March 04, 2012



Apart from so in the sense of “tooth” and in a secondary and figurative sense “edge” or “blade” of something, there are number of words with so as the second syllable. Does so in this mean “point” or “edge” (of something)? Or, is it a loan word from the Mongolian? Here are some words, which are lexically interesting. Those words with so which clearly means “tooth” have been left out.

1. bab so
2. gtad/bstad so
3. btag/’thag so (= ’thag chas ’thag sha’i so) {Bod rgya}
4. rta so (= ri ldebs su yod pa’i dgon pa sogs kyi lcags ri thur du bang rim byas nas khrid pa’i dbyibs) {Bod rgya}
5. rting so
6. star so
7. thad so
8. tho so (Mongolian ‘butter’)
9. thong so
10. dar so
11. nabs so (a name)
12. na so (“age”) (also from Mongolian?)
13. nang so
14. nor so
15. spyi so
16. phugs so
17. phyi so (cf. nang so)
18. bang so
19. khyer so
20. skyel so {suggested by DM}
21. khab so (= rgyal po’i mdzod khang) {suggested by DM, Bod rgya}


  1. Could add khab-so in Old Tibetan, with meaning of either treasury or tax collectors.


    Aren't some of these -so ending words having to do with yearling animals or something like that? So is supposed to stand for lo ('year'), in the case of an animal...

    I wonder if any of them have to do with so-pa, 'spy'?

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  3. Dear Dan,

    Thanks for the comments. Note a few additions above. Admittedly I don’t know words ending in so and having to do with yearling animals. But this does not mean anything. Indeed, I think phyi so, nang so, and the like, have something to do with so pa. The question is what the terminus post quem of so pa and its etymology could be. Let me devote one entry to so pa.