What is in a name? Yes, but the style and pattern of names have changed drastically in Tulunadu over the years. Older generation of Tulu people carried names that now remain exclusively with illiterate tribes; or are in the process of getting obsolete. Many of the names are generally unintelligible. Do you have meanings for these names especially those in the boldface? The symbol (f) denotes female names.
(Possible logical meanings have been added as running updates.)
bileyecchi(f) [=very fair lady.'Bili'=white,fair; 'ecchi'=1.more 2.trance 3.shiver 4.form]
bommi (f) [= from bomma <. brahma]
chennu(f) [= beauty]
choma [= <.Soma,moon]
dabbu =1.useless fellow,dullard .2.Coin/money (Telugu)3.Force,energy?
Dangu =Bent or hunchbacked ? ;2.announcement as in 'Dangura'?
dooma ?= Smoky?
duggu(f) [=<.'durga',fort, the Goddess Durga]
Gail-akka (f) =graceful?,shrew?
haniya [=<.taniya, shani,saturn]
hukra [=<.tukra, shukra. venus]
kāmpara [= a tribal,>.'gāmpa',dull fellow?]
kargi (f)[=dark lady]
kariya [dark man]
kepu [=red or reddish?]
koira=Kokila , Koyil > Koira, i.e. cukoo?
koraga [= Man,tribal type]
korapoLu(f)[= Woman,tribal type]
koregedi(f)[= Woman,tribal type]
kurumbila= one with curly hair.
mābu= short form of Mahabala?
madaru (f)=fertile lady?
māda = from Mahadev?
mayire(f)= [ from mayuri,'mayura'-peacock]
māyila [=1.mother. 'Mayi' from Buddhism? 2.cf. 'māya']
monTa [short fellow?]
monTi (f)[short woman]
munDa [=leader,man; a tribal group]
narsi (f)[=from Narsu, female of Narasimha?]
natu : corrupt form of 1) Nath or 2) Nataraj ? 3) a grand child ( Marathi.)
niTToNi= nitt (straight) + Oni (lane ) , a upright and tall person (?)
Other Planetary proper names:
Aita, Aite(f) Choma/Toma, Angare, Booda, Guruva, Tukra/Hukra, Taniya/Taniyaru(f).
(Planets representing the days of the week from Sun [Aita.< Aditya] to Saturn[Shani>Tani-ya}
Narayana T.Shetty adds some more such older names:
boLe [=fair man]
bUche= from 'Bhoja/e'? 2. 'boochi'= a plug
donbe [a tribal, street player 'domba']
giriyamme (f)[ =hilly woman,Parvati 'giriamma']
kanboLi [woolen blanket]
kanki (f)['kanka/kanki'? a tribal name- cf. place name:'KankanāDi']
kOtu [=from 'Kota', a tribal]
kuDpe [=Naga? One who 'shivers' or 'stings'?]
kuppe [=stocky man?]
kUsu [=a tribal man,'Koosa'.'Kosar' in Tamil Sangam, later meaning 'a child']
pOnkre=prankster, related to pokri/ponkri?
sankri (f)[=Parvati, from 'Shankara']
sUru (f) [=sun,'soorya']
tungu (f)[=Tunga, river?]
Uvayye [='hoovayya',floral man]
Hosabettu Viswanath has added some useful notes on sarcastic tinges in the ancient proper names:
Most of the names are adjectives, highlighting the types of physique, physical/mental abilities or defects, generally coming under the word: 'idiosyncrasies', and therefore, invariably sarcastic.
Bittu/Bitte = small. Hence a person with short constitution.
Biyalu' (Woman walking like a galloping horse, i.e. 'vaihali'?)
Challe = A man with bent or afflicted legs. (Ashtavakra), one who walks unsteadily.
Pincha/e = A man with twisted body
Cheenkre/Seenkre = a man with thin and delicate body
Bikle/Bikkele = A man talking with gasping or a stammerer
Duje = a man with needle-like smartness
POnkre = A dirty and dull man
PUnk = 1.from Pooki (dirty gas coming out of ass) or 2. Mould. Therefore, meaning a dirty man with bad odour/smell.
Mudar = Fertile soil. Mudarmuttu = attaining puberty. So, Mudara may mean a sturdy/robust/vigorous/manly person and mudari = a woman with fertility.
Some houses take names of such old-fashioned names of ancestors (Tankalthil, i.e. my house, Deralthil, Baddalthil, Mayilthil, Bontalthil, Montalthil, Keppalthil, Panchalthil, Konikalthil, etc. - all in Hosabettu) (... + alta + il)
Kurumbila = A kind of weed growing in paddy field. Hence, a despicable person
Kurumbile = a man with curly and dishevelled hair. A man with 'African' curly hair?
KOchu = Koche, Kochappa (Gumma). Angular,thin person?
ODi = a tall person(?)
Nodakka = a good looking woman (?)
Bayakka = a loud-mouthed woman? Or from 'Bāyi',lady.
Achchumakka = A well-shaped woman?
Derakka = ?
Chillakka = ?
Poovanni/Poovanne =Person having the qualities (smoothness/delicacy/fragrance) of a flower
Abbayakka = From 'Abbaga' = a star.
Dareyakka = Daramakka = Taramakka (Tarame) = A woman shining like Star.
Mangura/Mangure = a deceitful person (?). Mangu is a kind of insect (resembling the shape of a tortoise or lice), living/hiding inside the loose soil/sand by burrowing tiny cylindrical pit at undisturbed places. It is supposed that this insect is at the tip of that cone below but it lives away from that point. In childhood, it was a competitive game for us to find out as many 'mangus' as possible. Because of the deceitful nature of hiding, 'Mangu' is identified with deceit/cheating (eg. Mangu pattavuni = to cheat)
'Mangu' also means a she cat. Hence applied to a girl of silly and docile nature.
natu : 1) Nath (Lord) gets corrupted to Natu as an endearment; 2) Nataraj is shortened to Natu as a pet name and 3) Natu, a grand child (?), as in Marathi.
Koira - As Mayoor is to Maira/e, could Kokila mean Koyil > Koira, i.e. cukoo?
Dangu: Bent or hunchbacked woman.
Dabbu: Worthless coin, hence a good for nothing fellow/dullard
Mabu: Short form of Mahabala
NittOni: nitt (straight) + Oni (lane or line or is it Aeni (Ladder), hence a upright and tall person ( ? ).
= A sticky/troublesome person whom one finds it difficult to avoid. Alternatively, an obscure person.
Chungu = Dunchi = Sungu = Kuchchi. It means a pointed/protruding tip/shaggy or thorny edge of grass, hay, fabric/cloth, hair, shoe , etc. It sticks to clothes or pinches fleshy parts of our body. Study this wise-cracker in Tulu: 'Poddare salo, Poddeppuda ulayina/da chungu'. This saying advises a person not to take loan from father-in-law or relatives. Such loans are as pricking as a thorn in a blanket.
Chungudi = small changes/coins, hence a worthless thing or unimportant thing.
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 Culture.by 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
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