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.


Love 'Pannu'!

We Tamils have embraced some English words and phrases with aplomb. Even folks who supposedly speak and understand ONLY Tamil, will be able to understand these. Most of the thanks would go to Kollywood, for making these phrases popular. Examples are..

"Youuuuuuuuuu....SHUT UP!"


"Will you please GET OUT?"

"Bullshit" (pronounced 'Bullsheet')

"Damn It" (Okay, 'it' is almost always 'eet'.)


...And so on. Not the least of these is the phrase "I love you". I think 99% of the films must feature at lease one dialogue which is 'I LOVE YOU'.

Ickily, a Bollywood film even shortened 'I Love You' to ILU.

We in Tamilnadu have translated the phrase "Do you love me?" to "Nee yenna love pannriya?". Now "Love pannriya" actually translates into English as 'Make' or 'Do' love! Curiously, we usually pretend-bashful folks should have been alert to this and scrambled to change it. But, no. "Love Pannu" (Make or do love) is now the accepted phrase associated with being in love, that's most prevalent in Kollywood. This adoption is so overboard and curious that there is even a song which has the reglar refrain that sings out "Love Pannu".

Do check it out at:

So funny.