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GSB Konkani Dictionary

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Usage of 'double rhyming' words in Konkani - A humorous write-up

One fine morning, my friend Gulgulo invited me for a coffee and panchadik (chitchat). Gulgulo is his nick name, since he is fond of gulgule (earthen pot) water. He pours kiTikiTi (boiling) water into the pot and allows it to cool overnight. As I entered Gulgule’s home, a ghamgham aroma of freshly prepared coffee welcomed me. Then a bowl full of hunihuni chakkuli straight from the frying pan, arrived. Ekek (each one) tasted differently. If first one was nurnuri (crispy), the second one was kurkuri (crunchy), and the third one was kaTkaTi (hard nut) that I felt my teeth would break off. I had churchur (worry) about tooth damage for a while. The last chakkuli was chivchivi (soft) specially pulled out of the frying pan when it is half fried.

Image: Chakkuli - Nur-Nuri, Kur-Kuri or kaT-kaTi?
© mysorecoconut - licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Please note the specialty of the Konkani language. It is enriched with many double rhyming words (English examples: murmur, pompom, tartar) wherein the first half of a word is repeated within the same word. Moreover these words express what our senses feel. Now, let me continue with the article.

Slowly my friend opened the topic of interest: “Come on, listen to me” he did gusgus (whisper) into my ears – “marriage date fixed, it is on 4th Sunday, and you are my doDDo” (one who sits besides bridegroom in the mantap until bride joins - a sort of a best man). Haahaa he laughed and served me a sweet: sheera. It was pichipichi (soft), and I felt the guLiguLi (globules) in my mouth, but it was very tasty.

Just as I emptied the plate, the bride walked in. The KuTkuTi (hefty orwell built) bridegroom, my friend Gulgule had selected a saTsaTi (brisk) walking bride. Ms. SaTsaTi hoom galgalthaa (was sweating profusely). Her mother proudly said “She drinks 8 cups of water, and walks aaTaaT (8) kilometers daily. She is dieting, eats thode thode (little quantity at a time). This is all to get into a great shape, before the marriage.” I thought “All this will be short lived. She will be back to her normal gulguli (plumpy) shape within a month after marriage.” But then, it is called a sign of progress, happiness, and prosperity.

On the day of marriage, we got up phalphalleri (before sunrise). The skywas cloudy, typical weather in west coast of India during monsoon. We experienced piripiri pavsu (drizzle) at the beginning. In minutes the sky wasovercast, exhibiting nature's wonderful light and sound show jhagjhagu(lightening), and guDuguDu (thounders) followed by dharandhar (continuous downpour). We prayed, deva deva (O God), please spare this day for the marriage.

It seems Rain God listened to our prayers as there was no rain after 7am. However we had to use the muddy pichpichi (slushy) walkway. The mud that splashed and created a permanent artwork on everyone's ceremonial attire while also leaving the lower portion vallevalle (wet). It was very windy and cold. A few had kaDkaDo (shivers). By that afternoon we went to temple in the raNraN vath (scorching sunshine), did pradakshina on bare foot, and resulted in saNsaN (burns) on the soles of our feet.

The bride, SaTsaTi, walked in with kilikili (sound of gingle bells) attached to the anklets.Bridal decoration was super. Head was fully covered with jasmine that wascontinuously emitting ghamgham (fragrance). Garland was made of rangarang(colored) flowers. Jewels and zari borders were zagzagi (shining). Next five minutesall ladies had gusgus (whispers) only about the bridal jewelry. Bride had tough time in maneuvering vilivili (slippery) silk saree and walking into the mantap. I am sure she and the groom were much exited and their hearts were beating DhadaDhada.

Ceremony was quite traditional as usual we enjoyed the marriage galgalo. The loud cherencheren and paranparan talking by the guests was competing with the welcome band’s dhamdham (drumbeats). I could hear a lot of ‘vhai-vhai’ ‘nhai-nhai’ and ‘na-na’ in the conversations. The music was fantastic, but for the defective sound system that added karkar kirkir (noise) giving me mathek kankan (throbbing headache). The Priest was in great mood pouring ghee profusely into the havan getting the flame into bhagbhag (glow) while ringing the bell TanTan. Photographer focused on all events very well and was busy doing chikupuku with his flash.

I love to watch mass cooking. In the kitchen, helpers were busy barbari (liberally) cutting vegetables into desired pieces. At the final stage, the phaTphaT sound of mustard seasoning and the rising aroma welcomed everyone to the dining hall. Dinner was fabulous with chaar-chaar (four) varieties of sweets, savories, dishes, papads, etc. While chewing bijbiji (soft) paan we got the feedback on the feast. Dab-dabi (thick) valval got the first prize. Khatkhatho won the second prize. Bibbe thendle upkari lost the prize all because it was half cooked and tasted kachkachi (raw). Among kurkuri eatables crispy bhindi fries were outstanding; they were not at all buLbuLi (slimy). The youngsters were eager to serve food on plantain leaves for those seated on the floor in the traditional way. The elders were instructing the boys “Don’t serve Bhasa-bhasa (too much), serve yede-yede (small quantities) only, serve more only if asked for”. The boys agreed saying “jaaith-jaaith”.

In the afternoon, mirimiri (tingling) spice tea and chowchow (mixture) was served before it is time to say bye-bye which was followed by a concluding session drenched with baLbaLi (flowing) tears. But the bride appeared quite cheerful, had a doublewide smile while walking away comfortably with her husband and in-laws.

One year passed. Gulgulo was busy with baabbaak nunnu, kokko, mammam etc.(feeding milk, rice, eatables to AmmaNNu the baby), cleaning up the jijji (mess). This was followed by a jojo (song) to induce thaathi (sleep) to the baby. Soon the baby learnt to speak words such as amma, ajjo, mamama etc. Probably Konkani is the only language with a voluminous vocabulary specially constructed for toddler’s use only. Child loves to wear bamba (jewels), place a colored thitho (dot) on the forehead, apply theththi (oil) onto hair, comb and decorate with puppaa (flowers), put on colorful chocho (dress), and go to the temple to do pampa (namaskaar). Now AmmaNNu’s taste buds are active, she says mimi (chilli) is hot, bobbo (dosa) is tasty, kekke (banana) is sweet etc. She likes to go peppe (outing), loves to watch memme (fish) in the pond, gaayi (cow) feeding nunnu (milk) to buchchi (calf), kaakkamam (crow) picking the food spilled on the deck and then go burraa (flying away), kokoko (chicken) following its mom, bowbow (dog) wagging its baala (tail), meowmeow (cat) drinking milk and then sounding purrpurr. Children catch jigjigi (twinkling) fireflies in the night, and scared to see the eyes of gugumu (owl). Generally babies are afraid of gongo (strangers) with gugum (long gowns). Children are fascinated to see large animals like elephants, whale, or a jugjug train. They love to play kuku-achchi (a hide and seek game) that starts with a kukkuli (whistle).

As AmmaNNu turns one, she eats fast gabgabi khaathaa, then tries to ibbi ibbi raab (stand up), and doing chant chant (taking baby steps). She tries to dhavnu dhavnu vaggi vaggi (run fast) but falls down bumma and gets bubu (hurt). Watching her we, poNu poNu. haasta i.e ROFLOL, Rolling On Floor Laughing Out Loud.

What is the origin of word Konkani? I guess, it is koNikoNi, easy to speaklanguage by koNi (any one) to koNi (any one) with great flexibility and high level ofblend-ability of any number of local or foreign words. I have a bunch of friends who speak Konkani, start with a few words in Konkani: haava sangthaa,then fill entire sentence with gaDbaD (hurry burry) English. We are proud to have Konkani jibbe ruchi taste, culture and traditions.

Probably names such as Kaikai in Ramayana, Dumdum airport in Kolkatta, Murmura Sea in Turkey, Tsetse insect of Africa, Alfalfa grass, must have Konkani influence. Let me stop this karkari write up or baDbaDi talk at this stage lest readers might get maththek kaNkaN.

Please feel free to DabDab knock at the author’s door to provide feedback.

© Dr. Manjeshwar Ganesha Kamath

The author is based out of North Carolina, USA. He does look forward to your comments. Post them below or send them to and we will forward it onto the author.
Wordtag Images used in the article (2nos) are courtesy of


Pravin da said...

barebare baraila wajjuchaka layak layak jatta ,khai khai dakkunu hey wotto wottu kelle , asshi baraita raaba

good ones!

Pravin DA

प्रोफेसर (डॉ०) सु० म० तडकोडकर said...

Usage of 'double rhyming' words in Konkani - A humorous write-up, an article written by Dr. Manjeshwar Ganesh Kamath has been an eye opener to all those who feel that the Konkani language does not have wealth of rich vocabulary and get intoxicated by foreign words i n stead. Such sonoric - diaptypic variation - 'double rhyming' ('Naadaanukaaree') usage of words enriches style of a speaker.

I must also thank Dr. Kamath, for he has given English meaning of each of the Naadaanukaaree word. This diaptypic variation should help a Konkani speaker to comprehend the strength of her / his own language.

May I give a few words herewith of the same genre?

- behaviour, chastity,
- abound, abundant,
3. Churchure – (kaakullatt) – sympathy,
4.Daga-dagaawanay - affront,
5. Dhada-dhaakat - able-bodied,
6.Farrar-faar(faar-paetta) - shooting,
7.Foaddaa-Foadd - ache,
8.Gadday-Faadday - even-uneven,
9. Haya-haya - yes, yes,
10 Jaya-jayakaar - acclaim,
11.kalla-wallaawapa- agonize,
12.Khata-khateeta - boiled,
13.Kuchkucheet - abound,
14.Kul-kullapa- to get scared, aghast
15.Kulla-kullawapa - to scare,
16.Kumya-kumya - barking of dogs, foxes in pain,
17. Maanddaa-maand - an arrangement,
18.Moava-moava - soft,
19.Oabadda-dhoabadd- rough,
20.Sadd-saddeeta - agile,
21.Salla-salleeta - boiled,
22.Tara-tarasaanna - bracing, encouraging, tonic
23.Uday-uday- acclaim, acclamation,
24.Waankaddo-tikddo- haphazard,
25.Zhiga-zhigeeta / zoga-zogeet - brilliant

Shrikant N Shenoy said...


Superb, rib-tickling. I could not read more than half of it till now as I could not control my laughter!

Shrikant N Shenoy

(via email)

Kavitha Kamath said...

This makes us realize how funny we speak!
Simply superb way author has put it!! gr8 job :)

Thanks Roshan for sharing this article.


(via email)

Gurudath Pai said...

Dear Mr. Kamath,

Its a very good writing. I liked it a lot. At each sentence I was translating it back to konkani and enjoyed it even more. Thank you for sharing it with us.

please keep up the good work


Bharath!!!! said...

masth masth laik laik barela,ashi ashi baretha raba

Smitha Rao said...

Great article....It was absolutely hilarious for people who speak konkani.
While reading it we laughed so much we had bhalbhali tears in our eyes.

Smitha Rao

(via email)

Jayashree Kini said...

Excellent article. Very good wit and humor while bringing back good memories from back home.

Unknown said...

From start to finish it was
hilarious. It is now that i realised that our language has so
many double rhyming words which
never occured to me and i was
taking it for granted.
Thanks, you made my day.
Sudhakar Bhat

Jayvanthy Hattangdi said...

Well done Doctor! Our Language is really beautiful!

Reading through your Story took me back to my own youth when such words were used so casually and "Sahaj"ly.

Today with most of us spicing our Konkani with English, we may start a sentence in Amchigele but end up in English. In the process, we seem to have left many of these words behind. I wonder how many of our children or grandchildren are familiar with more than 20% of these words.

Your story gives me the inspiration to make an effort to end my sentences in Amchigele and include more of these words when I talk to the Juniors from Today.

Jayvanthy Hattangdi

(via email)

Ashok Mundkur said...

Hi there Ganesha
I'm Ashok Mundkur form Bombay (or Mumbai now, as the politicians would have it).

Your article on "Double rhyming words in Konkani" seems to be doing the rounds of
the Konkani-speaking population on the Net.

Congrats.It was a delightful article.
My intention to write you this email was not only to wish you on the article but also
to suggest that you share all your articles with mags that cater to the Konkani
community like for instance...The Kanara Saraswat published in Bombay as well as
the Net. This would be just one of the ways to save our language and our culture.

Their email address is:
They reside at: on the Net

Best Wishes.

(via email)

Deepa said...

Dear Dr. Kamath,

I have read your article on double rhyming words in Konkani.
Much as I have used several of them in my daily life, it was quite
interesting reading them 'ottu ottu' in one piece.

Thanks for putting them together in one hilarious note, reading which made
me laugh to myself.
Will definitely share it with my parents at home, they will love it for

God bless you to write 'masta masta' like this.

Cheers, Deepa

(via email)

B.G.Baliga said...


Dr.Manjeshwar Ganesha Kamath,
North Carolina, U.S.A.

I enjoyed reading your excellent write-up.

Please keep writing.

Thrissur, (Kerala)

(via email)

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