Some English Words and their Indian Connection!

Written by Do I Editorial

There are many words in use in common English that have their origins in Sanskrit, Persian, Hindi or some of the other Indian languages. Here’s a short list and I bet some of them may surprise you!

* Bandanna from bandhna, to tie.
* Bangle from bangri, a type of bracelet.
* Blighty – Britain from vilayati.
* Bungalow from bangle, a house in Bengali.
* Chicanery from the Mughal word for polo – chaugan. Chicanery came from the experience of the British of the devious or clever play of the Mughal players.
* Chit from chitthi, a letter or note.
* Cot from khat, a portable bed.
* Cummerbund from kamarband meaning “waist binding”.
* Curry from kari (Tamil).
* Dacoit from dakait.
* Cushy from khushi, “happy”. Some say it could have derived from cushion.
* Dekko: (UK slang for ‘a look’) from dekho.
* Doolally, “mad, insane” from the town of Deolali, where British troops were stationed before returning to England and developed “camp fever” from boredom.
* Gymkhana from gymnasium and khana (place).
* Juggernaut from Jagannath, a form of Vishnu worshipped at the Jagannath Temple, Puri. Early European visitors witnessed these festivals and returned with—possibly apocryphal—reports of religious fanatics committing suicide by throwing themselves under the wheels of the carts. So the word became a metaphor for something immense and unstoppable because of institutional or physical inertia; or impending catastrophe that is foreseeable yet virtually unavoidable because of such inertia.
* Jungle from jangal.
* Loot from loot, to steal.
* Man from manushya.
* Mugger from magara (crocodile) that attacks stealthily.
* Punch from Paanch. Originally, the drink was made from 5 ingredients – alcohol, sugar, lemon, water and tea/spices.
* Shampoo from chapon – “to smear, knead the muscles, massage” (the scalp massage with some kind of oily or treacly mixture just before a bath).
* Van from vaahan.
* Verandah from Tamil – Verum+tharai (‘open+space’) – a roofed opened gallery, courtyard.
* Zen, though Chinese or Japanese, from dhyan.

Adapted from Wikipedia.