Sunday, January 4, 2015

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 We commonly use a number or words in English without thinking of their origins. A lot of these originated closer home. Following are some of the words we use oh so often, which are borrowed from Indian languages -

Avatar
From Hindi अवतार, from Sanskrit, descent of a deity from a heaven
Bandanna 
from bandhna (बांधना) to tie a scarf around the head.
Bangle 
from bāngṛī बांगड़ी, a type of bracelet.
Blighty 
"Britain" (as a term of endearment among British troops stationed in Colonial India): from Hindi-Urdu vilāyatī (विलायती, ولايتى) "foreign", ultimately from Arabo-Persian ولايتى "provincial, regional".
Bungalow
from बंगला banglA and Urdu بنگلہ banglA, literally, "(house) in the Bengal style".
Bazaar from Market
Cheetah 
from cītā, चीता, meaning "variegated".
Chit 
from चिट्ठी Chitthi, a letter or note.
Chutney 
from चटनी chatni, meaning "to crush"
Cot 
from Khāt, खाट, a portable bed.
Chowkat 
from Chokaath, Urdu, a door frame.
Cummerbund 
from kamarband , cf. कमरबन्द - Urdu کمربند, meaning "waist binding" [ultimately from Persian کمربند]
Cushy
probably from khushi, cf. Hindi ख़ुशी - Urdu خوشی "easy, happy, soft" [ultimately from Persian]; but some sources prefer an origin from "cushion"
Dacoit 
from डकैत् Dakait, meaning a member of a class of criminals who engage in organized robbery and murder. Hence also dacoity (=banditry)
Dekko 
(UK slang for 'a look') from देखो Dekho, the imperative 'look', (دیکھو देखो ) meaning look at or study something.
Dinghy
from Dinghi, small boat, wherry-boat
Garam Masala
from Hindi and Urdu गरम मसाल گرم مصالح garam masālā, literally "warm ( = hot) mixture",from Persian گرم garm 'warm, hot' and Arabic مصالح maṣāliḥ 'benefits, requirements, ingredients'.

Guru
from Hindi guru "teacher, priest," from Sanskrit गुरुः guruḥ "one to be honored, teacher," literally "heavy, weighty.
Gymkhana 
A term which originally referred to a place where sporting events take place and referred to any of various meets at which contests were held to test the skill of the competitors. In English-speaking countries, a gymkhana refers to a multi-game equestrian event performed to display the training and talents of horses and their rider [-khānā from Pers. khānāh خانه "house, dwelling"]
Jaconet
modification of Sanskrit jagannaath, from Jagannath (Puri), [India], where such cloth was first made.
Jinnah cap
after Pakistani statesman Muhammad Ali Jinnah died in 1948. A hat shaped like a fez but made of real or imitation karakul and worn by Pakistani Muslims on occasion. It is called a "Karakulli topi" (Topi meaning cap).
Jodhpurs
Full-length trousers, worn for horseback riding, that are close-fitting below the knee and have reinforced patches on the inside of the leg. Named after Jodhpur , where similar garments are worn by Indian men as part of everyday dress.
Juggernaut 
from Jagannath (Sanskrit: जगन्नाथ jagannātha), a form of Vishnu particularly worshipped at the Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha where during Rath Yatra festival thousands of devotees pull temple carts some 14m (45 feet) tall, weighing hundreds of tons through the streets.
Jungle 
from जङल् jangal, another word for wilderness or forest.
Khaki
from खकि khākī "of dust colour, dusty, grey", cf. Hindi ख़ाकी - Urdu خاکی [ultimately from Persian].
Karma
from Sanskrit, the result of a person's actions as well as the actions themselves. It is a term about the cycle of cause and effect.
Loot 
from LooT लूट, meaning 'steal'. Robbery
Multan
from Multan, Pakistan: A kind of rug prevalent there.
Mogul
from Hindi and Urdu: An acknowledged leader in a field, from the Mughal rulers of India like Akbar and Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal.
Maharajah
from Hindi and Sanskrit: A king.
Mantra
from Hindi and Sanskrit: a word or phrase used in meditation.
Nirvana
(in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.
Pashmina
from Hindi पश्मीना, Urdu پشمينه, ultimately from Persian پشمينه.
Poori
from Hindi poori, from Sanskrit पुर (pura) or "cake".
Punch
from Hindi and Urdu panch پانچ, meaning "five". The drink was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices. The original drink was named paantsch.
Pundit 
from पण्डित Pandit, meaning a learned scholar or Priest.
Pukka 
(UK slang: "genuine") from Pakkā पक्का,پکا cooked, ripe, solid.
Pyjamas
from Hindi, पैजामा (paijaamaa), meaning "leg garment", coined from Persian پاى "foot, leg" and جامه "garment" .
Raita
from Hindi and Urdu रायता ریتا rayta. yogurt based dish, some add sliced/chopped/diced, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, pineapples, pomegranate or other salads to complement rice or roti meals.
Roti
from Hindi and Urdu रॊटी روٹی roti "bread"; akin to Prakrit रॊट्ट rotta "rice flour", Sanskrit रोटिका rotika "kind of bread".
Shawl
A piece of fabric worn by women over the shoulders or head or wrapped around a baby. From Urdu and Persian šāl, probably from Shāliāt, the name of a town in India.
Sorbet
Derived from the Urdu word Sharbat which originally comes from Arabic; meaning juice.
Shampoo
Derived from Hindustani chāmpo (चाँपो [tʃãːpoː]).
Thug 
from Thagi ठग, meaning "thief or con man".

Toddy (also Hot toddy
from Tārī ताड़ी, juice of the palmyra palm.

Typhoon
from Urdu طوفان toofaan. A cyclonic storm.
Verandah
from Hindi baramdaa बरामदा or another Indian language, but ultimately probably from Portuguese or Spanish.
Yoga
From Sanskrit term (योग) for ancient Hindu spiritual practices common in India that have become internationally popular.

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