The term of endearment ‘Abba’, which is used to address one’s father in many Indian families, has now been included in the Oxford Dictionary, along with 69 other words from various Indian languages such as Telugu, Urdu, Tamil, Hindi and Gujarati.
While Indian delicacies such as ‘Ghosht’, ‘Gulab Jamun’, ‘Bhelpuri’ and ‘Bhindi’ also found recognition in the dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) did not leave out colloquial terms such as ‘Yaar’, ‘Chi-Chi’, ‘Jugaad’ and ‘Anna’, which are casually and liberally dropped in conversations. With yoga spreading like wildfire across the world, the addition of words such as ‘Surya Namaskar’ were a welcome sight.
So far, ‘Anna’ exists in OED as a noun, meaning a monetary unit previously used in India and Pakistan, which is equal to one-sixteenth of a rupee. Now, it has been added as a Tamil and Telugu word, which is used to address one’s elder brother.
The OED publishes its updates four times in a year, in the months of March, June, September and December, and 900 Indian words have been recognised in the dictionary till now. The process of inclusion of words is a careful one and sometimes a word has to be used in public for a couple of years to be taken into consideration.
Oxford Dictionary, with the help of The Oxford Unversity Press, keeps a tab on the new words that are coined every year and closely monitors the frequency of their usage in the public domain. After a lot of consideration, the makers of the dictionary decide which words will be included in it.