Daily Chosun Link III: Pukkah Edition

I am a _tad_overwhelmed at the moment. But this weekend, I will post my talk from Madison. And I have some long languishing post on teaching postcolonialism. In the meantime, with no ironic hipsterness, I present a Daily Chosun Link ‘o da day: Avoiding the Stigma of Being an ‘Ajumma’. The checklist at the bottom helps you identify yourself as a Ajumma or a Lady. One handy tip-off: “In the sauna, should the ajumma let out a fart and people stare at her, she will just leave without saying sorry.” I forsee a full-scale comedy routine: You might be a Ajumma if …

Most crucially, I call to your attention, this fragment from that brilliant article: “it is pukkah to refrain …” !! Anyone else going “!!” with me? Pucka or pukka, meaning solid, true, right, done, ripe, is an old hindi word that made it into EIC english fairly early. The OED has a reference from 1698: “FRYER Acc. E. India & P. 205 The Maund Pucka at Agra is double as much as the Surat Maund”. Another reference c. 1776: “Trial of Nundocomar 102/1 Maha Rajah said it was necessary to witness it to make it pukka”.

Hobson Jobson gives us a fuller rundown. It notes that the EIC took the word to China: “Dis pukka sing-song makee show / How smart man make mistake, galow” from the Leland, Pidgin English Sing-Song.

Um, anyways. But, Pukka as ‘correct’ in Korean-English? How did that happen? Apparently, it means something in Vietnamese. And in Russian it means Wall of Partition? What is this un-pukkah biz? Etymologists want to know.

4 Replies to “Daily Chosun Link III: Pukkah Edition”

  1. http://kr.sch.ks.yahoo.com/search.html?p=pucka

    This was all I could find so far. It can be spelled ‘pukka’ or ‘pukkah.’ Basically it means it’s highly important or an official opsition is permanent. The link says it stems from a Hindu word. So, the Chosun articles is saying, “it is very important to REFRAIN……”

    How Pukkah got to be used in Korean English, I have no idea….

Comments are closed.