Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's the meaning?

There is many a supposed-Tamil word / slang that is most amusing to hear and which I dare not use mostly because I don't really know their meanings.

The following swear words commonly used on Chennai roads especially by autorickshaw drivers, bus and automobile 'drivers' and cyclists: -
1. Bemani
2. Porampohkku
3. Saavukraki or Saavucracky
4. Somari
There are more on my list of Tamil words the meanings of which I don't know, but this list has been based on a gut feeling (!) that makes them seem safe to ask out in the open.

Going by the sounds only, my personal favourite is somari. Sounds so cute(!!) and crisp although yes, I do realise it is used to call someone a'bad name' like stupid or idiot. Porampohkku is also quite satisying when you swirl it around your mouth rolling the RRRs in true, dramatic Tamil style!Bemani sounds downright funny while Saavukraki I feel has something to do with a person who courts death ...or loves courting death.



umm oviya said...

what about kamanati? come na come, kamanati go...

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

Kamanati made popular in the film MMKR is ok, but not on my list cos it sounds like it may have an even more derogatory meaning than these 4;)

Kalpana said...

Oh and what abt the Iyer mama's favourite tamil word Racallll ..:)

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

Rascal? That ees englees:)

Me said...

From Madras Baashai

Saavugraaki: Possibly from Tamil saavu (death) and graaki (spurious buyer or peddler) giving "customer of Death".

Porombokku: Mispronunciation of 'Pembroke', as in Lord Pembroke, who stated that land belonging to no one would belong to the government.

Somari: Lazy fellow; word orginates from Kannada

Kamnatti: An interesting off-shoot of classical Tamil, kamnatti derives from "KaimpeNdaati paiyan" which stands for a young widow's son, who is expected to grow up without parental guidance and hence a "kamnatti". Some say, it originated from English sahibs in TN addressing their kids as Come, naughty boy!!

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

Thanks so much:)

Velacheri Al said...

Bemani : From indhi, no. Beimaan , I guess all the Marwari pawnshop imports brought this in.

Porambokku explained.

Saavugiraaki : I thought it refers to those hangers on at burial grounds who are supposedly menial help but basically extort money.

Somari done.

: )

poorna praveen said...

Another possible theory for kamanaty - from the english word commonality which also refers to lowly common people. It might have evolved to kamanati just like kerosene oil became krisnaoil