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. Having a glimpse of North Karnataka living in Bengaluru, I would like to share a few Kannada words and how they sound in South Karnataka and North Karnataka.
Kannada Words – South Karnataka vs North Karnataka
Jaana V/s 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 V/s 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 V/s 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 V/s Ragad
Jassti is a Word and Ragad is an emotion for North Kannadigas. It is a word similar to Tumba and Bhaal.
Ivalu/Avalu V/s 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 V/s 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 V/s 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 Bengaluru friends and they are just loving it.
8:45 V/s Paune Ombattu
Meaning: Time zone.
In South Karnataka to say that the time is 8:45, we say entu mukkalu. However, North Karnataka has this amazingly rich word called ‘Paune Ombattu’ meaning the time is say 15 minutes to 9.
Kesari bath V/s 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 V/s 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 V/s 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 V/s Mushya (black monkey) / Mangya (Red monkey)
“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 V/s 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 V/s 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 V/s 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 V/s 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.
Paatre V/s 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 V/s Vaini
Meaning: Sister-in-Law (Wife of Elder or Younger Brother)
From today start calling your Sister-in-law as Vaini.
Ajja V/s Mutthya
Muttya and Muttu have no relation and it is a typical North Karnataka word for English’s Grand Father and Karnataka’s Ajja.
Tarle V/s 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.
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