Anyone else find themselves wondering, "Why does Kate call Edwina ‘bon’?"
If, like us, you've already binge-watched Bridgerton season 2, you are likely trying to make sense of the Regency-era vocabulary, from the meaning of "rake" to learning why society is referred to as the "ton." Anthony’s love interests, the Sharma sisters, have some very cute nicknames for each other, but what do they mean? Well it's all to do with the important Bridgerton South Asian representation and Indian influence of this series. We'll break it all down for you.
Season two marks the arrival of a brand-new family into London’s high society, the Sharmas. The three (two sisters and their mum) travelled from India to find the younger sister Edwina Sharma a love match, with the help of older sister Kate Sharma, who's played by Simone Ashley.
Although the two end up at odds during the series, thanks to a certain Viscount, we cannot help but swoon over the cute nicknames. (And no offense to Edwina, but anyone could see Anthony Bridgerton's true intentions.)
Why does Kate call Edwina ‘bon’?
“Bon, I have no idea. I think it’s made up. I think maybe they meant it like French for 'sweet'," she guessed.
Well, according to the Metro (opens in new tab), "bon" actually means "little sister" in Bengali and is a sign of respect.
D'aww! How adorable! Too bad that pesky Bridgerton love triangle gets in the way.
What does ‘didi’ mean in 'Bridgerton'?
Though the meaning of "bon" might've been a little murky, Chandran is well-versed in the epithet she's assigned to her fictional sis.
"Didi" means older sister in Hindi, and like "bon, is considered a respectful way to address one's older sibling.
Is Kate Sharma in 'Bridgerton' Indian?
The Sharma family is of Indian descent in the Netflix adaptation, but not in print. In Julia Quinn’s books, the family is actually known as the Sheffields, one of the many differences in Bridgerton season 2 vs the books.
Speaking on her decision to make the Sharmas of South Asian descent, Shonda Rhimes (opens in new tab), who produces the show, said it was a simple choice: “I wanted to feel like the world we were living in was as three-dimensional as possible, and I wanted to feel like the representation was as three-dimensional as possible too."
"Finding some South Asian women with darker skin and making sure that they were represented on-screen authentically and truthfully feels like something that we haven’t seen nearly enough of.”
You can experience the details of their heritage throughout the series, from their dresses to the elaborate Bridgerton jewelry. (Your mouth will drop when you see the projected cost of Kate's rose gold necklace and tiara!) The Sharmas also perform a traditional Indian ritual the night before Edwina’s wedding to Anthony, called the Haldi.
How are Kate and Edwina related in 'Bridgerton'?
Now that you're well-versed in the meaning of "bon" and "didi," it's a given that Kate and Edwina are sisters, but they're actually only half sisters. They share the same father, but a different mother.
Lady Mary Sharma, Edwina’s biological mother, was born into the Sheffield family and London’s aristocracy, but met and fell in love with Kate's father, who had his daughter from a previous marriage. Kate’s mother died when she was a child, so Lady Mary is actually her stepmother.
The whole affair was seen as a great scandal in London’s society because their father was below Mary’s station, something we may see repeated with Eloise in Bridgerton season 3. This is why Mary was hesitant to return to London, and meet with the Queen and why the Sheffields were threatening to not provide for Edwina unless she married into the aristocracy.
Now that you're a member of the ton and find yourself aware of the Regency jargon, be sure learn a bit more about Mayfair, London, by learning about the Bridgerton residences and Bridgerton filming locations. We'll see you in 1813!
Naomi is a trainee News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on fashion, wellbeing, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life and is training for an NCTJ Qualification.
Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.
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