Know the Etymology: 298
Place Name of the Day: Wednesday, 09 October 2013



Iraṇaimaṭu, Iraṇavila, Iraṭṭakuḷama


The double tank
The double pond
The twin tank

Ira'nai Couple, pair (Tamil, DED 474): Iraddai: Pair, twin, even number (Tamil, DED 474); Iraddi: (verb) To double; (noun) Double; Ira'ndu: Two (Tamil, DED 474); Eer: (adjective) Two (Tamil, Malayalam, DED 474); Cognates in 23 Dravidian languages, including Brahui of Pakistan (DED 474); Eer: (verb) To drag along, pull, to saw (Tamil, DED 542); Splitting, sawing (Malayalam, DED 542); Eer-vaa'l: A saw (Tamil, Malayalam, DED 542); Eer, Eerkku: Mid rib of palm leaf (Tamil, DED 544)
Irattaya Even number, two, double, not odd (Sinhala); Iratuwa, Irate: (singular), Iratu, Irataa (plural): Central fibre of the coconut or palmyra leaf (Sinhala); Ira'nawaa: To saw, to split, to tear, to rend (Sinhala); Iri-wætima: Act of splitting (Sinhala);

Ira'nai and Iraddai, meaning a pair, couple, double, twin etc., and Iraddai additionally meaning an even number in Tamil, are derivatives of I'randu in Tamil, meaning two. The root Eer as a verb means making into two and as an adjective means two. The words are listed as Dravidian and cognates are found in 23 Dravidian languages, including Brahui of Pakistan (DED 474).

The place names Ira'na-vila and Iratta-ku'lama in the Puththa'lam district could be recent Sinhalicisation of Ira'nai-vil and Iraddaik-ku'lam, as the district has a large number of recently Sinhalicised place names.

However, note that the words Irattaya and Ira'nawa are found in the Sinhala diction also, respectively meaning a double and the act of splitting or sawing into two. Also note how the other derivatives related to the root Eer, mean the mid rib of palm leaves that make them into two, and a saw or the act of sawing in Tamil and Sinhala.

See earlier columns for the meanings and etymological discussions on Madu, Vil/ Vila and Ku'lam/ Ku'lama.

Also see the column on Koottam-pokuna for another word of Dravidian etymology, meaning two, twin or a pair in Sinhala.

* * *

Ira'nai-madu is in the Karaichchi division of Ki'linochchi district. The two tanks that were there have become a major irrigation reservoir today

Ira'na-vila is in Mahawewa division of Puththa'lam district

Iratta-ku'lama is in Madampe division of Puththa'lam district

* * *

Some related place names:


Ira'naik-kea'ni: The twin pond (constructed); Kuchchave'li division, Trincomalee district

Ira'naip-paalai: The twin Paalai trees; Puthukkudiyiruppu division, Mullaiththeevu district

Ira'nai Iluppaik-kulam: The tank in the locality of the twin Iluppai trees; Madu division, Mannaar district

Ira'nai-theevu: The twin islets; Poonakari division, Ki'linochchi district

Ira'nai-maathaa-nakar: The town (a recent colony) named after the Holy Mother in the church of Ira'nai-theevu; Poonakari division, Ki'linochchi district


Iraddaik-ku'lam: The twin tank; Naanaaddaan division, Mannaar district

Iraddai-vaaykkaal: The double canal; Karaithu'raippattu division, Mullaiththeevu district

First published: Wednesday, 09 October 2013, 18:41

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