Know the Etymology: 332
Place Name of the Day: Monday, 15 January 2018


Koyilā-maṉai/ Kōyilā-maṉai

கொயிலாமனை/ கோயிலாமனை
Koyilā-maṉai/ Kōyilā-maṉai

Koyil+ā+maṉai/ Kōyil+ā+maṉai
Koyilār+maṉai/ Kōyilār+maṉai


The temple house; or the house of the temple servants

Maṉai house, dwelling, mansion, wife, family, household, domestic life (Tamil, DED 4776, Kuṟuntokai, 135: 2; 328: 2; Akanāṉūṟu, 255: 16; 21: 7); house-site, vacant site to build a house, a land measure of 40' x 60' or 1/24 of a Kāṇi (Tamil, MTL, DED 4776, inscriptions, 966 CE, SII, iii, 212ab; 1070 CE, SII, viii, 754); Mane: a commonly used word for house, also, habitation, abode, apartment, room (Kannada, DED 4776); cognates in 8 Dravidian languages; Maṉ: (verb) to exist (Tamil, Akanāṉūṟu, 381: 16; Kuṟuntokai, 376: 1); to be (Naikri, Parji, Gadba, Konda, Pengo, Manda, Kuwi, DED 4778); to stay (Parji, Konda, Kuwi, DED 4778); to dwell (Konda, Kuwi, DED 4778); Manu: (verb) to live, exist (Telugu, DED 4778); Maṉṉu: (verb) to be permanent, endure, remain long, stay, preserve, be steady (Tamil, DED 4778); cognates in 15 Dravidian languages including Brahui
Koyilā1 from Kōyilā: of a temple; from Kōyil+ā; Kōyil: temple (Tamil, see column 72); Ā: adjectival suffix or genitive case suffix (Tamil, Brahmi inscriptions, see column 84); note the place name, Kōyilāk-kaṇṭi (column 85)
Kōyilā2 probably shortened form of Kōyilār: servants of a temple (Tamil, MTL cites Jaffna Dictionary); Kōyil+ār; Kōyil: temple (Tamil, see column 72); Ār: plural suffix (Tamil, Tolkāppiyam, 15: 9)


Maṉai meaning house etc. in Tamil is related to the verb Maṉ/ Maṉṉu, meaning to be permanent, stay or remain long.

In contemporary Tamil usage, Maṉai is formal and literary in meaning a house. In Tamil Nadu it is mostly used to mean a house-site. But in Kannada, Mane is a commonly used word for a house or home.

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Maṉai meaning house:

"வாடை கடி மனை மாடத்துக் கங்குல் வீச (அகநானூறு, 255: 15-16)

"Vāṭai kaṭi maṉai māṭattuk kaṅkul vīca (Akanāṉūṟu, 255: 15-16)

As the blow of the rainy northern wind in the night was felt in the upper story of the protected house


Maṉai meaning house-site/ measure or land:

"நாங் கொள்ளும் இறை முழு மனை காலும் அரை மனை அரைக்காலும்"(Tamil inscription, 966 CE, SII, iii, 212ab)

"Nāṅ koḷḷum iṟai muḻu maṉai kālum arai maṉai araikkālum" (Tamil inscription, 966 CE, SII, iii, 212ab)

The tax we collect is a quarter (of money) for a full house-site and a half of a quarter (of money) for a half house-site

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The Ā ending in Koyilā/ Kōyilā could be an adjectival or genitive case suffix to Kōyil meaning temple. Such endings, noticed in Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, are commonly seen in Eezham Tamil place names (see column 84).

The Ā ending could also have come by the shortening of the plural suffix Ār. Kōyilār meaning temple servants is a usage noted by Jaffna Dictionary.

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Koyilā-maṉai/ Kōyilā-maṉai is a locality in Mīcālai North, Koṭikāmam, in Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna district (V. Almanac, 2013-14, p. 158; K. Almanac, 2016-17, p. 104)

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Some related place names:

Vīra-maṉai: Valikamam South, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 431)

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Revised: Monday, 15 January 2018, 18:30

First published: Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 08:44

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