Healthsake: Bihar-born etymologist's newly coined word enters English dictionaries

The word, coined by Dr Birbal Jha, has featured in the Collins English Dictionary online edition besides Urban Dictionary under crowd-sourcing.

Published: 21st April 2020 01:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2020 03:47 PM   |  A+A-

Etymologist and author Dr Birbal Jha

Etymologist and author Dr Birbal Jha. (photo| Special arrangement)

Express News Service

PATNA: While some are busy utilizing the ongoing lockdown time to ignite literary and creative interests, Dr Birbal Jha, a Bihar-born etymologist in Delhi, made use of this "opportunity" to coin a new English word - 'Healthsake'.

Thanks to Dr Jha, "Healthsake" has now featured in the online edition of Collins English Dictionary and   Urban Dictionary.

He recently launched the portal - for health awareness and preventive measures.

It is noteworthy to mention that Jha had earlier hit the headlines when he organised the first-ever "Namaste-March" in Delhi participated by hundreds of academicians from English as well as other streams.

The march had hogged the limelight in national and international media as a first of its kind bid to popularise 'namaste', the traditional Indian greetings.

"No handshake for healthsake! Keep physical distancing, not mental distancing, given the pandemic coronavirus," he had appealed to the people. 

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Dr Jha said, "Healthsake is a combination of health and sake and it simply means ‘for the sake of health’, ‘health-improving or caring'. Grammatically, it can be used as a noun and adjective both." Some examples that he mentioned using the word are, "Let’s be serious about healthsake", "Healthsake thoughts are desirable".

Dr Jha, who is also an author, claimed that the word 'Healthsake' was submitted to the English dictionaries for inclusion recently. He has been in the pursuit of the coinage of words for over three decades. 

Dr Jha has written more than 30 books on the aspects of English communication skills, personal growth, manual, parenting, culture and society including books for students who have a poor command over their language.

He wrote a bestseller vocabulary building book –‘Tricks to Wordology’ in early 2000 in which he explained how words are derived and used in real-life situations. The term 'wordology' was also coined at the time of the publishing of his book. 

Also, a popular colloquial Maithili word ‘paag’ found its place in English dictionaries last year, thanks to Dr Jha’s efforts and submissions. In India, Maithili is one of the 22 languages included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution of India. "While thinking of healthsake, Indian lifestyles and food habits are worth adopting and practicing," he said.

Dr Jha was also instrumental in highlighting the first COVID-19 case at a Mohalla Clinic in Delhi by writing letters to Delhi Chief Minister and central health machinery prompting them to take quick remedial measures. Later, this drew the attention of national media and subsequently around 1200 people, those who came in contact with the corona positive patient and doctor, were quarantined to break the chain of spreading it further.

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