Photo: Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko/Shutterstock

10 Slang Phrases You'll Need to Know in Mumbai

Mumbai Student Work Languages
by Kavya Nankani Nov 20, 2015

1. First Class

This is an appropriate response to any ‘how’ questions you’re asked about yourself. A simple ‘good, thank you’ isn’t enough for us, we like to exaggerate. You know, just to assure the other person of our well being.

Q: “How was your meeting?”
A: “First Class!”

Q: “How was the food at that new resteraunt?”
A: “First Class!”

2. Waat Lag Gayi

This is a typical ‘bambaiya’ Hindi phrase for ‘we’re screwed.’

“My boss caught me sleeping with his wife. Waat lag Gayi man.”

“Dude, India lost the cricket match, team ki waat lag gayi!

3. Paandu | Cop

This is just a comical word used while referring to a police constable (not an ‘officer’). When constables were recruited from the villages, ‘Pandu Ram’ was a common name. So common that it’s now become a permanent form of mockery.

“I almost got away, but then that paandu caught me”

4. Jhakaas | Perfect or brilliant

The easiest way to sell anything to Mumbaikars is to incorpoate it into a Bollywood movie. We will blindly buy it. Popularised by Anil Kapoor’s film ‘Yudh’, this word soon became a frequently used part of Mumbai’s lingo. (However it is avoided by the ‘sophisticated’ crowd because it’s just not posh enough for them.)

Kal raat ki picture kaisee thi?” (How was the movie last night?)
Ekdum Jhakaas!” (Completely Jhakass!)

5. Dal Roti | Bread and butter

We Mumbaikars like to be original. Since the staple foods in India are dal and roti, we’ve used them to replace the phrase ‘bread and butter’.

“If you don’t get a good job how will you earn your dal roti?

6. Beedu | Friend

This is the Bombay version of the word ‘dude’.

Chal beedu, ek sutta nikal ke de.” (C’mon dude, hand me a cigarette.)

7. Yaar or ya | Friend

We find a way to casually slip this word into almost every sentence. We’re indeed very proud of our ‘hinglish’ (a mixture of Hindi and English, obviously). Even the bunch of us who claim to speak impeccable English tend to let this word slide into our vocab.

Q: “Do you want to come shopping with me?”
A: “No yaar, I’ve had a very long day.”

Or, for another version:

“Dev stop screaming ya, it’s annoying”

8. Ghanta | As if

This is a newer slang phrase, frequently used by the younger generation or college crowd. It’s used like a sarcastic ‘yeah sure’. Some agrue that this slang has a rather vulgar double meaning. It is considered to be Mumbai’s version of the Engish expression ‘balls!’

Q: “Are you prepared for tomorrow’s exam?”
A: “Ghanta!

A:“The new Chetan Bhagat book looks interesting”
B: “Ghanta, interesting!”

9. Satkela| Bonkers

This is used to desribe a person who’s gone off their rocker.

Q: “Did you meet your new geography professor?”
A: “Yes, that old man is completely satkela.”

10. Fattu | Scaredy cat

The trick to getting anybody to do something dicey or illegal for you is to insult them by calling them a fattu — pronounced fut-too. There’s about a 90 percent chance it will work.

“Don’t be such a fattu, just show me the answers in your paper.”

“You don’t even have the guts to ask for her number, what a fattu!”

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.