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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 6:42 pm 
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A thread for khukuri terminology - though has been said on other threads, establishing fixed terminology is perhaps a collector's game, I thought it would be interesting to examine some of the terms we do have.

First an attempt at a standard easy-to-type way of representing Nepali (not my own invention, but a few of my own adaptations here & there), and a key for those interested in approximate pronunciations.


Nepali 'alphabet'
---------------------------
a = English 'uh', as in 'but' (short )
aa = English 'aah', as in 'father' (long)
i = English 'ih', as in 'bit' (short)
ii = in Nepali is said the same as i (long)
u = English 'oo', as in 'boot' (short)
uu = in nepali is said the same as u (long)
e = like English 'ay', as in 'day' though not quite
o = like English 'oa', as in 'boat', though not quite
ai = as the English 'I', as in 'eye'
au = as English 'ow', as in 'cow'

k = unaspirated 'k'
kh = aspirated 'k'
g = unaspirated 'g'
gh = aspirated 'g'
ch = unaspirated 'ch'
chh = aspirated 'ch'
j = unaspirated 'j'
jh = aspirated 'j'
T = unaspirated retroflex 't'
Th = aspirated retroflex 't'
D = unaspirated retroflex 'd'
Dh = aspirated retroflex 'd'
R = unaspirated retroflex 'r'
Rh = aspirated retroflex 'r'
N = retroflex nasal 'n'
t = unaspirated dental 't'
th = aspirated dental 't'
d = unaspirated dental 'd'
dh = aspirated dental 'd'
n = normal 'n'
p = unaspirated 'p'
ph = aspirated 'p'
b = unaspirated 'b'
bh = aspirated 'b'
m = normal 'm'
y = normal 'y'
r = normal English 'r'
l = normal 'l'
v = something inbetween English 'v' and 'w' (as Spanish 'b')
sh = normal 'sh'
S = retroflex 'sh'
s = normal 's'
h = normal 'h'
~ - following a vowel means that that vowel is nasalised (as French)

----------------------
note: the letters I capitalise, T, D, Th, Dh, S are often printed as t, d, th, dh, s with dots underneath them
---------------------------------------------


Key to Terms Used:
*aspirated = with a puff of air, in English, 'k', 't', 'p' at the beginning of a word are all aspirated; 'g', 'd', 'b' are never aspirated in English, and thus 'gh', 'dh', 'bh' are rather difficult for Angreji log to pronounce
*unaspirated = without a puff of air - to see the difference try putting your hand in front of your mouth and saying 'top' (t is aspirated) and then 'stop' (t will be unaspirated)

*retroflex = like English 't', 'd', though tongue often curled back a bit farther
*dental = tongue against the back of the teeth, as in some New York accents

*'normal' = as in standard British/American English

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Turner refers to:
Turner, Sir Ralph Lilley. A comparative and etymological dictionary of the Nepali language. London: K. Paul, 1931; reprinted, New Delhi: Allied Publishers Ltd., 1980. [online version available from Digital Dictionaries of South Asia, University of Chicago: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/turner/ ]


Last edited by beoram on Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:11 pm 
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Thanks Beo, thats excelent, With your help Ill soon end up prounouncing Nepali more accuratly than i do English! {Not that thats difficult!}

Did you pick up any kukri over Darjeeling way?

Spiral


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 Post subject: Khukuri types
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:44 pm 
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khukuri (variants khukri, kukri, kukri etc. etc.): from Turner, 'the curved knife carried by the Nepalese' [there is apparently a word in Persian khukhunii which Turner thinks may be a loan-word from Nepali]

my etymology:
from Old Indo-Aryan (~Sanskrit) kshura 'razor' (cognate with Greek kshuron 'razor') >
*khura >
[normal Indo-Aryan change of 'ksh' to 'kh', cf. Skt. 'kshetra' (field) >
Hindi/Nepali 'khet' (field)]
*khukhura >
[reduplication of initial syllable, for unknown reason: diminuative?]
*khukura >
[Grassmann's Law=ban on 2 aspirated consonant in same word]
*khukur >
[loss of word-final schwa (weak vowel), common in Indo-Aryan]
*khukuri
[nominalising suffix -i

---------------

sirupaate < siru 'the name of 2 varieties of grass or reed, (1) Imperata arundinacia (=khar-siru, used for thatching [in Nepal]), (2) Imperata arundinacia var. latifolia; perhaps from Sanskrit surabhiH sweet-scented' (Turner) + paate adjective meaning 'like a leaf'

thus sirupaate adjective meaning 'long and slender like a blade of siru' (Turner)

therefore sirupaate must stand for sirupaate khukuri 'siru-leaf-like khukuri'

--------------

bhojpuri, literally 'related to Bhojpur', Bhojpur is the name of 2 separate regions of India, and another separate region of Nepal (for the latter, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhojpur_District%2C_Nepal ), thus must mean 'a khukuri from the region of Bhojpur'

-------------

the infamous ha~siyaa ('hansiya', "hanshee") is simple 'sickle' (Turner), who suggests it may be derived from Sanskrit aMsaH 'shoulder' -- thus shaped like a shoulderblade. I myself wonder if it is not somehow connected (perhaps via contamination/folk etymology) with Nepali ha~si 'laugher', since the shape is also like a smile.

so, indeed, ha~siyaa should probably be restricted to the sickle, but I wonder if somewhere in Nepal certain very curved khukuris couldn't be referred to as 'ha~siyaa khukuri' (but not simply as 'ha~siyaa')

----------------

laambi~D (i.e. lambind) literally 'long-handle'

-------------

chauDo dhar (i.e. chauro dhar), literally 'broad blade'

--------

chauDo paate (i.e. chaura pate), literally an adjective meaning 'like a broad leaf'

----------

budhune does in fact seem to be a legitimate term, as Turner gives 'adj. Squat, short (e.g. budhune khukuri a khukri with a short, broad blade)', it is also a term used (derogatorily it seems) for 'Bhotiyas' (i.e. Tibetans and Bhutanese) [perhaps derived from *buddha- 'clumsy', cf. Hindi buddhuu 'fool']

so this seems to be a legitimate term - though on the forums it seems to be mispelled as 'budhume' (it should be 'budhune')

---------------

'hatrayadha' must be haat ra aadhaa 'hand and a half', and doharohaat is indeed 'double-hand'

--------------

koThimoDaa or kothimoraa ('kothimora, kothimoda')must mean 'silver-plated';
for koThi Turner gives 'The silver ornamentation on the bottom of a khukuri sheath [cf. Prakrit kottha- 'belly']', for mornu 'To cover, overlay; cover with metal, plate.--suna le mornu to gild' (Turner)

------

'chitlangi' - ??? (from chhiTo 'quick, sharp, prompt' + laagne 'applicable; sharp (of a knife), pungent (of smell) etc.' ???)

-----------

aa~g kholaa/aa~g kholo (ang khola) = 'body/back hollow':

aa~g 'The body, esp. the back of the body'; kholo 'Small river, valley' [< *kholla-, cf. Prakrit [i]kholla- hollow...Hindi khol cave] (Turner)

i.e. a khukuri with a hollow in its 'back'

-------------


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 Post subject: khukuri parts
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:55 pm 
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kauDo (kauro) = 'The small indent in the blade of a khukri; the Adam's apple' [lit. 'a cowry shell']

interesting that it also can mean Adam's apple; kauDi ('kauri') is perhaps a variant, but kauDi really means literally 'a cowry shell' and is feminine and so diminuative...has anyone heard kauDo (kauro or kaura)?

------------

chheu (i.e. 'cho') - I haven't seen this term used here much, though this was the usual term from the HI forum. For a while I thought it was borrowed from a Tibeto-Burman language (like Nevari) into Nepali, but I realised it is simply chheu which has a variety of meanings, but whose original root meaning is 'cut', so thus a notch

note: e+u in Nepali will sound to Angreji ears rather like 'o'

-------------

khol(1) 'Scabbard, sheath; any covering' (Turner)

---------

khol(2) 'The lines on the back of a khukri blade; any similar lines' (Turner)

-------------

chakmak (chukmuk) 'The steel for striking on flint to produce fire; -- steel for sharpening knives' [loanword from Hindi caqmaaq, originally from Turkish] (Turner)

--------------

karda (kuhrduh) 'Knife, small knife, the small knife carried in the khukri sheath' [loanword from Hindi kaard, originally from Persian] (Turner)

---------


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Spiral wrote:
Thanks Beo, thats excelent, With your help Ill soon end up prounouncing Nepali more accuratly than i do English! {Not that thats difficult!}

Did you pick up any kukri over Darjeeling way?

Spiral



Thanks, Beoram, welcome to the forum.

Spiral, as you know we Americans don't speak English anyway :wink:

_________________
Rollin the dice on fire...


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 Post subject: Great
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:50 am 
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Hello Beoram!

Thanks for these very valueable insights ! Some things got very clear now :idea: :idea: :idea:

My I kindly ask administartion to merge the three posts by beoram and make it an article so this is "easy to find" in the future ?

Thanks again for presenting these tems in such a concise way - a very nice christmas gift!

Andreas Volk


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:39 pm 
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Andreas,
I've made this a sticky so it won't disappear from view as new posts are made.
Berk


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 Post subject: some more
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:35 pm 
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reading the post about tin & dui chirra's made me remember that we do have a few more khukuri-related terms floating about....

a couple of old ones:

I'm not entirely sure about 'chirra', but I believe it is:
chhi~Ro (or chhe~Ro or chheRo) (i.e. 'chirra' (?)) - lit. 'by-path, ditch' (Turner), probably then another word for 'fuller' (but khol (see above), which can also mean 'scabbard', also seems to refer to 'fuller(s)'... or possibly the 'aunlo bal/sword of shive/blood-groove')

'aunlo bal' - must be au~lo bal, which would be literally 'finger strength'.... I would think this might be a mishearing of something like au~lo ko bal which would be 'finger of strength' - the small fuller or groove often found along part of the upper spine. sometimes also known as a 'blood-groove' or 'the Sword of Shiva' (origin uncertain).
[ Other terms used include: "pwankh (the 'feather'), rato karang ('red rib'...from when they used lac to highlight a design rather than using a real fuller), aunlo bal ('finger of strength/force/energy') and others I couldn't even get them to translate". -John Powell]

bi~D (or be~D) - handle of a khukuri

-------
ones I haven't seen discussed before:

jhulo - 'Fibre; tinder made of the bark of the sago palm or bamboo or plaintain and carried in the pocket of the khukuri sheath' (Turner)

kaa~jo - 'A band of metal (e.g. round the handle where the blade of a khukri or sickle is sunk into it); hilt of a khukri or sword.' (Turner) - presumbaly the bolster.

khisaa - 'Pocket; small purse carried in khukri sheath' (Turner)

paato - 'Page (of a book); -- the small piece of tile put in a hookah above the tobacco; -- shoulder-blade; -- tyre of a wheel; -- side of a khukri blade, blade.' (Turner)

baaR - 'the blade of a khukuri' (Turner)

paa-in or pa-in - 'temper of a blade (esp. a khukuri)'

-----

jire buTTaa - 'fluted ornamentation (e.g. that on the silver of a khukri sheath)' (Turner) (< jire 'of or like cumin-seed')

belahari buTTaa or bel-buTTaa - 'scroll-work on a khukri sheath' (Turner)

haikale buTTaa - 'a kind of ornamentation on a khukri handle like a succession of hooks' (Turner) [derived from Hindi haikal an amulet with magic figures, the Hindi word itself borrowed from Persian]


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 Post subject: a few useful(?) phrases
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:42 pm 
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khukuri ko be~R carkieko chha 'the handle of the khukri is split'

khukuri bhiraaunu 'to cause someone to wear a khukuri'

khukuri machaaunu 'to flourish or swing a khukuri'

bhutte khukuri 'a blunt khukuri'

jaar kaaTe 'I killed the adulterer' ('When the husband has killed the adulterer with his khukri and cut off the woman's nose and hair, he proclaims openly in the village jaar kaaTe and displays the blood-stained khukri. This proclamation saves him from accusation of murder' (Turner))


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Thankyou Beo!

Khisa & Kajo were certanly the terms still used by the kamis when I was in Nepal for tinder pouch & bolster respectivly.

Who was Turner? He is obviously good source material.

Spiral


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:38 am 
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'Turner' here refers to Prof. R.L. Turner's _A Comparative and Etymological Dictionary of the Nepali Language_. Turner was Professor of Sanskrit in the University of London, and during WWI served with the 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles. He later complied a comprehensive comparative dictionary of Indo-Aryan (including Nepali, Hindi etc. and earlier languages esp. Sanskrit).

At the end of the preface to his Nepali dictionary (the one I mention above), he writes (in 1930):
"As I write these last words, my thoughts return to you who were my comrades, the stubborn and indomitable peasants of Nepal. Once more I hear the laughter with which you greeted every hardship. Once more I see you in your bivouacs or about your fires, on forced march or in the trenches, now shivering with wet and cold, now scorched by a pitiless and burning sun. Uncomplaining you endure hunger and thirst and wounds; and at the last your unwavering lines disappear into the smoke and wrath of battle. Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had country more faithful friends than you."


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:38 am 
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Thanks Beo, thats great!

Ill see if I can find a copy. it seems a fascinating piece of work by someone who would indeed know the truth of it all.

I have read part of the quoted passage before but didnt realise its true source.

Spiral


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:39 am 
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Beo, Thanks for the Turner quote...very moving words. Rod


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 Post subject: Very moving words
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:55 pm 
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Monument to the Gurkha Soldier, Whitehall, London:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:54 pm 
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an electronic version of Turner's dictionary is available here:

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/turner/


it's nice for searches....though it seems to lack the preface and some other material, and isn't quite as handy for some things as the print version..


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