Tamil words in English

Jan Filipsky filipsky at SITE.CAS.CZ
Fri Feb 6 09:45:32 UTC 1998

Regarding N. Ganesan's query about Tamil words that have entered English and
"some good dictionary of English available where one can search a keyword
like Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Tulu, Kannada, Dravidian in that database", I
would suggest, in the first place, the OED on CD ROM. The search engine that
goes with it makes it possible to compile a list of words of foreign origin
in English with their etymologies and dates of their first (attested)
appearance in the language. Then there are several specialized dictionaries,
e.g. the time-hallowed Hobson Jobson, and several other books of reference
and as well as special monographs, some of which can be found in the
following select bibliography:
Hankin, Nigel B. (1992, 1994). Hanklyn-Janklyn. A stranger's rumble-tumble
guide to some words, customs and quiddities Indian and Indo-British. Banyan
Books, New Delhi.
Kachru, Braj B. (1983). The Indianization of English. The English Language
in India. OUP
Lewis, Ivor (1991). Sahibs, Nabobs and Boxwallahs. A Dictionary of the Words
of Anglo-India. OUP
Maclean, C.D. ed. (1893, 1982). Glossary of the Madras Presidency.
Containing a Classification of terminology, a Gazetteer and Economic
dictionary of the province and other information, the whole arranged
alphabetically and indexed. Reprinted by Asian Educational Services, New Delhi.
Rao, G. Subba (19540. Indian Words in English. A Study in Indo-British
Cultural and Linguistic Relations. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Whitford, George Clifford (1885, 1976). An Anglo-Indian Dictionary. A
Glossary of Indian Terms used in English, and of such English or other
non-Indian Terms as have obtained special meanings in India. Kegan Paul,
Trench & Co., London, reprinted by Indian Documentation Service, Gurgaon/New
Wilson, H.H. (1855, 1968). A Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms, and of
useful words occurring in official documents relating to the administration
of the government of British India..., reprinted by Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi.
Yule, Henry - Burnell, A.C. (1886, 1903, 1968]. Hobson-Jobson. A Glossary of
Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms,
Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive. New edition ed. by W.
Crooke. Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi.
>Are rice and tamil 'arici' related?
I am sure it is a Tamil loanword appearing not only in English but also in
other European languages (e.g. Czech ryze via Greek oryza).
>Vaguely remember a book by Subbarao, Indian words in English.
This is perhaps the first scholarly treatment of the growth and development
of South Asian element in English. Incidentally, I am presently engaged in
preparing a study entitled (provisionally) "Anglo-Indian Encounters.
Loanwords of South Asian Origin in English".
Jan Filipsky
Jan Filipsky, Oriental Institute, Pod vodarenskou vezi 4, 182 08  Praha 8
phone 004202 6605 3729
e-mail <filipsky at orient.cas.cz>
private: U Pentlovky 466/7, 181 00 Praha 8 - Troja
phone 004202 855 74 53

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