On the language of lingo

A friend pointed me to this Indiatimes article: Few Fundas on IIT Grammar which is, I guess, intended to be an IIT Madras slang primer for non-IITM folks. Considering how I seem to have some experience in this regard, I think it is appropriate that I correct some mistakes and offer some comments on the article.

I am going to quote extensively now, something I don't usually do. But I feel it's all right seeing how the original article itself seems to have been lifted from somewhere.

It's totally impossible to explain what the numerous IIT slangs mean.

What the hell does numerous slangs mean? Oh wait, isn't Indiatimes the same as ToI? Never mind then. ;-)

  • Despo - One of those (moronic) guys who take acads seriously.

This label can be generalized to anyone who takes anything too seriously. Despos obsess, so to speak.

  • Tool - What some despos pretend to do, i.e the exact opposite.

I don't recall using this term, ever.

  • Cash - To do better in an exam than expected (rarely occurs).

Can be generalized to some other activities too, hitting it off with a girl being the chief among them.

  • Poled - Totally screwed.

Again, never heard of it.

  • Cat - Someone who doesn't need to be a despo, and still peacefully cashes.

Didn't ever use this one either. Stud or God (frequently pronounced Jod) are the terms used to describe such gifted people.

  • Cogging - Using on-line help during an exam.

What the hell is on-line help? We didn't have no freaking Google access during exams! :-) Cogging means copying, plain and simple. Copying in exams or copying assignments, it's all cogging.

  • Arbit - Anything an IITian can't understand. Abbr. Arb

Is there such a thing that an IITian can't understand? ;-) Smugness aside, arbit is short for arbitrary and that's exactly what it means.

  • Junta - A zoo of IITians.

Junta actually means any large group of people.

  • Hajaar - A cageful of IITians.

Hajaar means an unquantified/unquantifiable large number/intensity.

  • Leprous - What all IIT fashion shows/cultural/sports performances usually are. Also Leper


  • Karra - Extreme (used in good and bad senses) eg. karra cash, karra shady.

Again: huh?

  • Pondy - An educational substitute for the opposite sex.

Porn, if that definition is too vague for you ;-)

  • Thorns, Gults, Sambars, Digs, Bongs - People from Kerala, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal.

Folks from Kerala are called Mallus in IITM, just like they are called everywhere else. Never heard anyone use Sambars.

  • Futs, Keef, Slysh - For Put, Keep and Slight.

I think the Futs referred to here is Puts which is a synonym for high five. Slysh is actually pronounced Slyshaa. Keef is the result of a hearing problem the writer suffers from. I guess.

  • Tooms! - The IITian word for 'Awesome!'. From Too much!

That's such a cute word! Ergo, it can't be a part of IITM lingo. :-)

  • Yengyo - It's Tamil,not Chinese. Usage similar to Tooms. Tamil meaning Somewhere

Maybe the Tam literate junta use it.

  • Boss - A word used (1) while talking to someone who's name one doesn't know or (2) while talking to someone who's name one does know. In that context, however, it is of no particular significance, a bit like the human appendix without it's attendant problems.

I don't think this word is unique to IITM slang.

  • Fart - In IIT lingo, to fart means to say something patently untrue/wildly exaggerated/impossible. So when someone is farting he is essentially bullshitting big-time. Such people are known as "fartoos".

No, such people are actually called fartgods.

  • Hawa - Hindi word meaning "Air", it is something which every freshie is supposed to know, "hawa" being an acronym for AIR ( his All India Rank in the Joint Entrance Examination)

Did you mean "hawa" is a synonym of AIR? Oh wait, ToI alert ;-)

  • Pseud - A derogatory term for anybody or anything that's very heavily westernised or has pretensions to be very sophisticated.

Like yours truly :-D Also, Pseud-God.

  • Slog - To work really hard is to slog. Big-time sloggoos literally slog.

Sloggoo is not a real word. Muggoo is. It derives from Mug which means to study hard. No relation to Muggles, etc.

  • If you want to call out for someone, use 'Machi' or 'Machchaan'. These terms mean bro-in-law in Tamil, wonder why they're used in IIT.

Same reason saale is used in the Hindi-speaking belt, whatever that reason is.

With that, we come to the end of this noble effort to set the record straight.

PS: This post's title is just some arbit fart for the sake of pseud-putting.


well nice post and quite markd as well ...overall ...some blog ...ciap:)

cat was pretty common in IITKgp. froosth was an enigmatic one - which was very context sensitive

Interesting! Would like to publish as an article in JAM magazine. If u're game mail me at rashmi_b@yahoo.com. You get paid for it :)

hmm...pretty good overall just wanted to point that like arbit is arbitrary , despo too is just short for desperate.

Beautifully put.. too good :)

And what on earth is Few Fundas? Every IITian I know uses full fundaes.

Have you seen the dictionary I maintain for IIT Kharagpur (Kgp). It is at http://www.ambujsaxena-iitkgp-dictionary.blogspot.com/

Hope you will like it.

Putits : Shall we go out? Putits.. Roddax, Cuppax, RodMax, CupMax GiveUp- GiivveUp Lots more.

Congrats Dude! I guess, Being "desipundited" signifies your official entry to Indian blog"osphere"! :) And I see that once you are there, you countinue to be there, unless your (blog's) standard cups majorly.

just wanted to clear the space some more :) - words like tool, cat and pole were used in my first year, but fast dying even then - this was 1999

1999 was my first year too but I don't recall hearing them. Of course, tool is popular American slang but I don't remember using it in IITM.

PS: Rajeev Ravi?

muggu god.. i wrote dozens of quizzes with half fundaes ;-)

> Shall we go out?

are you a girl? :p

Not the first time being desipundited :p

And I see that once you are there, you countinue to be there, unless your (blog's) standard cups majorly.

So I have to _work_ on this blog? I don't think the blog would've lasted for 2 years if I had to work to keep it running ;-)

"Saapaad" - the act of a higher ranked student stealthily apping to a lower ranked student's safe univ and RG'ing him. This was in use in '92.

Are There & Are Not There: Circa 1979-84

Origin: A prof who said "There are so many things are there" at least once per lecture - an eagerly awaited phenomenon. Evolved to a dismissal of anything or statement of questionable quality - "Are not there!" or a hearty endorsement - "Are there".

Is it alive, or is it deceased?

Rthere is alive and well it appears as recntly as 2006 - http://archiv.tu-chemnitz.de/pub/2006/0020/data/MAthesis_EvelynRichter.pdf

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