Post No. 10,840

Date uploaded in London – –    13 APRIL  2022         

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I was doing some research to find the origin of Puchandi, a Tamil word for bogeyman, and found out some new things. Both Tamil and English words came from Sanskrit word ‘Bhuta’ for anything spooky.

One of the oldest Tamil poets is Paranar, a Kerala Brahmin, who comes next to Tamil Brahmin Kabilar in Sangam Tamil literature. He sang about the Bhuta/ghost in the crematorium in Tamil Sangam Purananuru verse 369. Sanskrit dictionary also gave the same meaning (ghost) in the Sanskrit dictionary (Please see Wisdom library attachment at the end)

Spooky, spectre, Bogeyman, Puca, Puka etc are the words used for something scarry and spooky in European languages. All these are used to scare the naughty children around the world. We see it in all cultures from Africa and Australia to Asia and Europe.

Now the question is how it changes to Pucha in Tamil and Puca and Puka in European languages.

Thrashing and smashing half- baked Caldwell gangs, Tamil and English, Greek and Latin follow the same rules in changing the sound of the words or the letters in the words. We have thousands of examples ( I have given them in my 200 articles on Linguistics)/

Let us now talk only about Bhuta= Puucha/Pooka/Spooky changes here.

In English hundreds of words with TION suffix are pronounced SION (T=S)

In Tamil also we do the same; just a few examples are given here:-

Thaanai = Senai in Sanskrit ;meaning army

oDhai = oSai in Tamil itself; meaning sound

vittu = vicchu  inTamil itself; meaning seed

nittam = niccham in Tamil itself; meaning daily

Tittiri = chicchili (from Sanskrit to Tamil); meaning a bird

Dyuta = Suuthu in Tamil from Sanskrit

Dyaus = Zeus (from Sanskrt to Greek)

bhuTa = PuCha/ Puka/ Spooky (from Sanskrit to Tamil and English)

After reading Dr R P Sethupillai’s word research, first published in 1943-44, Annals of Oriental Research Volumes 1 and 2, I did this research. Recently a Tamil film is also released with the title Puchandi. Here is what Dr R P S says,

“Aandi is derived from the root ‘aal’ which forms the base of the words ‘aandaan, aali’ etc. The Lord of Palani is popularly known as Palaniyandi and Aandip pandaaram in the familiar ballads refers to him. The Lord of Tiruchendur situated on the sea shore is popularly known as kadal karai aandi.

The term aandi, however now restricted to Saiva mendicant. The expression Puuccaandi frequently invoked by parents to frighten children to submission, probably signifies the mendicant whose body is smeared with holy ashes and sandal paste presenting an odd appearance.

According to the Tamil Lexicon, puuchchaandi is composed of puucchi and Aandi. An imaginary being invoked to frighten children; bugbear =

Hobgoblin .

—–From ‘Words and their Significance’ by Dr R P Sethupillai, 1943-44; latest edition 1974, University of Madras.


More supporting information from Wikipedia and Wisdomlibrary websites is as follows:-


3) A spirit, ghost, an imp, a devil (m. also in these senses); ततो रक्षां महातेजः कुरु भूतविनाशिनीम् (tato rakā mahāteja kuru bhūtavināśinīm) Rām.7.66.3.

Sanskrit dictionary

Bhūta (भूत).—p. p. [bhū-kta]

1) Become, being, existing.

2) Produced, formed.

3) Actually being, really happened, true; भूताश्चार्था विरुद्ध्यन्ति देशकालविरोधिताः (bhūtāścārthā viruddhyanti deśakālavirodhitā) Rām.5.3.37.

4) Right, proper, fit; अभूतेनापवादेन कीर्तीं निपतितामिव (abhūtenāpavādena kīrtī nipatitāmiva) Rām. 5.15.34; भूतार्थव्याहृतिः सा हि न स्तुतिः परमेष्ठिनः (bhūtārthavyāhti sā hi na stuti parameṣṭhina) R.1.33.

5) Past, gone.

6) Obtained.

7) Mixed or joined with.

8) Being like, similar, (see bhū); मग्नां द्विषच्छद्मनि पङ्कभूते (magnā dviacchadmani pakabhūte) Ki.3.39.

-taḥ 1 A son, child.

2) An epithet of Śiva.

3) The fourteenth day of the dark half of a lunar month (also bhūtā).

4) A great devotee.

5) Name of a priest of the gods.

6) The dark fortnight of a month (kṛṣṇapaka).

7) see भूतगण (bhūtagaa).

-tam 1 Any being (human, divine or even inanimate); इत्थं रतेः किमपि भूतमदृश्यरूपं मन्दीचकार मरणव्यवसायबुद्धिम् (ittha rate kimapi bhūtamadśyarūpa mandīcakāra maraavyavasāyabuddhim) Ku.4.45; Pt.2. 87.

2) A living being, an animal, a creature; क्षरः सर्वाणि भूतानि कूटस्थोऽक्षर उच्यते (kara sarvāi bhūtāni kūastho’kara ucyate) Bg.15.16; भूतेषु किं च करुणां बहुली- करोति (bhūteu ki ca karuā bahulī– karoti) Bv.1.122; U.4.6.

3) A spirit, ghost, an imp, a devil (m. also in these senses); ततो रक्षां महातेजः कुरु भूतविनाशिनीम् (tato rakā mahāteja kuru bhūtavināśinīm) Rām.7.66.3.

4) An element; (they are five, i. e. pthvī, ap, tejas, vāyu, and ākāśa); तं वेधा विदधे नूनं महाभूतसमाधिना (ta vedhā vidadhe nūna mahābhūtasamādhinā) R.1.29.

5) An actual occurrence, a fact, a matter of fact.

6) The past, past time.

7) The world.

8) Well-being, welfare.

9) A symbolical expression for the number ‘five’.

1) Fitness, propriety.





  1. an imaginary evil spirit or being, used to frighten children.

o a person or thing that is widely regarded as an object of fear.


Wikipedia. Púca. The púca (Irish for spirit/ghost; plural púcaí), pooka, phouka is primarily a creature of Celtic folklore. Considered to be bringers both of good and bad fortune, they could help or hinder rural and marine communities.

The name comes from the Old Irish púca and is one of a very small number of Irish words to be borrowed into Old English where it appears to have been in use as early as the 8th century, based on place name evidence.[5] Since it is a ‘cultural’ rather than a practical word that might be used in trading, it is thought to reflect greater cultural contact between English and Irish in the early medieval period than had been thought.[5]

The word seems to have passed from there into the Scandinavian languages including, according to the OED, “Old Icelandic púki mischievous demon, the Devil, Faroese púkiNorwegian (originally and chiefly regional) puke devil, evil spirit, mischievous person, Old Swedish puke devil, evil spirit, Swedish (now chiefly regional) puke evil spirit, devil, goblin), Old Danish puge evil spirit”.



1801, “spectre, apparition, ghost,” from Dutch spook, from Middle Dutch spooc “spook, ghost,” from a common Germanic source (German Spuk “ghost, apparition,” Middle Low German spok “spook,” Swedish spok “scarecrow,” Norwegian spjok “ghost, specter,” Danish spøg “joke”), of unknown origin. According to Klein’s sources, possible outside connections include Lettish spigana “dragon, witch,” spiganis “will o’ the wisp,” Lithuanian spingu, spingėti “to shine,” Old Prussian spanksti “spark.”

Meaning “undercover agent” is attested from 1942. The derogatory racial sense of “black person” is attested from 1940s, perhaps from notion of dark skin being difficult to see at night. Black pilots trained at Tuskegee Institute during World War II called themselves the Spookwaffe.


·         India – In India, the entity is known by different names. Urdu speaking population refer to the bogeyman-like creature by names such as Shaitan/ShaytaanBhootJin Baba, which mean satan, ghost, Djinn respectively. Hindi speaking population refer to the bogeyman-like creature as Baba and BhootBihar – Parents use the demon name Bhakolwa for this purpose. The terms Petona and Kaatu are also used.[44] In Rajasthan, parents use the demon name Haboo to terrify their children. South India – In Karnataka, the demon “Goggayya” (roughly meaning ‘terrible man’) can be treated as counterpart of the bogeyman. In the state of Tamil Nadu, children are often mock-threatened with the Rettai Kannan (the two-eyed one) or Poochaandi (பூச்சாண்டி), a monster or fearsome man with whom children are sometimes threatened if they are not obedient or refuse to eat. In the state of Andhra Pradesh, the equivalent of the bogeyman is Boochodu. In central Kerala, the bogeyman is referred to as “Kokkachi”, who will “take away” children for disobeying their parents or misbehaving in any manner; and in South Kerala, the bogeyman is called “Oochandi”. Among Konkani-speaking people of the Western Coast of India, “Gongo” is the Bogeyman equivalent. Among Marathi language speaking people (predominantly of Maharashtra), parents threaten the misbehaving children with a male ghost called “Bāgul Buā” (बागुल बुवा). In general, the “Buā” is supposed to kidnap children when they misbehave or do not sleep.[44] In the eastern state of Odisha the bogeyman is referred to as “Baaya”(ବାୟା). Its usage is usually done to scare kids into following instructions of the elders. The term “Baaya” also designates a ghost.


tags- bogeyman, Bhuta, Poochandi, Puka, Puca, Spooky, spectre

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