bhut jolokia

bhut jo·​lo·​kia | \ ˈbüt-jō-ˈlō-kē-ə How to pronounce bhut jolokia (audio) \
plural bhut jolokias

Definition of bhut jolokia

: a small, extremely hot chili pepper : ghost pepper The bhut jolokia is a hundred and fifty times hotter than a jalapeño.— Lauren Collins The newest addition to India's antiterrorism arsenal is tastier than most. After successful trials in defense labs, the military is converting bhut jolokia—the world's hottest chili—into hand grenades.Time

First Known Use of bhut jolokia

2006, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bhut jolokia

borrowed from Assamese bhüt-zolokiya (in semi-phonetic transliteration; in Sanskritic transliteration bhōṭ-jalakīyā, phonetically bhʊt-zɔlɔkiya), from bhüt- (probably truncated from bhütiya "of Bhutan, Bhutanese," going back to Old Indo-Aryan *bhōṭṭīya "Tibetan") + zolokiya "pepper," of uncertain origin

Note: This form of the compound is recorded in the University of Gauhati's Candrakānta Abhidhānya (3rd edition, 1987), a comprehensive dictionary of Assamese with English glosses, as a variant (in quotation marks) of bih-zolokiya, literally, "poison pepper." However, the conventional translation as "ghost chili" or "ghost pepper" points to a variant (or misunderstanding?) bhut-zolokiya (in Sanskritic transliteration bhut-jalakīyā), with bhut "ghost, goblin, evil spirit" (corresponding to Sanskrit bhūtá "being, spirit, demon"). The forms bhüt /bhʊt/ and bhut /bhut/ differ only in the vowel, as the dental and retroflex stops have merged in Assamese.

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Cite this Entry

“Bhut jolokia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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