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Meaning of the word Tamil

July 7, 2011

தமிழுக்கு அமுதென்று பேர், அந்த தமிழெங்கள் உயிருக்கு நேர்.

So whats the meaning of the word “Tamil” pronounced as “Thamil” ,  lets do an analysis,

Splitting up into basic sounds,

த + மி +ல்/ழ்/ள் =  வைத்திருப்பது +ஒரு இடத்தில் சூழ்ந்து வெளி வராமல்  + இடத்தின் உள்.

Tha : Having/It, Keeping with

Mi : Retained in a place without giving out.

L/ழ்: in our Place.

So the sound “Thamil”  could mean,

One which belongs to that place or One which can protect itself within a place.

தன் இடத்திற்கு உரியது அல்லது தன்னை தானே  பாதுகாக்கவல்லது.

The sound “Mil” means “Retained in a place” or “Protected”, Lets assume it means “protection” or “Belongs to the place” and see other similar sounded words.

அமிழ்தம் – Nectar/Honey(அ+மிழ்+தம் -(  Protected/That which belongs to a place inside)

உமிழ் – Saliva.(உ+மிழ்-=  Belongs to a place+ Inside – That which has come from inside.

சிமிழ் – A box/container : சி+மிழ் – Joins, cant go out +Belongs to that place/Within that place

இமிழ் – To shout, To Roar  ( இ+மிழ் = Not +within that place ) It can refer to the sound that spreads to distant place or Sound sensing some danger/ Sound caused by animals when some stranger comes to its place.

கு+மிழ் -Take  inside + protected.

மிளகு –

“மீழ்” (ம்+ஈ+ள் ) the long e vowel makes  it “getting out of a place” escaping out of the place.

So i  think the word “Tamil” should mean,

 “One which belongs to that place” the Native language.

“தன்  இடத்திற்கு உரியது”

There is also another explanation, that means th+amil = having sweetness(amiltham)


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  1. betsy permalink

    just got to know the meaning… thanks ” One which belongs to its own place” would have been a more appropriate english translation

    • Thanks for your comments. Yes, when someone says he speaks Tamil, it means he speaks in the language of his own.

  2. the real meaning of tamizh is tam(tham) = breath, izh = deep inside(mixed with). so the meaning of tamizh is mixed with the breath. it is often explained by early poets that speaking tamizh is like doing yoga . the words we use are made of 1. without breaking the breath(uyir ezhuthukal) 2. slightly stopping the breath(uyir mei ezhuthukal) 3. and totally stopping the breath (mei ezhuthukal). but i really appreciate your interpretation. please do continue to enrich tamizh which is the soul of tamilians. thank you

    • நல்லது, உங்கள் விளக்கத்திற்கு நன்றி.

  3. Oru Siddhar permalink

    You are wrong. Tamil means Then Manithan Mozhi. T + AM + IZH
    Which means the language of the man of the south.

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