Friday, August 26, 2016

Tamil Word in English: Mango

The English word "mango" comes to us via the Portuguese manga, which in turn is from the Tamil word mankay. No one seems to know just why English decided to call this fruit "mango" with an "o" at the end! If you look at the word for mango in various languages, you will see a hodgepodge of mangas and mangos.

Tamil is a member of the Dravidian language family, and it is spoken by people in India and Sri Lanka,  and also by Tamil populations in Malaysia, Singapore, etc. Other Dravidian languages include Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. The list of Tamil words in English is not long, but I will be sure to include some more in this series!

I love mangos! It is one of my favorite fruits. We never had mangos when I was little, but I discovered them with great joy at the Berkeley Bowl grocery store when I lived in Berkeley in the early 1980s. :-)

From the Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon:

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