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Words in English with Hindi Origin


We learn something new everyday and most of the things are ‘good to know’ than ‘must know’. One such thing is about language. Do we know enough about the language that we use frequently to read, write and speak? In the book ‘Mein Kampf’ the author or the translator (I do not remember who) writes that there are words in German that cannot be expressed exactly in English. You may come close to the meaning but not exactly the same. Similarly I came across an article that talked about 10 words that cannot be translated in English. http://listverse.com/2010/09/23/10-words-that-cant-be-translated-to-english/ They are in different languages. But the language we use frequently here in India is Hindi. My search took me to a list of words that were derived from Hindi. So English is a derived language after all. Here are a few words that were taken from Hindi. It is a ‘good to know’ exercise –

Sorbet – Derived from Hindi word ‘Sherbet’ which means juice

Shampoo- Derived from Champoo or Champi which means head massage

Juggernaut – Derived from Jagganath. In India, as a part of Rath Utsav or Rath Yatra thousands of devotees gather at a pilgrim and they pull the cart where the deity Vishnu is placed. The crowd is so maddening that it is almost suicidal. The Europeans saw this for the first time and they couldn’t believe the fanatics. They coined this term Juggernaut for a chaotic gathering of people that can sweep anyone away with them. It was then used to describe a natural calamity.

Cot- Derived from Khat which means a bed

Bungalow – Derived from Bangla which means a house, ‘Bengali’ style

Punch – Derived from Paantsch which means a drink that is a mix of five ingredients; alcohol, water, spices, lemon and sugar. Now you know what ‘Fruit Punch’ means.

Typhoon – Derived from Toofan (Persian)

Toddy – Derived from Tari pronounced as Taa-Di

I am sure there are more but for know this is good enough amount to digest in a day. I learned something today about language. Did you?

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4 thoughts on “Words in English with Hindi Origin

  1. peculiarblend on said:

    Well, well, well — I am impressed. I never knew about most of these words. Thank you for sharing your valuable fun-facts. Cheer! 🙂

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