Quote for the day!


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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Relatively Speaking

ബന്ധവും സ്വന്തവും

A reader asked about the etymology for relationship names like father, mother, etc.

Here is what I could find.

The generic word for brother is സഹോദരൻ = സഹ + ഉദര + അൻ, meaning the one born from the same womb. അൻ is the masculine particle. The word for sister is സഹോദരി.

There are more specific words. Elder brother is ചേട്ടൻ which is derived from the Sanskrit word ജ്യേഷ്ഠൻ . Elder sister is ചേച്ചി, (I guess the feminine form of ചേട്ടൻ .)

Younger brother is അനിയൻ, derived form Sanskrit അനുജൻ (the one born after). Younger sister is അനിയത്തി or അനുജത്തി.

Mother is അമ്മ, apparently derived from അംബ (according to the dictionary). Father is അച്ഛൻ. It is derived from അജ്ജ which is the Prakit form of the Sanskrit word ആര്യ meaning great one, respected one.

One final tidbit. Both സ്വന്തക്കാർ and ബന്ധക്കാർ mean relatives. However, the former are the blood relatives. The latter are relatives that are because of marriage (ബന്ധം).