Over at the OUP Blog I have a new post, drawing on the research in Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu, about the origins of the word “juggernaut” in colonial India. Here’s a bit:

“Juggernaut” is the Anglicized name for the Hindu god Jagannath, the “Lord of the Universe.” Jagannath, a form of the god Vishnu, presides over a massive temple in Puri, India alongside his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. The most famous ritual at the Puri temple is the Rath Yatra. During the Rath Yatra the wooden forms of the gods are ceremonially placed on large towering carts, or chariots, and pulled through the streets of Puri by devotees. “Juggernaut” entered the English language in the early nineteenth century as colonial Britons in India encountered Jagannath and his chariot and tried to make sense of what they were seeing.

Read the rest at the OUP Blog