Know the Etymology: 99
Place Name of the Day: Monday, 22 May 2017


Muḷḷik-kirāy, Kirāṉ, Kirāńci

முள்ளிக்கிராய், கிரான், கிராஞ்சி
Muḷḷik-kirāy, Kirāṉ, Kirāńci

Muḷḷi+kirāy
Kirāṉ/ Kirāy+āṉ
Kirāńci/ Kirāy+icci


The dark muddy land found with Muḷḷi plants; or the dark muddy land of Muḷḷi plants that has become a cultivation field

The dark muddy land or the dark muddy cultivation field

The floodplain or waterlogged muddy land


Kirāy dark muddy ground, a kind of soil in agricultural tract that is black and marshy, "Karuń-cēṟṟu-nilam" (Tamil, MTL cites Jaffna Diction); turf, "Puṟ-karaṭu" (Tamil, MTL); turf, hard clay ground, "Puṟ-poḻi, Vayira-nilam" (Tamil, Kathiraiverpillai); Kiṟāy: = Kirāy (Tamil, MTL); a kind of land, dark muddy ground (Tamil, inscription, 953 CE, SII, viii, 651); a green clod or sod (Tamil, Winslow); a kind of green clay (Tamil, Kathiraiverpillai); Kaṟāy: = Kirāy (Tamil, MTL); dark muddy ground (Tamil, inscription, 1246 CE, SII, viii, 713); a kind of cultivation field (Tamil, inscription, 1017 CE, SII, xix, 128); Kirańci, Kireńci, Kirińci: mud, mire (Tulu, DED 1565); Kirańci: (adjective) miry (Tulu, DED 1565); Kirńci: slippery mud (Kannada, DED 1565)
Kirāṉ seems to be a variation of Kirāy (Eezham Tamil, mostly found in the Eastern Province); from Kirā/ Kirāy+aṉ (Aṉ is attributive suffix as noticed in Tamil Brahmi inscriptions; ETE 84); note the toponymic component Kirāyaṉ in related place names. See box on Kirāy
Kirāńci a floodplain, ground waterlogged during rainy season, alkaline grassland that becomes muddy during rains (Eezham Tamil, meanings deduced from the geography of places having the name Kirāńci); 1. Variation of Kirāy and Kirāṉ: (Ińci/icci is probably an affix, as in another Eezham Tamil toponymic term Karaicci); 2. Kirańci, Kireńci, Kirińci: mud, mire (Tulu, DED 1565); Kirańci: (adjective) miry (Tulu, DED 1565); Kirńci: slippery mud (Kannada, DED 1565). See box on Kirāy
Muḷḷi any thorny plant in general (Tamil, Winslow, DED 4995); varieties of it are noticed in marshland, paddy fields etc; = Nīr-muḷḷi: a marshland variety having hook-like thorns; "Kūṉ muḷ muḷḷi" (Tamil, Caṅkam diction, Akanāṉuṟu 26: 1); from Muḷ: thorn (Tamil, DED 4995). See another column for further details


Kirāy is a toponymic term found in Eezham Tamil, which is explained as a dark muddy ground (Karuń-cēṟṟu-nilam) by MTL, citing Jaffna Diction.

Kirāy-related place names are usually found in alkaline stretches and they suit the description (see related place names). Such muddy grounds are often turned into cultivation fields and some times small ponds are also found in them.

Kirāy is equated to Kiṟāy and Kaṟāy by MTL and the latter two forms could be seen in Tamil inscriptional usages to mean a kind of muddy land, either cultivated or uncultivated.

Kirāṉ, mostly seen in the Eastern Province, seems to be a variation of Kirāy (see box on Kirāy).

Kirāńci, as seen from the examples, is usually a flood plain, water-stagnant ground or an alkaline ground that becomes muddy during rains. The term seems to be related to Kirāy. (See box)

For all the said terms the closest Dravidian cognates are Kirańci, Kireńci and Kirińci meaning mud or mire in Tulu and Kirńci meaning slippery mud in Kannada (DED 1565)

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Kiṟāy meaning a kind of land:

"எல்லைக் கல்லுக்கு கிழக்குக் கிறாய் இருபதின் கோல் நிலம்" (Tamil inscription, 953 CE, SII, viii, 651)

"Ellaik kallukku kiḻakkuk kiṟāy irupatiṉ kōl nilam" (Tamil inscription, 953 CE, SII, viii, 651)

Kiṟāy land, measuring 20 Kōl, lying east of the boundary stone


Kaṟāy meaning a watery land:

"எங்கள் நிலமாய் கறாய்யாய் நீர் நிலையுமாய்" (1246 CE, SII, viii, 713)

"Eṅkaḷ nilamāy kaṟāyyāy nīr nilaiyumāy" (1246 CE, SII, viii, 713)

The land is ours; it is a Karāy land and it also has stationary water


Karāy as a cultivation land:

"அட்டிக் குடுத்த நிலம் பளங் கறாய் மூன்று மா" (1017 CE, SII, xix, 128)

"Aṭṭik kuṭutta nilam paḷaṅ kaṟāy mūṉṟu mā" (1017 CE, SII, xix, 128)

The land given was three Mā (a measure) of old kaṟāy

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Muḷḷik-kirāy is an alkaline paddy field locality in Mantuvil in Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna district. The pond found in the place is noted as Muḷḷik-kiṟāyk-kuḷam (Point Pedro OIS).

Kirāṉ is found as a place name in Koralaippattu division of Batticaloa district and in Kinniya division of Trincomalee district.

Kirāńci is a place in Poonakari division of Kilinochchi district. It is also found as a locality name of a floodplain lying between Viḷāṉ and Paṇṭatteruppu in Valikamam Southwest division of Jaffna district. In Pūnakari, Kirāńci has a paddy field and a tank. In Paṇṭatteruppu, the floodplain had a bund and a tank on the northern side, which was a muddy land found with a weed called Kiṭaicci that was collected to feed cattle in the past. In recent times, the place has become a cultivation field.

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Some related place names:

Paramaṉ-kirāy: Poonakari, Kilinochchi. Paramaṉ: a personal name, coming from God Siva

Kollaṉ-kirāy: Cāvakaccēri, Jaffna (K. Almanac). Kollaṉ: blacksmith

Kollaṉ-kirāy Kuḷam: Cāvakaccēri, Jaffna, a paddy field locality (Point Pedro OIS)

Muḷḷik-kirāy Kuḷam: Mantuvil, Jaffna, a paddy field locality (Point Pedro OIS). Muḷḷi: a marshland plant

Kavuṭik-kirāy Kuḷam: Mantuvil, Jaffna, a paddy field locality along lagoon coast (Point Pedro OIS). Kavuṭi: 1. a kind of shell (Tamil, MTL, Cūṭāmaṇi, 6: 12; see Kavāṭṭi); 2. probably, Kavaṭi: a coarse kind of white millet, unfit for food, " Veḷ-varaku" (Tamil, MTL, Cilappatikāram, 27: 226). Also note the toponym, Kavaṭi-viraik-kuḷam in Tuṉṉālai (Point Pedro OIS)

Periya-kirāy: Maṭṭuvil, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 111)

Ciṉṉak-kirāy: Maṭṭuvil, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 111)

Mutalaik-kirāy: Maṭṭuvil, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 111). Mutalai: crocodile; Maṭṭuvil, bordering Uppāṟu Lagoon has marshes

Uppuk-kirāy: Maṭṭuvil, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 111). Uppu: salt, salty

Tīṉik-kirāy: Varaṇi, Jaffna, a paddy field locality (Balasundaram, p. 376)

Cūḻaṅ-kirāy: (Varaṇi, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 376)

Kirā-vattai: Kirāy-vattai: a locality in Eṇṇāṅkappiṭṭi, Karainagar, Jaffna. Vattai: place

Kirā-vaḷai: Kirāy-vaḷai: Tuṉṉālai. Vaḷai: circuit

Kirāyiṭṭi: Kirāy+iṭṭi: Aḷaveṭṭi, Valikamam North, Jaffna.

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Kirāyaṉ:

Veṅkirāyaṉ: Vem+kirāy+aṉ: a paddy field locality in Varaṇi, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 376)

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Kirāṉ:

Kirāṉ-kuḷam: Manmunaippattu, Batticaloa. The place has a paddy field strip along the lagoon and the pond is located in the paddy field

Māyk-kirāṉ-kuḷam: Tuṉṉālai, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 211; this is a pond in a paddy field; Point Pedro OIS)

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Kirāńci:

Kirāńcik-kuṭā-villu: Poṉṉāveḷi, Kilinochchi (Tunukkai OIS). Villu: marsh, pond; Kuṭā: cove

Kirāńciyam-pati: Puṅkuṭutīvu West, Jaffna (K. Almanac). Kirāńci+am+pati: Kirāńci changed into a status-giving place name

Kaṭal-kirāńcit-tāḻvu: Mantuvil, Thenmaradchi, Jaffna; a paddy field locality adjacent to lagoon (Point Pedro OIS). Tāḻvu: low-lying land

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Revised: Monday, 22 May 2017, 18:30

First published: Sunday, 29 June 2008, 08:33

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