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Stories of Bengalee Life/Glossary


Alwan, a woollen sheet used as a wrapper.

Amla, a ministerial officer.

Aswin, the sixth Hindu month, September-October.

Baburchi, a Mahomedan cook.

Bael, the wood-apple.

Bande Mataram, the opening words of a patriotic song, meaning—I offer my obeisance to the Motherland.

Bara Babu, the eldest son; used in connection with a firm or an office, the head ministerial officer.

Benami, assumed name.

Bilati, foreign or English.

Brahmo, a religious sect of advanced ideas who worship one God and do not shut up their women.

Bou Didi, the wife of an elder brother or cousin.

Budmash, a rogue, rascal.

Bundook, a gun.

Bygun, the fruit of the egg plant; the brinjal.

Chapkan, a long flowing coat.

Chelum, a small earthen bowl which is filled with tobacco and lighted with charcoal cakes.

Chota Hazri, the morning tea and toast.

Chowkidar, a police watchman.

Chudder, a sheet for draping the upper portion of the body.

Chuprassi, a peon or orderly.

Cowri, a shell representing the smallest money value.

Cutcherry, a court house or office.

Dai, a maid servant.

Dak, post.

Dak Bungalow, a rest house for travellers.

Daroga, a Sub-Inspector of Police.

Deodar, a cedar tree.

Deshi, country made.

Dharmawatar, Incarnation of Justice.

Dhoti, a cloth for draping the lower part of the body.

Durbar, a levee held by a high official.

Durga, a Hindu goddess.

Durry, a cotton carpet.

Ejlash, a raised platform where a judicial officer sits.

Ek dum, all at once.

Ekka, a two wheeled bamboo cart, drawn by a pony.

Feringhi, a European.

Ghailla, a pitcher.

Gharibparwar, Supporter of the poor.

Ghat, a bathing or landing place on the bank of a river.

Ghee, clarified butter.

Ghurra, same as ghailla.

Goor, treacle.

Gowala, a dairyman.

Hajat, a lock up for undertrial prisoners.

Handi, an earthen pot used for cooking or as a receptacle of food.

Haram, forbidden, unclean.

Hookah, the pipe etc., in which tobacco is smoked.

Hukum, order.

Hulla, tumult.

Huzoor, Your Honor.

Jemadar, Head constable.

Jhow, the tamarisk tree.

Kachowri, a kind of pastry filled with bruised pulse.

Kala admi, black man.

Kartal, small cymbals made of brass.

Kaviraj, a Bengalee physician, practising the Hindu system of medicine.

Khalassi, a station porter.

Khansama, a house steward.

Khas camera, private chamber.

Khitmadgar, a table servant.

Khodawand, master, lord.

Khoka, baby.

Kothi, house.

Kotwali, the chief police station in a towrn.

Krishna, a Hindu God, the tenth incarnation of Vishnu.

Kulin, in Bengal, a class of Brahmans who take precedence of all other Brahmans.

Kurta, a kind of tunic.

Lakh, a hundred thousands.

Lathi, a bambooo club.

Loochi, a soft thin flour cake fried in Ghee.

Lota, a small water pot made of brass or bell-metal.

Maidan, a plain.

Maro, shoot.

Mem Saheb, a European lady.

Modi, a grocer.

Mofussil, the country as distinguished from the town.

Mohonbhog, a sweet meat made of semolina, Ghee and sugar.

Mridang, a small drum.

Muktear, an attorney.

Narayan, an epithet of Vishnu.

Pan, a betel leaf.

Poori, same as loochee.

Pucca, sure, settled, literally ripe.

Puggri, a turban.

Puja, worship.

Puranic, from the Purans or sacred poems of Hindu mythology.

Rai Bahadur, a tittle bestowed by Government as a reward for public service.

Rajah, a tittle bestowed by Government to big Zemindars.

Sahib, a European.

Salaam, the Indian mode of salutation.

Samity, association.

Sannyasi, a mendicant.

Sari, a long piece of cloth worn by Hindu women.

Savitri, a mythological character typifying wifely devotion and fidelity.

Sawan, the fourth Hindu month, July-August.

Seer, a weight of one killogramme, just over 2lbs.

Shamla, a shawl-turban.

Shastra, the Hindu scriptures.

Sooji, semolina.

Soor, a hog.

Sradh, the funeral rites of Hindus.

Sudder, the district head quarters.

Swadeshi, literally "own country" a movement for the encouragement of indigenous industries.

Thali, a flat plate of brass or bell metal.

Thana, a public station.

Toba, the Mussulman cry of abjuration.

Tonga, a light two wheeled cart to seat four.

Tulsi, sweet basil, the sacred plant of the Hindus.

Zemindar, a landed proprietor.