Talk:brinjal

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etymology of brinjal[edit]

This etymology says that the India English term derives via French, Catalan, Spanish, Arabic, Persian, from Sanskrit. The word is not used much among English speakers anywhere else. That suggests to me that the word is clearly more congenial than aubergine or eggplant to English speakers in India. I find it hard to believe that this comparative preference does not have some connection with other current languages of India. DCDuring TALK 19:13, 26 September 2009 (UTC)


I find it hard to believe that the English name used virtually only in India, of a plant and fruit native to India, with names in Sanskrit, Hindi, and other languages used in India that seem quite close to "brinjal" owes much of anything to any European influence. The current etymology seems embarrassingly wrong. DCDuring TALK 14:50, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

I think what it's saying is that the English word used in India is derived from the Portuguese word (there are Portuguese speaking communities in India) that was inherited into Portuguese through those other languages. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:33, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
I see from the translations provided so far that only Gujarati has a near-terminal "l" (or "r"). So the Portuguese influence may account for this particular form. Presumably the apparent widespread acceptance of the term is attributable to proximity to the word in the other languages. I wonder what the word for eggplant in southern India c. 1000-1400 was. That would be close-to-definitive evidence, I suppose. I should look to find evidence of first use date in English, too. DCDuring TALK 16:32, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
  • [1] - Yeah it's from Portugese into Indian English. Ultimately both aubergine/brinjal are from Sanskrit/Old Indo-Aryan vātiṅgaṇa/bhaṇṭākī, both of which are prob. borrowed from the same Dravidian source (Turner points to entry #4339 in the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary but I can't see anything related there). The exact route of origin of the Portuguese word should be researched. --Ivan Štambuk 17:50, 27 September 2009 (UTC)