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Exploring the colorful world of Kannada slang

From north to south to coastal Karnataka, discover the unique slang words that add flavor and character to Kannada conversations.

Kannada, the official language of the Indian state of Karnataka, is a rich and expressive language with a long history and cultural heritage. Like most other languages, Kannada has a distinct collection of informal words and slang words and phrases that are utilized in casual discussions. Slang words are an essential part of the language and add a unique flavor to the conversations. Were you aware that although South Karnataka, North Karnataka, and Coastal Karnataka all speak Kannada, there are slight variations in language and dialect? This is why we are presenting you with slang words from all three regions.

North Karnataka slang words

Hodiri Halagi - This concise expression refers to playing the drum. It is employed when someone has recieved some positive news.

Namaskaari Savkara / Sharanri - These phrases are utilized as greetings, similar to how individuals say "namaste" or "Ram-Ram."

Bhaal Chalo Aiti / Chand aiti - this phrase is used when one is praising something that they find really good. 

Hengadir pa is a casual way to ask, 'How are you Man'.

South Karnataka slang words

Kajjaya -"Kajjaya" is a colloquial term used to refer to a foolish or stupid person. Typically, it is employed in a playful or amicable context, hence people donot take offence to it.

Jugaad - Jugaad is a slang word that means finding a quick and cheap solution to a problem. Interestingly, this term is frequently employed in a favorable manner to depict a person who is clever or inventive. (Although this is a common Hindi word, it is also widely used by young individuals in Mysuru and Bangalore!)

Ond Kelsa Madi - "Ond Kelsa Madi" is a phrase that one is likely to hear when asking an auto driver for directions or requesting assistance from a pedestrian. The phrase, which roughly translates to "do one thing," is often used as a friendly precursor to a sentence offering guidance or aid of any kind.

Beka - This word means "Do you want?" or "Do you need?" In casual conversations, it is commonly employed as a means of asking someone if they require anything.

Bombat - Bombat is a slang word for something that is excellent or awesome. This term is frequently used to portray an individual, location, or object as remarkable or impressive.

South Canara (Coastal Karnataka)

ncha Ullare (Tulu)  (Like in Kannada one says Hegidira) - This friendly phrase simply means, 'How are you'.

Dada Maraya (Tulu) (Like in Kannada we say En Maraya) - This means, 'What Man'?

Enchina Soukhyana (Tulu) (Like how in Kannada we say Enu arama): It means, 'How are you'?

Dane bokka (Tulu)  (Like when we say Yen mate in Kannada). It means, 'Whats up'?

These are just a few examples of the Kannada slang words that are commonly used in everyday conversation.  Native speakers often use these words to express themselves more freely and to add color to their conversations. Kannada slang words are an essential part of the language and culture of Karnataka. They add flavor and character to the language, and are an important tool for native speakers to express themselves more freely.

Whether you are a native speaker or a learner, it is important to understand these slang words to better understand the language and the people who speak it. However there is no substitute to learning the language itself, which you can learn free of cost by downloading Language Curry. 

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