Sri Lankan English - Updates I
This page contains updates to the dictionary beginning with the letter I. It is divided into 2 parts: New Entries,
and Comments and Corrections. Click here to return to the main updates page, or on the links on the left side of the page to go to another letter.
These pages are updated regularly; please contact
me if you have any suggestions or feedback which can be included.
Latest update: December 2014. New additions
are in red.
idda: the traditional mourning period for a Muslim widow, lasting 4 months and 10 days from the death of her husband (Arabic)
RaushenGul had to begin her idda straightaway. (The Moon in the Water, by Ameena Hussein, page 25)
ilapotha: ekel brush (without a handle) (Sinhala)
At least his perethayas could be pounded with the molgaha, chased with the ilapotha, cut with a mammoty or pacified with some food. (Theravada Man, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 69)
Indian Tamil (= upcountry Tamil, estate Tamil): a member of the Sri Lankan Tamil community brought from South India to Sri Lanka by the British in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to work on the tea estates (> Sri Lankan Tamil)
A few of the ‘Indian Tamil’ community went in for higher education and the professions; … (Nobodies to Somebodies, by Kumari Jayawardena, page 208)
International Non-Governmental Organization (> NGO sector)
Tough visa rule for INGO staff (Sunday Times 25/05/08)
invitation card: invitation (also India etc.)
The wedding of Sharon Shokman and Ahmed Hassan was expected to be a ‘most joyous occasion’, as the invitation cards had stated. (The Mirror of Paradise, by Asgar Hussein, page 55)
So they made phone calls, flashed a torch on to the invitation card to check its authenticity, … (Playing Pillow Politics at MGK, by Lal Medawattegedara, page 15)
ipil-ipil: a type of tree with long brown pods (Leucaena leucocephala) (Sinhala; also Philippines, from Tagalog/Maranao)
The mound of earth under the ipil-ipil tree was small. (Can You Hear me Running, by Lal Medawattegerera, page 40)
isso vadai: prawn vadai (Sinhala)
The gram-sellers at Galle Face Green sold their ‘kadala gotu’ topped with ‘isso wade’ for twenty-five cents. (Rainbows in Braille, by Elmo Jayawardena, page 161)
Groups of families and friends sat in little clumps chatting and eating isso vadais and kadale from paper cones. (The Moon in the Water, by Ameena Hussein, page 163)
Isso vade salesmen did good business. (Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka, page 157)
COMMENTS AND CORRECTIONS:
not only inland (away from the sea), but also off the main road
You have to go a few hundred yards interior.
is it?, isn’t it?: In the dictionary, these two question tags are presented as equivalents, but in fact they are used differently. Isn’t it? is more common, and is used in the same way as the even more common question tag no?, to confirm information that the speaker assumes to be true; it is normally pronounced with a rising and falling intonation (pitch rising on isn’t and falling on it). Is it? is less common, and functions as a genuine question, where the speaker is less sure of his/her information; it is normally pronounced with a rising intonation. The following examples illustrate the way they are used:
“Had a good time at home, is it, Mala?” (The Banana Tree Crisis, by Isankya Kodithuwakku, page 87)
“Mala’s got back at last, is it?” (The Banana Tree Crisis, by Isankya Kodithuwakku, page 88)
“And that somehow makes you more intelligent, is it?” (Learning to Fly, by Shehani Gomes, page 144)
“Now y’all are following football, is it?” (Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka, page 308)
"You are forgetting the presumption of innocence, isn't it." (The Hamilton Case, by Michelle de Kretser, page 110)
“Now changed your mind, isn’t it?” (The Banana Tree Crisis, by Isankya Kodithuwakku, page 158)
“Those suddhis gave the boats on that rule, isn’t it?” (The Banana Tree Crisis, by Isankya Kodithuwakku, page 190)
“You’re wanting to go back prawning, isn’t it?” (The Banana Tree Crisis, by Isankya Kodithuwakku, page 196)
“Early birds catch all the worms, isn’t it!” (The Sweet and Simple Kind, by Yasmine Gooneratne, page 539)
“We have all had a shock, isn’t it?” (Homesick, by Roshi Fernando, page 161)
“Every man needs a name, isn’t it?” (Beggar’s Feast, by Randy Boyagoda, page 74)
“They are keeping the economy on a firm rein, isn’t it?” (Questions of Travel, by Michelle de Kretser, page 409)
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