Monday, July 7, 2008

124. Dissecting Strange words II

There are many strange sounding and unintelligible words around us in Tulu and Karavali Kannada. Some of these words transgress beyond the limits of Tulunadu and are found in diverse areas of the subcontinent.
Manjunat has added the following place names to the list:

Kayyara (kayyAra)
Kukkadi (kukkADi)

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Narayana Shetty has added some more village names to the list of unintelligible words.

‘HaDamkOLi’, ‘Hamamja’(small hills)
Mumrgi(a rivulet in KawDoor village)

* *
Regarding the word ‘Kawdoor’ in his list, I was thinking of the sharp analogy between the words ‘Kawda’ and ‘Gauda’ and possibility of the two words being variants with the same meaning. Hosabettu Viswanath has attempted to decipher some of these words. I combine Viswanath’s notes with my stray ideas to logically demystify some of these strange words.

Aer+ya=elevated area,ridge.

'Haer' = to load, to fill a sack or sack itself filled with goods. 'Herett gaaDi' = Bullock cart used for transporting goods between ghats and Mangalore in olden days. Hence 'Heranje'(haer+anje) must be a loading centre, thus the village taking the name thereof.

Hirgāna, Naringāna
Hirgana=Hiregana: Hire(=large)+kāna(=forest).
Naringana: Narim(=fox, jackal)+kāna(=forest).

The word ‘kampa’ may represent a extinct or assimilated tribal sect. There is a place called ‘Kamparabail’ in Bantvala Taluk.Similar to Kavada>Gavda transformations discussed below,it may may be worthwhile to explore possible kāmpa>gāmpa transformations.Sloven persons are called as 'Kampari' (woman) and 'Kampara' (man). These names are also used as proper names.


There was a tribe of people called as 'KawDer', inhabiting ghat sections of the district around Puttur and other areas. So it is: Kawdera+Oor = Kawdoor. The ‘Kawde’ may be an ancient variant of the word ‘Gauda’. There are people in Maharashtra with surname of 'Kawade' and ‘Gawade’ (compare with: ‘Gowda’).
ShamBaa has suggested the origin of the word ‘Gauda’ as ‘Gawli’(=milkman, cowherder)>Gawda. One of the villages in Udupi taluk near Avarse is named 'Gawali'.
There is a sect called ‘Halu-matha’ (‘milk cult’) among the Gauda community of southern Karnataka.
The Tulu Lexicon (p.1009) describes Kaude = Milkman, A man bringing contribution to temple feasts. The other related words (and meanings) are: Kaudu = Fraud, Deceit.; Kaudig = smallpox. ‘KawaDe’ also stands for ‘cowries’ (small sea shells; ‘gavva’ in Telugu), used as money in olden days.

Kayy+āra=hand/palm shaped(semicircular) ground. Compare with similar'KaibaTTalu' at Kadire,Mangalore.

Kemrāl, Mogrāl, Arala.
Kem (kempu=red)+ arāl (flower). Ruby- like bloomed flowers. The village must have been named after trees with ruby - red flowers. (Tulu Lexicon , p..904). Kemraal alternatively might be representing a "land abounding with ponds of Red Lotus flowers". In Tulu parlance lotus is "aralpoo or allipoo".Compare this with the villages called 'Tavarekere' in other parts of Karnataka.
If ‘Kemral’ is red flowers, then ‘Arala’ village stands for bloomed flowers or bloomed lotus. Similarly ‘Mogrāl’ would represent ‘mogg’ (=jasmine bud?) flowers or lotus buds.

Kukka+aDi= Kukka, a tribal group+ aDi/pāDi(habitation). Compare with KukkeDi,Kukkandur(Karkal),Kukanur(Raichur),KaukraDi(<.kukaraDi),etc.And 'Kukke' of Subramanya.

MāNayi, MāNi
The place name MāNayi has several cousins in southeastern part of Tulunādui like Māni, Mānila etc. There is also another set of places with shorter vowel like ‘Manipura ‘ or Manipalla (>Manipal). For preliminary observation, the word ‘mani’ (=gem, pebble stone) looks different from ‘Māni’ (=lad or hero).
Generally, the word ‘māNi’ refers to male lad especially among Tulu Brahmins. But the word has other meanings beyond this. The MāNi is a spirit God popular in Uttara Kannada. (MāNi, MāNesvara (male), MāNakka (female) etc are the traditional common names among people in Ankola- Karawar region. That the spread of fame this Spirit God (a martyred war hero?), now worshipped in Uttara Kannada was not exclusive to northern Karavali is proven by the place names Māni and MāNila in the southern interiors of Tulunadu.
MāNi also refers to Spirit Oracle/Priest ('darshana pātri'). 'Maanechhidi barpuni' refers to a Spirit possessing the impersonator (pātri), manifested by physical shivering of the pātri.
Mani was also the name of an ancient dark skinned tribes of African origin widespread also in the Southeast Asian countries.

Mantam+paDi=Mantam (<.manTap?)+ paDi(habitation).

Odilnāla, Oddathamuki
One possibility is ODu (Curved Tile, known as dambe) + ill’(house) + āla (stream, fluvial course). Does Odilnāla represent ‘a stream course by the side of the tiled house’ (?). Alternately ‘oD’ or ‘oDDa’ were a tribal sect represented by modern ‘oDDa’ or ‘VaDDa’(stone workers).Note for example,the hilly place name oDDathamuki (in Sullia taluk). And 'Oddarse'(VaDDarse).

Para+pāle =Old Pāle tree.The bark of the Pāle tree oozes a bitter tasting milky latex that is traditionally considered to be medicinal in value.

Possibly represents name of a tribal group. Note pilya – piLLe (Keralite) analogy. Other possibilities of ‘Pilya’ apparent include relation to ‘pile’ (=dirt, pollution)?

Again the word Pollya is possibly related to name of tribal sect. Poliya may be related to tribes Poleya (>Holeya) or even Polla (>HoLLa). Other possibilities include relation to ‘pollu’(to stitch) or ‘poLLu’ (empty, barren, without seed).The word may be referring to rattan,cane and creeper considering its probable affinity to 'pollu'(to stitch or knit).


1 comment:

  1. What about "mayADi" a house/place name where "mAri" katti and bhanDra where kept?
    Something to do with Gautama Buddha’s mother Mayadevi?


Blog Archive

Books for Reference

  • A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
  • Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
  • Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
  • Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
  • Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
  • Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
  • Studies in Tuluva History and Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
  • Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
  • TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
  • TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
  • Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
  • TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
  • Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999

A Coastal estuary

A Coastal estuary
Holegadde near Honavar,Uttara Kannada dist, Karnataka

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