STOLEN INDIAN WORDS! Improve your English. Fun free video tutorial #2: The English Nut.
Learn advanced English with The English Nut. He teaches and entertains you! This episode is about 'loanwords' from India. But perhaps they should be called 'stolen words' -- words related to theft, robbery and more that made their way from Hindi into English, enriching the latter.
In this and other videos, The English Nut explores fascinating facts about English, including the origin of English words in India and elsewhere, provides useful tips on English usage and, in a lighthearted manner, corrects typical Indian English mistakes. Watch the videos for entertainment--and you might just learn a thing or two as well. :)
As The English Nut, one of my goals is to interview Dr Shashi Tharoor about the English language.
EPISODE TITLE: Three words stolen from India.
Is it a crime to take words from another language and put it in yours? I don’t think so. But if it was, then English would be behind bars! Here are just three of the many words that English ‘took’ form India:
Thug comes from the Indian word thag—which means deceiver or swindler. These thugs were highway robbers who would disguise themselves as travellers, befriend real travellers and strangle them with a handkerchief when they were least expecting it and then proceed to loot them. [CU: A pair of hands strangles me with a handkerchief.] I’ll discuss the word loot a bit later. But first let’s talk about the modern American interpretation of ‘thug’. Rapper Tupac gave the word a whole new meaning with his thug life tattoo. [Visual of Tupac’s tattoo.] According to him THUG LIFE is an acronym for the The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks [beep] Everybody. [The full form as a super, which then morphs to THUG LIFE.] Sort of says that people turn to crime because of the way they were treated by society when they were young. Worth thinking about!
Loot is another word the British looted from India. Originating from a similar word in Hindi, it first appears in an 18th century book called Indian Vocabulary which was connected to the impeachment of Warren Hastings, Governor General of Bengal. [Portrait of Hastings.] Accused of looting the place instead of governing it, Hastings was later acquitted. Not surprising, given that the British administration’s primary activity in India was, some would say, looting. Why would they punish one of their own for it?
Dacoits are gangs of armed robbers. And dacoity is defined by the Indian penal code as an armed robbery by not less than five people! The words come into English from the Indian word dakait and dakaity.
So, there you have it. Dacoit. Loot. Thug. Three Indian words connected to thievery. Which brings me to a tongue twister: ‘Three free thugs set three thugs free’ How fast and how many times can you say that without tripping up? Try it! Meanwhile, from me, the English Nut, it’s bye for now.
[Fade out while I’m trying to repeat ‘Three free…’]
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