A hindonym is an English word that sounds the same as an unrelated Hindi word.
Take these for instance:
|Word||English Meaning||Hindi Meaning|
|enough, stop! |
|SAW||past tense of 'see'; |
tool for cutting;
If you have never heard about hindonyms before, that's because it isn't a dictionary word.
My uncle had coined the term "hindonym" years ago. To keep us occupied on an idle day during school summer vacations, he set me and my cousins the task of preparing a list of such words. I wish I had preserved that list, it ran into pages.
These two clues from today's Financial Times 13119 (Bradman) reminded me of hindonyms:
Big cheese finally making fortune (4)
County chaps looking fashionable once? (5)
In Hindi, badi cheez (बड़ी चीज़) means the same as "big cheese". Cheese and चीज़ sound identical, but on their own they have different meanings. Apparently, the expression "big cheese" has originated from its Hindi equivalent.
The answer to the second clue is BUCKS. In English, BUCK can mean a male deer, a fashionable guy, to object strongly…and in Hindi, it can be a rude way to say: Speak!
Readers who know Hindi – how about writing hindonym-based double definitions?
Sample Clue: Irritate God (3)
Answer: RUB / रब
The conditions are:
- Of the two definitions, one should be for the English word, the other for the Hindi word. Any order is fine.
- The word length should be according to the English word.
- The PH sound should be accurate. Silly flower (4) will not do – FOOL is फ़ूल, flower is फूल. Notice the missing dot! [I have mentioned this specially as this common mispronunciation is a pet peeve :P]
Here's one from me to start with:
Servant, strike the door with this! (7)
Post answers and your own clues in the comments section.
- The Cockney H
- Wordplay On Regional Dialects
- Rhyming Slang
- Decoding Double Definitions
- Tune In To Homophones