Quote for the day!


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

Thursday, May 29, 2014


An often-used word for star is താരം. Why is star called that?

തരിപ്പാൻ സഹായിക്കുന്നത് താരം

okay what does തരിക്കുക mean here?

In this context, തരിക്കുക = തരണം ചെയ്യുക, which means to cross over, as in using a boat.

So, താരം is something that helps to cross over (as in a boat), i.e. to help navigate a boat.

Of course, in ancient times, people used stars to navigate their boats.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Crazy doubles

The other day I came across the word ദ്വിരേഫം. Literally, this means "two രs". I looked up the dictionary and it says this means വണ്ട്‌  (beetle). So why the name "two രs"?

It turns out that the Sanskrit word for beetle is ഭ്രമരം and in writing this word there are two ര sounds.

Thus, the name ദ്വിരേഫം is like a code name for  ഭ്രമരം. The dictionary also says another word ദ്വിരം for beetle.

So I started searching through all ദ്വി- words and found another one:

ദ്വികകാരം = കാക്ക

Of course, this is even more matching since not only the word കാക്ക has two ക sounds, the bird itself cries "കാ കാ" :-)

(ദ്വികകാരം also has a short form: ദ്വികം)

p.s.  Interestingly it does not work with other established suffixes. For example,

ദ്വിപം = ദ്വി + പം = twice + drinking = elephant (of course, it "drinks" through the trunk and then through the mouth)

ദ്വിജം = ദ്വി + ജം = twice born = brahmin