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Monday 6 May 2019

Spot the Frippet: chowk.

This is a word of the Indian sub-continent, but it's got an entry in the Collins English dictionary so I don't see why we all shouldn't use it.

You say it, as you'd expect, to rhyme with...actually, I can't think of anything that rhymes with it, but the ow bit is like the vowel sound you find in in owl or howl or jowl. The ch as in church.

What is it?

A chowk is a market place:

File:Lajpat Nagar marketplace in 2006.jpg
Lajpat Nagar market, Delhi, photo by Ville Miettenen

or a courtyard:

File:Courtyard of Samode Haveli, Jaipur.jpg
Jaipur, photo by Richard Moross

a road junction:

or a roundabout:

File:Old Street Roundabout from above in 2012.jpg
Old Street Roundabout, London. Photo by Jack Torcello

But all these places seem become much livelier and more full of promise when you know they're also called chowks.

Well, they do to me, anyway.

Spot the Frippet: chowk. This word comes from the Urdu caukīdār, from caukī, toll house and -dār keeper. 

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