A few examples of the earliest inscriptional occurrences of the suffix -(a)mbu/- (a)bu in Old Telugu are listed below (cited by K.M. Sastri: ibid.):
|(1)||Nagabu :||Prob. name of a stone-mason. On a granite pillar in the Amaravati Stupa. Dated variously between 2nd cent. B.C.E. and 2nd cent. CE|
|(2)||samvatsarambul :||'in the year'. In Cikulla Plates (ca. 6th cent. CE).|
|(3)||pandumbu :||'ten measures'. In a stone inscription (ca. 7th cent. CE).|
It is somewhat surprising that none of the published lists of Old Telugu words culled from inscriptions include those found in the earliest stone inscriptions of the Pallavas from the Tamil country. I append below a list of the titles in Old Telugu (with the suffixes -(a)mpu/-(a)mbu) sported by Mahendravarman I (ca. 600-630 CE) in his stone inscriptions at Kanchipuram, Pallavaram and Tiruchirapalli (T.V. Mahalingam, Pallava Inscriptions,1988, Nos. 21, 28 & 34):
Kurrambu, Curmbu, Vamkambu (Kanchipuram).
Nivambu, Nilvuleneyyambu, Vampu, Vamkampu, Kathumpu, Pasarambu, Katunterambu, Nayambu, Cumbu (Pallavaram).
Nilvuleneyambu, Nivambu, Nayambu, Vambu, Katuntarambu, Karumbu, Kurrambu, Calambu, Kilambu (Tiruchirapalli).