List of 21 English Words That Originated From Tamil

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The English language contains vocabulary from all over the world. Seeking words with specific etymological roots? Take a look at this list of English words that originated from Tamil.

English has borrowed vocabulary from languages all around the world. A surprising one is Tamil, a Dravidian language from southern India—these words have come all the way from Tamil Nadu and parts of Sri Lanka.

Word Origin
anicut aṇaikkaṭṭu
betel veṟṟilai
cash kācu
catamaran kaṭṭumaram
cheroot curuṭṭu
coir kayir̤u
corundum kuruntam
curry kaṟi
godown kiṭaṅku
kabaddi kai piṭi
moringa muruṅkai
mulligatawny miḷakutaṇṇi
mung bean mūngu
pandal pantal
papadam pappaṭam
pariah paṟaiyan
patchouli paccuḷi
poon puṉṉai
sambal campāl
teak tēkku
vetiver veṭṭivēr