First English -Tamil Etymological Dictionary (Post No.7597)


Post No.7597

Date uploaded in London – 20 February 2020

Contact –

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog.

Prof P Sankara Narayana had done a marvellous job 100 years ago by bringing out an English – Tamil Etymological dictionary. He had already brought out English -Telugu dictionary as well. Probably he is the only one who had done two huge dictionaries in two languages.

Here etymology means the etymology of English words unlike the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary of Burrow and Emeneau which gives etymology of Tamil words.

But P Sankaranarayana’s work is huge with over 1300 pages priced only three rupees in 1911. That was the enlarged second edition. From his titles we know that he worked for the Presidency College in Madras.  Like Mughal Emperor Akbar’s Din- Ilahi , P Sankaranaraya had his own religion called ‘Religion of Truth’. His book list includes his pet theme Religion of Truth. I could not find his profile in any website. Gregory James in his History of Dictionaries mentioned one P.Sankaranarayana Chettiar.

Probably he is a forgotten Chettiyar scholar and not much known lexicographer.

Let us salute him for his marvellous works.

I found the old dictionary in the British Library in London.

Please see the attached picture and some pages from the dictionary.

tags — lexicographer, English- Tamil, etymological, Dictionary, P Sankaranarayana, Chettiyar

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: