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    I Asked Australians To Guess The Meaning Of Indian Slang And The Results Were Hilarious

    "I think Dickey is a good man. A trusted fellow. A Dickey for the ages."

    by , , ,

    While English is one of the official languages of India, we've found ways to make it as local as possible. Indian English slang is sometimes very literal and often downright hilarious. I asked some of my colleagues at BuzzFeed Australia to guess the meaning of these slang words and...BRB, I still can't stop laughing.

    1. Do the needful

    A bespectacled woman prays in front of a laptop
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    Clare: Does it have something to do with sex? Like, you’re doing the needful… either by yourself or with your partner.

    Isha: Refers to that friend who does the absolute most for everyone and doesn’t take care of themselves. Like, “Hameda, don’t do the needful! You’ve already done enough for today.

    Jules: Is this when there’s a really shit job or chore, that no one else wants to do. But everyone is like; “C’mon, just take one for the team, do the needful.”

    Actual Meaning: To ask someone to do what is necessary.

    "Sir, my request for a transfer has still not been processed. Kindly do the needful."

    2. Eating my brain

    An exasperated woman eats a bowl of what is supposed to be human brain
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    Clare: Hmmm, well the zombie apocalypse isn’t here, so I’m thinking it means getting really frustrated. Like when someone screams, “I can’t even hear myself think!”.

    Isha: HAH, I only know this one because my mum used to say it all the time to my sister and I. It’s when you’re being incredibly annoying, to the point where it feels like you’re eating their brain.

    Jules: I’m going to try and be more positive here and say that it’s when you’ve binged a new TV show. Like, “I’m five seasons into Buffy The Vampire Slayer and it’s really eating my brain.”

    Actual Meaning: This is something you say when someone is troubling or irritating you, especially by asking unnecessary questions.

    "Arghhhh Amit, stop eating my brain and go finish your homework."

    3. Mass bunk

    Several wooden bunk beds in a hostel
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    Clare: All I can think of is bunk-beds, but that can’t be it. Maybe it’s when you fucked up really badly. Like, “Awww mate, I mass bunked it!”

    Isha: I’ve been thinking about this for a good five minutes and I still have no clue. But, in the interest of submitting a guess, I’ll go for something that’s really...solid? Like, that’s a mass bunk of wheels.

    Jules: Is this like when everyone in your class skips class? Don’t wanna go to school today, let’s get the class to mass bunk?

    Actual Meaning: When students (typically college students) intentionally plan to skip class.

    "Dude, nobody wants to attend that 8:30 am lecture. Let's mass bunk tomorrow."

    4. Mother promise

    A mother and her son smile at each other
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    Clare: A promise to take care of someone, like a mother would their child. V dramatic, but also v wholesome.

    Isha: Basically, the Indian version of an unbreakable vow from Harry Potter.

    Jules: A pinky promise, but even more sincere, because you wouldn’t lie to ya mum, would you?

    Actual Meaning: To make a serious commitment or else you'd be putting your mom's life in danger.

    Example: Preeti: "Priya, I will accompany you on that Goa trip"
    Priya: "Mother promise?"
    Preeti: "Mother promise!"

    5. Mugging

    Two mugs that are used to water plants
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    Clare: When someone looks really ugly?? Like “Wowee, they’re really mugging today”??

    Isha: Hmm, is it when someone is being really annoying? Like, Jules is really mugging because...I can’t think of a reason, but she REALLY annoyed me (soz Jules).

    Jules: I feel like it’s almost certainly not being robbed. But how about, like, insulting someone?

    Actual Meaning: To learn something quickly before an exam.

    "I was mugging up all the formulas for the Math exam but I still don't understand anything."

    6. Prepone

    A person holding a piece of paper that says change the date
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    Clare: Hmmmm, like prepping for something. For some reason, I’ve got “pre-drinks” in my head — so, maybe it’s drinks before going out?

    Isha: When something or someone is really cool. Example: “Oh damn, look at Sumedha’s outfit! Isn’t that so ~prepone~?”

    Jules: All I can think of is post-pone. So maybe this is when you’re so excited for an event that you wanna bring it forward. Like; “Let’s prepone Friday’s drinks and do it RIGHT NOW instead.”

    Actual Meaning: To move something to an earlier time. It is the opposite of postpone.

    "Oh no! The exam has been preponed. Looks like we're all going to fail."

    7. Ragging

    Two girls bullying another girl
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    Clare: Yeah there’s a general consensus on this one — teasing your friends in a playful, yet annoying way.

    Jules: Riling someone up — you’re ragging them, messing with them. I’m feeling this one.

    Isha: I’m with Jules on this one — when you’re intentionally messing with someone to annoy them or get a reaction. Kind of like when you say “dad” a thousand times until they scream “WHAT?!?!?!?!” and you’re like “LOL, hey dad!!”.

    Actual Meaning: Ragging is very similar to hazing and it involves senior students bullying students who have recently joined their educational institution. It is actually banned in India!

    "I remember when I started college, I was ragged by my seniors. They asked me to sing and dance for them."

    8. Sitting on my head

    A woman presses her palm to her temples perhaps indicating that she is having a headache
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    Clare: I think it’s when you know the feeling for what you say, but you can’t remember the word. It’s like the saying, “on the tip of my tongue”, but more inventive…I think (?).

    Isha: This could also potentially veer into kinky territory and while I’m here for it, I’ve also got a feeling that this is slang for a terrible headache. Like, it’s so bad that it feels like you’ve got a bird sitting on your head.

    Jules: Someone that’s really overbearing and just will NOT leave things be. Like, “OMG, my boss has just been sitting on my head all week!” This feels like something HR is going to follow me up on...

    Actual Meaning: This is what you say when someone is constantly pestering you.

    "My boss has been sitting on my head about that client presentation. I don't even know what to do here."

    9. Tubelight

    Several illuminated tubelights on a ceiling
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    Clare: All I can think of is a tunnel, like when you’re on a train and the light at the end of it. But, I can’t think of why someone would need a slang version of it? Maybe it’s just another word for “idiot”?

    Isha: This sounds extremely kinky and I feel like we’ve ventured into Fifty Shades Of Grey territory. So, considering that, I’m going to say some sort of sex toy.

    Jules: No clue, so let’s take a punt and say it’s when someone is narrow-minded. Example; “OMG, can’t stand Jason, he’s so tubelight.” Like, he can’t see ALL the light, he can only see it through a tube. Yeah, I’m into this. Let’s make this a thing.

    Actual Meaning: Someone who takes a long time to understand jokes or things in general. This is because when you switch on a tubelight it flashes only after several seconds.

    "Suppandi is such a tubelight, he got the meaning of the joke after an entire hour!"

    10. Chaddi buddy

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    Clare: Like, your bus buddy? Someone who always takes the same route as you to school/work, so you see them all the time.

    Isha: Oh, oh!!! This has to be the person that you’re on the phone to all the time. They’re your ~chaddi buddy~, aka you chat and have a giggle with them 24/7.

    Jules: Your BFF, you can chat for YONKS and never get bored of one another.

    Actual Meaning: A chaddi buddy is basically your childhood friend. The literal translation is 'underwear friend'.

    "I've known Neha for more than 20 years. She is my chaddi buddy."

    11. Rowdy-Sheeter

    The hands of a person who is behind bars
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    Isha: Someone that, as we say in Australia, likes to get lit at a party. They’re the rowdy ones, who make a lot of noise, drink heaps and tear up a storm on the dancefloor with their moves.

    Clare: ROWDY SHEILA! It’s probably not that, but I agree with Isha, someone who loves and knows how to party.

    Jules: Someone that’s great in bed? Real rowdy between the sheets? Noh?

    Actual Meaning: A person with a criminal record.

    "Yesterday, a rowdy-sheeter was arrested for murdering a 50-year-old man."

    12. Senti

    A man comforts a crying woman
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    Clare: A word used to describe someone being overly sentimental. Ie, me crying while watching the Cadbury commercials and someone saying “OMG Clare, you’re so senti!”

    Isha: Whatever this means, I don’t care. I LOVE IT!!!! Anyway, I would use it in the context of frothing over someone you’re crushing Tom Holland or Shah Rukh Khan, who can get it anytime, anywhere.

    Jules: So hot. So chic. So S E N T I.

    Actual Meaning: An extremely sentimental or emotional person.

    "Rahul is super senti today because Pooja broke up with him."

    13. Enthu

    A woman is exceptionally excited about something
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    Isha: I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say it’s someone who is really enthusiastic. Because enthu = enthusiastic, right?

    Clare: Lol, look at us Aussies reengineering how we do slang and trying to lengthen all the words — I feel like you guys are waaaay more inventive than us. But, I’m in the same mind as Isha, it’s gotta mean you’re excited for something, right?

    Jules: A real Debbie Downer, just a miserable human, you know? What a drag, what an enthu.

    Actual Meaning: Enthu or enthu cutlet is someone who is extremely enthusiastic or excited.

    "Ranveer Singh is such an enthu cutlet."

    14. Mention not

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    Clare: Kind of in the same vein of, “Hmmm, better not”, like best not to think/talk/act on it.

    Isha: When you’re spilling the tea to one of your besties, but you have to make sure that they don’t tell anyone else. For example: “OMG, I need to tell you a secret, but mention not, okay?!”

    Jules: Someone that’s a blabber mouth — you can’t trust them to keep your secrets, because they’re such a mention not. Ugh, hate those guys.

    Actual Meaning: Mention not is used to respond to a thank you. It's like "you're welcome".

    "Mohit, thank you for letting me borrow your pen."
    Mohit: "Mention not"

    15. Out of station

    A brick wall of a train station with a sign that says platform 1
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    Clare: When you’re daydreaming so deeply that you don’t notice when someone calls your name. “Ahh, Clare is completely out of station RN”.

    Isha: When you’ve taken the wrong turn while driving and you’re out of station — aka you’re lost and have no clue where you are.

    Jules: Too little, too late, the train is out of station and you can’t change shit now!

    Actual Meaning: It's a way of saying someone's away or that they're travelling.

    "Mrs Kharbanda won't be taking class today because she is out of station."

    16. Wheatish

    A wheat field on a sunny day
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    Clare: Feeling sick after eating too much food, like Wheat-Bix perhaps? Hahaha, I’m so punny. I have no idea what this one is.

    Isha: Someone that’s looking a bit ill and under the weather.

    Jules: Yeah, this feels like a description for someone who’s sick or hungover. They’re looking hella wheatish.

    Actual Meaning: Wheatish is used to describe someone's complexion. This is someone who is neither very fair nor very dark - someone whose skin is akin to the light brown colour of wheat.

    "My son is wheatish but he is looking for a fair bride."

    17. Peg

    A bartender handing out a glass of whiskey
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    Clare: Well, a peg holds something together (like clothes on the line), so maybe it’s referring to that friend who is the social glue. Like, “Isha always knows how to throw a fab party — she’s the peg of my social life”.

    Isha: The mean, fake person of the group that no one really likes. Like, ugh, she is SUCH a peg.

    Jules: Keep it together! You gotta peg. Like a peg on a clothesline, barely holding that hefty duvet cover to the line.

    Actual Meaning: A peg is basically a unit of volume that is used to measure liquor.
    "I have a terrible hangover because I had five pegs of whiskey last night."

    18. Cheatercock

    a person cheats on a test by writing formulae on their hands
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    Clare: Someone who gets caught cheating! It’s gotta be.

    Isha: A slimy dude who can’t keep his peen in his pants. Oh, and he probably is the guy sending you unsolicited dick pics and is all up in your DMs going “Hey...hey...hey”.

    Jules: Absolute slimeball, cheating bastard, with a no-good-cock. Like: “Steer clear of Jonno, he’s known to be nothing but a cheatercock!”

    Actual Meaning: Someone who breaks rules so as to gain an advantage.

    "How is it that Rohan always wins ludo? He's such a cheatercock."

    19. Dickey

    The trunk of a car is filled to the brim with luggage
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    Clare: I reckon it’s the same in Oz and dickey is an insult. Like, “OMG, you are behaving so dickey RN”.

    Isha: I kept saying “DICKEY” out loud and now my neighbours probably think I’m having some wild sex (alas, single as a pringle). But, my method worked and I totally remember my mum referring to the boot of a car as the dickey. It’s either that or another word for a donkey.

    Jules: I think Dickey is a good man. A trusted fellow. A Dickey for the ages.

    Actual Meaning: Dickey refers to the trunk or boot of a car.

    "How will so many suitcases fit into our car's tiny dickey?"

    20. By heart

    A person holding a heart-shaped object
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    Clare: I feel like this could be the same as ours? When you know something “by heart” you’ve 100% got it memorised, like your ABCs.

    Isha: When you’re trying to convince a group of people that you’re telling the truth. For instance, “Isha, I still don’t believe that you’ve met Chris Hemsworth.” “By heart, Jules!!! It’s totally my dreams.”

    Jules: The Indian version of “cross my heart and hope to die” — which is actually so hectic.

    Actual Meaning: To memorise something or know something word for word.

    "I know the periodic table by heart."

    21. Chumming

    A woman points to a sanitary napkin that is jutting out of her jean pocket
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    Isha: This has to be when you’re hanging out with your best friends. Like, “Hey mum, I’m chumming with Jules and Clare today, so I won’t be home for dinner.”

    Clare: I 100% agree it’s something to do with friends, but I think “chumming” could be like an action. For example, instead of biking down to the coffee shop, you’re chumming down.

    Jules: Like flirting, but with a new friendship. For instance; “Jules is chumming Sumedha so bad, she’s so desperate to be friends with her” (fact).

    Actual Meaning: Chumming or 'got my chums' means getting your period.

    "I am going to skip PT class today. I am chumming and I have cramps."

    22. Foreign return

    A man excitedly jumps while holding on to his suitcase and airplane ticket
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    Clare: When you get culture shock, but returning to your home.

    Isha: When you’ve gone overseas for your studies and have returned home. That’s totally a thing and if that’s not the correct definition, I’m going to eat one of my hats.

    Jules: Yeah, I’m with Isha, this feels like a good description for someone who took a gap year, studied abroad, travelled the world, then came home and won’t shut up about it. I seem to be turning all of these into really negative phrases. Shame.

    Actual Meaning: Someone who has come back to India after studying or working abroad.

    "My foreign-returned cousin got me so many candies from the US."

    23. Monkey cap

    A person wearing a balaclava stares at the camera
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    Clare: I am so unsure about this one, but I reckon the answer is going to be hilarious. That being said, I think it’s got something to do with having a nap? “Aww, don’t mind me, I’m just off for a quick monkey cap!”

    Isha: When you’ve stopped listening to someone because they keep talking crap. E.G. “Robbo, you gotta stop calling me. I’ve put on my monkey cap and we’re OVER!”

    Jules: You’re being stupid, you’ve got ya bloody monkey cap on, you silly billy.

    Actual Meaning: A thick woollen cap that covers your head and neck. A balaclava.

    "Since it's cold outside, my mother has forced me to wear a monkey cap."

    24. My would-be

    A newly engaged couple hold hands, flaunting the diamond ring adorning the woman's finger
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    Clare: Oooh I have a different idea — your “would-be” is like your ultimate future. Like, “My would-be is a house I’ve paid off with my own private library.”

    Isha: I’m picturing someone who is your ride or die. Like, your bestie, your work wife, the person who would do ANYTHING for you — even if it means getting you home after a loooooongggg night.

    Jules: Your ultimate crush. It’s probs not gonna happen, but you’re really into them and they are TOTALLY your would-be (e.g. me discussing Adam Driver).

    Actual Meaning: Your fiancé or fiancée.

    "Meet Raj, my would-be."

    25. Passed out

    Several graduation caps are tossed in the air
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    Clare: When something has completely passed out of fashion like, “double denim is soooo passed out” (absolutely not true btw).

    Isha: My mind keeps circling back to the Australian definition, which is basically when you lose consciousness. Maybe it’s something when you go out after finishing your exams and tap out because you don’t have to study anymore?

    Jules: Surely this can’t mean the same as it does in Oz. So I’m gonna go with, giving up on a love affair. You can’t keep chasing the same guy, so you’ve passed out of the relationship.

    Actual Meaning: To graduate from school or college.

    "I passed out of school in 2010."

    Now see how Indians performed when we were asked to guess the meaning of Australian slang.

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