10 words that American and Indians use to mean different things

The sound of words in different languages around the world may be similar or somewhat similar. However, knowing the real problem helps you if you are visiting that particular country so that you will not use those words in a wrong context.

English and Indian languages have lots of words having similar sounds. We offer 15 such words. Hope you enjoy them.

  • Comely and Kamli

She is comely, indeed! (Remember Thomas Hardy from Tess of D’Urbervillies). Well, yea, the word comely has a similar sound in the word ‘Kamli’ in India, which actually is not from original Sanskrit. But the word is used for a woman who is out of wits and is not in her own senses. The male version of this word is ‘Kamla’.

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Kamalī.

Different meanings of words in America and India



  • Sir and Sar

The word means a formal respect given to anybody who is elder in age or holds a higher position in authority. In India too, this word is used more often than the name of a person, but its counterpart in Indian language simply means ‘head’–the body part.

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Sara.

Difference in meanings of word in America and India



  • Suffer and Safar

This word is really interesting. Suffer of course is a verb in English and means act of undergoing pain or sorrow. In India, Safar would mean going somewhere or travelling to a place. People use this word while traveling through bus, train or plane or through sea. It’s not a native Indian word and differs from India ‘f’ in the middle, but it is frequently used in India.

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Safara.

Common words




  • Pee and Pee

The word Pee in English is used to express the liquid excrete material of the body; however, in India, it has total opposite meaning. It means to drink. Funny part is that English Pee would mean excreting the liquid out while Indian Pee would mean taking some kind of liquid in.

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Pī.

Common Words



  • Hi and Hai

These are interesting words but used totally in a contrasting manner. English ‘Hi’ is positive addressing the other person with greetings and conveying warm feelings. However, India ‘Hai’, is an interjection; an expression of sadness, sorrow, misery and pain. The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Hāya.

Common Word



  • Bill and Bill

The word bill is used in English to mean the record of payment one owes, sometimes a law or rule that is passed in the parliament. However, in India, it means the hole of rodents, or some small wild animals. It an expression that means house. Sometimes, people swear on others saying: “Go, hide in your bill”, which means “Go, hide in your hole!”

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Bila.


Common Words



  • Mystery and Mistry

Mystery is mysterious. It has an element of surprise, unknown, and astonishment. It’s something that is not clear, known and understood. However, in India, ‘Mistry’ would mean a mason. A person who engages in construction of buildings, houses, shops, etc. The person who works with bricks, mortar and cement.

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Mistrī.


Common Words



  • Con and Kaun or Kaan

The word con would mean many things in English. It acts as a noun, verb and adverb. However, in India, it may get two pronunciation. One of them would be “Kaun”, which simply means who. The other pronunciation, which is more Americanized, would be “Kaan”, which would mean an ear.

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Kauna and Kāna.

Common Words




  • Must and Mast

Now you must understand the meaning must if you know English! 🙂 Grammar rules are must if you want to use a language. However, in India, with soft pronunciation of ‘t’, the word would become ‘mast’, which means somebody who is a cool person; gets along with people easily; and also engaged and engrossed blissfully in his/her own thoughts and world. Basically, a very likable person or concept!

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Masta.





  • Purr and Par

Purr is the sound made by a cat. A recent research shows that it is a healing sound and can help you with your bones if the cat is sitting in your lap! 🙂 Anyways, In India, ‘Par’ is a conjunction which means “But”.

The phonetic representation of Indian word would be Para.

Common Words


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