Know the Etymology: 235
Place Name of the Day: Friday, 28 December 2012

Ballaa-paana Uda-baage
Ballaa-paana Patha-baage

3ல்லாபான உட3பா3கெ3 / பதபா3கெ3
Ballāpāna Uḍabāge
Ballāpāna Patabāge


The dog-waters upper part
The dog-waters lower part

BaageAlso Baaga: Part, portion, moiety, half, some (Sinhala); Baagaya (singular), Baaga (plural): Part, portion, half (Sinhala); Baa: Half, share, portion (Sinhala); Bai, Bei: Part of something, portion, share, half, division, group (Dhivehi/ Maldivian); Paa: Dividing (Tamil); Paku, Pakir: (verb) to divide, separate, cut into pieces, distribute (Tamil, DED 3808); Pangku: (noun) Part, portion, share, half (Tamil, DED 3808); Part, share (Malayalam, DED 3808); Paakam: Part, portion, share, half, some (Tamil); Cognates are found in 17 Dravidian languages (DED 3808). Bhaaga: Part, portion, share, (Sanskrit/ Prakrits); Also see Paal: Part, portion, share, section, dividing (Tamil, DED 4097). See column on Kandu-palaatha
UdaAbove, higher up, up-wards, over, above the head (Sinhala); The root U is connected to higher-up, above, up-wards, height etc., in Dravidian languages (DED 621, 646, 559, 557). See column on Uda-peruwa.
PathaIn the context of the place name, the component is obviously a term of comparison and contrast to Uda, and stands for, lower, below, down-wards etc.; Patasa, Pataha: Large ditch, deep hole, pit (Sinhala); Pathi: (verb) Be low-lying (as land), be low, sink in (Tamil, DED 3911); Pathivu: (noun) Depression (Tamil, DED 3911). In Tamil usage Pathivu is a word of contrast and is an opposite word to Uyaram (height).
Ballaa(singular), Balloa (plural): Dog (Sinhala); In the context of the place name associated with water the word seems to stand for beaver or Indian otter known in Sinhala as water dog, Diya-Ballaa (Sinhala); Ba値u: Dog (Sinhala); Ba値u-kukkaa: Pup (Sinhala); 1. Va値値enuvaan: Va値-enuvaan: One that sounds as Va値, Dog (dialect of the Paraiyar community in Jaffna, Eezham Tamil); 2. Pi値値ai: Child, young of many animals (Tamil, DED 4198); Pa値値e: Female of dog, horse and various wild animals (Kodagu, DED 4198); Pi値値e, Pi値値a: Child, young of any animal (Kannada, DED 4198); Pilla: Child, young of any animal (Kannada, Telugu, DED 4198); Pillaka, Pillika: Young of an animal, child (Pali, CDIAL 8214); Pillaa: Puppy, cub (Hindi, CDIAL 8214); 3. Pazhuppu: Yellowish or ripe fruit colour (Tamil, DED 4004); Pa値olwan: Brown or pale red colour (Sinhala); 4. Pul, Pullai: Tawny, dull or yellowish colour (Tamil, DED 4310); Pulla: A yellowish colour of cattle (Malayalam, DED 4310); Brown, tawny (Telugu, DED 4310); Bul: Liver coloured; as a proper name: dog or bullock (Kodagu, DED 4310)
PaanaWaters of rivers, waterfalls etc., as in the context of place names (Sinhala); Punal, Punai: Water, flood, river (Tamil, DED 4338); Punal. Pu地al: Water, river (Malayalam, DED 4338); Ponal: Stream, river (Kannada, DED 4338). See column on Kivul-pana for further discussions.

Baage and Baaga meaning a part, half or portion in Sinhala, correspond to the Tamil words Pangku and Paakam, meaning the same and listed as words of Dravidian etymology (DED 3808). Cognates of the words are found in 17 Dravidian languages. The root verb Paa itself means the act of division in Tamil. Sanskrit and Prakrits diction also have corresponding cognates Bhaaga and Bhaa.

Pakuththu as verb from the root Paa/ Paku/ pakir:

典hamathu pakuththu u地地um (Pu池anaanoo池u 46: 4)

தமது பகுத்து உண்ணும் (புறநானூறு 46: 4)

Those who divide (share) and eat

Paakam as part:

適a地 ka値avu ko値値um chi池u noakkam kaamaththin chem paakam an池u perithu (Thirukku池a値 110:2)

கண் களவு கொள்ளும் சிறு நோக்கம் காமத்தின் செம் பாகம் அன்று பெரிது (திருக்குறள் 110:2)

The stealing little look in making love is not a half part but more than it

Paa being the root verb of the words meaning division

撤akuththal, paaththal, paakam, paathi, pangkeedu ennap pakaratpaala (Thivaakara Nika地du 9:264)

பகுத்தல், பாத்தல், பாகம், பாதி, பங்கீடு என்னப் பகரற்பால (திவாகர நிகண்டு 9:264)

Pakuththal, Paaththal, Paakam and Paathi could be said as meaning Pangkeedu (the act of dividing/ division)

* * *

Pata and Patha in Sinhala ordinarily don稚 mean a lower place. They have other meanings that don稚 tally with the usage of comparison in place names such as Uda-baage, Patha-baage.

The use of Patha as a contrast to Uda in the Sinhala place names clearly shows that Patha in these contexts means a lower position. See related place names below.

However, there is another corresponding Sinhala word, Patasa or Pataha that means a lower place: a large ditch, deep hole or pit.

The particular shade of meaning for Patha in Sinhala place names corresponds to the Tamil verb Pathi, listed as a word of Dravidian etymology and means, to press down, be low, sink in and be low-lying as land (DED 3911).

Pathichchu-kaddu (tie it at a lower position), Pathichchu-veddu (cut it at a lower point) etc., are some common examples in Tamil for the verb usage of Pathi.

One of the meanings for the word Pathivu, as a noun in Tamil, is a low-lying place or a depression (DED 3911).

Pathipu as verb meaning lowering:

鄭池uchunai mutti udangku neer veadda udampu uyangku yaanai kadum thaam pathipu aangkuk kai the池appaddu (Kaliththokai 12: 3-5)

அறுசுனை முற்றி உடங்கு நீர் வேட்ட உடம்பு உயங்கு யானை கடும் தாம் பதிபு ஆங்குக் கை தெறப்பட்டு (கலித்தொகை 12: 3-5)

The elephants, physically suffering (from heat) and reaching a waterless pond seeking drinking water, when lowered (their trunks) burnt their trunks

Pathiththa as adverb meaning dug out:

撤athiththa padu kuzhiyil paaychchi (Peruntheavanaar Paaratham 3:100)

பதித்த படு குழியில் பாய்ச்சி (பெருந்தேவனார் பாரதம் 3:100)

Leading into a dug-out trench

* * *

Ballaa is a common word in Sinhala, meaning a dog. In the context of the place name associated with water, it seems that the word stands for beavers or Indian otter called in Sinhala as Diya-ballaa (literally water dog).

Similar usage examples could be found in Eezham Tamil place names too, such as Naay-aa池u (literally dog-river), in which the Tamil word for dog is used for beaver (Neer-naay, literally water dog).

The etymology of the word Ballaa has more than one possibility.

The closest parallel is the Hindi word Pillaa for a puppy or cub. DED compares the Hindi word and its cognate Pillaka in Pali meaning young of any animal, to Pi値値ai in Tamil and its cognates in Dravidian languages meaning young of many animals (DED 4198).

Another possibility is the word Va値値enuvaan found in the Pa池aiyar dialect of Eezham Tamil, which has come from the barking sound Va値.

Yet another possibility of etymological comparison is the Tamil/ Dravidian word Pazhuppu for yellowish colour (from the ripeness of fruit, DED 4004) or the Tamil/ Dravidian words Pul, Pullai, Pula, Pulla, Bul etc. (DED 4310) that mean tawny, yellowish, light brown and brown colours that are the common colours of the local dog species.

Pulla in Malayalam stands for the yellowish colour of cattle and Bul in Kodagu meaning liver-coloured, also means a dog or bullock (DED 4310).

The word Pa値olwan in Sinhala also means brown or pale red colour (corresponding to Tamil Pazhuppu or Pazhuppan, DED 4004).

Also note an alternative Sinhala word Ba値u for dog spelt with a palatal L, in comprehending the abode discussions on etymology.

The Sinhala words Pana and Paana in their shades on meanings waters, water sources, waterfall etc., corresponding to the Tamil word Punal has been discussed in a previous column Kivul-pana.

See column on Uda-peruwa for etymological discussions on Uda, meaning upper.

* * *

Ballaa-paana Uda-baage and Ballaa-paana Patha-baage are places in the Galigamuwa division of Kegalle district

* * *

Some related place names:


Ballaa-ketuwa: The beaver enclave or locality; Ella division, Badulla district

Ballaa-hala: Probably from Ballaa-hela: The beaver valley or hillock; Deraniyagala division, Kegalle district

The word Naay ordinarily meaning dog in Tamil, used for beavers of wild dogs in the context of place names:

Naayadithth-mu池ippu: The tank where beavers were killed; Karaithu池aippattu division, Mullaiththeevu district

Naayaa池u: The stream of beavers; Karaithu池aippattu division, Mullaiththeevu district

Naay-adampan-villu: The pond of Adampan creepers where beavers are found; the prefix differentiates the tank from another Adampan-villu; Nalloor village of the Poonakari division of Ki値inochchi district

* * *


Mahaa-baage: The big part; Wattala division, Gampaha district; Yatiyanthota division, Kegalle district

Pas-baage: The subsequent part or the back part; Pasbage division, Kandy district

Uda-bage: The upper part; Medadumbara division, Kandy district; Deraniyagala division, Kegalle district

Palle-bage: The lower part; Medadumbara division, Kandy district

Debathgama Uda-baage: The upper part of Debathgama; Aranayake division, Kegalle district

Debathgama Palle-baage: The lower part of Debathgama; Aranayake division, Kegalle district

Dorawaka Uda-baage: The upper part of Dorawaka; Warakapola division, Kegalle district

Dorawaka Palle-baage: The lower part of Dorawaka; Warakapola division, Kegalle district

Hatara-baage: The Four parts; Imbulpe division, Rartnapura district

Kolam-baage Aara: The river that flows through the part of Kolam trees; Embilipitiya division, Ratnapura district

* * *

Patha, meaning a lower place in Sinhala place names:

Patha-Dumbara: The lower part of Dumbara; Pathadumbara division, Kandy district. Compare with Uda-dumbara

Patha-hewaheta: The lower part of Hewaheta; Pathahewaheta division, Kandy district

Patha-mailapitiya: The lower part of Mailapitiya; Pathahewaheta division, Kandy district. Compare with Uda-mailapitiya

Patha-Welivitiya: The lower part of Welivitiya; Welivitiya-Divithura divistion, Galle district. Compare with Uda-welivitiya

Patha-gama: The village in the lower ground; Kuruvita division, Ratnapura district; Mirigama division, Gampaha district

Patha-kada: The lower side; Nivithigala division, Ratnapura district; Millaniya division, Kalutara district

Patha-vita: The lower hill; Pasgoda division, Matara district

First published: Friday, 28 December 2012, 22:16

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