November 17, 2012


We come across a words in Tibetan that contains the element skyegs. I actually come across only three words: chu skyegs (“coot or water-hen”), ri skyegs (“grouse or health-cock”), and rgya skyegs “shell-lac” (or tree from which it is made). The former two are certain birds whereas the latter is a tree (or lac made from it). But could skyegs also have some other meaning? I have a feeling that Tibetan language once had words such as kheg/s and skyegs, whose meanings came to be forgotten. The former (i.e. khegs) is known only in the sense of “to be congested/obstructed.” But I feel (based on the feeling that I get from my own mother tongue) khegs had also the meaning of “ice.” In Tshang-lha, to become ice or to freeze is called khegs ’khyags/chags pa and skyegs po/pu would be “to be cold” (e.g. ri skyegs po “cold water”). Could it be that ri skyegs and chu skyegs are called such because they live in cold highlands or water. In the case of rgya skyegs, skyegs might mean “to coagulate/solidify” something (as water below freezing point) so that such a substance can be used for “sealing.”

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