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"Desi" means someone from the surrounding areas of India, as well. This would include such regions as Bangladesh and Pakistan. From my understanding, "desi" translates to "native" in Hindi. This, of course, means very little out of context, for asking someone if they are a "native" is relative to what geographical region they are referencing. The context is provided by the language itself. Great how that works out, eh?

"Desi" is also the first name of Lucille Ball's husband and inventor of the three camera technique in television, Desi Arnaz.

And as you may have guessed it, I am neither a desi or Desi Arnaz.

As a desi, the best I can work out the etymology of the word is:

"Desh" in Hindi, or the languages that derive from Hindi (like Gujarati) means "country". The "i" suffix is something like "related to" or "is". Ex. The word for "fat" is "jardoo" and a "jardoodi" is a fat person (this is all in Gujarati, not Hindi, and even my Gujarati is so-so). So a desi (sometimes spelled "deshi") is a person from the "native land".

All of this is speculation from an ABCD who can speak but not read or write his parents' native language. Take it with the usual grain of salt.

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