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Sri Lankan English - Updates U

This page contains updates to the dictionary beginning with the letter U. 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.


Udarata (= hill country, upcountry) (Sinhala)
Udarata Development Authority
The Udarata line finally reached its terminus at Badulla in 1925. (Ceylon Tea: The Trade that Made a Nation, by Richard Simon, page 42)
The living descendents of the families of the Udarata nobility, … (Sunday Times 02/07/17)

u’grad: (in newspaper headlines) undergraduate (> grad)
U’grads to protest in Colombo (Ceylon Today 21/10/14)

Una: (coll.) Unawatuna
Vibes Of Una Beach Party ( 2013)

unroasted curry powder (= raw curry powder): curry powder normally used in vegetable dishes, dhal, etc. (> roasted curry powder)
Wash the Dhal well and add sufficient water. Then add unroasted curry powder and turmeric powder and cook well. (

unspool: (of a film or teledrama) be shown, be screened (also US)
Daily News 'Projector' takes a glance at six of the major productions that will unspool next year. (Daily News 28/12/09)
A series of blockbuster movies are being lined up to unspool at Majestic Cineplex, Bambalapitiya … ( 13/06/12)
‘One Way’ to unspool on ITN from Sunday (Daily Mirror 10/08/15)

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
> Upcountry Tamils are also referred to as estate Tamils, plantation Tamils, hill country Tamils, Indian Tamils or Tamils of Indian Origin, in order to distinguish them from the larger Tamil community concentrated mainly in the North and East of the country. The latter are referred to as Sri Lankan Tamils.
It’s true that if Velu had been arrested for the murder, the official line on upcountry Tamils would have hardened. (The Hamilton Case, by Michelle de Kretser, page 292)

Re-reading Lankan History through the case of the Up-country Tamils and the Principles of Natural Law (Palmyra Fallen, by Rajan Hoole, page 32)

updation: update (SAE)
This includes updation and computerizing databases of rates, taxes and licenses, developing the financial accounting and asset management systems. (NPPD website 04/05/12)
Note: This is subject to bill updation (Dialog website)
The Labour Department will then forward it to the EPF department for record updation. (Central Bank EPF website)

uplift: (1) (v) develop (e.g. an area), improve, upgrade (living conditions, etc.), raise (standards)
> In standard usage, to uplift means to raise someone’s spirits. It is normally used in the passive (We felt uplifted by his words) or in phrases like an uplifting sermon.

Sporting public commend President Rajapaksa for uplifting standards (Sunday Observer 15/11/09)
More projects to uplift Kilinochchi: The Government has taken action to launch new projects to uplift the livelihoods of the people in Kilinochchi as part of the North Development Programme. (Ministry of Defence website 17/06/10)

“There was a time when we worked to uplift the community. That effort has been desecrated by what the Movement did. We can now only afford to think of uplifting ourselves and our families.” (Palmyra Fallen, by Rajan Hoole, page 147)
… education, which is essential to uplift the socially downtrodden. (Palmyra Fallen, by Rajan Hoole, page 291)

uplift, upliftment: (n) development, improvement, advancement
Kantharuban was … the family’s main hope of social upliftment. (The Broken Palmyrah, by Rajan Hoole et al, page 242)
In the 1880s, Ven. Godigamuwe Saddathissa Thera came to Wewala and devoted his entire life to the uplift of the temple. (Facets of Wewala, by Seneka Abeyratne, page 17)
And yet recipients were marginalised instead of finding social upliftment. (Palmyra Fallen, by Rajan Hoole, page 304)
Tourism industry diversified for rural uplift (Daily News 03/03/10)
… he should devote his full attention to work for the uplift of the island’s plantation industry in general and the tea industry in particular. (Sunday Leader 01/04/12)
… whether the Leader of the Unofficial Bar was willing to sacrifice his professional commitment and work for the uplift of the Members of the Bar. (Island 16/12/13)

uplift: (2) (v) withdraw (money, e.g. from a bank account); noun: upliftment
Time Deposits may be uplifted only on maturity. … Any upliftment of the deposits for consolidation with further deposit and re-depositing to increase amount of the existing deposit before maturity shall also be subject to penalty charges. … Local currency Time Deposits uplifted upon maturity can be converted back to designated foreign currency at the prevailing exchange rates. ( 12/15)
You can uplift the Fixed Deposits prematurely at a lesser rate of interest. ( 2016)


uguressa: a small purple fruit (not red) (Sinhala)
(Click here to see a photograph)

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