Know the Etymology: 55
Place Name of the Day: Friday, 16 June 2017


Māttaṉai, Kuṭattaṉai, Nārantaṉai, Mayilantaṉai, Caṅkattāṉai

மாத்தனை, குடத்தனை, நாரந்தனை, மயிலந்தனை, சங்கத்தானை
Māttaṉai, Kuṭattaṉai, Nārantaṉai, Mayilantaṉai, Caṅkattāṉai

Mā+taṉai
Kuṭa+taṉai
Nārai+am+taṉai/ Nāram+taṉai
Mayilai+am+taṉai/ Mayilam+taṉai


The big place

The small place or the lagoon place

The place of cranes/ bitter orange shrubs/ a kind of grass/ a kind of creeper

The place of Mayilam/ Mayilai shrubs or trees

The place of the Saṅgha


Taṉai place (Eezham Tamil place names); Tāṉam: place (Tamil, Tivākaram, 5: 232); appropriate place, position, seat, residence, sacred place (Tamil, usages seen after c. 10th century CE; Peruṅkatai, 32: 98; 67: 36; Cīvakacintāmaṇi, 3: 50; 7: 11; Cūḷāmaṇi, 104); Sthāna: firm stance (Sanskrit, Atharva Vedic, CDIAL 13753); place of abode (Sanskrit, Rig Vedic, CDIAL 13753); position, place (Sanskrit, Mahabharata, CDIAL 13753); Thāṇa: place (Prakrit, CDIAL 13753); Tāna, Tana, Tẹna: place, "Sthānaya" (Sinhala, Sorata)
Tāṉai place (Eezham Tamil place names). See box on Taṉai
big, great (Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, DED 4786). See column 203
Kuṭa1(adjective) small (Eezham Tamil place names); Kuṭṭam, Kuṭṭi: smallness (Tamil, DED 1670); Kuṭu: small (Malayalam, DED 1670); Kuṭ: small (Toda, DED 1670); cognates in 11 Dravidian languages; Kuḍā: small, little (Sinhala, Clough, Sorata)
Kuṭa2in this case, probably from Kuṭā: lagoon, sea arm, cove, bay etc. (Tamil, DED 2054). See column 59
Nāram 1. Nārai+am (empty morpheme for conjunction)+taṉai > Nārantaṉai; Nārai: pelican ibis, Tantalus leucocephalus; common crane, Grus cinerea; white stork, Ciconia alba; a small heron, Ardeola leucoptera (Tamil, DED 2911, Kuṟuntokai, 103: 3-4); 2. Nāram, Narantam, Nārattai: bitter orange (Tamil, Akanāṉūṟu, 141: 26; DED 3653); cognates in Malayalam, Kannada and Tulu; Nāram, Nāraň, Nāraňga: a kind or orange (Sinhala, Clough, Sorata); 3. Narantam: also Narantai: a kind of fragrant grass (Tamil, Puṟanāṉūru, 132: 4); 4. Narantai: a conspicuous creeper called Kottāṉ commonly found in the islands of Jaffna, Cassytha filiformis (Tamil, DED 3604)
Mayilam 1. Mayilam+taṉai; Mayilam: Acalypha indica, also a coarse cotton shrub the leaf of which is compared to peacock's foot (Tamil, MTL, related to DED 4642); 2. Mayilai+am (empty morpheme for conjunction)+taṉai > Mayilantaṉai; Mayilai: various shrubs and trees, the leaves or flowers of which resemble attributes of a peacock (Tamil, MTL, related to DED 4642); Mayila: Bauhinia racemosa, which is related to the types of shrubs/ trees coming under Mayilam/ Mayilai in Tamil (Sinhala, Clough), See column 26 for etymology and related place names
Caṅkam most probably the Buddhist Saṅgha in the context of the island (Tamil, inscription, 1113 CE, Epigraphia Zeylanica, II, pp.242-255); assembly of enlightened people (Tamil, Maṇimēkalai, 7: 114); coming together, unity, assembly, learned people, poets, Tamil academy (Tamil, Tivākaram, 2: 12; 8: 31; Piṅkalam, 10: 436, inscription, 905 CE, TASSI, 1962-65, p. 1-31); Saṅgha: assembly, the priesthood (Pali, CDIAL 12854); Saṁgha: association, a community, any number of people living together for a certain purpose, congregation, the whole community or collective body or brotherhood of monks in the usage of Buddhists and in the usage of a sect among Jainas (Sanskrit, CDIAL 12854, Monier Williams, the root is traced to Sam+han); Saga: Buddha Saṅgha (Early Brahmi inscriptions of the island, IC, vol I); Saňgha, Saṅgha: Buddhist Saṅgha (Sinhala, Sorata). See column 423


The suffix components Taṉai and Tāṉai noticed in some Eezham Tamil place names mean a place or locality and correspond to Tāṉam in standard Tamil, which in turn correspond to Sthāna in Sanskrit (CDIAL 13753).

In Tamil, the word Tānam in the above said meaning is seen only from the times of Tivākaram lexicon and from the times of 10th century CE literature and inscriptions. Tāna, Tana and Tẹna are the Sthāna-related cognates in Sinhala. Tāṉai and Taṉai seem to be word forms shaped by Eezham Tamil. There is a strong probability that place names related to these components belong to a particular phase of time.

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The usage of Caṅkam meaning Buddha Sangha in Eezham Tamil:

"அருமணத்தில் நின்றும் சங்கத்தாரை அழைப்பித்து" (Tamil inscription, 1113 CE, Epigraphia Zeylonica, II, p. 242-255)

"Arumaṇattil niṉṟum caṅkattārai aḻaippittu" (Tamil inscription, 1113 CE, Epigraphia Zeylonica, II, p. 242-255)

Inviting members of the Buddhist Saṅgha from Arumaṇam (a place in today's Myanmar)

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Māttaṉai is noticed as a locality name in Tellippaḻai in Valikamam North division of Jaffna district, and in Pulōli in Vadamaradchi Northeast division of Jaffna district (Balasundaram, p. 384). Also note the locality name Mā-taṉai under related place names.

Kuṭattaṉai is a place in Vadamaradchi East division of Jaffna district. The place is adjacent to Toṇṭaimāṉāṟu Lagoon.

Nārāntaṉai is a place in the Kayts island of Kayts division, Jaffna district.

Mayilan-taṉai is in Puṉāṉai West in Koralaippattu division of Batticaloa district.

Caṅkattāṉai is a place in Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna district.

* * *


Some related place names:

Taṉai:

Karaip-piṭṭiyan-taṉai: Kayts, Jaffna. Karai+piṭṭi+am+taṉai. Karaippiṭṭi: bank high ground

Nātaṉai: Poratheevuppattu, Batticaloa. Nā: a tree

Muruttaṉai: Koralaippattu, Batticaloa. Muruta: a tree

Mātaṉai: Kaṟkōvaḷam, Point Pedro, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 384)

Kāṉantaṉai: Koralaippattu, Batticaloa. Kāṉam: forest

Mayiliyattaṉai: Valveṭṭittuṟai, Vadamaradchi Northeast, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 93). See Mayilantaṉai

Intaṉai: Iḷavālai, Valikamam Southwest, Jaffna (Rajaratnam). Intu: = Īntu, Īñcu: local variety of date palm

Vicuvattaṉai: Paṇṇākam, Valikamam West, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 198)

Miṉṉiyattaṉai: Paṇṇākam, Valikamam, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 198). Miṉṉi: a kind of wild leguminous plant, Miṉṉip-payaṟu

Tēriyattaṉai: Paṇṇākam, Valikamam, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 198). Tēri: 1. Mound; 2. Buddhist nun

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Kuṭa:

Kuṭa-vattai: Tuṉṉālai, Vadamaradchi Northeast, Jaffna (V. Almanac, 2013-14, p. 101)

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Nārai:

Nārak-kaliya: Katpitti, Puttalam. Nāraik-kaḻi: Kaḻi: backwaters, sea-arm; the place has backwaters

Nāra-vila: Nattandiya, Puttalam. Nārai-villu; Vila, Villu: pond, tank, marsh

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Caṅkam:

Caṅkattār-vayal: Pachchilaippalli, Kilinochchi

Caṅkāṉai: Valikamam West, Jaffna. Caṅka+aṉai; Āṉai: shortened form of Tāṉai

Caṅku-vēli: Valikamam South, Jaffna. Probably, Caṅka-vēli; Vēli: paddy field

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Revised: Tuesday, 16 June 2017, 18:30

First published: Sunday, 19 August 2007, 01:00

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