Hyderabadi Urdu

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Deccani Urdu
Hyderabadi Urdu
Native to Telangana, Marathwada region of Maharashtra and Hyderabad-Karnatak region of Karnataka
Region Deccan
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Urdu
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog dakh1244[1]
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Hyderabadi Urdu (Urdu: حیدرآبادی اردو‎) is a dialect of Urdu spoken in areas of erstwhile Nizam's Hyderabad State (now in Telangana, Marathwada region of Maharashtra and Hyderabad-Karnatak region of Karnataka) and its diaspora.[2] It is also known as Deccani Urdu from its former name Hyderabad Deccan. It contains loan words from Indian languages like Marathi, Telugu, Kannada and foreign languages like Arabic, Turkish and Persian.[3]

Linguistic[edit]

The Hyderabadi dialect derives from the bonafide language, DAKHANI, that took root in the Deccan when Emperor Aurangzeb invaded and occupied the region and his armies introduced the "Camp" or "Lashkari" language to the area. The Lashkari was the lingua franca born in Delhi and northern India as a necessity for the armies of a succession of Muslim invaders from Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan to communicate with the native population. Within the passage of a remarkably short time, though, the language became more refined as more and more Persian and Arabic words modified the language into Urdu, that flourished in the latter Mughal court of Bahadur Shah Zafar and of the intelligentsia of Delhi and Lucknow. In the Deccan, however, it retained its original form, referred to now as Dakhani (of, or pertaining to, Dakhan(South), Anglosized as Deccan). However, speaking the "fasih" urdu that is the orthodox urdu dialect is considered more respectable in the region.

Linguistically, Hyderabadi dialect is notable for its unique mixture of Urdu with other regional languages (Marathi, Telugu, Kannada) within the Historic State of Hyderabad as well as West Asian Languages (Arabic, Persian, Turkish). This dialect is intelligible by most Hindi\Urdu speakers.

Some differences are:

  • Kaiku= why, kyon in orthodox Urdu
  • Kaiku ki= wonder why, who knows why
  • Mereyku= my, instead of mujhey or mujhko in orthodox Urdu
  • Tumaareku= you, instead of tumhey or tumko in orthodox Urdu
  • Tereyku(informal slang)= you, instead of tujhey or tujhko in orthodox Urdu
  • uney- he/she, instead of woh in orhtodox Urdu.
  • Hona= to want, instead of chahiye in Orthodox Urdu (instead of "mujhey woh chahiye" in Orthodox Urdu, Hyderabadi Urdu would use "mereyku woh hona.")
  • Nakko= an alternate (and informal) negative generally indicating "no", "no thanks" or "don't". Can be (and is often) used in place of mat. Naheen, naa and mat (from traditional Urdu) where nakko is inappropriate for the context or in polite situations.
  • Hao - for yes, instead of "Haan".
  • Haula - foolish, crazy person (kaisa haula hai re tu)
  • PoTTi - derogatory term for girl
  • PoTTa -derogatory term for boy
  • Phugat -Free
  • Patthey- Buddy
  • MiyaN - fellow (i.e. "Chalao miya." means "Let's go, man.")
  • Chambu - mug; also used as slang to express Exhaustion ( i.e. "Haalat chambu hogayee")→ "( um-dum -Tired")
  • Hallu - Slow
  • AaraiN - (is) coming - Aarahey haiN, in orthodox Urdu
  • JaaraiN - (is) going -Jaarahey haiN, in orthodox Urdu
  • Peytabe- socks; in orthodox urdu it would be "mauzey."
  • Kachcha(i)- wet; in Orthodox Urdu, wet would be "geela(i)." Kachcha(i) in Orthodox Urdu means "raw."
  • Kunjee- keys; in Orthodox Urdu, keys would be "chaabee."
  • Bhairi- slap; in Orthodox Urdu, slap would be "tamaacha".

The word "ich" is often added after a noun or verb to express the confidence of the action. In orthodox urdu "hi" would be used. For example:

"Biryani ich laaraun main." In orthodox urdu this would be "Biryani hi laa raha hun main". "Kal ich yaad kara main tumaarku". In orthodox urdu this would be "Kal hi yaad kiya maine tumhe".

The Urdu word "hai" is often dropped. For example Urdu "Mujhey maaloom hai" would be "Mereyku maaloom"

Popular Words[edit]

One of the most popular words used in the Hyderabadi dialect is "Baigan". It literally means "Eggplant" or "Brinjal". It is used to mark Happiness, Sorrow, Anger, Fear, Skepticism, etc. A variation of the word is "pinda" which has almost the same usage.

"katey" is often used when a person mentions something told by someone else. It could be translated as "it seems". Usage: "Kal uney bahar jaare katey" means "It seems he is going outside tomorrow".

Plural form of words[edit]

The suffix "an" is often used to mark plurality. The letter 'n' is an almost silent nasal stop. For example, Log(people) would become Logaan, Baat(talk) would become baataan, Aadmi(men) would become Aadmiyaan, etc, in the Hyderabadi dialect.

Pronunciation[edit]

One of the main differences is that the letter "Qaaf" is pronounced as "Khaa". 'qabar' (grave) is pronounced as 'khabar' (news). Another difference in pronunciation is that many long a's (as in "father") are pronounced "uh" as in "hut." For example, instead of "aadmi" (man) or "raasta" (path) in Orthodox Urdu, Hyderabadi Urdu would use "admi" and "rasta." Similarly "bhool" (to forget), "toot" (to break) and "chooriyan" (bangles) is "bhul", "tut" and "Churyan" in Hyderabadi.

Popularity and usage[edit]

Long before 2006, in the sixties (i.e. 1960- 1965) film star Mehmood had popularised the hyderabadi slang in Indian films. Also we must not forget that Osmania University had adopted Urdu as the medium of instruction as early as 1923 and it was discontinued after the fall of Hyderabad in 1948.


A very famous Guinness record holder drama /stage comedy written in Dakhni is Adrak Ke Punjey. Many Urdu poets also write in the Hyderabadi dialect, including Pagal Adilabadi, Khwamakhwa and Nukko Hyderabadi (of Chicago, Illinois).

  • kaiku ki kya nae ki (i don't know why)
  • chodo miya ( take it easy )
  • light lo (ignore)
  • aba pheka marra (making things up)
  • makki-kirkiri ( what the hell)
  • zada nakko kar ( don't act over smart)
  • kya toh bhi hora (what the hell is happening)
  • kahan mara rey ( where the hell are you ? )

Hyderabadi Urdu regained sudden prominence and recognition in 2006 after the success of the comedy film The Angrez in which the characters use the dialect. The film's success sparked several further Hyderabadi dialect films including: Kal ka nawaab, Hyderabad Nawaabs, Aadab Hyderabad, Gullu Dada, Gullu Dada returns, Berozgaar, Hungama In Dubai.

Region[edit]

Administratively, Hyderabad State was made up of sixteen districts, grouped into four divisions:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Dakhini (Urdu)". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ "Common Expressions: Hyderabadi Urdu". 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Kulkarni, M A Naeem and de Souza (1996). Mediaeval Deccan History. Popular Prakashan, Bombay. p. 63. ISBN 9788171545797.