English Vinglish: These 5 English Words Originated From Hindi!

English words originated from Hindi

Colonization changed the world in ways both good and bad. Cultures from all over the globe came into contact with each other and it wasn’t only the costumes or food that adopted changes from other cultures.

Even language saw a massive reconstruction in the wake of colonization. While English was made the language of administration in India, many people might not know that even the Englishmen added a few ‘desi’ words in their ‘angrezi’ vocab.

Below is a list of English words that we thought are English by origin, but they are not! Get ready for some lingua trivia!

Bungalow

(Image credit: Welty Design)

This English word was first introduced to the vocab in the 17th century when one-storied houses were being built for Europeans settlers in Bengal.

The bungalow is derived from a Hindi word Bangla which means a cottage. Literally, it means a style belonging to Bengal. But the word was used for houses that were one storey in height.

Shampoo

(Image credit: BuzzFeed)

Derived from the word champee, which means a squeeze or a massage, this word traveled with Indians abroad in the 18th century, got its anglicized form in England as ‘shampoo’ and the rest is history.

Pajamas

(Image credit: YouTube)

In Hindi, Pajama means leg (pay) and clothing (jamah). This loose, comfortable garment made its way into England, accompanied by its original name in the 18th century and guess what, even the Brits call it Pajamas now!

Cummerbund

(Image credit: QuickTips)

The cummerbund is a piece of cloth tied to men’s waist before they put on a coat. This helps them to appear fit and in shape (if they are not).

While it is not clear as to in which century this word entered the English vocab, it is clear that the word is derived from the word Kamarband, a piece of jewelry that women tie around their waist.

Chit

(Image credit: Eat)

Again, the exact time frame when the word chit got its anglicized form from the original word chitthi is not clear.

However, chitthi in English means a note or a letter. The word ‘chit’ is a derivation from the Hindi word and it is widely used till date.

Although I have mentioned only 5 words English words originated from Hindi, the list is actually pretty long. Words such as loot, thug, cot, and much more owing to Hindi vocab at large.

Thousands of words since the existence of time have been borrowed from various places. The process goes on even today. Indeed, the world is really a small place and language, a vast treasure-house of words, ideas and imagination.

What are your comments about these English words originated from Hindi? Mention them below.

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