March 10, 2012

x + ཟ་བ།

x + za ba:

1. dogs pa za ba “to have doubt” (Bod.rgya)
2. g.yang za ba “to be reluctant, to have scruple about” (Bod.rgya)
3. chud za ba “to go waste” (Bod.rgya)
4. ’tshig pa za ba “to get angry” (Bod.rgya)
5. dbang za ba “to misuse power” (Bod.rgya)
6. khe bzang za ba “to take (illegal/unethical) profit” (Bod.rgya)
7. the tshom za ba “to have doubt” (Bod.rgya)
8. tshos za ba “dye to take effect” (Bod.rgya)
9. khong khro za ba “to get angry” (Bod.rgya)
10. gzugs po za ba “to itch” (Bod.rgya)
11. rnam rtog za “to be superstitious (about something)” (Bod.rgya)
12. g.yur za ba “to become ripe” (Bod.rgya)
13. som nyi za ba “to have doubt” (Bod.rgya)
14. gsug za ba “to take bribe” (Bod.rgya)
15. ag za ba “to have doubt” (Bod.rgya)
16. lkog rngan za ba “to take bribe” (Bod.rgya)
17. gdon (mi) za ba “to be there (no) doubt” (Bod.rgya)
18. mna’ za ba “to swear” (Bod.rgya)
19. ’phrig za ba “to have doubt” (Bod.rgya)

Considering the use of za ba in these words, I have a feeling that we can detect at least two distint meanings, namely, (a “to eat” and (b) “to itch” (or “to sense of being gnawed at”). The question is if these two meanings are somehow related. My impression is that they are. It is likely that Tibetans believed that “itching” is caused by the “act of biting” or “eating” (by some parasites such as lice or other microorganism). Thus the verb za ba can be said to have a “subjective” and an “objective” meaning. That is, the former is from the perspective of “one who is eating” and the latter from the perspective of “one who is being eaten.” 

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