Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Etymology of Kerala

Courtesy:Sri.PK.Ramakrishnan

In ancient days there were three tamil speaking kingdoms. These were cheram, cholam and
pandyam. In the chera region Parasurama brought the Kannada speaking Brahmins from
Karnataka.  They are today known as namputhiris.  In Kannada the word for a house is 
Mana.  The Namputhiris also call their houses Mana.

In Kannada language cha of Tamil becomes ka.  Example chevi > kevi.
chempu > kempu.  chemmannu > kemmannu. Likewise cheram became keram.

Later the name of the most important produce of keram was being called keram namely
the coconut.  The name for this in Tamil is thenkay which in Malayalam is thenka or thenga.
Later the region which has abundance of keram became Keralam. In Sanskrit la is added
to a word to indicate abundance. tundila, jatila etc are examples in Sanskrit. So la was
added to kera to become kerala meaning having abundanceof kera.