Hava Nagila!

Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid

Madras தமிழ்

“Naastha thunniya?” If you didn’t understand, I just asked if you have had food. And I believe you dont know much about Madras Baashai.

Madras Tamil is one of the best dialects of Tamil. Earlier, it was mainly spoken by people of suburban areas of erstwhile Madras. Now, it has pervaded all through Tamilnadu, especially Chennai. It has been popularised by cinema and other media and is immensely popular with the youth.

Few of the popular speakers of Madras include Thuglaq editor Cho, actors Rajnikanth, Kamalahasan, Thengai Srinivasan and Manorama. The current CSK team has its tagline as Whistle Podu – which is a pucca Madras slang.

I have immense affection for this dialect and maintain that it is one of the best. In one of his lectures, Cho mentioned that Madras Tamil has many words that have Sanskrit roots. It is actually Tamil that has words from many other languages, an Islamic influence and spoken with a north Indian accent.

This page will give you one madras tamil word a day – with meaning, origins and usage. Hope you like it. You can contribute too! If you like Madras baashai and want to leave a few words as comments, you are most welcome!

Inaa, ready aa girayaa? Idhellam namakku jujubee!!


12 comments on “Madras தமிழ்

  1. Meenakshi
    April 28, 2011

    Let us start on a good note! 🙂

    Word: கசுமாலம்
    Meaning: Impure, wasteful.
    Origin: Sanskrit

    Citation: In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna keeps his Gandiva (bow) down and is all dejected. Krishna as his friend, initially speaks words of comfort to him.

    Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 2:

    Kuthasthvaa “kashmalam” idham vishmE samupasthitham
    anaaryajooshtam asvarkyam akeerthi karm arjuna

    Dear Arjun, from where did these “impure” thoughts come upon you, at this time of crisis? This is not right for honourable men as they do not lead to higher planes of life but only defames the person.

    1. When spoken in a North Indian accent and under the influence of so many years, “kashmalam” became “kasumaalam”.
    2. The word “kashmalam” is also present in many stanzas of The Mahabharata written by Veda Vyasa.
    3. Cho has also spoken about this in an Enge Brahmanan episode.

  2. Meenakshi
    April 29, 2011

    Word: பேமானி
    Meaning: Untrustworthy, not honourable fellow
    Origin: Arabic/ Hindi

    Citation: In Arabic, the word “Imaan” means Trust. The prefix “bey” in Hindi is used for negating. Hence BeImaani means untrustworthy. It is an adjective used to describe a person, usually.

    In Madras Baashai, however, the word is also used as a noun. One can say, போ டா பேமானி which means “Go away untrustworthy (noun)”.

  3. Meenakshi
    April 29, 2011

    Words: கைத, பயம்
    Meaning: Donkey, Fruit/ Nerd
    Origin: Tamil

    Both these words are distortions of Tamil words, spoken with North Indian accent.

    The word கைத is actually a distortion of the tamil word கழுதை which means donkey. It is used when scolding a person as a useless person.

    The word பயம் is a distortion of the Tamil word பழம். The word பயம் is used to mean fruit (any fruit). It is used to describe a person as being a nerd, someone who is not fit for/ interested in worldly enjoyment.

    பயம் is also used as a noun. You can call a person a பயம் if you want to call them a nerd (just make sure they are your very close friends). 🙂

    Not to be confused with பயம் meaning fear.

  4. Meenakshi
    April 29, 2011

    Word: துலுக்கன்
    Meaning: Muslim
    Origin: Turkish

    Citation: The turks were one of the first outsiders to have invaded India. The word Turkey is pronounced as turukkee in Turkish. And hence, in Tamil the Turkish people became துருக்கர்கள் (turukkarhal). They were also the first followers of Islam (Muslims) to invade India.

    In due course, the word became துலுக்கன் to mean Muslim in general and not just the Turks.

    One of Bharathiyar’s (Subramania Bharathi) songs has its first line as:
    தில்லித் துருக்கர் செய்த வழக்கமடி! – பெண்கள்
    திரையிட்டு முகமலர் மறைத்து வைத்தல்;

    It is the custom made by the Turks of Delhi
    That women hide their flower like (beautiful) faces with a veil

    This refers to the Islamic custom of women hiding their faces behind a veil when they are in the presence of those outside family.

    This song was also used in one of MGR’s early day movies – Chakravarthi Thirumagal sung by Seerkazhi Govindarajan. Music is by B.Ramanathan. The song did not figure in the cassette but is present in the film.

    Refer http://tfmpage.com/forum/archives/27086.24072.04.15.06.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakravarthi_Thirumagal for details about Chakravarthi Thirumagal.

  5. Meenakshi
    May 3, 2011

    Word: தில்லு
    Meaning: Bravery, Guts
    Origin: Hindi

    This is actually a Hindi word spoken with a Tamil accent. Dhil in Hindi means heart, passion. The heart is the seat of all emotion, traditionally, including bravery. In madras tamil, a person with தில்லு is a person with guts.

    தில்லு வேணும் means you need guts. தில்லானவன் is a guy with guts. செம தில்லு means lots of guts.

  6. Meenakshi
    May 3, 2011

    Word: அபேஸ்
    Meaning: To take away (mostly by stealth or by cheating)
    Origin: English

    This is the tamili version of the English word Abase. In English Abase means to humiliate. Especially used in the context of humilated because something is taken away from them, like honour, etc.

    In tamil is not used with respect to humiliation. It is used with respect to stealing. அபேஸ் பண்ணிடுவேன் means I will take it away/ I will steal.

  7. Meenakshi
    May 5, 2011

    Word: நாஸ்தா
    Meaning: Breakfast, snack
    Origin: Hindi

    It is a Hindi word spoken with a Tamil accent. Naashthaa in Hindi means breakfast – of light tiffin. In tamil, the word is used to mean breakfast or light snack.

    நாஸ்தா துன்னியா? means “Did you have breakfast?”

  8. purushothamanr
    January 5, 2012

    Chennai Rocks…

  9. Jayashree
    March 11, 2012

    Sooper da! Keep going! 🙂

  10. Anonymous
    June 19, 2016


  11. ישראל בן אברהם אבינו
    July 7, 2016

    The worst language is madras dialect. Irritating uncultured barbaric language.

  12. Anonymous
    July 7, 2016

    Your language is the most impure language

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Top Rated

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 31 other followers


Archives By Calendar

February 2020
« Feb    
%d bloggers like this: