We all know how rich is Karnataka when it comes to culture, language, and the dialects. Every part of this state is unique in its own way and is a character with a local flavor and the coherence of different slang. It is said that language changes here for every 50 kilometers and the way a particular thing is spoken in South Karnataka has a makeover that is completely different in Northern part of the state. It is very common that people from South Karnataka getting confused with the slang of North Karnataka and vice-versa is equally befuddled. Being a North Kannadiga living in Bengaluru, I would like to share few Kannada words and how they sound in Karnataka and North Karnataka
Kannada Words – Karnataka vs North Karnataka
Jaana and Shaanya
Meaning: Intelligent or Smart
Jaana is a widely used Kannada word for ‘Intelligent’ but if you go to North Karnataka then ‘Shaanya’ is the keyword.
Oodu and Abhyas Maadu
If I say ‘Abhyas Madu’ to any Bengaluriga then I’m sure that they won’t get me. Abhyas Madu is a word used in places like Dharwad, Hubli, Belgaum, and the nearby localities of North Karnataka.
Tumba and Bhaal
Meaning: A lot or More
It is not ‘Bahala’. It is ‘Bhaal’ and that is where the dialect of North Karnataka sound right. If you go to North Karnataka and say ‘Tumba chennagide’ then they will get it but they will think that you are a poetic material. Instead say, ‘Bahl Cholo Ada.’
Jaasti and Ragad
Jassti is a Word and Ragad is an emotion for North Kannadigas. It is a word similar to Tumba and Bhaal.
Ivalu/Avalu and Iki / Aki
Let me translate “Anisuthide” song from Mungaru Male to make you understand this and it goes like, “ Anisuthide yako indu, neenene nanna AKI endu.” So, Iki/Aki is a desi North Karnataka word for ‘Avalu’ which means ‘She.’
Chikkamma / Chikkappa and Kaaka/Kaaki
Meaning: Uncle / Aunty
Kaaka, Kaaki, Kakka (RIP to your dirty mind), Kakki, Kaaku are the authentic North Karnataka synonym for South Karnataka’s Chikkamma and Chikkappa.
Sankocha and Bide
If you go to any North Karnataka home and hesitate to eat then they will say “ Thamma, Bide madkobedpa. Chennagi Thinnu.” So, Sankocha is a rich Kannada word used in poetry but Bide is equally popular in North Karnataka.
Ondu Vare and Deedu
Meaning: One and a half.
Deed Kilo, Deed Chapathi, Deed Ghante, Deed Kilometer are some of the locally used slang and I have taught this word to many of my Bangalore friends and they are just loving it.
9:48 and Paune Ombattu
Meaning: Time zone.
Do we have any particular word used in South Karnataka to say that the time is 9:48? However, North Karnataka has this amazingly rich word called ‘Paune Ombattu’ meaning the time is say 12 minutes to 10 or 15 minutes to next hour.
Kesari bath and Shira
Meaning: Sweet dish
Literal Kannada meaning of Shira is ‘Head’ but in North Karnataka, it is a synonym for South Bangalore’s Kesaribath.
Saradi and Paali
Usually, in South and other parts of Karnataka we don’t use any particular local Kannada word for Queue but in North Karnataka, there is a word called ‘Paali’ which beautifully portrays the local dialect of Karnataka.
Bekantale or Khuddu and Muddam
Meaning: Purposefully or Myself
You don’t get to hear this often in other parts of Karnataka unless you are living in North Karnataka. Muddam and the sound of it clearly define the stature of richness that the Kannada language has.
Kothi and Mushya / Mangya
“All Nodle mushya kuntaiti.” is a typical North Karnataka slang which I bet South Bangalore won’t get it unless they know about it. Let us all use this word from today and have some fun.
Tevlu and Kaditada
Meaning: F Word
“Yaakle Kaditaden sannake.” will hurt like anything and I have to say that South Kannadiga can never ever match to the F-word dictionary of a typical North Kannadiga.
Kone and Kholi
It is Kholi and not Kohli (Oh. What a PJ!) but seriously Kholi is a North Karnataka synonym for the Kone of South Bangalore.
Raje and Sooti
My South Bangalore friends faced a lot of challenges to understand my typical North Karnataka dialect and Sooti just went out of their mind.
Chaalak and Beriki
The literal Kannada meaning of Beriki is to mix but in North Karnataka, it has totally a different sound. If a person is clever and cunning, this word is used to say that he/she has mixed thoughts and emotions.
Paatri and Bhaandi
Haha, this is something you all should use. How about a song “Hale Bhaandi Hale Khabna Hale paper thara Hooyi.” Yet another North Karnataka flavored word.
Atthige and Vaini
Meaning: Sister-in-Law (Wife of Elder or Younger Brother)
From today start calling your Sister-in-law as Vaini.
Ajja and Muttya
Muttya and Muttu have no relation and it is a typical North Karnataka word for English’s Grand Father and Karnataka’s Ajja.
Tarle and Khodi
Khodi is one of my favorites and Tarle is equally sarcastic and beautiful.
These are some of the Kannada Words and their meaning. I can go on and on like this. We also have Jaam Hannu (Guava), Byaani (Pain), Chargi (Chambu), Lagu (Soon), Gunju (Confusion) and etc. If you know any North Karnataka words and their equivalent Karnataka words then please let us know in the comments below.
Get the best of Metrosaga delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to Metrosaga and never miss an update from us.