One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In Sri Lanka and southern India: a town or village lying outside or around a fort, and itself sometimes partly fortified. Now historical.
2"the Pettah": the traditional market area of Colombo.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Richard Cambridge (1717–1802), poet and essayist. From Malayalam pēṭṭa and Tamil pēṭṭai, probably ultimately from Sanskrit pratiṣṭhā establishment.
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