Did you know that there are hundreds of Indian words that have been adopted into the English language?
During the era of the East India Company, British Army officers, traders and civil servants who were often in India without their wives and family, readily adopted local customs, clothes and language. When they returned home, they brought many words with them, along with exotic silks, spices and animal skins.
The British presence in India lasted for more than 300 years, and as time went on, more Hindi, Urdu and Persian words were brought into the English language. Words like "shampoo" and "pajamas", which today sound as English as fish and chips, actually have Eastern roots.
The iconic Hobson-Jobson dictionary is filled with words we have adopted from India, like all of the words below in bold... if you can quite believe it!
Relaxing on the veranda of my bungalow in my cheetah print pajamas, soothed by sounds of the jungle and the gentle jingle jangle of my bangle, until a thug in khaki calico dungarees driving a juggernaut hurtles down the road making a terrible hullabaloo!
50 words from India:
- A - atoll, avatar
- B - bandana, bangle, bazaar, Blighty, bungalow
- C - cashmere, catamaran, char, cheroot, cheetah, chintz, chit, chokey, chutney, cot, cummerbund, curry
- D - dinghy, doolally, dungarees
- G - guru, gymkhana
- H - hullabaloo
- J - jodhpur, jungle, juggernaut, jute
- K - khaki, kedgeree
- L - loot
- N - nirvana
- P - pariah, pashmina, polo, pukka, pundit, purdah, pajamas
- S - sari, shampoo, shawl, swastika
- T - teak, thug, toddy, typhoon
- V - veranda
- Y - yoga
[The photos in the post were taken by Justin and me over the years on our travels through India, a country we both adore.]