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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    We all know what tiger is. Do we know what "tiger" means?

    To be honest no one is one hundred percent sure about the origins of the word. The earliest mention of the word is related to "Tigris", which was a Greek word. Tigris in turn came from "Tigra" or "Tihra". Tigra/Tihra is an old Persian word for "arrow". It is not a surprise that arrows are called "Theer" in Sanskrit too, as Persian and Sanskrit are closely related languages.

    Tiger's historical range was till Iran. Ancient Iranians compared tiger's agility and ambush to that of an arrow.
    One of Sanskrit words for tiger is Pundarik. This name is eerily similar to Panther, which is the Latin genus name of the animal. Pundarik means lotus according to some sources. Other sources claim it is the word Paandra, that Pundarik came from, Paandra meaning the pale yellow pattern on tiger.

    The origins of word Panther is still murky. Many suggest it derived from previously mentioned Pandra or Pundarik.
  • #704806
    After reading the tiger's origin, I started thinking about the other animals. Firstly, I got the word Deer. When I searched for its origin, I went into Ramayana days. There, Sita, while in Panchavati, sees a cute little animal and tells Ram, "Dear, I want that cute little animal. It looks very dearer to me." Ram said, "Okay dear, I shall get you dear,"

    Thus the animal was named as 'Deer' with a small typo as 'Dear'

    How do you like it?

    No life without Sun

  • #704808
    Haha, that is cute Sun. I tried to find the etymology of the word 'deer' after you did. Surprisingly in no language does deer mean the actual deer animal. Instead, in all languages, the word for 'deer' is the same as the word for any animal.
    In Sanskrit, Mrig is what deers are commonly known as. Mrig just means an animal.
    Deer similarly comes from Old German word Tier or Dier, which just means an animal too.

    This intrigued me a lot.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #704866
    Interesting thread by the author. Finding the origin of a word is sometimes a long exercise and is definitely some sort of academic work. People who search for the origin of the words and similar things are known as etymologists. They dig deeply to find out the roots of the word especially by going into the ancient languages and get a clue to its present form. It is really an interesting exercise as how the words change from one language to other and how they are further influenced by the local dialects. Sometimes the spellings and pronunciations are affected to such a large extent that the original word is lost in that melee.
    Knowledge is power.


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