Kindly do the needful.

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I love Indian English. By which I mean English as spoken by people of India. It’s been referred to as “Hinglish” as it’s sort of a duke’s mixture of Hindu and Punjabi and the Queen’s English, spoken there by those Brits those many, many years. Some Indianisms I tumbled upon through a column by writer Donald DeMello, which has made the rounds of the Intertubes. They are so useful that they need to be part of every-day language in the rest of the world. Some of these are from DeMello’s column, some from other places.

This commercial is a great example of Hinglish, I think.

“Doing the needful”: This is considered archaic in many regions of India, but I think it deserves a resurgence. To do the needful means to just do it, do what is necessary, take care of bidness, get ‘er done.

“What is your good name?”: Apparently this is the greeting tourists will often receive in Indian business places. Like you also have a bad phony name, but they don’t want that one.

“Sleep is coming”: That just says it all. “Let’s take rest now, sleep is coming.”

“Updation”: Being updated, brought current, upgraded.

“Entry from backside only”: A traffic direction commonly found in urban areas, indicating the way to an access point. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

“Prepone”: To cancel something before it begins. If you can postpone something, why can’t you prepone it?

“Take tension”: To be stressed out.

“Do nuisance”: Take a leak, especially in public.

“Airdash”: Going somewhere in a hurry.

“Badmash”: Hooligan, wild-hair, bad mofo.

“Timepass”: Something to pass the time, like reading this blog for instance.

“Felicitate”: This is probably my favorite. It means to make very happy, to delight, to express joy or pleasure, and/or to congratulate someone. One source wrote that India is the only place the word is used like this.

Someone I know works with many people of Indian descent (in the IT field, not surprisingly). She has commented often about how her co-workers seem to love the word “damn.” They sprinkle it throughout their conversation, in places we would not usually expect it: “Pass the damn ketchup, please.” They think it’s the greatest English word of all.

My dad, therefore, would have been the king of India.

One Comment on “Kindly do the needful.”

  1. […] out Wikipedia has its own list of Hinglish words and phrases. Please note that I mean not even the slightest disrespect or mockery with these posts. I sincerely […]

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