Hindi and Urdu: Exploring Word Origins and Word Formation

Bnaner for Similarities in Hindi and Urdu

Words coming from Hindi and Urdu. Definitions

Before we start, it would be efficient to explore the differences between the languages spoken today. Hindi first came to life in the 9th century. Urdu is the language that can be traced to the Persian times, and is a follow-up of the Hindi culture. Its development has been supported by the Arabic nations. Later, it has been encouraged for further use by Islamic citizens. British colonial politics made it possible for more and more linguists to discover the origins of Hindi and Urdu.

However, there are differences between the two that can only be identified by specialists involved. Hindi is commonly interpreted using the Devanagari letters that are based on Sanskrit. Urdu, on the other hand, is centered on the Persian language, hence the distinctive miscommunications when trying to indicate the right spelling. Urdu uses words that come directly from Arabic countries. The fact that this confusion is happening can be ascribed to the media portrayal of the languages. In most films, the heroes would use a mixture of words in Hindi and Urdu. Meanwhile, the filmmakers would describe the said motion pictures as containing the Hindi dialect only. This is one of the reasons Hindi words are believed to be related to the Urdu dialects that aren’t used anymore.

How to Find Similarities in Hindi and Urdu

Hindi and Urdu possess traits that date back to the Sanskrit version of the ancient languages. They have a similar structure which puts an emphasis on grammar and are commonly described as tongues that are flexible in use. This means that we might be able to learn about Hindi and Urdu as we go about our day. Bollywood films aside, the majority of us have to understand the drastic difference in order to connect freely. Once that happens, you will know the origins of words that have escaped your attention.

Some of them are used on a daily basis. You will be surprised to find out that millions of speakers around the world know how to conduct their meaning in both languages fluently. This makes Hindi and Urdu, or a combination of the two, the most popular linguistic pattern across the nations. Without brushing aside the importance of other languages, we would like you to focus on words that come from Hindi and Urdu. Get closer and prepare to be stunned as you discover the origins of these tongues. You don’t have to carry out full-on research to realize that we are surrounded by borrowed terms. They are considered to be a part of the language that is being actively used in everyday life:

  • Shampoo. This word comes from the original mixture of Hindi and Urdu. You have probably never heard about the term cā̃pnā which can be described as a special kind of massage. It involves putting pressure on your head and showering the hair with special preparation. The first use of the word in English can be traced back to the 19th century. Since then, shampoos have become a staple among people who have maintained regular hygiene. The meaning hasn’t changed ever since.
  • Jungle. Although the dictionary describes the jungle as a place with lush flora that grows chaotically, you may not be aware of the fact that this is, truly, a Hindi word. It is derived from the term jaṅgal. Jaṅgal is known to refer to a group of lands that do not have any water or natural resources. It can also be interpreted as a territory devoid of any flowers or plants. The initial evidence of the word appearing in the English language can be dated back to 1770.
  • Thug. This word might have had its evolution over the years, but the initial meaning remained the same. The first mention of the word occurred with Hindi becoming more than a dialect in 1800-1810. It is stemmed from the term known as thag, which is basically another meaning for “cheat”.
  • Pajamas. This element of clothing is by far one of the most popular in the world, but you have yet to find out that Urdu and Hindi need to be given their due over here. These days, it is no wonder that people stay in their pajamas all day since they want to be comfortable without distractions. Researchers have determined that the word has become in use around 1880 with pāyjāma meaning the garments that can be worn at night.
  • Dungarees. Dungarees, or the clothes made of denim, may remind us of jeans, but we have to know of the word origin to proceed. Blue jeans are a staple in fashion that became inseparable from style in this day and age. Dungarees, on the other hand, are a combination of words that come from Hindi and Urdu. Dũgrī and dungrī are not the terms that we hear while talking about the latest trends. Yet, they help us understand the etymology of jeans and the definitions that are associated with this clothing.
  • Loot. Loot is another word that can be followed back to Hindi. In the modern sense, it is the treat that children get on Halloween. In the traditional sense, loot is a result of pillage and is typically related to plundering in the wartimes. Although this does not seem like a positive connotation, the stylistic aspect of the word has changed over time. We might even suspect that it is a good thing when talking about sweets or candy, presented to children during the time of holidays.
  • Punch. Next time you are planning to throw a party, there is always a way to do it in a hilarious manner. With a punch bowl that originated from the Hindi word panch, one be never wrong. They say that the meaning of the term can be translated to “five”. This refers to the ingredients that are used in the making of the delicious cocktail, namely some sort of alcoholic beverage, water, sugar, lemon, and spices. Given that the word has Indian roots, we may assume that the spices in question also come from the Indian continent.
  • Cushy. If you are using the word “cushy” as the synonym for being soft, cozy, and comfortable, you are most likely on the right track. It has originated from the Persian language and is therefore a distant relative of the term ḵušī. It may also be used to describe something that requires no effort. The implications suggest that the word has been borrowed from Persian while it spread across the continent.
  • Seersucker. Seersucker is the kind of light cotton that is mostly found among the lovers of preppy style. However, you will be surprised to find out that this type of fabric has nothing in common with seers. Studies have shown that it was produced as a combination of words from Hindi and Urdu. The words are śīr-śakkar and shīrshakar. They can be translated as milk and sugar, which hints at the color of the fabric. Traditionally, it is only reserved for summer months when cotton seems to be the most appropriate material.
  • Ganja. This word is recognized as the definition for one of the most potent drugs in the world, but there are not many people who know the origin. The Hindi word gā̃jā and the word that derives from Urdu, gānjā, both come from the Sanskrit texts. However, this is not a full list of surprises that may take a while to sink in. Research has confirmed that the earliest mentions of ganja were recorded in 1680. This means that the recipe for its preparation has been around for years.

With all that is known about the words from Hindi and Urdu, we can safely conclude that there are still a lot of undiscovered facts around. The word origins never cease to amaze the audience.