August 10, 2005

Is your Hinglish up to speed?

That's the question asked in the press release for the revised second edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English, published today in the United Kingdom. The new edition includes several common words of South Asian origin, like desi, lehnga, Lollywood, masala, mehndi, tamasha, and of course, Hinglish, defined as 'a blend of Hindi and English, in particular a variety of English used by speakers of Hindi, characterized by frequent use of Hindi vocabulary or constructions'. There are a few surprise entries in the list:

Kitty party noun (chiefly Indian) a regular gathering of a group of women (usually over a meal) in which each member contributes to a central pool and lots are drawn to decide which member will get the entire sum as well as who will host the next gathering.

adjective (Indian informal) carefree, fashionable and independent-minded.
You can find the complete list of new words and phrases here.

1 comment:

km said...

To witness changes in usage of a word is something really amazing.

When I first came to the States, the word "desi" was used in a slightly negative, deprecatory tone (as in "desi party".) Somehow, over the course of a decade, it became an acceptable, even patriotic term.

Thanks for that fascinating link.