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Indian Speak, Anyone!

Communication is all about getting the message across, sometimes at ALL COSTS. Much has been said about the importance of colloquialisms in communication, literature, advertising and other types of content! They build a connect with people that no amount of jargon or high-flying language can achieve.

colloquialism | kəˈləʊkwɪəlɪz(ə)m/ [noun]

A word or phrase that is not formal or literary and is used in ordinary or familiar conversation.

"the colloquialisms of the streets"

As Indians, with the diverse range of languages we speak, we have introduced a mind-boggling number of colloquialisms into English. Let’s call these… Indianisms! Either through direct translation or through utter misinterpretation, we Indians have quite a collection of these. So, here’s looking at a few of them!


In any other country, saying you were mugging would immediately mean you were robbing or outright assaulting someone. But the made-in-India version of this simply means rote learning. Assault of the brain, perhaps? 

What’s your good name?

Do you also have a bad name? Do you have multiple personalities and thus multiple names? Who decides what’s good or bad? Is this getting way too existential now? Okay, maybe we should stop or we’ll forget our own (good) names. Yes, we like our names, thus “good name”. 

Pass out

‘Passing Out’ for us means finishing school or college. In most English-speaking countries the word would be ‘graduation or ‘convocation’, but not here! For us, apparently graduating from an educational institution, equates to falling unconscious from intoxication.

Real sister/brother

Nope, this person just got thrown at me in a café, from three tables across, and without realizing it, I suddenly acquired a sibling! Sister/brother MEANS blood relation. It just cannot get more real than that!


Ever been told to enter from the backside? Or to wait in the backside of a place? Well, backside essentially means hindquarters. Derriere. Bottom. Buttocks. BUTT! So, the next time you ask someone to take the backside entrance, think a hundred times please! 

Mention not

“Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Yoda: “Mention it don’t.”

Indians: “Mention not.”

Enough said!

Liked our list of Indianisms? Want to thank us? Oh, mention not! 

However, do feel free to reach out with your own discoveries of Indianisms. We’re all ears!



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