39 Fruits in Sinhala… And I Bet You’ve NEVER Even Heard Of Some Of Them

fruits in sinhalaYeah yeah, I know it’s a bold title but the question is, “Do you accept my challenge, you Fruit Connoisseur?”

Excellent! (rubs palms gleefully).

Let’s see if you can prove me wrong by the end of this post (I’m feeling very cocky, in case you hadn’t noticed already).

By the way, I got the idea for this “Fruits in Sinhala” post thanks to 2 readers of this blog, Letran and Shaggy. So if you end up liking this post and finding it useful, don’t thank me, thank them. Similarly, if you end up hating this post, well… you know who to hunt down…

Now, here’s what I’ve decided to give you:

  • A list of 20 “COMMON” fruits in Sinhala;
  • A list of 19 “EXOTIC” fruits in Sinhala;

…and you know me, I can’t leave well enough alone, right? So, I’ve also thrown in a Bonus Section at the end, which I’ve aptly called “For the Overachiever in You”


In this bonus section you’ll find:

  • Some additional fruit-related words (14 of them) and some phrases (I’m too lazy now to count how many) that you can start using right away.

There’s a lot to get through so I won’t be talking about less important stuff like my annoying Inner-Voice (although I assure you, that mofo kept circling my desk right until I was done writing this).

Alright, you busy person with very little time. Enough “shooting the sh*t” as the kids say; let’s get straight into the lists.


List of “Common” Fruits in Sinhala

Now listen, by “common” fruits I simply mean fruits that you’ve most likely heard of before. For all you fruit-rights activists out there (that’s a thing, right?), I really don’t want to hear any comments like “I’m like sooo offended. How can you even think of calling an Apple ‘common’?! They’re like so umm… delish and yummy…”

We cool?

Alright then, here are the Sinhala equivalents of these “common” fruits:


Appleæ∙pȧl (similar to the English word)      
Avocadoa∙li   gæ∙tȧ   pḗ∙rȧ      
Cantaloupekæn∙tȧ∙loop (similar to the English word)      
Datera∙tȧ   iňdhi      
Lemonlé∙mȧn (similar to the English word)      
Papayagas   la∙bu      
Pearpyaas (similar to the English word)      
Pruneproons (similar to the English word)      
Strawberrystrō∙bé∙ri (similar to the English word)      
Watermelonpæ∙ni   ko∙mȧ∙du      


List of “Exotic” Fruits in Sinhala

On the other hand, by “exotic” fruits I mean fruits that you may have not heard of (or even if you have, you might not be that familiar with them). All these fruits can be found in Sri Lanka although I don’t think most of them originate from here. But then again, what the hell do I know, I’m not a botanist and I’m not in the mood to Wikipedia this right now.

By the way…

Since this blog is all about learning only what is necessary, let me save you some time and say that unless you’re going to visit Sri Lanka or you’re currently living there, you really don’t need to know the Sinhala names of the following fruits.

You can skip straight down to the Bonus Section if you want.

But for the rest of you…

…here they are:


Ambarellaamba∙ræl∙lȧ (similar to the English word)      
Ceylon Olivevé∙rȧ∙lu      
Duriandhoo∙ri∙yan (similar to the English word)      
Indian Gooseberrynél∙li      
Ripe Jackfruit(edit: Thanks to Feri’s comment below for the correction)va∙rȧ∙ka      
King Coconutthæmbi∙li      
Langsatga∙du   gu∙daa      
Lovi-lovi (or batoko plum)lo∙vi      
Lycheeslayi∙chees (similar to the English word)      
Passionfruitpæ∙shȧn   frut (similar to the English word)      
Rambutanrambu∙tan (similar to the English word)      
Rose Applejam∙bu      
Soursopka∙tu   a∙nō∙dha      
Velvet Tamarindgal   si∙yȧmbȧ∙la      


Howzabout a break?

The next section goes into grammar so if you’ve read this far, you might want to first take a short break first and do some stretching or something.




For the “Overachiever” in you


A page from the Lazy But Smart Dictionary…


“Overachiever” (noun) \ˌō∙vȧ∙ȧ∙chee∙vȧ\:

That ANNOYING person who strives to achieve more than what is expected from him or her. Also known as “Mr/Ms. Wants-to-Know-it-All” or “Smarty-Pants”, and sometimes even called a “Wise-Ass Prick”. Typically, this is the kid you hated at school (and if you’re having trouble remembering such a kid, then that kid was probably you).


overachiever sinhala



How to say FRUIT in Sinhala

A fruitpa∙lȧ∙thu∙rak      


Let’s use these new words in some sample phrases:

You might remember from a previous blog post I did that:

  • The infinitive “to eat” in Sinhala is:
    • kan∙nȧ

Then using what we once saw in my post about the difference between “I want” & “I need” in Sinhala we know that:

  • “I want to eat” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ kan∙nȧ ō∙né
      • (ma∙tȧ ō∙né = “I want”; kan∙nȧ = “to eat”)

Similarly, using the new words we just saw, we can now guess that:

  • “I want to eat the fruit” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ ō∙né
  • “I want to eat a fruit” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rak kan∙nȧ ō∙né
  • “I want to eat fruits” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙ru kan∙nȧ ō∙né


So far so good, right? Let’s continue.


Main Parts of a Fruit in Sinhala

Fruit peel / Skinlél∙lȧ      


Remember that 3-part post I did on “Can I, Should I, and Shall I in Sinhala”? We saw that:

  • “Can I eat?” is:
    • ma∙tȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?

Similarly, using the new words we just saw, we can now guess that:

  • “Can I eat the fruit peel / skin?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ lél∙lȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?
  • “Can I eat the seed?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ æ∙tȧ∙yȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?
  • “Can I eat the seeds?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ æ∙tȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?
  • “Can I eat the stem?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ næt∙tȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?


Everyone still on the boat or did anybody fall off? Nobody? Ok then, last section folks, buckle up.


Fruit-Related Sinhala Adjectives

Adjectives for the STATE of a fruit in Sinhala…

Spoiledna∙rak   véch∙chȧ      


You saw from before that:

  • “I want to eat the fruit” is:
    • ma∙tȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ ō∙né

Similarly, using the new adjectives we just saw, we can now guess that:

  • “I want to eat the ripe fruit” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ i∙dhich∙chȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ ō∙né
  • “I want to eat the raw fruit” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ a∙mu pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ ō∙né
  • “I want to eat the spoiled fruit” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ na∙rak véch∙chȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ ō∙né

(Obviously, this last phrase is useful for those moments in life when you’re desperately in the mood for some good old spoiled fruit…)


Adjectives for the TASTE of a fruit in Sinhala…

Sweetpæ∙ni   ra∙sȧ      


Based on what we saw before, you now know that:

  • “Can I eat the fruit?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?

Similarly, using the new taste-related adjectives we just saw, we can now guess that:

  • “Can I eat the tasty fruit?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ ra∙sȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?
  • “Can I eat the sweet fruit?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ pæ∙ni ra∙sȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?
  • “Can I eat the sour fruit?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ æmbul pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?
  • “Can I eat the bitter fruit?” will be:
    • ma∙tȧ thith∙thȧ pa∙lȧ∙thu∙rȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?



So… Had you heard of all these fruits before? Was I wrong?

Seriously, all joking and teasing aside, I’d be very interested to know if you’ve heard of or tasted any of the “exotic” ones.

And if you have tasted any, then tell me which ones made you go “Mmmm” and which ones made you go “Blegh! What the f*** did I just eat?!”

Let me know in the comments below (remember to tick the little “notify” box so you’ll get a mail when I respond to you).

And of course, if you know some friends who might like this post, please go ahead and share it with them too.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Speak to you soon in the comments below.

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134 Responses to 39 Fruits in Sinhala… And I Bet You’ve NEVER Even Heard Of Some Of Them

  1. Laura November 9, 2013 at 17:55 #

    Hi! Awesome post, as usual! And I’m kind of a fruit junkie so that’s definitely my cup of tea … Let’s see: pomegranate is pretty common in Italy, you know? We even grow them and use them both in sweet and savory dishes (my mom is actually making some pomegranate sauce to go with the roast turkey … yummy!). I usually eat lychees at the Chinese restaurant: I’ve always thought they smell like roses but taste kinda funny, almost … chalky? Not that I’ve ever tasted chalk, mind you. Guava is delicious so is passion fruit (though they’re quite difficult to find) and tamarind (love the juice!). They tell me that wood apple is the best thing since sliced bread, but I’ve never had any, nor I know any of the other fruits … I’m quite curious now!
    Mmm … could you do a similar post about veggies, please?

    Keep up the great work,
    Take care,

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 10, 2013 at 11:20 #

      Hi Laura, awesome comment, as usual! :)

      I had no idea that you grew pomegranate in Italy and mind you, I’ve been to a couple of Italian cities too. Never even saw it on a menu. And a sauce from it? I guess it must be excellent with roast meat. Ha, lychees and chalky taste, that’s good. And for the record, I have tasted chalk (I mean not as a meal but when I was a kid). Guava, I think I might prefer the raw than the ripe. And wood-apple, well, I don’t think everybody would agree with what you’ve heard. I personally know someone who detests the smell as well as the juice made out of it, which is called “dhivul kiri” (wood-apple juice, but literally translated, “wood-apple milk”). I even tricked this person once into drinking it saying it was chocolate milk and watched the subsequent chaos. Yeah, I’m awful like that…

      Thanks for the idea for the veggies post. Will certainly do it but will see what responses I get to my question in my email (which you must have got by now) to decide if I do it next, ok?

      • Laura November 10, 2013 at 17:55 #

        Sure! I got the mail this morning … I asked my boyfriend about the other fruits as well and I gather they all taste “sweet, very sweet”. Is that true?

        • Dilshan Jayasinha November 10, 2013 at 18:58 #

          Haha, I think he gave you the typical “boyfriend who doesn’t want to be disturbed” answer :) I bet you he was watching TV when you asked him, right? :)… Don’t get me wrong, I too am guilty of giving answers like that to my girlfriend when I’m not in the chatty mood but I’d say the answer is not complete.

          For example, it depends on how ripe or raw the fruit is. Take ambarella, guava, wood-apple and a few others that are very sweet when ripe but more sour when raw. Then there are those like lovi, nelli, and ceylon olive that are almost always sour. But he’s totally right when it comes to mangosteen, rambutan, soursop, and jackfruit. “Sweet, very sweet”.

          • Laura November 11, 2013 at 17:13 #

            Haha, guilty as charged :) it did sound a bit strange so thanks again!

  2. Casbot November 10, 2013 at 11:22 #

    Thanks so much for this post, Dilshan! It’s a coincidence, actually, because I was just speaking about fruits today – which ones are sour, which ones are the most delicious, which ones make a great drink, which ones you should eat with salt & pepper & chilli… This is excellent, because I’m leaving for Sri Lanka in just under three weeks… So exciting, and as fruit is one of the culinary adventures I’m looking forward to the most (I don’t handle chilli well, so fruit’s probably going to be one of my saving graces) it’s really good to have a point of reference!

    I have been hearing about the different types of banana, which I have been told is kesel? so – ambul kesel, ratu kesel, seeni kesel… (this last one I have been told is the most delicious). What is the difference between saying kesel and kehelkan? Also, my friends have previously mentioned that lemon & lime are called the same – dehi, and to differentiate, they say loku dehi for lemon (big dehi) and poddy dehi for lime (small dehi?)

    Once again, thank you!! :D

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 10, 2013 at 18:06 #

      Hi Cass, good coincidence.

      That’s funny you mention the salt, pepper, and chilli. I thought about mentioning this but decided against it as I didn’t want to scare anyone by revealing how we sometimes eat our fruit, haha. But you’re right, from the fruits mentioned, we typically mix salt, pepper, and chilli to mango, pineapple, ambarella, ceylon olive, jambu and raw wood-apple. This mixture is typically called an “ach∙chaa∙ru”. Reminds me of my school days as there would always be fruit sellers outside the school gates.

      About ké∙sél vs. ké∙hél (or ké∙hél∙kan); they’re both the same. It’s just that ké∙hél (or ké∙hél∙kan) is more frequently used when speaking while the other, although it can be used when speaking, is generally reserved for written Sinhala. Another similar example would be the word for tree (ga∙sȧ vs. ga∙ha, where the second on is used more often when speaking).

      Yes, there’s a whole range of bananas to choose from. My favorite one is called kō∙li kut∙tu (it’s more dry than seeni ke∙hél or ambul kéhél (hey, would you look at that, you should now be able to recognize the word ‘ambul’). Also fyi, “seeni” means “sugar”. So, obviously seeni kéhél is the sweeter one.

      Yes, lo∙ku means “big” and po∙di means “small”. Your friends are also right about the dhé∙hi. In fact, I have even heard “Lemon” being called “ra∙tȧ dhé∙hi” (which means “foreign lime”). But for this post, I used “lemon” itself since I put myself in the shoes of someone doing grocery shopping and asking for lemons. There’s no ambiguity that way.

      Anyway, as they say, “When life gives you lo∙ku dhé∙hi….”

  3. julie November 10, 2013 at 12:47 #

    hehe,.. thanks for this “overarchiever-stuff”, Dilshan – saved me to be very bored on a rainy, windy and cold European november-sunday… ;-)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 11, 2013 at 11:00 #

      Aw, sorry to hear about the crappy weather. I remember it well. Happy to have helped.

  4. Shagerina Tilakasiri November 10, 2013 at 12:59 #

    Thank you so much Dilshan for this post! =D

    Really appreciate your effort. I am very sure your readers will love it as much as I did.
    Guess what? In Malay Language we also use the word Jambu for Rose Apple. Most of the exotic fruits that you mentioned above, can be found in Malaysia too especially durian (My favourite! ) Mata peni rasa amba hari kameti!

    Thank you and take care!

    p.s- This post of about fruits suddenly reminds me of the song “Lunu Dehi by Gypsies. Please do not ask me why =P

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 10, 2013 at 18:16 #

      Hi Shaggy, don’t know if you remember but you asked me in a comment or email if I’d already done a post on fruits, which got me thinking. So I’m gad you liked the post, since it was partially your idea.

      That’s interesting about the Malay words. In fact, when I did some research on this post, many articles also gave the Malay name for the fruits, so I guessed that you might have all these fruits in Malaysia.

      Durian is your favorite? Really?!! The smell doesn’t bother you so much? I remember freaking out the first time Durian was brought home. I really like the taste but getting past the smell is a challenge.

      Haha, yeah now that you mentioned the song, I had to find it on YouTube too. These are some of my childhood beats :)

      • Shagerina Tilakasiri November 11, 2013 at 02:12 #

        Yup..I still remember asking you about fruits =D
        I know durian has this strong smell but in Malaysia, we will just go crazy over that fruit..heheh…in here we also have “Durian Buffet”. You pay a certain amount and you can eat as much as you can, get stuffed and suffer the next day hahah!

        • Dilshan Jayasinha November 11, 2013 at 05:30 #

          Haha, “Durian Buffet”! Never heard about such a thing, that’s awesome.

          Maybe I should do Sri Lanka’s first all-you-can-eat Durian fiesta. And rather than giving people directions to find the place I’ll simply ask them to follow the smell.

          • Dilshan Jayasinha February 6, 2014 at 19:28 #

            By the way, the other day I took this photo from the car for you. Roadside Durian seller. My windows were tightly rolled up to keep the smell out.

  5. Bob Cook November 10, 2013 at 14:40 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    Thank you so much for the blogs. I am now teaching in a village school outside Mirigama. The pupils are always delighted and very excited when I speak some Sinhala. I,ve got a teaching poster with all different fruits. The next time I use it I will amaze them by saying this is a mango or as you say in Sri Lanka amba. Is there any possibility in the near future of doing a sports related blog.
    Best wishes,

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 10, 2013 at 18:39 #

      Hi Bob, that’s so great to hear.

      I’m happy that my blog is helping you connect better with your pupils. I’d love to see their faces when you start using the Sinhala words in your lessons. Let me know how it goes.

      What did you mean by sports related blog? Names of different sports in Sinhala? Assuming yes, let me give you a quick snippet:

      “cricket” = cricket
      “football” = paa pan∙dhu
      “basketball” = pæ∙si pan∙dhu
      “baseball” = baseball
      “volley ball” = ath pan∙dhu
      “hockey” = hockey
      “boxing” = boxing
      “rugby” = rugger
      “althletics” = ma∙lȧ∙lȧ kree∙daa

      You’ll notice that most of them use the English name for the sport.

      Let me know if this is what you meant and I’ll think further about a full blog post.

  6. Isabelle November 11, 2013 at 11:47 #

    Hi Dilshan

    Thank you so much for your blog, I really enjoyed your posts and the last one about fruits too.

    In Reunion island, we have a lot of “exotic” fruits in common (even lovi-lovi called ceylon gooseberry) and some have similar names (jam-rose/jambalac = jambu).
    We also eat fruits with salt, pepper and chilli. Anchaaru reminds me what we call achard, a fruit-based recipe or of vegetables wallowed in a sauce slightly salted with vinegar, oïl, ginger, chilli, spices and tumeric coming with our caris.

    I drank a wood-apple milk during my last stay in Sri Lanka and… I am not crazy about it. To be taken in moderation!

    I also vote for the veggies post.

    Once again, thank you

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 17, 2013 at 05:41 #

      Hi Isabelle,

      Thanks for sharing that, what a great informative comment. I didn’t know about the “Ceylon” Gooseberry. As you may already know, “Ceylon” was the old name of Sri Lanka during the British colonial times. That’s fascinating.

      Also, although I knew we Sri Lankans couldn’t be the only ones who ate fruits with salt, pepper, and chilli, I’m glad to have this confirmed by you. This thing you called Achard sounds like something I would love (in general, as someone who tends to have a side plate of chillies no matter what he eats, I’d say that I’ll appreciate anything with chili in it).

      Yeah, the wood-apple drink is not for everyone. I for one am a big fan but I do know many who took one sip of it and spat it out, haha.

      Glad you’re enjoying the the posts and the blog, you’re very welcome.

      Speak to you soon and thanks again for an informative comment.

  7. Wee Ck November 13, 2013 at 15:47 #

    NamoBuddhaya, Dilshan.

    Very good effort and interesting list of fruits. One fruit that I could not get is Wood Apple. To me it is unique. You have to like the taste to enjoy it.

    Keep up the good work bro…

    With Metta,

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 17, 2013 at 07:03 #

      Hello Wee,

      Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate it very much.

      Haha, yes, just as I said to Isabelle in the comment above, the wood-apple is not going to have mass appeal. You’re right that it’s got something very unique about it.

      All the very best to you too and do keep in touch.


  8. Cherie November 20, 2013 at 11:59 #

    Hi Dilshan! I absolutely love your blog^^

    I was wondering for this particular post why there is no mention of fruits as “(fruit name)-geddia?”
    My family in Sri Lanka and I refer to fruits/bread in that way, and I was looking for an explanation to that in this post. We say, for example “rambutangeddia”,”cherrygeddia” and mostly when referring to bread, “paangeddia”. I hope this rings a bell, and it’s not just my family/the area they live in.

    Also going to just randomly throw in something here heh –
    Since you’ve been back in SL, I was wondering if you offer any classes for those looking to learn Sinhala and not pay for overpriced non-native teachers? I’m sure most people are interested, I definitely would be up for it!^^

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 23, 2013 at 16:11 #

      That is a very good question about gé∙di∙yȧ! You know what, I’m currently struggling find an equivalent English word for it. At this, I really can’t think of one.

      It’s true that it’s mostly used right after the name of the fruit. It signifies 1 unit of the fruit. So for example, “rambu∙tan gé∙di∙yȧ” would imply “1 rambutan fruit”.

      Where it starts to get confusing is when it is found in other contexts. As you mentioned “paan gé∙di∙yȧ” means “1 loaf of bread”. Sometimes “gé∙di∙yȧ” is also used to refer to a cyst or a boil on your body or the swelling bump that appears on your forehead after you’ve knocked it.

      So, it’s not just your family.

      I’ll have a think about it and if I stumble upon a better way to explain it (I know I’ve messed it up above), I’ll reply to this comment.

      About the classes, thank you for asking, that’s very flattering. Unfortunately, this is not something that interests me right now (there’s a reason why this blog has the word “lazy” all over it… :)) If my attitude to classes changes, I will let you and all those interested know. But for now, just know that I feel bad to say I can’t help you. Hopefully, you’ll find my blog sufficient for now.

      • Casbot November 25, 2013 at 09:16 #

        Dilshan, my Sri Lankan bf and I were discussing this just yesterday and he explained geddiyah as being one unit of ‘something roundish’, geddies as more of the same. So all of these things are something roundish… Anyway, him explaining it to me like that made it make a lot more sense in my head.

        • Dilshan Jayasinha November 27, 2013 at 19:36 #

          Thanks for your contribution Cass! Yes,I think your boyfriend got it right when he said “something roundish”. For now, I can’t think of a better definition; I like it. I might even borrow it the next time someone asks me the same question (but your boyfriend is not getting any royalties from me though.. let’s not get crazy :). Many thanks.and speak to you soon.

          • Marcus Perera July 4, 2018 at 19:15 #

            Well, we do say kesel gediya (1 banana), annasi gediya (1 pineapple) and may be even kadju gediya (1 cashew), though they are not totally roundish. All your efforts are very much appreciated. I just learnt “jamun” refers to ‘maa dan’ . One more you can add are kaamaranga – star fruit (which can be cooked as a vegetable as well), and a few others for which I do not know the English words – sapadilla, naminan, uguressa, masan, and something that is seldom seen now – laaulu.

            Also among tastes – kahata rasa – as found in beheth nelli.

      • Cherie November 28, 2013 at 19:09 #

        Thank you so much for clearing this up!^^ It was a pretty good explanation as it is heh. It’s not that I was thinking that it was only my family, it’s just that I haven’t heard them refer to fruits by any other way, that’s the most convenient one for them I suppose, so I was kinda confused as to why it didn’t appear in the blog post~ Thanks so much for it again! The cyst thing was something I hadn’t heard before, wow!
        Sigh I do hope it changes, but your blog was almost for me like looking up at the Sinhala heavens when I discovered it. I was literally just fawning over it! Keep up the great work^^

        • Dilshan Jayasinha November 30, 2013 at 06:15 #

          Ha, that’s very sweet, thanks. I should probably change the tag line of this blog to”Lazy But Smart Sinhala: some think of it as the Sinhala heavens”, haha. Glad that Cass and I could help you clear this up.

        • Elisabeth September 17, 2014 at 09:27 #

          As ever, a fantastic lesson, Dilshan!

          You must have been one of those ‘ovaachee.va’ to go to all the trouble of making this available. I would not call you ‘That Annoying Person’ though. Never! Some of them are necessary for progress, heh heh, no matter how lazy.

          I was wondering about plural – if I want to say ‘sour grapes’ for example. Some fruit is not available in single pieces. (Maybe that’s where the ‘gediya’ comes in?).

          Again, thank you so much,


          • Dilshan Jayasinha September 18, 2014 at 19:41 #

            Thanks Elisabeth. Haha, ‘ovaachee.va’ :)

            ‘mi∙dhi gé∙di∙yȧ’ = “the grape” (singular)
            ‘mi∙dhi gé∙di∙yak’ = “a grape”
            ‘mi∙dhi’ or ‘mi∙dhi gé∙di’ = “grapes”

            “sour grapes” = æmbul mi∙dhi (but if you’re referring to the popular rhetoric “sour grapes”, I can’t say I’ve heard it in Sinhala, so it might not make sense if you just say it like that).

  9. leonibel November 30, 2013 at 15:49 #

    hi hello mr,, dilshan,, it is so great,, thnks again,, but how about for the vegetable,, about for,, insidde the house,, that all importants,, inside the house,, can u plzz help me also,, help mee to ur blog??? thanks again…

  10. Heather December 11, 2013 at 03:23 #

    Hey Dilshan,
    Here’s some trivia … I thought the Sinhala name for avocado sounded like English…. and it is! Alligator pear is an alternate name….
    Yes, I have been termed “egghead” in my distant past….; :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 12, 2013 at 09:31 #

      Oh wow, that’s amazing and I didn’t know that. Thanks for your input!

  11. Sasha January 15, 2014 at 22:57 #


  12. peter kocsis February 4, 2014 at 21:00 #


    Here are some more words with gediya:

    Cake gediya, (A cake), æs gediya ( an eye) , kala gediya,( a pot) vam gediya ( A mortar), hak gediya, ( a conch) .

    Kævum gediya, aasmi gediya, aggala gediya,=sweetmeats

    Nonsense words: Iti gediya, olu gediya, these words mean : “nonsense”.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 6, 2014 at 19:22 #

      Oh wow Peter, that’s a great collection of “gediya” words! I’m super impressed, thank you so much.

      Haha, you even got the ‘nonsense’ words. I’m sure you know this already (but I’ll write it for the benefit of anyone else reading this):

      iti = “wax”
      olu = comes from the word ‘oluwa’ which means “head”.

      However, why these words are used for saying “that’s nonsense”, I have no clue! :)

      Thanks again.

  13. peter kocsis February 8, 2014 at 14:10 #


    “olu = comes from the word ‘oluwa’ which means “head”.
    However, why these words are used for saying “that’s nonsense”, I have no clue! :)”

    It is like the english exclamation; ” My foot” !

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 9, 2014 at 05:36 #

      That’s an excellent point, I didn’t realize that. I guess the same goes for the expression “my ass” :)

      Thanks Peter!

  14. Feri March 9, 2014 at 13:03 #

    Hi Dilshan

    Isn’t Jack fruit called Kos in Singhala? I may be mistaken – I have not spoken Singhalese in over 30 years!!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 3, 2014 at 17:33 #

      Hi Feri, you’re right. Actually, we’re both kind of right :) Yes, “kos” is jackfruit; But when the jackfruit ripens, we call it “varaka”. But I agree it’s confusing and have changed the above to “ripe jackfruit” (with of course due to credit to you :) )

      Thanks for pointing it out and sorry for the delay in responding to this before.

  15. Wendy R August 21, 2014 at 10:52 #

    Thanks Dilshan, another helpful blog – and many of the comments also add to the understanding. I’ll go to the fruit market at Peradeniya and practice.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 3, 2014 at 17:34 #

      Hi Wendy, you’re very welcome. Do let me know how the vendors at the market react. I’d love to see their surprised smiling faces!

  16. Elisabeth September 17, 2014 at 07:03 #

    Thank you again, Dilshan.

    I suppose ‘common’ or ‘exotic’ depends on where you are coming from, but you are right, there are a couple of exotic ones I don’t know (too lazy to count how many, or to wikipedia them as well)

    Ok, on I go to the next bit …


    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 17, 2014 at 08:04 #

      Yes, exactly. In fact I got a wide variety of comments and emails to this post which made me realize what different people considered “common” or “exotic” (which, like you said, depended on where they were from). Some even were quite annoyed/indignant about it! Well, with the somewhat *arrogant* title I chose for this post, I’d say mission accomplished, haha.

      Good luck with the next one!

  17. Elisabeth September 17, 2014 at 09:44 #

    Hi again Dilshan,

    For example:’ Mata aembul midhi kanna one nae’. Does this need a plural tense for midhi? And would this be the correct negative? Or how would you say that?

    Thank you for the nice bonus supplement.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 18, 2014 at 19:44 #

      Hi again Elisabeth, I just replied to your earlier comment above explaining the plural and singular.

      Yes, “I don’t want to eat sour grapes” would indeed be ‘ma∙tȧ æmbul mi∙dhi kan∙nȧ ō∙né nǣ’

      Well done! :)

  18. Shirley V October 30, 2014 at 15:00 #

    Totally awesome as usual Dilshan, you do such a great job with your lessons. You make learning fun (which of course it should be, one remembers something that makes them smile or giggle much more than that of a frown) and f course, such a good looking teacher you cannot go wrong :)

    I remember some of these fruits, Mango (Mmmmm a goal of mine, is to visit Sri Lanka during Mango season. and park my self under a Mango tree with a knife, and go to town on them. My favourite fruit.) I remember pol of course, pol sambol is totally awesome. jack fruits too. He he they made it to the UK in a suitcase!!!. (Shhh).

    Have I missed something, I would really like to put your pronunciations along with a meaning of the word on my MP3 player, so I can listen to it at anytime. Do you have any downloads as such? If not are you planning any?

    All this chat about fruits and foods has got me wanting Sri Lankan food I have missed the great foods there are. I even made some Lunu Dehi one of my husbands favorites, just waiting for it to mature

    Keep up the fabulous work, you are an ace my friend.
    Blessings and hugs from USA/UK LOL

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 2, 2014 at 09:15 #

      Hi Shirley, thanks for the kind words. Glad that you enjoyed the post.

      I currently don’t have any downloads of the pronunciations (now, is that a coincidence or is it part of my elaborate “get-filthy-rich-from-my-sinhala-blog” plan, well, time will tell…) but I will keep you posted :)

      Let me know how the lunu dhehi turns out. I have such a strong neuro-association with lunu dhehi that just mentioning it makes my mouth water, I swear!

  19. Jayamathan November 22, 2014 at 11:33 #

    awesome post. very useful. please keep on updating many verbs and phrases with all tenses. i am learning not only sinhala but also standard English in your best site. thanks you so much dilshan.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha January 14, 2015 at 17:26 #

      Oh wow, really? That’s great to hear Jayamathan. Keep it up.

  20. Jothy KUlendran November 26, 2014 at 19:55 #

    Hi Dilshan
    Thanks for the recent up-dates on Hidden Sinhala phrases. Yes, I’m very serious on learning Sinhala, but going at a slow pace due to my age. In your lessons there are known words, there are words similar to those of Tamil as well as totally unknown words and phrases. I don’t find any difficulty in learning Sinhala. As you say it’s fun and at the same time it is going to be useful when I visit Sri Lanka next time. Last time I visited S.L. was in December 2013. One whole month I was there and enjoyed my stay there. While I was travelling by mini vans, the fellow passengers helped me with interpretation when paying my fare and some of the drivers spoke to me in English. So with your lessons I won’t have any more difficulty when I visit Sri Lanka. I’m also interested in learning languages. I taught French at the Alliance Française in Sri Lanka. (Jaffna) People who read the comments would recognize me.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha January 14, 2015 at 17:28 #

      Hi Jothy, thanks for your comment. Wow, French at the Alliance Francaise? C’est impressionnant! :)

  21. shafna November 28, 2014 at 13:57 #

    really a good post

  22. Mary Ella January 4, 2015 at 00:47 #

    Yours is the only site that identified for me a fruit I saw in the market at Nuwara Eliya: a nelli. Thank you! MEF

    • Dilshan Jayasinha January 14, 2015 at 17:31 #

      Haha, that’s funny Mary Ella! Yes, you know how there are specialized detectives who reconnect adopted children with their biological parents? Well, I reconnect my readers with weird looking fruits they saw in N.E. :)

  23. dr.meenakshi February 25, 2015 at 14:09 #

    nice….simple….very useful blog….DJ…..you really care for your fans….and think about them…..

  24. Janette March 18, 2015 at 00:47 #

    Many thanks Dilshan. We have returned from our trip and loved Sri Lanka and the people and the gorgeous landscapes and the food – except for wood apple juice and beilje (spelling??) juice which have to be an acquired taste! Janette

    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 9, 2015 at 17:35 #

      That’s true Janette, those two fruits you mentioned are not for everyone, haha.

  25. Hanna March 31, 2015 at 09:05 #


    I love fruits and I am amazed to learn how many fruits there are in Sri Lanka. Regarding grammar, even though I am not usually a big friend of grammar I am always really happy when I receive more exercises from you. I find the material again and again so well done that I cannot stop reviewing it. I started a routine of reviewing the material every morning for 15 min and it is a nice start in the day. In this regard I can only encourage other students of “Lazybutsmartsinhala” to do the same thing.

    Thanks so much for creating this great way of learning a new language!

    Best wishes, Hanna

    • Dilshan Jayasinha April 9, 2015 at 17:37 #

      Dear Hanna, that was such a lovely comment, thank you so much. Very happy that you like the way I present my material. I too am not a big fan of boring grammar lessons so I suppose I try to do it in a way that is also interesting for me. Take care and do stay in touch. Thanks again.

  26. Niron June 10, 2015 at 14:09 #

    Passionfruit for sinhal Vel Dodam

  27. Tamara July 28, 2015 at 23:05 #

    Hi Dilshan, curious to find out if I’m able to buy or grow Num Num in Sri Lanka or in Australia?
    Thank you & best wishes – Tamara