u.s.tra-dhuumaka (was: Skt vocabulary for: Hail)

Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EAST.UIO.NO
Thu Jan 20 17:07:14 UTC 2000

Stephen Hodge wrote:
>To me, the word image "camel smoke" suggests clouds of noxious insects
>billowing around animals like camels.   Could some kind of biting fly
>be intended -- in my younger days I was bitten many times by
>horse-flies and clegs and these are extremely painful and usually
>result in a badly infected wound.
I remember horse-flies and clegs very well - but they are not active at
night and their bite would hardly provoke cold sweat (if I interpreted
Vagbhata's verse correctly). I agree that the word "camel smoke" suggests
your interpretation, but then Vagbhata cannot be right identifying them
with "raatricaaraa ca raatrika.h". See also Turner CDIAL s.v. rAtrika,
where some modern derivation meaning "mosquito" is mentioned (I do not have
the book at hand right now). Mosquitoes are active at night indeed. How
trustworthy is Vagbhata in these matters, Dominik?

Best wishes


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