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Subject: Re: oh dear (m)
Author: তন্ময় ভট   (guest, 66.167.131.5)
Date: April 5, 2008 at 1:16:01 PM
Reply to: oh dear (m) by Murasaki
It would be surprising indeed if names from one culture never had an unappealing meaning in a different language. But, sometimes it is troublesome when it happens.

The Indoeuropean group of languages shared a root which originally meant to breath, and we get word like animal from that. In any case, it is an in Sanskrit (pronounced with a schwa, the a- in English about). It gives rise to various words which are used as names today: with -ila (which contracts to -il in pronounciation today, so the name is normally written anil) it means air that we breathe or wind that blows, and with -ala (contracted similarly to -al), it means digestive power or, the more commonly recognized, fire.

I knew of a guy with the latter name who found out that his name was rather unfortunate in English, even though the other word is pronounced differently, and from a completely different Indo-european root meaning a ring.

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