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10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

Whenever you think of Chennai, what comes to your mind? Let me guess. If you are a foodie, it would be idly and sambar, if you are a travel enthusiast, it would be Marina Beach. There’s a lot more apart from these. 

Madras Bashai or Chennai lingo is a sambar of Tamil words with a mix of Telugu, Urdu, English. 

Here are some words and phrases that you will not find in any dictionary. 

1. Yav,ootla soltu vanthiya – Hey, have you informed at home?

This is a punch dialogue often said when somebody drives vehicle recklessly or crosses you very closely on the road. You look at them and say “Yav,ootla soltu vanthiya” Does your family need not expect you to come home alive? 

A simple “drive carefully” isn’t enough for us.We like to exaggerate and put a tinge of family sentiment it hurts so much so that they don’t repeat it. Thoughtful isn’t it?

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

2. Kadalai Podradhu“kadalai” means groundnut, “podradhu” is a verb refers to roasting.

So whenever you see a boy and a girl speaking socially or flirting with each other,you say “Machan,over aa kadala poduraan” – means dude,he is flirting with her a lot.

Origin: The groundnut roasting by thallu vandi anna (pushkart) is similar to the conversations that happen during flirting with the opposite sex.

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

3. Gandhi Kanakku – Gandhiji”s account refers to money that the lender knows he will not be able to recover. 

When you ask for money for the movie ticket which you booked yesterday and your bestie replies “Machan,adu yellam Gandhi kanakku”. One cannot win over Madrasis in giving diplomatic answers! 

Origin: This phrase came into existence during the Salt Satyagraha movement of Gandhiji. Many eateries offered free food to the people those who participated. All they have to tell the cashier after eating “Gandhi Kanakku” and they would not be charged anything. Some loafers misused it – One must apologise to Gandhiji.

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

4. O’C “Yanappa OC sappadu saaptu vanthiya”? Who does not enjoy free lunch at weddings.O’C refers to anything which is free! free!

Origin: This term was used by Indian Railways during East India Company rule. Letters did not bear postage stamps but had “OC” written on them meaning “On Company’s Expenses”

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

5. Aattaiya Podrathu/Aabes panradhu

When you lend an item to your friend, sometimes you never get it back. That item is forgotten or kept as a gift. 

“Mapla, en dhuddu aataiyya potutaan daa!” – Dude, he took away my money. 

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

6. Kaima panniruven – I will chop you or cut you in pieces. 

Originated from Urdu word “keema” Meaning ground meat. 

“Enga area kulla tala veccha, kaima panniruven”.This is the warning given when a boy from the neighbouring area follows a girl. Don’t mess with Madraskaran. They are warm and welcoming, if needed they will show their physical strength. Such a cool way to warn isn’t it? 

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

7. Alva kudukradhu – “to give halwa” Literally means act of cheating or fooling. 

Origin: Alva or halwa is an arabic word referring sweet dish.

When your girlfriend ditched you all of a sudden and you wail at your friend “Machan,alva kudututtu poita daa” – Dude, she fooled me and went away. 

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

8. Attu Figure’u – Attu means waste, figure is a typical slang word used for referring a girl. 

When a girl mocks you, you say “attu figure kooda nambala kalaaikudu machan”.

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

9. Jujupee – When you finish something very easily, you pat yourself on the back and say “Idu yellam enakku jujupee velai”

Origin: Refers to a soft sugar-coated candy “JubJub”

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

10. Appatakkar – a person who thinks that they know everything.

Origin: “Thakkar bapa” was a knowledgeable person, promptly answers everything that was fired at him. Madras people fondly called him Appa Thakkar which later changed it to “Appatakkar”.

So whenever you find somebody who is an expert in his field. Try saying “Nee enna avalo periya appatakar ah?”

10 Tamil Slang Words Only Chennaites Can Speak

Let’s end our Appatakkerism here. Hope you had fun!

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Written by Arshiya Kauser

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