It’s common to hear English language users to say words like schadenfreude in the absence on an English equivalent of the German word that means pleasure at the misfortune of others.
Of course, German isn’t the only language with some great words that should be dropped into English.
So we decided to put together a list of Hindi words that could cross-over too.
This was a crowdsourced list – so huge thanks to my family and friends that chipped in.
- Jhoota (झूटा) – There is no real equivalent to it in English. It’s when someone asks if they can place their mouth on a utensil or cutlery that you intend to place your mouth on as well. A person might for instance ask for a drink of your water and ask if you’re ok with jootha water.
- Aap (आप) – A respectful way of referring to someone, especially someone older than you but also a stranger. It applies to both men and women.
- Chai pani (चाय पानी) – Literally means tea-water, but can refer to both a small bribe or to refreshments.
- Vela (वेला) – To have nothing to do. For instance, ‘I’m vela today, do you want to hang out?’
- Gaganchumbi (गगनचुम्बी) – It literally refers to something that kisses the sky and suggests something that is lofty.
- Matlabi (मतलबी) – Someone who uses people and acts in his/her own interest.
- Angdai (अंगडाई) – A lazy stretch, the kind you do when you wake up in the morning (h/t Rosetta Stone)
- Abey (अबेय) – Hey you or oye there. For instance, Abey, what are you doing?
- Rozi roti (रोज़ी रोटी) – It means daily meal but typically refers to daily livelihood.
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