Know the Etymology: 33
Place Name of the Day: Thursday, 04 May 2017


Tōlai-kaṭṭi, Kottuk-kaṭṭi, Nāval-kaṭṭai, Kaṭṭai-paṟiccāṉ-āṟu, Kaṭṭai-ālaṭi, Eṭṭāṅ-kaṭṭai

தோலைகட்டி, கொத்துக்கட்டி, நாவல்கட்டை, கட்டைபறிச்சான் ஆறு, கட்டை ஆலடி, எட்டாங்கட்டை
Tōlai-kaṭṭi, Kottuk-kaṭṭi, Nāval-kaṭṭai, Kaṭṭai-paṟiccāṉ-aṟu, Kaṭṭai-ālaṭi, Eṭṭāṅ-kaṭṭai

Tōlai+kaṭṭi
Kottu+kaṭṭi
Nāval+kaṭṭai
Kaṭṭai+paṟiccāṉ
Kaṭṭai+āl+aṭi
Eṭṭām+kaṭṭai


The grove part

The settlement part or enclave of a group of bonded labourers

The part or assemblage of Nāval trees

The river that quickly discharges surplus water from the dam

The locality of the short banyan tree; or the locality of the banyan tree having a resting platform

The eighth milepost


Kaṭṭi a part, defined area, block of land, enclosure, enclave, (Eezham Tamil place names, especially Jaffna usage); part, "Koṭasa" (Sinhala, Sorata); related to Kaṭṭu: boundary, border, limits, a block of land or settlement, defined area, enclave, (Eezham Tamil usage and place names, see Kaṭṭu 3 and Kaṭṭu 4 in column 30); from Kaṭṭu: (verb) to tie, bind, fasten, build, shut up, put on, store; (noun) surrounding, encirclement, section, class, part of a house, bundle, packet, side of a mountain, social relationship, family connection (Tamil, DED 1147, MTL, MTL appendix). See columns 30, 182 and 228
Kaṭṭai1 part, enclosure, block of land, assemblage (Eezham Tamil place names, especially Jaffna usage); Kaṭṭu: (verb) to tie, bind, fasten, build, shut up, put on, store (Tamil, DED 1147); (noun) surrounding, encirclement, section, class, part of a house, bundle, packet, side of a mountain, social relationship, family connection (Tamil, DED 1147, MTL, MTL appendix). See box on Kaṭṭi and also see columns 30, 182, 228 and 376
Kaṭṭai2 dam (Tamil, DED 1147); Kaṭṭu: (noun) dam, causeway; (verb) to tie, fasten, build (Tamil, DED 1147, see Kaṭṭu 1 in column 30); dam (Sinhala, Sorata, see column 228); Kaṭṭe: embankment, dam, causeway (Kannada, DED 1147). See columns 30, 31 and 228)
Kaṭṭai3 platform to take rest (Tamil, related to MTL, Kaṭṭai 20); Kaṭṭe: platform built under tree on village green (Kodagu, DED 1147); structure of earth or stones to sit upon (Kannada, DED 1147); Kaṭṭā: platform (Kolami, DED 1147); Kaṭṭu: (verb) to build (Tamil, DED 1147). See column 30.
Kaṭṭai4 shortness of stature, dwarfishness (Tamil, DED 1151); Koṭa: short (Sinhala, Clough)
Kaṭṭai5 mile (Tamil, MTL, citing Jaffna diction); from milepost; 1. Kaṭṭai: block, small stump, piece of timber, stake (Tamil, MTL); Kaṭṭa: milepost usually accompanied with a resting place on a highway, "Sẹtupum-kaṇuva"; wooden log, "Lī-koṭaya" (Sinhala, Sorata); Kaṭṭha: wood (Pali, Prakrit, CDIAL 3120); Kāṣṭha: piece of wood (Sanskrit, CDIAL 3120); 2. Kaṭṭai: related to Kaṭṭam: a highway stage; from Kaṭṭu: limit, boundary (Tamil, see Kaṭṭu 3 in column 30)
Tōlai grove (Eezham Tamil place names, especially in Jaffna); cognate of Cōlai: grove (Tamil, DED 2891, C/ T change); Tel: forest (Kota, DED 2891)
Kottu bunch, cluster, assembly, family (Tamil, DED 2092); a batch of bonded labourers (Tamil, inscriptions, 1164 CE, SII, iii, 120; 1422 CE, SII, v, 762); Kottaṭimai: Kottu+aṭimai: servitude of a family en bloc (Tamil, MTL); Kottuk-kāraṉ: head of a company of labourers (Tamil, MTL); Kottuk-kāri: dancing girl holding hereditary rights in a temple (Tamil, MTL)
Nāval the tree Eugenia jambolana (Tamil, DED 2914)
Paṟiccāṉ one that performs quick discharge or quick flow out (verbal noun); from Paṟi: (verb) to flow out quickly, be displaced suddenly, give way, fly off, be discharged as an arrow, fly off as steam, to run away as a horse (Tamil, DED 4020); running swiftly (Kannada, DED 4020); Pāruni: to escape, run, fly (Tulu, DED 4020 cognates in 10 Dravidian languages); Paṟippu: hollow dug out in bank of tank (Tamil, DED 4027); Paṟi-kāl: channel for surplus water or spill water (Tamil, inscription, 1288 CE, IPS, 402)
Āṟu river (Tamil, DED 5159). See column 365
Āl banyan, Ficus bengalensis (Tamil, DED 382, cognates in 11 Dravidian languages)
Aṭi locality, locative suffix (Tamil, related to DED 72)
Eṭṭu eight (Tamil, DED 784)


Kaṭṭi in Eezham Tamil toponymic usage means a part or block of land. In some instances it may also mean an assemblage such as a collection of trees. The term has the cognates, Kaṭṭiya and Kẹṭiya meaning the same in Sinhala place names. All the terms correspond to Kaṭṭu in Tamil/ Dravidian (DED 1147). See boxes above and columns 30, 182 and 228, for the various meanings and toponymic usages of Kaṭṭu in Tamil and Sinhala, and for finding how Kaṭṭi, Kaṭṭiya and Kẹṭiya are cognates of Kaṭṭu.

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The component Kaṭṭai found in Eezham Tamil place names has different shades of meanings coming from different etyma.

In meaning a part, enclosure, block of land, assemblage, dam and platform Kaṭṭai is related to Kaṭṭu in Tamil/ Dravidian (DED 1147). See columns 30, 228, 182, and box on Kaṭṭi above.

In meaning shortness, Kaṭṭai in Tamil is listed as Dravidian (DED 1151).

In meaning a milepost, Kaṭṭai in Tamil corresponds to the word meaning a wooden post and in turn to Kaṭṭha/ Kāṣṭha meaning wood in Indo-Aryan (CDIAL 3120). The milepost meaning could also be traced to Kaṭṭu/ Kaṭṭam meaning a stage, block etc.

Kaṭṭaik-kāṭu and Kaṭṭa-kaḍuva, respectively in Eezham Tamil and Sinhala place names, mean a paddy field enclosure located in a jungle or in a remote place. See column 376 for discussion on them.

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In the component Paṟiccāṉ, the verb Paṟi has been used in the meaning of quick discharge or fast flow out (DED 4020).

Tōlai is a variation of Cōlai, meaning a grove in Eezham Tamil place names, especially in Jaffna. See box above and another column on this.

See boxes above on the other components, Nāval, Āl, Āṟu and Eṭṭu.

The component Kottu, in one of its old usages, meant a group or families of bonded labourers. This has come from the word meaning a bunch, cluster, assembly or family in Tamil (DED 2092).

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Kottu meaning a group or families of bonded labourers:

"ஆண் வழி அற்று பெண் வழியான கொத்துக்கு அமுது செய்விக்கும்படி" (Tamil inscription, 1164 CE, SII, iii, 120)

"Āṇ vaḻi aṟṟu peṇ vaḻiyāṉa kottukku amutu ceyvikkumpaṭi" (Tamil inscription, 1164 CE, SII, iii, 120)

To feed the batch of bonded labourers that has lost the male line and is of the female line


"அனைத்துக் கொத்தில் வேண்டுவாரையும் கற்பித்து" (Tamil inscription, 1422 CE, SII, v, 762)

"Aṉaittuk kottil vēṇṭuvāraiyum kaṟpittu" (Tamil inscription, 1422 CE, SII, v, 762)

Getting the needed number of people from all the batches of bonded labourers

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Tōlai-kaṭṭi is a place in Vacāviḷāṉ in Valikamam North division of Jaffna district.

Kottuk-kaṭṭi is a locality in Karainagar Island of Jaffna district.

Nāval-kaṭṭai is found as a locality name in Kōppāy in Valikamam East division of Jaffna district as well as in Aḷaveṭṭi in Valikamam North division of Jaffna district (Balsundaram, p. 252, 189).

Kaṭṭai-paṟiccāṉ-āṟu is a river coming from the dam of the Allai Tank in Trincomalee district. From the river, a place also has got the name Kaṭṭai-paṟiccāṉ in Moothoor division of Trincomalee district.

Kaṭṭai-ālaṭi is a locality in Tirunelvēli in Nallur division of Jaffna district.

Eṭṭāṅ-kaṭṭai is a locality between Mallākam and Tellippaḻai in Valikamam North division of Jaffna district. The locality marked the eighth milepost from Jaffna.

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Some related place names:

Kaṭṭi:

Ninta-kaṭṭi: Kōppāy, Valikamam East, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 252). Nintam: = Nivantam: land endowed with stipulated obligations. See column 251

Pallak-kaṭṭi: Puṅkuṭu-tīvu, Kayts, Jaffna. Pallam: cattle pen, cattle herders' settlement, grazing land

Payirik-kaṭṭi: Kokkuvil, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 105). Payiri: a herb, green vegetable. See Payirik-kaṭṭai

Ūñcāl-kaṭṭi: Vavuniya North, Vavuniya. Ūñcāl: from Ūñcil: = Ucil, Uyilai: a tree, Black sirissa (Tamil, MTL)

Eṭṭuk-kaṭṭi: Karainagar, Jaffna. Probably related to Eṭṭuc-cār: a double courtyard house that has eight sides (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna diction);

Kaṭṭiya-vattai: Puttūr, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 229). Probably related to Kaṭṭi as in Kottuk-kaṭṭi

Kaṭṭiyan-tuṟai: Valveṭṭi, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 191). See Kaṭṭiya-vattai

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Kaṭṭai: (meaning a part, enclosure or assemblage)

Payirik-kaṭṭai: Kokkuvil, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 105). See Payirik-kaṭṭi and note Kaṭṭi and Kaṭṭai being variants.

Payiṅ-kaṭṭai: Kokkuvil, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 105)

Mullaik-kaṭṭai: Kokkuvil, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 105). Mullai: a shrub or small tree

Ālaṅ-kaṭṭai: Vatiri, Vadamaradchi Southwest, Jaffna. Āl: banyan tree

Mayiluvak-kaṭṭai: Mayiliṭṭi, Valikamam North, Jaffna (V. almanac). Mayilai: a tree or shrub

Cōḻiyaṅ-kaṭṭai: Mallākam, Valikamam North, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 199). Cōḻiyaṉ: a person from the Chola country, a community name

Veṭṭuk-kaṭṭai: Kandavalai, Kilinochchi. Veṭṭu: may probably mean a place cleared of forest

Kaṭṭai-vēli: Vadamaradchi Southwest, Jaffna. Vēli: paddy field. Kaṭṭai may mean an enclosure here. See column 376

Kaṭṭaik-kāṭu: See column 376 for place names related to Kaṭṭaik-kāṭu

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Kaṭṭai: (meaning a dam)

Kaṭṭai-paṟittāṉ: Mīcālai North, Thenmaradchi, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 215). See Kaṭṭai-paṟiccāṉ

Kaṭṭai-āṟu: Kinniya, Trincomalee. This is a narrow sea inlet. Kaṭṭai may mean a causeway built across the sea inlet

Kaṭṭa-muṟiccāṉa: from Kaṭṭai-muṟiccāṉ or Kaṭṭu-muṟiccāṉ: Thirappane, Anuradhapura. May be the suffix Kuḷam has been dropped from Kaṭṭai/ Kaṭṭu-muṟiccāṉ-kuḷam. Muṟiccāṉ: see column 30

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Kottu: (meaning a group of bonded labourers)

Kottaṭaippu: Kottu+aṭaippu: Puttūr, Jaffna. Aṭaippu: enclosure

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Revised: Thursday, 04 May 2017, 17:30

First published: Monday, 16 July 2007, 01:00

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