Bite on This: 'Keema', 'Papad' are now English Words

   |  Updated: January 29, 2015 14:13 IST

Bite on This: 'Keema', 'Papad' are now English Words

Reflecting the global popularity of Indian food, a number of Indian words like 'keema' (finely chopped meat) and 'papad' (thin wafer) have been accepted in the Oxford English dictionary for the first time. The ninth edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary has included over 240 words from Indian English.

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"English is a global language and carries influences from all over the world. Indian food is popular all over the world. We did these inclusions in the dictionary to reflect the global usage of words," said Patrick White, Head of ELT Dictionaries and Reference Grammar at Oxford University Press during the launch.


Over 60 per cent of the new Indian English words come from Hindi. These new words were selected based on the frequency of their use and are assessed by experts from all over the world. "We scan new words from all over the world and then select which ones deserve a mention based on the frequency of its usage," said White who leads a team of 20 editors and technicians responsible for creating all ELT (English Language Teaching) dictionary and reference grammar products.


Over the years, around 900-1000 Indian words have found its place in the Oxford dictionary. "But this time the number of inclusions is huge," he said. The ninth edition of the dictionary has over 900 new words. About 20 per cent of the new words are from the world of online and social media activities like troll, catfish, twitterati, tweetable, tweetheart, unfriend, selfie and so on.

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