- English Words with Tamil Origin
How many words can you think in English which directly or indirectly were derived from Tamil?
(Source: Wikipedia)..one word...Tamil itself ... Please comment if you can think of more words
alvar: from Tamil Alvar, derivative of ar - sink, be absorbed (as in contemplation)
Bandana: from Sanskrit बन्धन bandhan, “a bond”. From Tamil pantham “a bond”, pathu “hold together, attachment”, atta “hold tightly, a leech”, ottu “stick”, othu “bind together, make love”
catamaran: from Tamil கட்டுமரம் kattumaram (“kattu”=tie up, “maram”=tree/wood) (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)
corundum: from a Tamil word for ‘ruby’, குருந்தம் kuruntham or குருவிந்தம் kuruvintham (Source: OED)
kabaddi: From the Tamil word (கை-பிடி) “kai” (hand), “pidi” (catch), which could be translated into “Holding Hands”.
mulligatawny: from Tamil மிளகுத்தண்ணீர் milagu-tanneer from milagu black pepper and tanneer, water (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)
mung bean: from Tamil mūngu, ultimately from Sanskrit mudga
patchouli: from Tamil pachchai பச்சை (green), and ellai இலை (leaf).
pandal: from Tamil பந்தல் pandhal (Source: OED)
poon: 1690–1700; from Tamil punnai, pinnai, Malayalam punna names for Calophyllum inophyllum
tutenag: from Tamil துத்தநாகம் thuthanaagam meaning “raw zinc” (Source: OED)
Verandah or Veranda: from Tamil வெறுந்தரை veruntharai - Verum வெறும் (empty) + tharai தரை (floor or space) – A roofed opened gallery
vetiver: from Tamil வெட்டிவேர் vettiver; a tropical Indian grass; Botanical name: Vetiveria zizanioides; its aromatic roots are used for weaving screens and baskets and the oil in perfumery (source: AHD)
anicut: from Tamil anaikattu, (“anai”=dam, “kattu”=building/structure) (source:MWD)
Palmyra: from Tamil Pannamarrum/Pannai, (Marram = Tree)
Sambal: through Afrikaans, Malay, and Tamil சம்பல்
anaconda: possibly from Tamil ஆனை கொன்றன் aanai kondran, elephant killer. OED gives derivation from Tamil anai-kondra (anaik-konda), meaning “which killed an elephant.” AHD, MWD, New Oxford American Dictionary give origin from Sinhalese හෙනකඳයා henakaňdayā, “whipsnake”.
cash: Of disputed origin. The primary meaning of the word cash, “paper money”, or “money” in general, may be from French caisse, Provençal caissa, Italian cassa ”money box” from Vulgar Latincapsa ”chest, box”. A secondary meaning of cash, referring to any of the various coins used in southern India and China, could be from Malayalam or Tamil காசு kācu (Source: OED, AHD, MWD)
coolie: Of disputed origin. OED states Tamil is proposed by some as the language of origin, from கூலி cooli a Tamil word for “labour”.
Alternatively, it could refer to a tribe from Gujarat, whose members were frequently employed as manual laborers.
ginger: The English word ginger is derived from the Middle English gingivere, which in turn comes from Old English gingifer and from Old French gingivre, both from Medieval Latin gingiber. The Latin word is derived from Greek ζιγγίβερις zingiberis, of Middle Indic origin (akin to Pali सिन्गिभेरम् singiveram), from Dravidian roots, akin to Tamil இஞ்சி வேர் iñcivēr – இஞ்சி iñci = ginger (of southeast Asian origin) + Tamil வேர் vēr = root.
godown: via Malay gudang, from a Dravidian origin, cf. Kannada gadangu, Tamil கிட்டங்கி (கிடங்கு) Kittangi (kidangu/kodangu) “store room” (Source: OED)
Moringa: exact origin unknown, cf. Tamil முருங்கை murungai, Tamil word for drumstick (Source: OED, AHD)
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