Kindly do the needful.Posted: May 8, 2013
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.