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The Linguistic Innovation Emerging From Rohingya Refugees


No, it’s not a tool for pulling off shoes, or a bizarre weapon targeting the toes. It’s the English translation of the Rohingya neologism fit-haim, where fit itself comes from the English “feet.” A foot is of course a common measurement of height, so a stick for measuring feet would be better known to English speakers as a ruler.

Fit-haim is just one of the elegant coinages displaying the resilience and cultural crossover of Rohingya refugees and aid workers in Bangladesh. The majority-Muslim ethnic group has been displaced multiple times from Myanmar, most recently in 2017–18. This ...


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