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Glossary and Abbreviations


BMBritish Museum
CPCentral Provinces
CRNPBCentral Report of the Native Newspapers of Bengal
IOLIndia Office Library
NAINational Archives of India
NMMLNehru Memorial Museum and Library
Poll.Political (Dept.)
RNNBReport of the Native Newspapers of Bengal
UPUnited Provinces
WBSAWest Bengal State Archives

Glossary of Words in Bengali and Hindi

akannabortiliterally, "sharing the same food," euphemism for joint family
aphin ka sattaopium betting
arkatilabor recruiter
badmashcrook, bad guy
baksheeshtip, bribe
banglaBengali language
baniyaintermediary trader, mercantile community
barsat ka sattarain gambling
batpuria thief
basacharitable kitchen
bhadralokEnglish-educated professional Bengali middle-class
bhaktipersonalized devotional worship
bhejaladulterated, to mix with impure things
bindiornamental dot worn on forehead
Birlaname of prominent Marwari family
BurabazarThe Big Bazar
BurobazarOld Lord Shiva's Bazar
chabutrashrine platform
chappan bhogfifty-six course meal
chettiarcaste cluster of trading groups in South India
chowkidarcaretaker, guard
chunariwedding veil
darshandivine viewing, being in the presence of god
Dayabhagalegal system in which property is divided equally among sons
dharmasalacharitable resthouse for pilgrim or traveler
dhotiloose-fitting loincloth for men
gaddicushion, euphemism for office
garbagrihamain temple image
gheeclarified butter
godownwarehouse, storage
haveliRajput or Marwari mansion and ancestral home
hundibill of credit
jaffreylattice work
Jagat SethBanker of the World
jatiorigin, birth, caste, community
jhilmilwooden blinds
joharspontaneous immolation
jota sowdagambling on the price of jute
kaccaunprepared food
kalashearthenware or metal pitcher, symbolizing fertility
kapus ka sattacotton and cloth gambling
korbanisacrifice, cow killing
kuldeepaklight of the lineage
kuldevilineage goddess
lotawater pot
mahatsovgreat festival
mardanamen's quarters, male space
Marwarmythical homeland of the Marwaris
Marwarimigrant trader from Rajasthan, or language spoken in Rajasthan
mel circle of appropriate marriage partners
melafair, festival
Mitaksharalegal system of primogeniture found in Northern India
mofussilcountryside stations and outlying districts
paharthree-hour period of time
pakkafully cooked food
pardaveil, euphemism for seclusion of women
pardanashinsecluded women
partaMarwari accounting system
pash balishbolster pillow
pativratawomen's vow, fasting for the well-being of the husband
pinjrapoleliterally, "caged courtyard" for cow keeping
salabrother-in-law, son of a bitch
salwaar kameezlong tunic worn over loose-fitting pants
saria draped five-yard-long cloth for women's apparel
sattacommodity-figure gambling
satiwidow immolation
satimatadeification of sati
shaharwaleresident of or hailing from Murshidabad, Bengal
shaktigoddess of strength
shrofftraditional banker
tezimandi"rise-fall," euphemism for numbers gambling
thaliflat plate made of steel or silver
tibbasand dune
trishulShiva's trident
vahiaccount books
Vaishyaa varna traditional trading castes
yagnapublic fair organized around vedic sacrificial rituals
zenanawomen's quarters, female space


Community and Public Culture: The Marwaris in Calcutta 1897-1997