Know the Etymology: 110
Place Name of the Day: Tuesday, 05 September 2017


Cāṭṭi, Kurakkaṉ-cāṭṭi, Kampañ-cāṭṭi, Āvarañ-cāṭṭi, Kāṉṟai-cāṭṭi/ Kāṇṭai-cāṭṭi

சாட்டி, குரக்கன்சாட்டி, கம்பஞ்சாட்டி, ஆவரஞ்சாட்டி, கான்றைசாட்டி/ காண்டைசாட்டி
Cāṭṭi, Kurakkaṉ-cāṭṭi, Kampañ-cāṭṭi, Āvarañ-cāṭṭi, Kāṉṟai-cāṭṭi/ Kāṇṭai-cāṭṭi

Cāṭṭi
Kurakkaṉ+cāṭṭi
Kampu+am+cāṭṭi
Āvarai+am+cāṭṭi
Kāṉṟai+cāṭṭi
Kāṇṭai+cāṭṭi


The cultivation field; or the abandoned cultivation field; or the pastureland

The finger-millet cultivation field; or the abandoned finger-millet cultivation field

The bulrush-millet cultivation field; or the abandoned bulrush-millet cultivation field

The abandoned cultivation field found with Āvarai shrubs; or pastureland found with Āvarai shrubs

The abandoned cultivation field found with Kāṉṟai shrubs or pastureland found with Kāṉṟai shrubs


Cāṭṭi1 a dry cultivation land, especially of millets, pulses etc., as in Kurakkaṉ-cāṭṭi (Eezham Tamil place names, Jaffna); related to the word meaning a land manured for raising crop (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna Diction; implying that the land requires manure for cultivation); Pūñ-cāṭṭi: land without manure after a crop succeeding the tobacco crop etc. (Tamil, Winslow); land that has lost the effect of manure by cultivation (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna Dictionary); Pūñ-cāṭṭi-nilam: = Pūñ-cāṭṭi (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna Diction); Pūñ-cāṭṭit-taricu: uncultivated land after it became Pūñ-cāṭṭi (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna Diction); Pūñ: adjective of Pūñcai: barrenness or unfruitfulness (Tamil, MTL). See Cāṭṭi 2
Cāṭṭi2 a land once cultivated and left fallow or abandoned (Eezham Tamil place names, Jaffna); from the word meaning a land lying fallow after a crop (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna Diction, Winslow); "Payir ceytu aṟutta nilam" (Tamil, Kathiraiverpillai); Cāṭṭit-tarai: a land cultivated before, "Payir ceyta nilam" (Tamil, Kathiraiverpillai); Caṭṭu: destruction, waste (Tamil, DED 2307); destruction (Kannada, DED 2307); end, dissolution, ruin (Tulu, DED 2307); Caṭṭi: (verb) to destroy, ruin (Tamil, DED 2307, Tivākaram, 9: 110). See Cāṭṭi 1
Cāṭṭi3 probably related to Cāṭṭu: meadow, pastureland (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna Dictionary); "Puṟṟarai" (Tamil, Kathiraiverpillai); Cāṭṭu-valam: meadow, pasture, grassy verdant ground, "Pacum puṟṟarai" (Tamil, MTL, Winslow, Kathiraiverpillai, Piṅkalam, 4: 173); Caṭṭam: young grass (Tamil, Tivākaram, 4: 189); Śādvala: abounding in fresh grass, grassy spot (Sanskrit, CDIAL 12387); Saddala: grassy (Pali, CDIAL 12387); Śāda: young grass (Sanskrit, CDIAL 12387)
Kurakkaṉ finger millet (Eezham Tamil). See column 60
Kampu bulrush millet, Italian millet (Tamil, DED 1242); Kāmpu: flower stalk, flowering branch, shaft (Tamil, DED 1454)
Āvaram adjective of Āvarai, Āvārai, Āvirai: a common shrub, tanner's senna, Cassia auriculata (Tamil, DED 391, Kuṟuntokai, 173: 1-2)
Kāṉṟai a thorny shrub (Tamil, Kathiraiverpillai); noted as a thicket shrub growing in wasteland along with Cūrai and Kaḷḷi (Tamil, Maṇimēkalai, 6: 81); a kind of tree (Tamil, MTL); Kāṇṭai: a shrub (Tamil, Kathiraiverpillai); note Koṉṟai > Koṇṭai in column 86


Cāṭṭi is a land-related term found used in the place names of Jaffna Peninsula. Parallels are not seen in the other parts of the island or in Tamil Nadu.

All the shades of land-related meanings given for the term and for phrases of the term are listed by MTL either as Jaffna terms or as coming from Jaffna Dictionary.

From the meanings given and implied in the dictionaries, and from meanings deducible from the contexts of the place names, the term Cāṭṭi seems to ultimately mean an unfertile field that is tried for cultivation with manure or that was cultivated and left fallow or abandoned.

Another term Cāṭṭu, listed in Jaffna Dictionary, means a meadow or pastureland. This has another etymology and it is unclear whether this word is related to Cāṭṭi of the shades of meanings and toponymic usage in Jaffna. Cāṭṭu is unrelated to cultivation, lack of manure and abandonment (see Cāṭṭi 3).

Looking at the meanings given for Cāṭṭi and the toponymic usage contexts, the term seems to be closely related to the old Tamil verb Caṭṭi, meaning to ruin, and the noun Caṭṭu meaning waste, destruction, ruin etc. in Tamil, Kannada and Tulu (DED 2307).

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Kurakkaṉ and Kampu are millets (see column 60). Āvarai and Kāṉṟai/ Kāṇṭai are shrubs usually found in wastelands.

See boxes above and usage examples below:

Usage example for Āvarai/ Āvārai/ Āvirai

"பொன் நேர் ஆவிரைப் புது மலர்" (குறுந்தொகை, 173: 1)

"Poṉ nēr āviraip putu malar" (Kuṟuntokai, 173: 1)

The gold-like fresh flowers of Āvirai


Usage example for Kāṉṟai:

"கான்றையும் சூரையும் கள்ளியும் அடர்ந்து" (மணிமேகலை, 6: 81)

"Kāṉṟaiyum cūraiyum kaḷḷiyum aṭarntu" (Maṇimēkalai, 6: 81)

[Comes in describing a cremation cum burial ground] found with dense growth of Kāṉṟai, Cūrai (Zizyphus oenoplia) and Kaḷḷi (spurge, milk hedge or prickly pear)


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Cāṭṭi is a place near Maṇkumpāṉ in Kayts division of Jaffna district. A part of the place along the coast is an open land and the interior part is a dry-cultivation paddy field. The place is also an archaeological site.

Kurakkaṉ-cāṭṭi is a locality name found in the old land deeds of Kokkuvil in Nallur division of Jaffna district (Balasundaram, p. 105)

Kampam-cāṭṭi is a locality name found in the old land deeds of Kokkuvil in Nallur division of Jaffna district (Balasundaram, p. 105)

Āvarañ-cāṭṭi is a locality in Cāvakaccēri in Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna district (V. Almanac, 2013-14, p. 95).

Kāṉṟai-cāṭṭi or Kāṇṭaic-cāṭṭi is a locality in Mīcālai in Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna district (K. Almanac, 2016-17, p. 92).

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Some related place names:

Eḷ-cāṭṭi: a locality name found in the old land deeds of Kokkuvil in Nallur, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 105). Eḷ: sesame, Sesamum indicum (Tamil, DED 854)

Eccāṭṭi: a locality in Vaṇṇārpaṇṇai East, Nallur, Jaffna (V. Almanac, p. 92); another at Vaḻalāy, Valikamam North, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 388). Probably Eḷ-cāṭṭi > Eṭcāṭṭi > Eccāṭṭi; or probably from a deity associated with the place; the term Eccāṭṭi comes for deities like Vayiravar, Vīrapattirar, Pattirakāḷi, Māri etc.; from the story of destroying the Yajna of Takkaṉ; Eccaṉ: from Yajna: one who performs a sacrifice (MTL, Tēvāram, 596: 9)

Koccāṭṭi: a locality in Vaḻalāy, Valikamam North, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 388). Probably Koḷ+cāṭṭi; Koḷ, Koḷḷu: horse gram, Dolichos uniflorus (Tamil, DED 2153)

Ūri-cāṭṭi: Cuṉṉākam East, Valikamam South, Jaffna (Civapūtarāyar temple, V. Almanac, 2013-14, p. 93). Ūri: brackish land, see column 53

Celukkaṉ-cāṭṭi: Tampakāmam, Paḻai, Paccilaippalli, Kilinochchi (HAM temple records). Celukkaṉ: probably meaning poor in productivity; related to Celu: thin, poor, puny (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna Diction)

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Chaaddi
The location of Chaaddi. Note the small patch of paddy fields in the background. [Satellitte Image courtesy: Google Earth]


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Revised: Tuesday, 05 September 2017, 18:30

First published: Tuesday, 09 September 2008, 13:53

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