Indian English vocabulary

June 7, 2010
By Ben Zimmer (New York, NY)Visual Thesaurus ContributorVisual Thesaurus Moderator
Words that have special meanings in Indian English.

to stay away from something: "The workers who abstained from work yesterday have been suspended."
to make use of something, esp. an opportunity or offer: "To avail all these benefits, just register online."
a railway carriage/railroad car
a small town set up by an employer or an organization for its workers
a strong sense of belonging to a particular, especially religious, community, which can lead to extreme behaviour or violence towards others
a book used by students for writing exercises, etc.
the boot/trunk of a car
an incident in which police shoot dead a suspected criminal: "The two gangsters were later killed in a police encounter."
a restaurant
(of tea or coffee) containing a lot of water: "I don't like my coffee too light."
a large or capital city, especially Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai or Chennai: "Here are the temperatures recorded at the four metros at 5 o'clock this morning."
(of ships, buses, etc.) to travel regularly along a particular route or between two particular places
the long stage that models walk on during a fashion show
to reply: "Excellent openings—kindly revert with your updated CV."
an artificial pool, lake or reservoir
a small meal, especially lunch

Rate this wordlist:

Join the conversation

Comments from our users:

Tuesday June 8th 2010, 2:29 AM
Comment by: Lawrence A. R.
"to avail of" is also found in Philippine English.
Wednesday June 9th 2010, 1:56 PM
Comment by: Monono
I am always amazed of how PRE CONCEPS appear in the tiniest things that we do. Have you ever stopped to look at the words you've associated to indian people living in England?
Tuesday June 15th 2010, 1:17 PM
Comment by: Micheal F. (Toronto Canada)
Let's not forget about prepone, a very Indian word, and one which is not recognised elsewhere, including, it seems, in the visual thesaurus.
Tuesday June 15th 2010, 9:42 PM
Comment by: Ben Zimmer (New York, NY)Visual Thesaurus ContributorVisual Thesaurus Moderator
For more on "prepone" and other Indian English words, see:

Tuesday September 27th 2011, 2:52 AM
Comment by: Priyam (Ahmedabad, India)
I am an Indian so I cannot find ANY mistake in this. Whether you english people find or not.
Tuesday September 27th 2011, 2:56 AM
Comment by: Priyam (Ahmedabad, India)
Jai Hind!

Do you have a comment?

Share it with the Visual Thesaurus community.

Your comments:

Sign in to post a comment!

We're sorry, you must be a subscriber to comment.

Click here to subscribe today.

Already a subscriber? Click here to login.

Create a new Word List