On Quechua Words Ending in -ay

There are many such words and I want to know the meaning of this syllable.


Yanapay (=to cooperate reciprocally)
Challay (=to sprinkle, to fall as does dew)

…and many, many others. Indeed, there seem to be -ay, -iy, and -uy verbs, but -ay verbs seem to dominate.

I know absolutely nothing about this, I am just idly observing and getting curious. Everyone speaks Quechua but me. I would like a commenter to explain the situation with these -ay words. I have been told they are not related but I am not sure I believe it. I want to know if “-ay” means “place.”

I am also curious about place names involving -huaylas, and town names ending in -az and -bamba.




Filed under Questions

10 responses to “On Quechua Words Ending in -ay

  1. anisa

    I am just curious. do you always carry a notebook with you? are you constantly writing in a notebook throughout the day?

  2. Z

    Well, sometimes when I am really organized, but mostly I just think while walking, and remember.

    At home or at the office, of course, the computer can be a kind of notebook. But if I had a Blackberry or something, which I don´t want, I´d have more posts. I´d have one recording my recent dialogue about Quechua with a shoe shine boy, for instance, and I´d also have recorded a dialogue between two Peruvian male tourists, one of whom lives in Geneva and another who lives here and whose politics I´d like to figure out by writing down the dialogue.

  3. P.S. also place names ending in -pampa … I always assumed a pampa was a sort of field, because of the pampas in Argentina, or mejor dicho, prairie (as in -mark in Danish). Suddenly I wonder what it really is and whether it is a version of -bamba (note that if you turn the unvoiced p into a voiced phoneme it becomes a b).

  4. I like the idea of writing down the dialogue about Quechua with the shoe shine boy, or between the two Peruvian male tourists. perhaps you can do this from memory

  5. Z

    Yes, I can do it from memory. It´s just a question of how much time to spend writing posts!

    Another Quechua word I need to know the meaning of is vilca. As in Vilcabamba. Then there is also huaman, and huayman … I think huaman is some kind of eagle, I am not sure.

  6. Keep posting about Quechua, even if I have to confess that after idly scanning your list of -ay place names, my brain immediately tried to translate them from Pig Latin into English–the sure sign of a misspent youth.

  7. Well, I’ve just discovered that there’s an ancient town called Andaymarca. Which made me realize that all of these And- names (e.g. Andahuaylas) must be related to the name of the mountains, Andes … duh, I should have known that was Quechua and I suppose it is what I would have surmised if it appeared as a surprise question on a test, but still I never articulated it, duh!

  8. I dont speak Quechua, but I have learnt Sanskrit. Each of the places In Peru, Bolivia, Brazil which are of pre-Spanish origin can be explained by Sanskrit. For example “Andu’ in Sanskrit means a ring or chain, Andhu means a well, anAdi is never ending, also without beginning. Alaya means home. … like the Himalayas which means the house or place of snow…..

  9. Z

    The European languages descend from Sanskrit, but not the native languages of the Americas.

    Note to all: in case you do not realize, I am hardly the type of person who would argue that extraterrestrials built the pyramids.

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