We’re going to teach you but remember that other than the 26 alphabets there are certain phonetic sounds that need to be practiced to give a better flavour to your newly acquired Punjabi lingo. To practice that, watch out a few Jaswinder Bhalla movies and you would soon be beating us in our own game. Also, listen closely to the comments and phrases of Navjot Singh Sidhu. Chal guru, ho ja shuru! Or like we do, listen to the Punjabi numbers in Bollywood! Or if you are a Pammy Aunty fan then you could start your practice there.
Let’s admit it…we, Punjabis, are known by the way we talk. Not because we are loud, simply because we have a lingo different from the rest. While all else will ask a formal how do you do; Punjabis would be hugging you to ask Haan vai kiddaa. The rest of the audience will give a standing ovation to an awesome performance; but trust Punjabis to give a compliment like Nazara hi leya ta! Their gallbaat sessions are famous for gossips about everyone, which end with the ubiquitous phrase, Saanu kee ! So when it comes to their lingo, there is a lot to explore. Get ready to talk Jama hi Punjabi style. And don’t forget to say all this with a smile… because we Punjabis are a happy lot.
A: Aaho Yes, we are the YES people. Not the Yes Boss types but the ones who say ‘Yes to life’. Our yes is said in a typical manner. AAHO! Speaking tip: Even while Aaho is spelt with two As pronounce the AA quickly enough and stress on the HO part. Trying already?
B: Balle Balle Be it our generous nature or Bhangra moves or our worthy performance in every sphere of life Balle Balle is how we express it all: Bollywood too is smitten by it. Keep a close watch, the Indian film industry could be renamed Ballewood someday soon.
C: Chak De Phatte Hey, don’t get ready to pick anything when you hear the phrase. Yes, while chak de means to pick up & phatte means wood: the phrase is a way to express the Chardi Kala of Punjabis i.e. to encourage an individual/ group to accomplish the task he/she/ they have set for. Undoubtedly, the whole country including Shah Rukh Khan loves ‘Chak De!’
D: Dangar No, it’s not danger misspelt. It’s Dangar with a g sound, literal translation being an animal. Often said in an affectionate manner by girls: this is how often Punjabi girls rebuke roadside Romeos.
E: Enwe Hi Now this is truly authentically Punjabi because the very phrase means ‘nothing’. We go to market Enwe Hi or we text someone Enwe Hi and many emotional outbursts happen Enwe Hi.
F: Fuddu Urban dictionary defines Fuddu as a moron; but then it’s more fun to call someone Fuddu than a moron. Why be intelligent and soft while abusing someone; that’s what Punjabis think!
G: Gedi A joyful waste of time and petrol on roads that’s what a gedi is. Typically a Chandigarhian word, it is meant for a specific route where one can find the best dressed boys and girls driving the hottest cars and bikes. And of course, here’s where we check each other out.
H: Haye O Rabba This is what Punjabis do best. We exaggerate any situation with our words and expressions. If a boy eve teases a girl, it’s a Haye O Rabba moment. And if the girl slaps back the boy, it’s all the more Haye O Rabba! Speaking tip: Try saying it with both hands around your head and see the effect.
I: Inj Na Kar That’s how we bargain or get done things our way. The moment someone says something that doesn’t suit us, we tone done our volume and say it with a sugared voice, Inj Na kar.
J: Jatt/Jatti Now that’s the central point of Punjabi alphabets, Jatt and Jatti. Thanks to all recent movies, the whole world knows that Jatt can be associated with anything from James Bond to Airways. And Jatti is the new Juliet for all Punjabi girls.
K: Kiddaa English speaking people take so many words to ask: How are you doing; Punjabis need just a Kiddaa to do the honour. Now, the beauty is that this word can be spoken in personalised style. Listen to a few Punjabi FM channels to create your own style.
L: Lab Lab stands for ‘to find’. Oye, mera pen lab de, Ki lab di payi hai… (Hey, can you find my pen, What are you looking for?) Use it each time you can’t find a person or a piece!
M: Mar Jaaneya That’s how Punjabi mothers express love. They call their sons like this and often scold them for getting up late or eating less or fighting with their sister. Aah, who won’t mind dying for such genuine pampering and care.
N: Naale Hor Kuch Ni Punjabis don’t like the boasting mates. The moment someone tries to go overboard with their explanations, you would hear a Punjabi cutting short his inflated talks with a ‘Naale Hor kuch Ni’. This is again to be said with lot of confidence and tonality so that the other person should know that his lies have been caught.
O: Oye Hoye Oye Hoye is just the opposite of Naale Hor Kuch ni… This is to be said when you are generally impressed with someone. No wonder, you often hear these two words outside girls’ college.
P: Putar We are sure you are very familiar with this one. In every movie with a Punjabi family or Punjabi home, the son is referred to as Putar! The word is also used to refer to anyone who is ‘like a son’.
Q: Qaba A person who is too critical is called Qaba. He/she is someone who will not just analyse everything but also give his/her expert comments on anything & everything. Stay away from them: by the way, there are way too many around.
R: Rola/Raula Ae ki rola macha ke rakha hua hai? (What is all the noise about?) The word stands for any kind of noise: happy, sad or angry. It is used both as a question and an expression.
S: Siyappa When things are out of control, we call it Siyappa, Punjabi marriages witness a Siyappa over not being caring enough; street fights also turn to Sayapaand so do our unplanned journeys. In fact, the latest one in this category is Whatsyaapa. Siyappa stands for trouble: both serious and fun.
T: Teri Sorry for the blasphemy but Punjabis have to say Teri … Di and Teri … Di at least ten times a day to feel the zing of life. Often we don’t say it as an abuse but just as an addiction. In fact, Punjabis can coin a whole new dictionary just of their uniquely spelt and said abuses. Anyone, game?
U: Ullu Da Patha This is most definitely not an abuse. Because if it were so, why would most of the fathers say this to their sons especially when the literal translation means ‘Son of an Owl’? Rather, this is just equivalent to Punjabi fathers calling their sons – dude.
V: Vehle Thanks to KJo, the whole world knows the meaning of Vehle. Guys who happily waste, sorry, kill their time doing nothing are called Vehlas. Being Vehla is the new cool as such. You are highly in demand if you are a Vehla, pun intended.
W: Waadhu Don’t expect a Punjabi to do anything in a small number or quantity; everything has to be Waadhu: additional to be precise. That’s why we have Waadhu clothes, Waadhu food, Waadhu inches and Waadhu Pange as well.
X: XL That’s the average Punjabi’s waist size as well as the size of their heart. But they won’t change their dil even if the bill burns a hole in their pocket. The XL size of their lifestyle is so very evident in all Punjabi weddings. And you must attend one to experience almost all the phrases written above at one single event.
Y: Yo Yo Honey Singh The latest craze of the whole world: Yo Yo Honey Singh is a Punjab ka product, needless to say Punjabis love him to the core, both for his sarcastic raps and fantastic music. Seems like Yo Yo is now the unofficial mascot of Punjab.
Z: ZumBhangra Punjabis are turning cosmopolitan with their love for Zumba and Salsa but the real challenge is to mix Bhangra in these Latin dance forms. Many fitness trainers in Punjab have introduced this as their latest cardio session – Zumba mixed with Bhangra. You may shake your hips Shakira style, but hands have to reach for the sky in Balle Balle style. That’s ZumBhangra.
Keep blowing the Trumpet! This & many more stories await in the pages!