Simple Definition of pukka
: very good
Examples of pukka in a sentence
<wondering whether the old-looking ivory box was pukka—or just something recently manufactured in China>
Did You Know?
Pukka tends to evoke the height of 18th- and 19th-century British imperialism in India, and, indeed, it was first used in English at the 1775 trial of Maha Rajah Nundocomar, who was accused of forgery and tried by a British court in Bengal. The word is borrowed from Hindi and Urdu "pakkā," which means "solid." The English speakers who borrowed it applied the "sound and reliable" sense of "solid" and thus the word came to mean "genuine." As the British Raj waned, "pukka" was occasionally appended to "sahib" (an Anglo-Indian word for a European of some social or official status). That expression is sometimes used as a compliment for an elegant and refined gentleman, but it can also imply that someone is overbearing and pretentious. These days, "pukka" is also used as a British slang word meaning "excellent" or "cool."
Variants of pukka
Origin of pukka
Hindi & Urdu pakkā cooked, ripe, solid, from Sanskrit pakva; akin to Greek pessein to cook — more at cook
First Known Use: 1776
Learn More about pukka
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "pukka"
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