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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kim words

One of the words for rumor is കിംവദന്തി. This comes from Sanskrit directly as കിം + വദന്തി = what are they saying?  Of course, what people say (whithout much knowledge) is a rumor.

Interestingly, there are some non-obvious കിം-based etymologies like this.

One example is കിന്നരൻ. It comes from കിം + നര = what + man? According one story in mythology, the kinnara's were heavenly singers from near the Himalaya's. Since they were all so covered up (because of the cold), only their face was visible and it was difficult to say who is a man and who is a woman. Thus, people asked - which is a man or കിം നര? And, that became their name.

A not so obvious example is കിങ്ങിണി. This word has become so adapted to Malayalam, e.g. in common sayings like
കൊച്ചിന്റച്ഛൻ വിത്തോനാണെങ്കിൽ
കൊച്ചിനു കിങ്ങിണി പലതുണ്ട്
that it is difficult to see its Sanskrit origins. In fact, it comes from കിം + കിണീ = what + sound? According to Malayalam rules, this got converted to കിങ്ങിണി.

Do you know other such കിം words?