A Few of My Favorite “Indianisms”
I’ll admit that the actual definition of an “Indianism” is a little ambiguous, but for my purposes, I’m using Indianism to mean an English word or phrase as it’s used in India. These are just a few of the Indianisms that I could think of off the top of my head – I’m sure there are more!
- Pre-pone – The opposite of post-pone; To push something forward. (Apparently this phrase has become so popular that it’s even been added to a few dictionaries!) It looks like next week won’t work for me, so can we pre-pone our lunch to this week?
- To Gym – To go to the gym. You’re looking very slim these days. Have you been gymming?
- To Ring – To call on the telephone. I’ll ring him up to find out what time he’s coming.
- Program – Plan, esp. a plan for the day. So, what’s today’s program?
- To Pain – To hurt. My muscles are really paining after so much gymming.
- Geyser – Hot water heater found in most bathrooms. (I find this one funny mainly because of how it’s pronounced – Gee-zer. I always imagine an old man waiting to heat up some water for me.) If you want a hot bath you’ll have to put the geyser on beforehand.
- To Take Tension – To feel concerned or nervous. She’s really taking a lot of tension from work.
- To Shift – To move; To change locations. When do you plan to shift to your new home in Delhi?
- Goggles – Sunglasses. It’s sunny today. You should plan to wear your goggles.
- Slippers – Sandals. You always see women wearing slippers in the market.
- Cousin-Brother/ Cousin-Sister – Male/Female first cousin. (In extended Indian families there is little differentiation between one’s own siblings and one’s cousins of the same generation.) My cousin-brother lives in the States.