Few commonly used English words came from Hindi

British always maintained that they taught Indians a thing or two about the modern world; well, the British did learn from Indian too.

After colonizing India for more than 200 years, British influence on India was immense. But after staying in India for such a long time, it is natural that they too got influenced by Indian culture and, most importantly, the language. After years of interacting with the local population, many Hindi words made way to English vocabulary and later their dictionaries. And after so many years, those words still remain in the language. Mostly, the English native speaker doesn’t know the origins of many English words are Hindi or Urdu; the most popular language spoken at that time. Here are a few English words that came out of Hindi.

  1. Bandana

We all cherish and admire the image of Rosie, the Riveter, the icon of female empowerment, wearing a red Bandana. But do you know that the very word Bandana comes from the Hindi word “Badhnu”, which describes the intricate process of tie and dye? The word is also associated with the Hindi word “Bandhna”, which means to tie.

  1. Dacoit

Dacoit is derived from the Hindi word “Dakait”, which means a robber or a member of robbers who are armed. During their time in India, Britishers had to deal with many such robbers, and thus, the word conveniently made its way to British English.

  1. Dekko

To a non-British English speaker, this expression may look alien, but it is a widely used English slang. Have a dekko which means to have a quick glance. It is derived from the Hindi word “Dekho”, which means the same thing, to look or to throw a glance.

  1. Chit

Are you guilty of passing a chit around the class? Well, whether you are guilty of that is not important. What is important is that the British did steal the Hindi word “Chitthi”, which means a letter, and took this in their language.

  1. Shampoo

The most surprising word to make it on this list is the much-used Shampoo around the world. Indians are known to clean their body and hair with natural herbs from very ancient times. So, when the British arrived in India, they took this habit of Champu or Shampoo, with them which later became Shampoo.

  1. Cot

A bed for a young child with high sides is taken from the Hindi word “Khat”, which are essentially beds. These “Khat”, are made of jute and wood and were used by native Indians to relax.

Which word surprised you the most?

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