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Liquor lexicon

Our regional languages are replete with references to alcohol. Most have found their way into the mainstream. Girija Duggal on some desi alcohol parlance.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2008 19:22 IST

First Man: Aahaate mein chal, glass ke yaar. Ek-ek gillaasi tharra lagaaenge.
Second Man: Chhota ya Patiala?
First Man: Khamba.

If that sounded like gibberish to you, worry not. It’s just Indian alcohol parlance. Our regional languages are replete with references to alcohol and anything remotely related to it. Most have found their way into the mainstream, thanks to popular culture.

There are those which have found a new life thanks to Gen Y, while some still remain unique to a region or people.
So here’s a mini-dictionary to help you decode — and use — what is, in effect, nothing more than tipple talk.

* Adia (also aadhaa): (n.) A half bottle
* Aahata: (n.) A small, dingy tavern next to or near a desi alcohol vendor; also college-student slang for pubs
* Bada: (n.) Large peg
* Beovada: (adj.) (orig: Marathi) Drunkard; also used for someone spouting rubbish
* Chad gayi: (v.) To be high; (past tense) to have a hangover
* Chhota: (n.) Small peg
* Gillaasi: (n.) A glass of liquor
* Glass ka yaar: (n.) Drinking buddy
* Khamba: (n.) Full bottle
* Lagaa: (v.) to have; to guzzle down
* Maataal: (adj.) (orig: Bengali) Drunkard
* Patiala peg: (n.) Unique Indian measuring unit, roughly 75 ml; thought to be a Raj-era hangover
* Pauwwa: (n.) A quarter bottle
* Peeakad: (adj.) Drunkard
* Talli: (adj.) Drunk; high
* Tharra: (n.) local, unprocessed alcohol
* Theka: (n.) hole-in-the-wall liquor shop, usually selling Indian Made Foreign Liquor
* Tight: (adj.) Too strong; hard-hitting
* Tun: (adj.) Drunk; high

Armed with this lexicon, you should now be well-equipped to decode any Bollywood number easily, talli or not!

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