User:RitigalaJayasena/Sinhala Slang

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Sinhala slang is used by the Sinhala speaking majority of Sri Lanka, and in the Sinhala speaking Sri Lankan diaspora.

Sinhala Dialects

Sinhala dialects are the various minor variations of Sinhala language which is based on the locale (within Island of Sri Lanka) and the social classes and social groups (e.g. University Students). Most of the slang are common across all dialects. However certain slang are restricted to certain social classes or groups.

Sinhala is an Indo-Aryan language and exhibits a marked diglossia between the spoken and written forms. As such, it is also difficult to find instances of colloquial slang, in any form of formal literature. Also certain slang (specially sexual slang and swear words) are considered to be so taboo, that definitions of those words are not found in any public domain literature. If you take a language such as English, the level of taboo on most of the profanity has gradually declined over the time. If you take USA or UK for example, most of the English profanities are broadcasted unsensored in cable channels like HBO. This is not the case with Sinhala profanities. They are not found in any form of media, publications or even internet, apart from unmoderated blogs and talk pages. Having said that, most of the non-taboo slangs given as examples below, are in widespread and frequant use even in popular media; especially in various FM radio channels and popular TV channels.

Slang, Vulgarism, Profanity and Swear Words

Each dialect and within each dialect; regional, class, age and gender differences would lead to unique slang and swear words. Following is a list of potential slang by different categories up until 2007.

Certain slang are used only within certain social groups and sometime not understood outside of that group. For example, Aais Amma (අ‍ායිස් අම්මා) is a slang used by certain segments of the Sri Lankan society to express pleasurable surprise (similar to wow!). This slang is not picked up by most of the social classes who regard themselves as more refined. Instead they might use Shaa (ෂා‍ා) to express the same feeling. Within Sri Lankan universities, diverse slang exists, which is only used and understood by the university students and the alumni. For example Kuppiya (කුප්පිය) which literally means 'small bottle' or 'small lamp' is used to refer to an informal tuition class conducted by a student(who is well versed with the subject area) for a small study group for free of charge. Within the Army, the term Aati (අ‍ාටි) is used to refer to artillery shells so that Aati gahanawa (අ‍ාටි ගහනවා) means shelling. These terms such as Kuppia (කුප්පිය) and Aati (අ‍ාටි) are mostly not understood outside of the demographic group which uses them.

In this Wikipedia article, only the contemporary sinhala slang commonly understood by larger social groups are listed.

Use of Kaaraya (කාරයා)

Sinhala language has an all purpose suffix Kaaraya (කාරයා) which when suffixed to a regular noun (which denotes a demographic group, etc), creates an informal and disrespectful reference to a person of that demographic group. Most native speakers of Sinhala liberally use this suffix when they chat informally. However they also make great effort to avoid Kaaraya when they speak in a formal venue.
polis-kaaraya (පොලිස්කාරයා) – policeman
thæpel-kaaraya (තැපැල්කාරයා) – postman
mura-kaaraya (මුරකාරයා) - watchman
bora-kaaraya (බෝරාකාරයා) - a Bora Muslim person
American-kaaraya (ඇමෙරිකන්කාරයා) - an American


Buddhism being the primary religious tradition in Sinhala culture, the blasphemy in Sinhala language primarily refers to Buddhism. However, there exists only a very few instances of Sinhala slang, which can be categorized as blasphemy on Buddhism.
The usage of the prefix Budu (බුදු) (a reference to Lord Buddha) to mean 'Very' is one such instance. (e.g. Budu Sira (බුදු සිරා) means 'Very Serious', Budu Shuvar (බුදු ෂුවර්) means 'Very much sure').
Similarly the term Ganaya (ගණයා) is a blasphemy, which is a very disrespectful reference to a Buddhist Monk.
The term Rahath Una (රහත් උනා) can also be treated as blasphemy, due to the fact that the religious term 'attaining arahath (enlightened) state' is used here to mean something non-religious and mundane. The slang Rahath Una usually refers to the situation where someone sneaks out from somewhere, without telling anyone. This slang, however is well accepted in the mainstream diglossia, unlike other blasphemy terms discussed above. Erdi Una (එර්දි උනා) is a similar term which can be treated as blasphemy on the same grounds. The term (Himin Sære) Maaru Una ((හිමින් සැරේ) මාරු උනා) gives the same meaning without blasphemy.

Examples of General Slang and Neologism

Most of below slang are regarded as non-offensive and jovial.

  • Ammapa! (අම්මප/අම්මපා) - Used to swear/convince the listener. Ammapa? (අම්මප?/අම්මපා?) - Used to express astonishment.
  • Ammata Hudu (අම්මට හුඩු), Ammata Udu (අම්මට උඩු), or Ammata Siri - Used to express surprise. Considered non taboo but vulgar. Not supposed to be used in decent company and people who liberally use this in decent company are regarded as less 'classy'
  • Gal Karanawa (ගල් කරනවා) - Sneak something out of its place, shop-lift or steal (small items). (e.g. Methana tibba pæna kawuru hari gal karala (මෙතන තිබ්බ පෑන කවුරු හරි ගල් කරලා) means 'Someone has sneaked out the pen from here'.) This is not to be confused with Gal Kapanawa (ගල් කපනවා) which has a sexual meaning. (See further below)
  • Galkatas (ගල්කටස්) - Locally made short barrelled firearm or similar improvised weapon used by underworld gangs.
  • Gænsiya (ගැන්සිය) - A Gang.
  • Ibba Gahanawa (ඉබ්බා ගහනවා) - Sneaking in without paying. Travelling in public transportation without paying.
  • Jarawa (ජරාව) - Bribe. 'Jarawa Denawa' (ජරාව දෙනවා) means to bribe someone.
  • Kade Yanawa (ක‍ෙඩ් යනවා) or Kade Yawanawa (ක‍ෙඩ් යවනවා) - Literally 'going to the shop' or 'sending to the shop'. Refers to the situation of 'getting used' or 'using' someone. In certain scenarios Kade Yawanawa or Kade Arinawa could mean 'taking for a ride' (deceive or swindle).
  • Kaduwa (කඩුව) or Kadda (කඩ්ඩ) - Literally 'Sword'. Means 'English Language'. (e.g. Kadda siraanam interview eka goda (කඩ්ඩ සිරානම් ඉන්ටවිව් එක ගොඩ) means 'Interview will be a breeze if fluent in English'). Etymology of the term is based on the fact that just like a person wielding a sword skilfully gets and 'undue' advantage in the olden days, nowadays someone displaying a fluency in English gets and 'undue' advantage in most situations.
  • Kindy (කින්ඩි) or Kin(g)dy (කිංඩි) - Sneer, scornful, ridicule, mockery, scoff (e.g. Mokada nikan kindiyata hinawenne? (මෙ‍ාකද නිකන් කින්ඩියට හිනා වෙන්නේ?) means 'Why are you smiling scornfully?')
  • Maaru Wenawa (මාරු වෙනවා) - Sneaking out
  • Maatiya Gahanawa (මාටියා ගහනවා) - Grafting of funds (public or private).
  • Palayan Yanna (පලයන් යන්න) or Ane palayan bang yanna (අ‍ෙන් පලයන් බං යන්න) - Entire expression literally translates in to 'get outa here' and coincidently (or not so coincidently) it means exactly the same as the English language slang 'get outa here' which means that 'We don't believe you'; not 'Get lost'.
  • Patta (පට්ට) - Extreme. (e.g. 'Patta Aathal' (පට්ට ආතල්) means 'Extremely joyful'.) Patta Gahanawa (පට්ට ගහනවා) means to hit hard, to thrash (as in 'Moowa patta gahanna one karapu wædeta' (මූව පට්ට ගහන්න ඕනෙ කරපු වැඩේට) means 'This one has to be thrashed for that work') or to abuse (as in 'Oya ænduma dæn sathiyakma patta gahala thiyenne' (ඔය ඇඳුම දැන් සතියක්ම පට්ට ගහල තියෙන්නෙ)). Patta Dawaale (පට්ට දවාලෙ) means 'in broad daylight'.
  • Thel Bedanawa (තෙල් බෙදනවා) or Thela Bedanawa (තෙල බෙදනවා) - Trying to thrust subjective ideology upon others in the pretence of giving advice (used mostly in campuses). 'Thela' (තෙල) alone is used sometimes.
  • Umma (උම්මා) - Childish term for a kiss. Derived from the 'sound' of kissing.
  • Vandiya (වන්ඩිය) - Vehicle, and derived from the Tamil word for Vehicle 'Vandi'. Note the term Ladiya (ලඩිය), which means a rickety old vehicle.
  • Wala (වල) - Mischievous stuff (e.g. Wala Bahinawa (වල බහිනවා) refers to involving in lot of 'extra curricular' activities or collective misbehaviour).

Slang refering desirerable situations

These slang have a positive connotation.

  • Aathal (අ‍ාතල්) - Happy feeling, state of happiness. Aathal Kedenawa (අ‍ාතල් කැ‍ෙඩනවා) is used to describe a situation which disturbs the status quo. Moda Aathal (මෝඩ ආතල්) TBD.
  • Elakiri (එළකිරි) - Literally 'Cow's Milk'. Figuratively, means 'very good quality' or 'great'. This is always used in friendly context. E.g.: when someone is very happy with something, this is used. The word Ela (එළ) is also used as a shortened form. Note the web site is named after this slang.
  • Gindara Wage (ගින්දර වගේ‍) - Literally 'Like fire'. Figuratively, meaning something really good, or really matches the requirements.
  • Goda Yanawa (ගොඩ යනවා) - Literally 'Reaching the dry land'. Means 'recover' or achieve the goal. Only Goda (ගොඩ) is also used to give the same meaning. (e.g. Tawa visi pandahak hoyaa gaththoth api goda. (තව විසි පන්දාහක් හොයා ගත්තොත් අපි ගොඩ.)) Goda Daagannawa (ගොඩ දාගන්නවා) is used as the opposite to Æna Gannawa (අ‍ැන ගන්නවා). (e.g. Pora kohoma hari mul wataya goda daa gaththa (පොර කොහොම හරි මුල් වටය ගොඩ දා ගත්තා) means 'Somehow he managed to get through the first round').
  • Maarai (මාරයි) - Surprising.
  • Sæpa Kaney (සැප කනේ) - Literally 'Pleasure in the ear'. Figuratively means very joyful.
  • Siraa (සිරා) - Serious. Derived from the English word 'Serious'.
  • Somiya (සෙ‍ාමිය) - Happy feeling, state of happiness. (Use of Aathal Eka (අ‍ාතල් එක) is preferred over Somiya (සෙ‍ාමිය) in most social circles now).

Slang refering undesirerable situations

These slang have a negative connotation.

  • Ala – literally (noun) a common name for any edible starchy root. Figuratively (adj.)messed up, inferior, low quality
  • Anaa Gannawa (අනා ගන්නවා) - Literally 'getting mixed up', Anenawa (අ‍ැ‍ෙනනවා) - something is getting out of hand, becoming worst or messy. (e.g. Wædi wæda karanna gihin wæde ænuna (වැඩි වැඩ කරන්න ගිහින් වැ‍ෙඩ් ඇනුනා))
  • Æna Gannawa (අ‍ැන ගන්නවා) - Literally to 'getting pricked', usually refers to the situation of getting rejected or getting failed (exam, love, work etc.). A popular derivative is Ahala Æna Gannawa (අහල අ‍ැන ගන්නවා). (e.g. Pora oya baduwagen keepa parakma ahala ænagena thiyenawa. (පෙ‍ාර ඔය බඩුවගෙන් කීප සැරයක්ම අහලා අ‍ැනගෙන තියෙනවා.) means 'The guy got rejected (of love) by that girl several times.')
  • Ændenawa (ඇ‍ඬෙනවා) - Literally means 'makes me cry'. Used to express a wide range of feelings from sorrow to happiness. Could also mean 'great' or 'hard to believe' in certain contexts (e.g. Maara lassana baduwak machan, dækkama ændenawa! (මාර ලස්සන බඩුවක් මචං. දැක්කම ‍ඇ‍ඬෙනවා!) means 'That's a very pretty girl, and I can't explain the pleasure of seeing her!' or Kiyala wædak næ, traffic eka dækkama ændenawa (කියලා වැඩක් නෑ, ටැෆික් එක දැක්කම ‍ඇ‍ඬෙනවා) means 'The traffic jam makes me sick')
  • Anja-bajal (අන්ජ බජල්) - Messy/Complicated/Troublesome
  • Agna-koros/Angja-koros (අඤ්ඤ කොරොස්) - Incomprehensible
  • Charter (චාටර්) or Saater (සාටර්) - (with 'r' pronounced) An expression of disrepute or expressing that something or someone is not upto the expectations or standards.
  • Goo Case (ගූ කේස්) - Messy, problematic or out of hand situation. Wæde Varchas (වැ‍ෙඩ් වර්චස්) is also mockingly used for the same meaning. Literal meaning of both is Shitty thing. See Goo (ගූ) below. The term Badu Banis (බඩු බනිස්) is used in slightly different situations. It usually says that something which was good has now become screwed up. Since term Goo is treated as vulgur or even tabooo, this expression itself is regarded as vulgur.
  • Huta-pata (හුට පට) - Complicated series of events that lead mostly to an undesirable situation
  • Jalaya Apathe (ජලය අපතෙ) - Waste of time/effort/resources. In vain.
  • Kade (ක‍ෙඩ්) - Literally boutique. Refers to a noisy, uncomfortable or nagging place or situation.
  • Katuwa (කටුව) or Katta Kanawa (කට්ට කනවා) - Literally 'Prick' or 'eating (fish?) bone'. Unnessorility tedious work or situation. (e.g. Saturday office gihilla mara kattak kanna set unane (සැටඩේ ඔෆිස් ගිහින් මාර කට්ටක් කන්න සෙට් උනානේ))
  • Noandi (නෝන්ඩි) - (Public) embarrassment. Similar to Pal Una (පල් උනා), Kicha Una (කිච උනා) or Sawutthu Una (සවුත්තු උනා).
  • Mala paninawa (මළ පනිනවා) - Means 'Makes angry'. Mala (මළ) in this context means anger. Etimology may have some connection to discharge of excrement, because Mala paninawa (මළ පනිනවා) literally means 'Makes shitting'. I don't think there is a referance to excrement here Ritigala Jayasena 06:06, 27 August 2007 (UTC). I think that original reference may be literally to excrement. --Lahirs (talk) 04:11, 27 May 2008 (UTC) Thada una (තද උනා) is also used to mean the same. Yaka Nægga (යකා නැග්ගා) or simply Nægga (නැග්ගා) can mean the same and is used mostly by females. Due to the similar sexual slang for 'erection'; males usually avoid using Nægga (නැග්ගා) to mean the anger, as it can be misinterpreted for having sexual arousal.
  • Mangnan/Mangjan (මඤ්ඤං) - Disoriented/Incomprehensible. (Also the phrase Karakola Athæriya Wage (කරකවලා අතෑරියා වගේ) is used to mean the same)
  • Wali (වලි) - Argumentative, disputatious, quarrelsome. Waliya (වලිය) means the quarrel. Opposite of Wali (වලි) is usually Shape (ෂේප්) (e.g. 'Wali num apith wali, shape num apith shpe' (වලිනම් අපිත් වලි, ෂේප්නම් අපිත් ෂේප්)). Also note the term Kokka (කෙ‍ාක්ක) (literally 'hook') which also means argumentative, disputatious, but not quarrelsome.

Slang for referring/addressing to professions and to people

Refer the section Use of Karaya above, to understand how the term 'karaya' can be used to create a disrespectful reference to any profession. Moreover simple prefix 'ya' can also be used to create a disrespectful term using the respectful base term. (e.g. Dostara is the respectful slang for a 'Medical Doctor' which is based on the English term. However, Dostaraya (with 'ya' suffix) is a disrespectful or scornful reference to a doctor.

  • Ban (බන්) or Bang (බං) - General friendly way of addressing a male or female. Mostly used by males to address males (e.g. Mokada ban ke gahanne? (මොකද බන් කෑ ගහන්නේ) means 'Why are you shouting man?'.) This is similar to Indian expression Yarr or Americanism 'man'.
  • Bataya (බටයා) - Mocking term for a loyal subordinate or a Henchman. Also note that Henchaiya (හෙන්චයියා) is a slang directly derived from the English slang 'Henchman'. Both terms Bataya and Henchaiya are regarded as derogatory.
  • Chaminda (චමින්ද) - An euphemism for a very old person. Chaminda is a very common male name which became popular after 1970s. It is highly unlikely for an elderly person born before the Second World War to have the name 'Chaminda'. For this reason, it assumed safe to talk about a situation involving an old person, referring to him as 'Chaminda', so that no one suspects that you are talking about an old person. (e.g. In a bus -> Machan oya Baduwata line daane balagena. Passe seat eke inna Chaminda ekige seeya)
  • Haalparuwa (හාල්පාරුවා) - Useless, undesirable person.
  • Jeppa (ජෙප්පා) - Person associated with the political organization JVP or a person having pro-JVP ideology.
  • Kabba (කබ්බා) - An inferior or weaker person (Especially in sports, game or an activity which requires skill and experience). plural Kabbo (කබ්බෝ)
  • Kossa (කොස්සා) or Kochchiya (කොච්චියා) - Disrespectful term to refer to a police constable. The respectful slang would be Ralahami (රාලහාමි) which is also used by police officers to refer to fellow officers.
  • Lokka (ලොක්කා) - Literally 'Big person'. Can be used as a substitute for the slang 'Boss'. Is also used as a jovial but respectful term to address an elderly person.
  • Machan (මචන්) or Machang (මචං) - Used by males to address a fellow male. Similar to 'Mate' or 'Brother'. Literal meaning (of the original Tamil word) is 'brother-in-law'. 'Machan' (මචං) is rarely used by females to refer to a fellow male (and even rarely to a fellow female) but not regarded as a mainstream usage. Machan (මචං) is quickly becoming the de-facto standard in addressing same age or same rank peers in most social circles, including office environments. In private sector office environments, 'Machan' (මචං) is especially used by senior person to address a subordinate to create (sometimes, false) sense of equity. [1]
  • Mætta (මැට්ටා) - A foolish person, an idiot.
  • Pimpiya (පිමිපියා)- Derived from the English word 'Pimp'. Means the same.
  • Pora (පොර) - Male, Guy. Note that Baduwa (බඩුව) used in this context alongside with Pora (පොර) is the female form, and does not necessarily have a sexual connotation. (e.g. 'Machan, phone ekata answer kale porakda baduwakda?' (මචං, ෆෝන් එකට ආන්ස(ර්) කළේ පොරක්ද බඩුවක්ද?) means 'Who answered the phone, a guy or a gal?'). However, Baduwa (බඩුව) is also used in a sexist context (see below). The term Buwa has similar meaning to Pora. However, Buwa (බුවා) is not as popular term as Pora (පොර). It has specific uses such as Ela Buwa (එළ බුවා) which means 'cool guy' or 'really good guy'. (See also Ela (එළ))
  • Sikka (සික්කා) - Disrespectful term for Security Guard. Derived from the same English word.
  • Vesi (වේසි) - Prostitute. See also Gona under Examples of taboo Sexual Slang and Euphemisms section below.

Slang related to Love, Sex and Relationships

Slang which is commonly regarded as not taboo is documented in this section. Please refer Examples of Taboo Sexual Slang and Euphemisms for slang which is regarded as taboo.

  • Baduwa (බඩුව) - Young or attractive female (chick).
  • Kælla (කෑල්ල) - Literally means 'a piece'. Used to refer to an eye catching girl. Commonly used by young males. (e.g. Sira Kealla- සිරා කෑල්ල). Plural: 'Kæli' (කෑලි)
  • Kotuwak Paninawa (කොටුවක් පනිනවා) - Committing adultery or having socially unaccepted relationship.
  • Line Daanawa (ලයින් දානවා) - Rather old yet not outdated term which means flirting with or 'hitting on' someone. Usually refers to male activity.
  • Mal Kadanawa (මල් කඩනවා) - To engage in flirtious chit-chat with member(s) of opposite sex. There is popular nick-name Mal Maama (මල් මාමා) which refers to a male person with excessive such behaviours. Also note the term Pæni Halanawa (පැණි හලනවා) which refers to a similar activity and the corresponding nick name Pæniya (පැණියා).
  • Paana Allanawa (පාන අල්ලනවා) - Literally 'holding the lamp'. Mocking reference to the act of a friend who accompany a person who is going to meet his date, girlfriend, wife, fiancee. This refers to the act of holding some light to help someone do something in the dark. (e.g. Umba taniyama palayan. Mama paana allanna enna one nehe (උඹ තනියම පලයන්. මම පාන අල්ලන්න එන්න ඕන නැහැ) means 'you go alone to see your date, why do you need me for')

Slang Related to Consumption of Liquor, Tobacco and other Narcotics

There are many slang to refer to substances and their usage.

  • Bata (බට) or Batayak (බටයක්) - A cigarette. (e.g. Batayak gahamuda? (බටයක් ගහමුද?) means 'Shall we have a smoke?')
  • Bebe (බෙබේ) - Alcoholic. This could be a shorten form for Bebadda (බේබද්දා).
  • Dekak Da Gannawa (දෙකක් දා ගන්නවා) - Literally 'to have two shots'. To have a drink. Note that Nethi wenna gahanawa (නැති වෙන්න ගහනවා) refers to getting really drunk till one is unconsious. Wadinna ganahawa (වදින්න ගහනවා) means getting high but not really drunk. Mokuth karamuda (මොකුත් කරමුද?) which literally means 'shall we do something' when used in certain contexts means 'shall we have a drink'.
  • Duma (දුම) - Literally means 'smoke'. Used to mean anything used to have a smoke (e.g. cigarette, cigar, mal (මල්) etc.). (e.g. Dumak adimuda? (දුමක් අදිමුද?) means 'Shall we have a smoke?')
  • Kudu (කුඩු) - Heroin or other similar narcotics
  • Mala (මල) or Suusthiya (සුස්තිය) - Roll of Ganja (Cannabis or pot) for smoking or the ingredients used to prepare those. Relatively new term Mala (මල) is preferred over Suusthiya (සුස්තිය) in most social circles. 'Paetta' Prepared cannabis cigaratte for Smoking. This term 'peatta' needs verification. Please discuss this in talk page Ritigala Jayasena 13:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC). Also the term Roket (Rocket) is sometimes used to mean the same.
  • Netum Thel (නැටුම් තෙල්) - Literally 'Dancing Oil'. Bit outdated but rather sarcastic term referring to any kind of hard liquor.

There are many terms to refer to illicit or homemade liquor which includes Kasippu (කසිප්පු) (this is the most common and accepted name), 'Heli Arrakku' (හැලි අරක්කු) (archaic term means, Pot-Liquor), 'Kashiya' (කෂියා) (which is a pet name derived from more mainstream term Kasippu), 'Vel Beer' (වෙල් බියර්) (means, beer of the paddy field), 'Katukambi' (කටු කම්බි) (means, barbed wire) 'Suduwa' (සුදුවා) (means, the white substance) depending on locality.

Examples of Composite Slang (non taboo)

Following non taboo composite slangs have two or more words combined and used together. Their specific meaning is expressed only when the combination of words used together. Individual words might not have any associated meaning with composite slang.

  • Ae Ae Banisata Ae Ae Keselgedi - Literally 'particular Buns (that taste better or go with) with particular Bananas', means providing a problematic situation with a very suitable solution (even temporary).
  • Aachchita Haal Garanna (ආච්චිට හාල් ගරන්න) - Expresses anger or unpleasant surprise. This is an expression which is actually 'avoidance' or euphemism for much stronger swear.
  • (ithin) Apita paan dha? (ඉතින් අපිට පාං ද?) - We don't care, not interested etc. Similar to the English slang 'Do we care?'.
  • Baaldiyak Peralanawa (බාල්දියක් පෙරලනවා) - Literally 'to roll a bucket'. Refers to 'picking a fight' or 'act in an angry manner or shout about'
  • Duka Tamai (දුක තමයි) - Means 'it is going to be painful/exhausting/messy/problematic etc'. Although comparatively less common, Duka Thamai Ranjanee (දුක තමයි රංජනී) is used in similar contexts. Ane Manda Sarath (අනේ මන්දා සරත්) is a slang which has same origins as Duka Tamai Ranjanee. Ane Manda Sarath is used in situations where one would say 'I don't know!'. Note that 'Ranjanee' and 'Sarath' are common female and male names which were popular in 1960s and hence very common in middle aged population.
  • Gokkola Peenawa (ගෙ‍ාක්කෙ‍ාල පේනවා) - Literally 'to see young coconut leaves' (which are traditionally used to decorate a funeral). Refers to a situation where impending death is sensed in an eerie manner.
  • Jalaya Apathe (ජලය අපතෙ) - literally 'waste of water'. Figuratively 'in vain'
  • Jambu Gahen Wetenawa (ජම්බු ගහෙන් වැටෙනවා) - Euphemism for a girl attaining puberty. There are many other old and well established slang for the same such as Loku Lamayek Wenawa (ලොකු ළමයෙක් වෙනවා), Loku Wenawa (ලොකු වෙනවා), Malwara Wenawa (මල්වර වෙනවා), Geta Wenawa (ගෙට වෙනවා) (Literally 'become house confined' which is rather outdated term, which refers to rather outdated practice of confining a girl strictly indoors for few days, right after her very first menstruation)
  • Pissu Hedena Sanda! (පිස්සු හැදෙන සඳ!) - Shows surprise literally translates as 'Makes me crazy'.
  • Peththaka Indan Kahinawa (පැත්තක ඉඳන් කහිනවා) - Literally to 'cough in the sides'. Scornful reference to a third party who is supporting one party in an argument where the third party has no right to get involved. Nayata Kahinawa (ණයට කහිනවා) also has a similar usage.
  • Sori dot kom (සොරි ඩොට් කොම්) - Spoof reference to a (hypothetical) web site, used to refer to a 'sorry' situation. (e.g. Train eka miss unothnam sori dom kom (ටේන් එක මිස් උනොත්නම් සොරි ඩොට් කොම්)). This is becoming popular among IT savvy populace and specially IT students.
  • Sorry Wenna Ona (සොරි වෙන්න ඕන) - Expressing sympathy or apology in a mocking manner.
  • Wala Kajja Gahanawa (වල කජ්ජ ගහනවා) - Literal reference to an ancient Sri Lankan game played with cashew nuts. Means 'to die' (same as 'kick the bucket')

Examples of Swear Words

  • Ado (අ‍ඩෝ) - Means 'Hey' or 'Oi'. Offensive when not used between friends.
  • Bambuwa (බම්බුව) - Literally means Bamboo rod. Means 'nonsense'. Bambu gahapan! (බම්බු ගහපන්) usually means 'No way, get lost'
  • Kehelmala (කෙ‍ෙහල්මල) - Literally means Banana Foliage. Used to mean 'nonsense'. (e.g. Mona kehelmalakda! (මෙ‍ාන කෙ‍ෙහල්මලක්ද!) means 'What nuisance' or 'What nonsense'.)
  • Magula (මගුල) - Literally means 'wedding ceremony' or simply 'ceremony'. But used to mean 'nuisance' or 'nonsense'. Mona magulakda - (e.g. Mona magulakda manda (මොන මගුලක්ද මන්දා?) means What the hell is this?, Mata me magula karala epawewa (මට ‍ෙම් මගුල කරලා එපා ‍ෙවලා) means 'I am fed up with this shit').
  • Paraya (පරයා) - Means 'outcast' or 'outsider'. Always offensive. Paratti (පරට්ටි) is the female version. Usually used prefixed to some other offensive word. (e.g. Paratta Belli (පරට්ට බැල්ලි) literally translates as 'outcast bitch')
  • Ponnaya (පොන්නයා), Ponsiya or Pontiya - Umbrella term for all submissive Transgender people, Eunuch, or submissive male homosexual. Abusive word for any submissive behavior.
  • Redda (රෙද්ද) - Means cloth (female garment). Offensive use is quite similar to the usage 'Shit' in English although no similarity in the literal meaning. (e.g. 'Mona reddak da!' (මෙ‍ාන රෙද්දක්ද!) means 'What the hell!' and 'Thoge Aachchige redda' (තොගෙ ආච්චිගෙ රෙද්ද) means 'Your grandma's garment')
  • Tho (තෝ) and Thoge (තොගෙ) - Means 'you' and 'yours' but offensive when used with an angry tone
  • Vesi (වේසි) - Prostitute, Whore. Patta Vesi (පට්ට වේසි) is a stronger abusive term. Vesige Putha (වේසිගෙ පුතා) Literally 'son of a whore'.
  • Waathe (වා‍ෙත) - Literally means Gas or Wind. Used to mean 'Nuisance'. (e.g. Mala Waathe (මල වා‍ෙත) means 'Big nuisance')
  • Yako (යකෝ) - Means 'You devil'. This term is not offensive when used between friends.

Examples of Equating People with Animals

For the purpose of swearing, for fun, and as nicknames, it is a common practice in any language/culture to equate people with animals. Each language/culture has popular set of such animals references used for this purpose. Each animal represents a particular set of characteristic which can be positive or negative. In any culture, usually an animal like 'Pig' is used with negative connotation and an animal like 'Lion' with positive connotation.

  • Æmbalaya (අ‍ැඹලයා) - Type of an Ant which are drawn to sweet stuff. Refers to a male who is drawn to females a lot.
  • Balla (බල්ලා) - Dog- Generally bad or dislikable person
  • Bakamuna (බකමූණා) - (Owl)- Moody person who does not smile at all!!
  • Bassa (බස්සා) or Mukalan Bassa (මූකලන් බස්සා) - Owlet - One who responds with a grunt or "HMMM" in conversations.
  • Bælli (බැල්ලි) - Exactly the same usage as 'Bitch' and literally translates to 'Bitch'. Patta Bælli (පට්ට බැල්ලි) is a very offensive term. Bællige Putha (බැල්ලිගෙ පුතා) translates literally to 'son-of-a-bitch' and means exactly the same.
  • Booruwa (බූරුවා) - Donkey. Refers to a silly person causing damages due to lack of knowledge. Derivative is Puththalam Booruwa (පුත්තලම් බූරුවා), which literally means donkey whose origin is 'Puttalam'. Also used sarcastically for describing the age (i.e. 'Puttalam booruwo dennekge wayasa' (පුත්තලම් බූරුවෝ දෙන්නෙක්ගෙ වයස) means 'As old as two Puttalam donkeys').
  • Gal Aanda (ගල් ආඳා) - (Type of Eel) Elusive, Doggy, Cunning type of person.
  • Gas Gemba (ගස් ගෙම්බා) - Tree Frog. - Dislikable slimy person.
  • Gas Goana (ගස් ගෝනා) - Literally 'Tree Dwelling Sambar. Also used in rural dialects, as a substitute colloquial term for Monkey. The reason for the name is due to the fact that Monkey (Langur) meat is sometimes used a sa substitute for Sambar meat. Used as a derogatory nickname.
  • Gærandiya (ගැරඬියා) - Rat Snake - Dislikable slithery person
  • Gini Kikili (ගිනි කිකිලි) - (Firely Hen) - Refers to an attractive and female. Similar to the English slang Bimbo.
  • Gona (ගෙ‍ානා) or Haraka (හරකා) or Mee haraka (මී හරකා) or Eladena (එළදෙන) - (Bull, Buffalo, Cow)
  • Hikanala (හිකනලා) - Skink - Used to call people without any strength (e.g. Eka hikanala vage apahu giye. (ඒකා හිකනලා වගේ ආපහු ගියේ.))
  • Koka (කොකා) - (Heron) Nick name for a skinny tall person.
  • Kotiya - (leopard) - Sexual predetor (both in hetrosexual and homosexual sense)
  • Kunakatuwa - (Hump Nosed Viper) - Person with a unlikable character who is envious of other people.
  • Kukula (කුකුළා) - (Rooster or Cock) - Flirtious (male) person. Sometimes means 'womanizer'. Kukul kenthikaraya (කුකුළ් කේන්තිකාරයා) means 'Short tempered one'.
  • Nariya (නරියා) - (Jackall) - Nick name or an Insult. Unlikeable person.
  • Naya (නයා) - (Cobra) - Used to refer to a short tempered or revengeful person.
  • Oora (උ‍ෟරා) - (Pig) - Used to refer to an unhygienic or gluttony person.
  • Otuwa (ඔටුවා) - (Camel) - Odd person. (e.g. Æi api otuwoda? (ඇයි අපි ඔටුවොද?))
  • Polos Kottoruwa (පොළොස් කොට්ටෝරුවා) - (Large Green Barbet is an Asian Barbet) Used as a nickname.
  • Sinhaya (සිංහයා) - (Lion) - Brave, person with good principles.
  • Wandura (වඳුරා) - (Monkey) - Nick name or an insult to a male, refering to his bad looks or being dark skinned. Wændiri (වැඳිරි) is the female version.

Examples of Ethnic Slurs

These terms are disrespectful (if not offensive) when used by a person outside the ethnic demographic group, to refer to a person of that demographic group.

  • Cheena (චීනා) - Person of chineese origin
  • Demala (දෙමළා) - Used by the Sinhala majority to refer to a person of Tamil origin. Even though the proper Sinhala noun to refer a Tamil ethic group is Demala (දෙමළ), when used in this sense it is regarded as disrespectful. (Note the ending vowel 'අ' vs. 'ආ')
  • Dambaya (දඹයා) - Relatively new term to refer to a person of Indian nationality. (Living in India). This term is used mostly by office workers of Sri Lanka, who also interact with Indians; Also by Sri Lankan diaspora living abroad. Derivative from the word 'Dambadiva' (දඹදිව), which is used to refer to the ancient India.
  • Hambaya (හම්බයා) - Rather outdated term to refer to a person of Muslim origin.
  • Kalla (කල්ලා) - Person with a dark skin. Can refer to a person with African origin. This terms is also used by Sri Lankan diaspora living in USA to refer to an African American
  • Japana - Person of Japanese origine.
  • Kallathoni (කල්ලතෝනි) - Refers to any illegal immigrant or non-citizan, especially from India.
  • Kochchiya (කොච්චියා) - Rather outdated term to refer to a person of Indian origin.
  • Lansiya (ලන්සියා) or Lan(g)siya (ලංසියා) - Used by the Sinhala majority to refer to a Burgher person of Dutch origin, living in Sri Lanka.
  • Mattaya (මට්ටයා) - Used by the Sinhala/Tamil majority to refer to a person of Muslim origin hailing from East of the island (Ampara, Pothuvil, Madakalapuwa area).
  • Mækka (මැක්කා) or Mæssa (මැස්සා) - Person of Mexican (Hispanic) origin. This term is used by Sri Lankan diaspora living in USA.
  • Otuwa (ඔටුවා) - Person of Arabic origin. Specially the males wearing Thawb and Agal. This term is used by Sri Lankan diaspora living in Middle East region.
  • Pakka (පක්කා) - Male of Pakistani origin - typically wearing Shalwar Kameez. This term is used by Sri Lankan diaspora living in Middle East region.
  • Sakkiliya (සක්කිලියා) - Derived from a name of a Dalit like caste that came over relatively recently from India. Originally used by the Sinhalese majority as a pejorative. Usually refers to a very unhygienic or uncultured person, who lacks basic manners.
  • Sudda (සුද්දා) - Used by the Sinhala/Tamil majority to refer to a person of white caucasian or European origin. Generally refers all pale white-skinned people, and literal translation is 'white one'.
  • Thalaya (තලයා) - Used by the Sinhala majority to refer to a person of Tamil origin from North (Jaffna). Refers to the excessive use of Thala Thel(or gingelly oil) by this community.
  • Thambiya (තම්බියා) - Used by the Sinhala majority to refer to a person of Muslim origin. The literal meaning of 'Thambi' is younger brother (in Tamil), Originally, this must have been used not as an offensive term but an affectionate one.

Slang and Euphemisms for Body parts, Intimate Wear, and Bodily functions

  • Boga (බොග)‍or Bo(n)ga (බොඟ) - Partially taboo word which means excrement. Boga Charge (බොග චාජ්) means having a nature call. Etymology might be linked to English slang Bog
  • Choo (චූ) or Chu (චූ) - Urine. Hujja (හුජ්ජ) is a more vulgar/colloquial term for urine, which is not used by upper social segments.
  • Chu karanawa (චූ කරනවා) or Choo Danawa (චූ දානවා) means to pass urine. Dotta Yanawa (දොට්ට යනවා) is a colloquial and rather outdated slang for urinating. Sinduwak Kiyanawa, Haawek Allanna Yanawaa - TBA
  • Dayal eka (ඩයල් එක) - The face (e.g. Dekala purudu dayal ekak (දැකලා පුරුදු ඩයල් එකක්) means 'A familiar face') or the personality person (e.g. Oonam maara dayal ekak (උ‍ෟනම් මාර ඩයල් එකක්) means 'What a guy is he'). Etimology is the English word: 'dial'. This term is mostly used to refer to the personality or demeanor than the 'face' of a person.
  • Eli Bahinawa (එළි බහිනවා) - Outdated colloquial slang for defecation. Not used by urban community.
  • Goo (ගූ) - Vulgar reference to Feces. Has similar usage as English term 'shit'. Varchas (වර්චස්) which is also an archiac formal term for excrement
  • Joka (ජෙ‍ාකා) - Male underwear. Derived from Jockstrap. However, sometimes used to refer to any type of men's undergarment and not only Jockstrap. Jangiya is a similar umbrella term which refers to panties of all kind.
  • Kabaraya (කබරයා) - vomit. Kabaraya Danawa (කබරයා දානවා) - to throw up (specially by a drunken person). Also the term Hotalaya (හෝටලය) is used to refer to a pile of vomit.
  • Rata Bodiya (රට බෙ‍ාඩිය) or Bodiya (බෙ‍ාඩිය) - literally 'foreign bodice' - an outdated term used by non-urban community to refer to a modern bra. This term is no longer in day to day use.
  • Pade (පඩේ) - Fart.
  • Passa (පස්ස) - Backside or buttocks. And also to mean anus for children.
  • Puka (පුක) - Means 'rectum' or sometimes buttocks. Not necessarily sexual. Not used in formal company; however regarded as mildly taboo. [1].
  • Sinduwak Kiyanawa (සින්දුවක් කියනවා) - Literally 'Sing'. Well hidden euphemism to mean 'urinate', nature call (e.g. Mang tak gala sinduwak kiyala ennam (මං ටක් ගාලා සින්දුවක් කියලා එන්නම්))
  • For following slang, refer to Examples of taboo Sexual Slang and Euphemisms section below
    • Æta (deka), Gala, Gedi (Deka), GÆta (Deka), Malli, Meeya,MÆ Æte, Nangi, Nuula, Pettiya, Topa

Examples of Taboo Sexual Slang and Euphemisms

Most of the sexual slang, euphemisms and sexual innuendo documented below has a strong male perspective. One reason being that this article is so far contributed mostly by males - supposedly, and the other reason being that the sexual slang anyway have strong male perspective to it, in Sri Lankan context (and in any cultural context for that matter). Irreverence and disrespect is a common trait in sexual slang. Especially the slang is sexist and disrespectful towards females. However, one can argue that slang is disrespectful towards everybody, and not just females. Otherwise well-meaning Sri Lankan male would resort to sexual slang when describing a situation of sexual nature to his peers, and that does not necessarily indicate that the he is sexist. Sexual slang documented below ranges from 'mild' to 'severe' and sometimes borders the 'extreme taboo' slang documented in a different section. It is advisable to avoid slang of this nature in decent company.

Body Parts
  • Æta (Deka)' (ඇට (දෙක)) - Testicles. Æta deka ugas thiyanawa (ඇට දෙක උගස් තියනවා), which literally means 'Pawning the testicles' is used among males in extreme financially tight situations where having no means of getting any money. (e.g. Æta deka ugas thiyalada yako umba okata gewanne? (ඇට දෙක උගස් තියලද යකෝ උඹ ඕකට ගෙවන්නෙ?) translates to 'How do you suppose I pay for it? By pawning the testicles?')
  • Gala (ගල) or Gal Deka (ගල් දෙක) - Thigh. (e.g. Ekita mara galak thiyenne (ඒකිට මාර ගලක් තියෙන්නෙ) means 'She has a very sexy smooth thigh'.) Gal Pradarshanaya (ගල් ප්‍රදර්ෂණය) - Literally 'Thigh Exhibition'. Refers to (usually a movie, where) several girls with revealing short skirts or situations which bares lot of skin on the leg (e.g. wind, underneath a stair-way).
  • Gæta (Deka) (ගැට (දෙක)) - Small breasts (usually of underage or teenage girls')
  • Gedi (Deka) (ගෙඩි (දෙක)) - Medium to large sized breasts.
  • Malli (මල්ලි) - Literally 'younger brother'. Well hidden euphemism to refer to male genitalia. Especially used by females. Similarly Nangi (නංගි) (younger sister) refers to the female genitalia. (e.g. Malli Dangawela (මල්ලි දඟ වෙලා) (sexually aroused), Malli Kelin (මල්ලි කෙලින්) (having an erection), Nangita saneepa næ (නංගිට සනීප නෑ) (having periods) etc.)
  • Mæ Æte (මෑ ඇටේ) - Literally 'Bean'. Euphemism for the clitoris (not in widespread use) Mæ Æte (මෑ මල) also has the same usage.
  • Meeya (මීයා) - Literally 'Mouse'. Euphemism for the penis. Used mostly by young children and females.
  • Noola (නූල) - Literally 'string'. Euphemism for the Frenulum of prepuce of penis The area on the underside of the penis, where the foreskin is attached.
  • Pettiya (පෙට්ටිය) - Euphemism for Hymen and the Virginity. Mostly used in the context of Pettiya Kædenawa (පෙට්ටිය කැ‍ෙඩනවා) (see below).
  • Polla (පොල්ල) - Penis ('Dick') and specially the 'Hardoned Dick'. (e.g. Polla kelin wela(පොල්ල කෙලින් වෙලා) means 'having a hard-on')
  • Topa (ටොපා) - Glans penis. Derived from the word 'Top'.
  • Walla - Literally 'the bunch'. Male genitalia or more specifically, the scrotum
General Sexual Slang
  • Aappa Gahanawa (ආප්ප ගහනවා) - Committing a lesbian sexual act, specifically Tribadism. Literally means 'hitting or touching hoppers' and suggests the etimology of the phrase. (e.g. Girls hostel eke aappa scene bahulai kiyala thamai aaranchi (ග'ල්ස් හොස්ටල් එකේ ආප්ප සීන් බහුලයි කියලා තමයි ආරන්චි) means 'It is heard that tribadism is a common practice in the girls' hostel'.)
  • Allanawa (අල්ලනවා) - Literally means touch or hold. When used in sexual context, means touching the genitalia or breasts. Sometimes used as a eupimishm to mean 'sucking up the hierarchy' similarly to Puka Denawa (පුක දෙනවා). (e.g. Nikang okunta allanna epa ban (නිකං ඕකුන්ට අල්ලන්න එපා බං) means 'Don't suck up to them'.)
  • Ængilla Gahanawa (ඇඟිල්ල ගහනවා) - Female masturbation or fingering of the vagina by another person.
  • Arinawa (අරිනවා) - Vaginal or anal penetration. Literally means release. (e.g. Okita porawal dethun denekma ærala thiyenawa (ඕකිට පොරවල් දෙතුන් දෙනෙක්ම ඇරලා තියෙනවා) means 'Several guys have fucked her'.) Also means getting 'used' in a non-sexual context. (e.g. Aroo apita arinnai enne (අරූ අපිට අරින්නයි එන්නේ) means 'He is up to doing something bad to us'.) Aninawa (අනිනවා) is also used similarly in both contexts. Ænna Pænna (ඇන්න‍ා පැන්නා) is a well known phrase, which means 'ran away after using'.
  • Athe Gahanawa (අතේ ගහනවා) - Male masturbation or 'jacking off'. Wæla Adinawa (වැල අදිනවා) (literally 'pulling the line') is the campus version of this and it also is well known, although not mainstream. See 'Wæla' below.
  • Baduwa (බඩුව) - Young or attractive female (chick). Baduwak Set Wuna (බඩුවක් සෙට් වුනා) - got friendly with a girl, Baduwak Daa Gaththa (බඩුවක් දා ගත්තා) - got hitched with a girl, Baduwak Issuwa (බඩුවක් ඉස්සුවා) - managed to get the girl to a place where sexual exploration (making out, Necking) or sexual acts can be done.
  • Badu Gahanawa (බඩු ගහනවා) - having sex (with multiple women/prostitutes), promiscuous sexual behaviour. Badu Gahanawa (බඩු ගහනවා) is significantly different from Baduwa Gahanawa (බඩුව ගහනවා) which does not nessesorily imply promiscuity. Gonnu Gahanawa (ගොන්නු ගහනවා) means having sex with prostitutes. (See the definition of Gona (ගොනා))
  • Badu Giya (බඩු ගියා) - These two words when used together means 'ejaculated'. Can be shortened as Giya (ගියා).
  • Bachcha Kolla (බච්චා කොල්ලා) or Bachcha (බච්චා) - Submissive male homosexual partner of underage. May have derived from the hindi word for the small boy Bachchaa.
  • Diwa Daanawa (දිව දානවා) - Performing oral sex on a female, Cunnilingus. (e.g. Diva daala sæpak dennawath danne nædda? (දිව දාලා සැපක් දෙන්නවත් දන්නෙ නැද්ද?) means 'Don't (you) at least know how to give pleasure by performing cunnilingus?')
  • Æthule Gahanawa (ඇතුලෙ ගහනවා) - Full sexual intercourse. Literally means 'Fucking Internally' that is opposed to Gal Kapanawa (ගල් කපනවා) - (Intercrural Sex), Thalanawa (තලනවා) - (Dry Humping), or Katata Denava (කටට දෙනවා) - (Fellatio) which can be broadly categorized as Pita Gahahanawa (පිට ගහනවා) that literally means 'Fucking Externally'.
  • Gal Kapanawa[2] (ගල් කපනවා) - Refers to penetration between the partners thighs, (or intercrural sex). In Sri Lankan context, this method is a common practice among teenage/young adult lovers as a safe sex practice without loosing virginity, and also regarded as a big achievement in romantic/erotic relationship. Also means the similar practice between male homosexuals.[2]
  • Gal Kolla (ගල් කොල්ලා) - Submissive male homosexual partner. Refers to intercrural sex.
  • Gal Karaya (ගල් කාරයා) - Dominating male homosexual person. Refers to intercrural sex. There is a spoof acronym used by youths called R. P. G. which stands for Rajaye Prasidda Galkaru (රජයේ ප්‍රසිද්ධ ගල්කරු) meaning 'Government Registered Homosexual'.
  • Gona (ගොනා) - Prostitute, whore. Satha (සතා) is used as a further euphemism. Literal meaning of Gona is the Bull and the Satha is the beast. Etymology of this term is based on the fact that Gonorrhea (a form of STD) can be easily transmitted by prostitutes.
  • Jack Gahanawa (ජැක් ගහනවා) - Having sexual fantasy by Pressing genitalia against female commuters of crowded public transport such as buses, trains. This is embarrassingly common occarance that female commuters have to live with. Also note that it is very common for young and attractive male commuters to experience similar harassment from homosexual males. (in the case of male/male, it is more of Allanawa kind of acts than jack gahanawa). In Sri Lankan context, it is extremely rare for women to victimize men in this manner in public transportation, although there are instances of female to female sexual contact.
  • (Baduwak) Kanawa - Somewhat outdated term which means excessive kissing (necking) and licking of body parts (usually) without any removal of cloths(not to be confused with the term Diva Daanawa).
  • Katata Gannawa and Katata Denawa - Performing and receiving oral sex. Fellatio
  • Kelin Wenawa - Getting an erection. Naginawa is also used. (uasge e.g. 'Athana inna baduage gala dekala Aruta negala' means 'That guy got a hard-on seeing that chick's leg')
  • Kolu Kaaraya - Male homosexual. Kollo Gahanawa is the act of promiscuous homosexual behavior of a Kolu Karaya. Similarly Badu Kaaraya is used to refer to a sexually promiscuous hetrasexual person.
  • Nuula Kædenawa and Nuula Kada Gannawa - male version of Pettiya Kædenawa and Pettiya Kada Gannawa (Just like with the case of Pettiya Kedeema, the event Noola Kedeema is not technically correct or proper means of verifying virginity. For most males, the Noola does not have any physical significance with the act of sexual intercourse)
  • Pettiya (පෙට්ටිය) - Euphemism for hymen. Literally means box. Pettiya Kadanawa (පෙට්ටිය කඩනවා) - Former means de-flowering of a female by a male. Pettiya Kadaa Gannawa (පෙට්ටිය කඩා ගන්නවා) - The situation of loosing virginity.
  • Polima (පෝළිම) - Euphemism for gang bang. Literally means 'the queue'. Can even mean Gang Rape (e.g seniors la detun denek freshiyekta polimak daala kiyala kata kathawak thiyenawa means 'There is rumor that couple of seniors have gang raped a fresher girl')
  • Pol leligahanawa - Having sex with woman on top position
  • Pita Yanawa (පිට යනවා) - Literal meaning 'going out' which refers to having extramarital relationship.
  • Puka Denawa (පුක දෙනවා) - Submissive act of offering the anus for penetration. This especially used to refer to submissive male behavior in homo-erotic context. A derivative, Denawa (දෙනවා) when used by itself in this context, means the same. However, certain people (specially females) use this term to mean 'sucking up the hierarchy' sometimes even without knowing the etymology of the term.
  • Puke Arinawa (පුකේ අරිනවා) - Anal penetration.
  • Nidiwadinawa - Literally 'sleeping with' meaning having sexual intercourse.( non 'hip' outdated term)
  • Thalanawa - Simulating the body movements of a sexual intercourse, (Dry Humping) or any other forms of non-penetrative sex, while fully or partially clothed; hence without the risk of actual penetration, loss of virginity, pregnancy etc. Can also fefer to just touching and squeezing of female partners body parts, specially breasts.
  • Thola Denawa (තොල දෙනවා) - Romantic/erotic kissing on the lips. Usually regarded as the 'first base' of sexual foreplay by young adults and adolescents in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lankan context this is regarded as the BIG first step in romantic/erotic relationship. The first base can eventually be followed by activities such as Athaganawa which refers to soft touching of the body which may include erotic zones such as Gala followed by Mirikanawa which refers to touching and squeezing of body parts which may include Gedi. Acts such as Katata Denawa, Ethule Gahanawa are usually not in this line of romantic foreplay, till the relationship establishes in to a physical one (within marriage or pre-marriage). Acts like Puke Areema are regarded as sexual perversion.
  • Wela - Porn. Wela baanawa - downloading porn from internet. Wela Pattara - Porno/Adult publications. The term Wela derives from the euphemisms for male masterbation Wela Adinawa.

Examples of Extremely Taboo Sexual Profanity

Sexual slang mentioned below are regarded highly taboo in Sinhala speaking society, and are not supposed to be written down in any form, in any venue. This Wikipedia article makes an exception for the sake of completeness. These terms are collectively called kunu harupa in Sinhala which literally means 'dirty/rotten utterings'. It is difficult and nearly impossible to find references to Sinhala profanity. Definitions of such are not found in any public domain literature in the Internet or outside of Internet, apart from occasional un-moderated talk page or a blog in the internet or graffiti and scribbles found in public toilets.

  • Bijja (බිජ්ජ) - An outdated term for penis (specially a small penis) Baava (බාව) is also an outdated term for the same (specially a large penis). Jundaa (ජුන්ඩා) is another outdated term, almost phased out.
  • Chichchiya (චිච්චිය) - Female genitalia. ('pussy'). This is not in mainstream use, and this word derives from the Tamil language slang 'Chicha' which can refer to either male or female genitalia.
  • Hæminenawa (හැමිනෙනවා) - An outdated term for 'Fuck'.
  • Hukanawa (හුකනවා) - Fuck. However regarded as Extremely taboo, and should not be used as a Sinhala equivalent of 'Fuck'.
  • Huththa (හුත්ත) - Female genitalia. Similar to 'Cunt'. Extremely taboo. There are many derivatives using the base words Hutta (හුත්ත) and Hukana (හුකන) which creates extremely unpleasant combinations, such as Huttige Puta (හුත්තිගෙ පුතා) (which is similar to Bællige Putha (බැල්ලිගෙ පුතා) (Son-of-a-bitch) in word usage but much more valgar), Mona Huttak da (මොන හුත්තක්ද?) (meaning 'What the fuck?') and most unpleasant of them all is the Ammata Hukapang (අම්මට හුකපං) (which means 'Fuck your mom') which has a crude incestuous reference.
  • Pissu-Hutta (පිස්සු හුත්තා) - This composite term is used as a single phrase to give the meaning 'crazy idiot'. E.g. Ethana hitiya sikka maha pissu-huttek, mata ethulata yanna dunne nehe ne.
  • Kæri (කැරි) - Semen. Similar to the noun 'cum'. Extremely taboo. (Quite interestingly, the Hebrew term Keri means 'seminal emission'.)[3]
  • Kæri Balla (කැරි බල්ලා) which literally translates as 'Cum Dog' is regarded as an extremely offensive term. The combination Kæri Huththige Putha (කැරි හුත්තිගෙ පුතා) ('son of a cum soaked cunt') can be as worst as profanity can get in Sinhala language and most people will be extremely offended even to read this phrase in a scholarly article such as this one.
  • Kimba (කිම්බ) - An outdated term for 'Cunt'
  • Paiya (පයිය) - Dick. Extremely taboo.
  • Paka (පක) - Male genitalia. Extremely taboo.
  • Piththama (පිත්තම) - An outdated term for 'Cunt'.

See also

Further reading

  • Disanayaka, J.B, 1998, Understanding the Sinhalese, ISBN 978-9552023231
  • Gair, J. W., 1970, Colloquial Sinhalese Clause Structures (no ISBN available before 1970)
  • Inman, M. V., 1994, Semantics and Pragmatics of Colloquial Sinhala Involitive Verbs, Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Stanford, CA: Department of Linguistics, Stanford University (no ISBN available, unpublished paper)


  1. ^ Carter, Charles: A Sinhalese-English Dictionary. Reprint, New Delhi 1996. ISBN 81-206-1174-8
  2. ^ Silva KT, Sivayoganathan C, Lewis J (1998) Love, sex. and peer activity in a sample of youth in Sri Lanka
  3. ^ Keri - The Hebrew term for 'seminal emission'

NOTE: It is difficult and nearly impossible to find references to Sinhala profanity which is considered to be extremely taboo that definitions of those words are not found in any public domain literature in the Internet of outside of Internet.

External links

[[Category:Lists of slang|Sinhala Slang]] [[Category:Slang by language|Sri lankan]] [[Category:Sexual slang|Sri Lankan (Sinhala) Slang]] [[Category:Sinhala|Sinhala Slang]]