By Henry Yule
By Arthur Coke Burnell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:August 2011
Original Publication Year:1886
Subjects: South Asian history , Historical Linguistics
This dictionary of Anglo-Indian terms gives the definition and etymology of over two thousand words in common use in colonial India in the late nineteenth century. First published in 1886, it was written by the Scottish orientalist Sir Henry Yule (1820–89) and Arthur C. Burnell (1840–82), an English scholar of Sanskrit and author of a Handbook of South Indian Palaeography. Whereas previous glossaries focused on technical terms used by the Indian administration, this work aims at dealing with words that recur in the daily English of India: ‘either as expressing ideas really not provided for’ by English, or wrongly ‘supposed by the speakers to express something not capable of just denotation by any English term’. Tracing the literary sources and Indian origins of words such as cooly or curry, but also – more surprisingly – tank or veranda, this dictionary is a fascinating resource for the modern reader.