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Thursday, January 06, 2005

A slimy word for restroom in tamil

While chatting with my friends at home, I chanced to hear the word "kakkoos". Hailing from tamilnadu, I am sure any "thamizan" would know what it means. It is a word I have never used in any of my conversations as it 'sounded cheap'. I have this tendency to pursue etymological explorations (example kasmaalam came from kashmalam of sanskrit etc..) and I was convinced that this particular word cannot be a tamil word since it ended in "oos"(not referring the oozing after you get into the place), which is not permitted by tamil grammar. Apart from it not being a proper tamil word (or english I believe), I always burst into uncontrollable laughter whenever somebody used that word for expressing his egesting ideas. Somehow it is too funny to hear and cheap to say. A more decorous word is kazivaRai. Well, not that a better word changes the utility of the place intended, but just makes one 'feel better' before using the place. (Well, you will always feel better after using it.)

But this time when this word came up in convo, after reeling out a 2 minute non-stop laughter to the extent of getting spasms in stomach, I decided to get more info about this word. What else but google could provide info about anything and everything that God created ? I googled for that word and ended up getting minimal results of which most of them were had a scatological context. It was used many forums which traded 'good will' through such 'nice' words.

But one link caught my attention : This was somebody by the name of William David Rabindran from Nagercoil who had gone at length to describe how he shat in kakkoos. Though the writeup itself is a recap of of childhood memories, I was left wondering how a man could in this world be patient enough to describe in full detail right from the seating position through..you know what. You can find the link here:

http://www.geocities.com/jingi123/CHILDHOOD_MEMORIES.htm

The part pertaining to our word is as follows:

"Our KAKKOOS was outside in REDMONT. So if we want to go for no.2, we have to go outside the house….taking a PONI with full of water and go to the KAKKOOS open to atmosphere (with NO CEILING - ha ha ) It was having CUBICAL STONES kept in a row. We keep our legs on the TWO adjacent STONEs and go for 2…. What an experience … (THOTTI comes every morning and cleans the KAKKOOS ).. This Kakkoos was for everyone whether NIGHT or DAY any time . We HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE THE HOUSE . I think "

Profound indeed !