Sri Lankan English
Learning Sinhala
Learning Tamil
Contact Us


























Sri Lankan English - Updates T

This page contains updates to the dictionary beginning with the letter T. It is divided into 2 parts: New Entries, and Comments and Corrections. Click here to return to the main updates page, or on the links on the left side of the page to go to another letter.

These pages are updated regularly; please contact me if you have any suggestions or feedback which can be included.


tak tik tuk: noughts and crosses (UK); tick tack toe (US)
… I reluctantly realised that there would have been some “Tak, Tik, Tuk” involved in the selection process. (Sunday Times 04/01/15)

tale-carrier: gossip, rumour-monger (SAE) (> carry tales)
In this scenario the Opposition Leader's attempts to play the role of a tale-carrier to the international community as against Sri Lanka are bound to dent the image of the country and destabilise it. (Daily News 06/12/08)
Still on the subject of the Citadel an up-and-coming player has been the butt end of criticism that he is a tale carrier. It is said that this player goes and tells his higher up all what is happening on tours etc. (Sunday Times 16/03/14)

tale-carrying: telling tales, spreading rumours (SAE) (> carry tales)
But the MPs and Ministers appointed after 1956 found it useful for them to convey orders to lower levels, listening to tales carried to them by the subordinate employees in the hierarchy such as clerks and peons. The Ministers listened to such tale carrying which is a bane in our society. The late Felix Dias Bandaranaike was the only Minister in my experience who confronted the official with the tale carrier. Hence there was hardly any tale carrying by subordinate officials and employees in the lower rungs against their bosses. (Island 01/06/15)

talipot: a large variety of palm tree (Corypha umbraculifera) famous for its huge flower and its leaves (ola leaves) used in ancient manuscripts
(Click here to see a photograph)
… I remember how the gypsies used to encamp with their talipot-leafed abodes on the adjoining property. (A Nice Burgher Girl, by Jean Arasanayagam, page 393)
... a bushy-headed talipot in full flower. (Beggar’s Feast, by Randy Boyagoda, page 133)
His former home had been a shelter of talipot-palm leaves, under which he had slept until his shack was completed. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 26)
The talipot blooms towards the very end of its life, and in its last year produces beautiful flowers followed by clusters of round, hard seeds. The stunning bloom of the talipot palm is one of the natural world's most unforgettable sights. (travelsrilanka magazine)

Tamil Eelam (= Eelam): the name given to the separate state claimed in the North and East of Sri Lanka by the LTTE and other separatist groups
> Eelam is a historical Tamil name for the whole island of Sri Lanka. Tamil Eelam is a more recent term referring specifically to the North and East, as in the name of the LTTE: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
The EPRLF is a Left-leaning group that was born in 1981 and subscribed to the idea of an independent Tamil Eelam state for years. (Daily News 02/04/16)

Tamilian (= Tamil) (more common in India)
While Tamilians were burning, I was studying in the third grade, in a Sinhalese school. …
I am a Tamilian. But I felt everyone looked at me as though I were Sinhalese. (Time Will Write a Song for You: Contemporary Tamil writing from Sri Lanka, pages 231-4)
A Tamilian is appointed to represent the Batticaloa District UNP ( 18/12/14)
My father is tamilian and my mom is sinhalese so I can speak both languages fluently. (

Tamilisation: the process of making a place (e.g. an area or an organisation) more Tamil in identity (> Sinhalisation)
The gradual Sinhalisation (and to a far lesser extent Tamilisation) of the public sector has meant that the public sector is no longer the coveted career path for the economic and social elites of Sri Lanka. (Sunday Leader 02/01/11)
The Sri Lanka government has accused the US State Department of Tamilisation of its annual report on the island’s human rights. … The problem is that the US has tried to Tamilise the report. ( 11/04/11)
It cannot be denied that Sinhala areas have undergone TAMILISATION to an unprecedented scale that remains unparalleled to the present day. (comment on 14/03/13)

the Tamil man: a (stereotypical) Tamil person (> Jaffna man)
Tamils complained bitterly that Colombo-based Tamil entrepreneurs who made large quantities of money from the Tamil man would not re-invest even a small fraction of it in Tamil areas. (The Broken Palmyrah, by Rajan Hoole et al, page 26)
The two aspects of altruism and baseness that governed the Tamil man’s perception of India corresponded to the sentimental and the real. (The Broken Palmyrah, by Rajan Hoole et al, page 84)
The Tamil man very much loved material security. (The Broken Palmyrah, by Rajan Hoole et al, page 107)
The Tamil man will not easily forget this experience. (The Broken Palmyrah, by Rajan Hoole et al, page 286)
As such the average Tamil man who came from a harsh climate and barren landscape in the north prospered in the only way he could through education and employment in public service. … As a result the major life line of the Tamil man had been closed for ever. (Island 22/03/09)
The LTTE in fact was responding to the nature of the Tamil man, in many things they did. (comment on 13/07/11)

The dignity of the Tamil man is another issue that you whip up to convince the world that you are the victims of the “Sinhala state”. ( 01/09/12)

Tamilness: Tamil identity (> Sinhalaness)
To demonstrate the Tamilness of his character he would always change into a verti in the evenings ... (Yakada Yaka, by Carl Muller, page 156)
In Toronto, I learned to seek out the signs of Tamilness: the food, the people, the temples, the customs. (Love Marriage, by V.V. Ganeshananthan, page 244)

Tamil New Year (= Sinhala and Tamil New Year): (also Hindu New Year) the Sri Lankan New Year festival in mid-April
It was their blessing for the Tamil New Year - … (Song of the Sun God, by Shankari Chandran, page 377)

Tamil of Indian origin (= upcountry Tamil): a member of the Tamil community brought from South India to Sri Lanka by the British in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to work on the tea estates (> Sri Lankan Tamil)
On tea estates, these were usually Tamils of Indian origin, who now became state employees even though their status as citizens of Sri Lanka remained in limbo. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 194)
… the government finally conferred full citizenship on Tamils of Indian origin resident in the country during the late 1980s. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 235)
The government is urged to restore the rights of Tamils of Indian origin who live in up-country areas, the TPA said. (Daily Mirror 27/01/16)

Tamil Tiger (= Tiger, LTTEer): a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
I had always known that he was a Tamil Tiger, although no one had ever told me. (Love Marriage, by V.V. Ganeshananthan, page 33)

“… the heroic Sinhalese soldiers who fought against the Tamil Tigers and sacrificed their lives, in order to protect the motherland.” (The Moon in the Water, by Ameena Hussein, page 168)
They were in Canada because their families in Jaffna had gathered all their meagre resources and sent them over as refugees, to avoid conscription by the Tamil Tigers. (The Hungry Ghosts, by Shyam Selvadurai, page 109)

Tathagatha: the Buddha (Sanskrit)
Even the great Tathagatha, the Buddha, had alluded to such. (Theravada Man, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 13)
The Tathagata preaches the Dhamma to her and she enters the first stage of enlightenment, … (The Hungry Ghosts, by Shyam Selvadurai, page 261

tavern renter (= arrack renter): (hist.) arrack merchant or retailer; also tavern rent (> renter)
The tavern rents had to be paid to the kachcheri in monthly instalments. (Nobodies to Somebodies, by Kumari Jayawardena, page 40)
Many of the other tavern renters in the Southern Province were minor officials and school teachers. (Nobodies to Somebodies, by Kumari Jayawardena, page 46)

tea auction: the weekly auction of tea in Colombo
It was common for some workers in tea factories upcountry to smuggle out a few sacks of processed tea dust before stocks were trucked off to the tea auctions in Colombo. (The Banana Tree Crisis, by Isankya Kodithuwakku, page 13)
Colombo Tea Auction continues to brew record prices (FT 24/10/13)

tea broker: a dealer at the tea auction
Sri Lanka tea broker warns against unethical practices ( 18/09/07)

tea bun: a plain sweet bun
The owner of a home based boutique and bakery said that the price of a tea bun will be increased by at least one rupee now while the price of an egg sandwich will go up by two rupees. “In the past, with Rs. 25, a person was able to drink a cup of tea and eat a tea bun. But now they have to have at least five or eight rupees extra in hand to have a cup of tea and a tea bun,” she said. (Nation 30/09/07)

tea garden: tea estate, tea plantation, tea field (SAE)
… hills covered with tea gardens in the distance. (All is Burning, by Jean Arasanayagam, page 92)
Magnificent tea gardens spread out on either side of the road following the contours of the hill, … (The Far Spent Day, by Nihal de Silva, page 133)

tea kiosk (= tea boutique, thee kade)
I knew the kadé - the tea kiosk at the top of the road, … (Reef, by Romesh Gunesekera, page 39)
There was a tea kiosk and a banana shop, thereafter a couple of stalls selling vegetables. (The Road from Elephant Pass, by Nihal de Silva, page 75)
He passed the motor garage and the grocery stores, and the tea-kiosks where weary labourers gathered for a cup of tea and a chat. (The Mirror of Paradise, by Asgar Hussein, page 82)

At a tea kiosk there were no people sitting on a bench sipping tea chatting and laughing like back home in Gintota. (Eternally Yours, by Sybil Wettasinghe, page 9)
“Are you still working at the tea kiosk, Putha?” (Somewhere, by Vijita Fernando, page 66)
It’s 5 a.m. and we retire to the makeshift tea kiosk and drink herbal tea sweetened with jaggery in little, coloured glasses. (The Line of Lanka, by Sunela Jayewardene, page 128)

tea planter: the owner or manager of a tea estate (SAE)
This was his first shot at being a tea planter. (The Flower Boy, by Karen Roberts, page 13)
… the convent-educated eldest daughter of a prosperous Indian Tamil tea planter. (The Sweet and Simple Kind, by Yasmine Gooneratne, page 23)
A tea-planter in his youth, Desmond had worked for the railways in Sydney; … (Questions of Travel, by Michelle de Kretser, page 410)

tea taster: a person who tastes tea to determine quality
This is the work of the tea-taster, the practitioner of a dark art whose lore was for long decades a closely guarded secret amongst the brotherhood of tea. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 71)
… when a tea-taster at John Keells wrote a devastating review of the implementation and expected consequences of land reform … (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 204)
Pioneer tea taster felicitated at Russel’s Tea Lounge (Financial Times 20/07/11)
Trained Tea Tasters a dying breed (Nation 01/03/15)

thada: (coll.) close, friendly, thick (with somebody) (Sinhala)
“I am not thada with them. Barely on hi-bye terms actually.” (The Moon in the Water, by Ameena Hussein, page 72)

thadang: (coll.) very big, huge (Sinhala)
“My friend Elmo Tawfeeq has a tha-dang library.” (Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka, page 381)

Thalaivar: leader (Tamil); title of V. Prabhakaran, leader of the LTTE
Understandably, the LTTE and its acolytes are in a state of denial of their thalaivar’s death. (Is 21/05/09)

thatha (= paatta): grandfather (Tamil) (> ammappa, appappa)
“No. But my thatha was born there.” (Song of the Sun God, by Shankari Chandran, page 38)

thaththi, thaththe (= thaththa): father, Daddy, Dad (a familiar term of address) (Sinhala)
“Dear Ammi, we have gone to Colombo to see Thaaththi.” (The Flower Boy, by Karen Roberts, page 127)
“The buses are too crowded, aren’t they Thaththe?” (Rainbows in Braille, by Elmo Jayawardena, page 36)
“Dylan, your thaththi won’t be coming back you know.” (Learning to Fly, by Shehani Gomes, page 29)
“Aney thaaththe, stop talking and let our daughter talk,” … (Theravada Man, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 63)
Ammi and Thaththi didn’t seem to have time for him. (Mythil’s Secret, by Prashani Rambukwella, page 10)
“Thaathi is not very well.” (Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka, page 138)
“Why do you say that, Thaththe?” (Sinhala Only, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 330)

that one: (coll.) he/she, that person, what’s-his-name, you-know-who (> this one)
You should have seen what that one was wearing!
> See A-Z of Sri Lankan English: T is for this thing
“I went to this place
That one was there
He’d brought his this thing
For our one to share.”
(Poem by Barbara Sansoni, in Press with the Toes in the Grass, page 88)

“You would be gathering up shit with that one.” (Island of a Thousand Mirrors, by Nayomi Munaweera, page 15-16)
“I have told him to contact that one and sell our share.” (The Hungry Ghosts, by Shyam Selvadurai, page 292)

thebu: crepe ginger (Costus Speciosus), a type of leaf used in cooking (Sinhala)
She grew … gotukola, mukunuwenna, thebu leaves, … (Playing Pillow Politics at MGK, by Lal Medawattegedara, page 77)
Greens like spinach, gotukola, thebu and veggies like okra and Bitter gourd. (Ceylon Today 23/02/14)

thelijja: the sap tapped from the coconut flower or the kitul flower; left to ferment it becomes toddy, or it is boiled to produce honey or jaggery (Sinhala)
… to our delight, [she] offers us pots of sweet thelijja, the unfermented sap of the kithul palm flower. (The Line of Lanka, by Sunela Jayewardene, page 18)
Braving lightning, thunder storms and monkeys aplenty, the pot of thelijja (kithul sap) which is lowered by Hindurangala kithul tappers is a labour of love. … One flower could yield 10 litres of thelijja per day. … When the flower is ready to be tapped, the flower clusters are tied together and their ends are cut off and a pot is placed beneath to collect the dripping sap known as thelijja. … The thelijja fresh from the tree which Gamini offers us is a single creation of mother nature, its flavour arousing the taste buds. One pot of thelijja or sap which is boiled on a traditional clay stove for about 45 minutes can yield about three litres of treacle, we are told. Kithul toddy is produced when thelijja is allowed to ferment sans boiling. (Sunday Times 09/04/17)

then only: only then (SAE) (> only)
Then only I saw her.
> Note inverted word order in standard usage:
Only then did I see her.
“Then only you can see the real fun.” (Sam’s Story, by Elmo Jayawardena, page 143)
"Now when I step out of the house at night I always look at the sky, and then only I go where I have to go." (Monsoons and Potholes, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 311)
But you have to find the manhole next to the lamppost, then only you will find the entrance. (Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka, page 450)

“But if they break a limb or cut off something, then only the problem.” (No Return, by Rajitha Dissanayake, translated by Hasini Haputhanthri and Gihan de Chickera, page 76)

ther: a decorated temple chariot which is pulled through the streets during Hindu festivals (Tamil) (> vel cart)
… the tall contraption on wheels that was parked between the school entrance and the temple. The camp organisers explained that it was called a ‘ther’, a chariot or cart in which the god was taken around the temple at festivals. (The Broken Palmyrah, by Rajan Hoole et al, page 247)
The ‘Ther’ festival at Nallur Kandasamy Temple will be held today. ( 04/09/13)

this much of, that much of: this much, that much (SAE) (> how much of, so much of, too much of)
“… you can’t take this much of space.” (The Whirlwind, by Ayathurai Santhan, page 37)

thisthingfy: (coll.) verb form of this thing
It needs to be thisthingfied.
> See A-Z of Sri Lankan English: T is for this thing

thombu, tombo: historical land registry first compiled by the Portuguese (Portuguese tombo)
Cases of intermarriage between Malays and Moors are even found in the Dutch tombos. (Zeylanica, by Asiff Hussein, page 389)
According to a Dutch Thombu at the Bambalapitiya Milagiriya Church, … (Sunday Times 04/04/99)
While the ownership to land was to some extent clear in the maritime provinces, the Thombo registers defining the limits of government and private ownership, in the Kandyan provinces, it was, at best, vague. (Daily News 13/10/03)
Some of the villages mentioned in these documents called ‘thombu’ bear evidence that villages such as Kalawana and Pothupitiya were the original names the villages bore more than four centuries ago. (Nation 21/02/10)
… maybe there is a thombu laying around somewhere gifting the property to Ms Lavinia Apponso and-or her inheritors … (comment on 06/02/11)
When Dutch Governor de Heere (1697-1703) took charge of the Dutch possessions in Sri Lanka, he ordered the few Portuguese tombos available at the time to be burned and new tombos prepared. (Island 26/05/12)
The Headmaster was a local by the name of Jacinto Graro who was also a Tombu-keeper or Registrar of Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths. (Sunday Times 09/09/12)
Van Gollenesse did a survey of Hina Korale and found a huge disparity between the thombu and his survey. (Island 14/12/12)
‘The Incomplete Thombu’ poses as a bureaucratic document file. Thombu was a term used by the Dutch to describe a public land registery, derived from the Greek tomos, from which the Latin word tome, or large book orginates. The Incomplete Thombu covers the subject of Tamil displacement during the civil conflict in Sri Lanka between 1983 and 2009. (

thoplan sambol: a type of sambol made with fried onions, Maldive fish and chillie pieces (Thoplaan is a Sri Lankan Muslim name)
Thoplan sambol or Muslim seeni sambol is a side dish which can be served with rice, roti or hoppers. (AskAgent website)

thottam: estate, plantation (Tamil)
Once a ‘coolie’ made it to the thottam and commenced work, he found his miniscule wages further diminished by various deductions to meet the cost of his passage, the expenses of the kangani who had recruited him and so on. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 31)
Starting in about 1925, he went from thottam to thottam across the hill country, … (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 116)
… on the whole planters contributed to the war effort this time by staying on their thottams and helping to ensure that the Allies were kept supplied with tea, rubber and other essential commodities. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 140)
The coolies stayed where they were, the majority of them still resident on their ancestral thottams. … The worker’s thottam was all that he or she now had in lieu of a state. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 157)
Postman goes to thottam (Sunday Times 06/01/08)
The plantations had been free of scrutiny by any government agency. The span of control of the Tea Control/Rubber Control departments stopped at the gate of the “thottam.” ( 11/05/08)

three-wheeler driver, three-wheel driver (= trishaw driver): the driver of a three-wheeler
The three-wheeler drivers were compelled to memorize the potholes in order to keep their balance. (Can You Hear me Running, by Lal Medawattegedara, page 49)
“Will you tell the three-wheeler driver we’ll be needing his services?” (Serendipity, by Ashok Ferrey, page 149)

Thaththi kept his eyes on the road sounding the horn impatiently as a three-wheeler driver cut in front of them without signalling. (Mythil’s Secret, by Prashani Rambukwella, page 39)
Chaminda, our three-wheeler driver, got down … (Playing Pillow Politics at MGK, by Lal Medawattegedara, page 15)
3-wheel drivers will rarely undercut each other, so no bottomless bargaining. (Sigiriya & Beyond, by Neranjana Gunetilleke et al, page 372)

thundering slap: a hard slap
“Felt like giving him a thundering slap ...” (The Jam Fruit Tree, by Carl Muller, page 184)
“I got up, ... grabbed him by the ear and fetched him a thundering slap on the side of his head.” (The Sweet and Simple Kind, by Yasmine Gooneratne, page 256)
“I’ll give the scoundrel a thundering slap, and then I’ll wring his bloody neck.” (Rannygazoo, by Yasmine Gooneratne, page 315)
“I’ll give you a thundering slap, … if you don’t mind your manners.” (The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons, by Ashok Ferrey, page 248)

thundu: (hist.) chit, a note recording an estate labourer’s outstanding debts (Tamil: piece); also thundu system (> tin ticket)
Among these expenses were included the settlement of the labourer’s existing debts in India, which were paid off by the overseer or kangani so that he would be free to emigrate. All these debts were recorded on a ‘chit’ or tundu, and the new recruit discovered that he was obliged to work until he had paid off the full sum through compulsory deductions from his wages. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 31)
The hated tundu system was abolished in 1921 and all workers were forgiven their debts, … (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 117)
But as the years passed the kangany gradually lost his grip on the workers. The “tundu” system whereby a kangany could transfer his work gang from one plantation to another, was abolished in 1921. (Daily News 05/01/12)
There is great thought whether we should go back to a cascading form of tax because we still have what is called a ‘thundu’ system within the informal sector that operates on absolute trust and faith. (Daily Mirror 04/08/15)

thuththiri: burrs, seeds which stick to your clothes (Sinhala)
Now the passage was narrower, overgrown with thuththiri weeds and thampala plants which made skin itch if you rubbed against them. (The Flower Boy, by Karen Roberts, page 6)
Full of thuththiri they climbed into the cart and began the journey home. (Theravada Man, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 272)

There we were seated on the grass, tickled by ‘thuththiri’ … (Daily Mirror 19/12/15)

thuttu deke: (coll.) worthless (Sinhala = 2 thuttu, an old Dutch coin)
I have never seen thuttu deke Marxists of this nature. (Sunday Leader online 21/12/03)

“No more ‘thuttu-dekay lovers’ in my life and no more Hard Rock Cafes either.” (Rainbows in Braille, by Elmo Jayawardena, page 16)
“Look at all the others and see how far educated their children are – some have all kinds of boru degrees from ‘thutu dekay’ universities.” (Daily Mirror 05/02/15)

tic-polonga (= Russell’s viper): a highly venomous snake (Daboia russelii); the best known, and the most dangerous, of several species of viper found in Sri Lanka (from Sinhala thith-polonga) (> polonga)
No reptile harmed him although serpents abounded everywhere, the deadly mapila, the tic-polonga, the cobra, the python. (A Nice Burgher Girl, by Jean Arasanayagam, page 12)

tie and coat: jacket and tie, coat and tie (SAE)
Inside there were about four or five police officers and several others dressed formally in tie and coat. (Out of the Darkness, translated by Vijita Fernando, page 33)
On the other hand, if these institutions continue to insist that employees wear Western attire, replete with tie and coat, … (Daily News 05/02/10)
Dressed in tie and coat, smoking a pipe, he never tried to deceive the masses with his attire, to show he was one of them as the other Leftists did with the Wavul Suit. (comment on 26/08/14)

Tigress: female Tiger (member of LTTE)
My only question at that time was, why is this self-proclaimed Tigress using a nom de guerre in lieu of her real name two years after the decisive end of the civil war in Sri Lanka? ( 19/11/11)

time to time: from time to time (SAE)
Until then racism and racist political parties will rule the north and time to time launch violence. (comment on 10/07/11)
Time to time testing has to be done to keep it under control. (Sunday Times 14/08/11)

tinkering: repairing the bodywork of vehicles
> In standard usage, tinkering suggests messing around with something, trying to repair it in a casual or amateur way.
Registration of contractors for tinkering and painting of vehicles (
Good tinkering and paint garage in Colombo ( 06/02/14)

tin ticket: (hist.) a small piece of tin issued to estate labourers arriving in Ceylon to identify the estate they were going to; also tin ticket system (> thundu)
> Also called a thundu (Tamil: piece), causing confusion with the separate thundu system.
The government began taking serious measures in 1898, underwriting the costs of the workers’ passage and introducing a ‘tin ticket system’ to regulate and manage migration. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 105)
Under the Tin Ticket System, introduced in 1889, the coolies who were brought from India were first taken to a camp at Ragama and each of them issued a tin ticket, stamped with consecutive individual numbers, the estate number and the district letter. They were then sent by train to the station nearest to the estate and the transport charge was collected from the estate, through the kachcheri (the district secretariat).
To the kankanis who went to Mannar to receive the labourers, tin tickets were issued in bulk. The individual numbers stamped on the tin tickets were entered in the check roll against the name of each worker.
The Tin Ticket System introduced a new type of servitude that, Sir Ponnampalam Arunachalam opposed. The emergence of Indian nationalism at the same time exerted pressure on the British - Indian government, to safeguard the interests of emigrant labour. The result was the enactment of the Indian Immigration Labour Ordinance in 1923, which abolished the Tin Ticket System and the Minimum Wages (Indian) Labour Ordinance, in 1927, which fixed the minimum wage. (

tippy: (of tea) including an abundance of tips or leaf buds
Better made tippy teas realise attractive price levels (Island 03/09/04)

Low Growns are known for strong colour and strength and also for ‘Tippy’ teas producing light brews. (Nation 04/06/06)
Although prices declined for these Tippy grades, overall Auction prices of High, Medium and Low Growns continued to be higher than the corresponding period of 2013. (FT 19/01/15)

to: into
Don't forget to put petrol to the car.
“And then I’ll slice him up like a fish and throw his parts to the sea.” (The Mirror of Paradise, by Asgar Hussein, page 48)

today itself: today (for emphasis) (SAE) (> itself)
“Today itself I must get a money order and send the money to Malli.” (Out of the Darkness, translated by Vijita Fernando, page 13)
“That is why I came today itself.” (Out of the Darkness, translated by Vijita Fernando, page 140)
"Don't wait till tomorrow, … You go today itself to the American Centre and register yourself …" (Monsoons and Potholes, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 304)

He would get started today itself. (The Banana Tree Crisis, by Isankya Kodithuwakku, page 44)
“Do you think he will do the lawn today itself?” (Can You Hear me Running, by Lal Medawattegedara, page 10)
“That’s it. She must go. Today itself, I must deal with this.” (The Hungry Ghosts, by Shyam Selvadurai, page 8)
“I’ll give him a call today itself and find out what’s wrong with Herbert.” (Rannygazoo, by Yasmine Gooneratne, page 299)

tommy rot: (coll.) nonsense, rubbish
After Harmil maini left I told them that what she had said was tommy rot. (The Moon in the Water, by Ameena Hussein, page 119)

tooth relic: the venerated Buddhist relic kept at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
When I was a child, at Perahera time – the annual pageant where homage is paid to the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha … (All is Burning, by Jean Arasanayagam, page 279)
“Monumental statues of the great Tathagatha carved in rock, or glorious stupas reaching up to the blue sky, or even the precious tooth relic, are not the Buddha dharma.” (Theravada Man, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 137)

One practice which was followed for some time was state patronage of the annual ceremony connected with the Tooth Relic, with the Government Agent in Kandy taking over the role earlier performed by the King. (Nobodies to Somebodies, by Kumari Jayawardena, page 255)
“What use is possession of the Buddha’s tooth relic … if we have no compassion?” (Sinhala Only, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 300)
As the other kingdoms on the island fell before foreign invasions, the tooth relic became the most important symbol of security for the Buddhist majority, … (The Line of Lanka, by Sunela Jayewardene, page 250-1)
As the island’s greatest tusked elephant, he alone carries the sacred tooth relic. (The Line of Lanka, by Sunela Jayewardene, page 258)

traffic block: traffic jam (SAE)
If there is a traffic block, it is because of errant drivers. (Sunday Times 23/11/08)
At Around 5.45 pm all roads leading to the prison were closed off causing a major traffic block in the area. (Daily Mirror 10/11/12)

trained teacher: a teacher who has gone through teacher training college, but who does not have a degree (> graduate teacher)
She was a trained English teacher herself, but one of a large family of girls. (All is Burning, by Jean Arasanayagam, page 126)

Though a trained teacher without a degree, she had been principal … (Palmyra Fallen, by Rajan Hoole, page 379)

treacle (= honey, pani): a sweet liquid made from the sap of the kitul flower (kitul treacle) or the coconut flower (coconut treacle) and commonly served with curd
> In standard usage, treacle is made from sugar.
… other Galle delicacies which include excellent buffalo curd and treacle ... (Yakada Yaka, by Carl Muller, page 92)
In order to make jaggery the treacle had to be stirred, till it was thick. (Child in Me, by Sybil Wettasinghe, page 42)

tri-forces, tri-services
: army, navy and air force

The leadership of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, supported wholeheartedly by the officers, men and women of the tri-forces and the Police, also contributed significantly and without them this victory would not have been possible. (Daily News 16/08/12)
Lieutenant General Ratnayake also praised each and every tri-service War Hero who worked tirelessly for the success of the entire show. ( 28/08/14)
The Chief Guest and the tri-services Commanders gave away the prizes to the winners of the games, ... ( 07/11/14)
Paragliders from the tri forces and police take to the skies … (Sunday Times 05/02/17)

Trinitian: a student or former student of Trinity College, Kandy (> Royalist)
Kanishka, too, was a Trinitian studying at the same Faculty. (The Fear of Gambling, by Vihanga Perera, page 215)
A salute from one old Trinitian to another (Sunday Times 25/07/10)
Trinitians win all-island 'B' Division Tennis C'ship (Sunday Observer 01/03/15)

Tripitaka: Buddhist scriptures written in Pali (Sinhala)
“Tissa, don’t judge the chap from Jataka tales and the tripitaka stories.” (Sinhala Only, by Manuka Wijesinghe, page 280)

trishaw driver (= three-wheeler driver): the driver of a trishaw
The trishaw drivers are huddled at the door waiting for their hires. (All is Burning, by Jean Arasanayagam, page 240)
The portly trishaw driver’s eyes twinkle at me through the rearview. (Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka, page 107)
… Nimal beat off a trishaw driver and an upstart waiter; … (Questions of Travel, by Michelle de Kretser, page 424)

trouser Johnny: a person wearing trousers (> sarong Johnny)
Besides the flag, see the trouser Johnnies and sudu nonas in short frocks walking up the Vihara steps for Buddha puja carrying flowers in their hands. (Daily News 20/03/04)
Needless to talk about what the winner, trouser Johnny Ranil W would do if he becomes the President of this country for he had openly displayed all his colours while he ruled the country as Prime Minister in 2001-3. As for the Sarong Johnny Karu he is down and gone under for good. So, there is nothing more to talk about him either. (comment on 24/12/11) 

tuk-tuk (= trishaw, three-wheeler, auto): (coll.) a small three-wheel taxi
Holding on to the tuk-tuk as it weaved its way acrobatically through the traffic … (The Moon in the Water, by Ameena Hussein, page 53)
The tuk-tuk stopped outside The Gallery Cafe, … (Serendipity, by Ashok Ferrey, page 123)

All he could hear was a far-off Fur Elise, a one-fingered ringtone rendition by a baker’s tuk tuk, advertising fresh loaves for sale; … (The Professional, by Ashok Ferrey, page 253)
We stop our tuk tuks on the narrow sandy lane … (The Line of Lanka, by Sunela Jayewardene, page 223)


teapoy: originally a 3-legged table, but can refer to any small low table, usually with 4 legs

thammattama (not tammattama): a traditional drum (Sinhala)

Click here to return to the main updates page, or on the links on the left side of the page to go to another letter.



Copyright © Mirisgala