Tiru or Thiru (Tamil திரு tiru [
ˈt̪irɯ]) is a word of the South Indian language Tamil, which can be used as an honorific prefix to the names of persons, places as well as the titles of texts etc. For women, Thirumathi (Tamil: திருமதி tirumati [ˈt̪irɯmʌd̪i]) used.
The Tamil word tiru has the same range of meanings as the Sanskrit word Shri(śrī), from which it may also be derived. Like Shri, tiru is an epithet of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Other meanings of tiru include “prosperity”, “nobility”, “beauty”, “blessing”, and “holiness”.
The prefix Tiru, which testifies to respect, may be prefixed to the names of persons, the titles of texts (e.g. Tirukkural ) or other words. In some cases, as with the poet-saint Tiruvalluvar, the prefix has become a permanent part of the name. The prefix Tiru is also often found in place names, in which case it often refers to a temple town. Here, too, the Tiru is usually a fixed part of the name. Place names beginning with Tiru or Thiru can be found especially in Tamil Nadu
(e.g. Tiruchirappalli, Tiruvannamalai, Tirunelveli, etc.) in Kerala (e.g. Thiruvananthapuram), in Andhra Pradesh (e.g. Tirupati) and in the Tamil-populated areas of Sri Lanka (e.g. Trincomalee, actually Tirukonamalai).Tirupati) and in the Tamil populated areas of Sri Lanka (e.g. Trincomalee, actually Tirukonamalai).
- University of Madras. Tamil lexicon. [Madras], University of Madras, 1924-1936. entry “திரு tiru”.