August 05, 2012


Just out of the blue: What could be the etymology, if there is at all, of sgo nga “egg”? Interestingly egg is alo called “bird-fruit” (bya ’bras). Kun-bzang-rnam-rgyal, Ngag sgron yang ’grel (p. 244). It can well be derived from the verb sgong ba (Jäschke 1881: s.v.) “to make round, globular” and hence “something that is oval.” Possibly sgong ba also means “to coagulate” and hence egg is “something that has assumed a solid or semisolid state.” Just a food for thought. So please do not assume these to be positions etched in the rocks of time.   


  1. There are five ways to break open eggs, if they are boiled properly, and these are called the five gates, or sgo lnga. These are in the four directions and one at the top, or zenith, of the shell. Some know the upper door as the sky door. I find that the top door works best, although if you open the gates in the four directions, it's even more effective in expediting the peeling process. I've taken lessons with a real expert, J.G., who taught me this in Lhasa.

  2. Dear Dan,

    Of the three/four possibilities (mu), I hope that this is at least a theory that is correct but unconvincing.