A BBC News story by Sean Coughlan describes a new dictionary and the language it represents:
Are you a “badmash”? And if you had to get somewhere in a hurry, would you make an “airdash”? Maybe you should be at your desk working, instead you’re reading this as a “timepass”.
These are examples of Hinglish, in which English and the languages of south Asia overlap, with phrases and words borrowed and re-invented.
It’s used on the Indian sub-continent, with English words blending with Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi, and also within British Asian families to enliven standard English.
A dictionary of the hybrid language has been gathered by Baljinder Mahal, a Derby-based teacher and published this week as The Queen’s Hinglish…
This collision of languages has generated some flavoursome phrases. If you’re feeling “glassy” it means you need a drink. And a “timepass” is a way of distracting yourself.
A hooligan is a “badmash” and if you need to bring a meeting forward, you do the opposite of postponing – in Hinglish you can “prepone”.
There are also some evocatively archaic phrases – such as “stepney”, which in south Asia is used to mean a spare, as in spare wheel, spare mobile or even, “insultingly, it must be said, a mistress,” says Ms Mahal.
Its origins aren’t in Stepney, east London, but Stepney Street in Llanelli, Wales, where a popular brand of spare tyre was once manufactured…
For more on “prepone,” see this old LH thread. And thanks for the link, Paul!