Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Book...Sometimes

I’m trying (as you might have noticed) to come up with a word a day. I’m sure you already know, but just to make things clear, the definitions are entirely my creation, so please don’t use them when your child asks what a teleosaur is. This time I’ll try to introduce a book, not necessarily because I was impressed by the theme or the style, but because it helped me make an interesting selection of words. I’m planning to repeat the experiment with books from various countries, but I cannot be sure of its frequency. So, it’s a book… sometimes.
The first one: Manil Suri’s “The Age of Shiva”. I’m not going to spoil it for you, so if you are interested in the contents, you’ll just have to read it. But here are some words of Indian origin:
(Source of definitions: OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY)

Achkan+s = a light, close-fitting knee-length jacket buttoned at the front, traditionally worn by men.

Akhara+s = a convent or monastery, esp. of ascetics. Also: an order of ascetics or monks.

Asana+s = a yoga position

Ayah+s = a maid or nurse in India

Ayurveda+s = an ancient Hindu system of medicine, drawn from Vedic literature and based on the belief that physical and mental health are dependent on a balance of biological humours (or doshas) uniquely constituted in each individual, which may be maintained or restored by regulated diet, sleep, exercise, etc., and a range of homoeopathic and natural remedies.

Bania+n,s = an Indian fig tree

Biryani+s Biriani+s Biriyani+s = a highly-spiced Indian dish made of meat or vegetables cooked with rice, saffron, and usu. brown lentils.

Brahmin+s = member of the highest priestly caste among the Hindus.

Chappal+s = an Indian open sandal

Chappati+s Chapati+s Chupati+s = a small cake of unleavened bread, generally made of coarse wheaten meal, flattened with the hand, and baked on a griddle. ‘The usual form of native bread and the staple food of Upper India’ (Yule).

Charpoy+s Charpai+s = an Indian bed

Datura+S = a flowering plant; a powerful narcotic

Dupatta+S = a doubled or two-layered length of cloth worn by women as a scarf, veil, or shoulder wrap.

Dhobi+s = native washerman in India.

Durrie+s Dhurrie+s = a kind of cotton carpet of Indian manufacture, usually made in rectangular pieces with fringes at the ends, and used for sofa-covers, curtains, and similar purposes.

Ghee+S = butter made from buffalo's or cow's milk, clarified by boiling, so as to resemble oil in consistency.

Ghat+s = mountain pass (in India); mountain range.

Gymkhana +s = a place of public resort at a station, where the needful facilities for athletics and games of sorts are provided’ (Y.). Hence (esp. in European use), an athletic sports display. Now spec. a meeting at which horses and their riders take part in games and contests; also a competition designed to test driving skill.

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