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Which One Of These Words Was Stolen During Colonialism?

Some people call them "loanwords," but that implies being paid back one day.

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This week on See Something Say Something, I talked to Mona Haydar about her video "Hijabi" and to Kiren Rizvi (@Gothistani) about being bitter about colonialism.

Mona Haydar / YouTube

Click here to listen to the full episode.

when u do a presentation on the atrocities caused by western imperialism

At the end, we played a little game called "Did The English Steal This Word From Your People?", preceded by a rant about colonialism from yours truly, which you can listen to below.

.@seesomething @mona_haydar @gothistani Here's me playing a game of "DID THE ENGLISH STEAL THIS WORD FROM YOUR PEOP… https://t.co/W3jRIxpYud

Excerpt: There's an interesting thing that happens I think for a lot of South Asian/North Indian kids, where you realize so many of the words you use are a product of colonialism. I had this moment, just a year ago, where I used to always think the word "jungli" was so funny, because it sounds like, "oh, they're from the jungle? Why did we come up with that? It's such a funny thing that we took that from English." And then I thought about it for a sec. And I was like, "Jungle... it sounds way more Urdu or Desi than it sounds (like) English." And then I looked it up and I was like, "Yeah, the colonizers literally took the word 'jungle' from us and put it into English.'

During the many years of European colonialism in India, the Middle East, and Africa, many words transferred between cultures.

Disney

Most people only think of the English words that appeared in languages like Hindi, Urdu, and Arabic, but English took words from those languages as well. Can you guess which?

(All etymologies sourced from Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Also, I can't guarantee 100% of these words come directly from colonialism, but at the very least, it makes you think about the way English was influenced by other languages.)

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