Saturday, May 17, 2008
Gondwana is the Southern super-continent that later broke up into Antarctica, Madagascar, India, Australia and Africa. No. It was not because of a family dispute, dude. Experts attribute it to continental drift. You know that thing we all do. Imagine it on a global scale. Get the drift, right?
Historians say a geologist named Edward Suess labeled this pre-drift land mass as Gondwana. I did a google-check on Ed's reasoning. It appears he flipped for a word that cued the indigenous people who might have occupied the land mass. Gondwana is supposed to have been a Sanskrit word that means Land of the Gonds. Considering what Gondwana has come to mean (a cut-and-paste landmass that later broke up into many continents), I feel this explanation doesn't do justice to the super-continent theory. I have a different take.
There's a tamil word called Gond. It means glue. There's another tamil word called vanam which means forest. When you add them together, you get 'a forest that was glued together'. Doesn't that derivation add more punch to the word Gondwana?
Did you know that the Greek word for itch is Psora? Doesn't it sound similar to the Tamil word Sori which means to scratch? Strange, na? Does that mean that the Greeks and the Tamils had some kind of a conversation going long, long ago? Looks like the archaeologists have to start from scratch on this.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Picked this from Wikipedia: Vanilla is a flavouring derived from orchids in the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. The name came from the Spanish word "vainilla," meaning "little pod."
Now study the picture featured above. It's a vanilla flower with the pod. The colour of the pod has no connection to the colour that comes to mind when you think of Vanilla. Whereas the colour of the flower does. Ancient people were not botanists to name flowers after pods. They were simpler by nature. And my gut says, they would have named the flower after its colour.
And here is where I shall unleash my theory. There is a school of thought that believes that the Mayans in Mexico were Tamil adventurers from Sri Lanka. Read this article by Gene D. Matlock and you will be convinced so.
If Mayans were tamilians and ancient people named flowers after colours, there is a high chance the Mayans would have used a tamil word to describe the colour of the flower. The colour in question here is moonwhite. The tamil word for moonwhite is Venn Nilla!
So ladies and gentlemen, I am postulating that the word Vanilla was derived from the tamil word Venn Nila.