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This article was first published 11 years ago

Mind Your (Bollywood) Language

Last updated on: July 18, 2013 19:16 IST

Image: Movie poster of Ramaiya Vastavaiya

Bollywood's teaching us a language

Movie titles have gotten weirder and weirder, and frequently do we do double-takes these days when we hear the name of an upcoming film. There are regional languages, slangy phrases, and much nonsense.

Here's a quick guide to the offbeat names of 2013 and early 2014. Just so you can Mind Your (filmi) Language.

Ramaiya Vastavaiya

The immortal Shree 420 song Ramaiya Vastavaiya means "Rama, will you come?" in Telugu. So it seems only fitting that Prabhudeva's Telugu hit, originally titled Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana ("If you want to come, will I say No?") is being remade by the same director using a phrase most North Indians didn't know was Telugu in the first place.


Image: Movie poster of Fukrey

One of those many North Indian words to denote wastrels, the always pejorative term Fukrey can mean a lot, from scoundrels to good-for-nothings, with more than a dash of deadbeat.

Tags: Fukrey


Image: Movie poster of Raanjhana

The word Raanjhana is a more lyrical way to refer to someone as Ranjha (from the epic romance Heer Ranjha), thus calling them one's beloved.

Kai Po Che

Image: Movie poster of Kai Po Che

A Gujarati phrase often shouted from rooftops during kite-flying season, Kai Po Che literally means "I have cut", referring to defeating a rival kite. In the film, the cry of triumph is quite heartfelt.

Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi

Image: Producer Ekta Kapoor
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

Another North Indian colloquialism, "jhand" can be said to mean insult. Someone who has been "jhand-ed", so to speak, is someone who has been shown up and humiliated. The word Jhand is to Delhi youth as the word Popat is to Bombay slang.

Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi is David director Bejoy Nambiar's next film. It will be produced by Ekta Kapoor.


Image: Sanjay Dutt and Kangana Ranaut in Rascals

The word Ungli literally means 'finger,' and the slang sense of the word means -- like it does in English -- "to finger." Therefore to 'do' Ungli is to interfere, to provoke, to poke.

Ungli has been directed by Rensil D'Silva of Kurbaan fame, and produced by Karan Johar. It stars Sanjay Dutt, Emraan Hashmi and Kangna Ranaut.

Dedh Ishqiya

Image: Madhuri Dixit

Ishqiya means a fool in love, or those fooled by love, or those who have gladly and willingly become fools for love. There's a lot of wiggle-room, making it a title worth interpreting personally. Dedh means one and a half, which marks that this film is a sequel -- or at least half a sequel -- of the first Ishqiya.

Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, the film stars Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah.


Image: Salman Khan

The word "mental" doesn't really need much subtitling, but in terms of Hindi slang calling someone Mental is akin to calling them insane. Come to think of it, the word is used the same way in casual English as well.

Directed by Sohail Khan, the film stars his superstar brother Salman Khan.


Image: Tiger Shroff

While it might sound like the brightly coloured underwear a superhero wears on the outside of his trousers, the word "heropanti" simply means to act like a hero, or even just to pose as one.

Heropanti has been directed by Sabir Khan and will see the debut of Jackie Shroff's son Tiger.