What's in our name?
'Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.' Rita Mae Brown
What’s in our name? The three-hundred-year colonisation of India by the British greatly enhanced the richness of the English lexicon with many Indian words seeping into common English usage. ‘Pukka’ is of Hindi and Urdu origin, meaning ‘permanent’, 'outstanding', 'excellent' and 'genuine’. In British usage, it means ‘proper’ or simply ‘the real deal’. In North American usage it is equivalent to 'the real McCoy'.
Do you know that the word pyjama (pajama) also has Indian origins? It was incorporated into English through the Bengali ‘pajāmā’, itself from the Persian ‘pāy-jāmeh’ (which literally means ‘leg-garment’).
Hence the inspiration for our name: our pyjamas are ‘proudly proper’ - sustainable natural fibres, beautiful soft fabrics, loose fitting and comfortable.
50 other words from India:
A - atoll, avatar
B - bandana, bangle, bazaar, Blighty, bungalow
C - cashmere, catamaran, char, cheroot, cheetah, chintz, chit, chokey, chutney, cot, cummerbund, curry
D - dinghy, doolally, dungarees
G - guru, gymkhana
H - hullabaloo
J - jodhpur, jungle, juggernaut, jute
K - khaki, kedgeree
L - loot
N - nirvana
P - pariah, pashmina, polo, pukka, pundit, purdah, pyjamas
S - sari, shampoo, shawl, swastika
T - teak, thug, toddy, typhoon
V - veranda(h)
Y - yoga
Sources: Hobson-Jobson, Oxford English Dictionary (list via the BBC)