March 02, 2017

'A Nose like a Pontiac'

Parsi Bol 2 is an updated edition of Sooni Taraporevala and Meher Marfatia's very entertaining book on Parsi insults, endearments and other Parsi Gujarati phrases (see below). This one adds over 300 idioms, illustrations and a CD of phrases voiced by theatre actors Dolly and Bomi Dotiwala, as well as film actor Boman Irani. 

A selection of colourful, eccentric phrases from reviews of the book in Quint, Daily Pao and the Indian Express:
Dhoila moora jhevo pacho ayo (literally 'returned looking like a washed out radish', figuratively, 'returned without achieving anything')

Edya nee juherkhubur jhevoo mohnoo (literally, ‘face like an advertisement for castor oil’, figuratively,‘dour-faced’),

Fuskaila darum jhevoo dachoo (literally ‘face like a cracked pomegranate’; figuratively ‘grinning widely’)

Leedoo apee neh eedo leedho (literally ‘give a goat’s turd and ask for an egg’, figuratively ‘give nothing and take much’)

Nahi agasee nahi otlo (literally, ‘neither a balcony nor a verandah’, figuratively, ‘a woman with neither boobs nor bum’)

Nuseeb ma doodhee (literally, 'cheap pumpkin in your destiny', figuratively, 'to achieve nothing in life')

Suhrah chhuh noh kato (literally, ‘hands of the clock at 6.30’, figuratively, ‘impotent’)
 As in the earlier version of the book, the most vivid metaphors involve fruits, vegetables and sundry dishes, reflecting the Parsi community's love of food. The Parsi penchant for cracking an egg on everything from okra to goatmeat is satirised in the fine phrase aafat par eedu - the word aafat would translate here as 'problem' or 'calamity', so that's a fiasco with a fried egg on top, a fuck-up with a culinary flourish.

1 comment:

Languagehat said...

Great to see you posting again!