The Restless Gemini

Έν οίδα ότι ουδέν οίδα --- Hen oida hoti ouden oida

October 25, 2005

Word Wise - 1

I have always been fascinated with knowing the origin of words in the few languages that I know(or understand). Of particular interest is the origin of words in English. The study of origin of words is known as Etymology. I will keep recording the origin of words that I have come across in my subsequent blogs. To start of let me record a few English words which have its origin in Indian languages.

1. Mulligatawny = 'Milagu' + 'Thanneer' meaning 'Pepper Water'in Tamil. So the next time you go to a Star Hotel in India or abroad and sip your favourite Mulligatawny soup out of a Silver spoon, remember that the origin of the word is rather humble.

2. Shampoo has its origin in the Hindi word 'Chumpy' meaning Head Massage.

3. Bandicoot = 'Pandi' + 'Kokku' literally meaning 'Pig Rat'in Telugu.

4. Juggernaut - The literal English meaning of the word is something which destroys ruthlessly anything on its path. The origin of this word is rather interesting.

Juggernaut = 'Jagan' + 'Natha' meaning 'Lord of the World' in Sanskrit.

In Puri, Orissa, a state of India an idol of the Hindu god Vishnu is dragged in a procession on a huge car. Fanatic devotees are said to have thrown themselves under the wheels of the car.

Thus, in English, the meaning takes on a figurative association, referring to a belief or institution to which one is ruthlessly sacrificed or by which one is ruthlessly destroyed.

4 Comments:

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