OF ‘SUGAR AND CREAM & MILK AND HONEY’ – THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

Alexander the Great and his army had not seen sugar till they invaded India, and marveled at the “honey without bees”! It is obvious there was no sugar in Greece until 327 BC.

The origin of the word ‘sugar’ is traced to Old French ‘sucre’, and Latin ‘succarum’, from Arabic ‘sukkar’, from Persian ‘shakar’ originally from Sanskrit ‘sharkara’ (शर्कर). The word today appears in Italian as ‘zucchero’ and in Spanish as ‘azucar’.

That brings us to ‘cream’. The origins of the word has been traced to a blend of the Latin ‘chrisma’ which means ‘ointment’ and ‘cramum’ which means ‘cream’. Both words originate from Sanskrit ‘kshir’ (क्षीर) which means both ‘milk’ and ‘cream’. It is also from the Sanskrit ‘kshir’ (क्षीर) that the Hindi ‘kheer’ (खीर) is derived.

‘Honey’ is derived from Old English ‘hunig’. Hunig is traced to the reconstructed language PIE word ‘keneko’ which means ‘golden’. But then ‘keneko’ is a cognate, perhaps a direct lift, of the Sanskrit ‘kanaka’ (कानक) which of course means ‘golden’!

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