Know the Etymology: 103
Place Name of the Day: Monday, 18 September 2017

Vallai, Vallaṉ, Vellaṉ

வல்லை, வல்லன், வெல்லன்
Vallai, Vallaṉ, Vellaṉ


The jungle

The jungle place

The jungle place or the paddy-field place

Vallai jungle, thicket, marshland jungle, scrub forest (Eezham Tamil place names, noticed especially in Vadamaradchi, Jaffna); extensive thicket, big forest, forest (Tamil, DED 5289, Piṅkalam, 537, 2848); Vallak-kāṭu: cremation ground (Tamil, MTL); Balle: thick bush, thick jungle (Kannada, DED 5289); a thicket, bush (Tulu, DED 5289); Val: strong, hard (Tamil, DED 5276, Kuṟuntokai, 11: 6); Bal: (verb) to grow strong (Kannada, DED 5276); cognates in 12 Dravidian languages; Val: (noun) jungle, wood, thicket; (adjective) wild, savage (Sinhala, Clough); "Vanaya" (Sinhala, Sorata); Vala: jungle, forest (Sinhala, Clough). See box on Vala 1 and Vala-related place names in Sinhala in column 40.
Vallaṉ a Vallai place (Eezham Tamil place name, noticed in Puṅkuṭitīvu, Jaffna, see box on Vallai); 1. Val+aṉ, Vallai+aṉ: (Aṉ is attributive suffix in place names, Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, ETE 84, DED 1, see columns 66, 95); 2. Valāṉ: forest, "Araṇyaya" (Sinhala, Sorata, Clough, see columns 40, 162)
Vellaṉ1 probably a variation of Vallaṉ (Eezham Tamil place names, noticed in Jaffna, see box on Vallaṉ)
Vellaṉ2 probably related to paddy field (Eezham Tamil place names, noticed in Jaffna); Vel+aṉ: (Aṉ attributive suffix); Vel, Vela: paddy field, "Kuṁbura" (Sinhala, Sorata); related to Vēli: paddy field (Tamil, see columns 100, 133) The terms Vallai (noun) and Val (adjective) noticed in some Eezham Tamil place names mean a jungle or similar eco systems. Vallai in the case of Vaṭamarāṭci in Jaffna is an expanse of brackish-marsh jungle.

Vallai, found used in old Tamil to mean a big forest or extensive thicket, and the cognate Balle in Kannada and Tulu, are listed as Dravidian (DED 5289). The root seems to be Val/ Bal meaning strong or hard in Dravidian languages. Val/ Vala is a common term in Sinhala to mean a forest (see column 40).

The form Vallaṉ, having the attributive suffix Aṉ, is noticed in one place name in Puṅkuṭitīvu.

The form Vellaṉ, seen in a couple of place names in Jaffna, may be a variation of Vallaṉ, or may be related to another term Vel/ Vela/ Vēli meaning paddy field (see columns 100 and 133).

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Vallai meaning forest:

"கானம் கடறு கான் …வல்லை…காடு எனப் புகல்வர் (பிங்கலம் 4: 90)

"Kāṉam kaṭaṟu kāṉ …vallai…kāṭu eṉap pukalvar (Piṅkalam 4: 90)

Kāṉam, Kaṭaṟu, Kāṉ…Vallai…are words for forest

"வல்லை உற்ற வேய்" (கம்பர், அயோத்தி, 9: 42)

"Vallai uṟṟa vēy" (Kampar, Ayōtti, 9: 42)

The bamboo in the forest 

Vallai meaning big forest:

"பெருங் காடு வல்லை எனப் பெயர் பெறுமே" (பிங்கலம், 2848)

"Peruṅ kāṭu vallai eṉap peyar peṟumē" (Piṅkalam, 2848)

Big forest is called Vallai

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Vallai is the name a place having an expanse of brackish-marsh jungle in Vadamaradchi Southwest division of Jaffna district. The place is also called Vallai-veḷi

Vallaṉ is a scrub forest area in Puṅkuṭutīvu Island in Kayts division of Jaffna district (Delft OIS)

Vellaṉ is noticed as a locality name in Karaveṭṭi, in Vadamaradchi Southwest division of Jaffna district (V. Almanac, 2013-14, p. 90), and in Tampālai, in Valikamam East division of Jaffna district (V. Almanac, 2013-14, p. 98)

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Some related place names:

Val/ Vallai:

Val-veṭṭi: Vadamaradchi Southwest, Jaffna. Veṭṭi: expanse

Val-veṭṭit-tuṟai: Vadamaradchi Northeast, Jaffna. Tuṟai: port; see Val-veṭṭi

Val-vattai: Tuṉṉālai, Vadamaradchi Northeast, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 211). Vattai: place

Val-veṭṭik-kuṟicci: Valveṭṭittuṟai, Vadamaradchi Northeast, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 93). Kuṟicci: a small part; see Val-veṭṭi

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Vel-vil: Caṅkāṉai, Valikamam West, Jaffna (V. Almanac, 2013-14, p. 102). Vil: natural pond

Vellā-veḷi: Poratheevuppattu, Batticaloa, Veḷi: expanse; the place is an expanse of paddy fields.

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Revised: Tuesday, 18 September 2017, 18:30

First published: Tuesday, 22 July 2008, 08:19

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