Tamil: monae, kunyi, ayya

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New Member
Hi everyone, I'm reading a novel "Tiger Hills", it's a story happened in Coorg in South India, and although it's written in English, there's some words I can't find in the dictionary, I really wish to know their meanings.


1. monae - "She is fine, they are both fine monae. Come in and see your pearl of a daughter."

2. kunyi - "No kunyi, don’t talk like that. All will be well. All will be well…"

3. ayya - "What is it ayya? What do you see?"

Thank you so much!

  • Kirlian

    New Member
    American English
    Monae - I think it's Malayalam, I have some Malayalam neighbors and they use something like that... It's an affectionate term for 'little girl' I think.

    Kunyi, no idea. Ayya, is a respectful term for an older man.


    Senior Member
    England, English (UK)
    Well Coorg (Kodagu) is in the Indian state of Karnataka, the official language of which is Kannada. I know a little Tamil and it seems similar, but somehow not quite right, which leads me to believe that it is one of the other Dravidian languages (although I may just have an insufficient knowledge of Tamil.) Malayalam is certainly possible, but, as it's set in Kodagu, I would imagine it's most likely to be Kannada.


    New Member
    India - Tamil
    In Coorg, most people speak a (unique to Coorg) Dravidian language, which I do not know. But, there are significant number of Malayalam speakers, as it borders Kerala. So, these words may be Malayalam.

    monae - means son, in Malayalam, it's used colloquially
    ayya - is a polite term used to refer to an elder man, it is also used to refer to one's father
    kunyi - I have no idea, it may even be a name
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