Hindi Words in English

There is a surprisingly high number of Hindi words in English. Provided below are several hindi words in English, the bulk of which arose from England’s involvement in India/the British Raj.

Top Hindi words in english

1. ”Verandah

As England’s weather does not permit verandahs, this word became known upon seeing the houses of India, where this covered walkway appears in almost every home.

2. ”Jungle

This word comes from ”jangal,” a wild wasteland that the British used for describing any wild, unclaimed terrain irregardless of its density of vegetation.

3. ”Bandana

While some of these terms come from one Hindi word, bandana arises from two Hindi words in English.

  1. Badhu, a process for tie-dying handkerchiefs.
  2. Bandhana, a verb for tying things.

4. ”Dinghy

A dingi is a small rowing vessel found along India’s rivers and coastlines, used for fishing, freight and transport.

5. ”Chit

This comes from chitthi, a word meaning ”letter.”

6. ”Pyjama

This word comes from payajama, a Hindi word made by combining ”pay,” the word for leg, and ”yama,” the word for clothing.

7. ”Juggernaut

Long used to describe something that is both massive and unstoppable, the term is derived from the Jagannath yatra procession within Puri, Odisha. This religious observance involves a carriage bearing Lord Jagannath’s image and which his devotees will willingly submit to trampling from. The British used it to refer to massive trucks.

8. ”Cashmere

This word for a form of fine goat wool is taken from an old spelling of Kashmir, the Indian state where the source goats are quite prolific.

9. ”Thug

Among the many Hindi words in English, thug comes ”thag,” and described a lowlife. ”Thug” did not enter use until the 1800s. India’s thugs were groups of organized thieves, con men and highwaymen.

10. ”Chutney

This pickled condiment comes from ”chattni,” a Hindi verb for lick. Chutney was a popular edible export to the Britain’s many colonies.

11. ”Bangle

English has recognizes a ”bangle” as a rigid bracelet since the late 1700s. It turns out that bangle comes from ”bangri,” colored glass rings worn around the wrists of Indian women.

12. ”Shampoo

Shampoo was added to English in the 1800s and comes from ”champo, a Hindi verb for squeeze/knead/massage. The British were introduced to champo by Sheikh Deen Mohamad whom opened a shampoo bath in Brighton back in 1814.

13. ”Punch

This common party libation comes from the Hindi word for the number five. The logic behind how a number could be connected to a drink boils down to the ingredients.

  1. A spirit or soda.
  2. Sugar.
  3. Lemon.
  4. Water.
  5. Tea or various spices.

14. ”Cot

This small bed’s name comes from khat, the Hindi word for a bed. Hindi beds tended to be made of jute and wood.

15. ”Loot

This word comes from ”lut,” a Hindi word for plundering/stealing that remained isolated to northern India until the 18th Century. The English interpretation came to describe ransacking, stealing and the goods acquired through such acts.

16. ”Bungalow

Initially used to refer to the one-story of early British settlers of India, this term comes from ”bangla,” a Hindi word for Bengali homes.

17. ”Cushy

The English word for ease and comfort comes from Hindi’s ”khushi,” meaning happiness.