Words at Play : Words With Remarkable Origins, Vol. 2

#9: Khaki

During India's first War of Independence (or the Indian Mutiny) in 1857, the British military wore uniforms shaded a light yellowish brown.

How would you describe that shade? The locals called it khaki, which in Hindi and Urdu means "dust-colored."

(These days, of course, pants often called "khakis" come in a range of colors other than dusty brown.)

Photo: Robert S. Donovan / flickr

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