A question about the term "Iyer"

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 15 21:33:52 UTC 1998

I would like to know as to what is the approx time period since which
the word "aiyar" has been used to refer to a Tamil speaking Smartha

  Earlier discussions by S.Palaniappan have been helpful in giving us
the etymology of "ai" related words and have proved that the word does
go back to classical Tamil..but since when has the word been
specifically used to denote a Smartha Brahmin? Likewise, does Tamil
literature ever use terms like "aiyAL" to refer to a smArta woman?

  All replies will be appreciated.


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