March 16, 2014


dGe-chos has suggested chung grogs ma as the etymology of chung ma (vol. 5, p. 78). Does he mean “(a female) childhood friend”?


  1. Hi D, I think even more interesting, how can we account for chun-ma?

    CHUN MA 2nd wife (the younger of two wives), junior wife. mi 'di tshe rabs snga ma la nga'i chung ma chun ma'o. This person was in a past life my wife or second wife. Stog Palace Kanjur vol. 76, p. 382.5.

    Just what every man needs!


  2. Dear D, so sorry for the long silence. Terribly busy. I am wondering if (a) chun ma is somehow related with the verb gcun pa (“to subdue,” or “to tame”) and thus chun ma is kind of “female subdued (i.e. meek) one.” Perhaps a second younger wife is often shy, meek, and not as authoritative as the first wife? (b) Or, could it be that chun ma has something to do with chun po (“bouquet”) and hence is an endearing designation for the younger wife? (c) Or, initially chun ma was just an orthographic variant of chung ma and later on assumed a separate meaning? Who knows? All of these are wild speculations. D.