One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In the (former) kingdom of Kandy in Sri Lanka: (a title of) a chief minister and royal adviser. Subsequently (during British colonial rule): an honorary title.
2Generally. Elsewhere in Sri Lanka and in southern India: any of various ministers or officials; a headman or chief.
Late 17th century. Originally from Portuguese adigar person in authority, governor, one of the chief ministers of the Kingdom of Kandy from Tamil atikārī (pronounced/adiɡaːriː/) from Sanskrit adhikārin person possessing authority, governor, and partly (with specifically reference to Kandy) from Tamil atikāram chief minister of kingdom of Kandy from Sanskrit adhikāra authority (also ultimately from adhikṛ-). Compare Sinhala adhikāra, adikāra (from Tamil).
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