Monday, 11 December 2006

Hinglish, ulta pulta

I might have enjoyed this story (from the lingnews site) about Indian English as used in England more if the American commentator hadn't claimed that in the BBC TV series Goodness Gracious Me, AMERICAN Asians poked fun at the British relationship with India...!! I think Sanjay and Meera might be a little surprised. The BBC also covered the publication of the book concerned, by Bajlinder Mahal, last month.
"Ulta pulta" means upside down or topsy turvy; I presume that the titles of previous collections of Indian words in English, Hobson Jobson and Hanklyn Janklin, were referring indirectly to this liking Hindi has for what I call "echo" words. Also mentioned is "tuta futa", meaning broken, which reminds me that we used to say things were (or "had gone") "phut" when I was at school in India. I can't find a derivation for it, but wonder whether it could be a contraction of "faire capot" which according to the Online Etymology Dictionary is where we - or rather, the Germans - get "kaputt" from.

2 Comments:

At 26/5/08 12:53, Blogger satyakaran said...

Hey!
You are going to be ulta-pulta all over the world!

You are interesting.

 
At 26/5/08 12:55, Blogger satyakaran said...

but how you people get so much money and time for roaming all over!

satyakaran [at] gmail dot com

 

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