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8 Most used English Words which do not have an English Origin

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English Words without English Origin

The world is like a rainbow, with different people and cultures. However it is connected at some level. Music connects people from different facets of life and so does language. We often listen to words in a particular dialect bearing some similarity with words from another dialect. Even in the English dictionary, etymology of most English words is shown as Greek & Latin or French & German. Though there are numerous words used in the English language that have evolved from different languages, in today’s list we will talk about the words used in English language as it is used in Sanskrit.

1 Yoga

Yoga is defined as “a set of ?physical and ?mental ?exercises that are ?intended to give ?control over the ?body and ?mind”.

Yoga comes from Sanskrit which means union. Saints in the ancient India used to practise yoga for spiritual and physical fitness. To escape the modern day hustle and bustle, many people have resorted to this 5000 year old practise to calm their minds.


India recently celebrated the International Yoga Day on June 21st this year to revive the importance of Yoga in our daily stressful lives.

2 Verandah

The dictionary meaning of the word Verandah (US English) is “a ?raised, ?covered, sometimes ?partly ?closed ?area, often made of ?wood, on the ?front or ?side of a ?building”.

Originally descending from Portuguese and later used in the Hindi language, the word was commonly used in English by the early 18th century. Interestingly these verandahs have been the source behind story writing and juicy gossips mostly relating to ghosts and love scapes.

3 Thug

The dictionary meaning of the word Thug is “a man who acts violently, ?especially to ?commit a ?crime”.

The word is derived from the Hindi word Thag, group of Hindu and Muslim men engaged in performing crimes like robbing and murdering the travellers. They have been defined as a religious cult and the killings was regarded as a holy practise for them. They were extinct by 1870s following the reign of William Bentinck in India.

4 Swastika

Swastika is “a ?symbol in the ?form of a ?cross with each of ?its ?arms ?bent at a 90° ?angle ?half way along, used in the 20th ?century as the ?symbol of the ?Naziswastika ?party”.

Originally derived from Sanskrit, swastika is considered to be very sacred especially in the Hindu culture.

Though Swastika is considered a symbol of good fortune and prosperity it was used by Hitler on a red background to build on anti-Semitic ideas.

5 Pajamas

Pajamas or “nightwear” in simple English, have come a long way from the Persian and Urdu culture, where pay is leg and jama is clothing.

Unlike modern day pajamas with elastic/ buttons, the original pajamas were lightweight trousers that fit around the waist with the help of drawstrings.

Owing to their casual nature, Pajama parties have become synonyms of sleepovers organized by guests. According to a survey, 20% have confessed wearing pajamas over a video call.

6 Namaskar

Namaskar is a Sanskrit word which is said when greeting people. “A ?traditional way of ?greeting someone in which you put the ?insides of ?your ?hands together in ?front of ?your ?face or ?chest and ?bend ?your ?head ?forwards”, is the dictionary meaning.

It is also a sign of respect one shows to the other, as the person is expected to a bow a little while saying Namaskar. President Obama also greeted India with a Namaskar, during his visit in January this year.


7 Mantra

Having a Sanskrit origin, mantra is defined as “a word or ?sound that is ?repeated as a ?prayer” as per the English dictionary.

Mantra again holds a special place in the Hindu culture, and are chanted for creating good energy vibrations. We hear mantras in a wedding, other religious ceremonies and even in the daily prayers at home. Om is the shortest mantra chanted in India, believed to generate lots of energy when chanted.

8 Karma

Karma is believed to be “the ?force ?produced by a person’s ?actions in one ?life which ?influences what ?happens to that ?person in ?future ?lives”.

Karma comes from the Sanskrit word karman. The Hindu and Buddhist religion follow the laws of Karma diligently. It is believed that when a person is born, he should do good deeds which will determine his next birth or may grant him salvation from the cycles of birth and death.


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Sneha Shah

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