Bombay Hindi

Bombay Hindi

Mumbai Hindi (Hindi: मुंबई हिंदी Mumbai Hindi, or simply Mumbaiyya) is a Hindi pidgin[1] spoken in and around the city of Mumbai, India.[2] It incorporates words and pronunciations from Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani and English.[3] Linguistically, the predominant substratum influence on Mumbaiyya Hindi is Marathi, reflecting Mumbai's location in a wider Marathi-speaking area.[4]

Technically, Mumbaiyya Hindi is not a dialect or language but a pidgin[citation needed], a mixture of Hindi, Marathi, English with a strong tendency to simplify the grammar of regular Hindi.

While many such local dialects have evolved in cosmopolitan cities around the world, Bombay Hindi is widely known throughout India[citation needed] as a result of its frequent use in Bollywood movies. Initially, this dialect was used to represent crooks and uncouth characters as, to quote film critic Shoma A. Chatterji, "Indian films have the unique quality of different characters speaking different varieties of Hindi according to their social status, their caste, communal identity, education, profession, financial status, etc. [...] The villain's goons, speak in a special vulgarised, Mumbaiyya(from Mumbai) Hindi concocted specifically to typify such screen characters in Hindi cinema.".[5] Lately, however, Mumbaiyya Hindi has become popular and prominent, particular with the success of the Munnabhai movies, in which the lead characters - being members of the Mumbai criminal underworld - speak entirely in this dialect.[6]

Despite this increase in popularity, this dialect has its critics, and is sometimes seen as being disrespectful and vulgar.[7]

Among the more prominent neologisms which originated in Mumbaiyya Hindi but have spread throughout India are the words bindaas (from Marathi (Bin + Dhast = Without Fear, meaning 'relaxed'; this word was incorporated into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2005[8]) and Gandhigiri (invented in the movie Lage Raho Munna Bhai, a portmanteau of Gandhi and -giri, which is similar to the English 'ism'(as in Gandhi-ism), though slightly more informal).


Words and expressions of Bombay Hindi

Mumbaiyya English Standard Hindi-Urdu Notes
Apun (अपुन) I (myself) Mai
Apun ka naam (अपुन का नाम) My name (literally name of I) Mera naam
Locha (लोचा)or Locha Labacha (लोचा लबाचा) Problem Mushkil, Museebat
Sallang or Jhakaas (झकास) Excellent Barhiya, Ala
Mandavli (मंदोवली) Compromise Setting, Samjhauta (समझौता) Used primarily to agree on territory demarcation
Topi (टोपी) Fraud Dhokha Slang usage, Topi literally means cap
Nalla (नल्ला) Duplicate Naqal
Shaana (शाणा) Smart fellow Hoshiyar, Sayana
Shaanapanti (शाणापन्ति) Acting smart Hoshiyari, Sayanapan
Kauwa (कौवा) Mobile phone Local slang, literally means crow
Ghoda (घोडा) Gun Bandooq Local slang, literally means horse
Satak le, kat le (सटक ले, कट ले) Get out, beat it Khisak le
Sultana (सुल्टाना) To resolve an issue Suljhana
Fattu (फट्टू) Coward Darpok, Buzdil
Mama (मामा)/ Pandu Cop Policewala Local slang, literally means maternal uncle
Lafda (लफड़ा) Fight, Love-Affair Larai, Prem-sambandh
Chhaavi (छावी) Girlfriend Saheli
Chikna (m.) (चिकना), Chikni (f.) (चिकनी) Fair complexioned person, well dressed person Gora (m.), Gori (f.) Local slang, literally means smooth or slick/oily
Thhaasna (ठासना) Alcohol Sharaab
Hadakna (हड़कना) To eat Khana
Bablya (बाबल्या) Marathi for baby(kid)
Sutta (सुट्टा) Cigarette Cigrett This slang term has achieved near-universal usage in India and Pakistan
Waat lagna (वाट लगना) To have a major problem Museebat aana
Dabba (डब्बा) Police vehicle Police gaadi Local slang, literally means box
Samaan (सामान) Weapon Hathyar Local slang, literally means luggage or the stuff
Kaccha Limbu (कच्चा लिम्बू) Rookie/ Noob Local slang, usually used during gully cricket for a noob or to downright embarrass someone
Lafda nahin karne ka (लफड़ा नहीं करने का) Do not fight Larna nahin Larna functions a verb, lafda as a noun
Patli galli se satak le Go away from here quietly It is used when you want to warn a person by telling him to go away from the scene
Hawa aane de Go away, let me breathe some air It is used when you want to tell someone to go away
Mai meri kitaab layela hai (मै मेरी किताब लायेला है) I have brought my book Main apni kitaab laya hoon Pidgin simplification: conjugation of 'hai' ('is') is dropped in Bambaiyya; Also, addition of the suffix -la adapted from Marathi for past perfect[9]
Thakela (थकेला) A weak person A local slang used for a person who is not energetic or seems dull most of the time
Hari Patti (हरी पत्ती) Money Paisa Hari Patti means green note, directly referring to the 500 rupee note, which is green in colour
Churan (चूरन) Lie Jhoot Churan is a slang used to describe a lie spoken by a person
Taliya Bald Takla Taliya is a slang used to describe a bald person especially at the crown part of the head, although can be used for any conspicuous bald person

See also

External links


  1. ^ Tope Omoniyi, Joshua A. Fishman. "Explorations in the sociology of language and religion: Volume 20 of Discourse approaches to politics, society, and culture". John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2006. ISBN 9789027227102. "... In Mumbai, the pidgin Hindi (Bazar Hindi) is almost exclusively used as the 'market language', thereby claiming transparency to the function of a link language ..." 
  2. ^ Dialects of Hindi
  3. ^ Novelist Salman Rushdie jokingly refers to this language as "HUG-ME" in his novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet, published in 2000.
  4. ^ University of Kerala. Dept. of Linguistics, International journal of Dravidian linguistics, Volume 3, Dept. of Linguistics, Univ. of Kerala., 1974,, "... In the case of Bombay Hindi-Urdu, the predominant sub-stratum structure is that of Marathi, a language which is structurally quite close of Hindi ..." 
  5. ^ See 'The Language Detail' in Shoma A. Chatterji's paper, The Culturespecific Use of Sound in India Cinema, presented in 1999.
  6. ^ The Hindu newspaper, May 11, 2007. Chronicles of the City. Read online.
  7. ^ DNA, Verbal assault of Mumbaiya Hindi, December 12, 2006. Read online.
  8. ^ Indian Express, August 10, 2005, 'Bindaas' finds its way to the Oxford Dictionary. Read online.
  9. ^ Sarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman, Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics, University of California Press, 1991, ISBN 9780520078932,, "... Bombay Hindi has also added an additional suffix, borrowed from Marathi ... compare ordinary Hindi 'piya tha' ... with Marathi 'pila hota' and Bombay Hindi 'piyela tha' ..." 

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