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More Indian words in Oxford dictionary

Monday 5 July 2004

NEW DELHI, JULY 4. If you tell a stunningly beautiful girl that she has a `va-va-voom’ figure, the chances are the damsel will give you a cold stare and mock at your sense of English.

But wait till July 7 when the newest edition of Concise Oxford English Dictionary is officially launched here. The lexicon includes this word which is actually a compliment to a beautiful girl.

`Va-va-voom’ means the quality of being exciting, vigorous and sexually attractive and derives its genesis from the sound of a car engine being revved.

But what is likely to cockle many an Indian heart is that the Queen’s English is now being profoundly influenced by Hindi words.

Award winning novels of the growing tribe of Indian and Diaspora writers, such as Salman Rushdie, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Vikram Seth and Arundhati Roy have ensured that words of Indian origin become part of English.

Among the new Indian words that make an entry into the lexicon are `Bhagwan’ (Indian God), `bhakti’ (devotional worship directed to a supreme deity), `bhajan’ (a devotional song), bhang (cannabis) and `adda’ (informal conversation). - UNI

See online : The Hindu


In The Hindu, Monday, July 05, 2004.

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