Some Idioms and Phrases of “HINGLISH”

Here is something I found in HINGLISH (Indian English)

English in India is very different from the English language spoken around the world. There are a lot of Idioms and Phrases that have been formed in India and are used only in India. When we use these in our daily conversations we feel they are right. But here are some of our common Idioms and Phrases and their proper alternatives in English.

First-class – also pronounced “fus-class” or slurred together; indicates high-quality material, is used to describe many things – lodging, cars, food, drink, and people.

boy/girl – unmarried persons of any age. Matrimonial ads might describe the candidate as a ‘boy, age 28 yrs’. The words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are thought to imply a lack of virginity and are thus particularly inappropriate in matrimonial ads unless the candidate is divorced.

B.A. – fail – used in matrimonial ads to describe someone who did not pass the final examinations but was admitted to college and did take college classes, as opposed to someone who did not go to college. ‘Higher Secondary (fail)’ and ‘M.A. (fail)’ is similar.

B.A. – pass – used as the opposite of the above

Condoled – as in ‘The railway minister condoled the families of those killed in the accident’.

max (pronunciation) – for ‘Mathematics or maths’.

Gone for a six or Taken a six – to mean something got ruined. (Origins linked to the game of Cricket)

Eve teasing – ‘Sexual harassment

Pre-cap – ‘like re-cap at beginning of a serial TV show, a pre-cap at the end previewing the next one

Converted – ‘A girl educated well in Christian convent-style school’

I got a firing/I was fired by him – ‘I got yelled at by him’

Sharma sir is not here – same as Sharma-ji is not here, a respectful address. No knighthood suffix.

I will make a move now – means ‘I’m leaving’, not ‘making a move on someone’, or anything related to chess.

Where are you put up? means ‘Where do you live’? Heard often in S.India.

Where do you stay? is the same as ‘Where do you live?’ or ‘Where’s your house?’

Cheap and best means good quality at a low price – i.e. – a great deal

I don’t take meat/milk/whatever – ‘I don’t eat meat/ drink milk’ etc

It is worst – ‘It is really bad or of very poor quality’.

She is innocently divorced or divorced (innocent)- not the party at fault, or the marriage was not consummated…

Wheatish complexion – Seen in matrimonial ads. This means ‘not dark-skinned, tending toward the light’

“What is [your] good name?” to mean “What is your full name?” is a carryover from the Hindi expression “Shubh-naam” (literally meaning “auspicious name”) or the Urdu “ism-e sharif” (meaning “noble name”). This is similar to the way Japanese refer to the other person’s name with an honorific “O-” prefix, as in “O-name” instead of the simple “name” when referring to their own name. Such a questioner wants to know the person’s formal or legal given name that may appear on a passport, as opposed to the pet name they would be called by close friends and family.

“Out of station” means “out of town”. This phrase has its origins in the posting of army officers to particular ‘stations’ during the days of the East India Company.

“Join duty” means “reporting to work for the first time”. “Rejoin duty” is to come back to work after a vacation.

“Hello, What do you want?”: used by some when answering a phone call, not perceived as impolite by most Indians

“Tell me”: used when answering the phone, meaning “How can I help you?” It also is a literal translation of a common Hindi word “Bolo”

“send it across” instead of “send it over”, as in “send the bill across to me” instead of “send the bill over to me”.

“order for food” instead of “order food”, as in “Let’s order for sandwiches”.

“What a nonsense/silly you are!” or “Don’t be doing such nonsense anymore.”: occasional – idiomatic use of nonsense/silly as nouns (although this use of nonsense is not uncommon in British English).

“pass out” meant to graduate, as in “I passed out of the university in 1995.” Or it could also mean being fast asleep. It has nothing to do with the person being unconscious.

“go for a toss” is meant to go haywire or to flop, as in “my plans went for a toss when it started raining heavily.” Another cricket analogy.

“Funny” is meant to replace not only “odd”/”strange” but “rude”/”precocious”/”impolite” as well. “That man was acting really funny with me, so I gave him a piece of my mind”

“on the anvil” is used often in the Indian press to mean something is about to appear or happen. For example, a headline might read “New roads on the anvil”.

“tight slap” means “hard slap”.

Timepass – ‘Doing something for leisure but with no intention or target/satisfaction’ For example, “How’s the movie?” reply – “Just timepass man… nothing great about it.”

“maximum” is used where many other dialects of English would prefer “most.”

Divorce (with the emphasis on the I as in pronouncing the word eye) same meaning but different pronunciation

Boss used to refer to any person, regardless of a superior at a place of employment, as in (to a waiter) “Boss, come here, [take our order].”

Am sure there are plenty more. If there is anything you can add to this list… Be my guest BOSS! 😉

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