- (Also “kirana store,” “kirana shop”) A small local store selling groceries and other general household items.
- Groceries and household provisions.
“Run down to the kirana and buy some dish soap and a dozen eggs.”
“This block needs a store that sells kirana, snacks, drinks, and such.”
“A kirana store is often the cornerstone of an urban neighborhood.”
Hindi, mid-19th century
Why this word?
You might be more familiar with the term “bodega,” which describes a small grocery store, especially in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood or urban areas. “Kirana” is a similar term. “Kirana,” borrowed directly from the Hindi word “kirānā,” comes from the Sanskrit “krī,” meaning “to buy.” “Kirana” can be used synonymously with “bodega” to refer to a small local store that sells groceries and other various household items. But its earlier usage was more general, as a mass noun, for the products sold at the store. For example, “I need to stop at the store after work to pick up some kirana.” In that way, “kirana” implies any number of various items that might be sold at the kirana store.
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