25 English Words Which Have Their Roots In Indian Languages

December 2, 2015 — by Team PeppyStory

english words with indian origin

English is a language spoken by almost the entire world. While we all try to be the best in this language, we must recall that many English words are derived from Hindi and Sanskrit.

Take a look at some of these words.

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#1. Pitar = Father

english words with indian origin

Pitar refers to an elderly male of the family. Father is derived from this Sanskrit word.

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#2. Sant = Saint

english words with indian origin

In India, a sant is an enlightened person who is away from materialistic comforts. A saint is a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous.

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#3. Chitthi = Chit

english words with indian origin

Chitthi refers to a written note or mail that was carried personally by the postman. Chit means a short note passed on by people.

#4. Jagannath = Juggernaut

english words with indian origin

When Britishers witnessed the Indian festival that celebrated Lord Jagannath, they saw people pulling palanquins that were tonnes in weight. For them, it was chaos as there were a lot of people on the street and many would die because the palanquin will not stop at any cost. Juggernaut symbolises this unstoppable force, which is destructive in nature.

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#5. Sherbet = Sorbet

english words with indian origin

Sherbet is a sweet concoction made with fruits and flowers. Sorbet is made with flowers and fruits, but is served in frozen form.

#6. Bangri = Bangle

english words with indian origin

Bangri means a glass ring or bracelet. It is from here that the word bangle, which means an ornamental bracelet for hands, was derived.

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#7. Panch = Punch

english words with indian origin

Panch in Hindi means five, and punch is an English drink that is made of five ingredients, that is, alcohol or fruit juice, water, sugar, lemon, tea or spices.

#8. Sulvari = Sulphur

english words with indian origin

The name sulvari was coined by Indians, which is a chemical and is popularly known as sulphur.

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#9. Anani-kondan = Anaconda

english words with indian origin

Anani-kondan, in Tamil Nadu, referred to large snakes that could swallow elephants. So, anani-kondan means elephant-eater. Anaconda means an enormous snake too.

#10. Arya = Aryan

english words with indian origin

Arya means a nobleman. Aryans are a race who speak any of the parent languages of the Indo-European languages.

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#11. Pandit = Pundit

english words with indian origin

Pandit is a learned person, who knows well about the Hindu gods. A pundit is an expert in whichever field he chooses.

#12. Dungri = Dungaree

english words with indian origin

Dungri means hard or course in nature. Dungaree is mainly referred to as a coverall, which is usually made of a hard material like denim.

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#13. Justi = Jute

english words with indian origin

Justi is a Sanskrit word that means twisted hair, and jute is a kind of plant that yields hair-like fibre.

#14. Champu = Shampoo

english words with indian origin

Champu means to knead, squeeze or massage. The word shampoo was picked up in the 18th century from India, which means a liquid that cleanses when massaged.

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#15. Citraka = Cheetah

english words with indian origin

Citraka means the ‘spotted one’, perhaps referring to its namesake, the spotted leopard, who speedily catches its prey just as a citraka rapidly cures diseases. It is also known as agni meaning fire or jwala meaning flame. It is a very hot-natured herb and should be used sparingly. It strongly increases the digestive fire.

#16. Thag = Thug

english words with indian origin

Thag is a common word that we Indians still use for someone who cheats or is a thief. In English, this word becomes thug that means someone with a brutal and violent behaviour.

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#17. Palayanka = Palanquin

english words with indian origin

Palayanka was like a chariot that was either carried or pulled by men. Palanquin is derived from this word, which refers to a box-like object in which a person sits and is carried by men on shoulders.

#18. Magar = Mugger

english words with indian origin

The Hindi word magar is the name of a horned water beast represented in Hindu mythology which attacks stealthily. Mugger, derived from this word, refers to street robbers.

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#19. Nasa = Nose

english words with indian origin

Nasa in Hindi refers to the nostrils, and in English it defines the same sensory organ.

#20. Bandhnu = Bandana

english words with indian origin

This Hindi word bandhnu literally means to tie. Bandana is a large scarf which is tied around the neck or head.

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#21. Trikonmetri = Trigonometry

english words with indian origin

Tri in hindi means three, and kon refers to edges. This geometrical concept is the study of triangles. Trigonometry is a translation of trikonmetri.

#22. Ahinsa = Ahimsa

english words with indian origin

Ahinsa and ahimsa both mean non-violence. Britishers learned this word from Mahatma Gandhi when India was under colonial rule. They replaced ‘n’ with ‘m’ to make the pronunciation easier.

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#23. Avatar = Avatar

english words with indian origin

Avatar is the many forms of Lord Vishnu that were sent to earth for salvation. The word is adopted in English and represents different forms of man.

#24. Bangla = Bungalow

english words with indian origin

Bangla originally referred to as a cottage building. When early European settlers came to India and settled in Bengal the word Bangla was used, they took this word with them. In English, it means a one-storied house.

#25. Kari = Curry

english words with indian origin

Kari and curry both mean a mixture of spices. Britishers liked Indian kari and took some of it, and this word too with them.

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We are sure this article will lead you to be all the more proud of India and its languages. Well in the end, we leave you with this video from the movie Namastey London for you to feel even more proud of your country.