solution to the "kuyava' etymology

Periannan Chandrasekaran perichandra at YAHOO.COM
Mon Aug 2 23:19:51 UTC 1999

On , Palaniappa <Palaniappa at AOL.COM> wrote:

>In his communication to me, Madhav Deshpande said, "Looking at the
>so far, I believe the traditional commentators
>are merely guessing when it comes to the meaning/etymology of the name
>kuyava. .......
>In light of Deshpande's comments, with some further research, I think I
>found a solution to the "kuyava" etymology.
>Classical Tamil provides a striking parallel to the Vedic material. CT has
>homonym "kuyam". It means "community of potters" as well as the
>"harvesting/reaping sickle". "kuya" is used as the first member of
>as in "kuyakkuTi" meaning "hamlet of potters".
>. "kuyam" in the sense of
>sickle occurs in the following poem.
>"koy" meaning "to pluck (as flowers), cut, reap, shear(as hair), snip off,
>choose, select. Cognates  of "koy" in the sense of "reap/harvest" occur in
>the branches of Dravidian. Hence, it must be traced to proto-Dravidian. I
>think the VS "kuyava" in the sense of "harvest" must be derived from this.
>S. Palaniappan

I wonder if one needs to resort to "koy"...
The word "kuy" itself is employed as the root in words  which cover many
classical pursuits of craftsmanship:

pottery, cutting, perforation (of stones, beads, or to make wind
instruments), making/playing musical instruments, jewelry (perforation,
polishing etc), tailoring and so on.

This word has a strong parallel to the usage of "kal" (as in kalam for any
product of craftsmanship). Also worth considering the word Ta. "kai" for

Even though CT references for most of these can be cited, for immediate
purposes I am citing the Cologne On Line Tamil Lexicon for many words:
kuyavan2  01 potter

kuyam  1. sickle, reaping-hook, curved knife; 2. razor; 3. potter caste

kuyil 04 hole, perforation

kuyavu  car, chariot

kuyin2ar  1. those who polish and perforate gems; 2. tailors

kuyin2  02 deed, work

 playing on stringed instruments, drums, tabrets, clarionets, horns


players on stringed instruments, drums, tabrets, clarionets, horns

  man of great skill, dexterity


01 1. to tell, say, utter; to lay down, as rules
02 1. to make, construct, form perform; 2. to enchase, set, as gems

02 1. to make, execute, shape, construct; 2. to weave;
3. to plait, braid, intwine; 4. to bore, perforate,
tunne; 5. to enchase, set as precious stones;
1. to take place; 2. to be thick, close, crowded; 3. to sound, play


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