The Info List - Madras Bashai

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Madras Bashai மெட்ராஸ் பாஷ (Madras Slang) is a cockney of Tamil language
Tamil language
and English language
English language
spoken in the city of Chennai
(previously known as Madras) in Tamil Nadu, India. The word bashai derives from the Sanskrit
word bhasha, meaning "language", which means Mozhi(மொழி) in Tamil. Madras Bashai is a loose polyglot blend of Tamil with Indian English, Telugu, Urdu
and Hindi language. Madras bashai has been largely popularized by autorickshaw drivers and fishermen from the northern parts of the city.this slag is spoken in Chennai
Tiruvallur (district to the north of Chennai
which has moved into the Greater Chennai
Metropolitan Area) kanchipuram (South Chennai) vellore districts of north Tamil Nadu. Madras Bashai evolved largely during the past three centuries. It grew in parallel with the growth of cosmopolitan Madras. After Madras Bashai became somewhat common in Madras, it became a source of satire for early Tamil films from the 1950s, in the form of puns and double entendres. Subsequent generations in Chennai
identified with it and absorbed English constructs into the dialect, making it what it is today. Due to immigration and cultural exchange, terms from Madras Bashai are widely spread and are also used sometimes in other cities and towns of South India. Tamil and Telugu people lmade madras bashai, and words from every other language were but unwilling hostages never to be returned.They are spoken mostly by the people living in Chennai
who can also speak Tamil properly.


1 Evolution 2 Vocabulary 3 In film 4 See also 5 Notes

Evolution[edit] Madras Bashai evolved largely during the past three centuries. Contrary to popular belief, Madras was not founded in 1640 by the British East India Company, but by the Medeiros family of San Thome, the wealthiest merchants of the Portuguese settlement and who were locally known as the Madra family.It was that family who lent their name to the new town of Madraspatnam, founded near two fishing kuppams on a stretch of coast along which all fishing villages paid tot he to the church and a return to the Madeiros family on the financial backing it provided them. With its emergence as an important city in the British Empire
British Empire
when they recovered it from the French and as the capital of Madras Presidency, the contact with western world increased and a number of English words crept into the vocabulary. Many of these words were introduced by educated, middle-class Tamil migrants to the city who borrowed freely from English for their daily usage.[1] Due to the presence of a considerable population of [[Telugu, Hindi and many oher language-speakers, especially, the Gujaratis, Marwaris
and some Muslim
communities, some Hindi words, too, became a part of Madras Bashai. At the turn of the 20th century, Though preferences have since shifted in favor of the Central and Madurai Tamil dialects, the English words introduced during the early 20th century have been retained.[1] Madras Bashai is generally considered a dialect of the working class like the Cockney
dialect of English. Lyrics of gaana songs make heavy use of Madras Bashai. Vocabulary[edit] A few words unique to Madras Bashai are given below; an Internet project, urban Tamil, has set out to collect urban Tamil vocabulary.[2]

Standard Tamil Madras bashai Meaning

appuram (அப்புறம்) Appālikā,appāllē (அப்பாலிகா, அப்பாலே) Afterwards[3]

anñkē (அங்கே) Annanṇṭa (அந்நாண்ட) There

kōpam (கோபம்) Gaandu (காண்டு) Anger

Mosamana (மோசமான) Attu (அட்டு) Worst (Derived from Burmese word "attu" - meaning duplicate)

bayam (பயம்), achham (அச்சம்) mersu (மெர்சு) Fear

nandraga Illai (நன்றாக இல்லை) mokka (மொக்கை/மொக்க) Derived from Burmese word "macaunbu" meaning not good

dhaṭavai (தடவை) Dhabā (தபா) times- Derived from Hindustani - Dafa (number of times)

ēmatṟukiṟatu (ஏமாற்றுகிறது) Dabaikirathu (டபாய்க்கிறது) Fooling

kiṇṭal seivathu (கிண்டல் செய்வது) Kalāikirathu (கலாய்க்கிறது) To tease- Derived from Malayalam - Kali aakunnu.

makizhchi (மகிழ்ச்சி) Gūjjāallu (குஜ்ஜால்லு) Happy

kaal saṭṭai (கால் சட்டை) Nijāru (நிஜாரு) Trouser

viraivil viṭṭu(விரைவில் விட்டு) Apeetu (அபீட்டு) To exit quickly/Vanish from the spot. Derived from English word abate

Nalla irukku (நல்லா இருக்கு) Sokkha irukeethu(ஸோக்கா இருகீது ) Looking good - Derived from Urdu- Shauq- Passionate

Words borrowed from other languages

Madras bashai Meaning Source

Dūbaakoor (டுபாக்கூர்) Fraudster From the English word dubash which, itself, is a derivative of the Hindusthani word "Do bhasha", usually, used to refer to interpreters and middlemen who worked for the British East India Company. As in the early 19th century, dubashes such as Avadhanum Paupiah were notorious for their corrupt practices, the term "dubash" gradually got to mean "fraud"[4]

Nainā (நைனா) Father From the Telugu word Nāyanāh[3]

Bēmānī (பேமானி) Swearword; meaning unclear Derived from the Urdu
word Bē Imān meaning "a dishonest person"

Gabbu (கப்பு) Bad Smell Derived from colloquial Telugu Gobbu

Gammu (கம்மு) Silent, peaceful Derived from colloquial Telugu gommuni

Bīscōthū (பிஸ்கோத்து) Sub-standard Derived from the English word "biscuit"

Kūchū (குச்சு,குந்து) Sit down Derived from Telugu & Kannada

Dhūddū (துட்டு), Dabbū (டப்பு) Money Derived from Telugu[3]

Galeeju (கலீஜு) Yucky Derived from the Urdu
word, Galeez

Kasmalam (கஸ்மாலம்) Dirty Derived from the Sanskrit
word "Kasmalam" meaning dirty, discardable

Yegīrī (யெகிரி) To jump Derived from Telugu[5]

Bējār (பேஜாறு) Problem Derived from Hindusthani

Figure (பிகர்) A beautiful girl From English. Used by youngsters

Virching (விற்சிங்) Thing to be done after searching(Opener)

Correct (கரெக்ட்) (as a verb) To Impress A Girl. From English. Used by youngsters

O. C. (ஓ.ஸி) Free-of-cost From English. During the East India Company
East India Company
rule, letters posted on behalf of the East India Company
East India Company
did not bear postage stamps, but had the words 'On Company's Service' or 'OC' written on them. The word "O. C." gradually got to mean something which was offered free-of-cost[3][6]

In film[edit] Madras Bashai is used in many Tamil movies after the 1950s. Actors such, Manorama, J. P. Chandrababu, Loose Mohan, Thengai Srinivasan, Janagaraj, Cho Ramaswamy, Kamal Haasan, Vijay Sethupathi, Dhanush, Attakathi
Dinesh,Joseph Vijay, are known for using it. Representative films are Maharasan, Michael Madana Kama Rajan, Thirumalai, Vasool Raja MBBS, Pammal K. Sambandam, Chennai
600028, Attakathi, Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara, Ai, Madras, Kasethan Kadavulada, Anegan, Vedalam.[7] See also[edit]

Madrassi Tanglish


^ a b Vijayakrishnan, K. G. (1995). "Compound Typology in Tamil". Theoretical perspectives on word order in South Asian languages. Centre for Study of Language. pp. 263–264. ISBN 9781881526490.  ^ http://www.urbantamil.com ^ a b c d Pillai, M. Shanmugham. Tamil Dialectology. pp. 34–36.  ^ Guy, Randor (June 15, 2003). "Inspiration from Madras". The Hindu.  ^ Randor Guy (August 31, 2010). "Jagathalaprathapan 1944". The Hindu.  ^ "Footprints of the Company". The Hindu. 28 August 2005.  ^ http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Language-Found-in-Transition/2014/08/20/article2387721.ece

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Dialects of Tamil language

Modern dialects


Brahmin Tamil Iyengar Tamil Saiva Pillai dialect


Bangalore Tamil dialects Central Tamil dialect Kongu Tamil
Kongu Tamil
(Coimbatore Tamil) Madras Bashai Madurai