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From: A. Bharat (
Date: Thu May 06 1999 - 17:42:16 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas		

I've been following the discussions re the terminology
with great interest,and thought I could add my two cents
worth also-

<The root-word for both Iyer and Iyengar (Ayyar, Ayyangar) appears to be
<Iyen (Ayyan) which, in turn, may be derived from Aryan. Since the ending
<with the letter N indicates lack of respect, Iyen became Iyer.

There seems to be some truth in the above comment.In the
Prabandha vyAkhyAnams the word "Iyer" is regularly used
to denote the head of the family or specifically Dasaratha.

But "Iyengar" seems to have been a surname since a long time.
There is at least one very famous person of that appellation
Pillai pPerumAL IyengAr of that period whose beautiful
"Kalambakams" vie with the Prabandhams in felicity of
language and religious devotion.

EmberumAnAr TiruvaDigaLE SaraNam!