Talk:List of English words of Tamil origin

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Actually, according to the OED, “mango” probably came from Tamil word manga –it came into mainstream English usage due to Portuguese interaction (in Portuguese it's said manga too) and trading along the Indian coastline.


Similar sounding words in English and Tamil removed 03/15/06[edit]

Even though few words have similar pronounciation in English and Tamil, plum [1], one [2], and eight [3] are NOT from Tamil.

in tamil is palam - means fruit
in tamil is "ettu"
in Tamil is "onnu"

Doctor Bruno 16:27, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I removed plum [4], one [5], and eight [6] because they are NOT from Tamil. This page is now officially ridiculous because some people think every word in English is from Tamil. One and Eight? Numbers? Are ya kidding me? I suppose the ancient Germanics had overland trade relations with the Indian subcontinent, huh?--Hraefen 15:30, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree, though it's no worse than the person who keeps adding to English language his pet theory that English is a dialect of Marathi. Angr/talk 15:35, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
The english word "one" is came from the ancient tamil word "onru" and "eight" is also form "ettu". Anyone who arguing and insulting the people who are trying to predict this, can go for an etymological research. You can easily insult. But truth never dies. Tamil language is still living and has strong base. Some good researchers from britain knew about this and just look at those and then insult them. --Inbamkumar86 (talk) 07:26, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Please see the explanation :

--Inbamkumar86 (talk) 11:03, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

The word 'one' does have clear meaning. In tamil, we can easily able to explain the origin of that word. Because tamil words have a very depth base of each and every word.--Inbamkumar86 (talk) 11:07, 23 June 2012 (UTC)


The difference between cash as coins and cash as paper currency is certainly a subtle one—I, and I suspect most other native speakers, do not distinguish between the two. The idea that cash was derived separately from both Tamil and Latin is a boggling one. I can certainly see how each influenced the other towards cash, but this is not the impression I get from the article.

The word cash that comes from Tamil is not just a generic word for coins, but only a name for particular kinds of coins used in China and south India. I imagine it is a rare word that is only used in very specific contexts, like by historians, numismatists, and people who live in those areas and speak English. I have never encountered it outside of my research for this page. All the other more common meanings of cash, to refer to money, whether paper only or money in general, stem from the Latin capsa and have nothing to do with Tamil. Only the particular coins from China and south India that are called cash come from the Tamil word. It is similar to the word doubloon in that it only refers to particular kinds of coins. I tried to clarify this with my previous edits but I fear it is still not clear. Maybe someone else can give it a try. Nohat 10:20, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Ahh, ok. I'm not a linguist of any sort and don't understand the history behind any of this, but was cash originally derived from Latin and was later used only in a restricted sense in areas where Tamil was prevalent? I can certainly see early English speakers (be they foreigners or natives trained elsewhere) simply limiting their usage of cash to fit with the Tamil meaning. Is this closer to the truth?
Thanks, by the way, for clearing this up—fascinating stuff, all of it! --Milkmandan 17:47, 2005 Jan 3 (UTC)

Instead of having the explanation that 'cash' is ultimately from Latin, I think the word should simply be removed. Words take on different meanings in different parts of the world, but that doesn't change the word's lineage.--Hraefen 19:35, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

The entry is confusing. There are two words "cash" in English with separate origins. One of them is the familiar word "cash" meaning paper money or money in general. This word's origin is in Latin. There is, however, a rarely used word "cash" which means these paticular coins, which does in fact appear to derive from Tamil. That is why the entry remains. I'm not sure how to better clarify the situation. Nohat 07:27, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


in tamil is palam - means fruit

Yes.. it means fruit.--Inbamkumar86 (talk) 11:07, 23 June 2012 (UTC)


I removed 'cashew' because all sources I've been consulting say that it's from Portuguese from a South American language (probably Tupi) [7] and no source has been cited to contradict this. Feel free to try and find one.--Hraefen 19:18, 31 December 2005 (UTC)


American Heritage says that 'teak' is from Malayalam [8], a Dravidian language related to Tamil. Can anyone provide a reference that it is from Tamil?--Hraefen 19:35, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

The Oxford English Dictionary agrees: The word teak is an adoption of the Portuguese word teca, which in turn is explicitly an adoption of the Malayalam word tekku. The word should be removed from this list. Nohat 07:48, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
If teak is from Malayalam, then it should be either from Tamil or Sanskrit. At present the word is used in Tamil. Hence it is certain that the "root" of the word is tamil only and we can safely add to the list.Doctor Bruno
  • Again, you're misrepresenting the nature of Malayalam and I think it's out of some intense desire to have Tamil be the root of these words... evidence to the contrary be damned! The fact that no documents exist in Tamil-Malayalam is far from proof that this language never existed. Proto-Germanic has no documents either and it is known to be the source of all moderen Germanic languages. You need to put this cultural pride aside (if that is indeed where your distaste for accepted scholarship is stemming from) and accept the fact that Malayalam did not come from Tamil but that Tamil and Malayalam both come from the same source. I'm sure you're smart in your own areas Dr. but you're kind of out of your depth here.--Hraefen 18:11, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
What about the simple fact that documents existed in tamil for over 20 centuries. And there is no literature in a hypothetical language you claim. So you have to go by what you have in your hand and not simple imaginary languages.Doctor Bruno 09:04, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Let me tell more clearly.

1. I say that Malayalam came from Tamil and Sanskrit some 10 centuries ago. Proof for this (a) Malayalam words are either from Tamil or Sanskrit (b) No malayalam literature before 10 Centuries (c) we have tamil literature for more than 20 centuries 2. You say Malayalam and Tamil came from one imaginary Malayalam-Tamil. The reasons I give that your contention is wrong (a) If there was such a language, then we should have literature in that language 10 centuries ago. But we don't have any such proof. One the other hand, what we have is documents and temple inscriptions in Tamil for more than 20 centuries. That means we had Tamil for more than 20 centuries. So may be you can consider like this. Tamil(M-T) is the source of Tamil as well as Malayalam.

What we say is that Tamil is the source of Malayalam Doctor Bruno 09:04, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Again...lack of written documents in a language offers zero proof of non-existence of proto-languages. A claim like that is equivalent to claiming that people never spoke before they developed a writing system. In your last two sentences, when you say "So may be you can consider like this. Tamil(M-T) is the source of Tamil as well as Malayalam," then I think maybe you're understanding the idea of Tamil-Malayalam and the concept of a proto-language.--Hraefen 17:56, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes Yes Yes.. My claim is that T-M is essentially Tamil Only. You do not understand (or pretend to be not understanding). There is no document in T-M, but there ARE documents in Tamil for 20 centuries. Can you please explain this with your theory Doctor Bruno 19:06, 19 January 2006 (UTC) I have already given enough proof for my theory, where as you are not giving any proof. Doctor Bruno 19:08, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
If your theory were in any way correct, then you should be able to provide a reference work that lists "Tamil" anywhere in the etymology of the word "teak". No reference work lists "Tamil" in the etymology of the word "teak", so there is no reason for it to be listed on this page. Please see Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:Cite sources. Nohat 19:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not talking about "teak" alone. I am talking about ALL words. Any word that is 'supposed to be derived' from Malayalam, is actually derived from Tamil, Sanskrit or other languages from which Malayalam has borrowed the words. THis is not limited to one word alone. The reason I give is very simple. Tamil has existed for more than 20 centuries. The inscription dated before 10 centuries in kerala and the documents pertaining to that period are in TAMIL. Malayam is a new language derived from Tamil.
Kerala was ruled by tamil kings, until the 14 century. lots of the classical literature in tamil was written in kerala. most people in kerala spoke a modified form of tamil till the 17-18 centuray what more do you whant for proof that teak came from tamil??? the is not a indo-aryan word so it could not have come from sanskrit as you say. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
How about a verifiable, reliable source that specifically says that the word teak comes from Tamil? If such a source can be provided, then I think there will be no problem citing it in the article and including the word appropriately. However, in the absense of such a source, this kind of speculation and original research is insufficient. Nohat 07:40, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
This discussion is really going around in circles. I'll try to restate the question, as I see it. Malayalam is a descendant of Tamil (and not "Proto Tamil-Malayalam" as someone suggested above), in much the same way that Afrikaans is a descendant of Dutch. If a language were to borrow a word from Afrikaans, which word was from the Dutch bit of Afrikaans, would it be correct to say that the word is ultimately of Dutch origin? I'm not sure what the answer to that is, but that is basically the position in relation to "teak": the word was borrowed by English from Portuguese, which in turn took it from Malayalam, in which it was a part of the vocabulary it inherited from Tamil. -- Arvind 10:52, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that Mr.Hraefen need to know more about tamil nadu history. It consisted of 3 major kingdoms Chera(current kerala),chola(current north tamilnadu) and pandya ( current south tamil nadu). Until 10th century keralaite people spoke tamil only and many famous tamil literature came from that area.Silappadhikaram is one best example which was written by a chera prince Ilango. The fact that Malayalam was separated from Tamil from 10th century is well known by both tamil and keralite people because of sanskrit influence by namboodhiris. Armstrong —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:11, 1 February 2011 (UTC)


American Heritage says that 'copra' is from Malayalam [9], a Dravidian language related to Tamil. Can anyone provide a reference that it is from Tamil?--Hraefen 19:35, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Malayalam itself is an offshoot from Tamil and Sanskrit. Any word that is supposed to come from Malayalam but does not have a sanskrit root is obviously from Tamil Doctor Bruno 20:08, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I think you're oversimplifying the relationship between Tamil and Malayalam, but given that there is no List of English words of Malayalam origin, this list is currently the best place to list this word (and teak). I'll add a note to this effect to these two words within the next few days if no one disagrees or has a better suggestion.--Hraefen 23:05, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
No oversimplification. Please see Malayalam It is a well known fact that Kerala was once a part of Tamil Nadu (called Chera Naadu) and the language spoken there was Tamil. Malayalam is a relatively new language that has been modified from Tamil (with few sanskrit words). So, in fact there is NO NEED For a List of English words of Malayalam origin. All you need is a List of English words of Tamil origin and List of English words of Sanskrit origin Doctor Bruno 16:49, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't claim to have any special knowledge of these languages, but I did read Malayalam language and it says that Tamil and Malayalam are distinct languages. They may be mutually intelligible and you therefore think of them as one in the same, but for reasons explained on that page, they are not considered to be two different dialects of one language. If you disagree with this assessment, then I think you should suggest that the Malayalam page be changed to reflect this. At any rate, I'll assume for the time being that you don't have a problem with me adding a note at 'teak' and 'copra' to reflect that they are from Malayalam language, because we both agree (apparently) that they are from Malayalam (and that this is the most appropriate list on Wikipedia to have these words), regardless of what Malayalam's exact relation to the Tamil language may be. Best regards.--Hraefen 17:10, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
We are adding Copra as a word of Tamil Origin in both Malayalam as well as Tamil
Tamil and Malayalam are distinct languages. There is no doubt about that. But the fact is Malayalam is an offshoot of Tamil. The entire area of Kerala (where the language is now spoken) once belonged to Tamil Nadu and was called as Chera Nadu. At that time, Tamil was the language. Malayalam was developed mainly from tamil and Sanskrit (and few words from other languages). Hence a word of malayalam origin has to be from Tamil Origin or Sanskrit Origin Doctor Bruno 18:39, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, more accurately, if you consult [10], you will see that Tamil and Malayalam are both offshots of proto-Tamil-Malayalam. Tamil and Malayalam undoubtedly share much vocabulary from their shared ancestral language, but it is inaccurate to describe the bulk of Malayalam's vocabulary as having been "borrowed" from Tamil. Both languages inherited their vocabulary from a shared ancestral language. English words borrowed from Malayalam, such as 'teak' or 'copra', are borrowed from Malayalam, and Malayalam inherited those words from proto-Tamil-Malayalam. It did not "borrow" them from Tamil. Thus, the assertion that a word of Malayalam origin "has to be from Tamil origin or Sanskrit origin" represents a misunderstanding of how language evolution works. See historical linguistics and loanword. Nohat 18:59, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The Tamil Language which was used (to write Silapathikaram and Thirukural) 20 centuries back is essentially the same language which has been used now (except for the regional slangs in spoken forms) In fact except Tamil and Sanskrit, no other Indian language has the same vocabulary and grammar structure for more than 10 decades. In case one accepts your argument that "Tamil and Malayalam are both offshots of proto-Tamil-Malayalam", it is very obvious that the hypothetical proto-T-M is nothing but Tamil. For your information, if ever there had been an language proto-t-m which is different from Tamil 10 centuries ago, there should be some book written in that language and no book written in tamil 10 centuries ago. But the literature and "kalvets" (inscriptions in stones) in Temples clearly tell that Tamil was existing a long time before malayalam came into existence. Hence the proto-t-m is nothing but tamilDoctor Bruno 17:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Tamil and Malayalam are indeed two different languages, but an argument can always be made as to whether a word originated from Tamil or Malayalam. Tamil being significantly older, I would tend to side with a Tamil origin when there is a debate, but this does not necessarily mean that there are no words in Tamil that have their origins in other Dravidian languages. Words from Telugu used in Madras Tamil are an obvious example. Cribananda 02:11, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Ginger and Rice[edit]

Could the person (Nohat?) who added the comment requesting authors not to add the words 'rice' and 'ginger' (among others) provide justification in the discussion page? Would be much appreciated. (Note that I did provide (in this page) justification for why 'ginger' /must/ be included; however, my citation seems to have been deleted) Atnadar Mar 25 2005

Because I have consulted several dictionaries and not one list Tamil as even a possible source for these words. Dictionaries that I consulted include Merriam-Webster, the Oxford English Dictionary, and the American Heritage Dictionary. As for ginger, there is evidence that it ultimately has Dravidian origin, but there is no evidence at all that it has Tamil origin. The word rice comes from Greek oryza, which Merriam-Webster says is "of Iranian origin; akin to Pashto wrize rice; akin to Sanskrit vrIhi rice", and OED says is "probably of Oriental origin." They do not say "Tamil origin". If you want to assert these words have Tamil origin by listing them on this page, you will have to show an etymology from a reputable dictionary or other listing of etymologies that says they have Tamil origin. I consulted the history of both the talk page and the article page, and there are no edits by you that contain a citation demonstrating evidence that any of these words have Tamil origin. The existence of reflexes or cognates in foreign languages is not evidence of borrowing. The Persian word for brother is something like bæradær, but that does not mean that the English word brother is of Persian origin. Nohat 08:45, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The word rice should be of Tamil Origin. I agree that the word 'Oryza' is of Greek origin. But this word should have been originated from the Tamil word 'Rice' (Rice->ryze->ryza->oryza). As of now I do not have evidence to prove this as such, but I have another similar word which has Tamil origin. A tree, called in botonical name as 'Pungamiya Glabra', is predominantly found in Tamil land and this tree is called 'Pungai' in Tamil. Eventhough there is no meaning for the word 'Glabra' in Tamil, this clearly shows the origin of this word. I will try to give the history behind the Tamil word 'Rice'.
The word 'Harvest' is also of Tamil origin. The Tamil word is 'Aruvadai'.

[User:ChandarSubramanian on sep 23, 2005 at 1510 Hrs IST].


I have created a subtopic 'List of English words CLAIMED TO BE of Tamil origin:'

So if some one feels that there is not enough evidence to add to the mainlist can be put in this list. This way we can offer an oppurtunity for further research by the interested individuals.

Mr Nohat,

It is possible that an explaination given in those printed encyclopedias/dictionaries could be inaccurate or incomplete. I feel the main plus of Wikipedia over those dictionaries is that the information can come from anyone who knows the thing.

Unfortunately, authoritative etymological information is exactly the sort of thing that amateurs are likely to have wrong, and information presented here at Wikipedia has to be verifiable using reputable publications. See Wikipedia:Verifiability. This page has a long history of being filled with completely erroneous information. I'm not entirely certain, but it seems there are some who want to promote Tamil by claiming it is the origin of many words which it is not the origin of. The only way to keep Wikipedia full of factual, verifiable information on this topic is to provide sources for any claims about Tamil origins of words. Nohat 07:55, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I gotta put in my $.02 here. I agree with Nohat that the existence of words in one language does not prove borrowing. Often it just shows that both languages borrowed the word from the same source. But I have to disagree with the statement that only 'reputable' dictionaries cdan be used. I think any book dealing with etymology is fair game, not just major American/English dictionaries, but a SOME source needs to be cited. Etymology is far from an intuitive field. And I agree that 'rice' and 'ginger' don't belong here. And 'harvest' is certainly not from Tamil.--Hraefen 20:13, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure if we should restrict ourselves to books dealing with etymology, and certainly not to dictionaries. The OED's etymological analysis, for example, is now well over a century old and the field has advanced a good bit since then. In relation to the etymology of rice, linguists in the 1920s categorically ruled out the possibility of a Tamil origin arguing, inter alia, that there was no direct contact between the South of India and the Greek-speaking world in the 4th century BC (see e.g. Jules Bloch's "Le nom du riz", printed in Etudes Asiatique, L'ecole Francaise d'extreme orient, 1925). Today, we know that there were in fact significant trade links, and several newer scholars take it for granted that the word entered Greek from Tamil (See e.g. Thorley's 1969 piece "The development of trade between the Roman Empire and the East under Augustus", printed in Greece & Rome, 16:2 at pp. 222). I'm not saying that the one is right and the other wrong, but it's not as simple as saying "Oh, etymological works don't list it so it's obviously a spurious derivation." -- Arvind 20:45, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I have found the other source that has been nagging at a corner of my mind - the Encyclopædia Britannica's article on "Dravidian languages" has this to say:
"[I]t is also very probable that Western-language terms for rice (compare Italian riso, Latin oryza, Greek oryza) and ginger (compare Italian zenzero, German Ingwer, Greek zingiberis) are cultural loans from Old Tamil, in which they are arici and iñcivēr, respectively."
Note that it is worded as a "probability" rather than a certainty, which the article should reflect. -- Arvind 23:39, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Ginger the AHD says it is from tamil[edit]

[Middle English gingivere, from Old English gingifer and from Old French gingivre, both from Medieval Latin gingiber, from Latin zingiberi, from Greek zingiberis, of Middle Indic origin (akin to Pali singiveram), from Dravidian : akin to Tamil iñci, ginger (of southeast Asian origin) + Tamil vēr, root.]

also see the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary 2nd Edition Oxford Claredon Press, Oxford 1984

Being akin to a Tamil word is not the same as being derived from a Tamil word. The word "akin" in an etymology in fact specifically means that the word is not derived from that language. Nohat 17:06, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
sir this word appears in many very old tamil literatures. as tamil has the oldest dravidian literature how could come from any other language??
this has been used unchanged from very old times. check the Official Madras univercity Lexcion, the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary.
ingi means ginger in tamil + ver means root. it has been used like that (because ginger is a root).
  • This could be true, but I for one am not satisfied until you cite a source with an ISBN that bears out your claim. We have done so, you have not.--Hraefen 16:21, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

What if the book does not have ISBN. Do you mean to say that a book is not authoritative if it does not have ISBN. Most of the Indian Books do not have ISBN. What is the ISBN of the Hebrew and Greek Bible Doctor Bruno 12:26, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Just because the oldest Dravidian literature is in Tamil does not establish anything about borrowing. Words are not borrowed from literature, but from spoken language, and there are many other Dravidian languages besides Tamil from which English and other languages have borrowed. There is no doubt that there is a Tamil word inci+ver that means "ginger" but the existence of that word does not positively establish that the English word ginger came from Tamil. You will need to demonstrate a source that establishes not only that there is a word that means "ginger" in Tamil, but that the Tamil word and not the cognate in any other Dravidian language is the word that ultimately became the word ginger in English. I don't believe there is any such evidence. Nohat 17:19, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
tamil is the oldest dravidian language. The word Inci is in common spoken usage in India & sri lanka.
here check the link from the Chennai Lexicon: [11]
No one is disputing whether the Tamil word "inci" means "ginger". That is clearly the case. The question is whether the English word "ginger" is necessarily of Tamill origin. That has not been established and the link provided above does nothing to further the case of that claim. Nohat 18:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Tamil is the OLDEST DRAVIDIAN LANGUAGE. That is the ancient Dravidian Language. It has been already established. The oldest spoken language in South India was also Tamil. Doctor Bruno 12:26, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

The age of Tamil is irrelevant. When the word that ultimately became "ginger" in English was borrowed from the Dravidian language that was its ultimate source, other Dravidian languages besides Tamil already existed. There is no firm evidence that Tamil and not any other Dravidian language was the origin of that word. Nohat 18:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
yes it is very relevant. the word inci appears first in tamil works (there was no tape recorder to record spoken languages then). since tamil is the oldest dravidian laguage it originated in tamil & not any other dravidian language. the word inci is not used to refer to ginger in other dravidian languages (in telugu it is allamu, kannada it is Shunti - the next two oldest dravidian languages etc). ithe Chennai Lexicon states the origin of all words if it was a loan word from anyother dravidian language then the Chennai Lexicon will state it clearly. i provided that link so that you see it is of tamil origin & not a loan word from any other dravidian language.
You misunderstand the difference between a borrowing relationship and a inheriting relationship. Please see Loanword#Distinction_between_borrowing_and_inheriting. Nohat 18:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Tamil is the OLDEST DRAVIDIAN LANGUAGE. from where would it inherit?? inheritence goes from top to bottom not bottom to top. then use have misunderstood tamil grammer, all words from any languages are considered loan words in with no exception. btw. no other dravidian language uses inci as meaning ginger. so what is the problem with you anyway?? ONLY TAMIL USES THIS. i'm adding it back. unless you provide proof that any other dravidian language could have provided this. Since tamil is the oldest dravidian language
No, the oldest Dravidian language is proto-Dravidian. Any conclusions that a word must be borrowed from Tamil because it is "the oldest Dravidian language" are purely speculation and original research, and not sufficient for inclusion on Wikipedia without verifiable evidence. Nohat 16:23, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Tamil is the OLDEST DRAVIDIAN LANGUAGE, there is hadly any difference between proto-Dravidian & tamil. it is like middle english & modern english both are the same language. or are you saying that middle english & modern english are different languages?? even normal people can read tamil works written over 2500 years ago.

orange is of tamil origin[edit]

  • I have moved the discussion related to orange here. We will shift this back, after giving the needed proof. Doctor Bruno 02:30, 14 December 2005 (UTC); orange : This citrus fruit has "aaru" (six) + "anju" (five) lobes..... WHen this was first introduced, our people called it as aaru + anju = aaranju - this was later named as Orange by the English. The Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe after its introduction in Italy in the 11th century, was bitter; sweet oranges were brought to Europe in the 15th century from India by Portuguese traders and quickly displaced the bitter variety, but only Mod.Gk. still seems to distinguish the bitter (nerantzi) from the sweet (portokali "Portuguese") orange. Portuguese, Spanish, Arab, and Dutch sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy. On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the seeds of oranges, lemons and citrons to Haiti and the Caribbean. Introduced in Florida (along with lemons) in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. Introduced to Hawaii 1792. Not used as the name of a color until 1542.

  • Orange < Naranj (French)< Naranja (Spanish < Naranjah (arabic) < Naranga (Sanskrit) < Narankai (Tamil) from naran (fragrance) + kai (fruit)

can i add orange now?? (unsigned comment by User:

  • What is the source for this? And why are the arrows pointing the wrong way?--Hraefen 15:09, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
sorry is the arrows pointing wrong way i did not know!. now it is corrected
orange — this word can be traced back through French une orange, Spanish naranja, Arabic nâranj, Persian nârang, and Sanskrit nâranga to the Tamil word nâru- 'to be fragrant, to sprout up'.
the source is in tamil, i not able to translate. (another unsigned comment by User:
  • The French, Spanish, Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit are agreed upon. What I'm asking is, what source (i.e. what dictionary or book) is the source that claims the further derivation to Tamil?--Hraefen 16:15, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
at the mommet this the internet link i can find.
Newspaper articles aren't very authoritative on the subject of etymologies. In all likelihood, that article's claim about the origin of orange is simply based on a misunderstand of a dictionary etymology. Nohat 17:21, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
yes you correct, Newspaper articles aren't very authoritative. but i only provided some internet source. if you can read tamil i can provide many authoritative links for you.
The problem is that works in Tamil are not likely to be authoritative about the origins of English words. The only authorities on the origins of English words are etymologies written in English. Nohat 18:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
yes thats true, but tamil works are very authoritative as where the word narangai came from. they state very clearly that it is a pure tamil word. no authoritative tamil work will state as such without proper evidence.
Well let's see it then. Please cite and quote the authoritative Tamil work that demonstrates that the English word orange is of Tamil origin. Please also include a translation of the relevant Tamil texts. If such a work exists and can be cited, then I will be perfectly happy to include the word on this list with a proper citation in the references. Nohat 18:47, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
See the works by Doctor K.Arasenthiran (World-Renowned Linguist), don of the Chennai Christian College. he proves that orange is a tamil word beyond any douth whatso ever. cant cant translate it but can you read his works.

General Discussions[edit]

Splitting OED and AHD etc.[edit]

I think that's quite unnecessary. In most cases, there's only a minor difference (such as an Anglicized spelling of the Tamil word). That can go. Cribananda 01:09, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. It provides a complete picture of the etymological scholarship on each word. Plus there were other improvements in the new version. Stop reverting. Try improving it instead. Nohat 06:10, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I disgree. You might have done a lot of work looking up all the dictionaries, but something like this

) from miḷaku black pepper (transcribed thus in OED, miḷagu in AHD, and milaku in M-W) taṇṇīr, water (transcribed thus in OED, taṇ, cool + ṇīr, water in AHD, and tanni in M-W)

is a complete waste. How does a small change in the English spelling do any help? Cribananda 06:16, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Waste of what, exactly? It provides factual, verifiable information, and more than what was there before—AHD decomposes tannir into "tan", cool and "nir", water, information that was not on the page before. Nohat 06:23, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm with nohat. It's all verifiable, it points out when there are differences between dictionaries, it gives multiple transliterations of a foreign script. What's not to like? It also has the long-term benefit of preventing reversions by people using a different dictionary. I wish all of the etymology pages were like this. But, given how User:Alexander 007 is making a big push to move all etymology pages to wiktionary, this could be, but hopefully is not, wasted time.--Hraefen 16:42, 14 January 2006 (UTC)


90 % of Indian books DO NOTY HAVE ISBN. Books published some 20 years ago do not have ISBN. If you say that "The Hindu" is not authoritative, what do you consider as authoritative. How are you sure that the book you cite has not been based on another imaginary work. Remember that there is a world outsidce you. Doctor Bruno 12:21, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

The Hindu is probably authoritate about news items, but I don't consider journalists to be very credible authorities on the question of word origins. For that we need to trust dictionaries, etymologists, and other linguists. Not newspaper articles. Nohat 18:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
he is very reknowned author, he does not deal in imaginary works. btw is it a crime not to have ISBN numbers??. many tamil books use the term Narangai. it is used very commonly in sri lanka.
No one is disputing that there is a word in Tamil for "orange" that is similar to the English word "orange". What is in dispute is whether the Tamil word is in fact the origin of the English word. No English dictionary is willing to make that claim, and at most are willing to say that the word is of Dravidian origin. The reason for this is because there is insufficient evidence to establish that the word "orange" is necessarily of Tamil origin and not originating from some other Dravidian language. Nohat 18:38, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Can you prove that the word orange is from ANOTHER DRAVIDIAN Language. I have given the etymology of the word 6+5 = 11 lobes of the fruit. Doctor Bruno 16:29, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
the word first appears in tamil works, seen tamil is oldest dravidian language it comes from tamil. just check the chennai univertsity tamil lexicon please.

I think the orange origin is extremely suspect. I thought the origin was from "a norange" or "une norenge" (French) and the n was subsequently dropped... Very interesting etymology here, nevertheless. Any sources? Cribananda 18:29, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I have two sources that say < Sanskrit, posssibly from Dravidian (Tamil is Dravidian). Putting it in Tamil is guesswork as far as I'm concerned (unless someone does indeed have a source for this). Otherwise, it should be cross-listed with Sanskrit with notes at both.--Hraefen 18:38, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree. In any case (even if the origin is in fact, from a Dravidian language), "aaru and anju" to give orange is a bit much, though I do find it very appealing being a native speaker of Tamil :) Cribananda 18:45, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

who said orange comes from "aaru and anju". orange comes like this
  • Orange < Naranj (French)< Naranja (Spanish < Naranjah (arabic) < Naranga (Sanskrit) < Narangai (Tamil) from naran (fragrance) + gai (fruit)

Question to Nohat[edit]

1. How do you say that Hindu is not authoritative, where as the dictionary you refer is authoritative. It could be well possible the the compiler of your book did not have enough knowledge at that time. Is it wrong to add a fact

Because The Hindu is a newspaper. Newspapers are not authoritative sources on the origins of words. The people who write for newspapers are not trained etymologists and the particular article in question makes no explanation about the source or authenticity of the claim that the word "orange" is of Tamil origin. It simply asserts it. When weighing between a newspaper article and a dictionary on matters of etymology, the dictionary wins every time because it is a much more credible source. If we are to believe a newspaper article which makes any claims about word origins, it had better provide some kind of evidence.

2. Why do you keep on asking about ISBN numbers. Most Indian Books do not have ISBN number. That does not mean that they are not authoritative

This question is dumb. I have never asked about ISBN numbers. Please look more carefully next time before you accuse me of something I am not guilty of.

3. What is the ISBN number of Bible.

ISBN 0834003503

Is this the ISBN of the book that Mark and Luke wrote in Sheep Skin.

4. Even western books say that Orange is of Dravidian Origin. And it is not from other dravidian languages. ANd we have ample proof to say that it is from Tamil. How are you sure (or not sure )that the person who compiled thought that Tamil was a Dravidian Languages

There is no doubt that "orange" is of Dravidian origin. There is, however, a great deal of doubt that "orange" is of Tamil origin. If there were no doubt, then the dictionaries would say that it's of Tamil origin. But they do not—they say it is of Dravidian origin, and that it is akin to the Tamil word. Use of the word "akin" is a dictionary etymology is a very strong hint that there is insufficient etymological evidence to say that the word has origin in a specific language, but only that it was probably borrowed from a language in that family. Any arguments about how that language must be Tamil because Tamil is the oldest/most important/etc. Dravidian language are purely speculation and original research of the sort that is insufficient on Wikipedia.

Orange is of Dravidian Origin. But the word is not found in other dravidian languages. What more proof do you need. Should you have a category of "Words derived from a dravidian language"

5. What is your level of knowledge regarding Dravidian Languages.

My level of knowledge regarding Dravidian languages is 11.

Sorry. What is this.

A stupid answer to a stupid question. Nohat 04:52, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

6. You say "The problem is that works in Tamil are not likely to be authoritative about the origins of English words" ..... But they are authenticative as for as words derived from tamil are concerned. "The only authorities on the origins of English words are etymologies written in English." Why should we accept this sentence. Just because your knowledge and resources are limited, should a work suffer

I am sure that works written in Tamil are entirely correct about Tamil, but this article is not about Tamil words. This article is about English words that have a Tamil origin. As yet, there has been no authoritative work presented that firmly establishes the word "orange" as being specifically of Tamil origin. I don't believe that there is any such evidence, for if there were, then the English dictionaries would say so. The English dictionaries do not shy away from showing Tamil origin for the words that clearly do have Tamil origin, like curry, mulligatawny, and catamaran. However, they are unanimous in not claiming that orange is of Tamil origin. The burden of proof, therefore, is very heavy for any work that claims otherwise. It cannot simply make the claim that the word is of Tamil origin, but it must prove it. Nohat 18:13, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

7. We have shown citations, but you say that you cannot accept it. You have insulted even the Government of India by saying that the Presidential order is Speculation, for which we demand an apology. Our question is What is your qualification as far as Dravidian Languages is concerned that makes us show to "YOU" the proof. Who are you do decide something about Dravidian languages. What is that level 11 that you say.

Where are these citations? The only citation I have seen so far is a single dubious newspaper article. I'm happy to accept claims that are based up by reputable sources, but so far all I have seen is claims that there are reputable sources without any attempt to provide a citation.

8. Since there was no ISBN for the Gospel Luke and Mark wrote in Sheep skin, does that mean that they are not citable sources.

Pretty much, yeah, a 2000-year-old sheepskin is not a citable source. But since reputable scholars have written about the gospel, those scholars' works are citable. Nohat 04:52, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Question to Hraefen[edit]

1. What if the book does not have ISBN. Is it not reputative or authoritative 2. Do you mean to say that a book is not authoritative if it does not have ISBN. 3. Most of the Indian Books do not have ISBN. What is the ISBN of the Hebrew and Greek Bible

ISBN 9654310007 and ISBN 3438051133 Nohat 19:00, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Is this the ISBN of the book that Mark and Luke wrote in Sheep Skin.

4. There has been enough evidence given for the Origin of the word ginger. Can we know you level of Knowledge in Dravidian languages that gives you the ability to pass judgements

  • No, a book does not NEED to have an ISBN to be authoritative, but on Wikipedia we NEED to cite sources that can be checked by other Wikipedians. Please see WP:Verifiability. And stop trying to make this into a nationalistic/cultural issue. It's an etymology issue. On one side we have people who prefer credible sources and who are impartial (I can only speak for myself here...I don't personally care if it's from Tamil or Wolof or Greek or Martian, I just want verifiable sources cited). On the other side we have people who for some reason have a huge stake in these certain words being from Tamil. What's up with that? Would you take my word for it if I told you that the word dog is from Chinese and that I had some book that proves it? I hope not.--Hraefen 16:28, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

If you say that the word dog is from chinese and if there are books to prove that and also if there are books that say that the word dog is from an asian language and then if the word dog is not found in other asian languages and then if the animal dog is found in china, we are ready to accept that the word dog could have been derived from Chinese, if the person who says has enough knowledge about chinese and asian languages and I do not know anything about chinese Doctor Bruno 16:38, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

The method you propose is not really good enough for Wikipedia. Content must verifiable using citable sources. So far there has been a lot of bluster about how there are tons of Indian books that prove Tamil sources for these English words, but no actual, citable sources and evidence presented save a newspaper article that makes no claims about where it got its information from. Show us the goods and then we can discuss. But until then all this discussion is just speculation. Nohat 19:53, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Tamil is the oldest Dravidian Language[edit]

To the person who said "Tamil is the oldest/most important/etc. Dravidian language are purely speculation" Do you have proof that Tamil is NOT the oldest language. If not please tender an aoplogy for insulting an language. Doctor Bruno 16:40, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

The Britannica's article on Tamil literature begins[12]:
"Apart from literature written in classical (Indo-Aryan) Sanskrit, Tamil is the oldest literature in India."
Is that a good enough source for you? -- Arvind 16:31, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

There are more than 1000 books in India that say that Tamil is the oldest Language. Even the Government of India have acknowledged tamil as the Classical Language. What you are saying is something against the Official notification of Government of India.

Please tender an apology for unwanted comments. Doctor Bruno 16:44, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

The burden of proof for making a claim that Tamil is the oldest and most important Dravidian language lies with the person who makes it. Tamil is simply a descendent of proto-Dravidian like other Dravidian languages. It is a member of the Southern branch. Telugu, for example, is also a Dravidian language but is not a descendent of Tamil. Both Tamil and Telugu have a common ancestor which is neither Tamil nor Telugu, but is called proto-Dravidian. Proto-Dravidian is necessarily an older language than Tamil because Tamil is a descendent of it. This is elementary historical linguistics. Nohat 19:34, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Our proof is the Government Order issued by the Union Government of India that Proto Dravidian is only Tamil. If you have a proof greater than an Indian Government Order, please cite that. Or else, we demand an apology

How come you just say anything you want, even insulting a Presidential order, wihout any citations, but demand quotes from books with ISBN for facts others say.

See and you can very well see that the numbers used in Protodravidian are still used in Tamil Doctor Bruno 02:50, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Those proto-Dravidian numbers are similar but quite distinct from the modern Tamil ones. Indeed, Telugu retains the proto-Dravidian /l/ of 'four' which has been lost in Tamil, showing that Tamil is quite not the same as proto-Dravidian, but that both Telugu and Tamil are descendents of a shared ancestor.
where ever did you get the idea the four has been lost?? it is used daily by the tamil speaking people.
The burden of proof lies with the person who makes an affirmative claim. If a claim is not supported by sufficient evidence, then it should not be included at Wikipedia.
Where is this so-called "Government Order"? Let's have a citation of some sort so that it might be verified. It sounds ike more bluster to me. Nohat 04:48, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
The government order and more citations are available at Tamil language#Legal status. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 12:16, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
By the way, the citations do not say that Tamil is Proto-Dravidian (as claimed by DoctorBruno). I simply thought that you were asking for the GO on Tamil being declared a classical language. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 12:19, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

The word "nal" in tamil very well means 4. In fact Ondru as well as oru means one, Erandu as well as Eru means 2 Mundru, moon, as well as Muc (as in Mukkudal) means 3 Nanku as well as Nal (as in nalvagai) means 4 Even the word tol means nine in tamil as in Thol ayiram

The very argument what you say itself proves that Protodravidian is tamil.

And you have not answered my previous questions 1. What is the ISBN of the Bible Mark and Luke wrote in sheep skin 2. Inspite of not knowing anything about Dravidian languages, just because you are an administrator, do you have a right to question The validity of tamil 3. Please give your postal address. I can arrange for a letter aksing explanation delivered through the embassy along with the relevant orders.

You (User Nohat) blatantly tell that the "the proto-Dravidian /l/ of 'four' which has been lost in Tamil", which is a TOTALLY INCORRECT statement. The "Naal" is still used in Tamil and has not been lost. Why don't you apologise for your mistakes and correct yourself. Doctor Bruno 12:30, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

There may not be citations for Tamil being the oldest language among Dravidian languages, but, the Tamil language article cites George L. Hart to claim that it has the "oldest available literature" among Dravidian languages. And this is a widely accepted fact. Please do not bite people who are yet to get well-versed with Wikipedia policies.

And, what is the issue with "four"? -- Sundar \talk \contribs 12:16, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

He blatantly tell that the "the proto-Dravidian /l/ of 'four' which has been lost in Tamil", which is a TOTALLY INCORRECT statement. The "Naal" is still used in Tamil (for example naalvagai - 4 varieties) and has not been lost. How can some one give such a false statement. A word is still being used in One language, and some one says that it has been lost and adds that because it has been lost, Tamil is not Proto Dravidian. Doctor Bruno 12:30, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

A request to other administrators[edit]

A user by the name of Nohat goes on making false claims in this page. He blatantly tell that the "the proto-Dravidian /l/ of 'four' which has been lost in Tamil", which is a TOTALLY INCORRECT statement. The "Naal" is still used in Tamil and has not been lost. This is just one of the many lies uttered by this user. To whom should we complain in Wikipedia regarding such high handed behaviour

  • Wow! You really DON'T get it, do you? If an admin comes by and reads this, he or she will see that nohat and I have simply been upholding the standard of one of the three non-negotiable rules of Wikipedia: WP:Verifiability. You're the one who's made this into some kind of cultural crusade armed with circuitous logic as your only evidence. Whether or not Tamil is the oldest written Dravidian language is irrelevant if you can't produce a source (that others can check, mind you) that bears out your claim. Tender an apology for this? I can't wait to see how you're gonna avoid these statements by talking about how we're culturally insensitive jerks insulting everyone in the world by simply demanding etymological evidence. Should be good.--Hraefen
    The Britannica's article on Tamil literature begins[13]:
"Apart from literature written in classical (Indo-Aryan) Sanskrit, Tamil is the oldest literature in India."
Is that a good enough source for you? -- Arvind 16:31, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

What happened to Verifiability[edit]

  • That 'proves' that Tamil is the oldest written Dravidian language, but not that it was the only Dravidian language at the time. There still are unwritten languages on this planet and it's perfectly conceivable that there were unwritten Dravidian languages at the time of the first appearance of Tamil literature.--Hraefen 17:01, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Can we have "Proof" for your statement that "it is perfectly conceivable that there were unwritten Dravidian languages at the time of the first appearance of Tamil literature"

How come you demand proof for everything, but feel very convenient to add a "perfectly conceivable" is it a rule in Wikipedia that Admins can tell whatever comes to their mind. Atleast one gentleman went to an extent of telling that a word does not exist in tamil and now you say this. Can you decline if I say that "it is perfectly conceivable" that the only language spoken twenty centuries ago was Tamil because the only literature we have from that time is in THE SAME TAMIL WHICH IS USED TODAY and not in Proto Dravidian or other languages and you do not find any literature or stone inscription any where in south india dating before 8 AD Doctor Bruno 18:02, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I was trying to respond to the statement " Whether or not Tamil is the oldest written Dravidian language is irrelevant if you can't produce a source (that others can check, mind you) that bears out your claim. " by providing a source to say that it was the oldest written language. Tamil is not proto-Dravidian, and the other Dravidian languages, or their ancestors, would obviously have been around in at least spoken form during this time. -- Arvind 17:54, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

THe present problem is not with etymology of few words. Admins or any one should not know what they are talking. It was Nohat who told that "the proto-Dravidian /l/ of 'four' which has been lost in Tamil" WHICH IS A COMPLETELY FALSE BASELESS STATEMENT. We demand an apology for that. While you are talking about non-negotiable rules of Wikipedia: WP:Verifiability how do you justify such statements from Nohat. For wrong sentences, we have every right for an apology, especially for these words which are an insult

Any one has a right to claim proof for a fact. If the proof is not given, the fact can be withdrawn or kept in abeyance. If he is or you are not satisfied, just ask us to give proof. (we have already given). If you are not satisfied, you can ask for more proof. But we cannot tolerate high handed insulting sentences proclaiming false facts. For such irresponsible behaviour we demand an apology

I don't think that Wikipedia has a policy which permits me to call Mr.X a fool and the culture of Mr.Y's country as Speculation.

You should stop yourself with asking for proof. We have no problem with that. But if you are adding unwanted insulting words, we have a right to ask you for an apology.


By the way, you have not answered my questions.

1. What is the ISBN of the gospel written by Luke and Mark in Sheep Skin. 2. If a book does not have ISBN is it unreliable 3. Is only English books reliable. 4. What is your qualification and academic credentials as far as Dravidian languages are concerned

Doctor Bruno 17:42, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

  1. This question is irrelevant to the current dispute.
  2. No.
  3. No.
  4. This question is irrelevant to the current dispute.

Angr/talk 12:52, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Since you have said "NO" to the second question, the first question becomes irrelavant. Now coming to the fourth question, When Mr.X questions my fact, How can I show a book written in French (for example) to Mr.X (you have told that books in other languages are also reliable) when he does not know French. Is it just for Mr.X who does not know one language outright reject books from that language. Also how can he call my question as "stupid". Is it not gross injustice to a language when some one who does not even know the alphabets of the language says that a word "has been lost in Tamil" How can he tell that a word is not of use in Tamil when the word is still used in Tamil. What to do with such kinds of high handedness. Just because he was telling that a word "has been lost in Tamil" we are forced to ask for academic credentials Doctor Bruno 13:05, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I have already agreed that his characterization of your question as stupid was uncivil, and I have nothing more to say about that. I also know that there has been enough written about Dravidian linguistics in English that it should be possible to find an English-language source confirming the Tamil-language source you do have. In some cases, of course, it really isn't possible to find a source in English, but I doubt this is one of those cases. As for the loss of the word "four", I think you have misunderstood what he wrote. He wrote "Telugu retains the proto-Dravidian /l/ of 'four' which has been lost in Tamil"; in this sentence the word "which" does not refer to the word "'four'", it refers to "proto-Dravidian /l/". His assertion is that the Telugu and Proto-Dravidian word for "four" contains an /l/ sound, while the Tamil word for "four" does not have the /l/ sound, and that this loss of the /l/ sound shows that in at least one way, Telugu is more linguistically conservative than Tamil. Angr/talk 14:01, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I am afraid that you have not understood what I am telling. Tamil has NOT lost the /l/ sound. The fact that Tamil has lost the /l/ sound is UTTERLY WRONG and BASELESS. This gentleman who does not have any knowledge about Dravidian Languages should not write such imaginary facts. The /l/ sound is very well used in tamil in the words naalawathu (fourth) and naalvagai (four kinds). This statement by the user , which does not have any base, shows that the person has some inner motives. He has not apologised for his error, which has been pointed out and proved.

Please read my earlier messages. As far as numbers are concerned, all the numbers of Proto-Dravidian were used in Tamil 20 centuries ago and are still used in Tamil. The only other Indian Language that has literature of more than 20 centuries is Sanskrit.

What right does he have to say that Tamil has lost the /l/ sound when it has not lost. Thus going by his argument, since tamil has the /l/ sound and since tamil has ALL The numbers of the Proto Dravidian, can we very well prove that it was from Tamil that the other languages originated

My chief concern is that how come some one without ANY BACKGROUND knowledge about Dravidian Languages imagine something and proclaim loudly and do not even care to apologise his mistakes.Doctor Bruno 16:05, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

He never said Tamil lost the /l/ sound in general, he said it lost it in the word for "four", which according to Dravidian languages#Numbers (itself based on [14] -- you have to scroll to the bottom to get to Dravidian), the Tamil word for "four" is naangu, which has lost the /l/ of Proto-Dravidian *na:l. Angr/talk 17:07, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
In Tamil, four is either "nangu" or "naal", as a search on the Koeln Tamil lexicon[15] will show (search for "nal"). It is therefore factually incorrect to say that Tamil has lost the /l/ of the Proto-Dravidian word. -- Arvind 17:54, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Another administrator does wander by[edit]

... and I have to say that User:Hraefen is correct: Hraefen and User:Nohat are simply asking for valid sources so as to be in line with WP:V. But my bigger concern is that everybody here calm down. I think editors on both sides of this need to take a breather and approach this with a bit more civility.

You are right, Doctor Bruno: people with no background in Dravidian Languages should not make proclamations. But I haven't seen any proclamations, either. In order to guarantee such "proclamations" do not occur, and to make sure this and other articles are not bombarded by pundits and fake experts, Wikipedia requires verifiability of sources and information. I'm not clear what the /l/ thing is about, as I haven't seen Nohat or Hraefen do anything but ask for sources, as is required by Wikipedia's verifiability policies.

So yes, I'm going to sound like a Wikihippie, but:


  • Assume good faith.
  • Be civil.
  • Do not take others' edits of your work personally.

Or, as I remember from a children's book of my mostly forgotten youth, "no fighting, no biting." JDoorjam Talk 16:46, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

My replies

1. But I haven't seen any proclamations

Those proto-Dravidian numbers are similar but quite distinct from the modern Tamil ones. Indeed, Telugu retains the proto-Dravidian /l/ of 'four' which has been lost in Tamil, showing that Tamil is quite not the same as proto-Dravidian, but that both Telugu and Tamil are descendents of a shared ancestor.
He blatantly tell that the "the proto-Dravidian /l/ of 'four' which has been lost in Tamil", which is a TOTALLY INCORRECT statement. The "Naal" is still used in Tamil and has not been lost.

2. Be civil

I was insulted. I did not take anything personally. I just asked a question about hte academic credentials. When some one says that one word which I use every day has been lost in my langauge, it is not wrong for me to ask him his qualification (whether he is a tamil scholar or so). For that I am PERSONALLY INSULTED.
just because you feel insulted every time somebody sneezes or farts, doesnt mean people have to go around apologizing. if you feel insulted, then so be it. all that Nohat said(or you are making it out to look that way) was just an error. he didnt make any proclamations. he didnt edit anything on the article page. the talk page is meant for discussions. and if you feel insulted about everything somebody speaks, then(again), SO BE IT!! FEEL INSULTED! NOBODY IS STOPPING YOU!...AND STOP ASKING FOR APOLOGIES AND ANNOYING EVERYONE. nobody owes you an apology. if anything, you owe everyone an apology to everyone here for raising a ruckus for nothing. Sarvagnya

It is not the asking of sources that is the problem. The problem is

1. the baseless allegation by Nohat that Tamil has lost a word. He has right to ask for sources (with which we have no problem), but how can he delete a word from a language about which he knows nothing
2. Branding my question which asked his academic credentials as "stupid"

And the third problem is

3. He is getting away with such high handedness even without an apology

Doctor Bruno 17:51, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd just like to add that people with a background in Dravidian languages shouldn't make proclamations either if they can't provide sources. I have a background in Celtic languages, but I still provide sources when editing articles relating to them. Angr/talk 17:07, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
What sources to provide. Tell me how to prove you that the word "naalavathu" in tamil means "fourth" and the word "naalvagai" means "4 kinds" and those words are still used. How can some one tell that the word has been lost from the language. That is totally irresponsible. I assume that the ideas of Verifiabiality etc applies to admins or not. This is exactly the reason why I made this problem public. When Wikipedia demands proof, citations from user who add even a trivia, ADMINISTRATORS WHO TELL A BASELESS INCORRECT fact are let off, even after it has been pointed out and proved beyond doubt.Doctor Bruno 17:51, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

My take[edit]

Nohat's comments were uncivil, although borderline. But, he was right in demanding verifiable sources. Arvind has given a number of sources at appropriate places above. Also, being a native speaker of Tamil, I know that naal or naalu is more commonly used to convey four in spoken Tamil than naanku, which is used mostly in formal writing. I also request DoctorBruno to let go of this instance of incivility and get on to editing. Also, we should all respect Wikipedia's policy of verifiability. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 05:27, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

The 'L' in Naal=4 (spoken Tamil) and Naalugu=4 (Telugu) is both the same 'L', and this is the usual world-wide 'L', not the specific Dravidian/Marathi 'L' of say, naaL=day (Tamil). So I don't understand what anyone's point can be in this respect. Am I getting it wrong? I would like to be better informed. Regards, ImpuMozhi 06:03, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

The reply by Aravind for this message has been given at Doctor Bruno 13:10, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Insulting behaviour by User Nohat[edit]

I have asked a simple question to one user Nohat at this page What is your level of knowledge regarding Dravidian Languages.

He terms this as "a stupid question" (Nohat 04:52, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

  • YES. and it is indeed a stupid question!! Dear Mr.DrBruno, get one thing clear. you can write ANYTHING..I REPEAT ANYTHING on wikipedia as long as you can cite sources which are 'notable' and 'verifiable'(and what you write has to be encyclopaedic too). just crying hoarse that someone is insulting your country and your president is in my view, juvenile. I am an Indian too and i guess we share the same presidents and Govt Orders(G.Os), so stop embarassing me and others like me. if you have a claim, back it up with proper sources. 04:07, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  • also stop citing from books which dont even have an ISBN. and stop asking for ISBN for something that was written on sheep skin. nobody is citing the sheep skin here. what was(presumably) on the sheep skin or on our own palm leaves has long since been printed in thousands of books with an ISBN. 04:07, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

What about the books printed in India before 1980 and have not been reprinted for various reasons (like budget constraints). They do not have ISBN. Why I gave the example of Bible is just to illustrate that many books may not have ISBN. Bible published in 19th century did not have ISBN. It got the ISBN number when it as again published. Similarly many books, may not have the ISBN numbers. They may get an ISBN number when again published. How can you insist on ISBN numbers when 95 % of Indian books do not have itDoctor Bruno 15:56, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

  • as for 'FOUR', you might have caught User:Nohat on the wrong foot there. but that doesnt mean you can use that small victory to go ahead and make a claim as preposterous as "Tamil is the oldest Dravidian language". As for FOUR itself, it is 'naal' in tamil, 'naalgu' in telugu and 'naalakku' or 'naaku' in Kannada. all these languages being descendents of proto dravidian, all these languages can equally claim themselves to be the 'Proto Dravidian'. so stop making baseless claims. you really are an embarrasment. 04:07, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

My request to other administrators is to kindly tell whether the above question is vandalism. How can some one term my question as "stupid". Does an administrator in Wikipedia automatically gets rights to call others by insulting terms and also brand a question asking for academic credentials ("level of knowledge regarding Dravidian Languages") as "stupid"

To whom should we report this. What is Wikipedia and other admins going to do for such high handed behaviour. What is the solution for this.Doctor Bruno 12:30, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

See my resonse at WP:AN#Insulting behaviour by User Nohat. Angr/talk 12:47, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Why are filling this page up with your whining? Talk pages are for discussing proposed changes to the main page, not for childishly demanding apologies for an insult that you perceived during the course of an argument that doesn't directly to pertain to English words of Tamil origin. Drop it already unless you can get back to one of the arguments that spawned all this non sequitur business.--Hraefen 15:04, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

"Talk pages are for discussing proposed changes to the main page", and not for adding imaginary BASELESS WRONG Facts with a malicious indent by unqualified persons. "Talk pages are for discussing proposed changes to the main page", and not for insulting some one who asks a legitimate question. When such things happen, we have every right to demand an apology so that IN FUTURE OTHER USERS ARE PREVENTED FROM ABUSING AND INSULTING FELLOW WIKIPEDIANS and also to make sure that someone does not IMAGINES FACTS and write them as per his/her will just because he is an Administrator. Doctor Bruno 16:13, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I believe—and Nohat will have to confirm this—that he is saying that there is no longer an internal "l" in the Tamil word for "four". He is not saying that the l sound no longer exists in the language. Nohat should not have called your questions "stupid," but is not abusing any sort of administrative power here. You have not been blocked; the article has not been deleted or protected. It appears from the way it's been written in this talk page that, indeed, there is no l in the middle of the transliteration of "four", correct? JDoorjam Talk 18:04, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Let me clear the situation for you. Nohat said that Protodravidian for 4 is naL, where as 4 in Tamil does not have the "L" and hence ......... He went to the extent of telling that the word "Nal" has been lost from Tamil. THe word "Nal" has NOT been lost from Tamil. It is still used in Tamil in the day to day workds Naalavathu (meaning fourth) and Naalvagai (meaning four kinds). In fact "Nal" as well as "naangu" means four in tamil.

My concern is "how can nohat (or for that matter anyone) tell that the word Nal (or for that matter any word) has been lost from Tamil, where as it is been still used in day to day life. What right does he have to proclaim a word as "lost". WHen we say that words are lost from a language, it means that the language is dying. Isn't it.

I am not able to understand your last line

It appears from the way it's been written in this talk page that, indeed, there is no l in the middle of the transliteration of "four", correct?Doctor Bruno 18:14, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

The word "four" isn't even in the article. Can you show me the article edit where Nohat (or anybody) makes a change regarding the number four in the article space? How does this specific point fit into changes made to the article? JDoorjam Talk 20:11, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

A reply by Aravind will clear your doubts. Doctor Bruno 13:12, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Let us let go of this instance of incivility and get on to editing[edit]

I go with the advice of Sundar and other seniors that we "let go of this instance of incivility and get on to editing."

And Aravind has summed up the controversy very well with very important remarks, which I give here. The highlights are mine Doctor Bruno 13:11, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

The question was whether Telugu was, in some respects, more linguistically conservative than Tamil. It was suggested that it was, because its word for "four" - "nalugu" - retains the "l" which the reconstructed proto-Dravidian word for four - "na:l" - had, unlike the Tamil word "nanku". Dr. Bruno was quite upset by this, because - as you know - Tamil uses both "naal" and "nanku", and has therefore not lost the proto-dravidian l. It really shouldn't have become as big an issue as it did, since its relevance to this article, if any, at best *very* peripheral. If you have the patience to read through the entire discussion, you'll see why it ended up being blown up to the extent it was.
I quite agree with Sundar's suggestion for moving forward - I'd request Dr. Bruno to let go of whatever incivility may have been shown, and proceed with the article. Verifiability is not as simple as some seem to think, but it can be dealt with. The published work in English on Dravidian linguistics is actually quite small, particularly on questions of etymology. The only comparative work - Burrows and Emeneau's Dravidian Etymological Dictionary - does not attempt to reconstruct proto-forms, or even consider the relationship between the various related forms it describes, and so despite its name doesn't really answer the question of etymology in the same way equivalent works in relation to English (for instance) do. Tamil authors have addressed the question of the relationship between cognates in Dravidian languages, and the provenance of related words in other language families, in much greater detail, and we also have the Tamil Etymological Dictionary project. There is therefore quite a bit of material available in Tamil (and some in Kannada) which is not available in English. I can assure you that it is quite normal for books published in Tamil (or other Indian languages) not to have ISBNs, but citing books only by author, title, publisher, and place and date of publication is quite in conformity with Wikipedia's guidelines on verifiability (not to mention international academic standards, which almost never require you to provide ISBNs for cited sources).
The real problem with using the Tamil material is that Pavanar's theories of language and techniques of linguistic analysis (on which most of the Tamil material is based) very often do not agree with the theories that form the basis for etymological analysis in western scholarship, and sometimes differ quite significantly. The etymology of "orange" is a classic example. I have no suggestions to make on how we can deal with this issue. -- Arvind 12:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
the word nalu or naalu is used in spoken tamil. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Counterfactual edits[edit]

This page has witnessed and is witnessing counterfactual, sourceless, summary-less edits.

  • Further, we need to define when should a word 'W' be said to be imported into language 'L' from source 'S'.
  • As a case in point, I have spotted that the list here includes several words that entered English not directly from Tamil but instead from other immediate languages like French or Portuguese through ultimately Tamil. At the same time, the list also contains words which entered English directly through Tamil but ultimately from other languages like Sanskrit or Pali! Needless to say, you can either have your cake on the table or in your tummy, but not both.
  • Further, I have spotted following words for which there is either no evidence or not sufficient evidence to trace their origin to Tamil. They include coir, corundum, candy, cot, pagoda, peacock

. I have not removed them from the list, thus far. I shall wait for the proponents to provide a reasoning for their inclusion.... isoham (talk) 18:49, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

A Question to Ponder : Two contradicting facts from two sources[edit]

What to do when two books (or two sources) give two contradicting sources ? I know that there is a policy in Wikipedia regarding that, but the reason I am asking is to ponder whether that policy has been actually followed in this article, or was it that one book (or source) ALONE was adhered to and the other source summarily ignored. I am sure that this and other related articles will be enriched after this debateDoctor Bruno 13:20, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

first of all, both sources should, among other things, be 'notable' and 'verifiable'. if both sources are credible, then the wikipedia article must mention both points of view without any prejudice. if the article does not mention both points of view, then 1. another editor is free to make the necessary changes or 2. another editor can tag the article questioning the neutrality of the article. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Transliterating Tamil[edit]

There is a perfectly good system for transliterating Tamil into the Latin script, which is generally used in the academic world. The OED uses this system. Can't we just settle on using that one, instead of providing three transliterations for every word? -- Arvind 19:34, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

A way forward[edit]

I have now replaced the multiple transliterations with the word in Tamil script, and a single transliteration using the ISO 15919 standard. That's what standards are for, yes? I've also added the sources (OED / AHD / MWD) in brackets where the article cited them. I have made no other changes to the article, apart from fixing the Greek spelling of oruza.
If I have some free time this weekend, I propose to split the article into three sections: (a) words generally accepted as having been entered European languages from modern Tamil, (b) words which entered European languages from Malayalam but ultimately come from Old Tamil, and (c) words for which a Tamil origin has been suggested but is not universally accepted. Is this an compromise everyone is happy with? -- Arvind 20:28, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that would be perfect. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 05:43, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
haagalkaayige bEvina kaayi saakshi ante! huh!
It was only a suggestion. If you think it's just us agreeing with each other about something which will only reflect our biases, feel free to explain exactly what you think the problems in my suggested way forward are. -- Arvind 20:55, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

tekka or tekku[edit]

The word for teak in malayalam is tēkkŭ (തേക്കു്)not tēkka (തേക്ക) as stated in the article, unless an archaic form is meant. --Grammatical error 20:14, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

From Wiki entries[edit]

The Wiki entry says it is of Tamil origin

  • Punani Wiki entry says of Tamil origin via TrinidadRaveenS
  • Well, what are the sources on those pages? I hope you can understand that an encyclopedia cannot cite itself as a source.--Hraefen Talk 19:03, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
I left the work to others to find the source :-)) because a taxon name should have credible sources but [[Punani] i slisted under may be category. RaveenS 19:09, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Debated words[edit]

Well, it's been about 10 months, and there are no sources for any of the "words currently debated", so I am removing them and placing them here until reliable sources can be presented for them:

These words have possible Tamil origin, but there is no source for them. They can be put back if someone can provide a source that asserts possible Tamil origin.

middle English gingivere, from old English gingifer and from old French gingivre, both from medieval Latin gingiber, from Latin zingiberi, from Greek zingiberis, of middle Indic origin (akin to Pali singiveram), from dravidian : akin to Tamil இஞ்சி iñci, ginger (of southeast Asian origin) + Tamil வேர் vēr, root.
Naranj (French)< Naranja (Spanish < Naranjah (Arabic) < Naranga (Sanskrit) < Narangai (Tamil) from naran (fragrance) + gai (fruit).
Originally there was the phrase sugar-candy, from French sucre-candi, Italian zucchero candi, from Arabic sukkar qandî, from Persian qand, from Sanskrit ;;khaNDu, from Tamil கண்டு kaṇṭu, meaning a ball of candied sugar.
Often attributed to tamil கூலி kūli meaning wage or hire,

These are almost certainly not of Tamil origin, as they have been in English since Middle English, and except for cry since Old English. Cry is ultimately from Latin.

vetri in Tamil
"kulir" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nohat (talkcontribs) 19:01, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

Some more words

God - KadaUl - meaning One who went above all.

Lemon-Elumichai - meaning Light green.

Corundum, origin[edit]

Corundum as mentioned here is from kuruntam (Tamil). Kuruvintam is also mentioned. Kuruvintam means ruby in Sanskrit too. There seems to be conflicting information about whether kuruntam was derived from kuruvintam on the internet. While I am not sure of this derivation, I suggest that this information be included in the article(after verification, of course. Either they are derived from each other or they are cognates). My motive is that the page starts out with saying that these words are ultimately of Tamil origin. If it is found that (and I have considerable doubt) kuruntam is derived from sanskrit, I would say that it should be said so in the article or the word should be included in the page List of English words of Sanskrit origin instead, keeping in line with the tone of the tamil page. But the list of english words of sanskrit origin page is not written in the same style as this page. I thought that this information can be given as a foot note or a minor point in this page.

This is my first talk page edit. I apologize for any hard-to-understand/wrong content that I have written. I will include the external links after I figure out how to do that.

Ssri1983 09:26, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

The earliest Tamil literature that I am aware of using this word is Silappatikaram, which has been dated to 1st century CE. We still need a date from a literary work in Sanskrit to compare the dates and make any conclusions.

Tnash310 (talk) 20:04, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Dravidian civilizations[edit]


Wiki Raja 10:54, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

More patently wrong items added[edit]

I removed the following items, which had been added:

from ஏடிட்டோர் yedu ittor, a Tamil word for writer (Source: OED)
from இஞ்ஜி வேர் Inji (ver), a Tamil word for ginger plant's root (Source: OED)
from ஒன்று onru, onnu (Source: OED)
from முருங்கை murungai , a Tamil word for drumstick (Source: OED,AHD)
from தேக்கு theaku a Tamil word for wood (Source: AHD,MWD)
from ஆரஞ்சு (6+5 = 11 pieces in Orange) Aaranju,a Tamil word for 6+5 (Source: OED)
from கிடங்கு kidangu/kodangu a Tamil word for store room (Source: OED)
from கல்வெட்டு kalvettu a Tamil word for a inscription chiseled in rock (Source: OED)
from பெற்றோர் ஒத்தல் petror othal a Tamil word denoting engagement function in presence of the parents (petror in Tamil), referred in modern day as Nichayathaartham (Source: OED)
  • Editor comes from Latin editus, past participle of edere "to put forth", as described in the OED's etymology [16]. The given tag (Source: OED) is clearly fradulent.
  • Ginger, a frequent suggestion here, was only been suggested by Yule to be from "a Dravidian language". No one points clearly at Tamil for this wear.
  • One, from Old English
  • Teak, from Malayalam, already in that section
  • Orange, from a Dravidian language, identity not certain
  • godown, from Malay, possibly from Tamil or Telugu, uncertain
  • culvert, origin unknown, possibly from French
  • betrothal, from Old English, be+troth-al, all English morphemes

Nohat (talk) 01:57, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Relevancy Of Malayalam in this article and OLD/MODERN Tamil boundary[edit]

1) I believe those words are not borrowed from Malayalam, and are "directly" borrowed from Tamil. Malayalam may contain those words because of it's spoilt(meaning altered) branching from Tamil. But those words are well in use in Tamil itself. The translators for the British during the colonial rule in India were Tamil. That is the major reason for the Tamil words in English.

Clearly all those words are "DIRECTLY DERIVED" from Tamil and I request removal of Malayalam from the article.

2) Whether or not the above is done, it would be better to remove the distinction between OLD and MODERN Tamil which sounds insulting to me. The usage of the so called MODERN Tamil is only due to spoilage/illiteracy or improper knowledge of the language. Also, the distinction can only be made if the old usage has undergone considerable deletions, which is not the case. Infact, the core grammar for the language was laid down 1000's of years ago(eg:The Tamil Classic "Tholkapium") along the delta of the river Cauvery and it is still the base for the language. So, I request removal of words "OLD" and "MODERN".

In case Malayalam can't be removed, the subtitles can be changed as- "MODERN" can be replaced by "Words Originated Directly From Tamil" and "OLD" by "Words Originated Indirectly through Malayalam". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vayalir (talkcontribs) 14:42, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

This request to remove Malayalam from the article is silly. This would by lake saying that we shouldn't mention the word chef is from French because the French word chef comes from Latin. If the etymologies claim Malayalam origin for an English word, then that means that the word was borrowed from Malayalam, not from Tamil, and saying it was borrowed from Tamil would be incorrect. This would be like saying that the English word lagniappe is borrowed from the Spanish la ñapa, which is incorrect: it was borrowed from the French lagniappe. It was the French speakers who borrowed the Spanish word la ñapa, not the English speakers. Nohat (talk) 18:48, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Okay. Assume the words were borrowed from Malayalam. Now, the article deals with the Tamil origin. If a person wants to browse through the list of English words of Tamil origin in alphabetical order and encounters subtiltles like Malayalam in between, how would he feel. Isn't it enough if we mention Malayalam in the explanation of the word(which is already there). In future, if more such languages come up here, will you add a separate subtitle for each?

I think it would be better to move the Malayalam words to their own page, with a link here saying that words borrowed from Malayalam are ultimately of Tamil origin. Nohat (talk) 04:01, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

It can be done, but then its title cannot be Malayalam origin. Because "origin" itself means starting/ultimate point of something. Also, all words in Malayalam needn't be of Tamil origin. Malayalam is probably a pidgin evolved from south-east-india(Tamil) because Tamil kings ruled Kerala(language Malayalam) till the 10th centuryADVayalir (talk) 09:34, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Whether proximate or ultimate, the word origin can be used to refer to the language from which a word is borrowed. Should we also remove chef from List of English words of French origin because it is ultimately from Latin caput meaning "head"? I think not. While there is not universal agreement about when Tamil and Malayalam split from their common root stock, it is certainly not a pidgin or creole. The fact that Modern Tamil has changed less than Malayalam from their common root does not bestow it any special status. Nohat (talk) 23:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

It is incorrect that Tamil and Malayalam have a common root stock. How can a language(Tamil) be spoken as it's own root stock? It is obvious. It is Tamil which is the root stock of Malayalam. There is only one Tamil from the time it had evolved and there is no old/modern Tamil boundary. Not deviating from the article's issue, for the moment I think the existing one would be apt. In future, in case any English words borrowed from Malayalam of "NON-Tamil" origin come up, then we can think of adding a new article for Malayalam and give a link here as you said.Vayalir (talk) 14:04, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

This is incorrect and belies a misunderstanding of how language evolution works. The Tamil that was spoken 2,000 years is not the same Tamil that is spoken today. It may be very similar, but it is certainly not the same. English that is spoken today is not the same as it was 10 years ago or 100 years ago or 1,000 years ago—language is constantly evolving—and just because there is no clear boundary between something called 'old Tamil' and 'modern Tamil' does not mean that Tamil spoken 2,000 years ago is the same as Tamil spoken today. In the same way, Malayalam has the same root as the Tamil that is spoken today, but it simply has changed more and is known by a different name. While modern Tamil and the Tamil spoken thousands of years ago may be very similar, it is incorrect to say that modern Tamil is the root stock of Malayalam, for the obvious reason that modern Malayalam speakers did not get their words and grammar from modern Tamil speakers—they got it from their ancestors, and modern Tamil speakers got their words and grammar from their ancestors, and at some point in history those groups of ancestors were part of a single group speaking the same language. It is that group which is the common root stock of Tamil and Malayalam. Nohat (talk) 19:53, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

About betel: I think before making any changes to edits, the word must be understood. Betel is a leaf which was cultivated in TamilNadu(Vettrilei) since the agrarian age 1000s of years even before Malayalam had evoluted. Tamil is again THE origin of betel.Vayalir (talk) 04:47, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Vayalir (talk) 05:16, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

OED says the English word betel was borrowed from Portuguese betel which in turn was an adoption of the Malayalam word vettila. If you have a reliable source which says that it was borrowed from the Tamil word and not from the Malayalam, then feel free to include a relevant citation. Nohat (talk) 05:58, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

It is acceptable that any language is in constant evolution. But, it has been incorrectly said that the language spoken 2000 years ago is similar to Tamil spoken today. It is not similar- it is infact the right way to speak even today. The grammar then is still rock solid. It is only due to the Tamil-illiteracy of a good segment of population due to low living stds. (caused by the colonial rule) that improper Tamil is spoken. Tamil evoluted 1000s of years ago in the Cauvery river valley. And today also Tamil is spoken in the same and whole of Cauvery delta, whereas Malayalam is spoken in a nearby mountaneous state Kerala and not in any part Cauvery basin(which wouldn't have been the case if what you said was right). And I don't understand how a person who doesn't know Tamil can repeatedly make wrong comments about it. See this image to understand. Vayalir (talk) 08:17, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

All this talk of "improper Tamil" and illiteracy caused by colonial rule is both irrelevant and unsupported by any reliable sources. If you have suggestions for improvements to this article which can be justified by reliable sources, then there's something to talk about. Otherwise, it's all a bunch of pointless bluster. If you think that your linguistically naïve and uncited claims are going to "teach" me something about Tamil, you're mistaken. Nohat (talk) 09:27, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Obviously, my aim is to improve the article and not to teach you. The topic was whether to move those words away into a separate article in Malayalam. The best idea would be to do that if need and also not remove the words from here.Vayalir (talk) 10:28, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Malayalam and Tamil do not share linguistic roots. Tamil has been on its own from its evolution. Can you provide any reliable reference for your claim? Any way, the article is only about a LIST of words and the introduction for that section is not necessary. It is like insulting Tamil by creating a virtual break in the language's history. One cannot repeatedly make filthy comments and bluster edits about something unknown to the person.Vayalir (talk) 14:16, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Of course Tamil and Malayalam share linguistic roots—you yourself said "it is Tamil which is the root stock of Malayalam". If you disagree with the prevailing theories about the relationship of Malayalam and Tamil, you should go argue on the Talk:Malayalam, because Malayalam is quite clear about the shared linguistic roots of Tamil and Malayalam, and that clarity is reflected here. You should be prepared to back up your claims with reliable sources. The introduction for the section is necessary to explain to readers why these words are on the "list of English words of Tamil origin" page at all—by explaining that these words which have been borrowed into English from Malayalam have Tamil origin because Malayalam has Tamil origin. As for "insulting" a language (what is that?), "filthy" comments, and "bluster" edits, I think you are bringing too much emotional baggage into this discussion. Nohat (talk) 03:38, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I said Tamil is the root stock of Malayalam, but "sharing linguistic roots" would be a generalization of that, which could mean many things (eg.: That "OLD Tamil" theory, wherein both languages are claimed to originate from the so claimed "Old Tamil"). Such theories are not required in this article.Vayalir (talk) 18:33, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

The word "one" and other disputed words[edit]

Origin of "one" is Tamil:

Proof1: It is seen that the Tamil and English words for one/onnu match. So it is undisputable that they must have a common origin. Now, assume the origin is Tamil: the word in pure Tamil is "ondru" which is misprononounced while speaking as "onnu"(for ease), which matches with the English "one"(probably adopted in speech). Whereas the reverse assumption cannot justify the actual Tamil word "ondru". This itself proves that the origin is Tamil.

Proof2: It is well known that the numerals are also known as Arabic numerals in the west since, they, spread it to the west. The Arabic in-turn had learnt the numeric system from the east(meaning India). It is notable here that the civilization in west is only a max. of 3000 years old(whereas India has a KNOWN 10,000 year old AGRARIAN civilization of which the Cauvery river valley civilization[Tamizh] is a part). In north-India the word for "one" is "ek". And Tamil is the origin of South-Indian languages. Thus Tamil has to be the origin of the word "one" in India.

Accordinding to wikitionary, origin of "one" is polynesian, which is again controversially believed by some as origin of Indian languages also.(Ref:


Other disputed words like orange are no exception. If any word in Tamil matches with English and the word has a long history, then the origin has to be mostly of Tamil origin. It is because of the language's age. The English Phonetics were only compiled in the last century, whereas the Tamil Grammar along with the phonetics were laid down 1000s of years ago(eg.:Tholkapium). Hence the disputed words must atleast be included under the disputed category. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vayalir (talkcontribs) 13:06, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

With all due respect, this is uninformed nonsense. All dictionaries and etymologies agree that the English word one comes ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) oinos[17]/oi-no-[18]/h₁ói-no-[19]. PIE was spoken at the time that Proto-Dravidian was spoken, which predates Tamil. The fact that two words in different languages are similar does not mean that they're related.
The link to the Polynesian etymology is for the Proto-Polynesian root one (pronounced 'oh-nay') meaning sand, and has nothing to do with the English word one other than sharing a spelling.
Why don't we trust the professional etymologists on this issue (all of whom agree that English one comes from PIE) rather than inventing our own theories (Wikipedia:No original research) that lack Wikipedia:Verifiability and have no basis in Wikipedia:Reliable sources? If you can provide verifiable, reliable sources that assert Tamil origin for these words, than they can be included on the page. However, no such sources exist, because anyone who knows anything about historical linguistics and etymology understands that the idea that the word one is borrowed from Tamil is patently false. Nohat (talk) 18:42, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I thought since wikipedia is an open source, may be any one can contribute their knowledge to improve the encyclopedia. But, I have understood that the requirement in wikipedia is only reliable references and not truth. But also, wikipedia is run by why can't it become a little flexible!!Vayalir (talk) 13:46, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, I think the claim that Tamil is the origin of the English word one is patently false and making the claim to its truth is on this page would be misleading our readers into believing something that isn't true. You seem to disagree and think there is some substance to the claim. The only reasonable way to resolve our dispute is to settle it with verifiable, reliable sources. The word one is a core vocabulary word, part of the basic set of words needed for rudimentary communication in English. Such words are almost always derived from a language's genetic root and are almost never borrowed from other languages. All the reliable sources that I know of—dictionaries and the like—agree with me: one is ultimately derived from English's Indo-European root stock. If there are any reliable sources that disagree with this, then Wikipedia policies would more than encourage us to note one in this page's "debated" section with appropriate citations. However, in the absence of any such evidence, as the situation stands currently, putting the claim on this page that Tamil is the origin of one would be dangerously misleading, giving our readers the impression that there is reliable evidence for that claim, when there is not. Nohat (talk) 07:56, 13 March 2008 (UTC)


This entry was recently added to the page:

from paratanattiyam Tamil, (Source: OED)

The marking "(Source: OED)" is incorrect because OED lists Sanskrit as the origin for Bharatanatyam. The etymology does mention Tamil—"Cf. Tamil paratanāṭṭiyam (applied to the revived form of the dance introduced in the 1930s)"—but Cf just means confer, and does not mean that the compared word is in any way the origin of the English word. If anyone can provide a reliable source that asserts Tamil origin for this word, we can keep it; otherwise it should be removed. Nohat (talk) 00:04, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

The OED states traces a Sanskrit origin, but Bharatanatyam is a typical Tamil classical dance form today practiced primarily in Tamil Nadu. Moreover, a language is one that is used for communication, whereas Sanskrit was only used for maintaining records and never spoken by anyone. Tamil purists believe that the Tamil language comes from Tamil Brahmi Language and claim it the oldest in the world whereas many believe and claim Sanskrit is the origin of all Indian languages whose impact has probably shown OED Sanskrit as the origin. Also you yourself have said- "Whether proximate or ultimate, the word origin can be used to refer to the language from which a word is borrowed. Should we also remove chef from List of English words of French origin because it is ultimately from Latin caput meaning "head"? I think not. Nohat (talk) 23:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)." Finally it is a word in English today but it is still endemic to Tamil and has been in English usage only due to Tamil practitioners of the dance form.Vayalir (talk) 14:31, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Jay aGanapathi —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

English Word God[edit]

This word for "God" could have come from the common Tamil name for God "KadaUl", this is an ancient Tamil word for God and means (one who had gone above everythings). Buddha too called himself ThataKada (The one who has gone to suchness), The Tamil word "Kada" is highly sacred as some God names too has this word in them. We need more research on this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Malarmisai (talkcontribs) 17:50, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

I have revised and collected many more words which may be usefull to update this article[edit]

Bene~/Benefit : Payan

Nation : Naadu (Naadu means Native country in Tamil) (They say the word "nation" and "Native" comes from the Latin word "natus" but i dont know from where Tamil word "Naadu" came from.)

Climate : Kilamai (Its a word that defines seven days of the week representing seven planetary bodies including Sun and Moon, also means "under its control")

Hour : Kaala, Kaalai (Period in Tamil)

Year : Gyaairu (Sun in Tamil)

Torque / Turn / Drehen(German) : Thiruhi, Thirukku (Thirumbu=Turn Back) etc...

Funeral /Funus : Pinam (means Corpse in Tamil) Girl: Kilathi (Lead women, Rich Girl) Pandal -Panthal

Friend/Favour/Free : Parinthu/Pattru/Parivu (Parivu word in Tamil means to show favour or affection)

Betel - VetElai

Action: Aakkam(To create/To prepare)

Level: Alavu

Teak - Thekku

Mad: Madamai (Mada = Moving mind, Not Stable Mind)

Copra - Kopparai

Give/ Yield - Eekai

Sound: Osai

Surround: Chutru/Chutram

Ginger - Ingee

Heet: Thee(Inverse of sound)

Lemon - Elumichai

Oral/Oration/Orate/Oracle : Urai ( Tamil it means To Speak, To give some news )

Villain: Villan(In Tamil it means "One who is with the Bow")

Orange - NaarthanKaai (A fruit with smell) (Naatram in Tamil means smell) ("Naa" sound in Tamil means "We Get hidden" like in Naakku, Naai, Naatram, Naakku etc..)

God -Kadavul

Cuff : Kaappu

Quest/Question : KEtpathu, KEl, KEtpa

Swear/Swor/An-Swer : Sol/Sor (சொற்)

Petal -Ithal Cigarette/Cheroot - Churuttu -(Cigar made by rolling tobacco leaves).

Kill -Koll

Seer - Seer (to make things right) The words Juri, Justice also should also be from this origin, "Seer Thooku" means "To take things right".

Birth - Piranthu [In Tamil "Pira" means Other one, new one]

Bird - Paravai [In tamil Para is to spread out] Pa+ra to "More + taking to" the action to fly.

Clay - Kali

Capture -Kaipatru, [In Tamil "Ka" means to Gain/know something, kai, Karam is Hand etc. Kar means Gaining . Words like Carry, Carrier too were close to Kar]

Bring/Brought: Peruka/Peruthal (பெறு)

Big/Broad : Peru (பெரு) /Parutha (I think the word "Veengu" could be more close to "Big")

More : Mali மலிந்த

Touch: Thodu



Eight: Ettu

Vision: Vili (To see) [In Tamil the sound "Vi" means "To come out, Visible etc..." words like Vidai, Vilai, Vili, Vidu,Viri ]

Voice : Vaaisol ("Speak with mouth", "Vaai" refers to mouth)

Axle : Acchu + Ach+Chu = அ+ச்+சு = Join inside.

Age : Aayul

Easy/aisie: Eliya/ElithE

Roll/Round: Urul :Rotating or Round, Urulai means Sphere. Uru means shape.

River: Aaru/Aruvi (Other European words for river are Ryo, Rio...) in Tamil AA+ru means "Source unknown + Takes to here"

Rice - Arici (Ari means to "Take within" and si= After breaking/removing)

Reap:Aruppu (Aru means to "Take to inside" "pp" = Many)

Rich: Arasu(Arasu means kingdom in Tamil)

Right: Uriyathu(correct) / Uttra

Rare : Ariya Polish : Palinga (Smooth and Shining)

Hysteria : Pasalai (The sounds may not match exact, but the meaning are the same, refers to female hysteria)

Horse : Pari (The modern Tamil word for horse is Kuthirai, but "Pari" is the old word literal meaning "More it takes away"

Taboo: Tappu / Thavaru (Meaning "Wrong" in Tamil)

Commander:KOmaan, The king, In Tamil "KO" sound means Control from a distant place.

Want: VEndu

Copra: Kopparai - means Coconut shell. (Ko, sound means "Take as one", in shape to accept something like a coconut half shell , here it refers to the shape that take things as one.)

Hard: Kari , Kadi (Kadi means difficult to move in Tamil) "Kari" means Sronger in Tamil.

Beauty: Pain(பைந் ) (in Tamil it often refers to something that is colorful).

Full : Mulu

Coir - Kayiru - Ropes.

Curry - Kari - Sause /Consume

Mango - Maangai

Join: Serntha

Crime: Kutram

Aim: Eei (In Tamil Eei means to shoot, To Take from distance)

Arm/Hand: Karam, Kai. (Ka+ra=Takes + Gives)

Leg: Kaal (Just inverse it) in Tamil "Kaa" means support.( in German, "Keule" is Leg)

Star: Chudar (meaning Shinning, Bright) - சுடர் , the sanskrit word NakSatra should also be from this origin.

Dad: Thanthai : (May sound odd, but many languages including European has Tata, Tadah etc... for father., in Tamil "Than+thai" means "Keeping within his possession")

Parents: Petravar

Practice : Palaku/Palakkam

Brothel /Prostitute : Parathai (meaning Prostitute) "Para" means Spread and not restricted.

Aunt : Atthai

Antham : End (Antham means End, or near to the destination)

Body: Udambu

Leaf : Ilai

Letter: Elutthu

Light : (Lean) : Ilaitthu

Thick/Thin: The sound "Thi" in Tamil itself means "condition", Thinai, thilai, thikai, thirai, thiram, thiru, thiri, thisai, thikal etc are others words that defines the condition of the object/place.("Thinai" means very smaller in size)

Blame : Pali

Plough: Ulavu

Pot: Paanai

World : Ulaku /Ulakam

Work: Ulai

Iron : Irumbu

Boat : Padaku (in French its "bateau")

Light(noun): Oli ("Li" sound means to leave from the surface)

Lake : Kulam (Latin "Lacus") in Tamil its inverse and Ku+la = Take inside + land refers to pond or lake.

Hole : Kuli (Ku+li=Take inside + Leaving the surface)

Hit: Idi

Attack: Thaakku


Child : Chiraar

Son: Magan (Here the sound is different but I need to highlight that in Irish and Scottish "Mac/Mago/makko" refers to son)

Sun : Sen (May not be the source, but Sen in Tamil comes to mean, "attractive" or "Bright", SenjGnayiru is common term to refer "Bright/Red Sun)

Prize: Parisu/parisam

Food/Feed : Pindam or from the words oon/oottu /

Know/Knowledge - Gnanam(Knowledge), Gnaalam(Worldly knowledge), In Tamil "Gnaayiru" means Sun, the ultimate en-lightener.

Cry:Kurai(Dogs Barking, Animal Shouting), Kural(Loud Speech) AluKural=Crying Loud, Imil Kural = Birds sound etc..

Stop: Thaduppu (Cut the S)

Sphear : Vael (Cut the S, Change P to V, and "R" To "L" these are common sound transitions)

Stud/Stick: Thadi (cut the S)

Shade/Shadow/Skot : Kudai (Cut the S) (Kudai means Umbrella, but early literature it means under the shade, under protection etc)

Stall/Stable : Tholuvam (Cut the S) (Tholuvam means cattle shed)

Se-parate: Pirithu

Snake: Naaka Paambu (Naaka is cobra a type of snake) in Tamil "Paambu" is snake. Naaga literally means "that which we need hidden"

Calf : Kanru

Shoulder: ThOl

Spread : Padar/Parantha

Side : Idai (Meaning, Sides also means "Flanks of a person") (Cut the S)

Stand : Thaangu (Withstand)

Throw: Thura, Thuranthu( in Tamil it means to reject or keep away from, one who keep away from worldly pleasure is a Thuravi(monk))

Split : Piri (cut the S)

Stack: Adukku (cut the S) Sudden : Udden (Immediately)

Sword: Vaal (cut the S)

Shore/Scorre: Karrai (cut the s)

Sharp : Koor

Short : Kuru (Cut the S)

Strength/Stren: Thiran (cut the S)

Street: Theru (again you have to cut the S :) )

Shield : Kedaya, Kedaka, Kiduku

Cash - Kasu - coins or dollars used by early Tamils.

Cattemaran - KattuMaram - Fishing boats that are made using wooden planks tied together.

Hundred: Nooru (not exact)

Pour: Poli/Peyal

Drizzle: Dhooral/Saaral

Root: Thoor (inverse in sound)

Eagle: Kalugu

Took: Thookku

Thatch : Thatti

Trans : Thiri (Change, There is a word "Thiritharu" that means Transform)

Adamant: Adangaa(Not in control)

Praise: Paaraattu

Aid/Aiudha: Udavi(means "help" in Tamil)

Place : Pulam

Cottage/Hut: Kudisai/Kudi

Nerve: Narambu (The strings of musical instrument Haarp(Yaal) is Narumbu)

Foreign: Piran

Fear : Payam

Famous/Proud: Perumai

Force : POr ( Means "War" in Tamil)

Violence : Puyal (Means "Storm" in Tamil)

Fossil : Puthayal ("Treasure/Inside land", Puthai means to Bury)

Refer/Relate: Uravu

Malleable : Melliya (Soft)

Get : Konda

Make: Amaika

Mud: Maasu -Dirt (also "Mann" refers to sand in Tamil.)

Direction: Thisai

Flood : Vellam

Float : Thaval (தவழ்)

Fall or Feel : Veel (Veel means Falling , but in some cases it means to fall in love)

Field : Vayal

Fire : Viraku (Firewood or Fire source in Tamil, this comes from the root "viri" (To open up breaking, up etc... the process of collecting dry wood from the trees, see below the word frissure)

Frissure : Viri / Virisal

Fault/Fail : Varumai/Variya ( "Varumai" or "Variya" , Means Poverty / Lack of returns)

Finger : Viral (Some little sound resemblance is there, this word comes from root "Viri" means to spread, to break open etc...,)

Monkey : Manthi

Default : Thavaru (In Tamil it means "crime", ""wrong or acted wrong" and also "Thavirthal" for "missing or defaulting"")

Delicate : Thalir (Tender, The newly grown leaves)

Hunt: VEttu(not exact)

Aroma: Naarum. (Orange=Naarthan)

Call : Kooval ?

Battle/bataille /Battalion : Padai ( In Tamil Padai means Army)

Axe: Ari (Ari means "To take in, To cut") Axe=KOdAri

Bar: Paarai (Paarai means Large Rocks hidden inside and not easily moved)

Poem: Paadal, Poet: Paattinar

Arms: Aran (Aran in Tamil, means Tools for protection, often refers the King's fort, also Aranmanai=palace)

Vary: VEru , Various: PalVEru

Victory: Venri Win:Venru

my original article is here...

You have to use reliable sources to back it up, please use dictionaries such as DED or OXFORD. Thanks Kanatonian (talk) 14:45, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
 Ok No problem, I know Wiki likes those class/sect, i am just putting my findings for the others to see, just added my revised listings above, if some of experts agree can update the article?


il ; இல் (il ) in tamil means not.


The word 'letter' is derived from tamil word 'எழுத்து'. --Inbamkumar86 (talk) 09:38, 23 June 2012 (UTC)


Jackfruit - The word "jackfruit" comes from Portuguese jaca, which in turn, is derived from the Malayalam and Tamil language term, chakka (Malayalam Chakka palam(Tamil): ചക്ക).[9]--Manuspanicker (talk) 11:23, 3 January 2013 (UTC)