an interested bystander (eigi) wrote in linguaphiles,

"The vernacular" of the 19th-century India?

I am reading Kim by Kipling now and Kipling regularly comments that the orphan Kim, whose parents were Irish in India and who grew up a street child there, speaks in the vernacular, thinks in the vernacular, has to mentally translate from the vernacular when speaking to British officials etc. I am wondering what the vernacular means in the context of the late 19th century India - is it one of the languages of India (which?) or some local version of English?
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