BIP GLOSSARY

The BIP Glossary is a work in progress and we aim for it to remain that way — we will add words to the list as we expand the breadth of our work. If you feel there needs to be a word here, please email us at: bangladeshiidentity@gmail.com

  • Adda — Iconic cultural practice of hosting informal conversations among friends, often involves tea and gossip
  • Alpona — Colorful hand-painted motifs mainly on the streets or a floor
  • Apa/Apu— Elder sister; often used to address a girl or woman elder to the speaker
  • Baba/Abbu — Father
  • Bhai/Bhaiyya — Brother
  • Bon — Sister
  • Boshonto — Spring season
  • Borsha — Monsoon
  • Bidesh — Foreign land
  • Bideshi — Belonging to a foreign land
  • BijoyVictory
  • Bijoy Dibosh — Victory Day of Bangladesh, marked December 16, 1971
  • Birangona — Brave or courageous woman, or a ‘war heroine’: a title given to Bangladeshi women who were victims of rape as a war tool in 1971
  • Boishakh — First month of the Bengali new year
  • Cha — Deshi-style milk tea
  • Chacha — Paternal uncle (father’s brother)
  • Chachato Bhai — Cousin (son of paternal uncle)
  • Chachato Bon — Cousin (daughter of paternal uncle)
  • Chachi — Paternal aunt (father’s brother’s wife)
  • Chhele — boy; son
  • Dada — Paternal grandfather
  • Dadi — Paternal grandmother
  • Desh — Country
  • Deshi — Of, or belonging to, country or land
  • Ekushey February — Bangladesh’s Language Movement Day, marked February 21
  • Fufu/fupu/phupu/fuppi — Paternal aunt (father’s sister)
  • Fufa/fupa/phupa — Paternal aunt (father’s sister’s husband)
  • Fufato Bhai — Cousin (son of father’s sister)
  • Fufato Bon — Cousin (daughter of father’s sister)
  • Falgun/Phalgun — Eleventh month of Bengali calendar; first half of Boshonto
  • Kamiz — long tunic, worn with shalwar (full set: shalwar kamiz)
  • Khala — Maternal aunt (mother’s sister)
  • Khalato Bon — Cousin (daughter of mother’s sister)
  • Khalu — Maternal uncle (mother’s sister’s husband)
  • Lungi — traditional wrap-around skirt for men, often worn at home for relaxing
  • Ma/Ammu — Mother
  • Mama — Maternal uncle (mother’s brother)
  • Mami — Maternal aunt (mother’s brother’s wife)
  • Moshjid — Mosque
  • Mati — land; soil
  • Mela — Carnival; fair
  • Meye — girl; daughter
  • Mukti bahini — Resistance force that fought against West Pakistan’s occupation in 1971
  • Mukti juddha — Freedom fighter in Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971
  • Mukti juddho — Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971
  • Nana — Maternal grandfather
  • Nanu — Maternal grandmother
  • Natok — Play; theatrical performance
  • Nokshi katha — A type of embroidered quilt
  • Noboborsho — New year
  • Obhiman — endearingly upset. A very specific emotion, wherein the person feels hurt and upset but with a tinge of affection for the person they’re upset with
  • OrnaStole; scarf often used with kamiz
  • Patua art — Pictorial stories told through painting on long scrolls
  • Pohela Boishakh — First day of Boishakh, first day of Bengali new year
  • Ruti — Round, flat pita bread
  • Shadhin — Freedom
  • Shadhinota dibosh — Independence Day, marked March 26
  • Shalwar — Harem pants
  • Shangkskritik onushthan — Cultural celebration; cultural function
  • Shapla ful — Water lily
  • Sharee — traditional wrap around cloth for women; referred to as ‘Saree’ in English
  • Shoheed — Martyr
  • Shubho Noboborsho — Happy New Year
  • Teep — Design and/or ornament worn on the forehead, traditionally by women

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