Sri Lankan English - Updates O
This page contains updates to the dictionary beginning with the letter O. 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: March 2013. New additions
are in red.
ohe: (coll.) casual(ly), careless(ly), aimless(ly), random(ly) (Sinhala)
wearing ohe clothes
old crock: vintage car
olinda: jequirity, a plant (Abrus precatorius) with small, bright red seeds with a black tip, similar to madati seeds (Sinhala) (known in the Carribean as jumbie beads?)
> Olinda seeds are used in olinda keliya, a traditional board game known elsewhere as mancala. Variations of mancala are played throughout Africa and Asia, usually with pebbles or cowrie shells.
olu: a type of water lily (Nymphaea pubescens) (Sinhala)
(Click here to see a photograph)
> See A-Z of Sri Lankan English: N is for na tree and nil manel
Orange Barley: a variety of soft drink (brand name – 'barley water' in BSE)
It’s an odd funeral I think – no one serving Orange Barley, no one playing checkers and cards. (Chucking the Dragon, by Mark Wilde, page 11)
a dugout canoe with an outrigger (Sinhala)
(Click here to see a photograph)
“Outsiders came to us on marakkalams and oruwas and to Dambadiva on horses and camels.” (Theravada Man, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 120)
our boys (= the boys): (coll.) the Sri Lankan cricket team; the Sri Lankan army; the LTTE
> See A-Z of Sri Lankan English: O is for our people
I don’t know much about cricket, but even I haven’t been deaf to the string of victories our boys have had in the past month. (The Banana Tree Crisis, by Isankya Kodithuwakku, page 105)
If our boys could defy the odds here, perhaps we have a shot at retaining the World Cup. (Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka, page 360)
… and in the newspaper, there were more deaths, more of our boys at the front torn in two or three. (Homesick, by Roshi Fernando, page 163-4)
“Since the late seventies they’ve taken our boys to their land and given arms training to them.” (The Whirlwind, by Ayathurai Santhan, page 90)
I want to speak to her, reassure her that despite their hard eyes and their guns, these are our boys. (Island of a Thousand Mirrors, by Nayomi Munaweera, page 140)
our one (= our friend): (coll.) an expression used to refer to another person in an indirect way
“Our one can go for someone even better.”
“Our one is prettier too.”
“Our one can speak English too.” …
“Our one is a bit backward though.”
(Learning to Fly, by Shehani Gomes, page 12)
our ones (= our people):
“But our ones don’t you know?” (Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka, page 228)
> In BSE, to ‘overlook’ means to fail to see something,
or to ignore it; to ‘oversee’ means to supervise something.
The quotes below suggest that in SLE ‘overlook’ is used with
The money will be released in stages through a Consultant Psychiatrist
in Batticoloa hospital who had kindly consented to overlook this project. (College of General Practitioners of Sri Lanka website)
“Although numerous projects are in progress at this moment,
we feel it would be better for a committee to overlook present and future
developments,” comments Ruwan Sanjeewa. (Linea Aqua Relief
In 1992 Mr. Bhaila was elected the first Vice District Governor. In
this capacity he represented the Lions International to overlook the activities
of the 65 clubs in the districts from Colombo to Jaffna. (Ministry
of Foreign Affairs website)
COMMENTS AND CORRECTIONS:
onwards (= upwards): This entry should be deleted as it is not standard usage in SLE.
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