mofussil

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Urdu مفصل (mufaSSil), variant of مفصل (mufaSSal, divided), from Persian مفصل (mufaSSal), from Arabic مفصل (mufaSSal), passive participle of فصل (faSSala, to divide, classify).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

mofussil (uncountable)

  1. (India) Originally, the regions of India outside the three East India Company capitals of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras; hence, parts of a country outside an urban centre; the regions, rural areas.
    • 1904. Herbert Compton. Indian Life in Town and Country:
      Such are the means by which the Mofussil, “up-country,” or provincial Anglo-Indian will reach his station or district, and unless he is going to Bombay or Calcutta, which are practically the two entrance doors of the Empire, with Madras for a back door, his first experience of Anglo-Indian life will be of travel; and the land journey will often prove much more trying than the sea-voyage.

Usage notes[edit]

The term is used widely on the Indian subcontinent. Although value-neutral, the word occasionally carries negative connotations when used by residents of a large metropolis, similar to "the boonies" or "the sticks" in English.

References[edit]

  • Indian Life in Town and Country by Herbert Compton, 1904[1]
  • Government of Andhra Pradesh: Motor Vehicles Act, 1988[2]