Know the Etymology: 306
Place Name of the Day: Wednesday, 27 November 2013


Naa'na'r-pul-meadu

நாணற்புல் மேடு
Nāṇaṟpul Mēṭu

Naa'nal+pul+meadu

The rising ground of reed grass

Meadu Rising ground, height, eminence, hillock, (Tamil, Malayalam, DED 5058); Mettu, Muttu, Mittaal, Mittu, Medu, Mitte, Mutte, Metta, Meta, Mett are cognates in 11 Dravidian languages (DED 5058); Mutta: Hill, peak (Sinhala, place names as in Uru-mutta); Mutaa: Island as they are heaps of sand amidst sea in the context of Maldives (Dhivehi/ Maldivian, southern dialect, seems to be equivalent to Puti/ Fushi (Piddi) in northern dialects). See column on U'rukaamam..Urumutta.
Naa'nal A large and coarse grass, Kaus, Saccharum spontaneum, Penreed Grass, S. arundinaceum, Bulrush, Lalong Grass, Imperata arundinacea (Tamil, DED 2909)
Pul Grass, grass family (Tamil, DED 4300), Cognates in Malayalam, Kota, Toda, Kannada, Tulu, Telugu, Gondi and Kuwi (DED 4300)


Meadu is a commonly used word in Tamil to mean a rising ground, high ground, heap, height, eminence or a hillock. It is a word of Dravidian etymology, having cognates in 11 Dravidian languages (DED 5058).

A related word, found used only in place names in Sinhala, is Mutta, as in the place name Uru-mutta.

In the southern dialect of Dhivehi/ Maldivian, Mutaa is an island, as the small Maldivian islets are just heaps of sand. The other equivalent terms in Dhivehi/ Maldivian are Futtaa, Huttaa and Fushi (Puti cognate of Puddi/ Piddi in Old Dhivehi).

Naa'nal is a Tamil/ Dravidian term for reed grass that is usually found along water sources. Pul in Tamil / Dravidian generally means grass. In Old Tamil it also stood for all plants of the grass family, such as the palmyra palm, coconut palm, areca nut palm, bamboo, plantain etc. A cognate Pol is used in Sinhala to mean coconut palm.

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Naa'na'r-pul-meadu is a place in Ki'n'niyaa division of Trincomalee district

First published: Wednesday, 27 November 2013, 19:30

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