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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nepal’s Got it twisted Yo!



Only recently I read an article on how these fellow youths from India have started, what they call a “samosapedia” where they give out explanations of the words and sentences that are unheard elsewhere in the world, but are popular terms in India and South Asia. Samosapedia.com- the definitive guide to south Asian lingo, they say.

And a recent explanation had me cracking. Check this out. 

Backside (noun): Otherwise, a synonymous to the preposition behind, in Indian English however, backside is informally used to refer to buttocks.

And it got me thinking; Nepal must have its own share of twisted English too. Here are a few such words that I managed to come up with.

Dating. Despite being a verb (in action) most people popularly rather use this word as a noun.  Something like this: Aja ma “dating” gaera ako. Directly translated to English, today I went for a “dating”.  Doesn’t make much sense, eh! But, it got its grip on the English speaking youth here, nonetheless.

Juktion. Now this one is clearly a pronunciation fault, because this word means exactly what “Junction” means- (noun) a point where two or more things are joined. Ordinarily, referring to a place where friends meet, like a hang out spot. Now some twisted guy, I am supposing a hip, hero, macho, popular guy at that must’ve thought it was okay to drop the letter “n” and decided to utter “yo bhatti mero Juktion ho” meaning “this place is my juktion” and his devotees spread the word like a wild fire.

One day a childhood friend of mine, mind you, well educated in a very reputed school, made small talks with me and asked “ So, sam, where is your juktion?” and I went, “what the hell is a juktion?”. And ridiculing my deficiency of the English language he went, “oh com’on. Juktion. Like where you might hang out with your friends”? And I said, do you mean “junction”? “Nope, oh my god Sam it’s called a “juktion”. He seriously thought and believed that “juktion” was a whole new and a valid Englsih word, and for a minute there, his assertiveness nearly had me believing in him. And that is how, dear readers, silly words with no meaning spread like that. 

I aint bluffing. Its one of these two guys who introduced the word "Juktion" to me. 


So, moving on. Another such word and a quite popular one at that, is the word       “Good Friday”. How the term, originally derived from Christian practice of commemorating the death of Jesus, turned into a complete party phrase, I will never know.



On a Good Friday, that is observed each year on the Friday before Easter Sunday, Catholics wear black and dark-colored attires and traditionally spend the day in fasting and in silent mourning. In Kathmandu, however, the term has somehow caught on to become a synonym to mindless partying every Friday. Although, some ladies sure do wear black and dark- colored short dresses on Fridays, I don’t think they are even remotely aware of the real deal.

Good Friday, although a seemingly relatively good word to literally describe the day that our 6-days-a-week working Kathmanduites oh-so-enjoy, the meaning that it has evolved to absorb now, is most definitely, worlds apart to what is actually really means.

Sissy. Not calling you one. Although some of you out there might actually want to be called one and here is the twisted definition as to how the confusion with this word started.
Sissy: (noun) describing to someone cowardly. It is also a highly offensive word referring to homosexuals or gay. But guess what our young, actually really young, like the early adolescent to late teens, especially girls, of our city use that word for? Hear the drum rooooooooooooooll, as I give you an example in a sentence. “ You’re so pretty, sissy”? Meaning, “you’re so pretty, SISTER.”

Not kidding. I have heard several young girls use the word sissy to mean “sister” so many times its not even funny. So how do you think this word, which actually is a derogatory term for the homosexuals caught on to acknowledge a sisterly person in a loving way? I am guessing, the guys had their bro, bruv, bruh to address their brothers and the girls were feeling left out until the word “sissy” came along. Genius much.


So there you have it, English words with twisted Nepali meanings. And how people here blindly follow without taking the slightest effort to even check what it really means. Like that phrase “cold store” that you might get to read in about 90% of the grocery and convenient stores out here.

So, you get cold stuff in the store, the store is air-conditioned cold, the cashier in there gives you cold shoulder? What’s the deal here? In all reality, it actually means nothing. There is no word or term as a “cold store” existent elsewhere in the world but in Nepal.

And if you read my column last week, you probably know that I traveled to Pokhara by road and if you happen to make a trip in that highway any time soon or in the future please notice the many eateries scattered through out, that reads, “Staff Hotel”. Means nothing again, but its prevalent and a famous name to give to their businesses.

And of course there are the good old village-English lingos that live on to entertain us. Like the words boot-jutta (Boot-shoe), cap-topi (cap-hat), good garum (lets make good, which actually means lets shake hands) and an endless line of phrases that I quite cannot contain in my word limited column here.

If you are in the know of any such words or phrases then please feel free to share it with me, here in my blog. Who knows, with enough phrases we might come up with our own, erm… momopedia? in the future. Until my next column, have a good weekend every one, or a GOOD FRIDAY if you want to. 




15 comments:

  1. torpe - pronounced तोर्पे. Most of us mustve heard this word or mightv used it many a times. I donno for wat its used in nepali...but this is actually a spanish adjective for clumsy or awkward...

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  2. Thankyou Moncho and Rachelle.
    And Moncho: What youve mentioned is so interesting. I had no idea "torpe" was Spanish word. In fact, the way it is used in Nepali sentences complies to its meaning too.

    like - Tyo keta kasto torpe chha. Testo torpe act nagar na.

    Which could carry meanings in the lines of idiotic, stupid and yes clumsy. Thankyou for sharing this. Much appreciated :)

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  3. https://www.facebook.com/groups/233680823345194/
    Just came across this group on facebook. :)

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  4. OH my god NEpzie ... thankyou so much ahahahhaha ... CLASSIC :D

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  5. This is interesting! :)
    I don't know for how long nepalese have been using the word "ghyampe" for cheers/to drink a toast,but i think it really sounds so funny. I am pretty sure "ghyampe" is the twist from the chinese word "ganbei"(干杯)(pronounced as 'kanpei') which means the same- to bottoms up/cheers . When I heard it for the first time, I was like O_O "ghyampe" for a toast??? :D:D Its a lil' awkward for my ears to hear ghyampe for 'kanpei'. :)
    Anyways GHYAMPE to our momopedia ;);)

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  6. Wow Lemonlimy. Thankyou for such a wonderful insight on the word "Ghyampe" which many pronounce as "Gyambe" and am pretty sure it must've been inspired by the chinese word that you suggest. After all we're neighboring nations, doesnt take long for words to travel across the borders. Well adding this to our momopedia for sure :) thankyou again.

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  7. WAIWAI CUT- it got so much deadly meanings...no idea if Waiwai is the tradename or derived from the noodles product. But what is waiwai cut by the way??
    also m called as a waiwai keto which i took it as a compliment coz of having a curly hair...
    :(

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  8. as you said nowadays girls are using the word "sissy" referring to sisters.... but boys have also started to say "brah" which is pronounced as "bra" which means...(ummm you know better than i do :P) this trend has not yet gain popularity but like any other trends it won't take long time to spread. i think this trend has begun from dudes watching american gangster movies where they use this word alot.
    p.s- sorry for late post and missed your column this week. :)

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  9. Lol Manav >> WAIWAI cut huh?! hehe i find it particularly sexy when men have curly hair ... so dont make that sad SMILEY yet, many girls find it endearing :)

    @Striker >> Hi and thankyou so much for missing my column. THe truth is I missed it too. My columns will not be published in Friday from now on , it has shifted to our other weekly publication called the LIFE AND TIMES. It comes out every Sunday. But I will be publishing all my columns rite here on my blog too.

    Oh you so made me smile from my heart today, I was wondering if anybody even noticed that my column was gone bhanera lol :)

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  10. if that made you happy from heart then here is another fun fact, that most of people i know who had subscribed FRIDAY was due to your columns :D

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  11. awwwww :') u sure know how to make a girl happy thankyou so much ... big squishy electronic hugs to you dear striker xxxxxxxxx

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  12. your welcome and thanks didi for the "big squishy electronic hug" :D

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  13. well, there's chimpang (abbr. chi) and preety much of the nepali letter 'cha' terms...
    the letters cha, chaa, chi r used as a secret means of rating, esp. gals on street n u can speak it out loud n most gals have no idea how they got rated, or even what the hell was that all about???lol.
    well, u wud be rated a 'cha' n the miss nepal 2011 defo gets a 'chi', if u got what i mean.

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