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Indian words, from yoga poses to menu items, enter Oxford English Dictionary | Post Magazine

Do you realize your annas from the your abbas, your bhindi from your gosht? Indian English phrases derived from quite a lot of subcontinent’s languages comply with Chinese guanxi and Singaporean kiasu into official lexicon

By Lisa Lim

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) lately added 70 entries originating from and mainly utilized in Indian English. They have been added to the 900 or so such phrases already within the dictionary – a consequence of British involvement with India for 400 years, from the early days of colonisation, by way of the Raj, to independence, the diaspora and modern tradition.

Many phrases originate from India’s most generally spoken languages, together with Hindi (chup,“be quiet”), Marathi (vada, “deep-fried ball or ring made from ground potato or pulses”), Bengali (didi, “elder sister or female cousin, respectful term for an older woman”), Punjabi (jhuggi, “hut, slum dwelling, typically made from mud or corrugated iron”), Tamil (anna, “respectful title or form of address for an older brother”) and Urdu (gosht,“red meat”).

Where the word kiasu came from and how it spread

Two languages with necessary historic ties to India additionally determine considerably: Sanskrit, the liturgical language of Hinduism and literary language of historic and medieval India, is clear in phrases corresponding to surya namaskar, from sūryanamaskāra, actually “obeisance to the sun god”, a collection of yoga poses linked by fluid actions and popularly often known as solar salutation; whereas Persian, which was the subcontinent’s administrative language and lingua franca earlier than English, includes the roots of Urdu borrowings corresponding to bachcha, which means “child”.

There are recognisable thematic classes, together with food (bhindi, for instance, which means “okra”) and the complicated system of kinship and handle phrases with no direct English equivalents, marking age, gender, standing and household relation­ships (with each abba [Urdu, originally Arabic] and bapu [Gujarati] which means “father”, and sometimes used as a well-known time period of tackle; and -ji [Hindi, from Sanskrit j ī va] being a respectful type of handle, typically an honorific hooked up as a suffix to a reputation or a title).

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A putting entry is jugaad (from the Hindi jug ār, “combi­nation of means and material”, taken from the Sanskrit yogy ā, “contrivance”). Jugaad is a versatile strategy to problem-solving that employs restricted assets in an progressive method, like a hack. Examples may embrace throwing collectively a meal from no matter is within the fridge, or – as within the title of a youngsters’s guide of science experiments, Kabār se Jugā r – when one creates “useful things from rubbish”.

Like kiasu in Singapore English (included within the OED in 2006), the Chinese guanxi(2016) and hygge from Danish (2017), such phrases faucet deeply into the psyche of a individuals, however are largely incomprehensible to outsiders. Increased documentation of such phrases will assist develop extra nuanced cross-cultural interpretation, acceptance and participation.


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