Friday, August 08, 2003
EVERYONE is familiar with the word BUNGA-
LOW, but did you know that it is from the
Hindustani bangla (belonging to Bengal)? The
Cambridge International Dictionary of English
defines it as “a house that has only one
storey.” The origin of bungalow is explained
in Semantics, Syntax, Indian Loan Words in
English: A Cultural, Literary &Historical Study
by Dr S.D.Sharma, Associate Professor of
Here are other words, together with their
meanings and origins, featured in the book.
AMRITA : (Plural AMRITAS)from Sanskrit,
meaning the drink of the Hindu gods. From
the word comes AMRITATTVA, immortality.
BANDICOOT : From Telugu pandikokku
which means a pig-rat. It is also used for the
largest species of rats found in India and
CALAMANDER : A hard and valuable cabinet-wood of the ebony genus, brownish with
black stripes, brought from India and Ceylon
(Sri Lanka). The Chambers English Dictionary
says that the word is probably of Singhalese
CHAPRASSI : From Hindustani chaprasi. A
chaprassi is a badge-wearer, a messenger: an
office messenger: a household attendant: an
CARCAJOU : (From an Indian name): the
glutton or wolverene. Chambers English
Dictionary defines a wolveren (a variant form
of wolverine)as the American glutton: its fur.
CINNABAR: From Persian. A mineral, sulphide of mercury, called vermilion when used
as a pigment. Its adjectival forms are
YASHMAK : From Arabic yashmaq, now
popularly used by Hindi writers to mean the
double veil, which only leaves the eyes
uncovered, worn by Muslim women in public.
TUTENAG : From Marathi tutiinag, meaning
an alloy of zinc, copper, etc. Loosely, it means
SWARAJ : From Sanskirt, swarajya (swa: own, and rajya: rule). It means self-government, independence or home-rule; swarajist
which is a derivative of it, meaning an advocate of Indian home-rule.
TABASHEER or TABASHIR: From Hindi,
Persian and Arabic (tabashir). It means a
siliceous substance sometimes found in crude
form in hollows of bamboos. It is also
prepared by chemical processes.
All words highlighted above are valid in the
game.If they are composed of seven or more
letters,they can be used as bingos (in Scrabble a
bingo is play of a valid word of seven letters or
more made in one move and scoring a bonus of