(If you’re wondering how I know about those, I was looking for the song “Reethi Kudhin” and they came up. Also, I didn’t know that Maldivians were so sleazy.)
In this post, we shall explore some more cognates and then try to build some new Dhivehi words. You’ll see how it’s related to pornography later.
Start from the Beginning
Unlike the previous Adventures in Etymology, this time we’ll start with the ancestral language; in this case, the PIE word *gerbh which means “to scratch” or “to carve”.
From *gerbh we get the West Germanic *kerfan. From that we get the Old English ceorfan, and finally we get the Modern English word carve.
Now let’s follow another path up the tree. I should note that I am not completely sure about the links. But these are the Sanskrit words I found which are possibly related to *gerbh:
- क्षुरति (kṣurati) – “scratch”
- क्षुर (kṣura) – “razor blade”
- खुरति (khurati) – “scratch”
- छुरति (churati) – “etch”
- कषति (kaṣati) – “scratch”
- कृवी (krvi) – “scissors”
The link is even more unclear with these next words, but they form the basis of this whole post, as you will see later.
- कर्षण (karṣana) – “drawing”
- कर्षते (karṣate) – “draw”
From these words we get the Dhivehi words:
- ކެފުން (kefun) – “cut”
- ކޮށުން (koshun) – “cut”
- ކުރެހުން (kurehun) – “draw”
- ކެހުން (kehun) – “scratch”
Get to the Pornography Already!
Don’t worry, we’re nearly there. We just need to follow one more path up the tree. From *gerbh we get the Greek word γράφω (grafo) which in modern times means “write”, but originally meant “scratch”, “cut into” or “draw”.
γράφω (grafo) made it into English via the suffix -graphy found in several Greek loanwords, which means “a writing, recording, or description of something”.
You can see the relationship between the cognates in the following chart. A dotted line means I am unsure about the link.
The cognates I am most interested in here are ކުރެހުން and γράφω (and the English equivalent -graphy). Now that we know their relationship, we can derive the equivalent Dhivehi forms of English words ending in –graphy. I will use some of the more common ones in this handy list.
Auto = self, therefore the Dhivehi word would be އަމިއްލަކުރެހުން or ނަފްސުކުރެހުން
Bio = life, Dhivehi: ހަޔާތުކުރެހުން or އުޅުންކުރެހުން
Kallos = beauty, Dhivehi: ރީތިކުރެހުން or ޗާލުކުރެހުން (I don’t know if ޗާލު is related to kallos in any way, but they sound similar)
Cardio = heart, Dhivehi: ހިތްކުރެހުން or ވިންދުކުރެހުން
Carto = map, Dhivehi: ޗާޓުކުރެހުން
Khoreia = dance, Dhivehi: ނެށުންކުރެހުން
Demo = people, Dhivehi: މީސްކުރެހުން
Geo = rock, Dhivehi: ގާކުރެހުން (Geo and ގާާ are cognates)
Mammo = breast, Dhivehi: މޭމަތިކުރެހުން (This is the most appropriate translation. Mammo is related to the word mum/mom, so a slightly awkward translation could be މަންމަކުރެހުން. Otherwise, a more crude ބުއްކުރެހުން also works, but that would translate back into English as boobography.)
Photo = light, Dhivehi: އަލިކުރެހުން
Porne = prostitute, Dhivehi: ކަސްބީކުރެހުން
Another interesting thing to note about ކުރެހުން is that it is a verbal noun. This means that all the words given above can be used as verbs as well, adding a new dimension to their usage. In many cases, the words would be more versatile than the English equivalents, because it is awkward/incorrect to say something like biographing or mammographing, whereas ކުރަހަނީ can be used with just about anything.