Besuge

Yesterday, my dad and I were driving together to some place. A drive isn’t a drive unless I get to handle the radio controle. I switch between channels constantly to listen to the best music. Never do I listen to an RJ talking. It is just too urghh! ಕರ್ಕಶ ವಾಗಿ ಮಾತಾಡೋ ರೇಡಿಯೋ ಜೋಕಿ ಧ್ವನಿ ಕೇಳಿಸ್ಕೊಳಕ್ಕೆ ಆಗಲ್ಲ.  We were listening to an old Kannada song called ‘besuge’ (ಬೆಸುಗೆ)

This song is supposed to be a crowd puller and helped the film become successful. My dad recollected his childhood memory that was kind of related to this song. He was a young school kid who participated in a quiz, and the question that quiz master asked was apparently – how many times the word ‘besuge’ repeats in this particular song. The right answer was 64. No one but my dad could answer this question. He laughed at how stupid he feels right now that he had actually kept a count of the number of time a word repeated in a song.

The song continued for about five minutes. My dad started explaining the etymology of the word ‘besuge’. Having known my father, this was quite expected. ‘Besuge’ is a word that was being used by those who solder iron. The heated liquid state of a metal is poured in between two other metals to make them sit together. So, in Kannada, this would become – ಬಿಸಿ ಹುಯ್ಗೆ – liquid matter that is being poured. By ಸಂಧಿ-ಸಮಾಸ (phonological process), the word ‘besuge’ (ಬೆಸುಗೆ) formed.

And, that my friends, is how my father explained to me an etymology of a word that I doubt I would ever use.

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