[INDOLOGY] vidūṣaka?

Jo Brill josephine.brill at gmail.com
Wed Oct 5 10:31:56 UTC 2016

Dear friends,

I have been asked whether vidūṣaka could be derived from the vidvāṁs, the
perfect participle made with kvasu – to mean something like ‘little genius’
or ‘wiseacre’ or ‘smart alec.’

It is a fun idea, and in a way more appealing than the dictionary
definition of ‘wicked person,’ ‘corrupter’ (from vi-√duṣ+ṇic+ṇvul). But, I
don’t see any Pāṇinian way, at least, to lengthen the ū in the course of
such a derivation; samprasāraṇa via 6.4.131 instead yields short u.

Can anyone shed light? Perhaps some writers or commentators in the
dramaturgical literature offer etymologies for technical terms?

Many thanks, and apologies for the naive errors I have likely made.


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