James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Fri Sep 12 15:20:02 UTC 2003

--- Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM> wrote:

> Yes, but none of these are likely to have
> contributed
> a word that even 30 years later is still regarded as
> so
> offensive that warnings about its use are given.

Probably none of those would have directly contributed
- would have directly introduced the word into English
- and that is what you're looking for apparently, but
the cultural contact and interest was there.

Several who have responded to this subject - including
me - have never encountered the word.  How widespread
is it's use in English?  Identifying the group that
uses it, or that used it 30-40 years ago, will narrow
down the origin/vector.

... in the examples you give
> above,
> Western youth culture was interested more in
> intellectual
> branches of Eastern cultures than in obscene words
> for
> sex.

Who are you trying to kid?  We're talking about
hormone-crazed youth.  After the visit with the yogi
or the sitar lesson, BS'ing with a local over tea or
beer, that's when it would have come up.

> Also, with this deep interest in various aspects of
> Indian culture, are there any _other_ slang terms to
> come from there?

Focus on the group that first used it in English, and
you might find other, similar words.  ("Guru" has been
around for a long time, but it seems to me that this
was the period during which "guru" came into popular,
common use.)

> Jesse Sheidlower

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

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