masses being unfavourable for creating a public opinion in favour of Tamil,
it is eagerly looked forward to formation of a favourable world opinion,
which alone can remove the grossest injustice done to Tamil during the
past three thousand years.
A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary
(by Burrow and Emeaneau)
Professor T.Burrow, the most outstanding
western orientalist of today, has done an invaluable service to the cause
of Tamil by redeeming hundreds of Tamil words from Sanskrit, and thereby
placed the Tamilians under a deep debt of gratitude. But, having based
the Dravidian Dictionary, which he has brought out in collaboration with
Professor Emeneau, mainly on the Madras University Tamil Lexicon, whose
multifarious defects have been exposed in the foregoing pages, has not
fully understood the nature of Tamil and has committed some errors.
First of all, the name of the dictionary
itself is inappropriate. The work is only a comparative Lexicon and not
an Etymological dictionary of the type of Skeat's and Chambers's Dictionaries
bearing the epithet - ‘etymological’.
Rev. Richard Morris defines etymology as
“Etymology treats of the structure and history of words; its
chief divisions are inflexion and derivation (including compositioŒ.”1
The Tamil numeral - ƒyiram,
thousand, is not derived from the Sanskrit sahasra. The truth is the other
The history and structure of the word ƒyiram
are as follows:
fineness, minuteness, sharpness.
ai-ayil, sharpness, sharp sword.
fine sand, arenaceous sugar.
a species of river or fresh-water fish that buries itself in sand
on the bed.