Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EAST.UIO.NO
Wed Mar 15 13:40:52 UTC 2000

Ruth Schmidt wrote:

>Does someone have an etymology for Hindi-urdu mushTanDa ( ~ musTanDa),
>'sturdy, robust'? McGregor gives musTanDa with no etymology; Platts gives
>mushTanDa tracing it back to Skt. muZTi, 'fist'. Turner, the usual arbiter
>of such matters, is silent.

If nothing better turns up, I would suggest to explain the word from
Sanskrit *muSTANDa=muSTa-aNDa, "one who has been deprived of his testicles"
which means that he has become plump (a normal result of castration); from
here the meaning "sturdy, robust" might have developed.
   Compare the Bengali word pA~R, according to Turner (7717) derived from
Sanskrit paNDa, "eunuch, weakling" (the latter meaning tallies badly with
"sturdy, robust", I admit!), but having now in Bengali the meanings "huge,
ungainly, ugly, full-grown, overripe". paNDa is probably an early
development of apa-ANDa, "one whose testicles are removed", see Wezler,
ZDMG 148 (1998), p. 261-276, esp. p. 263.  muSTa-aNDa would then be a nice
parallel to apa-aNDa (or -ANDa, as Wezler suggests).
   The other meanings of the Hindi word given by McGregor, "a depraved
person" and "a lout", suggest that the word is used as an invective, which
would tally well with an original meaning "eunuch".

Best regards,

Georg v. Simson.

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