Quote for the day!

ഉന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തു-
ന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്തുന്താളെയുന്തു്

(According to legend, the very first couplet in
മഞ്ജരി inspired by which കൃഷ്ണഗാഥ was written.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Land and Sea

Sometimes, even simple everyday words have very interesting etymology.

The other day I came across these two.

The common word for sea is കടല്‍. It comes from കട + അല്‍. We see കട in കടക്കുക, to cross. The അല്‍ is the same one what we see in അല്ല no. Thus കടല്‍ means "that which cannot be crossed".

On the other hand, land is കര. Originally, it means shore. It comes from the root കര that we see in കരന്നു പോവുക which means to gnaw, to dissolve, to decay. Of course, the water gnaws at the shore.

Isn't it interesting?

P.S. I finally have a copy of ശബ്ദതാരാവലി - the giant mallu dictionary! The above two tidbits are from that. Keep tuned for more :-)