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Enthu about 'enth'! Decoding this popular Malayalam word

This popular Malayalam word is as versatile as there are districts in Kerela and hence each district says 'enth' differently!

We’re enthusiastic about bringing this one to you! The word enth which literally translates to 'what' in English is one of the most commonly used words in Malayalam. In fact, a mallu conversation is incomplete without the use of this word. 

For example:

  • Enth aayi? (what happened?)

  • Enth undu vishesham? (How’s it going?)

Even the meaning of the word varies based on the context and tone of the conversation.

Enth?!! expresses surprise and disbelief. Why the word is loved is due to its numerous variants. Enna, Enthua, Ennada, Enthonu, Enthootu, Enthiru are some of the different variants. The word gets transformed into fascinating variants depending on the place or region where it is spoken in Kerala!

Let’s explore some regional variations of the word enth:

map of Kerala, with districts names
Map of Kerela
  • Enthua ninte prashanam? What is your problem - Kottayam region

  • Enthootu kannikunnu? What are you showing? - Trissur region

And hence even when you randomly talk to a stranger, and the person uses one of these words,  you can make out from which part of the state he is from.

Manasilaayo? (understood?!)


Do you want to share interesting facts about your mother tongue? Or do you want to share your language learning experience? If yes, please send your writeups to The Ed team will go through your submissions and if your article passes muster, we'll be happy to give you a platform!

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