Oonch

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3 comments on this post.
  1. Uzair:

    I am not quite sure if this make any sense but after having known that the novel did had an Indian connection I would dare say that Oonch in Hindi just doesn’t mean “ up” but also indicate something which is “ high”. Usually it is used to indicate the upper or higher class in Indian subcontinent. “Oonche log” means the high class, which is used in “awe” combined with different sentiments by the lower class towards the upper class. Given the enormous disparity between the upper and lower class such sentiments are common and words akin( Oonche) are widely used in hindi and urdu literatures. So perhaps that answers the questions that “ Oonch Fanciers” are these low or middle class people who fancies the upper class.

  2. trevor:

    I read that book in the sixties (Gently sahib ) The oonch fanciers referred to were lesbians – this was obvious from the context – a comment being made about some village women by a madam/prostitute

  3. Graham:

    I have just finished reading Gently Sahib and was also puzzled by the expression “oonch fancier”.

    As trevor says above, it is used in reference to a couple of gay women. My theory is that the word “oonch” is in fact a misprint and should read “conch” as in the shell. It is easy to see how the mistake could be made and the word “conch” has been used as slang for the female genitalia.

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