Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Indian Word in English: Tank

The English word TANK in the sense of a "pool" or "lake" comes from India; the Gujarati word tankh means a cistern or water reservoir, as does the Marathi word tanka. These words in turn may derive from Sanskrit tadagam, meaning a "pond" or "lake."

The English phrase "tank top" is related to this meaning of tank; a tank suit was originally a bathing suit for swimming in a tank, i.e. in a swimming pool. The word "tank" also came to refer to artificial receptacles for water even of a small size, such as fish tanks.

In the early 20th century, the word "tank" came to refer to container for liquid fuel, hence the related noun "tanker" as in oil tanker and our use of the phrase "gas tank" as in a car's gas tank.

The use of "tank" to refer to a military vehicle dates to 1915 as a kind of code word, chosen because this new weapon looked something like a benzene storage tank; these military tanks were first used in action on the Western Front of World War I in September 1916.

The image below shows a temple tank at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, India:

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