Indian English: The family tree of a mongrel language

An entertaining piece on Indian English in The Economist.  They reference the Samosapedia, which is a repository of all all things Hinglish  or Bonglish (Bengali + English) or Pinglish (Punjabi + English) or … (you get the picture).I’ve spent a few pleasant hours there over the last few months and and it’s great fun to come across phrases encountered in previous eras in my life.  Some favorites include

  • Jaagte Rahooooooooooo: Literally means “stay awake” and is used by chaukidars in North India.  This particular phrase reminds my of my boarding school education in a little town at the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • Duffer:  “An idiot,” but with an added degree of condescension in the intonation.  Apocryphally from the Anglo-Indian and / or Mac communities.
  • Ladice:  “A group of ladies.”  Pretty much the same as “ladies,” but as always, the difference is in the intonation.  In its implication, the group often becomes a single unit.

I’m chuckling, but I have work to do, and so I shall end this post now.


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