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Romani Talk: Punjabi and Romani Similarities

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Punjabi and Romani Similarities

Here are the similarities, I was speaking of in the Romani Origins post, between the Punjabi words I seen on the website and our Romani words.

I'm sure there are a great deal more. I know some of the spellings aren't going to be completely accurate, but then again who really knows how they should be spelled. It's not like we have documented history. Here goes...

Thief or to steal in Punjabi is Chor, which is identical to our Chor.

I, referring to one's self in Punjabi is Mai'n, which could easily be turned into our Mandi.

You in Punjabi is Tusi, which is very similar to our Tudi.

Trousers in Punjabi is Pajamas. To get our word of Trammers all you have to do is combine the Punjabi word with the English word and you can easily see where we got the word.

Face in Punjabi is Moo'nh, so you can easily see where we got our Moo'eh.

Eye in Punjabi is Aakh. All we done was add a Y to the front to get Yaakh.

Ear in Punjabi is Kaan, which is pretty much exactly the word we use, Kan.

Nose in Punjabi is Naak. We have the exact match with Naak.

Punjabi use the words Pair and Pauree' for Foot and Stairs. We use the very similar word of Pare' for our feet and the way we might get up those Stairs.

Agay and Aithay are Punjabi for In Front Of and Here. We use the very similar Akai.

Puraa'naa is Punjabi for Old. We simply dropped the ending and came up with Pu'ri.

Nashaa was Punjabi for Poisoning, which to them was being Sick. We, of course, use Naphla.

Aa'u is Come in Punjabi. We use Au'v.

Jaa is Punjabi for Go. We use Jaal.

Eat in Punjabi is Khaa. All we done was drop the the K to get Haa.

Listen in Punjabi is Sun. We added an H and came up with Shun.

One in Punjabi is Ikk. We use Yek.

Two in Punjabi is Dooja. We use Doo'eh.

Three in Punjabi is Tinn. We use Trin or Tren.

Navaa'n is New in Punjabi. We use the very similar Nivee.

Heavy in Punjabi is Bhaaree, which you can easily be turned into our Bori or Bor.

Yes in Punjabi is Haa'n, which is pretty close to our Haa'vh.

Vekh is Punjabi for Look. We use Dikh or Dekh.

Khed is Punjabi for Play. We use Khel.

Cheer is Punjabi for Cut. We use Cheuri for Knife.

Day in Punjabi is Din, which is similar to our Div or Divvus.

Changa and Kush is Good and Happy in Punjabi. We use Kush, Kushti or Kushta.

Utay is There in Punjabi. We use Ado'eh, which sound very similar.

Sutta is Sleep in Punjabi. We use Sutti.

Danda is Punjabi for Teeth. We use Danders.

Pani is Punjabi for Water. We use the exact word, Pani.

Mutarna is Punjabi for Urinate. We use Mutar.

Bal is Hair in Punjabi, just as Bal is the word we use.

Bhaqwan is Lucky in Punjabi. We use use Bok for Luck.

Bhukha is Hungry in Punjabi. We use Bhukla.

Larki is the Punjabi word for Girl. I found it interesting that if you unscramble the letters you can come up with the word we use for Girl, Rakli.

Chooma is Punjabi for Kiss. We use Choomer.

Loki is Punjabi for People or Folk. We use Folki or Foki. Kind of interesting we probably blended the English and the Punjabi over time.

Bhojan is a word Punjabi sometimes use for Food. We use Hovan, Haavan or Haaban. Pretty similar if the B is silent in the Punjabi word.

Jun is Punjabi for Louse. We use Juv or Joov.

Kar is Punjabi for Do. We use Kur or Cur.

Kala is Punjabi for Black. We use the same word, Kala or Colla.

Name in Punjabi is Nan. We use Nav.

Matawala in Punjabi is Drunk. Mawda or Mawta is our word.

Yalghar is a Weapon in Punjabi. We use Yager or Yoger for Gun.

I like how this one works out. Punjabi for Body is Tan. We use Tan for House. Our Body is essentially our House isn't it? So, it seems to figure over a thousand years this very easily could have made the transformation from Tan being used for Body to Tan being used for House.

Well, believe it or not this is a short list. There are many, many more I'm sure. There are probably many of our words that have no root whatsoever in the Punjabi language, like Gadji for example. But, when you think about it, some words wouldn't, would they? Many of our words were either invented or picked up through our travels and stays in other countries over our 1,000 year journey. And a great deal more was blended with those countries other words to form new ones.

Anyhow, as I stated before, I know all the words aren't spelled exactly right. Then again, I really don't think any of us really know how they are spelled. We really haven't been a literate culture in the past. I did the best I could, but I think you get the gist of the idea. It would be pretty hard to deny our Punjabi roots. Thanks for reading and take care.

I'll be typin' at ya later,
Bob the Blogger


Michelle said...


Bob the Blogger said...

Thank ya kindly, ma'am.

PANESAR said...

Red in punjabi is ' Lal ' & in Romani ' Lol '

Anonymous said...

as a Punjabi i can tell you that a few of your comparisons are a little inaccurate. If you are comparing similarities between romani and punjabi you probably will find that punjabi, urdu, hindi, sindi and even farsi have some of those and other words in common.

Anonymous said...


I wonder if some of the romani englishmen ended up back in their ancestral land during the colonial period as english officers who were seen as foreiigners by people who arrived in punjab not too long ago

Anonymous said...

Its not Romanian language its the gypsie language

Anonymous said...

Funny how from such small insinuation, a big confusion is born. I arrived here by reading an articla which say that romanian has 2000 punjabi words. From this a whole superlastic thoery that tracians were in india and god knows what. In fact, everything is a confusion between gipsy language (indo european) and romanian (latin). Because a nomad tribe always liked to call themselves after the name of the last place they've passed (why do you think they're called "gipsy" - e.gipsy an, : egiptiens, the place where they were thought to migrate from, by british)

S Kumar N said...

So you guys have an Indian heritage. How does it make you feel?

Anonymous said...

a lot of the words are actually more similar to hindi than punjabi

Anonymous said...

Linguistically, it makes perfect sense that Romany is probably derived from Punjabi. Punjabi has been around since 1400's and probably earlier; and Romany people carried Romany language with them to Europe in 1500's.

Genetically, it makes sense too: Genetic Sequencing Traces Gypsies Back to Ancient Indian Origin

Our world history is full of people moving back and forth for one reason or the other. The history of the Romany people is part of this movement.


PS: If we the people hadn't moved around, we would still be living in Africa. We are Africans under the skin!

Karina said...

hi I am romani here and I speak the Romani language too I must say you done one mistake for kiss its chumi or chumidel and my boyfriend is Punjabi he said you done most of the Punjabi wrongs too and when I speak Romani he understands me some time so that's great !

Karina said...

Amazing I find Hindi and Punjabi so easy

Anonymous said...

All of the worlds claimed as punjabi words are imported from himachal region.

Anonymous said...

As far as Rudimentary Punjabi is concerned your comparison is quite. Fair but for me they don't seem akin to modern day Punjabi I am gurbir gill and I am native Punjabi speaker my dialect is majhi/majhaili some of the words like kala black seems quite similar you have to understand what phonological changes Romani had gone through consonant changes and vowel sounds changes plus that Punjabi has also undergone a change that it has developed tonal system

Anonymous said...

Himachal originated from punjab soo its vice versa

JAT RISKY said...

in roma and punjabi chor is chor ... and fact is ROMA people are CHOR... E.g SAANSI ...

Ranwal Ali Mahar said...

what is the meaning of Gadji in romani? I am asking because in my language it means "gathering" though exact word is Gadjani, but still quite similar. My language is Sindhi, which is also an Indian in origin and very closely related to punjabi, because of its region's close proximity to the region where punjabi originates from.