Did you know, English words such as cushy, chit, dacoit, gymkhana, juggernaut, punch, shawl, veranda and shampoo are derived from Hindustani words? There are of course many other words from Indian languages that have crept into the English lexicon from time to time, however, we feel, more need to find a place there. If not for the sheer numbers of English speakers who use these words, then for the fact that the English language would be richer and more articulate by virtue of their inclusion. The fact is that there are some Indian or Hinglish words that have no precise equivalent in the English language. Words such as:
The word doesn’t just denote Generation X or Next or whatever; it denotes a youthful state of mind, an attitude that indicates self-confidence and a sense of fun. It is one word that is a mix of young, urban, hip, cool and more!
The affection, closeness, informality, familiarity and irreverence that this little word manages to convey has no equivalent in the English language.
It is, of course, a combination of the English ‘Sir’ and our ubiquitous ‘Ji’; together, Sirji is a term used to indicate respect and fondness without any stiffness or formality…Nawazuddin’s approach to Irrfan’s character in the movie, Lunchbox got the feeling exactly right. This word would most definitely be a welcome addition to the English lexicon… what an idea Sirji!
This originally is a Punjabi word, but all of India has embraced it of late. It means crazy, spaced out, not very bright and a number of other things apparently. English equivalent? Zilch! Add it already Oxford!
Haww or Henh… it’s a sound really, and it expresses admiration, wonderment, disgust and disbelief all at the same time. What a wonderfully expressive sound. All of India uses it to great effect!
This doesn’t just mean butter or its application. It also means smooth, rich, tender, soft and attractive. Surely the English speaking world deserves to know!
Last but not the least the word Hinglish itself should be accepted. The world accepted Bollywood, didn’t it? Well, what’s wrong with Hinglish!
Author: Reena Daruwalla