Doing the needful, part II

Image from

Turns 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 appreciate this particular sub-strain of English. From Wikipedia:

Acting pricey = playing “hard to get,” being snobbish.

Alphabets = letters: “There are six alphabets in my name.”

Boss = used to refer to a (generally) male stranger such as a shopkeeper. It is mildly respectful and friendly, and not considered condescending, e.g., “Boss, what is the cost of that pen?” Perhaps right after he asks, “What is your good name?”

Co-brother = indicates relationship between two men who are married to sisters, as in “He is my co-brother.” Similarly: Co-sister.

Co-inlaws = indicates relationship between two sets of parents whose son and daughter are married.

Cousin-brother = male first cousin, cousin-sister = female first cousin.

Damn = used as an intensifier, especially a negative one, far more frequently and with far more emphatic effect than in other dialects of English (e.g., “that was a damn good meal.”) As the verb “to damn” is rarely used, most Indians are unaware of the word’s original meaning and that it is considered a profanity in other dialects of English. (As I mentioned in the last post: my dad would have become the King of India.)

Dearness allowance = payment given to employees to compensate for the effects of inflation; a cost-of-living increase.

Double and triple = for digits occurring twice or three times in succession is common, especially for a phone number. E.g., the phone number 223-3344 would be pronounced as “double-two, triple-three, double-four.” “Thrice,” meaning “three times,” is also common.

Doubt = question or query; e.g., one would say “I have a doubt” when one wishes to ask a question.

Dress = used to refer to clothing for men, women, and children alike. Young girls in India invariably wear what we call a “dress,” commonly referred to as a “frock” in Indian English.

Eggitarian = a person who eats vegetarian food, milk, and eggs but not meat; an ovo-lacto-vegetarian.

Elder = used as a comparative adjective in the sense of older (e.g., “I am elder to you.”)

Equipments = plural for equipment, e.g., “Go to the place to define equipments.”

Eve teasing = verbal sexual harassment of women.

Long-cut = the opposite of a short-cut; taking the longer route.

Non-veg = short for non-vegetarian, food which contains flesh of any mammal, fish, bird, shellfish, or eggs. Fish, seafood, and eggs are not treated as categories separate from “meat,” especially when the question of vegetarianism is at issue (milk and its products are always considered vegetarian). E.g., “We are having non-veg today for dinner.” Figuratively, a “non-veg joke” is a joke with mature content.

Only = used to emphasize a part of speech preceding it. For example “He is coming only” instead of “He is coming,” “He was at the meeting only” to emphasize that he was nowhere else but the meeting, and “She only is not coming” to mean that everyone is coming except her.

Paining = hurting. “My head is paining.”

Pin drop silence = extreme silence, quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

Redressal = reparation, redress, remedy.

See = used instead of watch, e.g., “He is seeing TV right now.”  Similarly, to see may be used as an imperative to mean to watch, e.g.,” See that very carefully.”

Solid = great or exceptional. “What a solid idea!” means “What a great idea!” (This may actually be an Americanism.)

The same = the aforementioned, e.g.,” I heard that you have written a document. Could you send me the same?”

Uncle and Aunty = Used as suffixes when addressing people such as distant relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, and even total strangers (like shopkeepers) who are significantly older than oneself. Children addressing their friends’ parents as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” is rare, and may even be considered unacceptable or offensive. A substitution of “Sir” or “Ma’am” is common for addressing teachers, professors, or any person in an official position, but too formal to address other elder persons. Using these terms can also connote a derogatory reference to the advanced age of an individual. (Don’t ask me how I learned this, but on the Internet, “aunty” is often used as the Hinglish equivalent of “milf.”) (I said, don’t ask me how I learned this.)

Where are you put up? = Where are you currently staying?

Where do you stay? = Where do you live? Or, where’s your house?

Would-be = one’s betrothed, e.g., one’s “would-be” wife or husband.

And finally, since you already know I’m a font geek.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s