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Whooich words should go into the English dictionary next — biskoot, govment or potest?

Include Bengali-sounding words in the dictionary or we ‘potest’

Pooja Mitra | Published 02.02.23, 04:00 PM
Suggested Bengali-English words to be included in the Oxford English Dictionary

Suggested Bengali-English words to be included in the Oxford English Dictionary

Illustration: Tiyasa Das

Since the pronunciations and audio of more than 800 Indian words have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is time we suggested a few more that Bengalis frequently use in our everyday conversations. If desh, bindaas and bachcha can make it to the list, so can biskoot, potest, govment, jerox. What do you think? 

Read on to find out our curated list of suggestions…



Cha’er sathe we have biskoot and not cookies, biscuits, crackers or whatever. Joy Bangla, joy biskoot.


Shortened but serves the same purpose — whether you say government of govment, the result is the same. You ultimately are voting for price rise, recession, unemployment and going-above-the-head budgets. Kya farak padta hai?


We have been going to ishkool for the most part of our lives, especially those hailing from Bangali households. Ishkool topkey college, university, Ph.D, NASA and so on… How can we not humbly request to add this fundamental institution from where our inherent antlami started shaping up?


It’s a very Bong way of saying omelette, and making mamlette, mamlette’r jhal, mamlette’r torkari and many other omlette marvels in the culinaryverse are part of a Bangali's life. If you can love our cuisine, this linguistic recognition follows too. Right?


Kanhaiya Kumar might have moved on in his life from CPI to INC, all the while singing “Hum lekey rahenge Azadi”, but potest is our janamsiddh adhikar (from Hok Kolorob to Bharat Jodo Yatra) and this word defines our socio-politico lineage. How can it not be included?


Another Bengali vocab thing, we say rishka and not rickshaw. Rick Shaw can be a person we know, but rishka is the mode of conveyance we use daily and call out for at the top of our lungs — Ooooo rishkaaaaa, jabeeeeeee?

Taw-may-to and Paw-tay-to

Like the song, Jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, we shall continue to pronounce them taw-may-to and paw-tay-to. (Did you just mumble, tab tak rahega Bihar mein Lalu? LOL, we can relate).

The Indie U-turn to AA

But becomes baat, hut becomes haat, cup becomes caap, but chaa(n)p means mutton and never chupchap. 'U' takes a U-turn and changes places with the 'aa' sound, but you can understand perfectly fine, no? That’s the whole purpose of language as a medium of communication.


Remember how we used to say “Thank you, bhery good, pauruti biscoot” when we were kids? The root is in chotobela and Bangla aksharmala, for we don’t have 'v' but we do have 'bh'. Hence, it is bhery important to add this to the list too.

Ooee, Whooich, Whoen, Whoware and Hau

Nope, we did not mean the sounds associated with 'oi maa (joro mein dard)', it’s ‘us’ we are talking about. Whoee, whooich, whoenwhoware and not to forget hau — the cute way we say ‘we, which/witch, when, where and how’, stressing on the vowels and adding a little sing song — deserve global recognition.


Read BoJack saying jerox, because if xerox can be pronounced the way it does, jerox is good to go too and a majority of 97,694,960 people of West Bengal (and 140.76 crore of the nation altogether) say jerox. We demand, not a separate rajyo (state), but jerox be included. Byas.

Z to J- Joom call

The bane of technology that it has absorbed every last ounce of our chill scenes during the Covid WFH with unending Joom calls (yeah, yeah, the world calls it Zoom, we know!), which joomed in to show wherever we go, meetings follow. How can our sloggings go in vain, OED? How?

Last updated on 02.02.23, 05:46 PM

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