sgro ’dogs, skur ’debs:
Indian and Tibetan sources are full of references to the idea that one should cognise facts or reality by eliminating sgro ’dogs (pa) (“superimposition” or “overrating”) and skur (pa) ’debs (pa) (“depreciation/denunciation” or “underrating”). The etymology of sgro ’dogs (pa) “to affix feathers” (as in an arrow) or “affixation of feathers” seems quite obvious. See also the dGe chos gsung ’bum (vol. 5, p. 74): mda’ la sgro btags par byas pa’i don |. As for the etymology of skur (pa) ’debs (pa), it is not quite certain, for it is unclear, which form, skur ’debs pa or skur pa ’debs pa, is original or primary. I am tempted to propose that that skur ’debs pa is the primary form and that skur pa “denunciation” itself may be an abbreviated form of skur ’debs pa. At any rate, if we take skur ’debs pa to be the primary form, a speculative etymology of it would be “to strike/jab at the body” or “to stab a body/person,” and hence meaning “to deny, denounce, or underrate.” One also wonders about the etymology of its synonym skur klan (Jäschke 1881: s.v. skur pa). Could it be something like “to bore or drill at the body”? In the case of sgro ’dogs pa, sgro is obviously an accusative objective of the verb ’dogs pa, and in the case of skur ’debs pa, sku is to be understood as the dative object of the verb ’debs pa. If we, however, take skur pa ’debs pa to be the primary form, its etymology may be speculated as “to cast/throw denunciation” (at someone or something) comparable to the act of throwing eggs or shoes at someone, and skur pa (perhaps only possible as a noun) is the accusative object of the verbs ’debs pa. We also need to reflect whether skur pa, its antithesis of bkur ba (“honour”), and skur ba (“to send” or “dispatch”) are etymologically related. dGe-chos seems to assume a relationship between skur ba (“to send”), bkur ba (“to honour”), and ’khur ba (“to carry”). See the dGe chos gsung ’bum (vol. 5, p. 77).