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-pur (Indian root) Options
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 4:47:28 AM

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Hello!

This is not about English, but I was hoping maybe somebody with knowledge of India would respond.

On the map of India I notice many locations whose names end with -pur (Nagpur is perhaps the biggest, but there are many others). Does anybody know what this root means, and in which language?

Sorry if this is a wrong place to ask, but I can think of no other.

thar
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:03:54 AM

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I am about as far from being Indian as you can get, but I did look up the origin of Jaipur (just because it was the first that came to mind)


Quote:
The now capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur was built in 1727 AD by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. It is from his name that the city extracts its name.



so it looks like his city.....



Quote:
Hindi
Etymology
From Sanskrit पुर (pura).

Pronunciation
IPA(key): /pʊɾ/
Noun
पुर • (pur) m (Urdu spelling پور‎)

town, city; village
fortress




apparently also a brothel, among many other things, but let's stick with city/fortress!

And related to polis and all its baggage from classical Greece (according to whoever wrote the entry). Can't quite see it myself, but I will believe them. So much seems to go back to a common PIE.

Quote:
Sanskrit
Etymology
From Proto-Indo-European *pl̥h₁- (“stronghold”). Cognates include Ancient Greek πόλις f (pólis) and Lithuanian pilis.


Noun
पुर • (pura) n

fortress, castle, city, town
the female apartments, gynaeceum
house, abode, residence, receptacle
an upper story
brothel
body
skin
a species of Cyperus
name of a constellation
a leaf rolled into the shape of a funnel
name of the subdivisions of the vedānta



source https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B0#Hindi


also, I checked whether Singapore was linked - seemed unlikely given its Malay origin and Chinese/British inputs, but there it is in Malay. I didn't know it was related, although now it seems obvious.


Quote:
English

Singapore
Etymology
From Malay Singapura, from Sanskrit सिंहपुर (siṃhá-pura), from सिंह (siṃha, “lion”) +‎ पुर (pura, “city”).


edit
I see srirr is around - maybe now you can get the first-hand version, not the etymologyist's version.



Ah, srirr seems to have disappeared, so I will follow that religious angle that came up in the Sanskrit definitions. About this I have absolutely no knowledge (not that I had any about the language, but you know what I mean - this is something where I don't know even the basics. All I have is a vague memory of a temple being called pura.)



Quote:
Pur (Vedic)

The term Pur (Devanagari:पुर, Nastaleeq: پور, Eastern Nagari: পুর) or Pura (Devanagari: पूरा, Nastaleeq: پورہ, Eastern Nagari: পুরা) occurs 30 times in the Rig Veda which is an ancient sacred Hindu text. It is often translated as city, castle, fortress or abode. These terms are used as a part of the names of many cities throughout the Indian subcontinent, especially in India such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Raipur, and Nagpur, eastern regions of Pakistan i.e Punjab and Sindh provinces in Pakistan, as well as Bangladesh.

With the Indianization of Southeast Asia and the spread of Hinduism there, specially in the Indosphere, the term pura also means temple (abode of god), e.g. Balinese pura. Other English place name variations include the suffixes -pore e.g. Singapore, -puri e.g. Jagannathpuri and -puram e.g. Kanchipuram.

In the Rig Veda, there are also purs made of metal (purās ayasīs in 10.101.8). In Aitareya Brahmana, there is copper/bronze, silver, and golden pur.


Pur and pura
Pur and pura are suffixes meaning "city" or "settlement", used in several place names across the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Afghanistan and Iran. The word pura is the oldest Sanskrit language word for "city", finds frequent mention in the Rigveda, one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism, most dating between c. 1500–1200 BCE. However in later Vedic literature it also means "fortress" or "rampart". These days pura is often used for a mohalla (neighbourhood).[1] In Balinese Hinduism, the temple for worship is known as a pura.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pur_(Vedic)



srirr
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:30:36 AM

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Thar has made the relevant comment. In short, 'pur' can be understood as city or town. In medieval India, as a common practice and culture those days, the kings used to establish new cities. These cities were often named after those kings. Sometimes the cities were named after some other prominent leaders, religious gurus or mythological characters. The names of such kings were suffixed with -pur to honour them. Other common such suffixes that you can find in Indian sub-continent include -bad (pronounced as -baad) and -garh. These also means the same.

As Thar mentioned, 'pur' is derived from Sanskrit. It also means temple or place of worship. Some cities in India are Jaipur, Kanpur, Mirpur, Rampur, Jodhpur, Kolhapur, Mithapur, Bharatpur, Udaipur and many more. There is a state in India named Manipur.

Many cities are like Faisalabad, Faizabad, Ghaziabad, Dhanbad, ... and Ramgarh, Ballabhgarh, Sultangarh, ...

Edited to add: Thar, I am here. :)
thar
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:40:59 AM

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So garh might possibly be related to Slavic -grad?

There is a PIE listing given as the origin of -grad, meaning enclosure. In Western European it seems to have become a word for a field or garden, but in the East for a city?
I couldn't see a link to any Indian cognates, but given it is PIE that doesn't seem a ridiculous idea. Think


Quote:
From Proto-Slavic *gordъ (“settlement, enclosed place”), from Proto-Balto-Slavic *gordos, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰordʰos, *ǵʰortós.

Quote:
Proto-Indo-European
Etymology
From *ǵʰer-.

Noun
*ǵʰórtos m (non-ablauting)

enclosure
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:53:36 AM

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Wow, thanks a lot, Thar! (Edit: Cross-posted with Srirr. I was slow)

Associations with women seem logical. I wonder what rolled leaves have to do with it.

They say Malay is not an Indo-European language, so I looked into the Singapore matter more closely. According to Russian wikipedia they borrowed foreign (Sanskrit) words to name their city! What an interesting story. I understand the population of Singapore is very diverse in terms of its ethnical and cultural roots and background, so apparently at some early stage there must have been an influx of people from India who brought Sanskrit along.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:08:52 AM

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And yes, Slavic grad / gorod does seem to be related to garden! I never thought of this before.
Orson Burleigh
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 11:18:14 AM

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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Hello!

This is not about English, but I was hoping maybe somebody with knowledge of India would respond.

On the map of India I notice many locations whose names end with -pur (Nagpur is perhaps the biggest, but there are many others). Does anybody know what this root means, and in which language?

Sorry if this is a wrong place to ask, but I can think of no other.



Versions of the Indic suffix -pur, -pura, -por, are also common elements in the names of towns, cities, districts and provinces in Thai and Khmer place names. The Khmer language version Borei (ប៊ួរី) is part of the name of the ancient city of Angkor Borei (អង្គរបូរី), located near what is now the border between Cambodia and southern Vietnam.

The Thai language version of the suffix -buri ( -บุรี ) is very common, occurring in the names of towns and provinces such as Singhburi (สิงห์บุรี), Lopburi (ลพบุรี) and Kanchanaburi (กาญจนบุรี). This widespread use by speakers of non-Indo-European languages of borrowings from the Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European might be seen as evidence of cultural and philosophical influence that was carried as far afield as mainland and insular Southeast Asia.

Looking the other direction, to the west, we see that Proto-Indo-European Bergh or Burgh has given us place-name elements like -burgh, -burg, -bourg, and Bury and derivatives like -burger, burgher, and bourgeois.

At a tertiary level, we are even given a selection of sandwiches: Burgers of various sorts derived from Hamburger (i.e. beef prepared in the manner of the people of Hamburg).Think
srirr
Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 12:01:27 AM

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thar wrote:
So garh might possibly be related to Slavic -grad?



I missed to show the distinction of terms in my last post.

In Hindi (derived from Sanskrit), -pur, -pura, -garh, -bad are added to another term (normally proper noun) to make the name of a city or town. In addition, these have different connotations and are not always synonymous.

'pur or pura or puram' refers to township and may also refer to place of worship. Other terms are not meant to be used for places of worship.

'bad' is related to Islamic rulers and ony refers to townships.

'garh' is related to castles or forts. Unlike pur/pura/puram or bad, garh is also used as a standalone term. A fort of a king can be called as his garh. It is also used to refer to den of goons or rebels. A smaller such colony is called garhi.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 6:02:11 AM

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Thank very much, everybody, for such great insightful responses.
tautophile
Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2020 1:58:19 PM
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The English "-ton" in many place names is from a Germanic root meaning "enclosure". The word "town" is derived from the same root.
thar
Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:03:43 PM

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And of course the Indian style of legwear with flared tops led to the word jodhpurs (like trousers, plural) being used in English, from the name Jodhpur. I don't know if that is seen as mildly amusing or culturally disrespectful! Whistle


Got shortened to that from
Quote:
(earlier as jodhpur breeches, 1899)


I looked to see if the word has ever spread to other languages. Most just seem to have their version of "riding breeches with flared thighs".
I guess one word for a Russian equivalent (in military uniforms) seems to be galife? - named after a French General Gallifet, apparently.
I think naming your trousers after a city might be preferable to naming them after a person. Although the British still have their wellington boots! Whistle

Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Monday, January 20, 2020 11:13:48 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
..pur..a county, town, village, region, district, territory, district, administrative unit and the like.
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Monday, January 20, 2020 11:40:09 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
...pur connotes county, town, village, administrative unit, region, province or district and/or a conglomeration of definite group of people living collectively.

..coming to Nagpur...Nag in Indian Hindi language means Serpent or snake...may be that Nagpur was inhabited by Snake charmers at some point in time.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, January 20, 2020 5:06:40 PM

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srirr wrote:
'garh' is related to castles or forts. Unlike pur/pura/puram or bad, garh is also used as a standalone term. A fort of a king can be called as his garh. It is also used to refer to den of goons or rebels. A smaller such colony is called garhi.

garth n
1. (Architecture) a courtyard surrounded by a cloister
[C14: from Old Norse garthr; related to Old English geard yard]

This was (usually) the form of a castle and early settlements - a yard surrounded by a wall.

The word still exists in northern dialects.
This early meadiaeval settlement is in northern Yorkshire.

srirr
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:07:15 AM

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thar wrote:
And of course the Indian style of legwear with flared tops led to the word jodhpurs (like trousers, plural) being used in English, from the name Jodhpur. I don't know if that is seen as mildly amusing or culturally disrespectful! Whistle

...

I think naming your trousers after a city might be preferable to naming them after a person. Although the British still have their wellington boots! Whistle


In fact, there could be more. We have jodhpurs (after Jodhpur), kolhapuri (sandals named after Kolhapur), Banarsi (saree named after Benaras), Kanjivaram (saree named after Kanchipuram), patiala suits (female attire named after Patiala).


Drag0nspeaker wrote:

garth n
1. (Architecture) a courtyard surrounded by a cloister
[C14: from Old Norse garthr; related to Old English geard yard]

This was (usually) the form of a castle and early settlements - a yard surrounded by a wall.


I have often wondered about this. I have not studied language or etymologies of words. But I sometimes feel that there are a few words in different languages that sound quite similar. They perhaps have a common link.

Like garh or garth. I also feel that 'grad' in Russian is close to this. Grad also means a fortified closure.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 10:14:34 AM
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Srirr - (this is a little off-topic) -

One doesn't have to take a course in etymology or study it formally in order to gain insight into language. Which is wonderful as it means it's something one can do oneself. The point being that, from what I've extrapolated from your posts, I think you would find a lot of pleasure and interest in it - not to mention, of course, that it gives one a great advantage when coming across new words.

So I've a very simple suggestion: each time you come across a new word and consult a dictionary, don't stop at the meaning - take a look at the etymology of the word as well. If this becomes a habit you'll find, after a while, how useful it can be!

(Hope you don't think it impertinent of me to make this suggestion - am only doing so because I'm sure you'd find it satisfying and helpful.)
srirr
Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:23:27 AM

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Thanks Romany. That is what I sometimes do, mostly out of curiosity. It sometimes depends on availability of time Whistle but if it touches me, I may go for it. I may not be able to do it every time. d'oh!

What I meant by saying that I do not have a formal education in etymology or language studies is that my knowledge about foreign words (for me) may be limited and unorganized. A student can have more and concrete knowledge whereas I tend to learn only when it interests me to explore further.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2020 5:53:32 AM
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Ahh - well if you only go for the ones that interest you at least you are guaranteed to remember them! Whereas students learning from lists etc. are guaranteed to forget the ones that don't interest them anyway!

It's a fascinating subject, isn't it?
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