Word of the day – lakh

Today’s word, lakh, appears in the description of a online Gujarati dictionary. It means 100,000 and is used in the English of India and in other languages spoken in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma and Pakistan. Lakh comes from the Hindi लाख (lākh), which itself comes from the Sanskrit लक्ष (lakṣá).

A related word is crore (करोड़ in Hindi), which means 100 lakh, or 10 million, is often abbreviated to cr, and appears in the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?Kaun Banega Crorepati? (Who will be a ten-millionaire?).

The Gujarati equivalents of lakh and crore are લાખ (lākh) and કરોડ (karoḍ).

The new dictionary looks really useful, by the way, with monolingual (Gujarati-Gujarati), and bilingual (Gujarati<>English) options, as well as a thesaurus (બંધિયાર સ્થળો), phrases (તાળો), idioms (ચુડેલનો વાંસો), proverbs (સુખનું મૂળ સંતોષ), a spellchecker and other tools and information.

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This entry was posted in Gujarati, Language, Words and phrases.

10 Responses to Word of the day – lakh

  1. TJ says:

    I remember I read somewhere that “Asanka” in Sri Lankan means 1×10^63 (i.e. 1 with 63 zeroes in front of it) I wonder if this is true.

  2. be_slayed says:

    The Sanskrit transliteration should be लक्ष “lakṣa” (cognate with “lox”).

  3. be_slayed says:

    Aha, I see the site is just garbling the diacritics. Let’s try the less accurate “laksha”

  4. peter j. franke says:

    It recalls me of “the wheel of chaurasi”. Which is about the 8 million 400 thousand existing life forms including spirits and other none physical entities, as mentioned in one of the veda’s. “The wheel of eighty-four”: 84 lakh (chaurasi = 84)….

  5. TJ says:

    @peter: the names of these life forms are mentioned? each one of them?????!

  6. Mohammed UK says:

    Hehe! Was this in response to my previous comment?
    Lakh lakh Thanks!

  7. peter j. franke says:

    @TJ: no , just numbers. If I remember it well they are divided into categories like number of different: plants, insects, birds, fish, mammals, humans, spirits, etc. And related to elements: plants have water; fish: water and air; mammals: earth, water, air and fire; humans: all five: air, water, fire, earth and ether. Spirits must have ether I suppose… One of the reasons for recommending a vegetarian diet in this context is to take that with less elements. To kill creatures with just one element, like plants, creates less karma than taking lifes with combined elements like mammals and even worse: humans….

  8. goofy says:

    be_slayed: lakṣa is cognate with lox? Why do you say that?

  9. goofy says:

    OK, I see why you said that. Who knew?

  10. Niv Savariego says:

    The Sanskrit Laks.a (alongside all other Indo-Aryan words for 100,000) originally meant ‘wealth’ or ‘abundance’ and derives from a Proto-Indo-European root denoting Salmon fish, supposedly because of their vast numbers. Tts original meaning is preserved in the Germanic languages (‘lax’, etc.).