South Indian word ‘Aiyo’ is a part of the Oxford Dictionary.
Aiyo! Why did you do this? We often hear this typical word every day in South India but many of us don’t know that it’s a part of the Oxford dictionary. It was included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in 2012.
Shashi Tharoor, a literary genius who’s known for his wordplay did not know that it was officially a part of OED until October 2018.
The OED has two spellings and two definitions for aiyo. The one added in September 2012 is spelled as ‘aiyo’ and is defined as a word used in India and Sri Lanka to express distress, regret or grief. It also states that it’s a word originating from Sinhala and Tamil languages.
The other word which was added in September 2016 is spelled as ‘aiyoh’ and is defined as a word hailing from the Mandarin dialect and chiefly used in Chinese contexts to express distress, pain, surprise etc.
The Oxford English Dictionary publishes four updates with new words through the year in March, June, September and December. The array of new words that make it to the final cut are included in the dictionary after careful consideration. Jonathan Dent, senior assistant editor for the OED new words team said that their team of researchers always track new words that arrive in the language. OED traditionally waits for 10 years of evidence before adding a word but sometimes there are exceptions.
Over 900 words from various Indian languages have found their place in the OED. Other commonly used words included in the Oxford English Dictionary are bhelpuri, churidar, chutney, dhaba, didi, ghee, masala, pukka, puri and yaar. You will be shocked to know that Hindi words like chhi-chhi, ekdam, dadagiri, chamcha, chakka jam, jugaad, jamun and jhuggi are also a part of the OED. These words were added to the dictionary as we have a highly specific vocabulary with no direct equivalents in English.