Tanglish For The Win

April 26, 2011

I cringe when people use blatantly wrong grammar. My cringing nears an epileptic seizure when they merge two languages, use bad grammar and kill two beautiful tongues. This phenomenon is popular by far in India. As much as we Indians pride our influence on good ol’ English giving rise to Indi-English, Hinglish and my favourite Tanglish, we really should not step over the line that separates the colloquy from the colloquial. Despite hard to follow rules, our modification of English gives rise to many a funny situations, few of which are very typical to Tamil serials. I say Tamil serials because that is where you get to hear phrases like “German ponaaru”, “marriage pannikitanga”, “youth people naanga”. I will go on to list flaws (yes, I love flaw finding. I will make an excellent mother-in-law some day) that are omnipresent. Although I go eeeks when I hear these, I cannot suppress an inward smile and that is why I want to share it with you all.

“I cannot able to…”

How simple is “unable to”? As I write now, I am in a mental dilemma whether “I cannot able to…” really is right. Look what the society has made of me!

“You ate, no?”

Typical Tamilian mentality. This always happens when you translate the Tamil inside your head to English verbatim. I cannot really mock people who do that since this particular sentence fragment bears the stamp of Lady Kedi’s trademark usage. I use it because it is so much in line with Tamil. And I use it only to people who know Tamil. Some justification that.

“Thalli nillunga, ladies irukanga.”

As a friend once pointed out, a sole lady is also “a ladies” to the Tamil gents. This has given rise to the popular phrase among “the youth people” – “Who is that ladies?”

“You know Tanglish?”

No, it’s a sin that will haunt us in all our seven births if we prefix a question with a “do”. Why do a “do” when you can raise your voice in the end instead? Why do a “do” when it’s not wrong not to do it? Ok, I will shut up.

Which reminds me of “Shut up your mouth, bad girl”. In school, we never said “Shut your mouth” or “Shut up”. We always had to combine both to show others we could speak big English sentences. Even after more than 10 years since 3rd grade, I am proud to see this trend continuing with the present 3rd graders.

Ungle and Anti.

Pay us a thousand rupees for every time we say this right, no, we can never call people Uncle and Aunty.

Enna Rascalaa

This goes over my head, always. All Hindi film stars say this when they associate themselves with our Tamil Film Industry. Are they mocking us? What does Rascalaa mean? Is this some poorly memed punch dialogue allegedly delivered by the Chuck Norris of South Indian Cinema? The answers elude me.

Plight / phant and liffstick

I cannot suppress making you read my poor pun: the plight of the flight. The F we cannot pronounce in “flight” comes out in full force when we say “pant” and in fuller force when we say “lipstick”


I love this! It’s the Vadivelified version of “excuse me. While Amit’s (North Indian vetti scene parties living in and cursing singara Chennai) would prefer the more sophisticated “Excusez-moi”, I am a great fan of yechoosme in all its glory.

Bobby Ganesan

Found this conversation snippet on Facebook as a status update.

A: Mama, my treat da.

B: Enga da?

A: Bobby Ganesan da.

You could not have guessed it, Bobby Ganesan denotes Barbeque Nation. The comedy we are capable of!

While at it, I would like to bring to light a popular Twitter phenomenon. It was #kogul where Kogul is a Tamilicized version of Gokul. This Twitter list consists of all such words and makes a hilarious read. People who have names like I do (which are mercilessly slaughtered) will totally empathize with it.

Pour in your comments of such common, amusing and funny Tanglish phrases that will put a smile on our faces. Tanglish is what a part of our identity is – we might as well be proud of it!


22 Responses to “Tanglish For The Win”

  1. Arvind said

    Blatant violation of copyrights!! Almost all the words here belong to the director of Metti Oli! Watch out, he may sue any time!

  2. Hari said

    Funny 🙂 nice post .
    ” The F coming in fuller force when we say pant or lipstick” , is just gr8 . Yechoosme and Bobby Ganeshan is the highlight 🙂

  3. Ramkumar said

    Good one . Saaapteenga la (You ate no ?) good one !!

  4. ladykedi said

    @Arvind Ha yes! I have mentioned that I have drawn inspiration from Tamil serials =D

    @Hari & Ramkumar Thank you!

  5. Irai Arul Petravan said

    Super excellent fantastic bale!

  6. aravind said

    bobby ganesan ultimate 🙂 it was a mix of crisp chips with namuthupona appalam at some places 🙂

  7. “But aana neenga nadu centre la nikka kodathu ma”. This is quite infectious you see. Once your hear it before you realize someday you would be standing nadu centre la…

  8. Irreverence personified said

    This much only you rememberaa?

  9. the words “rock” and “wanna”.. i cant stand how some people misuse them…!

    And there have been many instances when i try to speak to people in tamizh because their English is bad and they end up replying in English!

  10. ladykedi said

    @Aravind Thank you.

    @Invisible Queen Righto! Nadu centre is typical of automen and bus conductors!

    @Madhana Raghavan Its funny when people reply in broken English. I like it better that way =)

  11. naga said

    As some one mentioned about rocks not forget our ipl fanatics dhoni rock , csk rock ! But veyyil is hot! how people playing match ! 😉

  12. I had a Math teacher who began her questions with ‘Ey’ and ended them by emphasizing the final alphabet a bit too much. Ex : ‘Ey Why are you keep on talkinguuu’! Lol, Nice read.

  13. Partha said

    u get good marks, i the happy, tomorrow u get good job, jpr the happy, tomorrow u marry i enjoy…
    The great jeppiar quotes

  14. Partha said

    Like ur style of writing

  15. indri said

    Good post .. Enjoyed reading it.. Recently, i came across this one : “Nine Pipe Pour Pour Pipe Pour Pipe Pour Pour Pipe” Means???? Not a Tongue Twister.. Azhagiri giving his mobile number “9544545445” to his friend. 😉 😀

  16. wisetongue19 said

    youre giving me more and more ideas for my own blog 😛

  17. Aravind said

    Why is your blog name ‘Lady Kedi’

    Do you get a ‘epileptic seizure’ every time you login?

    • Lady Kedi said

      That was an exaggeration. Also, KD is actually English.

      • Aravind said

        Ah .. so this is exaggeration , why cant the stuff you mentioned be a part of ‘illiteracy’? If i am to argue with you , your blog name is ‘Kedi’ not KD . Now dont come back and tell me ‘Kedi’ can refer to something else . Lets grow up.

        When i say this , i accept that it was a decent read(though clichéd). It would have been perfect , if you have shifted to a different tone than ‘attack’ 😉

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