Relationship Between Sanskrit and English
Ateshgah temple inscriptions
The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate the relationship between Sanskrit and English. To simplify matters, I will be using root-words and words in their purer forms. There will be no need to demonstrate every inflected form of a word. Words placed in parentheses are those English words derived from Sanskrit. Sometimes, there will be mention of words from other intermediary languages, serving as a demonstration of changes in spelling and pronunciation.
Symbols used: "derived from" "resulting in" (a related word)
Note: In Sanskrit and classical Latin, v is sometimes pronounced as w, while the opposite is true in German. In Slavic languages, both letters are interchangeable.D's and T's are interchangeable. Similarly, at times, B=P=F=V.
Sanskrit Word List
AD Goth. root AT, pres. ITA (EAT, ATE)
AKSHA, "axle, axis" Ger. ACHSE AKSHI, "eye"=Russ. OKO=L. OCULUS=M.E. EYGHE, "eye". It is common for older English words spelled with a G to drop this letter and exchange it with a Y. (EYE; OCULAR; OCCULT, associated with the Evil Eye.)
A-/AN-, (prefix) "not, without=Eng. A-/AN- (APOLITICAL, AMORAL; ANOREXIC, "without appetite")
AARYA, "people from Central Asia, noble, royal, master" (Aryan)
AASANA, "sitting" (ASANA, "a yoga posture") AN*KA, "bend, curve, hook"
L. ANCORA (ANCHOR ANTA, "end" ANTAR, "within, between, among; in the middle" (INTER-NATIONAL, INTERIOR).
Akin to ANTARA, "interior, other". See I-TARA. ANTI, "before" (ANTIPASTO, something eaten before the main course/pasta;
ANTECEDENT, ANTERIOR). This is not the same as Eng. ANTI-, ""against". AP/APAS, "work" L. OPUS/OPERA (OPERATE)
ARD, "make agitated, torment, kill" L. ARDERE/ARSI, "be violently enraged, passionate; (countries), be in turmoil, at war" (ARDENT, "strongly emotional about"; ARSON)
AS, "to be", akin to ASTI=L. EST=Ger. IST, "is". Cf. L. ESSE, "be", Eng. ESSENCE, ESSENTIAL.
ASHTA, "eight"=L. OCTO, Ger. ACHT (OCTAGON, OCTET, OCTOPUS) -ATI/-ATE, a verb ending for the third person, singular, in the present tense. Cf. L. nuntiAT, facIT, docET. English has a cognate, as in "my cup runnETH over."
AUM/OM, the magical, repeated sound used in Yoga
BAAD/VAAD, "bathe" Old High German BAD, "bath"
BANDH, "bind around" (BIND, BAND, BANDAGE)
BARBARA, "barbarian, one with long hair" (BARBER)
BHAN~J, "break" L. FRANGERE/FREGI/FRACTUM Ger.
BRECHEN (BREAK, FRACTURE, FRAGILE)
BHRAATHRA, "brother, fraternity" L. FRATER (BROTHERHOOD)
BHRI, "to bear, carry away, endure" L. FERRE, "bear"; Old Irish BRITA, "birth" (BEARABLE, BIRTH, TRANSFER, INFER)
BHRUU, "brow" BHUJ, "bend down" Anglo-Saxon BUGAN (BOW) BHUU, "be" L. FUIT/FUTURUS, forms of esse, "be" (FUTURE)
BHUUTI, "wealth, fortune". Could this be related to Eng. BOOTY/BUTY, "anything plundered" [?]
BUDH, "awaken, communicate" (BUDDHA; BODHISATVA, "a saint, apostle"; BID < O.E. BUDON, "communicate")
More words below
C[H]AND, "shine, be bright" L.
CANDERE, "shine, be hot"; INCENDERE/INCENSUM, "burn, inflame emotions" (INCANDESCENT, CANDLE, CHANDELIER, INCENDIARY; INCENSED, "angry")
C[H]AKRA, "wheel", used to describe points of spiritual power. CAR, "go, move, travel through, pervade" akin to
CARYA, "driving in a carriage" (CAR, CHARIOT, CARRY)
CATUR< "four"=L. QUATTOR (QUARTER, "a fourth";
QUATERNARY, "in fours"; QUADRATE, "four-sided")
DA, akin to DATTA, "given" L. DATA (DATA, "technical information"; DATE [pertaining to time]; DATIVE)
DAM, "tame"=L. DOMARE=O.E. TAM (INDOMITABLE)
DAMA "house"=L. DOMUS (DOMICILE, DOMESTICATE)
DANTA, "tooth" (DENTURE, INDENT)
DAARU, "wood" Hindi DEODAAR < Skt. DEVA, "god" + DAARU, "wood" (DEODAR, a Himalayan cedar)
DARBHA/DUURVAA, species of grasses Danish TORV (TURF; TURBARY, "land from which turf or peat is cut")
DASHA, "ten" Gr. DEKA (DECADE, DECAGON)
DHARMA, "law, path", in that SVA-DHARMA, "self-law/path", refers to modernusage wherein one must follow one's own path/conscience (e.g. Dharma and Greg TV show)
DHRISHTA, "bold" Lith. DRISTU O.E. DURST, past tense of DARE, "be bold"
DHUNI, "roaring, sounding, boisterous" O.N. DUNA, "to thunder, give a hollow sound"(DUN, "to sound", akin to DIN, "a noisy clamor, uproar")
DHVAN, "become covered, extinguished, darken" A.S. DVAN, "be extinguished" Eng. DUN, "dark brown" DHVANI, "roar, thunder"
Lith. DUNDETI. "to sound" (THUNDER, DUNDERBOLT) DHVAN/DHVAS, "to fall to dust" Ger. DUNST (DUST)
DIV, "shine" akin to DIVA, "heaven; DIVYA, "divine"; DEVA, "god" L. DEUS, "god; DIVA, "goddess" < Gr. THEOS (DEISM/THEISM, DEITY, THEOLOGY, DIVA, "opera singer")
DVA/DVI, "two" Gr. DI- L. DUO, Polish DWA, DWOI-, DWU-, (DUO, DOUBLE, TWIN; DICEPHALOUS, "two-headed")
EKA, "the same, equal" L. AEQUUS, "that which is the same" (EQUAL).
GA, "go" akin to GANTI, GAN*GAA, "swift-goer" (GONE;
GANGES [River]; O.E. GANG, "go")
GAGGH, "laugh" (GAG, "laughing-stock") [?]
GAURII, name of a Hindu goddess (GARISH)
GO, "cow" (Old Saxon CO, Low German KO, "cow". There is even a theory that GOD is derived from Skt. GO, because cows and bulls were symbolic representations of gods.)
HAARYA, "be robbed" akin to HARA, "destroying" (HARRY, "plunder; devastation"; HARASS)
I/IDAM, "this, that" L. ID, "it"; IDEM, "same, identical" (IT, IDENTITY)
I/IR/IT, "go"=L. EO/IRE/II, pres. participle IENT-, "going"; ITER/ITINERIS, "a going, journey (ITINERARY; TRANSIT, "across-go"; TRANSIENT, "person 'going-through'")
JAN, "produce (offspring, family), cause to be born,come into existence", akin to JANAS, "race, class of people" > L. GENUS, "origin"; GENS/GENTIS, "clan" (CONGENITAL, GENETIC; GENTLE, "well-born, of good family, kind"; GENTILE, GENERATE, GENERATION, GENERIC, GENOCIDE, KIN/KIND; KINDERGARTEN, "childrens' garden")
KAL, "count", akin to KAALA, "a fixed point in time, time in general, proper season" > L. CALCULARE,"calculate" (INCACULABLE, CALENDAR)
KAALA, "black" (see geocities.com/richston2/lang99/influence.htm)
KAPAALA, "skull" > old Gr. KEPHALE, "head"=L. CAPUT,CAPITIS (PRECIPITATE, DECAPITATE; CAPO, "Mafia head"; ENCEPHALITIS, CAPTAIN, PER CAPITA)
KARMA/KARMAN, "act, result, effect" (KARMA)
KATH, "speak about" > O.H.G. QUETHAN (QUOTH, QUOTE)
KONA, "corner, angle, intermediate point of a compass" > Gr. GONOS/GONON, "-angled" (Eng. -GON, as in OCTAGON, POLYGON, figures which have corners and angles)
KRI, "make, accomplish, cause, effect, bring to completion" > L. CREARE/CREATUM, "bring about something" (CREATE, PROCREATE)
LAGHU, "light (in weight, on the feet, on the stomach)"
LAS, "play, frolic, sport", akin to LASYA (LASCIVIOUS,
"arousing sexual feelings")
LIH akin to ALIKSHATI > Gr. LEIKHO (LICK)
LOKA, "place" (LOCALE, LOCUS, LOCOMOTION)
LUBH, "desire greatly, allure, excite lust" > L. LUBET, "there is desire"; LIBIDO, "a desire" (LOVE, LIBIDINOUS)
MA, "first person pronoun" (ME, MY)
MAA, "measure, compare", akin to MAATRA, "measure"=L. METIRI/MENSUS (METER, COMMENSURATE; IMMENSE, "huge" ["not measurable"])
MAAS < L. MENSIS, Sp. MEZ, Fr. MOIS (MOON, MONTH)
MAD akin to MATTA "mad, insane"
MAH/MAHA, "great"=Gr. MEGAS=L. MAGNUS (MAJESTY, MAGNIFICENT, MAGNIFY, "make greater"; MAJOR, MAXIMUM, MAXIM)
MAJJ, "be submerged"=L. MERGERE (EMERGENT)
MAKSH, "a fly" akin to MAKSHAA > L. MUSCA (Sp. MOSQUITO, "small fly")
MALA, "sin, moral filth" therefore > L. MALUS, "evil, bad" (MALICIOUS, MALADY)
MANAS, "mind" > L. MENS, MENTIS (MENTAL; MINT, "think")
MANTRA, "incantation, song" (MANTRA, "a repeated word" e.g. om/aum)
MANU, "man". After some reasearch, however, Oxford English Dictionary has decided this etymology is incorrect.
MASTA, "weight" (MAST, a weight)
MATRI, "mother" (MATRICIDE)
MI/MITA, "mete out, meter"
MIKSH > L. MISCERE/MIXTUS (MIX, MISCIBLE, PROMISCUOUS)
MRI, "die", akin to MRITA, "dead" > L. MORI, MORTUUS (MORTALITY, MORTICIAN; MORTGAGE, "death=pledge"). See MUR.
MUR, "killer", akin to MRI, "die" (q.v.) (MURDER)
NA/NIH/NED, "no, not"
NAKTA > Latin NOX/NOCT-, Ger. NACHT (NIGHT, NOCTURNAL)
NAPAAT, "offspring, (grand)daughter, grandson" > L.
NEPOS/NEPOTIS (NEPOTISM, NEPHEW)
NAS, "nose" (NOSTRIL, NASAL)
NAU, "ship" akin to NAVYA (NAVY, NAVIGATE, NAUTICAL)
NAVA/NAVAN, "nine" (NOVENBER, the ninth month of a previous calendar; NOVENA, "a nine-day devotional with prayers")
NAVA, "new"=Gr. NEOS=L. NOVUS (NOVELTY, NOVICE, INNOVATE, RENOVATE; NAPLES/NAPOLI [Italy]: neos + polis, "city")
NU, "now", probably related to NAVA, "new" (q.v.)
PAD, "foot"=L. PES/PEDIS (FOOT, BIPEDAL, "two-footed";
PEDESTRIAN, "foot-walker"; PEDATE, "having feet";
ARTHROPOD, "joint-foot creature"; OCTOPUS,
PAN~CHA, "five"=Gr. PENTA (PENTAGON, "five-sided figure")
PARA, "far; previous (in time) (FAR, FORE-FATHER)
PARI-, prefix "about, near"=Eng. PERI- (PERINATAL, PERIMETER)
PHAL > Ger. SPALTEN, "split"
PITRI, "father"=L. PATER (PAPA, PAPAL, POPE
POSHA, "prosperity, wealth, abundance". Oxford English Dictionary offers POSH (noun), "money", perhaps related to another noun, POSH (of uncertain etymology): "The suggestion that this word is derived from the initials of 'port outward, starboard home', referring to the more expensive side for accommodations on ships formerly traveling between England and India is often put forward but lacks foundation".
PRA-, prefix "before, in front of"=Eng. PRE- (PREHISTORY, PREDICT)
PUU, "be bright,illuminate" > Gr. PUR/PURA, "funeral pyre=L. PYRA (O.E. FYR, "fire"; PYROMANIA)
PUUY, "stink" > Fr. PUER, "stink" ("PEE-YOO-EE!"; PEPE
LE PEW, a smelly cartoon skunk)
RAAGA, "musical melody" (Eng. RAGA, "melodic formula of Hindu music"; RAG/RAGTIME [?])
RAAJ, "rule", akin to RAAJA, "king"=L. REX/REGIS; L. REGERE/RECTUM, "rule, govern, direct" (RECTIFY, DIRECT, REGAL, REGULATE, RICHARD; RICH, "having great wealth, powerful"; Ger. REICH, "rich; empire, kingdom")
RAANI, "queen"=Fr. REINE (REIGN. See RAJ, above)
RABH, with verb-form RAPSYATI, "seize, desire vehemently", akin to RABHASA, "rapid, violent, desirous of" > L. RAPERE/RAPTUS, "seize, force violently, ravish, hurry" (RAPE, RAPTURE, RAPTURE, RAVISH, RAPID)
RAD, "gnaw, scratch" > L. RODERE, "gnaw"; L. RODERE, "scratch" (RAT, which is a RODENT.)
RAP, "speak" There is mention in Oxford English Dictionary of RAP, "utter, say, talk", but the listingis under a verb RAP, "strike (a blow), knock with a rap". Could there be a mistake involved? Could some more-modern Hindu word be the source?
RE, "a vocative particle (generally used contemptuously; often doubled)". Cf. RI, "a sound inarticulate or repeated as in stammering". Cf. [?] L. RE-, a prefix used to indicate repetition. However, Latin is supposed to be the original source of Eng. RE-, as in RE-THINK, RE-DONE, etc.
RI, second note of the seven-tone Hindu musical scale (Cf. [?] RE, second tone of Western, 7-note scale: do-RE-mi, etc.)
RISHI, a sage
ROMA, "Rome", Italy
RUP, "break off" > L. RUMPERE/RUPTUS, "break"
SA, "she, that"
SAD, "sit, sink into despondency, despair" akin to
SATTI, "sitting" > L. SEDERE (SETTLE, RESIDE, RESIDUE,
SAM, "together, in common with" (SYMPATHY,
"together-mind", in that there is a sharing of
emotions.) See SAMA.
SAMA (#1), "same" (SIMILAR, SIMULATE) See SAM.
SAMA (#2), "any, every" (SOME)
SAPTAN, "seven" (SEPTEMBER, seventh month of the year in earlier calendars; SEPTENNIAL, "every seven years")
SATII, wife of Shiva > Eng. SUTTEE because of her faithfulness to him and how she cremated herself.
SHAALAA< "large room" > Fr. SALLE (SALON, SALOON)
SHARKARAA, "ground or candied sugar" (SACCHARIN,
SHATAM, "hundred"=L. CENTUM (CENT, CENTURY, CENTIME)
SIV, "sew" > A.S. SEOWIAN, Goth. SIUJAN (SEW)
SRIV/SRIIV/SHRIV, "to go/become dry; lead astray; frustrate, thwart; cause to fail". Cf. Eng. [?]
SHRIVEL, "become wrinkled, as from heat [dry up?]; be reduced to an inefficient condition; reduce to helplessness". Oxford English Dictionary says this word derives from Swedish but is uncertain.
STHAA > L. STARE (STAND, STAY)
STHAG, "hide,cause to disappear" > Hindi THAG (THUG)
STHAL, "be firm, stand firm" (STILL)
SVA, "one's own" > L. SE/SUA, Fr. SE/SOI/SA (SELF)
SVAAMIN, "spiritual master, teacher" (SWAMI)
SVAN, "to sound" (SONAR, SONI; SWAN, the bird [sic])
SVASTIKA, "cross of good fortune, auspicious sign", akin to SVASTI, a salutation meaning "be well" (SWASTIKA. Hitler perverted the original positive intention of the word)
SVID, "sweat" akin to SVEDA, "sweating"
TAANDAVA, Shiva's Dance/"Ring around the Rosy", >Hung.
TANC > Germ. TANZ (DANCE)
TRI-, prefix "three" (TRIPLE)
TVA, "you"=L. TU/TE/TUA, Fr. TOI (THOU, THEE)
TVAN'G, "tremble" (See TWANG near the end of this site.
UBHA, "both" > L. AMBO (AMBIDEXTROUS, AMBIVALENT)
UURDHVA, "elevated, high" > L. ARDUUS, "steep"
UURJ, "be strong" > L. URGERE, "exert pressure,
subject (a person) to repeated verbal attacks (URGE)
VA, "wind" akin to VAANA, "blowing" > L. VENTUS, "wind" (WIND, VENTILATE, VENT)
VAACH, "speech" (VOICE, VOCAL)
VAH, "carry, travel by car" > L. VEHICULUM, VEHERE (VEHICULAR, WEIGH)
VAKSH, "be angry" (WAX)
VAN, "gain, conquer" (WIN)
VAS, "wear clothes" > L. VESTIS, "one's own dress" (VEST)
VID, "perceive, observe", akin to VEDA, sacred philosophical writings > L. VIDERE/VISUS, "see" (VIDEO, VISTA, VISION, PROVIDE/PROVISION, DIVIDE/DIVISION, DIVIDEND, VEDIC)
VIIR, "be strong, display heroism", akin to VIIRA, "man"; VIIRYA, "manliness, semen, poison" > L. VIRUS, "poison" (VIRILE, "manly, strong". To this we might add L. VIRGA, "rod", which later turns into Eng. VERGE, "rod, penis"; WEREWOLF, "man-wolf"; VIRULENT, "poisonous"; )
YUJ, "yoke,join, bind", akin to YUKTA, "joined";
YUKTI, "junction"; YUGA, "a yoke, couple" > L. IUGARE, "join, fasten"; IUGUM, "yoke"; IUNGERE/IUNCTUM, "join" (JOINT, JUNCTION; YOGA, "union"; YOGI)
YU/YUVAN (JUVENILE, YOUNG)
Suggestions for Further Reading
- Hindu Gods - Lord Ganesha
- God and Self in Hinduism
- Goddesses of Hinduism, Their Symbolism and Significance
- Purusharthas in Hinduism
- The History, Antiquity and Chronology of Hinduism
- Ashrama Dharma in Hinduism
- Hinduism and Buddhism
- Death and Afterlife in Hinduism
- Hinduism and Divorce
- Hinduism and Adultery
- Hinduism, Food and Fasting
- The Future of Hinduism
- Good and Evil in Hinduism
- The Hindu Marriage, Past and Present
- What is Maya in Hinduism?
- The Origin and Definition of Hindu
- Hinduism and Polygamy
- Hinduism and polytheism
- Hinduism and Premarital Relationships
- God and Soul, Atma and Paramatma, in Hinduism
- About Suicides in Hinduism
- Religious Tolerance in Hinduism
- Violence and Abuse in Hinduism
- Traditional Status of Women in Hinduism
- Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali
- About Hanuman or Anjaneya
- Hinduism and Same-sex Marriage
- Perspectives on What Karma Means
- Hinduism - The Role of Shakti in Creation
- Significance of Happiness in Hinduism
- Hindu God Lord Shiva (Siva) - the Destroyer
- The Role of Archakas, Temple Priests, in Hinduism
- Hinduism - Gods and Goddess in the Vedas
- Essays On Dharma
- Esoteric Mystic Hinduism
- Introduction to Hinduism
- Hindu Way of Life
- Essays On Karma
- Hindu Rites and Rituals
- The Origin of The Sanskrit Language
- Symbolism in Hinduism
- Essays on The Upanishads
- Concepts of Hinduism
- Essays on Atman
- Hindu Festivals
- Spiritual Practice
- Right Living
- Yoga of Sorrow
- Mental Health
- Concepts of Buddhism
- General Essays
Liddell, Henry George, and Scott, Robert. A
Monier-Williams, Monier. A SANSKRIT-ENGLISH DICTIONARY
OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY, 2nd edition OXFORD LATIN DICTIONARY Stanislawski, J. ENGLISH-POLISH, POLISH-ENGLISH DICTIONARY Walker, Benjamin. THE HINDU WORLD
Copyright: Reproduced with permission from Mr. Richard Stoney of Humboldt County, California, USA. No part of this article shall be reproduced in any manner either in part or in full without the prior permission of its author. This work is based on research by Mr.Richard Stoney starting in early 1990's. The author conveys his thanks to Sunder Hattangadi for his assistance.
Attribution: The image in this article showing the inscription in Sanskrit is reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike Unreported License
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