What is Baigan?

The word “baigan” has come into Trinidad English Creole and Standard Trinidad English from Trinidad Bhojpuri. A synonym for “baigan” is eggplant which is also used in T&T. In Surinamese Hindustani (Sarnámí) the word “baigan” also occurs, however, a synonym “bhanṭā” also exists. In Jamaican Bhojpuri, “bhanṭā” occurs more frequently for eggplant. In Trinidad we say “baigan chokhā”, but we also hear “bhanṭā ke chokhā” in Suriname and Jamaica.

The Hindi cognate of the Trinidad Bhojpuri “baigan” is “baingan” and the synonym “bhanṭā” also occurs. Adding the suffix -ī yields “bainganī” the name of the colour of the eggplant, which is purple. “Baingan” finds its roots in the Sanskrit “vātiṃgaṇa” and the Persian “bādingān”. The Persian cognate was carried to Europe by the Islamic conquest and became “brinjal” and “aubergine” which are synonym we use for eggplant in English.

“HINDI SAMJHAANA” (Explaining Hindi)
Presented by Sham G. Ali ( Official Fanpage ) with the assistance of Dr. Visham Bhimull of Caribbean Hindustani


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