Sunday, 24 May 2015

English-Urdu False Friends

For those of you who don't know, Urdu is national language of Pakistan. It is written right-to-left in modified Arabic script.

False Friends are pairs of words from two languages which have different meanings in each language but they sound almost or exactly the same. One example is the word die. In Dutch it means that one and in English - well you know what it means in English. I think you get the point.

There are several words in Urdu that have false friends in English with totally different meanings:

Following is a small list of English words and their totally different meanings in Urdu:


English Word Definition in Urdu
Ball Hair, Child
Bay 2nd letter of Urdu, (prefix) Without
Be (loosely) Ma'am
Bean A musical instrument
Bot Weights for scale
Bus Stop, End, Enough
Car Work, Action, Act
Cheese Thing, Object
Chore Thief
Coffee Enough
Fa├žade Corruption, Riot, Infighting
Fay 26th letter of Urdu
Fuck Pale (usually with fear)
Gall Cheek
Gee Yes
Gill A clan of Jat people
Gnaw No
Hay 9th and 33rd letters of Urdu
Hey 9th and 33rd letters of Urdu
Late To lie down
Light Electricity
Mall Money, Wealth
Naw No
Noon 31st letter of Urdu
Now Boat
Or And
Ore And
Pawn A chewable stimulant made of Betel leaf and tobacco
Pit To lose a contest
Pore Part of Finger
Pull Bridge
Ray 14th letter of Urdu, (a rude way of addressing someone) hey, you
Seen 18th letter of Urdu
Shean 19th letter of Urdu
Wow 32nd letter of Urdu
Yay 35th and 36th letters of Urdu

I will update this list as new words come up. Please visit again.

Last Updated: September 12, 2017

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