Theravādin, Theravādan, Theravādist

We see a coinage, namely Theravādin, used in reference to adherents of Theravāda.

What is the Pāli for “Theravādin”? Is “Theravādin” already Pāli?

In Mahāyāna, there is a Sanskrit term for ‘Mahāyānists’, namely mahāyānika, similar in construction to mādhyamika and abhidharmika, I assume.

Is there a *-vādika suffix for Theravāda that mirrors “Mahāyāna --> mahāyānika”?

There is an entri of -vadin and -vadika in the PTS dictionary:

Noun: theravāda
Adj: theravādin (masc. sg. theravadī, masc. pl. theravādino… etc)

Adding the -in suffix is a “secondary derivative” or “taddhita” that makes an adjective. It causes the root vowel to take the vṛddhi grade, though e is the vṛddhi in Pāli. So it doesn’t change in this case - this is more of a feature of Sanskrit (cf jina > jaina).

Skt. (n) mahāyāna -> (adj) māhāyānika
Skt. madhyamaka -> mādhyamika
Skt. abhidharma -> ābhidharmika

There are many ways to make adjective in Pāli, as there are in English. Vādika is certainly a word meaning “one who speaks”.

But since theravādin is an adjective, you don’t need to add anything to it. Your problem is that if you want to use a Pāli plural then it is gendered and you’d have to specify which gender you mean.


If you are so inclined, what would these plural forms be?

m. & n. theravādino
f. theravādiniyo