Top 41 Slang For Indian – Meaning & Usage

India, with its rich cultural diversity and vibrant linguistic landscape, is a treasure trove of slang that reflects the country’s unique identity. From the bustling streets of Mumbai to the serene backwaters of Kerala, Indian slang is as diverse as the country itself. We’ve delved into the depths of this linguistic tapestry to bring you a curated list of the most popular and intriguing slang words and phrases used by Indians. Get ready to expand your vocabulary and gain a deeper understanding of the local lingo that will make you feel like a true insider in this fascinating subculture.

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1. Yaar

This term is commonly used to refer to a friend or buddy. It is a casual and informal way of addressing someone.

  • For example, “Hey yaar, let’s go grab some lunch.”
  • In a conversation, someone might say, “Yaar, can you help me with this problem?”
  • A person might express frustration by saying, “Yaar, why are you always late?”

2. Arre yaar

This phrase is used to express surprise, frustration, or disappointment. It is an exclamation often used in informal conversations.

  • For instance, if someone tells you they can’t make it to a party, you might respond, “Arre yaar, that’s too bad.”
  • In a playful argument, someone might say, “Arre yaar, don’t be like that.”
  • If someone shares some bad news, you might react with, “Arre yaar, I can’t believe it.”

3. Abey yaar

This phrase is used to call someone’s attention or express annoyance. It is a colloquial way of addressing someone, often used among friends.

  • For example, if you see a friend across the street, you might shout, “Abey yaar, wait up!”
  • In a lighthearted argument, someone might say, “Abey yaar, stop teasing me.”
  • If someone does something silly, you might jokingly say, “Abey yaar, what were you thinking?”

4. Desi

This term refers to anything or anyone that is related to or originates from India. It is often used to describe Indian culture, food, language, or people.

  • For instance, if someone asks about your background, you might say, “I’m a proud desi.”
  • In a conversation about Indian cuisine, someone might mention, “Desi food is known for its rich flavors and spices.”
  • If someone is wearing traditional Indian clothing, you might compliment them by saying, “You look great in desi attire.”

5. Twisterheads

This term refers to individuals who are passionate about Bollywood dance. It is commonly used in the context of dance competitions, workshops, or events.

  • For example, “Twisterheads are coming together for a dance workshop this weekend.”
  • In a conversation about dance styles, someone might say, “I’ve always been a twisterhead, Bollywood dance is my favorite.”
  • If someone is looking for dance enthusiasts, they might ask, “Are there any twisterheads in this group?”

6. Buttonheads

This term is a derogatory slang used by some British people to refer to Indians. It originated during the time of British colonial rule in India and is considered offensive and racist.

  • For instance, a person with prejudice might say, “Those buttonheads are taking all our jobs.”
  • In a discussion about racism, someone might mention, “Buttonheads is an example of a derogatory term used against Indians.”
  • A person advocating for equality might argue, “We need to challenge and eliminate terms like buttonheads to create a more inclusive society.”

7. Bhai

This term is derived from Hindi and is commonly used in India to refer to a male friend or acquaintance. It can also be used to address a close friend or someone with whom you share a strong bond.

  • For example, “Hey bhai, let’s go grab some food.”
  • In a conversation between friends, one might say, “What’s up, bhai?”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my bhai, we’ve known each other since childhood.”

8. Bhen

Similar to “bhai,” this term is derived from Hindi and is commonly used in India to refer to a female friend or acquaintance. It can also be used to address a close friend or someone with whom you share a strong bond.

  • For instance, “Hey bhen, let’s go shopping.”
  • In a conversation between friends, one might say, “What’s up, bhen?”
  • A person might introduce their friend by saying, “This is my bhen, we’ve been friends for years.”

9. Chai

This term refers to the popular Indian beverage made by brewing tea leaves with milk, water, and various spices. “Chai” is a Hindi word that has been adopted and used internationally to refer to the Indian style of tea.

  • For example, “Would you like a cup of chai?”
  • In a café, a person might order, “One masala chai, please.”
  • A person might offer, “I’ll make a fresh pot of chai, who wants a cup?”

10. Biryani

Biryani is a popular Indian dish made with flavored rice, meat (such as chicken, mutton, or fish), and various spices. It is often cooked with aromatic ingredients like saffron, cardamom, and bay leaves, resulting in a rich and flavorful rice dish.

  • For instance, “Let’s order some chicken biryani for lunch.”
  • In a restaurant, a person might say, “I’ll have a plate of vegetable biryani, please.”
  • A food enthusiast might comment, “The biryani at that restaurant is simply delicious.”

11. Jugaad

Jugaad is a Hindi term that refers to an innovative or improvised solution to a problem, often using limited resources. It is a creative and resourceful way of finding a workaround or making something work with whatever is available.

  • For example, “We had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, but luckily we did jugaad and used a piece of wood to fix it.”
  • In a discussion about finding cost-effective solutions, someone might say, “Jugaad is the key to success in a resource-constrained environment.”
  • A person might praise someone’s quick thinking by saying, “You really pulled off jugaad to get that project completed on time!”

12. Chalo

Chalo is a Hindi word that means “let’s go” or “come on.” It is often used to initiate or encourage movement or to gather people to start a journey or activity.

  • For instance, someone might say, “Chalo, it’s time to leave for the party.”
  • In a group setting, one person might say, “Chalo, everyone, let’s head to the beach.”
  • A person might use it to motivate others by saying, “Chalo, we can do this! Don’t give up!”

13. Dhinchak

Dhinchak is a Hindi slang term used to describe something or someone that is eye-catching, flashy, or attention-grabbing. It is often used to describe something that is flamboyant or stands out in a crowd.

  • For example, “She arrived at the party wearing a dhinchak outfit that turned heads.”
  • In a discussion about fashion, someone might say, “I love wearing dhinchak accessories to make a statement.”
  • A person might use it to describe a vibrant and colorful painting by saying, “That artwork is so dhinchak!”

14. Jhakaas

Jhakaas is a popular slang term in Mumbai’s street language, Marathi, which means “awesome” or “fantastic.” It is used to express enthusiasm, appreciation, or admiration for something or someone.

  • For instance, someone might say, “The concert last night was jhakaas!”
  • In a discussion about a great movie, one person might say, “The plot twists in that film were jhakaas.”
  • A person might use it to compliment a friend’s cooking by saying, “This dish you made is jhakaas!”

15. Bindaas

Bindaas is a Hindi term used to describe someone who is carefree, cool, or relaxed. It is often used to refer to a person who doesn’t worry about consequences and lives life on their own terms.

  • For example, “He’s a bindaas guy who never stresses about anything.”
  • In a discussion about personality traits, someone might say, “I wish I could be more bindaas and not overthink everything.”
  • A person might use it to describe a friend who takes risks by saying, “She’s so bindaas, always up for an adventure!”

16. Mast

This term is used to describe something that is excellent or fantastic. It can also be used to describe someone who is cool or fun to be around.

  • For example, “That movie was mast! I laughed the whole time.”
  • A person might say, “She’s a mast dancer. You should see her perform.”
  • In a discussion about a party, someone might comment, “The music was mast. We danced all night.”

17. Paisa vasool

This phrase is used to describe something that is worth the money spent on it. It implies that the item or experience provides good quality or enjoyment in proportion to its cost.

  • For instance, “The movie was paisa vasool. It had action, comedy, and a great storyline.”
  • A person might say, “I bought this new phone and it’s totally paisa vasool. It has all the features I need.”
  • In a discussion about a restaurant, someone might comment, “The food was paisa vasool. Delicious and reasonably priced.”

18. Jugaadu

This term is used to describe someone who is resourceful and can find creative solutions to problems. It implies the ability to make do with limited resources and find unconventional ways to get things done.

  • For example, “He’s a jugaadu. He can fix anything with just a few tools.”
  • A person might say, “I used some jugaadu methods to repair my broken bike.”
  • In a discussion about a DIY project, someone might comment, “I applied some jugaadu techniques to repurpose old furniture.”

19. Brownie

This term is used to refer to someone of Indian descent who was born or raised in America. It is a colloquial term often used in informal settings.

  • For instance, “She’s a brownie. Her parents are from India but she was born in the US.”
  • A person might say, “I’m a brownie. I grew up with both Indian and American cultures.”
  • In a discussion about cultural identity, someone might comment, “Being a brownie means embracing the best of both worlds.”

20. Curry muncher

This term is a derogatory and offensive way to refer to someone of Indian descent. It is important to note that this term perpetuates stereotypes and should not be used.

  • For example, “Using terms like curry muncher is disrespectful and promotes racism.”
  • A person might say, “We should educate ourselves and others to not use derogatory terms like curry muncher.”
  • In a discussion about cultural sensitivity, someone might comment, “It is important to respect and value every individual, regardless of their ethnicity.”

21. Bindi

A bindi is a decorative mark worn on the forehead, typically by women in South Asia. It can be a simple dot or a more elaborate design, and is often made with colored powder or a small sticker.

  • For example, “She wore a beautiful red bindi for the wedding.”
  • During a festival, a person might say, “I love seeing all the different bindi designs.”
  • Someone might ask, “Where can I buy a bindi like that?”

22. Chaiwallah

Chaiwallah is a term used in India to refer to a person who sells tea. It is commonly used to describe someone who operates a small tea stall or cart, often serving freshly brewed tea to customers.

  • For instance, “I stopped by the chaiwallah on my way to work for a cup of tea.”
  • A person might say, “The chaiwallah makes the best tea in town.”
  • During a conversation about street food, someone might mention, “You have to try the chai from the local chaiwallah.”

23. IT guy

The term “IT guy” is often used to refer to someone who works in the field of information technology. It can be used to describe a person who provides technical support, manages computer networks, or develops software.

  • For example, “I need to call the IT guy to fix my computer.”
  • During a discussion about career paths, someone might say, “Being an IT guy requires a strong understanding of technology.”
  • A person might ask, “Do you know any good IT guys who can help with website development?”

24. Bollywood

Bollywood is the informal term used to refer to the Hindi-language film industry in India. It is known for producing a large number of films each year, often featuring colorful musical numbers and dramatic storylines.

  • For instance, “I love watching Bollywood movies for their vibrant dance sequences.”
  • During a conversation about Indian cinema, someone might say, “Bollywood has a huge influence on popular culture.”
  • A person might ask, “What are some of the best Bollywood films of all time?”

25. Samosa

A samosa is a popular Indian snack that consists of a crispy pastry filled with savory ingredients such as spiced potatoes, peas, and sometimes meat. It is often served with chutney or yogurt for dipping.

  • For example, “I could eat a dozen samosas in one sitting.”
  • During a discussion about Indian cuisine, someone might say, “You have to try the samosas at that new restaurant.”
  • A person might ask, “What’s your favorite filling for samosas?”

26. Masala

Masala refers to a blend of spices commonly used in Indian cuisine. It can also be used to describe a mixture of various elements or flavors.

  • For example, “I love the masala in this curry, it’s so flavorful.”
  • A person might say, “Life is like a masala, with a mix of joy and challenges.”
  • In a discussion about music, someone might comment, “This song has a masala of different genres, it’s really unique.”

27. Taj

Taj is a colloquial term used to refer to the Taj Mahal, a famous monument in India. It can also be used to describe something that is considered to be the best or most impressive of its kind.

  • For instance, “The Taj Mahal is the taj of Indian architecture.”
  • In a conversation about restaurants, someone might say, “That new place is the taj of Indian cuisine.”
  • A person might compliment a friend by saying, “You’re the taj of our group, always shining bright.”

28. Henna

Henna is a plant-based dye used to create intricate designs on the skin, especially during celebrations and festivals in India. It can also refer to the designs themselves.

  • For example, “I got henna on my hands for the wedding.”
  • A person might say, “Henna is a beautiful form of body art.”
  • In a discussion about cultural traditions, someone might comment, “Henna is an integral part of Indian weddings.”

29. Dosa

Dosa is a popular South Indian dish made from fermented rice and lentil batter. It is a thin, crispy pancake usually served with chutney and sambar (a lentil soup).

  • For instance, “I had a delicious masala dosa for breakfast.”
  • A person might say, “Dosa is a staple in South Indian cuisine.”
  • In a conversation about different types of pancakes, someone might comment, “Dosa is like a savory crepe, it’s so flavorful.”

30. Namaste

Namaste is a traditional Indian greeting that involves placing the palms together in front of the chest and bowing slightly. It is used as a way to show respect and acknowledge the presence of another person.

  • For example, “When you meet someone in India, it’s customary to say namaste.”
  • A person might say, “Namaste is a beautiful way to greet others.”
  • In a discussion about cultural customs, someone might comment, “Namaste is more than just a greeting, it’s a gesture of unity and peace.”

31. Guru

In Indian culture, a guru is a teacher or spiritual leader who imparts knowledge and guidance to their followers. The term is often used to refer to someone who is highly knowledgeable or skilled in a particular field.

  • For example, “He is a guru in the field of computer programming.”
  • A person seeking advice might say, “I need to find a guru who can help me with my meditation practice.”
  • In a discussion about yoga, someone might ask, “Can anyone recommend a guru who specializes in Ashtanga yoga?”

32. Rangoli

A rangoli is a traditional Indian art form where colorful patterns or designs are created on the ground using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand, or flower petals. Rangolis are often made during festivals or special occasions as a way to decorate and bring good luck.

  • For instance, “She created a beautiful rangoli in front of her house for Diwali.”
  • During a conversation about Indian culture, someone might mention, “Rangolis are a common sight during weddings and other celebrations.”
  • A person might ask, “Do you have any tips for creating intricate rangoli designs?”

33. Diwali

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a Hindu festival celebrated in India and other parts of the world. It is known as the “festival of lights” and symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. During Diwali, people decorate their homes with lights, light oil lamps called diyas, exchange gifts, and participate in fireworks.

  • For example, “Diwali is one of the most important festivals in India.”
  • During a discussion about cultural festivals, someone might say, “I love celebrating Diwali with my family and friends.”
  • A person might ask, “What are some traditional sweets eaten during Diwali?”

34. Sari

A sari is a traditional Indian garment worn by women. It consists of a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around the body in various styles, with one end draped over the shoulder. Saris come in different materials, colors, and designs, and are often worn for special occasions or as everyday attire.

  • For instance, “She looked elegant in a silk sari for the wedding.”
  • During a conversation about Indian fashion, someone might mention, “Saris are known for their versatility and can be styled in different ways.”
  • A person might ask, “Where can I buy a traditional handwoven sari?”

35. Bhangra

Bhangra is a lively and energetic folk dance form originating from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. It is often performed during celebrations and festivals, and involves rhythmic movements, vibrant music, and traditional instruments like the dhol (drum). Bhangra has gained popularity worldwide and is often associated with Punjabi culture.

  • For example, “The dance performance at the wedding included a bhangra routine.”
  • During a discussion about Indian dance forms, someone might say, “Bhangra is known for its high energy and infectious beats.”
  • A person might ask, “Are there any bhangra dance classes in this city?”

36. Roti

Roti is a type of unleavened bread that is a staple in Indian cuisine. It is typically made from whole wheat flour and cooked on a hot griddle called a tawa.

  • For example, “I love eating roti with curry.”
  • When discussing Indian food, someone might say, “Roti is a common accompaniment to many dishes.”
  • A person might ask, “Do you know how to make roti from scratch?”

37. Yoga

Yoga originated in ancient India and is a practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and ethical principles. It is known for its physical and mental health benefits.

  • For instance, “I practice yoga every morning to start my day.”
  • When discussing fitness, someone might say, “Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility and strength.”
  • A person might recommend, “If you’re feeling stressed, try incorporating yoga into your routine.”

38. Desi girl

Desi girl is a term used to refer to an Indian girl or woman. It is often used to celebrate and embrace Indian culture and identity.

  • For example, “She’s a proud desi girl who loves Bollywood.”
  • When talking about fashion, someone might say, “Desi girls have their own unique style.”
  • A person might exclaim, “I’m a desi girl at heart!”

39. Hinglish

Hinglish is a blend of Hindi and English, combining elements of both languages. It is commonly spoken in India and among Indian diaspora communities.

  • For instance, “We often switch between Hindi and English when speaking Hinglish.”
  • When discussing language, someone might say, “Hinglish reflects the cultural fusion of India.”
  • A person might ask, “Do you understand Hinglish?”

40. Desi boy

Desi boy is a term used to refer to an Indian boy or man. It is often used to celebrate and embrace Indian culture and identity.

  • For example, “He’s a proud desi boy who loves Bollywood.”
  • When talking about music, someone might say, “Desi boys know how to dance.”
  • A person might exclaim, “I’m a desi boy at heart!”

41. Vada

A type of Indian snack made from a batter of lentils or other ingredients, deep-fried until crispy. “Vada” is a term commonly used in South India to refer to this type of fritter.

  • For instance, “I love having vada with my morning coffee.”
  • In a restaurant, a customer might ask, “Do you serve vada as an appetizer?”
  • A food enthusiast might say, “The vada at that street stall is the best I’ve ever had.”
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