Published: 28th March 2020
This Bengalurean can teach you some Kannada slang that are witty and can be part of your lingo
Have you heard of Slangaluru? It's a page on social media started by Ikyatha Yerasala that's teaching non-Bengalureans witty slang and it's got Rashmi Patil's interest piqued
Growing up, whether you knew how to speak in your mother tongue or not, you most definitely knew the local slang (informal words/phrases common in speech in any language). But with the rigours of formal education and the professional word limiting our usage as we grow up, most of us tend to leave the slang world behind to a large extent. In an attempt to keep people rooted to that colloquial world, Ikyatha Yerasala from Bengaluru started a social media page - on Instagram and Twitter - called Slangaluru, where you will find all kinds of old and new Kannada slang. She says, "Being born and brought up in Bengaluru, I have grown up hearing all sorts of slang and I have also forgotten some of them. Studying Business Management at Christ University, most of my friends were from other states. They would hear me says words like 'Yappa', 'Thu', 'Ayyo' and would be curious to know their meaning. By the time they were in their final year, they too started using these words in their conversations."
To help her friends and others like them learn the local slang, Ikyatha started the social media pages in 2018. "Initially, my friends and others in my circle started following the pages. Gradually, I got followers from abroad but this was through word of mouth; I did not promote it officially. Whenever, I was interviewed by radio channels and other platforms, people would hear me speak and subsequently follow my page. NRIs would message me on Instagram, saying that my content made them feel nostalgic. Currently, my Instagram page has more than 6,000 followers and my Twitter page has about 800 followers," shares Ikyatha who took the guidance of other social media influencers to design each slang page before posting them on social media.
Though Ikyatha herself knows a fair bit of slang, she does not shy away from learning more words from other people. "The amazing part of this is that many people message me new words that I don't know. I learn the meaning of these words from them and then, post them on my page for others to learn too," says Ikyatha. She states a few examples of words she's learnt from others, "A person once taught me the phrase 'Silk Board Nan Magane' which can be used to refer to a person who is annoying and as slow as the traffic in the Silk Board area. Another person taught me 'Kali Pulav' which refers to a person who is an empty vessel. I get to learn such interesting words." She also collaborates with illustrators to help people understand the meaning of these words through fun illustrations. For example, there is one of a cauliflower on a ear. This means 'Kiwi Mele Cauliflower' - a famous slang in Kannada - used when someone is trying to fool you. Another illustration is on Vidyarthi Bhavan's famous masala dosa. Ikyatha says, "Whenever the illustrations are about Bengaluru, its food and its culture, people appreciate them. I have earned many followers thanks to illustrations like these."
What all users like about Ikyatha is that she draws a clear line between slang that is fun and witty and slang that is abusive. She says, "I have seen many troll pages where people use abusive language when they post memes or troll others. I don't believe in using abusive slang. Whenever I post something, I make it a point to check the meaning several times before I upload it. What makes me feel happy is that people appreciate me and my work. Most often, many of them are surprised that a girl is the brains behind the Slangaluru page, as there is this common misconception that it is the boys who handle or create such pages. My family supports me in creating content for this page, they suggest words and ideas that could do well on my page."
As Ikyatha's content is quite witty, a lot of people have requested her to start printing them on T-shirts and coffee mugs. While she has come up with some strategies to start the business of merchandising, she is being sensible and waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to pass over. "If everything falls in place, I will launch my merchandise in May or June," she concludes.
Some of Ikyatha's favourite slang words/phrases:
Clean Krishnappa: It refers to someone who is eating on a banana leaf and has not left a morsel of rice. It can also be used to say, "Indian Cricket Team England team na Clean Krishnappa madidru"
Bejaan: This means 'a lot'. After reading my article in the newspapers, I got bejaan followers
Kal Nan Maga: It is used to describe someone who is cunning or sly
Thirgalthippi: It describes one who loves to roam around
You can also follow Ikayatha's Instagram and Twitter page: Slangaluru