An unattributed, untitled piece of netsam forwarded to me by my cousin: I liked it, so I gave it a permanent home here.

Of all the dialects of Tamil in the world, the one spoken in Madras is indisputably the most elegant and most popular, to say the least. While some may argue that the primary reason for this is the relative simplicity of the dialect, many consider the "broad-mindedness" the Madras folks have demonstrated in acclimating to the liberalization, policy of the Indian govurmentu. "pinna ennaba, newspaper edtha enga pathalum liberliseshan... attha vutta TN Seshan!"

The aesthetic quality of Madras Tamil comes from the fact that a classical (and old) language like Tamil is given that contemporary touch by the constructive intrusions from languages like Hindi, Telugu, Greek, Italian, Persian and most importantly English (naduvula konjam uttaks naina). As a result, the language may sound uncivilized, from the point of view of the Madurai folks, who seemingly say 'Vaanga.. ponga..' even before 'veesing' the 'veecharuvaa' and the Coimbatore folks who add this sickening slur to every statement... and in their obsession with pure Tamil curb the unfettered evolution of the language, thereby leading to little or no development of the language itself. For instance, words like 'bejaar', 'peela', 'saavu graaki' have no sense and no equivalents in the Southern dialects of tamil. Certainly an inexplicable loss to Tamil Language! Now, really getting into the mechanics of the spoken language, the most important point is the relative position of the lips while speaking. While most tamil dialects involve a cavity of 2 inches between the lips,Madras tamil involves a much lesser gap (0.5 to 1.2 Inches). Mastering the exact position is half the language learnt.

Assuming we're using flash cards,

let this be Card# 1. All words -- more specifically, all verbs need to be consistently shortened adhering to a set of strict rules. padiththu(read), mudiththu(complete), sabiththu(curse) will be gracefully shortened as 'Pachchi', 'muchchi', 'sabchi'. Note the conversion of the syllable 'da' to 'cha'. This is essentially true for the entire gamut of emotions to be conveyed in Madras Tamil. 'kondirukkiren' is converted for simplicity to '...nikkeren'. As a corollary, 'padiththu kondirukkiren' '= 'pachchi-nikkeren' 'kuliththu kondirukkiren' = 'kulchi-nikkeren'. Readers can understand immediately that this was done to save time, so that in the same period of time a Madras Tamilar can convey 1.5 times that of a Madurai Tamilar and 5000 times that of a Coimbatore Tamilar (depending on the length of the drawl... like 'yaeeeeeeenunga?') One anomaly to this shortening rule is, some words get suffixed with the syllable 'ka'. So, summa = summaka, dhoora = dhooraka.

Let's say this is Card# 2. Madras Tamil does not use 'neenga' and 'nee' in different contexts. In fact, only 'nee' is used. This is not a deliberate attempt to degrade someone in public, but to offer a level playing field for everyone. So if the auto-karan asks 'enga ponum, unakku?' do not feel offended.

This is Card# 3. 'da' is used by ALL IIT guys and ALL policemen for quite different reasons. The tone of 'ennada, license enga, vootlaya?' and 'what da, where is the Jantha, da?' are self-explanatory. Incidentally, all words beginning with 'vee' can be unconditionally substituted with 'voo'. So 'Veedu' = 'voodu' and 'Vittuvidu' = 'vuttudu'. Coming back to 'da', a euphemism for that would be 'ba'. So a 'ennada' would be made to sound much less offensive with 'ennaba'. Other less effective words, principally used among friendsinclude 'naina','vaadhyaare', machi', 'berther'(brother),'allo'(hello)... the list is endless. When it comes to expressing intimacy and friendship, Madras Tamil is the best in the world.

This is Card# 4. 'enna'(what?) in Madras is 'yeenaa?'. So, combining quations (2) and (5), (sorry ba, 12th Maths madhiree aaychee) 'yeenaa pachchinikkera?', 'yeenaa kachinikkera?'.

zha This is Card# 5. The syllable 'zha'(as in tamizh) becomes 'ya'. So, 'vaazhai pazham' is 'vaaya payam', 'vaazhkai' is 'vaaykai', 'vazhukki' is 'vaykki'. Off the record, 'zha' is a pain in the butt. More than 95% of Tamil Nadu substitutes it with 'ya' or 'la'.

This is Card# 6. When it comes to borrowing words from other languages 'Madrassukku nigar Madrasse'. English words can be used in any context without feeling alien. 'wrongu', 'rightu', 'yechuseme', 'adjist', 'abase','abscond', 'beetiful', 'super', 'fruitu', 'pil im', 'figureu' and soon. Hindi has its contributions like 'bejaar'.Telugu: 'naina','baava', 'eppudu', 'cheppu' etc. Many such languages have their representations all of which cannot be listed here. Also singular and plurals in English are inversed. So, even one lady becomes 'ladees', one friend becomes 'priends', a vegetable puff becomes 'puphs' etc. Note: Never forget (1) and (3) even while using other languages.


Superlatives are mostly functions of time and fame. But some superlatives like 'Lord Labakdas' ,'Amricancitizen', 'Columbus', 'pisthu', 'pistha' can be used at any time,anywhere, guaranteed. The etymology of these words are unknown. Slangs are very important in Madras. Especially while drunk, during 'kozha adi sandai' and in the 'paal booth'. 'saavu graaki', 'somaari', 'kasmalum' can be used as and when required.

(Tamil spoken at Ethiraj, Stella Maris is entirely different and is beyond the scope of this article.)

At this point it would be apt to mention that though this cookbook would carry you through your daily chores in Madras, time and experience alone would increase your expertise in Madras Tamil - the Language of the 'Lords'.