The legacy left behind by the British has been given a colourful touch by the people they ruled for 200 years. Yes, it’s English, the language without which it is difficult to survive in most parts of the country.
We Indians are a strange lot when it comes to speaking English. We have coined words which have found their way into an English dictionary and come up with other words and phrases of our own which we use without batting an eyelid.
Who cares, anyway. The English cannot speak their own language and may still don’t know the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s’.
With due apologies to the many Brits and Indians who speak the Queen’s English, that horrible Cockney accent, the Lancastrian accent, the Yorkshire old English and the Scottish burr can jar the ear and make you wonder whether you are in a different planet.
But coming back to our own desi word and sentence coinage, we have helped the Brits tremendously and are now waiting to add some more to their rather stagnant dictionary.
Here are some samples:
Cheatercock: Just cheater would do, but we are emotional race and the addition of the word adds emphasis to a plain sounding word.
What men: Nice word, popular in the state of Goa and its inhabitants. It could be used in any situation including how you feel, show surprise, incredulity, love or just about anything.
Your good name: I have a name, thank you and it is not good. All the same it has become a polite inquiry and show respect.
Myself: Reply to the above. Myself John etc.
Pass out: Used to describe your graduation instead of fainting.
Mention Not: Usual reply to a Thank You. A popular Indian variation to My Pleasure.
Sitting on My Head/Eating/Chewing my brain: It describes stressful situations caused by nagging or sustained barrage from teacher/boss as the case maybe.
Convent educated: Studied in a school where English was the main language of instruction.
Foreign returned: Went abroad, lived there and came back.
Gulfie: Those who lived in the Arabian Gulf.
Rubber: Condoms elsewhere, plain eraser in India
What ya: Expression of bewilderment or surprise, emotional in nature.
Why this Kolavari Di?: Ask actor-singer Dhanush.
#The views expressed in this column are the authors and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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