Indian words used in English! Sherbat, Pankah, Chutney


I would like to know if the following words are common in the USA and US! They are all from my native language, Urdu, and are very commonly used in Pakistan and India. You will easily find them in a dictionary.

1- Sherbat
2- Paratha
3- Pankha
4- Chutney

Would you like to add something to the list?


Sherbet (if you mean the flavoured ice), and chutney (the condiment) are both common taste treats for me.

The two P-words I do not know, and they are not in my Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate.

Purdah is also English, as are pajamas, kebab, khaki, attar, camphor, safari, monsoon, and verandah, which seem to have Urdu sources, if my sources are correct.

Your sources are 100% correct, sir. :smiley: Could you please tell me if the people in the USA or US are familiar with the above words? [size=84]Do you eat kebab?[/size]

Pankha= fan
Paratha= oiled bread, here in Pakistan we roll dough into a ball and then spread it, put some oil in it , roll it again into a ball and then spread it once again. Now your pan is hot; very carefully, put your spread dough on it and with some oil fry it on the hot pan(both sides). Your delicious paratha is ready. Enjoy it with tea.


PS: Tea with paratha is a very common breakfast in India and Pakistan

Here is my favourite paratha, Mister Micawber.



purdah– known by the educated
pajamas, kebab, khaki – common and familiar vocabulary
attar– known by the educated
camphor, safari, monsoon, verandah – common and familiar vocabulary

Yes, I eat i kebab[/i] on occasion. And I have also eaten paratha– I was just unfamiliar with the name. As in Japanese restaurants, so in Indian restaurants, to place an order, my custom is to point at the pictures on the menu.

I love to eat paratha. The word is known in the US, but only by people who eat Indian cuisine. One time, years ago, I used the word paratha when explaining to a cousin how a certain special type of pizza is made in our city. I explained that for the crust they must first make paratha and then put the cheese and other toppings on it. Of course, the people who made the pizza probably wouldn’t have known what paratha meant, but their pizza crust is very similar to that Indian bread, but harder.

Many English words are a bit changed from their origins in Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, or whatever. For example, we have the word pundit, which comes from the Sanskrit word pandita.

Here is a whole list of very common English words that originated in various Indian languages: … ian_origin

By the way, my favorite Indian dish is spinach sarg. I decided to try it after I saw it described on a menu in London as “the favorite of all famous Punjabi muscle men”. However, Popeye was not from Punjab, as far as I know.

How about Massala?

…or is that a title?