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    Results 1 to 4 of 4
    1. #1
      Senior Member

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      Apr 26, 1999
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      Indian words in English


      Many Indian words were absorbed into the English language in the course of the Raj, the period of British rule in India. Some of these are easily recognisable. There are others, though a part of modern day colloquialisms, which are seldom recognised as being of Indian origin. We give below a list of some such words.


      A bright yellow or red silk handkerchief with diamond shaped spots left white while dyeing. The word is derived from the Hindi word badhnu, which means to tie-dye.
      A textile dyeing technique in which areas not to be dyed are coated with wax producing an irregular, mottled motif or pattern.
      Indian and Middle Eastern term for a marketplace or a group of shops; in the West it refers to a charity sale of trinkets and other items.
      Derived from the Bengali word for hut,bangala, it refers to an Anglo-Indian one-story house surrounded by a veranda.
      A white or small-patterned cotton cloth first imported from Calicut, India. Fine cotton material was originally mentioned by Marco Poli in the 14th century.
      A raft or float made from wood tied together, is derived from kattumaram, a Tamil term.
      A lightweight cot or bed, common throughout India. Usually a simple structure, it can sometimes be an elaborate creation, carved and painted.
      The pod of the red pepper (capsicum). The plant came to India from South America.
      Chint or Chintz
      The overall-patterned, often flower-covered, block-printed cotton fabric that has become synonymous with English-style decorating. Originally from the Sanksrit chitra, means variegated or speckled.
      A spicy relish often made from mangoes, chili peppers, or tomatoes. The word is derived from the Hindi catni.
      A spicy dish or meat, fish or vegetables cooked with ground spices, red pepper and turmeric.
      Fabric used for the long loincloth traditionally worn by Hindu men. It is wrapped around the body, with the end passed between the legs and tucked into the waist.
      Originally the court of an Indian prince, now a ceremonial audience chamber.
      A rowing boat in East India, which is derived from the Bengali word dingi. Sometimes, a canoe carved from a tree trunk. Now, the term refers to small naval or civilian boats.
      A coarse cotton fabric from East India that was traditionally worn by the poor. It is woven with two or more threads together in the warp and weft. The coarse varieties were used for sails for native boats and tents.
      Dried split peas and other dried beans or lentil, that are a mainstay of Indian cuisine.
      A flat woven cotton carpet which is one of the oldest and most common type made in India.
      Adapted by the English from the Hindi word dali. It refers to a gift or presentation of fruit, flowers, vegetables or sweets, sometimes arranged in a basket or tray. The garnder would offer his daily array of produce to the owner in this way.
      Guru: Sanskrit means Teacher. Used in English as an expert in the field.
      Hubble-bubble or pipe for smoking water-filtered marijuana or a mixture of tobacco, spices, molasses and fruit.
      Riding breeches that fit close to the leg from the knee to the ankle. These are worn with a low pair of boots. They are modelled after similar trousers worn in Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
      A tremendous force. The word is derived from the name of a Hindu deity Jagannath, Lord of the Universe, worshipped as Vishnu at the shrine of Puri in Orissa. The image, an amorphous idol, is annually taken in procession on a huge cart called a rath.
      In English parlance a dish of recooked fish, often served for breakfast. Although fist was originally served with it, in India kedgeree refers to a mixture of rice cooked with butter and dhal, spices and shredded onion.
      An adjective meaning dusty or dust-coloured. The word is derived from the Persian khak. In English, a brownish-yellow cotton cloth used for uniforms. Worm by some of the Punjab regiments at the Siege of Delhi; common in the British army generally during the campaigns of 1857-58, and subsequently in the American army.
      A colourful plaid-patterned textile made of silk or cotton, or both, and coloured with vegetable dyes. It takes its name from the southern city of Madras.
      Mantra Sanskrit, Shloka.

      A magnate or important person. The word comes from the Persian word: mughul, or Mongol. An Indian Muslim descended from one of the several conquering groups of Mongol, Turkish and Persian origins.
      The term now refers to the thin, semi-transparent cotton cloth that was once made in Mosul in Iraq for the European markets and referred to as musolins by Marco Polo in 1298.
      The well-known soup is derived from the Tamil words: milaku tanni, meaning pepper-water, and originate in Madras.
      An irregular, tear shaped pattern derived from the stylised mango that decorated the Kashmiri shawls, which were later imitated by the Scottish town of Paisley.
      "Leg clothing" in Hindi. A pair of loose trousers tied at the waist. Such clothing is worn by many people in India, including women of various classes, by Sikh men and by most Muslims of both sexes.
      A thin, flat, deep fried wafer usually made from split peas or potatoes. It can also be made from any kind of pulse or lentil flour, seasoned with asafetida. In Mumbai, it is called popper cake; in Madras, poppadam and in north India, it is called papad.
      A scholar or man of knowledge, from the Hindi pandit. Strictly, it refers to a man learned in Sanskrit lore.
      A large, portable fan or cloth-covered rectangular frame hung from the ceiling which was pulled by a rope to fan the room. The first versions were portable and made from the palmyra leaf.
      A Hindi word from the Persian parda, an area in the house reserved for women and screened from the sight of men by a curtain.
      The game of hockey on horseback originated in Persia. It was played in the extreme west of the Himalayas till it was adopted in Calcutta around 1864, and quickly spread across the lower provinces, and to Kashmir, where summer visitors took it up. It soon made its way to England where it was first played in 1871, and later, to the US.
      An old Indian form of dress, later used only in the south. A body cloth or long kilt, tucked in at the waist and generally of coloured silk or cotton. It is the chief form of dress in Java and Malaya, today.
      In Indian usage, a drink of sugar and water or syrup. It is also used for drinks made with a mixture of wine or liquor.
      A long shallow boat used for transporting passengers, or wares including fruits and flowers for sale to the houseboats on the lakes of Srinagar, Kashmir.
      An open, covered gallery that encircles bungalows and other Indian houses.

    2. #2
      Senior Member

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      The following English words have roots in various Indian languages (with the majority derived from Sanskrit). anaconda, aryan, atoll, avatar, bandana, bangle, banyan, bazaar, brahmin, bungalow, calico, cashmere, catamaran, chai, cot, chintz, cheetah, cheroot, chutney, coolie, cummerbund, curry, cushy, dinghy, dungaree, fakir, ghat, ginger, grieve, guru, indigo, jodhpurs, juggernaut, jungle, jute, karma, khaki, loot, mandarin, mango, mantra, mogul, mongoose, mughal, mullah, musk, mulligatawny, mynah, nabob/nawab, nirvana, orange, pajamas, pariah, paisley, pepper, punch (the drink), pundit, seersucker, serendipity, shampoo, sugar, swami, swastika, teak, thug, verandah, -ware (the suffix), yoga. More on such words: http://www.allindia.com/general/eng.htm

    3. #3
      just another member.....

      Muzna's Avatar
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      Jan 1, 1970
      in a dark, dark room, down a dark, dark stair.....
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      I never would have guessed!
      There is no such thing as good evil or bad evil. There is only one kind. We know it as Taliban.

    4. #4
      Paki Pimpsta

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      Dec 10, 1999
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      we watched a video on this in our english class