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List of English words of Hindi or Urdu origin

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This is a list of English language words of Hindi language and Urdu language origin. Many of the Hindi and Urdu equivalents have originated from Sanskrit; see List of English words of Sanskrit origin. Many others are of Persian origin; see List of English words of Persian origin. Some of the latter are in turn of Arabic or Turkish origin. In some cases words have entered the English language by multiple routes - occasionally ending up with different meanings, spellings, or pronunciations, just as with words with European etymologies. Many entered English during the British Raj when many treated Hindi and Urdu as varieties of Hindustani. These borrowings, dating back to the colonial period, are often labeled as "Anglo-Indian".


 

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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 A

Avatar
from Sanskrit avataar अवतार, meaning "incarnation."

 B

Bandanna 
from Bandhna,(बांधना) to tie a scarf around the head.
Bangle 
from Bāngṛī बांगड़ी, a type of bracelet.
Brahmin  
member of Hindu caste; traditional priest
Bungalow
from बंगला banglA & Urdu بنگلہ banglA, literally, "(house) in the Bengal style".

 C

Calico 
from calicut, meaning "a coarse cotton cloth with a bright printed pattern".
Cheetah 
from cītā, चीता, meaning "variegated".
Chit 
from चिट्ठी Chitthi, a letter or note.
Chutney 
from चटनी chatni, "to crush"
Cot 
from Khāt, खाट, a portable bed.
Cummerbund 
from kamarband , cf. कमरबन्द - Urdu کمربند, meaning "waist binding" [ultimately from Persian کمربند]
Cushy
from khushi, cf. Hindi ख़ुशी - Urdu خوشی "easy, happy, soft" [ultimately from Persian]

 D

Dacoit 
from डकैत् Dakait, meaning a member of a class of criminals who engage in organized robbery and murder.
wikt:Dekko 
(UK slang for 'a look') from देखो Dekho, the imperative 'look', (دیکھو देखो ) meaning look at or study something.
Dharma 
from धर्म Dharma, meaning righteous duty.
Dharna 
meaning a mode of compelling payment or compliance, by sitting at the debtor's or offender's door until the demand is complied with. (this is more used by political agitators than by debtors or debtees now.)
Doolally 
(UK slang for "mentally unbalanced") from Hindi डॆऒललि via Marathi देवळाली Deolali, a hospital in Maharashtra, India.

 G

Garam Masala
from Hindi and Urdu गरम मसaल‌ گرم مصالحه garam masaalaa, literally, "hot spices".
Guru 
from गुरु Guru, A teacher, instructor, intellectual or spiritual guide or leader, any person who counsels or advises; mentor. e.g. "The elder senator was her political guru."
Gymkhana 
A term which originally referred to a place where sporting events take place and referred to any of various meets at which contests were held to test the skill of the competitors. In English-speaking countries, a gymkhana refers to a multi-game equestrian event performed to display the training and talents of horses and their rider [-khānā from Pers. khānāh خانه "house, dwelling"]

 I

 J

Jaconet
modification of Sanskrit jagannaath, from Jagannath (Puri), [India], where such cloth was first made.
Jinnah cap
after Pakistani statesman Muhammad Ali Jinnah died in 1948. A hat shaped like a fez but made of real or imitation karakul and worn by Pakistani Muslims on occasion. It is called a "Karakulli topi" (Topi meaning cap).
Juggernaut 
from Jagannath (Sanskrit: जगन्नाथ jagannātha), a form of Vishnu particularly worshipped at the Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa where during Rath Yatra festival thousands of devotees pull temple carts some 14m (45 feet) tall, weighing hundreds of tons through the streets. These carts seat three images of the deity, meant to be brothers for a 'stroll' outside after the ritual worship session. They are fed by thousands and thousands of worshipers with holy food, as if the icons were living. 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 forseeable yet virtually unavoidable because of such inertia.
Jungle 
from जङल् jangal, another word for wilderness or forest.

 K

Karma 
from कर्म‌ Karma , meaning acts or deeds.
Khaki
from खकि khākī "of dust colour, dusty, grey", cf. Hindi ख़ाकी - Urdu خاکی [ultimately from Persian].
Kama 
from क‌म् Kām , meaning god of love, act of sex.

 L

Loot 
from LooT लूट, meaning 'steal'.

 M

Multan
from Multan, Pakistan. A kind of rug prevalent in Multan.

 P

Poori
from Hindi poori, from Sanskrit पुर (pura) or "cake".
Pundit 
from पन्दित् Pandit, meaning a learned scholar or Priest.
Pukka 
(UK slang: "genuine") from Pakkā पक्का,پکا cooked, ripe, solid.
Pyjamas
from Hindi, पैजामा (paijaamaa), meaning "leg garment" .

 Q

 R

Raita
from Hindi & Urdu रय्त‌ ریتا rayta.
Roti
from Hindi & Urdu रॊति روٹی roti "bread"; akin to Prakrit रॊत्त‌ rotta "rice flour", Sanskrit रोटिका rotika "kind of bread".

 S

Shampoo 
from chāmpo (चाँपो /tʃ„ːpoː/) is the imperative of chāmpnā (चाँपना /tʃ„ːpnaː/), "to smear, knead the muscles, massage" (the scalp massage with some kind of oily or treacly mixture just before a bath).

 T

Thug 
from Thagi ठग, meaning thief or conman.
Toddy (also Hot toddy) 
from Tārī ताड़ी, juice of the palmyra palm.

 V

verandah
courtyard

 Y

Yoga :- A traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India..


HINDI LANGUAGE RESOURCES

  1. Hindi - A General Introduction

 


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