[INDOLOGY] Etymology of mukura / makura

Asko Parpola aparpola at gmail.com
Sun Apr 29 06:46:57 UTC 2018

Dear Toke,

It seems possible that Sanskrit makura- 'mirror' is a Dravidian loanword,
derived from the root *maku*l*- 'to turn round, be turned upside down,
return, turn back' (DEDR 4617), cf. Tulu maguṛu, magaṛu, magṛu 'next,
following; again, once more'; maguṛ-uttaro 'reply', and maguṛudani 'echo';
maguru muṭṭuni 'to crop up again, to oppose, counteract; Telugu maguḍa,
magiḍi 'again, anew, back, in return'.  Of course one would like to get a
better confirmation than Tamil makuram 'mirror', which can come from

On Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 11:05 AM, Toke Lindegaard Knudsen via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Hi all,
> The two Sanskrit words mukura and makura both mean ‘mirror.’ I’m trying to
> understand their etymology.
> Other meanings given in MW are ‘the stick or handle of a potter's wheel’
> and ‘a bud, blossom.’ Turner’s _A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan
> Languages_ connects the words to mukula and bakula, meaning ‘bud’ and ‘the
> tree Mimusops elengi,’ respectively. Burrow and Emeneau’s _Dravidian
> Etymological Dictionary_ (entry 4619), also connects the two words with
> Mimusops elengi.
> How did mukura and makura come to mean ‘mirror’ in Sanskrit?
> Many thanks in advance.
> All best wishes,
> Toke
> -----
> Toke Lindegaard Knudsen, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow
> Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
> University of Copenhagen
> <toke.knudsen at hum.ku.dk>
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Asko Parpola, aparpola at gmail.com

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