Etymology
Advertisement
India 
"the Indian subcontinent, central Asia south of the Himalayas," formerly sometimes used generally for "Asia;" since 1947 specifically in reference to the Republic of India, Old English India, Indea, from Latin India, from Greek India "region of the Indus River," later used of the region beyond it, from Indos "Indus River," also "an Indian," from Old Persian Hindu, the name for the province of Sind, from Sanskrit sindhu "river."

The more common Middle English form was Ynde or Inde, from Old French (hence Indies). The form India began to prevail again in English from 16c., perhaps under Spanish or Portuguese influence.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Indo- 
word-forming element meaning "of or pertaining to India" (and some other place), from Greek Indo-, from Indos "India" (see India).
Related entries & more 
Indic (adj.)
"pertaining to India or its inhabitants," 1877, from Latin Indicus "of India," or Greek Indikos "of India;" see India. Especially in reference to the Indo-European languages of India, living and dead.
Related entries & more 
Indian Ocean 
first attested 1515 in Modern Latin (Oceanus Orientalis Indicus), named for India, which projects into it; earlier it was the Eastern Ocean, as opposed to the Western Ocean (Atlantic) before the Pacific was surmised.
Related entries & more 
Indies 
"India and adjacent regions and islands," 1550s, plural of Indie, Indy, from Middle English Ynde (early 13c.), the usual word in Middle English for "India," from the Old French form of Latin India (see India). Commonly applied to Asia and the East generally; later in a time of geographical confusion, it was applied to the Caribbean basin, which was distinguished from Asia proper by being called the West Indies.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
indigo (n.)
17c. spelling change of indico (1550s), "blue powder obtained from certain plants and used as a dye," from Spanish indico, Portuguese endego, and Dutch (via Portuguese) indigo, all from Latin indicum "indigo," from Greek indikon "blue dye from India," literally "Indian (substance)," neuter of indikos "Indian," from India (see India).

Replaced Middle English ynde (late 13c., from Old French inde "indigo; blue, violet" (13c.), from Latin indicum). Earlier name in Mediterranean languages was annil, anil (see aniline). As "the color of indigo" from 1620s. As the name of the violet-blue color of the spectrum, 1704 (Newton).
Related entries & more 
Indian (adj., n.)

"inhabit of India or South Asia; pertaining to India," c. 1300 (noun and adjective), from Late Latin indianus, from India (see India). Applied to the aboriginal native inhabitants of the Americas from at least 1553 as a noun (1610s as an adjective), reflecting Spanish and Portuguese use, on the mistaken notion that America was the eastern end of Asia (it was also used occasionally 18c.-19c. of inhabitants of the Philippines and indigenous peoples of Australia and New Zealand). The Old English adjective was Indisc, and Indish (adj.) was common in 16c.

Red Indian, to distinguish the native Americans from inhabitants of India, is first attested 1831 in British English (Carlyle) but was not commonly used in North America. Hugh Rawson ("Wicked Words") writes that "Indian is unusual among ethnic terms for not having much pejorative value until comparatively recently." A few phrases, most of them U.S., impugn honesty or intelligence, such as Indian gift:

An Indian gift is a proverbial expression, signifying a present for which an equivalent return is expected. [Thomas Hutchinson, "History of Massachusetts Bay," 1765]

Hence Indian giver "one who gives a gift and then asks for it back" (1848). Also compare Indian summer. Indian elephant is from c. 1600; Indian corn is from 1620s; to walk Indian file is from 1758. Indian club is from 1824 as a weapon, 1825 as exercise equipment (clubs were noted in Lewis & Clark, etc., as characteristic weapons of native warriors in the American West). Indian-head (adj.) in reference to U.S. copper pennies with a portrait of an Indian in profile, from 1862.

Related entries & more 
Anglo-Indian (adj.)
1814, "pertaining to the English who settled in India," from Anglo- + Indian.
Related entries & more 
Hindi (adj.)

1825, from Hind "India" (see Hindu) + -i, suffix expressing relationship. As the name of a modern language of India, 1880.

Related entries & more 
Calcutta 
city in eastern India, former capital of British India, named for Hindu goddess Kali. In modern use often de-Englished as Kolkata.
Related entries & more