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Chennai Journal
Sunday, September 18, 2005
 
Indian English
I've learned a lot of new words since coming to India. Indian English is a combination of old British English and local common sense. I find some of these words rather infectious, and I fear they may be creeping into my vocabulary permanently. Here's a lexicon of some of the more common ones:

"Do the needful" this phrase is found in most official correspondence asking someone to do what is necessary to accomplish a task.
"Ground reality" what's happening at the grassroots, what real people are having to deal with.
"Prepone" opposite of postpone. This is one of my favorites.
"Intimate" (used as a verb), as in "we will intimate when we are ready to consider your application." Loosely translated, means to indicate or inform.
"Eve teasing" harassment of women.

"Good name" polite for name, as in "what is your good name, please?"
"Stooling" running for office.
"Load shedding" power outage or brownout. In Chennai and other cities with power shortages, it is a regular occurrence to decrease the voltage supplied to households during peak usage hours.
"Flyover" overpass.
"Batchmate" classmate; person from the same graduating year.
"Head bath" a bath that includes washing the hair.
"Updation" noun for updating, e.g. "updation of records." Also used with "upgrade."
"Mixie" blender.
"Brinjal" Indian eggplant.
"Dry grapes" raisins.
"Capsicum" pepper (e.g. green pepper).
"Lamb" goat (at least in Tamil Nadu).
"Resume" same meaning (curriculum vitae) but pronounced the like the verb, "re-zoom"
"Would-be" fiance
All of these are heard and read in daily parlance. But my absolute favorite phrase is one I learned from Leela:
"Get upping," as in "What time is Madam get upping?"

Comments:
"Get upping" - I've never heard that phrase but its funny.

I hate it when people pronounce résumé just like resume. I correct them whenever I can :)
 
Here's more:
There are 'miscreants'everywhere
People are 'absconding'
Also 'culprits' get 'nabbed'

 
I have heard "get upping". The kids in my apartment used to say that often.
 
Liked the phrase 'get upping', it did make me smile :)
 
Haha.. I had a good laugh reading this post. I don't know why - but the term would-be really really bugs me! why can't they just say fiance??! oh, and the way they pronounce the word Divorce just gets me every time!
 
Vulturo: miscreants, absconders and culprits are standard English, spoken everywhere!
 
Came thro desipundit...

Born and brought up in India... but never heard of get upping and stooling. Anyway, are u suggesting that these are grammatically incorrect? or these aren't used in Britiain/wherever? Pls clarify.
 
Here's a link to a site that has Do the Needful Clothing.

Take a look.
 
Love it and it will feature shortly. Thanks.
 
hmm..interesting! Born in India, have lived here all my life , but I've never heard anyone say 're-zoom'!! Nor get-upping, nor head bath, but 'good name' yeahh..especially in the north, I don't know why but it always bugs the hell out of me
 
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