Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

Indian Slang

Posted by Jerry on April 25, 2006

So, being around fellow Indians in this “natural” Indian setting, I have become to privy to a great many conversations happen all around me every time I step out of the house. Given that this country has about a billion people, and the city of Mumbai has around 20 million people, any expectations of personal space, privacy or some such flights of fancy are precisely that – flights of fancy!

Anyway, what I wanted to get at was that I have found myself being rather amused by the things I hear people saying here. Indian slang is just ridiculously silly – and I love silly humor! So, I decided to try and translate some of the Indian slang most commonly used here in India. I hope the humor in them is not lost in translation. J

Khalli pilli – Empty wempty – used when one wants to say there is no significance or value in something being said. For example, if you said I have dandruff in my hair, and I disagreed with you, I would say something like “why are you saying such empty wempty things?!”

Topi lagana – to put on a cap/hat – used when one wants to say that someone lied to him or deceived him about something. For example, if I realize that you lied to me and I believed the lie, I would say that you put a cap on my head.

Chapter – Chapter (pronounced as in English, though the last r is emphatically stressed) – used to designate someone as being an odd one of a kind; a derogatory designation for someone who is considered foolish, naïve, strange, etc. For example, that guy is a chapter, he always messes up things at work.

High-funda – high logic – used to express someone’s sophisticated mannerisms or educated language, or something smart or high cultured. For example, being that it is common to eat with your fingers in India, if someone saw you eating with silverware, they would something like “hey, don’t be high-funda. Just eat like normal people.”

I can’t think of any more funny Indian slangs right now. I’ll post some more later as I come across them again.

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One Response to “Indian Slang”

  1. Gurdit said

    You posted this on your old blog, and it got a couple of not-too-pleasant comments. However, I find Indian slang amusing too.

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