Back to Articles Category
Orgin of the Word Dravidam

Origin of the word  Dravidiam

                                           The English word Dravidian was first employed by Robert Caldwell in his 1856 book of comparative Dravidian grammar based on the usage of the Sanskrit word  dravi?a  in the work Tantravarttika  by Kumarila Bha??a (Zvelebil 1990). Caldwell used 'Dravidian' as a generic name for the family of languages spoken in Southern India to distinguish them from Indo-Aryan, the branch of Indo-European spoken in the Indian subcontinent. Before Caldwell, the word  dravi?a  was traditionally used to designate the  Tamil language  and people, and vaguely the people of South India. In his own words, Caldwell says,

The word I have chosen is ‘Dravidian', from Dravi?a, the adjectival form of Dravida. This term, it is true, has sometimes been used, and is still sometimes used, in almost as restricted a sense as that of Tamil itself, so that though on the whole it is the best term I can find, I admit it is not perfectly free from ambiguity. It is a term which has already been used more or less distinctively by Sanskrit philologists, as a generic appellation for the South Indian people and their languages, and it is the only single term they ever seem to have used in this manner. I have, therefore, no doubt of the propriety of adopting it.

                     As for the origin of the Sanskrit word  dravi?a  itself there have been various theories proposed. Basically the theories are about the direction of derivation between  tami?  and  dravi?a .

                           There is no definite philological and linguistic basis for asserting unilaterally that the name  Dravida  also forms the origin of the word  Tamil  (Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil).Kamil Zvelebil cites the forms such as  dramila  (in Da??in's Sanskrit work  Avanisundarikatha dami?a  (found in Ceylonese chronicle Mahavamsa) and then goes on to say (ibid. page xxi), "The forms  dami?a / damila  almost certainly provide a connection   of  dr(a/a)vi?a  " and "...  tami?  <  tami?  ...whereby the further development might have been * tami?  > * dami?  > dami?a - /  damila - and further, with the intrusive, 'hypercorrect' (or perhaps analogical) - r -, into  dr(a/a)vi?a . The - m -/- v - alternation is a common enough phenomenon in Dravidian phonology" (Zvelebil 1990 p.xxi) Zvelebil in his earlier treatise (Zvelebil 1975: p53) states, "It is obvious that the Sanskrit  dr(a/a)vi?a , Pali  damila dami?o  and Prakrit  d(a/a)vi?a  are all etymologically connected with  tami? " and further remarks "The  r  in  tami?  >  dr(a/a)vi?a  is a hypercorrect insertion, cf. an analogical case of DED 1033 Ta.  Kamuku , Tu.  kangu "areca nut": Skt.  kramu (ka) .”    


                   The Sanskrit word  dravi?a  itself is later than  dami?a  since the dates for the forms with -r- are centuries later than the dates for the forms without -r- ( dami?a dame?a -,  damela - etc.).


 [ Ref]   --   www.en. languages/origin of the word  Dravidian 


                                  The etymology of the name Dravidam is very simple. Dravidam = Thee + Ra+ Vai +tam or Thee + Ra+ vidam.  Vidam or idam means the place or the land. Thee + ra denotes the ‘Athee ‘[primordial fire] and   the sun respectively. Hence Dravidam means the land of people who were the worshipers of Thee + Ra [thirai-- sky]] or whose ancestors were from sky or Thee+ Ra.    It could be  Thiru  vidam ,  the land of  Thiru,  the  ‘ wealthy  land ‘ .  Dravidians have the prefix ‘Thiru ‘ before their names. For example    Thiru  . k. Ramasmy ;   The  names of the  places also have  Thiru .   For example;    Chira palli  is called as Thiru-chirappalli;  Centhur is called as  Thiru centhur.  Presently  Thiru  means  ‘respectable ‘  [Sanskrit equivalent word  is  ‘Sri ‘   and  it  is the corrupted form of the Tamil  word  Thiri-- Thee+ re, feminine [ Sthiri]  form of  Thee+ Ra;   It is equivalent to' Mister ‘].  The original meaning of   Thiru  is  Thee+ Ra   or  Thiraiyan .    Alternatively,  Dravidam   means the land of  Thirayan,  the sea farers ‘--the  ruler of the sea  . Thiraiyan   could also means' the ruler of the sky ‘. ‘Thiru' could  also be  originated   from  ‘ Theeran' or   ‘Dheeran'.

‘Thiruvadira'   star is actually   Thirai   Aaa   thee   Orai  star.


                             “ Thirai  kadal  odiyum thiraviyam  thaedu”  means  “Go forth!  Make  your  fortunes-- money/ knowledge---   at  any cost !  Be prepared  to  venture  across   the  ocean[s]  even   if   she   is  restless”!.   This  ‘Aathi sudi ‘ of  Awvaiyar   could mean  “    Be  prepared to   venture up  in  to the sky[ Velli  Thirai  -- sky or   upper world]   and  down   in  to the oceans[ Kadal-  thirai --lower world] to  bring  the knowledge about  Thee + Ra  to the earth  .   Thiraiviyam   means    Vaiathil [earth]   Thee + Ra. 


              Did    Awaiyar   mean about the   Thirai   kadal,   the  Tyre [  of   Lebonan ],  the Mediterranean   sea?!    If  so  her  statement    means ,   “Be ready  to  have   sea   trade  with   the  Tyre  kadal---the   Mediterranean sea  to make money”.   We  know  that   ancient Indians ,  the Dravidians  had  import and export  relationships  with several    Mediterranean countries.  The people of Tyre of   Lebonan  ,  the Phoenicians  were  called as ‘  Thirayans' in the  ancient  past.  If so who were the Phoenecians?!


                          Women  of   Dravidian land  have the prefix  ‘Thirumathi'  before their names.  Thirumathi   means  Thirai +  Maa + Aathee . ‘ Thirai   Maa  Aathee'   is the primordial  fire of the sky.   This meaning   had lost its   implications  and later   women   started   ‘veil 'ing  [ Thirai  --the screen or the veil  ] their face [ mathi  -- moon like face]  with   their sari [ Mukkadu].    Hence  any  woman  of any nation  has a veil  on  her   head/face   she has  some  Dravidian  connections ..



                                    Thirudu [ steal]   is the combination of  Thiru + yedu  i/e. take away  the  ‘thiru' the' wealth'  Thirudan  means one  who  takes away  the thiru[ Thee+ ra   in the night .  This   ‘Thirudan ‘  is nothing but the Kallan  , or  the  Kalan , lord Siva , the Ra , the sun god.


                                           Thirai [, tharai , thaarai  ] thiran,  tharam,  theera, theeran[ Dheeran], thiraiviam , theeram, thiratu , thiravam  , thiravakam  and  thee rath'am [ theertham ] are related words [ including  the  Bombay ‘s slum Daravi--thirai  + vidam =  seashore].
Copyrights @ 2015