A Guide To Help You Shop

She wants a notebook when she asks for a COPY

The lady at the counter gives her a packet of COFFEE!

PAN PEN and PIN, they’re all pronounced like PAIN,

No nothing hurts, everything is as right as rain.

A ONE-PIECE is a dress – you can’t wear it to swim,

A BLOUSE means a choli – be clear before you go in.

A TOP is a blouse, but a shirt’s just a shirt,

Both work with jeans, trousers, or any length of skirt.

A SUIT is a kameez, with a salwaar, a churidar, or leggings,

OR a one-piece, with tights or a pair of jeggings.

The jockey night suits are clothes for play,

OR what we women wear to the market, if it’s not too far away.

You have to know the right words when you go out to shop,
Else it’s a wild goose chase, and you’ll come home with nought.


For those of you who don’t live in  India, a ‘COPY’ is a notebook, usually an exercise book used for school homework. Now coffee, is just coffee, but is also pronounced ‘COPHEE’ like copy, but with an ‘h’ sound added to it, because in many Indian languages an f vowel is pronounced ph. This can cause much confusion!

This post will help you get familiar with commonly used terms when you go shopping for clothes here in Navi Mumbai (and in many other parts of India), so that you are able to find what you want without too much difficulty.

Yes, I’m one of the women who wear Jockey night shirts with trousers or a skirt to go to the market. When in Rome . . . .

A choli is a short and usually fitted blouse that’s worn with a saree, but today, some women wear ‘tops’ with sarees. A kameez is a long shirt which is worn with different types of trousers (salwars, churidars) and a chunni (a long stole).

Published by Anitaelise

Anitaelise teaches piano lessons at Anitaelise Piano Studio and writes poetry and essays at The Relaxed Housekeeper. The blogs - therelaxedhousekeeper.com and anitaelise.com are written and owned by her and published in accordance with the copyright notice at the footer of each blog.

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