I’ve been meaning to compile this list for a while, if for no other reason than the fact that you really have to see this list to believe it! The number of words borrowed from Hindustani in particular is pretty remarkable.
Some were clearly in use before the war; others seem to have appeared after troops from the British Isles came in contact with colonial troops from India, or with English battalions that had been stationed in India (such as mine).
I don’t think this is a complete list, to be honest, and I don’t think anyone has really looked at just how many words and ideas were shared during this time. If anyone knows of good resources that explore this, please let me know!
Ak Dum– At once; hurry; from Hindustani
Blighty– Britain; from the Hindustani Bilayati meaning “a faraway place.”
Buckshee– Free; spare; from Arabic or Hindustani Baksheesh meaning “gratuity.”
Bundook– A rifle; from the Arabic or Hindustani for a rifle or crossbow.
Burgoo– Porridge. From Arabic, Turkish, or Hindustani Burghul
Char– Tea; from Hindustani
Charpoy– Bed; from Hindustani
Cherb– Beer; from Hindustani
Chipperow– Quiet; shut up; from Hindustani Chuprao.
Chit– A note or receipt; from Hindustani Cittha via the Sanskrit Citra
Chokey– Jail; from the Hindustani Cauki, meaning “lockup.”
Chup– See Chipperow
Cushy– From the Urdu Kushi meaning “Pleasure” and Hindustani khush meaning “pleasant.”
Dekko– Look; observe; from Hindustani Dekho (to look) and Dekhna (to see)
Doolally– Insane; from Deolali, a place in India
Dum-Dum– A soft-tipped expanding round; from the arsenal at Dum-Dum near Calcutta
Fanti– Insane; from Hindustani
Jildi- Hurry up; from Hindustani
Loose– a thief; from the Hindustani Lus
Lukri– Wood; from Hindustani
Muckim– Butter; From Hindustani
Parnee– Water; from Hindustani
Phut– As in “to go phut;” to cease working; Hindustani, English use attributed to Rudyard Kipling
Rooti– Bread; from Hindustani roti.
Tamboo– A trench dugout; uncertain origin but could be Hindustani.
Wallah– person on duty (e.g. “char-wallah,” one who makes tea); from Hindustani wala, meaning “protector”