Hindi: Etymology of कनपटी


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I would like to know if there is a known etymology for the Hindi word कनपटी. In some European languages, the word is linked to the word "temple", as in "a place of worship". I would like to know if that is the case too in hindi.

Thank you in advance for your time and help.
  • kanpaṭī or kanapaṭī means “temple” in the sense “side of the head”, not “temple” in the sense “place of worship”. I think it is a loan from Sanskrit.
    Gan/kan - To know /knowledge/eye, and pathi refer to father/master/lord/belongs to. refers to the God.
    Pati- could refer to flat attachments, around the cloth or some object, like the ribbons or frame.
    Last edited:
    in Tamil, Kannam refers to the Cheek.

    In Hindi there are words like gaNda, kandala etc..for cheek.
    I think it's been dealt with elsewhere but I'll do this one for the sake of completeness.

    • any connection to a place of worship
    • kanapaṭī
    • a loan from Sanskrit.

    Correct but irrelevant:
    1. [Tamil] Gan/kan - to know /knowledge/eye,
    2. and (Tamil) "pathi" (Skt. पति- pati-) does indeed "refer to father/master/lord/belongs to. refers to the God," but the Sanskrit (Dravidian) word has dental /t/ unlike the word in question, which has retroflex /ṭ/
    Might be true but is only tangentially relevant:

    • In Hindi there are words like gaNda, kandala etc..for cheek.
      • and not because of any perceived semblance between gaṇḍ and "kan-" but due to a certain semantic link 'a cheek, elephant's temple' —not "a place of elephant worship" — but this word has no place in the etymology of the discussed Hindi word
      • ... but neither is used, only gāl is.
    • /kanpaṭī/ or <kanapaṭī> means “temple” in the sense “side of the head”, not “temple” in the sense “place of worship”.:tick:
    • "Pati- (actually /-paṭī/) could refer to "flat attachments, around the cloth or some object, like the ribbons or frame".
    • Tamil (and other Dravidian [languages]) for “eye” is kaṇ with retroflex /ṇ/; the Hindi word for “temple” has dental /n/.

    It has a fairly transparent etymology.

    While 'cheek' has no relevance to it, a noun of an analoguous construction to the 'anatomic temple' is
    H گلپٿا गलपटा galpaṭā [gal = gāl, q.v. + S. पट+कः], s.m. Cheek-bone.
    comparable to the contraction of kān 'ear' to kan combined with the final element -paṭ- with the masculine ending -ā.

    The second member of the compound occurs independently in the form given below, out of whose meanings there are several bearing relevance to the topic.

    H پٿي पट्टी paṭṭi [S. पट्ट+इका], s.f. A piece or strip of cloth; bandage, ligature, swath, plaster, cataplasm; splints, band, fillet, ribbon, tape, brace, tie; head-band, a narrow plate of metal (worn across the turban by sepoys and their native officers); a rafter, or the whole row or series of rafters that cover one side of a house; side piece of the frame of a bedstead ( = pāṭī); parting of the hair in the middle; side-locks of hair over each temple; lath (of split bamboo, &c.); spokes of a wheel; a ledge; line, row; a rule to draw lines by; a small plank, board, tablet, table (as in 'plane-table'); a small rectangular board on which children write ( = pāṭī); a morsel of betel-leaf made up with betel-nut, lime, &c. ( = bīṛī; pān); a foil, &c. ( = paṭā); piece, part, portion; division of a village; division of land into portions or strips; holding or tenure in coparcenary; a written order or patent; a title to a certain tenure of land; list, statement, invoice, document (of any kind); public subscription paper; cess, assessment; — a kind of sweetmeat ( = pāṭī): — paṭṭī bāṅdhnā (-par), To apply a bandage, &c. (to a sore or wound); to bandage (the eyes), to blindfold: — paṭṭī-par qābiẓ rahnā, To retain in severalty: — paṭṭī paṛhānā, v.t. To teach the letters (to a child) from the paṭṭī or board; (fig.) to explain (anything to anyone), to give a lesson (to); to advise, counsel; to put (one) up to (some trick or roguery); to cheat, deceive, take in: — paṭṭī pakaṛ-ke hilte rahnā, A phrase used to denote either excessive weakness or excessive laziness: — paṭṭī toṛnā, v.n. To be bedridden: — paṭṭī-dār, s.m. Holder or proprietor of a paṭṭī or share in a coparcenary village or estate, a coparcener: — paṭṭī-dārī, s.f. Coparcenary tenure; an estate held in severalty: — paṭṭī-dārī nā-mukammal, s.f. Coparcenary tenure where part of the land is divided and part held in common; tenure of an estate in partial severalty: — paṭṭī denā, v.t. = paṭṭī paṛhānā, q.v.: — paṭṭī-wār, adj. & adv. According to shares, holdings, assessment, &c.: paṭṭiyāṅ jamānā (-par), To paste the hair down (on the temples).
    (Platts Urdu and Classical Hindi, and English dictionary)