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South Dravidian etymology :

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Proto-South Dravidian : *araçai
Meaning : Ficus religiosa
Dravidian etymology: Dravidian etymology
Tamil : aracu, araca-maram
Tamil meaning : pipal, Ficus religiosa
Tamil derivates : arai a tree, prob. pipal (Tolk.)
Malayalam : arayāl, aracu, araśāl, araśu
Malayalam meaning : Ficus religiosa
Kannada : arase, arise, araḷi, araḷe, aḷali, aḷḷe
Kannada meaning : Ficus religiosa
Kannada derivates : rāvi id. (< Te.)
Kodagu : araḷi-mara
Kodagu meaning : Ficus religiosa
Notes : A complicated case. Tam. aracu should point to *araç- as the PDR stem, which would not be very compatible with Kan. arase, arise < *araçai, not to mention the rest of the forms. However, I suspect that already on the PSDR level this root must have contaminated with *araça- 'king' (Ficus religiosa being seen as a 'kingly' tree), and this explains such forms as Tam. and Mal. aracu, reinterpreted as simply 'king', and Mal. arayāl, araśāl, from *araça- 'king' + *āl- 'banyan = Ficus bengalensis'. That there actually was an original *araçai 'Ficus religiosa' is confirmed by external data, which is hard to trace back to *araça- 'king'.
Number in DED : 0202

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