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Urban Slang And The City That Speaks It


Every city has its own personality. This personality is derived from the elements of the city's life. The food, the culture, the streets and the language used on the streets describe well about that city. Yes, urban slang is an omnipresent cultural element that you cannot ignore. If you listen to the matured folks from different Indian cities, they will probably sound like clones of each other. The language of the youth varies from place to place.

Let us take a look at some of the interesting urban slangs that are popular in the major Indian cities.

The Urban Slang And The City That Speaks It:


Mumbai, the most cosmopolitan of all the cities in India, has various versions of street language. The Catholic version of this lingo spoken in and around Bandra is called the 'Makapao' variety. 'Aye Man', 'What Man' 'Hey Man' punctuates almost every sentence of this pidgin. Then comes the Marathi influenced version of Hindi (that is not Hindi according to experts) called Mumbaiya. It has no sense of gender and uses the masculine gender for almost every person and everything. Famous cricketer Sachin Tendulkar who hails from this populous city is known for his calls of 'Ayigo' on the field. That too is an example of an urban slang.


Coming to the nation's capital, there is no lack of urban slang words being used here. The use of Punjabi language on the Delhi streets is very common. The habit of calling guys as 'banda' and girls as 'bandi' is a typical identity of this city. Another call that reverberates throughout Delhi is 'Oye Tere'. It is the Hindi version of 'Oh My' and used very generously during conversations. The term 'Chak De' is so popular that it has actually been used as the title of a blockbuster movie, 'Chak De India'. Freedom to transcend boundaries is what it stands for.


'Yes Da, No Maccha' is the name of a popular radio show in Bangalore. 'Da' and 'Maccha' are casual friendly ways of referring to your close friends. This city is one of few cities in India that uses English as the primary source of urban slang. Another word that is used almost as an intonation in this city is the word 'papa'. It basically means 'poor thing' and for some reasons, Bangaloreans tend to find an occasion to say it many times throughout the day. Another common word that might offend North Indians coming to this city for the first time is 'chumma'. Here is means 'just like that' but up North it means 'kiss'!

Urban slang may not be linguistically pure but, it contributes heartily to our urban mixed bag culture.

Read more about: language bizarre
Story first published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 17:21 [IST]