Query on the term *mistri*

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Sat Feb 28 17:24:06 UTC 1998

On Thu, 26 Feb 1998, S Krishna wrote:

> The word is most certainly from English...the English word "master"
> becamed transformed into "mEstrI"..We have this on the word of
> Dr M.V.Raja Ramanna( the nuclear physicist) who discusses this while

Um, this examplifies quite neatly just how useless a background in nuclear
physics is in a question concerning historical lexicography and philology.
As has already been pointed out, the linguistic evidence points to the
word having entered Indian languages from Portuguese.

Words don't just "transform" from one thing into another.  There are
phonological laws involved, and not everything is possible (including
"master > mEstrI").

All the best,

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