Heard in India (Part 2: N to Z): The answers

Here are the answers to the second part of the quiz I set a couple of days ago.

  • Naik: A Native Infantry Corporal.
  • Nautch: A dance performance.
  • Nautch girl: A dancing girl.
  • Nazar (or Nurzur): A gift made to a superior. It was regarded as a token of homage rather than as a bribe.
  • Nimuk Haram: A rebel, a mutineer, a disloyal man (literally ‘a breaker of salt’).
  • Nirvana: The Buddhist state of grace.
  • Nujeeb: An undisciplined but well armed rebel soldier.
  • Padishah: A great King
  • Pagri (or Pugaree): A turban, it was also the cloth attached to – and wound around – a helmet.
  • Pan: The leaves of the piper betel plant that were chewed by many Indians in the same way that many Europeans smoked tobacco.
  • Pani: Water.
  • Panchyats: A delegation from a village led by the headman.
  • Pariah dog (or Pi dog): A semi-wild, stray dog.
  • Pice: A copper coin worth a quarter of an Anna.
  • Poshteen: A native sheepskin coat.
  • Punkah: A ceiling-mounted blade fan.
  • Punkah Wallah: Someone who works a Punkah, usually by pulling a cord with their hand or foot.
  • Puttee: A strip of cloth wound spirally around the leg from ankle to knee. Usually used in the plural.
  • Raj: To rule.
  • Rajah: A ruler.
  • Rajnara: The follower of a Rajah.
  • Rakhri: The notion of being obliged to return an important service. It tied an entire family and its resources to the recipient forever and without question.
  • Rakhri Band: The bracelet was given to denote the obligation (the Rakhri). All that was needed was for a member of the family to see or be sent the Rakhri Band for unquestioning assistance to be given.
  • Rani: A female ruler.
  • Rattan: A cane often used to make screens and sometimes used as a staff with which to hit people.
  • Rissaldar: A Native Cavalry Officer.
  • Rissaldar Major: A senior Native Cavalry Officer.
  • Rupee: A silver coin valued about two shillings (10 pence) in 1857.
  • Sadhu: A wandering holy man whose forehead was marked with the sign of Shiva.
  • Sahib: An officer or leader. Ofter used as a term of respect by an Indian talking to a European.
  • Sari: A native woman’s skirt.
  • Seer: A measure of weight of approximately two pounds.
  • Sepoy: A Native Infantry Private Soldier.
  • Serai: A fortified, walled village.
  • Shamshir: A light, curved sword often carried by cavalry, officers and nobles.
  • Sherbauch: A type of swivel gun.
  • Silladar: A method of raising irregular troops. The soldiers had to provide and maintain their own kit but were generally better paid.
  • Sirdar (or Sirkar): A headman, the Officer-in-Charge, or the commander of an army.
  • Sipah Sirdar: A General.
  • Soojee: A type of porridge.
  • Sowar: A Native Cavalry Trooper.
  • Subedar: A Native Infantry Captain.
  • Subedar Major: A senior Native Infantry Captain.
  • Suddeer Bazaar: The headman of a Bazaar.
  • Sudra: The fourth caste in the caste system. They usually worked the land for those of higher caste.
  • Suttee: The ceremonial self-immolation of a widow by burning on her dead husband’s funeral pyre.
  • Syce: A groom
  • Takur: A nobleman equivalent to a Baron.
  • Talukhdar: Lord.
  • Tank: A pond or water storage area.
  • Tat: A pony from the countryside.
  • Terai: Woods at the foot of mountains.
  • Thugi (or Thugee): A ritual murder-sacrifice to Kali.
  • Tulwar: A heavy native curved sword.
  • Tiffin: A light meal served during the afternoon.
  • Vaisya: The third caste in the caste system. They were usually merchants or traders.
  • Vakeel: A village headman.
  • Verandah: The roofed, open area surrounding a house.
  • Wallah: A man who performs a particular task (e.g. char wallah = tea man; punkah wallah = man who operates the punkak).
  • Wilayatis: Afghan soldiers of fortune.
  • Zambarek: A camel-mounted swivel gun.
  • Zemindar: A Prince
  • Zenana: The harem or the area of a house where the concubines lived.
  • Zilla: A seal that was the sign of office of a Collector or Magistrate.

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