Why is Pāli pipāsā (f) found as pipāso?


Dear all,
I wonder abot the the occurence of the word pipāso in the sentence: pipāso pivaṃ papāgato.

All the dictionaries I can consult give only a feminine form pipāsā (thirst). So I wonder now why we find pipāso. Is it a masculine form not noted or how does the -so ending come to be in a feminine noun?

I hope for some assistance. Much thanks.


It’s an adjective, “thirsty”, and hence agrees with the other terms in the sentence. Such flexibility is quite a common feature of Pali, but this case is not recorded in the PTS dict. It’s probably very rare, but I’d expect that Cone will include it in the next volume of her dictionary.


Thank you bhante. :anjal:

One further question, if I may: When you came upon this passage (or an equivalent reading) did you find out with the help of any tool (non-English–Pāli dictionaries for example) or had you to decide based on context?



In this case, just decide on context. This isn’t such a complex case, but sometimes more expert advice is needed.


You mean there are others more expert than you? I didn’t think that would be possible, lol! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Very many! My grasp of Pali grammar is average at best, and my knowledge of Sanskrit is worse, and other Indic languages, nearly non-existent.

There are lots of people, mainly monks, in traditional Theravadin countries who would have a better knowledge of Pali than me. The thing is, in translations, the hard part is not the source language, but the target language. That’s where 90% of the work is.


Well, don’t under sell yourself. I have read a few of your books, and many essays and translations, and regularly gasp in awe of your intellectual might. Thank you for using your powers for good!