Tuesday, 25 September 2012

THE WORD 'ALCOHOL' AND THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The etymological origins of the word 'Alcohol' are traced to the Middle Latin 'alcohol' which meant 'powdered ore of antimony' and referred to anything that was produced by the process of sublimation. Alcohol originated from the Arabic 'al-kuhul', the fine metallic powder used to darken the eyelids also produced through sublimation process. "Kuhul" comes from 'kahala'  meaning "to stain" or "to paint".  Later, the meaning of the term alcohol was extended to the 'intoxicating element in fermented liquids'.

 The Arabic 'kahala'  itself originates from the Sanskrit 'Kalaka' (कालक) or 'Kala' (काल) meaning 'black'.


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