Child bear

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From Philip Lutgendorf:

Thinking of "small beer", at first I thought they intended "child beer".

Transliteration and translation by Philip:

The “English” sign indeed intends “chilled beer.” It has nothing to do with children (or bears)!

The ‘Nāgari reads:

sarkārī ṭhaṇḍī vīyar kī dukān (the rest, at the right, is unclear)

sarkār = government; sarkārī = of the Govt., authorized, licensed

ṭhaṇḍī = cold (fem. adj.)

vīyar = misspelled; should be bīyar (“beer”; but as you know, ba and va are often interchanged)

kī dukān = shop of (dukān, fem. “shop, store”)


“Govt.-Licensed Cold Beer Shop”

Selected readings


  1. E. N. Anderson said,

    February 16, 2021 @ 6:11 pm

    Reminds me of the old hymn couplet "Can a mother's tender care, Fail toward the child she bare?" and how it was mis-heard by generations of children as "Can a mother's tender care, Fail toward the child she-bear?"

  2. Y said,

    February 16, 2021 @ 6:55 pm

    This is Hindi, I presume?

  3. ycx said,

    February 16, 2021 @ 7:22 pm

    too many chilled beers makes it difficult to a child bear.

  4. Tom Hickey said,

    February 16, 2021 @ 7:48 pm

    Hi Philip,

    Fancy meeting you here.

    Thanks for the fun post.

    All the best to you and Susan.


  5. Philip Lutgendorf said,

    February 16, 2021 @ 9:56 pm

    To Tom Hickey:
    Indeed! Please contact me at my same-old e-mail address.
    Warmly and JMB,

  6. AntC said,

    February 17, 2021 @ 5:16 am

    sarkār = government; sarkārī = of the Govt., authorized, licensed

    So government licensing doesn't extend to propriety of the establishment? Or perhaps the Liquor licensing authority is separate from the Child protection authority is separate from the Animal welfare authority?

    Or perhaps English spelling is no authority's responsibility?

    I noticed a similar wild exuberance with English spelling on shop signs in Hong Kong — that is at the time it was still under British rule.

  7. Rodger C said,

    February 17, 2021 @ 8:07 am

    2E. N. Anderson: Give a bear beer, and you get Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.

  8. Neil said,

    February 17, 2021 @ 6:10 pm

    @ Y, yes it’s Hindi.

  9. Francois Lang said,

    February 18, 2021 @ 4:34 pm

    @Rodger C: From the hymn “Keep Thou My Way”!

  10. Mike K said,

    February 20, 2021 @ 3:45 pm

    "Dukan" jumped out at me as a cognate to the Hebrew דוכן mostly meaning stall in the modern with older additional senses of platform/stand. And indeed, it came in through Persian < Arabic < Aramaic. Seems to be a standard word for store in many Turkic languages as well. A cursory Google Translate-based survey suggests that the Dravidian languages are divided amongst borrowing "store" from English and more local terms.

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