BITS and Pieces

Get global. Get ahead.

Petrol bunk

I was in Bangalore with a colleague recently for some meetings. It was his first time in the garden city. So it wasn’t really a surprise that he was surprised when I asked our driver to stop at the nearest ‘petrol bunk.’ “What on earth is a petrol bunk?” he probed. Genuinely baffling, right? Why would one city use a different word when most of the rest of the country is happy sticking to the simple option ‘petrol pump?’

Well actually, a ‘petrol pump’ is merely ‘a piece of equipment installed in a petrol station to dispense petrol, diesel, etc. into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle.’ A ‘petrol station’ however is ‘an establishment selling petrol and oil.’

So technically, we have been wrong in visualizing an entire ‘petrol station’ every time we uttered the words ‘petrol pump.’ A petrol station is known as a ‘gas station’ or a ‘filling station’ in the U.S. and a ‘petrol station’ or a ‘fuel station’ in the U.K.

A ‘petrol bunk’ is simply India’s attempted contribution to English, nothing more! And just for the record, ‘petrol’ in India and the U.K. is ‘gas’ in the U.S. 🙂

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Sandeep Nulkar - Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar started his career as a translator way back in 1993 and heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies – BITS Private Limited. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to create an identity for the Indian translator within and outside India.