I hope Dan and I are not washing dirty linen in public. I am reproducing here Dan’s private mail here which contains some questions and reflection on the Tibetan word ga’u:
“Of what is ga’u a diminutive? It would have to be “ga,” right? What is this ga? Any idea? (I'm wondering because in one account of royal (as well as the kalpa’s) origins, the sky and earth need to be separated, and they are compared to a ga’u. I hesitate to translate it as amulet box, but then how to translate it? Haarh just translates it as ‘box,’ which could be OK, I guess.... I’ve recently been reading a 5th-century Greek-Egyptian’s book, and he very clearly sees the world as a box, more like a shoebox, really, with the heavens divided off from the earth...). (As you can see, translating is doing things to me.)”
While the meaning is clear, frankly speaking, I have not an iota of an idea about what ga (from which diminutive form ga’u, if at all, has been derived) could mean. Perhaps ga’u is a loanword that we do not know?