May 23, 2013

Mumbai glossary

The current issue of Time Out Mumbai has a glossary of "city slang, lingo and khali pili faltu giri". A few random selections that range from old favourites (ghanta) to recent coinages (raita phalana) to the mystifying (gajkaran, where does that come from?):
aand mat chaba Same as paka mat, although “aand” means the skin on the scrotum. Variation: aandwa. “Wear your seatbelt ya! Pandu pakdega toh aand chabayega”.
babaji ka ghanta Balls! From a nude babaji (holy man)’s gently swaying junk. Often shortened to just ghanta, meaning zippo, “yeah, right”. 
bakchodi Generally faffing, talking rubbish, doing nothing or “taking someone’s trip”. “We didn’t do anything productive, we were just doing bakchodi.” 
champu A dorky looking person, with oiled hair, thickrimmed specs and so on. 
chop To be humiliated or distressed. “I tripped on the marble and fell face-first. Itni chop hui. 
gajkaran Someone who loves Itchguard.
heights Often used in an exclamation indicating something like, “This is too much!” A stand-out line from Jab We Met where a characater proclaims, “Yeh toh heights hai!” 
lenduk Literally, a turd 
matka maarna To bunk. “Aaj physics ko matka marte hain yaar.” 
matter hona The patois version of, “something has happened”. “Arre solid matter happened in the building after the Holi party.” 
raita phail gaya The shit hit the fan. “The princi caught us smoking in the loo – raita phail gaya.” 
todu A multi-tasking word with several variations. Runs the gamut from “great” to “excellent” to “fantastic”. The degree varies with the number of notional exclamation marks at the end of the delivery.
More here. There's also a Twitter hashtag where you can #bolbambai  

May 05, 2013

David Crystal on Indian English

Daal gosht

Mumbai Mirror report on street vendors of mobile phone porn includes some of their jargon. Read about kaand videos,  staged to resemble amateur MMS scandal clips, and code words like daal gosht and pelampaal.
It's hardly a secret that several of the city's cell phone repair shops and SIM card kiosks that flaunt a computer, stock smut in secret folders marked by gibberish names. "We get some women, too," one owner says. "They say, "Zara woh waale movies daal dena."  
Which brings you to the rules of the mobile-porn-off-the-street universe.  
A blunt demand for a blue film clip will send shopkeepers into a shell. Some may even express mock disgust at your request. Blame it on random raids by the State Anti-Piracy Cell. Around South Mumbai's markets, for instance, code words 'Daal gosht' or 'Pelampaal' put the Flashing-Loading-Repairing stall owners at ease. 

January 12, 2013

Your fadder-in-law's awlas and other ball curry talk

A crash course in the Bandra dialect from Jose Covaco