Thursday, September 1, 2011

The South Indian Glossary


Diary Entry 25

This blog post is not meant for people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Do not waste time reading this, because there are better things you can do in life. It also applies for people who have not read any of my older posts. I have already warned you so dont tell me later this was a mokka post. For all those people who dont know what mokka means, read on... :) I am typing down my next post, so check back in an hour.

Some of you people from North India and elsewhere have no clue what Mallu and Tamil is. Because of this reason some of you have been finding it rather confusing when you try to read my blog. I have included the glossary of all the words I use or might use when I write. Before I get into that let me tell you a little about where I come from. There are two states in South India – Kerala and Tamil Nadu. I happened to be from both these places. They speak Malayalam in Kerala and Tamil in Tamil Nadu. You will find words from both these languages depending upon who I am talking to. Below is the list of vernacular words that I am so fond of using. 



Akka – Means elder sister in Tamil. You use it address strangers who are not old enough to be your great grandmother. If they are that old we say Pahti (If you say it wrong, it will mean dog in Malayalam)

This is the last person you should be calling 'Akka'


Anna – Similar to Akka.  If they are really old we call them Tha-tha

Chechi – Means elder sister in Malayalam. Unlike Tamil I address strangers who are much older than my great grandmother as chechi. I don’t know what else to call them in Malayalam. The male version of it is Etha.

Da – A tamil slang used to address guys. It is a connotation of familiarity. I used to use this with women too but some girls have found it irritating when I say it. So with much difficulty, I have stopped using it. It is a sign of closeness and bonding between friends. The female version is De. But De lacks all the love, bonding and warmth da has. I guess women can be offended by the smallest of things. You can call guys a**h*le and they will probably respond with a grin. Not applicable to women. So if you want to show lack of respect to a girl, all you have to do is use de in the sentence :D

Illa – Means No in Tamil and Malayalam. They are not pronounced the same way though.

Kadalai - It means nuts but what it actually means is flirting. But this term has be so over used that a simple conversation with a girl is called Kadala these days. When people see you talking to any girl, angel or crone, they will always say "Aye, Kadala" (Hey flirt).  

Konjam – Means little in Tamil. Example - Konjam over (Little too much)

Kutta – I don’t know what it exactly means. But it definitely does not mean dog. My mother calls me that for christ sake. It is like something like darling I guess.
Macha/Machi – I have been using this so much that people in my department stopped calling me by my name and started calling me macha. Sigh... It means something like dude in English. What it really means is brother in law. But some girls say this to their girl mates.  I don’t know of how that relationship works though.

Mallu – Short for Malaylis or people from the state of Kerala. Can be used as a insult or a compliment. :D

Mokka – There are several meanings to this word. People have a hard time figuring it out.

1. Boredom – Macha Mokkaya iruku. (Dude it is very Boring)
2. Easy – How was the placement aptitude paper? Mokka paper da. (It was too easy)
3. A joke nobody finds funny – This is highly popular in Tamil Nadu. They have Tv and Radio shows for this. After you heard the entire joke, you will probably be waiting to hear the part that is supposed to make you laugh. In such cases we simply say – Mokka poda dhey. ( Dont put Mokkai)

Mass – It means awesome.  So when I ask, “How is my blog?”, You should say “Macha your blog is mass.”

Seri – Means Okay. It can mean Okay as in an okay to a agreement or it can be the monosyllable okay that the girls are so find of using when guys text them.

Thala – Means Head. Another word like Macha used like Dude in English. It might also refer to Ajit Kumar. Some people say he is an actor. If you dont see this line after a week, that is because a fan must have beaten me up. (If you are tamil guy: 1.You were not supposed to read this post. 2. Yes. Mankatha is mass. I was talking about his Pre Mankatha era :D)



Hopefully from now on, you will have lesser trouble understanding the parts where I fail to give an English Translation :)


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30 Comments for this post:

  1. Good you've made things clear for the readers :P
    n i agree the word 'mokkai' is a marvel! :D

    P.S. i'm tamil n i still read it! :P

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    Replies
    1. Lol we should it to the english dictionary. I feel handicapped when I cant use it with non english speaking people :)

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  2. I read it in spite of ur advice.. and worthy I feel.. now.. it could be ur way of saying, because I cannot laugh reading a dictionary.. like I do nw..
    Ok monne dinesha..

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  3. Replies
    1. If you start using it, it just might be added to the hindi dictionary :D

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  4. Mass post machi :)

    Will surely share this with my non-tamilian/non-mallu friends to enlighten them on what all they are missing by not knowing Tamil/Malayalam.

    Nice blog you got running here.

    Cheers :)

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  5. Arrgh... I wish I could have read something similar 3 years ago, When I had first moved to Kerala.

    I tried hard to learn Malayalam, and tried to pronounce all the err.. sounds like.. The Zha in Alappuzha (the sound which I still cannot make) and probably never will.

    Being a Bong (that's a Bengali and not the mary jane kind) I was told by my Malayalee colleagues that I murder the language and was threatened to never try and utter a single word ever again

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    1. LOL the words ending with zha is the test mallus give me to test if I am a really mallu or tamil guy pretending to be one.

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  6. good glossary ... i liked the picture of the chechi:)
    these days no one likes to be called aunty so u can call chechi anyone older ..

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  7. tamil teriyad and kannada gotilla :D what i picked in bangalore :) and am a north indian...thanks macha :D

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    1. Lol always happy to help a north indian friend :D :D

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  8. Thank you for helping all, Understand our Tamizh mozhi even better.
    GOod one there, Semma :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha tamil people were not supposed to read it. But since you liked it should say thank you :) :)

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  9. loved the list....I wish you had added more mallu words too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL this was actually a glossary for my blog :D Will add more as and when I use new words.

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  10. call me a baad Malayalee/...but i did go to Tamil Nadu and call an old woman PATTI....the malayalee slang one!

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    1. haha good thing tamil people dont understand malayalam :D

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  11. Macha your blog is mass :D

    Stay Blessed ^_^ (I wonder what they call this in malaylam or tamil)

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    1. Thank you macha and lol i dont know how to say that without it sounding extremely weird :D :D

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  12. Came here from Ashwini's blog. Kalakal post ;-)

    Actually I have a few mallu friends who try to speak in Thamizh - it's rather cute, I must say!
    And Palakad Thamizh always reminds me of Michael Madana Kama Rajan! lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol i can assure you that my tamil doesnt sound like the pallakad one :D

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  13. Are kerala n TN the only states in South india ?!! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL those are the only ones where I lived :D

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  14. My MY...What a funny post.. nice one to read for a North Indian like me..and u dont knw what the word "kutta: means...:D..I was like "he doesnt even knw the translation off a dog in HIndi" haha:D...da..de...supa cool..
    I knw Illa..that too my 7 yr old sis told me when I went to Blore recently..Aye Kadala!!...sounds so awesome!!;)...
    Ur post seems to have a Rajnikanth effect in it..haha:D..showing the realities in a funny way

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol i think I should be saying thank you :D

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