dvandva/bahuvriihi etc in English...i.e. these forms have been
accepted in English  grammar also; the word "member-secretary" is an
example of dvandva compounding. If this is true, can anybody please
tell me when this development tool place?

>> > Got these by searching Microsoft's Bookshelf.I am not a linguist..
>> > Any additions or corrections? Interested
>> > to know words of Dravidian words in English.

Among other words that I know off( i.e. from Dravidian languages other
than Tamil) the word "bandicoot" is derived from Telugu "pandikokku",
the word "bandy"( meaning a small cart, probably archiac now) is derived
from telugu baNDi/tamizh vaNDi ( not sure which language).

  I am also told that the word "pundigay" ( from Tamil paNDikai i.e.
festival) was used for religious fairs in southern India, but am not
sure if this story is true i.e. was this word ever used in English?


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