'Hinglish' makes its debut in English dictionary

For centuries French and Latin have been the dominant influences on the English language. Now, though, the popularity of mainstream BBC TV programmes such as The Kumars at Number 42 and Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee has brought with it a new phenomenon - the introduction of Hinglish.

Hinglish, according to the new edition of the Collins English Dictionary - published today - is the fusion of Hindi and English words into everyday English in the UK.

At least 26 new words of joint Hindi and English derivation - including "badmash" (Hinglish for naughty or bad), "freshie" (a new immigrant to the UK from the Asian subcontinent) and "haramzada" (a male born of unmarried parents or an obnoxious or despicable male) - have found their way into the dictionary.

It is, of course, not the first time the Indian language has had an influence on spoken English. Words like shampoo, jodphurs, pukka and mantra all have their origins in the subcontinent but are often used in the UK. But this second wave of Indian words is the first to come from television.

"The beauty of English is that from the earliest times it has been able to incorporate and adapt words from other languages," said Jeremy Butterfield, editor-in-chief of Collins Dictionaries. "Already we probably can't get through the day without using words derived from Indian languages.

"In the long run, we can expect Hinglish to influence in many fields in the same way Latin and French have over several centuries."

The sporting world also brought new entries to the dictionary.The Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie is credited with "bouncebackability" - "the ability to recover after a setback, especially in sport". "Tapping up" makes its debut - after the illegal approach by Chelsea to Arsenal's Ashley Cole. It is defined as "the illicit practice of attempting to recruit a player while he is still bound by contract to another team".

Cricket, too, makes an impact with "chin music" - "bowling or pitching aimed at the batsman or batter's head".

Collins also invites readers to contribute neologisms and one under consideration for future editions comes from the mouth of the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is credited with inventing the term "squeaky-bum time" ("the tense final stages of a league competition, especially from the point of view of the leaders").

"Chavs" ("a young working-class person who dresses in casual sports clothes") and "chavettes" (the female equivalent) make their first appearance - as do Asbos (the new anti-social behaviour orders).

"People have taken possession of the language and are ever more inventive about the way they use it," said Mr Butterfield. "The new words ... do not reflect change in our culture but a change in the way we use our language: they portray a vibrant multicultural society finding new ways to express itself and describe the world about it."

The words on the street

* Asymmetrical warfare: warfare between a powerful military force and a weak guerrilla force.

* Bacha: Hinglish for a child or young person.

* Bump uglies: to have sexual intercourse (US slang).

* Cyberathlete: a professional player of computer games.

* Dwell time: The amount of time a customer spends waiting in a queue.

* Galactico: a famous and highly paid footballer (from galactico - someone from another galaxy, denoting their superstar status).

* Mother-out-law: the mother of one's ex-husband or ex-wife.

* Retrosexual: a heterosexual man who spends little time and money on personal appearance.

* Shroomer: a person who takes magic mushrooms for their intoxicating effects.

* Yaba: yet another bloody acronym.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all