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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Madras Bashai a.k.a Local Tamil

For too long have I endured the pure form of Tamil that pervades all local news channels here in TamilNadu. Sanga Tamil has its own beauty but over the long years, the language, as spoken in the state capital of Tamilnadu - Chennai, has taken on a distinct flavour.

Madras Tamil borrows liberally (and horrendously modifies) words from other languages - English, Hindi, Malayalam etc.

Below you'll find a decent little example that illustrates the difference between Tamil as such and Madras Bashai.

English Tamil Madras bashai
Go fast! Viraivāga Sel! feeda-ā pō!
Go straight! Nerāga Sel! (Adverb Verb) Staita po! (Adverb Verb)
(also Steittaa po!)

I hit upon the wikipedia article on Madras Tamil a few days back.

It has a detailed explanation of several terms I'm used to hearing from auto-drivers, my college mates and my friends from school. Quite hilarious, give it a read if you understand Tamil.
Look out below for a few gems from said page:

Gaandu to irritate a person Usage gaanda kelappathe. Gaand refers to butttocks in Hindi. See Also: Kaduppu

Sister - Often used to address figures where attempt was unsuccessful

Cutting - Small Peg

Kattai Referring to a hot female. Tamil,Kattai (literally log of wood) - the sturdier higher quality wood can easily be distinguished by their distinctive curvy grain pattern.

Mama or Mamey refers to either a policeman or pimp depending on the context. Tamil mama = uncle. Not to be confused with maams.

Bucketu refers to the female who engages in 'kadalai'(flirting/random talk with opposite sex) refers to the bucket used by vendors to sell the ground nuts in beaches to couples.

Saami padam Also known as Matter padam, refers to a risque movie To escape detection, the first few minutes of these movies usually depict devotional scenes.

Otha - F**K - used as an adjective, and most times as punctuation.

Tube light Person absent minded or not that shrewd. Refers to one who is not picking up things easily, or someone, who takes a bit of time to understand (like a tube light that flickers for a few seconds before lighting up). English Tube light .

There's also a very funny section on usage which explains common lines from Madras Bashai (most of them used in a fit of rage or anger). Examples follow:
Naina! Vootle solltiya? Saavugraaki! By calling the other person naina and asking him whether he has taken leave of his loved ones, the speaker indicates that his interlocutor is driving in a very unsafe manner. The speaker uses saavugraaki to emphasise the point, thus asserting his superior driving skills in the situation.

Figura paathu frienda cut panradhu Used to refer to a friend who chooses his girlfriend as a higher priority than his friend (platonic friend).

Laadu labbaku dhas or Laadu langotta , Used to refer some who thinks that they are always Laadu refers to 'Lord'.

Yaru theaterla yaru padam ootra...keenjidum screenu....bemani! It is used to indicate that other person is trying to show off at a place he does not belong to.

Follow the link to satisfy your fill of Madras Bashai -

Whoever wrote the page was an absolute genius. Hats off to you sir! Great job done there, though I'm sure it'll irk connoisseurs of classical Tamil no end.


Anonymous said...

Enga company la Siddharth nu oru olu otha thevidiyaaa irundha, ava oruthanuku mattum thevidiya ella, oooorukkkee thevidiya

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