They are in there, often unnoticed. Words that have become part of everyday English. Loot, nirvana, pyjamas, shampoo and shawl, bungalow, jungle, pundit and thug.
What are the roots, and routes, of these Indian words? How and when did they travel and what do their journeys into British vernacular – and then the Oxford English Dictionary – tell us about the relationship between Britain and India?
Long before the British Raj – before the East India Company acquired its first territory in the Indian subcontinent in 1615 – South Asian words from languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam and Tamil had crept onto foreign tongues.