Did you know, English words such as cushy, chit, dacoit, gymkhana, juggernaut, punch, shawl, verhanda 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 but 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:

Youngistaan

The Very Cool Youngistan

The Very Cool Youngistan

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!

Yaar

True Meaning of Friendship

True Meaning of Friendship

The affection, closeness, informality, familiarity and irreverence that this little word manages to convey has no equivalent in the English language.

Sirji

Love and Respect

Love and Respect

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 ‘Lunchbox’ got the feeling exactly right. This word would most definitely be a welcome addition to the English lexicon… what an idea Sirji!

Jhalli

Disgust and Envy

Disgust and Envy

This is a Punjabi word originally, we are led to believe, 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!

Haww

Haww

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!

Makkhan

All things smooth

All things smooth

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!

Hinglish

Unique Blend of English and Hindi

Unique Blend of English and Hindi

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