Word Origin & History
1613, from Port. paria or directly from Tamil paraiyar, pl. of paraiyan "drummer" (at festivals, the hereditary duty of members of the largest of the lower castes of southern India), from parai "large festival drum." Especially numerous at Madras, where its members supplied most of the domestics in European
service. Applied by Hindus and Europeans to members of any low Hindu caste and even to outcastes. Extended meaning "social outcast" is first attested 1819.