Celebrating 'roti' and other Indian words in Oxford dictionary

First Published 26, Nov 2018, 7:33 PM IST
Celebrating 'roti' and other Indian words in Oxford dictionary
Highlights

The 70 words of Indian origin span categories such as people & places, food, clothing & accessories, society, wildlife and nature, and so on.

New Delhi: “For the cashmere we drape and pyjamas we sleep in; the bangles we wear; the shampoo that cleans our hair; the cheetahs we watch whose speed we admire; and, the curry and kedgeree we might eat on a verandah - we thank the rich languages of India, and the people who have mixed and shared over the generations of those last four hundred years,”  said Alan Gemmell OBE, Director of the British Council in India to kick off the council's 70 anniversary. 

The celebrations unveiled the great contribution of the nation to the Oxford English dictionary, as 70 words of Indian origin, underlining the proximity and understanding between the two nations, were spelt out in a spectacular evening. The 70 words of Indian origin span categories such as people & places, food, clothing & accessories, society, wildlife and nature, and so on. Some of the most commonly used Indian words are raita, pashmina, bhelpuri, dal and chutney among others. The occasion highlighted how the English language has evolved with words of Indian origin with a few words that date back to the pre-independence period while many words have been added recently (words like bhelpuri, churidar).

“There are many points of connection over the centuries in which people, ideas, language, goods and services have moved between Britain and India.  As we celebrate our 70th year, we are proud to say that we have been inspired by India every day of those 70 years and hope that in a small way, we inspire young people in both our countries to imagine what the next 70 years could be. Our 70 Words is a momentary reminder of the layers of connection and fluid nature of the English language," added Gemmell. Some of the words will come alive through 14 illustrations that will be created as part of the celebrations by British and Indian artists.

MyNation gives you a quick list of Indian words in the Oxford dictionary:

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

·        Bandana; Bangle; Churidar; Cummerbund; Pashmina; Pyjamas; Shawl

FOOD

·        Bhelpuri; Chutney; Curry; Dal; Kedgeree; Mulligatawny; Raita

HIGH SOCIETY AND THE STATE

·        Chit; Gymkhana; Khaki; Palanquin; Polo; Pukka; Tiffin

HOUSE & HOME

·        Bungalow; Chintz; Cot; Lacquer; Shampoo; Tank; Veranda

PEOPLE & PLACES

·        Blighty; Calico; Cashmere; Doolally; Dungarees; Jodhpurs; Jungle

PEOPLE & SOCIETY

·        Mandarin; Mogul; Pundit; Purdah; Swami; Thug; Yaar

RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY

·        Avatar; Dharma; Guru; Karma; Mantra; Nirvana; Yoga

TRADE & THE SEA

·        Atoll; Catamaran; Cowrie; Dinghy; Godown; Gunny; Jute

WILDLIFE & NATURE

·        Cheetah; Langur; Lilac; Mongoose; Myna; Patchouli; Teak

MISCELLANEOUS

·        Cheroot; Choky; Coir; Cushy; Loot; Punch; Roti

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