September 15, 2015


 I am back here with my etymology-craze! In the Tibetan word keng rus for “skeleton,” I think rus is clear. It means “bone.” But what is keng supposed to mean? Is it a loan word of some kind? Has anyone thought of it before? Maybe someone has already written something about it.

1 comment:

  1. I have an odd idea that the keng element may be borrowed from the first syllable of Sanskrit kaṅkāla, one of the words keng-rus has been used to translate, according to Negi. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but there it is. I notice that the Tibetan-language definitions usually emphasize that it means a set of bones that is not only fleshless, but also hollowed of its internal organs, if that helps anything at all. You can find a lot of examples of usage for keng-rus in Vinaya texts, and it's one of the subjects of so-called 'foulness meditation'.