An etymology

Peter Claus pclaus at CSUHAYWARD.EDU
Tue Apr 17 14:12:40 UTC 2001

VYAKARAN: South Asian Languages and Linguistics Net
Editors:  Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse University, New York
          John Peterson, University of Munich, Germany
Details:  Send email to listserv at and say: INFO VYAKARAN
Subscribe:Send email to listserv at and say:
          (Substitute your real name for first_name last_name)


I know this is not the usual kind of request we like to consider, and
it's not particularly important even to me, but ...

I am trying to figure out (or beyond, I guess) the etymology of the word
for puppet (doll, effigy, image): 'bombe' (Kannada and Tulu), pommai
(Ta), bomma (Te and Ma). Burrow and Emeneau give cognates with Kolami
and Parji referring to the eye, eyeball. But somehow the word doesn't
seem to me to be "very Dravidian." Does anyone on the list know of any
possible connections with words in other Indian language families? Or
outside of India? What words in other Indian languages refer to "dolls",
clay images, wooden figures, and the like? (other than muurthi)

Peter Claus

More information about the Vyakaran mailing list