Glossary of Hindi Words found in



aiee,  imprecation or exclamation

aayiye, bait jaayiye, please come in, sit down

Ambassador, fifties-vintage automobile made in India

Angrezi, Angrez, English; the second term is more derogatory, indiscriminately applied to any of European descent

ashikaram, a miracle

bangi, derogatory word for a toilet-cleaner, outcaste

bazaar, an Indian market place

Bapu Ji, Honored Father, Mahatma Gandhi, father of modern India

bhai, brother

Bhai Toma, Brother Thomas, in this case Thomas Ohara

bhai-saheb, brother-sahib, a fellow Indian in authority

Brahma, supreme god of the Hindu pantheon

Brahmin, the highest caste of the Hindu social structure

chai, tea, the national pastime of the Indian subcontinent

chappati, common Indian flatbreads, made from whole wheat flour

chela, a disciple

chhole, chana daal, spicy garbanzo beans (chick peas)

chital, the axis deer of Asia which keeps its spots into adulthood

chowkidar, a night watchman or guard

coolie, a porter, one who carries luggage at airports, train stations

daal men kali hai, "thereís something black in the lentils," similar to our "thereís something fishy here," something that doesnít fit

devanagari, the script used to write the Hindi language

Didi, older sister, a term of endearment and respect

dukaan-dar, shopkeeper

Gandhi, Indira, second prime minister of modern India

Gandhi, Mohandas (Mahatma), father of modern India

Gandhi, Rajiv, succeeded his mother Indira as prime minister when she was assassinated in 1984; killed by a terrorist bomb in 1989

haan, yes

hai na, "isnít it," a common expression of many Hindi-speakers

Haryana, a state in northwestern India, surrounds Delhi on the west

Himachal Pradesh, mountainous state in India, northeast of Punjab

Hindustan, Hindustani, India, Indian; what English speakers refer to as India is commonly known as Hindustan, or officially as Bharat

Hindi, the language of most of northern India

Jai Masih ki, commonly translated "praise the Lord"

jaldi, quickly

Jammu-Kashmir, the northernmost state of India, possession of which has been hotly contested by Pakistan since 1947

jhuggi, a shack or shanty that the very poor live in

ji, sir, a title of respect

Kashmiri, a person from Kashmir, northernmost state of India

Khudavan, God, the self-existent one, the Urdu name for the God of the Bible; chosen as the name for Jesse Oharaís band

kirpan, a knife carried on the person of practicing Sikhs

koi baat nahin, it doesnít matter, never mind, forget it

kurta-pajama, menís dress in north India: baggy pajama pants with a long, loose-fitting shirt (kurta) over them

lathi stick, a four-foot wooden stick, used for riot control

maaf keejiey, please forgive me, pardon me

Mahindra, the classic Jeep manufactured in India

Maruti, newer Indian vehicles, made under the auspices of Suzuki

masala, spice, spicy

Masih, Christ, the Messiah

murg do piazza, "chicken with two onions," chicken curry

nahin, no

namaskar, namaste, a Hindu greeting, accompanied by holding the palms of your hands together in front of you

North Indian, Aryan race of northern plains of India, as contrasted with the Dravidians of South India (see South Indian)

pagal, fool, idiot

pakka, ripe, fully cooked, lasting, permanent; in the vernacular it means genuine, the "real McCoy"

palang, a bamboo and rope bed commonly used in India

Punjab, "five rivers," northwestern state in India

Punjabi, designates both the language and the people of Punjab

puri, a deep-fried flatbread commonly eaten at breakfast

rakho, stop!

Raj, the, the British ruling system of India during colonial days

rickshaw, a three-wheeled conveyance which may be hand-drawn, pedaled, or even motorized

rupee, the currency of India

sabzi-wallah, a vegetable vendor

sadar, designates a Sikh; also Sadar Ji, more respectful

sadhu, a holy man of Hinduism

saheb, title once used to address the British conquerors

sanyasi, a Hindu holy man who has renounced worldly goods and family ties, and embraced an ascetic lifestyle

salwar-kamiz, ladiesí Punjabi suit consisting of knee-length tunic and light pants, with a scarf, called a chooni, around the shoulders

samosa, a popular, deep-fried snack available in Indian markets

shabash, well-done, used by a teacher to a student

Shia, Shiíite, branch of Islam associated in recent years with radical fundamentalism. (see Sunni)

Shiva, one of the three chief gods of the Hindu pantheon, essentially a fertility god; often associated with anger and fits

shukriya, thank you

Sikh, adherent of religion founded in Punjab around 1500; readily identified by their unique turbans, and the surname Singh (lion)

South Indian, the Dravidian people originally native to the entire subcontinent of India, now found in the southernmost states

S.P. Superintendent of Police

Sunni, a branch of Islam considered to be the orthodox tradition; most Indian Muslims are Sunni (see Shia)

tabla, set of two drums used in traditional Indian music

Tata Sumo, Indian SUV modeled after the Land Rover

theek hai, itís okay, just fine, very good

tonga, a horse drawn cart

Urdu, the language of Pakistan and Muslim India; similar to Hindi, mutually understandable, but written with Persian script

Uttar Pradesh, most populous state of India; borders Delhi on east

videshi, a foreigner

Vishnu, one of the three chief gods of the Hindu pantheon; said to have had nine incarnations, or avatars, among which was Krishna

Yishu, the Hindi pronunciation of "Jesus"

zamindar, a wealthy land-owner

Zindagi ka Paani, "Living Waters," Tom Oharaís Bible school



Copyright © 2001 Kim Harrington, Masterbuilder Ministries. All rights reserved.


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