Hobson-Jobson’s pukka pair of pyjamas in the bungalow.


Pyjamas did not exist until the 19th century. I’m not sure what people wore to bed in the 1700s, but it wasn’t pyjamas*. Pyjamas by any other name may well have been as snug, but the fact remains: without the English in India, there would be no India in English. The best way to understand this story is to get your hands on a Hobson-Jobson.

Source: Josephine Livingstone in Prospect Magazine.

* Nightshirts, as any fule kno.

Intriguing review of a revised edition of Hobson-Jobson, the dictionary of Anglo-Indian words and phrases put together by a couple of chaps in the Victorian period.

Although I could have done without all the obligatory PC preachiness about Empire.


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