The Persian and Hindi Alphabet
Dedicated by Permission
SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, BART., G.C.S.I., C.I.E.,
GOVERNOR OF BOMBAY. WITHOUT WHOSE LIBERAL SUPPORT AS LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF BENGAL, SPONTANEOUSLY ACCORDED, THE AUTHOR COULD NOT HAVE PROCEEDED WITH THE COMPILATION AND PUBLICATION OF SO EXPENSIVE A WORK.
The Compiler makes his best acknowledgments for the valuable assistance, gratuitously rendered, by P. Whalley, Esq., C. S., C. S. Kirkpatrick, Esq., Rev. F. F. Cole, Captain Marshall, and Lāla Chokhe Lal, Pleader, and for the important aid of his efficient staff, Lālā Faqīr Chand, Head Assistant; Munshī Chiranjī Lāl, Munshī Sayad Ahmad, Munshī Jagan Nāth, and Munshī Thākur Dās of Delhi, Munshī Liyāqat Husain of Dinapore, Pandit Shiv Narāyan, Mayo College, Munshī Nihāl Chand, Deputy Inspector of Schools, Munshī Bishambar Nāth and Munshī Rām Pershād of Delhi, Mahommed Mahmūd of Meerut, Rām Nāth Tivāri of Furrukhābād, Munshī Kishori Lāl, Delhi, Munshī Ehsān Ali, Rohtak, and Mr. Wattling, Head Master, Darbangah School.
The Dissertation on the language, literature, and Folklore, with a new classification of the leading words, which it was proposed to give at the end of this work, has been postponed for the sake of expediting the compilation of the reverse English-Hindustānī Dictionary.
The chief features of the present work are the prominence given to the spoken and rustic mother tongue of the Hindi speaking people of India; the exhibition, for the first time, of the pure, unadulterated language of women; and the illustrations given of the use of words by means of examples selected from the every day speech of the people, and from their poetry, songs, and proverbs, and other folklore.
The examples are meant to serve, likewise, as specimens of the best portion of the spoken and written literature, and to afford an insight into the mind of the people—their domestic and social life; their sports and pleasures; their morals, manners, and customs; the religious beliefs and superstitions which actually influence their daily lives, as distinct from the mechanical performance of a formal, ceremonial worship; with the hopes and fears, the joys and sorrows, the jealousies and heart-burnings, and the wit and humour, satire and invective which together reveal the inmost thoughts and feelings of the inner life of the people.
Among other distinctive features of the new Dictionary may be noted the determination of the roots, and generic meanings of Hindi words, which are traced sometimes to older forms; the occasional grouping together of various popular and rustic forms now current among particular classes and in various parts of the country; a more or less exhaustive collection of secondary meanings; their arrangement in distinct groups in the order of their relation to one another, and to the generic meaning of the root word; numerous synonyms from which the more advanced student may select the English word which would best express the particular sense in which a Hindustani word may be used; and the rendering of technical terms in European arts, science, and philosophy in popular Hindī words, placed by the side of recently coined or previously existing Arabic and Sanskrit formatives for the sake of convenient comparison and the satisfaction of scholars who claim a superior scientific precision for words borrowed from the classics, and who have sometimes predetermined the poverty of a vernacular whose powers they have not condescended to prove by the test of experiment—the only recognised basis of true science and philosophy.
The scope of the present work may be further gathered from the following extracts from the Prospectus before issued:–
The wealth of the language is in the spoken tongue; and how rich and expressive that is, those best know who are familiar with the diversified phases of every-day speech of the impressionable and imaginative Oriental. The best portion of the language cannot be left out, if the language is to be represented in its integrity. The living utterances of the people are almost absent from our Dictionaries. Their place is filled instead by a great many Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit words which are seldom or never used in written or spoken Hindustanī. To cull these so-deemed choice exotics out of Dictionaries of those languages and foist them [page ii] in the vocabulary of the indigenous language of which they are not a part, is the peculiar delight of book-learned Moulvis and Pandits. These are the autocrats who have banished the people's mother tongue, and forged in its place the artificial language which divides the people and the ruling class. With might and main they have laboured to keep out the spoken vernacular from the written language of books and legal procedure and official correspondence; and, what they were unable wholly to thrust out of sight, they have mutilated, and mangled, and crushed. "They have emasculated a vigorous racy language, and substituted for its living strength and fire stiff pompous words"—strange Arabic sounds which have no meaning for the people, and the dull cold clay of Sanskrit forms which "speak not, fire not, win not now." They are ashamed of their mother tongue. They pretend they never knew such vulgar acquaintances. They refuse to admit these earliest friends of their youth into the new-found courts and palaces in which they have been installed by the royal favor. They speak one language in their houses, and another when they appear in public. When they give vent to the inmost feelings of the heart in the privacy of domestic life, they employ their own vigorous native tongue. When they go out among strangers and utter the common places of conventional life or the sentiments which they do not feel, they clothe themselves with the gaudiest foreign frippery and fustian, which serve both for display and the concealment of their thoughts. With their lips they lavish the most extravagant panegyrics on the pedants who are skilled in weaving elaborate patterns of curious Arabic inflexions, flowing Persian compounds, and mystic Sanskrit "words of lengthening sound." But their substantial rewards are reserved exclusively for bards and players who interest and amuse them with exact representations of the homely popular language which they affect to treat as vulgar and contemptible.
How large a part of our most grievous political blunders and administrative weaknesses may not be set down to the use of so convenient a vehicle for mystification and the affectation of the very opinions and sentiments of their foreign masters of whatever creed or nation, poured into willing ears in the sweet music of their native tongue, in set phrases well conned and learned by rote by the meekest and most diligent of pupils! How different it might be if rulers and subjects could communicate with one another in the language of the people. The only way to the mind and heart of the people is through their language. Without this key there can never exist that accurate knowledge of the people and real sympathy with their condition which are the basis of good government. Exemption from the labour of acquiring the people's language is purchased at an incalculably heavy cost, when a small section only of the people are able to learn the foreign language of their rulers or the highly Persianized and Arabic-ridden Urdu of the Courts of law, and so to stand between the governing class and the great body of the people. As the Bengali proverb expresses it—sāheb bāgān, amla ṭi berha, (the sahib is a garden, and the amla, the hedge).
The agricultural class, the banyā (grocer), bazzāz (cloth merchant), dallāl (broker or tout), chamār (worker in leather), kunjṛā (green grocer), the banjāra (carrier), bhaṭyāra (sarāe or inn-keeper), nāī (barber), chābuk sawār (jockey), patańg-bāz (kite-flyer), juārī (gambler), kanjar or gipsy tribe, bhāṭ, ḍom, qavvál, bhāṅḍ, naqqāl, naṭ, bhānmatī (bards, musicians, minstrels, players, acrobats, jugglers), and other large sections of the people, have all their peculiar idioms, many of which constitute the very pith and marrow of the popular language.
Similarly with the proverbs, songs, and other idioms of different provinces which, though sometimes dialectic, are yet generally intelligible or current throughout Hindustan. Idioms of this class, which are quoted on occasion in the common speech of the country, or which are so richly expressive of certain aspects of the many-sided facts and sentiments of universal experience that their truth and wit are instantly recognized by all classes in every province where Hindustanī is spoken or understood, may well claim admission into a Dictionary of the most widely spread Indian vernacular. In all cases where the idioms of other provinoes actually conflict with the best usage of the Mogul capital—the generally accepted standard of pure Hindustanī—the Dehli idiom will have the preference. But it does not follow, as the purists of Delhi insist, that we should exclude really good idioms of other provinces which, though not native products or accepted importations in current use in this city, may nevertheless be well fitted to take a place in a Dictionary of the common vernacular, as all expressive of certain experiences and emotions which have not found expression or which have not been so well expressed elsewhere in the absence of the peculiar conditions which gave rise to those idioms. If the living dialects are the feeders of language, manifestly the paramount dialect of national speech must gain in copiousness, flexibility, and expression, in proportion as it is enriched by contributions from many kindred dialects and the various idioms which spring up continually in every class and occupation. Each one of the countless ever-changing conditions by which humanity is impressed, has its own reflex expression; and it is fitting that every note of that great complex organ, the human heart, should unite in producing its full swell of rich and varied harmony. Lying [page iii] apart from their associates among the dead leaves of a Dictionary, a great many of the yet unwritten words and phrases of the so-called vulgar tongue may have no meaning for European and native scholars who have not heard them from the mouths of the people. But no one who has listened to and marked these same words, as they are used in combination in the proverbs and songs which are habitually quoted and sung by the people in their homes, in the streets, and on festive occasions, can fail to be impressed with their powerful significance and the strong hold they have on the affections of the people. The fossil remains of a long extinct vernacular, with the more recent unassimilated additions from the dead languages, which constitute so large a portion of written Urdu and Hindī, are tame and colourless beside the warmth and glow of the living speech. Let Moulvis and Pandits magnify as they will the artificial language which they affect in public, to distinguish them from the common herd, it is by these same vulgarisms so-called (gāṇwārī), which they would fain ignore, that they are stirred and quickened in the household and in the market, and in their public and social lives.
The rustic language to be given in this Dictionary as a chief constituent of the spoken tongue, as far as time and space will permit, will be a material help to all classes of Europeans whose duties bring them in contact with the people; for the language of books and the Dictionaries yet extant do not enable the foreigner to understand the language of the illiterate classes and the peasantry, which is, in all countries, more or less distinct from the literary language. As in England from the Conquest to the middle of the fourteenth century and in a large part of Europe at this day, so in India there are two main dialects, the shifting popular speech of familiar intercourse, which changes every 12 kos according to the native proverb, and the comparatively fixed literary language of books and correspondence.
Yet a third dialect remains. The Dictionary will include as an important integral part of the spoken tongue, the vocabulary of women (reḳhtī or zanānī bolī), as yet strangely overlooked and never before given in any work known to the compiler. Some portion of this vocabulary is more or less current in the language of men; but the greater part is still confined exclusively to women. The divergence is greatest where the men are educated Mahomedan residents of towns, while the women with whom they may be brought into relation are illiterate country-bred Hindus; and it is least where the men and women are illiterate Hindus of the rural class. Phrases which belong to women only will be given in juxta-position with the corresponding vocables used by men, when there are any; and they will be discriminated in every instance from those which have become incorporated to any extent with the language of the male sex. He who would find the best idioms of the native stock, with the truly naturalized portion of the foreign element—words which have acquired the most extended and varied meanings and expressiveness by long use—must look for them in the conservatism of the female instinct. In the speech of the women of India, moreover, is mirrored the very image of the thoughts and feelings by which humanity is moved, with the burning words which are wrung from the sharper sufferings of the weaker vessel. The songs composed by women are distinguished by a natural charm and simple pathos which make their way to the hearts of the people. Theirs is the natural language of the emotions; for they have not learnt from books—false copies mostly, and always wanting in the vividness and accuracy of direct impressions on the hearing ear and the reflex expressions of the living voice which we call speech. The only aliens in the language are creations of the pen. The only national speech is that which bears the people's stamp, and in this category the first place must be assigned to the language of women.
The seclusion of native females in India has been the asylum of the true vernacular, as pure and simple as it is unaffected by the pedantries of word-makers. It is also the soil in which the mother-tongue has its most natural development. Many of the most caustic and terse epigrams of the language have their birth in these isolated women's apartments whose inmates are jealously barred from any communication with strange men; and even the idioms which spring up out of the social and public lives of the male sex, conveyed to these retreats by their male relatives who have access to the zanānah, are sometimes moulded by female wit into the forms of their own peculiar thoughts and speech. Yet this true vernacular is not all confined to the narrow home in which it has been kept alive. The inherent vitality of living speech, and the all-pervading influence of women on language, strenuously strive to restore the deposed natives of the soil to their lawful inheritance; and the softer and more simple, natural, and expressive utterances of women mingle more or less with the harsher and more cumbrous vocables and book-learned phrases of the stronger sex, in spite of the low position assigned to the native woman in India and the contempt which her "lord and master" affects for the effeminate phraseology of mere women (aurat kī bolī).
The larger portion of the examples will consist of familiar colloquialisms which float on the lips of living men and women, but have as yet no abiding place in the written page.[page iv]
The most natural and expressive idioms are present in the spoken, not the written language; for even the diction of the simplest poets is frequently, like their imagery, strained and artificial. Hindi poetry—the small portion which is not Sanskritized—is more natural; but in Urdu poetry the licence of the poet is often carried to an extreme. Under the trammels of metre and rhyme, the natural idiom of conversation undergoes sometimes very severe contortions. Citations from the best poets may have the weight of authority; but this advantage can be purchased in too many instances only by the sacrifice of good idiom and the misleading of the learner who will be apt to mistake the poet's inversions of the natural order for idiomatic Hindustani. On the other hand, if good idioms only are to be put before the learner, they must be taken for the most part from the spoken tongue which does not carry with the learned the authority accorded to the written literature—the ready recognition by the people of the very image of their expressed thought being accounted a small thing in comparison. Some compromise may be desirable; but on the whole it seems better that the bulk of the examples should consist of the genuine idioms of the spoken tongue, to the exclusion of misleading quotations from the written language which is not always a faithful reflexion of living speech. The yet unrecognized verdict of the people will one day be preferred to the approbation of a few book-learned critics, by whose proclivities the pen of native writers is now solely guided.
It will be a Dictionary and a book of synonyms in one; comprehending under the latter title a great many words and phrases which are omitted in Dictionaries as mere Synonyms or different names for the same thing, but which are really distinct expressions for distinct modifications of the general idea, each demanding its appropriate place for which no other word is so well fitted. The collection of English equivalents of Hindustani words in this work will be found to express very nearly all the general and modified ideas which are capable of being expressed by the word under which they are placed.
The different meanings will be classified and arranged in distinct groups; the first group consisting of the words nearest in sense to the root meaning (not given in Forbes' Dictionary); the next group, of words less closely allied to it than the first: and so, generally, with the groups which follow—the words under each group being also similarly arranged in the order of the ideas of which they are the signs. Not a few secondary significations, however, are immediately derived from the primary: for, like all growth, language develops both radially and lineally.
Among secondary meanings, the first word in the group of English equivalents will represent, ordinarily, the sense in which the Hindustani word is most frequently used; the next word, the sense of less frequent recurrence, and so on.
The special sense in which the generic Hindustani word is employed, will be indicated by the Hindustani word placed after the English word or at the end of the group. The Hindustani word selected for this purpose will be, generally, the one most commonly used by the people, and it will serve also as a cross-reference pointing to more English equivalents of the same class which will be found under this word. Thus (
بگارنا), at the end of group 2, under abtar karnā, and ( ادهیرنا), at the end of group 2 under ابهارنا.
Some such arrangement may serve to mark, with some degree of approximation, the process of thought by which a word has passed into the various significations it has acquired in the course of development; while those who have to translate or write in the language may possibly be helped to find among a variety of expressions the very word most suitable to be used in a particular context.
In grouping together so many synonyms and phrases, the compiler has endeavoured to meet the requirements of a large proportion of Natives and Europeans whose knowledge is not such that they can readily call up the most appropriate word to be used in a particular place. The student moreover may need to learn that a certain Hindustani word can be employed in other senses and in the place of other English words than those to which he is restricted by the limits of his knowledge of either language.
To some English scholars, many of the English synonyms may appear superfluons. Yet the foreigner, Asiatic and European, may profit by such a help, just as the English scholar might derive benefit from a copious vocabulary of Hindustani equivalents of the English word. Moreover, the perfect English scholar, with the philologist, may need to learn that the Hindustani language, ignorantly discarded without trial by many [page v] scholars learned in the "classics," as too poor a language for the interpretation of Western science and philosophy, is already capable of expressing very many of the abstract ideas and shades of meaning which find expression in the English language.
But how as to the large proportion of imperfect scholars? It might seem, at first sight, an objection to a large number of equivalents that they may puzzle and distract the beginner who would therefore be apt to take the wrong word. This is not an unlikely contingency. But it is a contingency incident to every condition in life, in which we are continually called upon to elect between one right and many wrong. In the arrangement of the equivalents, however, and the farther help of an English Dictionary, the attentive scholar ought to find tolerably safe and sufficient guides.
Besides, the beginner is no better off when the number of significations given is restricted within some undefined and indefinable limits, which is the character of Dictionaries as they are yet compiled. The learner, whose vocabulary is limited to some two or three expressions which represent only as many senses of a certain word, must inevitably use the same expressions for other senses of the word which have their own proper appellatives. The griff who knows but one word for "shade," fānūs, a (glass) shade, must necessarily use the same word for the shade (of a tree).
The only cure for ignorance is knowledge, and it is best that this knowledge should be placed within the student's reach. It is in the absence of the right word, which will not always come when it is called, that the wrong word is often used, as more nearly expressing the writer's meaning than other wrong words successively passed in review before the mind. But the word is expunged as soon as the right word is suggested. In so far as a Dictionary is incomplete, it is a cause of avoidable error.
A language is not learnt from Dictionaries. It is acquired, as all knowledge is acquired, by much exercise in the order and combinations in which words, like things, are presented to the mind in real life. The office of a Dictionary is to make the student "remember," in the Socratic phrase; to give definiteness to what is vague; to throw a bright light on the dim shadows of faded recollections and things imperfectly apprehended; to present to the mind its own image—
"What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed."
In scanning the groups of equivalents, it will further occur to the critical reader that every word and phrase purporting to be an equivalent of the principal word, has its own proper equivalent: as, for instance, among the words included under the Hindustani qāidah of the specimen, "custom" = dastūr, "practice" = māmūl, &c. The same is true however of every expression which is used to interpret another expression. More than this. Each such word just quoted has, not one special equivalent, but several special equivalents, each equally appropriate in its place. For just as the general expression "qāidah" has several equivalents, answering to a particular application of the word; so also every one of the secondary significations of "qāidah" has different equivalents, appropriate severally to different conditions, each to each. Thus, "custom" is not "dastūr" only, but also riváj, rasm, rīt, chāl, sarrishtah, zābitah, bandhej, rāh, taur, tarīqah, beohār; and similarly, "practice" is not māmūl only, but (1) amal, istemāl, mashq, abhyās, kasrat, all falling under the general notion of a "customary act;" (2) dastūr, rivāj, rasm, rit, chāl—already mentioned under "custom" and signifying also, "usage;" (3) qaidah, zābitah, dastūr-ul-amal, intizām (a rule of practice); (4) chāl, tarīqah, taur, set down as above under "custom," and signifying, with "ḍhab," "conduct or course of action."
The true source of the hesitation sometimes felt in regard to the admission of certain secondary significations which are not immediately obvious, may be traced to the inherent tendency of the mind to associate with each word some one or more names for the particular sense in which that word has most frequently recurred to the mind, to the exclusion of other senses of less frequent recurrence and not always present or readily representable. Thus, the English word for "qāidah" which is ordinarily present to the mind, is "a rule," and "custom" is indissolubly associated with its common equivalent "dastūr." Yet in a score of cases these meanings are inapplicable.
The truth is that all significations, or so-called synonyms, are not, and can never pretend to be, the complete counterparts of a certain expression, but only so many distinct names for distinct modes or phases of a many-sided whole. "They change their force with every new relation into which they enter; and consequently their meanings are as various and as exhaustless as the permutations and combinations of the digits of the arithmetical notation." Marsh.[page vi]
The magnitude and difficulty of the undertaking are considerable. It is always difficult to draw the line between deficiency and excess. It is not easy to be at once full and accurate. Lexicographers, who give only the most ordinary and well-marked significations of a word, are sheltered under a prudent reserve which is not so satisfactory to those who have to consult the Dictionary. But he who ventures to do more and attempts to grasp the comprehensive, runs the risk of being, or seeming to be, at times inaccurate. The propriety of significations of infrequent occurrence is not sufficiently or always apparent. For such words and significations as are met with in the written language, authorities might be quoted. But the lexicographer who ventures beyond the safe boundary of the written literature, in the attempt to fix and give permanence to what yet lives only in individual minds and in the passing utterances of the tongue, treads on dubious ground. Examples from the spoken tongue which might illustrate and justify certain uses of a word, will not have the weight of authorities cited from the written language. Moreover to set them down as they are heard or remembered, and afterwards to compare conflicting idioms and forms of speech in order to determine which are most current and which are sanctioned by good usage, would be the work of a lifetime, or rather of an Academy. Not only so; but, to give examples for every sense in which a word is used, would be to swell out the Dictionary to an inordinate size. The absence of examples, however, where examples are wanting, is compensated in this work, in a measure, by such an arrangement of the secondary meanings as should serve to indicate the particular sense in which the Hindustani word is employed.
"Authority for the senses given, although always acceptable, is not so necessary in a Dictionary of a living language, and for the use of persons dwelling amidst the native speakers of it, as in the case of a dead language, and for profound closet-students. For authority, should any sense be questioned, is ordinarily at our very elbow, in the chat of our domestics or in the converse of passengers before our street-door. Authority yet we have furnished, and of the most sterling character and the highest sanction—citations from the poets and the proverbs and the idioms of the people. Senses however will be contested; for what Native knows the language wholly, and yet what Native admits that he knows it but partially? Let all objectors understand, and let the learner rest assured, that for the senses set down affirmation and confirmation have been obtained from the college and the stable, from the city and the hamlet; that for senses provincial or local, corroborative statement and illustration often strikingly satisfactory have been afforded by province-inhabitants; and that senses of the arts and the work-shop have come in from and again been referred unto tailors, weavers, potters, herdsmen, and horse-jockies. Natives, especially Brahmans, will do to the learner as they have abundantly done to ourselves, they will make reckless affirmations and denials respecting senses of words; and they will affirm and deny on one day what they will deny and affirm a few days after; and this not necessarily from any evil intent, but from lack of conversancy and training in the character and usage of popular language." Molesworth's Mahrati Dictionary.
To which it may be added that the critical enquirer who would test the accuracy of any portion of this Dictionary will encounter the same difficulty which the compiler has so frequently experienced in his endeavours to determine the accuracy of a phrase or the extent and variety of meanings of which it is capable. A phrase or signification which is familiar in one province is sometimes unknown in another. The Mahomedan may not know certain idioms which are current among Hindus. Words which are common to Hindu men and women become not unfrequently the exclusive vocabulary of the women of Mahomedan zananas, their Mahomedan lords preferring to use instead the foreign vocabulary which they brought with them when they imposed their yoke on the country. Native scholars, who plume themselves on their acquired literary language which distinguishes them from the mass, are commonly as ignorant as they are scornful of many a forcible and expressive phrase and idiom of the vulgar tongue "which only wait the appearance of some master mind who can discern the subtle affinities between the hosts of words that lie ready to hand, and present them in the various felicitous combinations by which the living power of a language is exhibited."
With a view to enlightened criticism, therefore, it is desirable that all classes and conditions of men from various parts of the country be taken into consultation before judgment is pronounced against the accuracy of a word or signification. The compiler has enjoyed the advantage of a residence during many years in Delhi and in Behar, the two poles, so to speak, of the Urdu and Hindī phases of the language which are together represented in the common term, Hindustanī. In the Mogal capital we have the polite form of the language impressed upon it by the influence of the Royal Court; while Behar, the most eastern province in which Hindī is spoken, retains traces of the oldest form of this vernacular, known as Magadhi or Magga, alike removed somewhat from the undue influence exerted in provinces farther west by Mahomedan and Hindu professors of Arabic [page vii] and Persian, and by Brahman Pundits who have too successfully restored in many instances the Sanskrit forms which the language had already thrown off in the course of development. Other important centres will also be visited; as Mathura, the head-quarters of the Brij dialect; Agra, where the compiler has also resided for some years, and where the language is less Persianized than it is in Delhi and Lucknow; the Ayudhia (Oude) of classic story where traces of the influence of an independent Native court and Native institutions are still to be met with; the sacred Kasi of the Brahmans; with Bikaner and Jodhpore as types of the Marwari form of Hindī. In the proverbs and songs and familiar speech of each something may be gleaned, well fitted to enrich the common vocabulary and to be incorporated in a general Dictionary of the national speech. This process is necessary moreover to the fusion of many dialects into one common language.
The task is not a small one, and it is beset with difficulties, insomuch that, if the general result of this some what novel attempt should be considered an improvement on the labours of the past, sufficient to serve as a basis for further extensions and improvements in the future, as much will have been done as could reasonably be expected.
On the admission of words which are conventionally regarded as "abusive, indelicate or obscene," it may be sufficient to quote the following short extract from the Prospectus.
Are words of this class to be admitted or excluded? If all such words are either to be inserted, or left out, the compiler's task will be plain and unmistakable. But if some are to be inserted, and others not, where is the line to be drawn? Is such a line definable, and could any two men be got to agree upon any line of demarcation? The equivalents may be expressed in Latin, though this might not be possible in every case while it would fail to meet the requirements of a large number who are more or less ignorant of this language. And after all, so flimsy a disguise could be demanded only by sheer mock modesty; for the conventional indecency attached to certain words, which are as necessary to the linguist as to the anatomist, is in no wise removed by its being communicated in one language rather than another. On the other hand, the integrity of the language; the demands of the philologist, the sociologist, and the philosopher; the perfect knowledge of the language which would be impossible if any part were kept back; the insight into the language and into the mind of the people which is obtained by this very class of words, and especially by the double-entendres; and above all, the absolute importance of this knowledge to judicial officers, together call for the insertion of every such word and phrase without reserve or exception. Still, it will be objected by some that their insertion would be an offence against good morals and decency. Is it desirable then to put together words of this character by themselves in a supplemental Dictionary—a sort of "cabinet obscene" in which all the filth is to be set apart and prominently distinguished and concentrated for leisurely contemplation? Scattered among numerous other words in a general Dictionary they would be consulted only by those who had occasion to ascertain their meaning; whereas to present them by themselves in a separate work would only serve to make them more conspicuous and possibly more sought after by a prurient curiosity."
It is satisfactory to note that no objection to this view has been made by any one of the many liberal supporters of the work.
Exception may possibly be taken to some of the illustrations. But their insertion is unavoidable. The present work is not a mere word Dictionary; but, as before set forth, a work which should faithfully depict the life of the people—their occupations and pleasures, with their modes of thought and feeling, as reflected in their language and literature. Without this knowledge, the law-giver legislates in the dark; the educationist frames systems of education which do not educate; the philanthropist and Christian minister only beat the air.
There is much to be learnt from many an otherwise objectionable quotation, if one is willing to learn. It is of the greatest importance, for instance, to know to what depths human nature can sink in the vitiated atmosphere of enforced female seclusion (pardah nashīnī), as contrasted with the purity to which men and women rise as social restraints are withdrawn, [page viii] and they are permitted to breathe the pure air of liberty and indulge in free social intercourse.
To remove out of sight the symptom of evil, such as the language in which it is expressed, is not to cure the evil. It is but banishing it from the light, where it is less noxious, to dark and noisome corners where it attains its rankest luxuriance. To prohibit the publication of a book is largely to increase its circulation, and every book sought to be suppressed under the Penal Code is a fortune to printers. And even if suppression were possible, where is the gain to morality while the feelings which prompt authors to write, and readers to read such works, continue as they were, and while the law is powerless to prevent the evil communications which corrupt good manners.
For the rest, whom can these specimens harm? Not the natives, for it is their own literature from which the specimens are taken, and they are mild in comparison. Not Englishmen, with their maturer intellects and higher moral and religious education—men who have read the classical literature of the Greeks and Romans, and their own standard English literature—Fielding and Smollett, Pope, Shakespeare, Byron—to say nothing of another class of literature which is always accessible.
To suppress the publication of a disagreeable fact is but to wrap yourself and others under the comforting delusion that what is not seen does not exist. It would be more manly, more honest, and more useful to permit the world to realize the fact that, with all the philanthropic and self-denying sacrifices that have been and are now being made, and in spite of legislation and education so called, the people are still in the condition in which their language palpably and unmistakably shows them to be. Mere abstract and general statements of the fact can never convey anything like the vivid impression of the reality which the language supplies.
And it is good that good men should be shocked in order that they may be roused to the amount of well-directed efforts necessary for the successful eradication of the evil with which it is their duty to grapple. It is worse than useless to battle against the mere forms and shadows of things. Educate the feelings; imbue the mind with purer tastes, and many of them; supply the opportunities for their gratification, and you have taken the most effective means to induce the individual to turn from the impure to the pure, and to engage in the variety of pleasurable occupations which prevent over-indulgence in any one direction.
Of examples from the Folklore, besides proverbs, songs, plays, riddles, etc., a great many have been taken from the proverbial sayings (sākhī and shabd) of Kabir, the great religious reformer, satirist, and moralist who lived in the sixteenth century. In the written literature by far the largest number of extracts have been made from Nazir, the only true Hindustanī Poet according to the European standard of true poetry, and the poet whom native word-worship will not allow to be a poet at all.
Nazīr is the only poet whose verses have made their way to the people. His verses are recited and sung in every street and lane, especially in his native town of Agra; and Missionaries, who are familiar with his poems, quote him and Kabir with marked effect in their street preaching. Nazīr possessed all the qualities of mind and feeling which distinguish genius. His own poems are his biography, for in them the man stands out life-like and full of individuality. With no other materials for his [page ix] portrait, certain features are conspicuous. He was in truth the āzād (independent devotee he professed himself. He was really the unworldly stoic so many pretend to be. He cared not for any of the gifts or accidents of fortune. He wanted nothing. He cared for no man, nor woman either except to admire her from a distance. Good fortune did not elevate him. Ill- fortune did not depress him. As he has himself expressed it—apnī khāl meṅ mast (he revelled in his own skin). He never cared to preserve any of his own writings. It is related of him that he was wont to fling down his effusions as they were penned for any of his pupils and friends who cared to pick them up.
In the broadest sense of the word, he was greatly independent, original, philosophic, catholic. The versatility of his genius is seen in the many-colored variety of subjects which he handled. The poetry which he has evolved from common things—as no other Hindustanī poet has condescended, or been able to do—is ignorantly regarded by native scholars as the surest proof that he was no poet. "He has written," they say, "on such common subjects as flour and dāl (pulse), flies and musquitoes." His versatility and power of imagination are further displayed in the various aspects in which he has pourtrayed the same things in different poems. His poems are a picture gallery in which may be seen speaking pictures of the sports and pastimes, pleasures and enjoyments, pain and misery, and the mind and feelings of the natives of India.
Nazīr had a keen sympathy with nature, and with every form of humanity. He saw good in every thing. He is happy when the multitude are happy. He enjoys their sports and pleasures. He feels their distresses. He is the only Hindustanī poet who has written of the love of children, and the only one with any bowels of compassion for the poor and unfortunate, the outcast and distressed, and the most abandoned of God's creatures. As he has nobly expressed it in the concluding verse of his noble poem on man, the ādmī-nāmā,
"Achchhā bhī ādmī hī kahātā hai, aë Nazīr!
Aur sab meṅ jo burā hai, so hai woh bhī ādmī."
And they who are the best of all, they are but men;
And they who are the worst of all, they too are men.
And his picture of pure Platonic love is as peculiarly his own as it is singularly well drawn.
The best portion of his poems do not appear in any printed collection bearing his name. They are heard only from the lips of wandering devotees (āzād) and the illiterate classes who find in their own breasts the better feelings of human nature which Nazīr has depicted so well. These illiterate men have their favorite poems by heart, as the literate class have not the writings of their favorite poets; and a larger proportion of them enjoy listening to these popular poems, and devote more time to this enjoyment than do a very few literary men here and there to the unreal word—poets whom they profess to admire. And the pleasure of the illiterate is the more intense also, as their instincts are more true and the object of their admiration more worthy.
His purity of mind and delicacy of treatment are such that even when he raises an obscene image—when this is necessary to the fidelity and completeness of his picture—the [page x] obscenity is so delicately veiled that it is not apparent always even to the natives who indulge so freely in double entendres. When he has to bring out the superior excellence of a pure passion by the effect of contrast, the sensuous image is not permitted to linger in the mind and efface the pure image which the poet keeps steadily before the reader. Handling, as he does, some of the most grossly indecent themes with a piquancy which is essential to fidelity and vivid representation, the obscenity is lost in the wit and refinement of expression which command your admiration.
Nazīr laid under contribution the treasures of the mother tongue. He has done in this matter what only kings like Chaucer and Shakespeare succeeded in doing. He has presented Hindī words in all the felicitous combinations of which they were capable; and, with the bold self-confidence of genius, he has dared to use words in new combinations and senses which are always happy.
There is scarcely an indifferent line in all that Nazīr has written. And a very large proportion of what he has written is a study. The depth of his thought, and the force of his combinations in which each word brings out the meaning of the other, come out the more they are dwelt upon. Literary native scholars, who strive and strain after words merely, are so deficient in reach of thought that they frequently miss the breadth and significance of Nazīr's meaning, and they fail also to perceive the peculiar aptness of his combinations, with all that they convey. And this is the poet who is quite unknown almost to European readers, for native scholars and poets never deign to name him.
The idol of the literary class who are incompetent to appreciate Nazīr, is Nasikh, Nasikh whose similes are most ingeniously unlike and wide of the truth, and whose language is only a string of Arabic and Persian words and Persian constructions, in which company a vulgar Hindī auxiliary or particle is admitted only when it cannot possibly be kept out.
It was not so easy to ignore the peripatetic philosopher and reformer who went about among the people, holding up to them the very image of their thought. Kabir spoke in proverbs which sank in the minds of the people who passed them on from lip to lip and from age to age.
His proverbial sayings were never, fortunately, committed to writing, except in so far as individuals, here and there, wrote down what they could collect for their own reading. If they had been written or printed for general readers, the Pandits would have "corrected" them, as they have done the Ramaini—for the most part a spurious work in which very narrow ideas and Brahminical doctrines, expressed in the artificial language of the Pandits (Panḍitāi), are made to disfigure and deface the broad philosophic truths and homely language of Kabir.
Like all earnest reformers who are all too wrapped in the convictions which they burn to propogate, to allow them to think much of their own personality, Kabir never assumed any personal importance or supernatural power. But in the Ramaini and in some other writings, his followers, who lacked the enthusiasm and humility of the founder of their faith, have, for their own purposes, interpolated many passages in which they have magnified the office of the gurū or spiritual guide, no where named by Kabir himself.
Kabir's was a philosophic mind, always far-reaching, broad, deep. Emancipating himself from the thraldom of passive beliefs received on authority, he dared ever to expose the pretensions of all sects who claimed a knowledge of the Incomprehensible Absolute. He boldly [page xi] challenges the propounders of mystic thought veiled in a vague unmeaning form of words, to define their meaning. He exposes inconceivable abstractions by shewing that they comprehend no concrete forms. And, from demonstrating the vanity of all pretensions to knowing the Unknowable, he passes on to universal truths which rest on human experience, and presents his condensed generalizations in terse, caustic, epigrammatic language.
Kabir was no bigot. With judicial impartiality and rare courage he lashed alike the empty formalities and deceitful hypocrisies of Hindu and Mahomedan. Yet both claimed him for their own, and fought over his body. There is not perhaps another such example in history of two great rival creeds claiming for their own, one who not only belonged to neither, but whose life was spent in exposing the deficiencies of both.
In his language, as in his sentiments, Kabir was no sectarian. Whatever words were most familiar to the people he freely used, whether Arabic, Persian, or Hindī. If Hindī forms a chief constituent of his language, it is because Hindī as the mother tongue must needs be the most familiar and expressive.
Kabir's similes are always striking because they are always taken from the most familiar things of daily experience. To give a wide interpretation to a proverb which the natives are fond of quoting—"Bagal meṅ laṛkū, shahar meṅ ḍhaṅḍora" (The child is in the arms, and the town crier cries, "lost child")—inferior poets have failed in the degree in which they have overlooked or despised the similes and familiar colloquialisms to their hand, and have strained instead after images and language far removed from experience and daily use.
A long way after the Hindustanī poet and the practical philosopher, comes Mir Hasan, who excels in descriptive power. After him may be placed Shauq, Rangin, and Insha who have written in the natural language of women. Jan Sahab of Lucknow, still living, has also written, professedly, in the women's language. But though the words are mostly those used by women, the construction is often very artificial.
Of poets best known to Europeans, Sauda's satires are sometimes witty, but they are often absurdly extravagant and overdrawn. His gazals (love songs) are, like all gazals as a rule, highly Persianized and artificial. Mir Taqi's language is simple and idiomatic. The same may be said of portions of Jurat.
The large number of Hindī words from a single root, and their usually numerous secondary meanings testify to the vitality of the living root, which continually throws out new shoots as it assimilates fresh matter from its ever changing environment. It is widely different with Persian and Arabic exotics and the literary Sanskrit of a by-gone age—mere stunted growths, or dead matter, in the degree in which they are uncongenial to the soil, or lack the inspiration which is derived only from the living breath of a people.
In the various equivalent expressions used by the illiterate classes, and in the rustic and provincial, or dialectic varieties of the Hindī word, the student may grasp, at a glance, the root letters, with their equivalents, and thus acquire a ready mastery of the popular language and the motley rustic speech.
They are instructive also to the philologist. Certain forms, which philologists have assigned to an earlier stage of the language, are current at this day by the side of other forms ascribed to a later stage of development. A great many Prakrit forms are now present [page xii] in the rustic language, and many more might be traced if the varieties of the spoken tongue were collected, and we possessed more Prakrits than we do, with more faithful copies of words as they were pronounced. Prakrit forms abound especially in the Maggah of Behar and the peculiar dialect of Saharanpore.
In the matter of derivations of Hindī words given in this work, there will naturally be, in consequence of our present defective knowledge, much difference of opinion. With the exception of Wilson's Glossary, in which some official terms have been derived from Sanskrit, and Beames' Comparative Grammar in which the Sanskrit and Hindī roots of many Hindī words have been ably traced, nothing has been yet done in this department of lexicography. Nor have we yet the requisite data for this purpose. The rich and extensive field of rustic, provincial, and dialectic forms of Hindī words must be worked before it will be possible to say what consonants are, or are not convertible, and so to fix with certainty the verbal roots which are even now traceable, in many instances, in large classes of words used in various senses or modifications of one generic meaning. Something has been done in this way by the compiler, as far as the limited time and inadequate instruments at his disposal would permit, and it is his intention to publish separately a table of equivalent consonants, with copious examples, as a contribution to the great scheme of which Mr. Beames is the able originator and pioneer. Possibly the data to be furnished by the contemplated publication will justify many derivations to which, at present, exception might be taken.
The derivations given in the Dictionary will be, for the most part, Hindī rather than Sanskrit or Prakrit. Sanskrit and Prakrit derivations are, necessarily, more or less hypothetical or doubtful; while the determination of the Hindī root letters of the numerous dialects now current, promises all the certainty of induction based on a large number of observable facts, with the obvious advantage of being of more practical use to the student.
The expression, equivalent consonants, is used here in preference to the term "consonantal transitions or changes" heretofore employed in philology, because this expression includes all the varieties of sound or speech which certainly subsist in the present day in different parts of the country, as the varying expressions which correspond to diversities in the organism modified by changing environments; while it is not so certain that the consonantal transitions, affirmed to have taken place in the evolution of language, have actually taken place. For, but few types of modern spoken tongues have been yet thoroughly investigated, and these have been compared almost exclusively with ancient literary languages which often differ widely from their contemporary vulgar dialects. Besides which, the few writings which profess to represent the vulgar tongue of former ages cannot be relied on as true phonetic copies of this tongue as it was actually pronounced and spoken. Moreover, while the broader term, equivalents, includes "transitions," the part could not include the whole.
It seems not unlikely that an exhaustive exploration of the numerous varieties of equivalent Hindī forms current in our own times would reveal the truth that there are not a few equivalent consonants not yet recognized in Philology.
The sea of Indian dialects supplies new data for sound speculation. Some highly important questions are suggested. Have we sufficient data for affirming that language develops from the formal, inflexional, or synthetic, as it is variously called, to the non-inflexional, analytic, or positional stage? Can the natural order of development be predicated from a comparison of two such unlike things as written and spoken languages? Are not the agglutinative, flexional, and analytic processes now going on at the same time in different parts of the [page xiii] modern languages known to us? Is the received distinction that the dead languages of antiquity were inflexional languages in which the sense was independent of the relative position of the words; while modern languages, on the other hand, are designated non-inflexional languages in which the sense depends on the relative position of the words, anything more than a difference in the points of view, respectively, of the foreigner who looks at a language from without, and the native who looks at it from within—the difference between the outer and inner aspects of the same thing? Must not every language be, from its very nature, positional or idiomatic, which inflexional languages are said not to be? Might not the inflected portions of a word, in many cases, be written separately, so as to wear the analytic form of particles and auxiliaries? Is not every modern Aryan vernacular inflexional, inasmuch as certain added words have contracted, and others are in process of contracting into syllables and letters which have no distinct meaning and cannot be used by themselves—that is, some have passed, and others are passing from the agglutinative to the inflexional stage? Can there be but three, or any fixed number of stages in language, when Protaean nature, of which language is the condensed expression, exhibits from moment to moment all the changing forms and colors of a kaleidoscope, with countless processes and stages of development going on around us continually? These questions have a bearing on the value of Hindī, and its place in the family of languages.
Written Sanskrit, like the classical Latin from which the Romance languages are commonly held to have been developed, represents but one form, and that the literary form of the language, used presumably by a very small section of the community; and, in the absence of reliable phonographs of the vulgar dialects of the Sanskritic age, it must be held at the least a moot point whether or not the popular Hindī of to-day, heretofore described as an off-shoot of literary Sanskrit, is not descended rather from the vulgar tongue which must have existed by its side.
Judging from analogy, it is inconceivable that the vulgar tongue of the great mass of an unlettered people could have grown out of a difficult literary language which their rude progenitors, it may be presumed, did not know and did not speak. It seems far more probable that the rustic Hindī of to-day is the rustic Hindī, more or less changed, of the illiterate ancestors of the illiterate millions now living. When the literary language of a small section died of the inanition induced by a narrow caste exclusiveness which confined its use to a few, the vulgar tongue, when it was committed to writing for the first time, was no new language or development from the literary language, but the same popular speech which had lived for ages in the mouths of the people, till then uninscribed in written characters because the illiterate class who spoke it could not write it for themselves, while the literary class would not deign to admit into their literature the vulgar tongue which they despised. While the pedantry of scholars, growing with the artificial wordiness it feeds on and the wide distinction which it continually strives to make between themselves and the mass of the people, had caused the written language to diverge more and more from the spoken tongue—destined, however, with the return of a sounder taste, to converge again towards its prototype—the perennial stream of living speech of the unlettered mass has flowed on ever in its own bed, self-sustained, self-moving, and apart.
If the modern vernacular then is not derived from the classical language, can it still be maintained that the course of language is from the inflexional to the analytic? Do the terms in fact comprehend any real difference of structure? If the particles and auxiliaries which are held to characterize modern Aryan languages be written as component parts of the words to which they are related, the form in which the whole word is represented to the eye is the inflexional, not the analytic form. Indeed we know that in the Persian character in which [page xiv] Hindustani is written, particles and auxiliaries are commonly inscribed as though they were component parts respectively of the noun and verb to which they are joined; and, in fact, the letters of a word are often written so wide apart, and separate words are written so close together that, without knowing the words of the language beforehand, it is impossible to tell where one word begins and another ends. And Tulsi Das's Ramayan, like all Sanskrit and Hindī writings, has a very formidable look from the practice of writing half a dozen words as one word. But the laws of language have to do with the original, not the copy; and least of all with the unfaithful copies of living speech which have been handed down to us.
The assumptions of philologists are continually raising up anomalies for the explanation of which a succession of ingenious theories are devised, only to be pulled down again by other theories more or equally ingenious. Assume that the modern vulgar tongue is a lineal descendant of the classical language, and you have to account for the first appearance of a structure in the offspring widely different from that of its putative parent. Admit the greater probability of the vulgar tongue of to-day being the vulgar tongue of the Sanskritic age, more or less modified, and you have not to confront the self-created difficulty of accounting for the first appearance of particles and auxiliaries in the first symbolic representation of the spoken vulgar tongue, or the assumed reversion of later types to those of an earlier stage which the language is said to have already passed.
An unprejudiced and thorough investigation of living spoken tongues might reveal the fact that languages are at once agglutinative, inflexional, and analytic. Here, words are being joined to or added on to other words; and there, added words have contracted into syllables or letters which have no meaning by themselves. And all this time, combinations of words, and sentences or parts of sentences have taken, or are taking certain fixed meanings according to the respective connexions and positions of individual words.
Because the grammarian can make a great many permutations and combinations of the words of a sentence in an inflexional dead language without any change of meaning, as it appears to him, it does not follow that such transpositions were admissible in the idiom of the language as it was spoken by the native. Indeed analogy would justify us in asserting that many of the transposed sentences must have been unintelligible to him, or they might have conveyed to his mind a very different meaning from the one intended. Shut out from the inner view of the language as it presents itself to the native, the foreigner who can look at it only from without, in this, as in most things, substitutes his own defective image for the reality; and, from decyphering a forgotten language, arrogates the power of constructing it anew. While the native orders his words and frames his periods in the logical order of his thoughts and the emotions which he feels, or desires to produce in others—thus giving to his language a certain positional and idiomatic character— the stranger has to approach the same language by means of preliminary observations of certain distinctive forms and agreements, and so spell out the syntax before he can make out the meaning.
The logical or positional character, which is said to distinguish modern languages from the classical languages of antiquity, is necessarily inherent in language inasmuch as certain combinations and arrangements of words become structural and fixed in the language according to the frequency with which these have recurred in the ordinary speech of the people.
No language could have been formed on an elaborately devised and regular system [page xv] of inflexions, and concord, and government. The formal look of a language is not its essential character; though, in the development of knowledge, the morphological classification inevitably comes before the physiological. The people know nothing of case and declension, the rules of syntax, or the empiric process by which the grammarian gropes his way till he arrives at the key word which discloses to him the meaning of an inscription in an unknown tongue. The spontaneous utterances of living speech are not governed by the wooden frame- work of grammar, or the fictions of the grammarian who exceeds his province when, from the interpretation of a forgotten language, he attempts the impossible task of construction.
All the inflexions of case and gender, number and person, mood and tense which words undergo when they combine with other words—equally with euphony and alliteration, metre and rhyme—are but the unpremeditated reflex actions that respond to the universal rhythm of nature of which man is the vocal expression.
One effect of early application to Greek and Latin—to the neglect of a similarly exhaustive analysis of the mother tongue—is an exaggerated faith in the power of grammar as a key to a language. Grammar becomes associated with the earliest triumphs and greatest feats of scholarship, and grammar is ever after a subject of the greatest reverence. Grammar was the key which helped to unlock the hidden mysteries and incomparable beauties of a classical language. What are non-classical languages in comparison? With grammar we interpreted. With grammar we may construct. Idiom counts for very little, excepting only when one knows the true idioms of a language; and then, naturally, a false idiom is very shocking. The common expression for bad writing is, not bad idiom, but "bad grammar." The mode of teaching and the mode of examination partake of the colour of our thoughts. Moulvis and Pandits teach, and their pupils, both European and native, learn, not idioms, but grammar. Examiners put questions in grammar, not idiom. Neither the Moulvis and Pandits who teach, nor the Examiners who examine, require the examinees to point out the idioms in a passage, or to distinguish between the good and bad idioms in it. Is this unnecessary? Put the question to the pupils of a native school—nay, ask the question of their native teachers. As a rule, they don't even know what an idiom (mahāvarā) is. The teacher himself cannot detect a bad idiom, and only when you suggest the right idiom is he able to recognize the impure metal as brass, and not sterling gold. The case is very similar with Europeans who are reckoned among the most proficient vernacular scholars, and especially with those who are Arabic, or Sanskrit scholars. Whatever else they know, they cannot express themselves in idiomatic Hindustanī or Hindī, or detect faults of idiom in a vernacular translation or composition, notwithstanding a long residence in the country. The liberty they assume of making arbitrary changes of position in a dead language, is the liberty they take with the living vernacular. Apparently it never occurs to them that a living Greek or Roman of the classic age might laugh to scorn many of the presumably unintelligible and unidiomatic constructions of the best classical scholars of modern times. Similarly, in the Indian venaculars, faults of idiom and construction do not offend their unconscious ear. One construction is as legitimate as another, provided the rules of grammar are not violated. For a like reason, Moulvis and Pandits are among the most unidiomatic writers of Hindustanī and Hindī. Their sole ambition is to acquire a name as Arabic and Sanskrit scholars. They don't care to write their vernacular idiomatically. And they don't. So with them, likewise, Grammar is all; idiom, nothing.
When Grammar is relegated to its proper office of construing a dead language, and in the case of living languages, of furnishing such general rules as will help a foreigner out of a ditch; and when idiom is recognized as the chief characteristic feature of a language, and the present mode of examining and teaching is altered, it will be possible to have [page xvi] a vernacular literature sufficiently intelligible and interesting to find readers among the natives, in whose behalf much philanthropic labor and money are now wasted in bad translations and compilations that, deservedly, are never read outside the schools in which, in the case of text books, the reading of them is compulsory.
Whether or not the growth of language is in the order ascribed to it by philologists, it is certain that Hindī, like other living languages, exhibits at this day the integration and disintegration which is the law of nature. Here are single letters and words with all the mobility of the gaseous state, entering into new combinations, taking various new forms, and differentiating into new significations and modes of speech. There, component letters of words are disintegrating and dropping off in the rapid utterances of speech, or the inability to catch certain sounds, or to articulate them when heard; and occasionally entire words and phrases perish of atrophy from the gradual disuse consequent on the cessation of the conditions to which they owed their birth and use.
If "the sentence is the raw material of the word," may not the word be even more aptly designated the raw material of the sentence? Single words must have existed separately before the compound words into which they combine. In the compound word is implied the predicate, into which it is often expanded for the sake of greater precision of thought and language. Next, qualifying words are added; and then, particles and connectives by means of which the mutual relations between the thoughts, and between the words which express them, are rendered more definite and complete. In language, as in nature, the simple is continually growing into the complex, and the loose and disjointed into the fixed and compact. And subsequently, as well as concurrently in other portions of the language, the reverse process takes place. Whole sentences and phrases solidify and harden into single words in which are compressed the complex or comprehensive meaning once expressed by a combination of separate words. And thus is established in language the orbit of change— form which reflects the periodic revolutions of integration and disintegration impressed on it by nature.
The laws of language can hardly be investigated independently of the laws of the sentient and thinking mind of which it is the expression, nor these again independently of the impressions or forces of universal nature which are acting upon it from moment to moment.
We read every now and again of the peculiar copiousness and flexibility, the expressiveness and power of forming words which this or that language possesses over other languages. Is this a measure of special knowledge of the one, combined with comparative or absolute ignorance of the others? Are copiousness and poverty really inherent and unalterable properties of certain languages? But for the deliberate asseverations of great scholars, one might imagine that every language must possess, necessarily, as many words and idioms as there are ideas and modes of thought and feeling in the people who speak it, and that languages are enriched as the nation starts to a new life, and thought and feeling are stimulated, and new ideas are acquired. "The vocabulary of the English language gained more words in one generation than it had imported or revived in the three centuries which elapsed since the Norman conquest." Was the English language then an intrinsically poor language previously when it lacked the political and social activity necessary for the growth and fructification of the good seed?
Nor has one language greater flexibility and word-forming power than another, [page xvii] because this one forms words after a different method, quite as useful and expressive, and as well suited to the particular genius of the language? If Greek among classics, and English, for example, among modern languages, possesses certain idioms so expressive as to be untranslatable into any other language, and circumlocutions must be employed to express but feebly what is so strongly expressed in a single word of the original; so has Hindī, among other languages, a large number of very expressive idioms which are quite untranslatable.
The truth is that the language which is associated with the toils and triumphs of our earlier years, and the sounds, and periods, and turns of expression which have gained expressiveness from frequent repetition, will always have for our ears a music and a meaning which we are unable to associate with other languages which were learnt later, or of which we know much less or nothing at all. The cautious scientific investigator and eclectic philosopher, however, might be expected to allow for such prolific sources of error as a strong bias and the absence of the necessary data for intelligent and fair comparison.
A good deal has been written, likewise, about the greater definiteness and precision of words borrowed from the classics. The undisciplined illiterate man, like the vulgar tongue which he uses, is pronounced unequal to any such scientific precision. Is this a well ascertained fact, or is it one of those one-sided and partial verdicts which literary men, like other people with class prejudices, are so accustomed to pronounce in their own favor and against the unrepresented millions and their ways and language of which they may possibly know very little or next to nothing?
Merely remarking by the way that the larger and more exact scientific knowledge of modern times enables us to select terms which connote a greater number of qualities and more striking phenomena than those known in the classic age, in which classical words could express no more than the ideas for which they stood, let us observe how the so-called ignorant, uneducated man proceeds when he has to give a name to something which he sees for the first time. His method is, spontaneously, as truly scientific as that of the most scientific man who ever made a scientific nomenclature. He sees a train for the first time. What does it most resemble? It is most like a gāṛī (wheeled conveyance). It is forthwith brought under the genus gāṛī. But this is a novel kind of gāṛī for which he has no suitable word in his language, for the sufficient reason that he does not possess the thing. He therefore adopts the English word rail (rel) which he tacks on to the word gāṛī, and rel-gāṛī is the new compound which denotes both genus and species. But here is another kind of gāṛī for letters only. In this case he has no occasion to take the English word, and he does not. A Post office is, in his own language, a Dāk-ghar (Post-house). So the mail train is called the Dāk-gāṛī.
Another illustration will serve to show the method which has been employed for determining the popular Hindustanī technical terms to be given in this Dictionary. A thermo- meter is shown to a class of native pupils who are learning Physical science—without a book—in their mother tongue. It is not called by any name. The class is required to observe and make out for themselves the nature and use of the instrument; the teacher merely directing their observation when necessary by some suggestive hint. The mercury is seen to rise and fall as the heat from the hand is applied and withdrawn, and the effect is read off in the scale which is attached to the tube. Now, what would be the most appropriate name for it? One boy suggests one name; and another, another. Eventually, the simplest name which best denotes the nature and function of the instrument, usually commends itself to the whole class, and it is adopted. The instrument is a garmī nāp (heat measure), a new compound formed of two Hindī words which are in familiar use among the lettered and unlettered classes.[page xviii]
It is to Raë Sohan Lāl, the very able Head Master of Patna Normal School, that the compiler is indebted for the large collection of popular Hindustanī scientific terms which will appear in this Dictionary—terms in pure Mathematics, Physics, Electricity, Astronomy, Anatomy, Physiology, Botany, Philosophy, etc. And it is to his popular science treatises, readers, and other literary pieces in popular Hindustanī, or Hindī, that the compiler is able to point, among modern compositions, for evidences of the force, copiousness, and expressiveness of spoken Hindī.
The popular scientific terms just referred to, with their Arabic and Sanskrit equivalents, will be given likewise in a supplement to this work in the alphabetical order of the English words, as in the following specimen:—
ENGLISH. HINDUSTĀNĪ. ARABIC. SANSCRIT. Undulatory motion, Lahr chāl (wave motion), Harakat-i-maujȳā, Trang gati. Pendulum, Laṭkan (what hangs), Shāqūl-i-motaharrik. Chalāyamān lambak. Accelerated velocity, Baṛhtī chāl, Motazāid miqdār-i-harakat. Bardhit gati pramānu. Retarded velocity, Ghaṭtī chāl, Motanāqis miqdār-i-harakut. Nyūnmān gati pramānu. Valve, Khul muṅdnī (that which opens and shuts). Forces in equilibrium, Tule hue zor (balanced forces), Muyūl-i-m/?/otadilah. Tulāëmān shakti. Rotatory motion, Chakkar chāl (wheel motion), Harakat-i-waz/?/aī Chakr gati. Perpendicular line, Khaṛī lakīr (standing line), Amūd, Lambak. Proportion, Barābar nisbat (equal ratios), Tanāsub, Paraspar sambandh. Right angle, Khaṛā konā (standing angle), Zāwīa-i-qāimah, Sam konā (equal angle). Acute angle, Sukṛā konā (contracted angle), Zāwīa-i-hāddah, Nyūn konā (less angle). Obtuse angle, Phailā konā (extended angle), Zāwīa-i-munfarejah. Adhik konā (greater angle). Parallel lines, Bīch barābar lakīr (equidistant lines). Khutūt-i-motawāzī. Samān antār rekha. Diagonal, Adh kāṭ (half cutter), Qutr, Bhuj karn. Sine, Sāmne kī nāp (front measure)—abbreviation, san. Jaib (pocket), Bhujajya (chord of an arm). Cosine, Sāth konē kī nāp (measure of the complementary angle)—abbreviation, sāsan. Jaib-i-mustawi, Kotijya. Tangent, Chhūtī nāp (touching line measure)—abbreviation, chhan. Zil (a shadow), or momās. Sparsh rekha. Secant, kāṭtī nāp (the cutting line measure)—abbreviation, kan. Sahm (an arrow). Chhedan rekha.
All words belonging to the literary language will be represented as they are written by the literary class. But all words of the rustic language, with the vocabulary of the unlettered inhabitants of towns, will be spelt just as they are pronounced by the classes who use them. The written character should be, what it is meant to be, a true image of the sounds it professes to stand for, and therefore the correct orthography is the one which faithfully pictures the spoken word, and not the literary form which is often a picture of nothing but the pedantry of a small section who insist on perverting nature according to their own artificial standard and the melody most agreeable to their own ears. The corrupted form is, not the form in which the word comes spontaneously from the warm lips of millions, but the arbitrarily altered form given to it by the exclusive caste of literati who, in their language as in other matters, affect a singularity which shall distinguish them from vulgar humanity. This tendency may be observed in our own day in such words as zubāṅ for zabān, namak for nimak, fulāṅ for falāṅ.
Equally as regards the dialect and the orthography which should be adopted, the interests of the unlettered millions should have more weight than the interests or proclivities of a small oligarchy of letters. And all who appreciate the vast importance of free communication with the people and the common justice of learning from their own lips the wants and wrongs for which we legislate in the Council Chamber, will hail with satisfaction whatever prominence is given to the rustic language and the exact representations of their words as they are pronounced by the people. Besides this, there is the great gain to philology in being permitted to read faithful phonographs of the very words of the vulgar tongue as they were spoken.
If the literary language has a larger vocabulary of scientific and abstract terms, the rustic language is richer in concrete terms which are minutely and vividly expressive of objects and events perceived by the senses. The knowledge of the literary man is largely composed of reflections and inferences which are often wrong. The knowledge of the rustic is derived from direct personal observations which can hardly he wrong. The knowledge of the first is obtained mostly at second hand, from books. The knowledge of the rustic is knowledge of what he has himself seen and handled. And his language, like his knowledge, is direct, vivid, fresh. He never uses a wrong word in the wrong place; for he speaks his mother tongue, and he knows no other. The literary man often uses the wrong word, or he uses the right word in the wrong place; for he writes, if he does not speak, an acquired language. Those racy, neat, and pithy bits of sentences, called Proverbs, in which are condensed truths of the widest generalization realized by human experience, are the utterances of the illiterate classes, not of literary scholars. Indeed the rustic language must needs be the more true to nature, and therefore more vivid and expressive, because it is the expression of what an unlettered people have repeatedly themselves seen and felt.
But the rustic dialects are numerous, and so different from one another. Which dialect can we adopt, and will the adopted dialect be intelligible to the inhabitants of provinces and districts who speak another dialect? The answer is, just as Chaucer was able to employ with such success a common dialect which approved itself to the English nation, so is there at the present time a common popular Hindī which is intelligible and full of meaning to all classes of rustics speaking different varieties of the language.
The distinction heretofore made in writing certain words with certain specific meanings with a cerebral, and the same words with certain other specific meanings with a dental d, t, r, has been disregarded in this work in those cases where the different meanings appeared to be mere modifications of one and the same generic meaning. In all such cases it is [page xx] found that while the dental is the usage in one province, the cerebral is the usage in another, and frequently both are in use in the same province. The same may be said of the aspirate which, whether initial, medial, or final, is often dropped or inarticulate in the spoken tongue.
The accented syllable of the Romanized Hindustanī word has been given in this work for the first time. If the accent always fell on the long vowel, accentuation would be superfluous. But the accent often falls on the short vowel. Moreover the ear of the foreigner usually fails to catch the accent, insomuch that some European vernacular scholars have denied that there is any accent in Hindustanī. And native scholars, who naturally never make a mistake in accent, cannot tell you which syllable is accented and which unaccented.
The compound words and derivatives have been placed in alphabetical order under the leading root word to which they are related. Thus, āb-pāshi irrigation, āb bigaṛna to lose polish, āb tāb splendour, āb dāna meat and drink, āb-kār a distiller, ābī irrigated, etc. follow after the leading word äb water, polish, etc. This arrangement has the recommendation of being, not only scientific, but also an aid to the student who is thus enabled to perceive at once a portion of the specific meaning of a compound or derivative word.
The leading words are distinguished from the compounds and derivatives by the use of larger Persian type, placed before the Romanized word; while the compounds and derivatives appear in the Roman character, sometimes with, and sometimes without Persian and Nāgrī characters after it.
The difficulties attending the compilation of this work have been singularly great and uncommon. In most novel undertakings, if the instruments are not available, they can be designed and made by inventive power and skill. But mental gifts are not made, and special acquirements require time. The pure taste for the natural, and true, and simple is especially rare in the native literary class in India who, almost to a man, despise truth to nature as all too tame and common, and the mother tongue as the language of vulgar, illiterate people. Their admiration is for the extravagant and unreal, the foreign and factitious.
Similarly, that enviable command of the mother tongue which can readily call up the very word or idiom, the proverb or the verse, the anecdote or allusion most appropriate to the occasion, and which is able to more an audience to tears or laughter, or to inspire them with admiration or fire their enthusiasm, is always rare. And it is found, generally, not in the literary class who speak and write, for the most part, an acquired, artificial language, but among the illiterate classes who speak the natural language of their emotions and whose language has all the force and expressiveness which time only can confer.
Thus it happens that those natives who possess some degree of command of the true vernacular, do not know English; and those who know English do not know their vernacular.
Moulvis and Pandits can be had in plenty. Arabic and Sanskrit, with Persian, have been always in demand. They are regarded as accomplishments which distinguish the possessor from the common herd, as learned men and scholars, with a certain social rank; and the Government has founded Professorships of these languages. And be it noted also that the pretensions of the men who fill these chairs are unassailable; for who is able to say that the Professor of a dead language does not write in the pure idiom of the native who once spoke that language, and where is the Arabic or Sanskrit Dictionary in which any thing like a scientific classification of the various meanings has been yet attempted?[page xxi]
But there are yet no honors or rewards for a master of the mother tongue. It has no value in the market. There is no chair yet for the common gaṅwārī, the popular speech, or the rustic dialects; though the day will come when there shall be chairs for the vernacular, as, with the progress of useful knowledge and emotional culture, the claims of the national language of millions come to be more generally recognized.
Moreover, unlike the Arabic or Sanskrit Professor, the man who professes to be a master of the inexhaustible and growing idioms of the living speech of numerous classes of a numerous people, would have need to be well armed against the criticisms of many thousands who are more or less versed in the true idioms of their mother tongue.
There can be no supply where there has been no demand; and men who have not been taught to read, cannot be reached by an advertisement. And if they could be reached, what rustic would presume to appear as a candidate for an office in the literary world? For has he not always been told ever since the reign of letters began, that he is an ignoramus who speaks a vulgar incorrect language? Masters of their national tongue there are. But they must be sought in byeways and obscure villages, where their natural gifts and rustic eloquence are admired by rustics with uncorrupted tastes like their own. For they shrink from the sneer and jeer of towns, to which their natural language exposes them, and they pick up as they can the acquired language of the literary class. And when the rustic has acquired a few of their phrases, and has perhaps learnt to read and write a little besides, he parades his new acquisitions with or without occasion, and he looks down from the miserable footstool of his conceited imagination, and talks disparagingly of the rustic language which he henceforth discards as the language of gaṅwārs (boors). One inhabitant of a village, who was engaged by the compiler for his knowledge of the rustic language, would give a town or literary phrase for the rustic equivalent required of him. He could read and write a little, and he would on no account suffer a gaṅwārī word to escape his lips in the presence of literary men of which class he now esteemed himself a member. He had to be sent away finally as far too fine for our purpose.
The lamentable result of all this is that men whose natural taste is yet uncorrupted and who possess some command of the popular language and its Folklore, cannot read and write; and those who can read and write have vitiated tastes, without a due command of the mother tongue, while they commonly conceal what they do know of it.
Of several collectors of popular Hindī songs entertained by the compiler, two only had the taste to select pure rustic songs descriptive of the real life of the people and expressed in their own simple and piquant language. The contributions of the rest displayed, for the most part, the pedantic and frivolous elaboration of the Pandit and the rhymester. They were descriptive of nothing, being made up entirely, or chiefly, of farfetched conceits, with the usual play upon words and the jingle of rhyme. One Sanskrit and English scholar, whose taste, one would expect, should have been formed by his course of studies in the English language and literature in a Government College, wrote to the compiler that he had, at his request, procured several rustic songs, "but the language was very inaccurate and he was waiting for time to correct the papers." This incident is capped by another. An intelligent English and Oriental scholar, who has passed through a Government College with distinction, begged that the compiler would not disfigure his work by any quotations from Nazir! This native gentleman occupies a prominent place in the preparation of books for the improved vernacular literature which is reported to be growing up under the fostering care of the promoters of native education![page xxii]
In English again, the natives, as a rule, are more fluent than solid. They have got by heart from the Dictionary, or from their teacher, certain words which they repeat in the place of certain other words of which they may be required to give the meaning. But they attach no definite notion to the words which come so glibly from their tongues. They learn off Latin and Greek derivations of English words. But they cannot trace the root meaning through the various secondary significations of the word, or classify them, on the other hand, under one generic meaning. Nor are they capable of discriminating between different secondary meanings, or of pointing out, either in English or in their vernacular, all that the word includes, and all it excludes. Neither is the native Anglo-vernacular scholar competent to translate a simple English sentence into idiomatic Hindustanī, and still less to recast it in his mind and present it to native readers from the native point of view. Hence partly the signal failure of the attempts yet made to create a vernacular literature for the people.
Under all the circumstances it will not be difficult to understand why the compiler has not yet succeeded in getting together a competent establishment of native assistants for the work which he has undertaken. It is possible however, as more efficient instruments are obtained, that successive parts of the Dictionary may shew a greater degree of completeness than the earlier portions compiled with the aid of an inadequate staff.
If this work should help to excite in any degree a greater interest in the people, and in their language and literature; if it should tend to promote that closer intercourse to which a knowledge of the people's language is the key, and afford that insight into the mind of the people which is essential to an intelligent adaptation of the laws to their real condition, and wants, and feelings; if it should be established that the people's language is sufficiently definite, copious, and expressive for all literary and scientific purposes, and the most fitting medium for the widest, most effective, and speediest diffusion of knowledge and the moral and social elevation of the people; if it should be satisfactorily shewn how widely different is the real vernacular of the people from the Arabic and Persian-ridden Hindī, called Urdu—the elaborate concoction of pedantic Moulvis and a corrupt ministerial agency—and widely different also from the language of the Urdu and Hindī text books in which Civil and Military officers are examined; and if happily such convictions should stimulate the sense of justice in which the English nation plumes itself, so as to concede to the people the common right of being governed by laws and procedure promulgated and conducted, as in other countries, in the mother tongue which they understand, in place of the foreign Urdu which gives to an infinitesimal section an odious monopoly in wrong-doing, we might then see a higher degree of prosperity in the land and real contentment in the people, with a firmer consolidation of British rule.
On the completion of the Dictionary, it is intended to issue a full dissertation on the language and its literature and folklore, with illustrations and examples in support of the views which have been advanced in the Preface.
It is in contemplation also to publish separately the compiler's collection of proverbs, of which over 12,000 have been collected up to this time. This collection includes many Māṛwāṛī, Maggah, Bhojpuri, and Tirhūtī proverbs. An English translation will be added, with notes and explanations, and the stories on which any of the proverbs may happen to be founded.
The proverbs will be followed by a collection of select poems and folk songs, with an English translation.[page xxiii]
The compiler has to express his obligations to that original, exhaustive, and scholarly work—the "Comparative grammar of the modern Aryan languages of India." The bold independence of thought, wide research, and broad grasp of the subject, displayed in the elaborate Essay which introduces the great work, have hardly yet received due recognition, at least in India. The compiler is further obliged to Mr. Beames for some valuable hints received in course of the compilation of this work.
Rev. Bate and Rev. Kellogg also have very kindly rendered the compiler the valuable assistance which their distinguished acquirements are so capable of affording.
It only remains to say that a larger measure of support than has been yet accorded, is needed for the proper execution of this work on the comprehensive plan contemplated by the compiler. The prospective and actual cost of the compilation in Establishment alone has been continually outgrowing every successive larger and larger estimate which could reasonably be framed. The preparation and publication of the first part now issued has involved an expenditure which is not half covered by the subscriptions yet registered. The work is emphatically one which requires time, and the longer the time necessary for its execution the heavier the outlay in establishment.
A. for Arabic, P. for Persian, H. for Hindī, A. P. for Arabic and Persian, A. H. for Arabic and Hindī, P. H. for Persian and Hindī, E. for English, Port. for Portuguese, S. for Sanskrit, Pr. for Prakrit, Old H. for Old Hindī, Z. for Zend, Panj. for Panjābī, Mag. for Maggah, Tir. for Tirhutī, Bhoj. for Bhojpurī, Mār. for Māṛwāṛī, Sah. for Sahāranpore, Ph. for Pahāṛī, Garh. for Garhwāl, Ped. for Pedantic, Pop. for Popularly, Illit. for Illiterate, Inel. for Inelegant, Rus. for Rustic, Unid. for Unidiomatic, Wom. for Women's language, + W. for chiefly Women, M. for Men's language, Mah. for Mahomedan, Hin. for Hindū, E. for Eastern Provinces, W. for Western Provinces, lit. for literally, Lit. for Literary, Cor. for Corruption, Cont. for Contraction, Caus. for Causative, Com. for Commonly, Opp. for Opposite, Met. for Metaphorically, Emp. for Emphatic, Fac. for Facetiously, Poet. for Poetical, Fig. for Figurative, Prov. for Proverb, Ans. for Answer, G. G. for Government Gazette, Abr. for Abridged, Abbr. for Abbreviated, Wil. for Wilson, Wat. for Watson, Ast. for Astronomy, Astrog. pred. for Astrological prediction, Agric. for Agriculture, Alg. for Algebra, Anat. for Anatomy, Arith. for Arithmetic, Bot. for Botany. Geom. for Geometry, Gram. for Grammar, Hyd. for Hydrostatics, Mens. for Mensuration, Math. for Mathematics, Mec. for Mechanics, Meta. for Metaphysics, Myth. for Mythology.
The underlined word is either the emphatic word, or a pun, or a double entendre.
P. S.—Many illustrations which would convey a vivid idea of native customs, and their wit, and modes of thought and feeling have been unavoidably suppressed in deference to prejudices, not yet generally exploded, and the feelings of many estimable men who would be pained by their insertion. This is unfortunate, because it impairs the integrity and completeness of the work; it shuts out that thorough insight into the mind of the people which it is on every account so desirable we should possess; and it shuts out too that real, accurate, and complete knowledge of humanity under different conditions which is necessary to enlightened social and political legislation, and that keen sympathy with acute pain and privation which is roused only when the mind thoroughly realizes the intense, wide-spread suffering entailed on human beings by the ignorant and cruel restraints so commonly imposed on them by societies [page xxiv] and legislatures. But the more rational and liberal sentiments towards which advanced thought is tending will assuredly condemn the suppression of useful illustrations which is demanded in the present day by the strong party whose opinions the compiler is not, pecuniarily, in a position to disregard, if he would. Future ages will emphatically assert, and insist upon the wide difference there is between a fluctuating conventional immorality so called, and things absolutely and eternally wrong, such as stealing and lying, and all needless injuries to our fellow man. But notions about morality and decency rest on no such solid basis.
What is held indecent and immoral in one age and country is decent and innocent in another, and vice versâ. And this is the case with communities equally barbarous, and equally civilized. Such things are but customs of the day and the people; and, like all customs, they are subject to change. When primitive races, like the Santals and hillmen, along with their sexual freedom, are conspicuous at the same time for a truth and honesty which are far from common among communities who boast the highest civilization and the highest morality; when nude tribes, with the domin women of Magadhi or Behar mat makers and gypsies who, without affecting a sense of shame which they do not feel, openly sing songs and pose themselves after a manner which we would call grossly indecent, are distinguished for a truth and virtue which are far from general among civilized people who dress and behave very properly in public; and when the openly "licentious" and lawless, as the shodas in this country, are noted for their honesty, trustworthiness, and sense of honor, insomuch that bankers employ them, in preference to others, for guarding and conveying treasure—the wisdom of a repressive social code must seem very doubtful. Natural passions, forcibly repressed, find a vent, in a very large majority of cases in unnatural offences and in evil acts of an infinitely worse character, if the conventionally immoral can be called evil; while under a constrained outward show and hypocritical exterior have too often lurked unscen the foulest passions, leading to the most shameful and blackest deeds which have disgraced and outraged humanity. To the pure all things are pure, and impure minds will extract impurity from the driven snow.
A. for Arabic. Comp. Composition. Hyd. Hydrostatics. Ped. Pedantic. Abbr. Abbreviated. Compar. Comparative. Illit. Illiterate. P. H. Persian & Hindī. Abr. Abridged. Contemp. Contemptuously. Inel. Inelegant. Phr. Phrase. Agric. Agriculture. Cont. Contraction. Ironic. Ironically. Poet. Poetical. A. H. Arabic and Hindī. Cor. Corruption. Lat. Latin. Pop. Popularly. Alg. Algebra. Dim. Diminutive Lit. Literary. Port. Portuguese. Anat. Anatomy. E. English. lit. literally. Pr. Prakrit. Ans. Answer. E. Eastern Provinces. M. Men's language Prob. Probably. A. P. Arabic and Persian. Emp. Emphatic. Mag. Maggah. Prov. Proverb. Arith. Arithmetic. Esp. Especially. Mah. Mahomedan. Rus. Rustic. Ast. Astronomy. Fac. Facetious. Mār. Mārwāṛī. S. Sanskrit. Astro. Pred. Astrological. prediction. Fig. Figurative. Math. Mathematics. Sah. Sāharanpore. Aug. Augmentation. Furrukh. Furrukhabad. Mech. Mechanics. T. Turkī. Bhoj. Bhojpurī. Gaṛh. Gaṛhwāl. Mens. Mensuration. Tir. Tirhutī. Bot. Botany. Geom. Geometry. Met. Metaphorically. Unid. Unidiomatic. Bund. Bundelkhand. G. G. Government Gazette. Meta. Metaphysics. W. Western. Provinces. Caus. Causative. Gr. Greek. Mus. Music. †Wm. Chiefly Women. Chem. Chemistry. Gram. Grammar. Myth. Mythology. Wat. Watson. Com. Commonly. H. Hindī. Obs. Obsolete. Wil. Wilson. Comm. Commercial. Hin. Hindū. Old H. Old Hindī. Wom. Women's Language. Opp. Opposite. Z. Zend. P. Persian. Panj. Panjābī.
The underlined word is either the emphatic word, or a pun, or a double entendre.
THE PERSIAN AND HINDI ALPHABET.