Neologisms in Indian Social Media
word cloud of neologisms

© A. Avtans

A neologism is a newly coined word or expression which has emerged into common usage overtime. In this process some neologisms are assimilated into the mainstream language, and some do not gain wider acceptance. Some examples of neologisms in English are:

  • A completely new word (e.g. blutter: to give a long, rambling speech about uncertainty)
  • A new combination of existing words (e.g. digital detox)
  • A new meaning for an existing word (e.g. mouse : a computer mouse )

In yesteryears, literary writings, newspapers, TV and films, used to be the primary sources of neologisms in languages. But with the arrival of social media, a large number of neologisms is being created and used over world wide web by the people. In this short piece, I will discuss some contemporary neologisms related to socio-politics in languages like Hindi-Urdu, English & Malayalam. To our surprise most of these neologisms are hateful or distasteful terms stereotyping people and communities. But nevertheless people (trolls or not) on the Indian social media are voraciously using them in their discourse. Here are some popular Indian neologisms from social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.):

AAPtard (आपटार्ड) = a blind supporter of AAP {Aam Aadmi Party} (AAP + Retard)

Amittadi (അമിട്ടടി) = a reference to BJP president Amit Shah in Malayalam {state language of Kerala, India} (coined from Amittadi = fireworks, as someone who chickens out on commitments or runs away in the middle of something.

bhakta (भक्त) = a die hard supporter of right wing Bhartiya Janata Party ‘BJP’ (coined from Hindi bhakta = a religious devotee in Hinduism.)

Bheemta (भीमटा) = a supporter of B.R Ambedkar (an Indian social reformer and political leader of Dalit community).

Chrislamcommie = a portmanteau of Christian + Islamic + Communist (noun / adjective)

Congi (कॉङ्गी) = a supporter of Indian National congress (noun)

Dalitistan (दलितिस्तान) =  an imagined land of Dalits i.e. ex-untouchable people carved out of Indian nation (Derived on the lines of Hindustan, Pakistan etc.)

Gobarchand (गोबरचंद) = a supporter of Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha {RSS} (Coined from Hindi gobar = cow-dung + chand {a Hindu last name}

Gobarbhakta (गोबरभक्त) = supporter of Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha {RSS} (Coined from Hindi gobar = cow-dung + bhakta {a devotee}

Godi Media (गोदी मीडिया) = a reference to pro-government media houses (coined from Hindi godi {गोदी} = lap + media = media sitting on laps)

Gomutra Drinker (गोमुत्र ड्रिंकर) = a die hard supporter of right wing Bhartiya Janata Party ‘BJP’ (coined from Hindi gaumutra {गौमुत्र} = cow urine + Drinker.)

Gau Rakshak (गौ रक्षक) = cow vigilante (from Hindi gau {गौ} = cow + rakshak {रक्षक} (protector)

Khangressi (ख़ांग्रेसी) = an Indian national congress supporter (portmanteau of Khan {a common Muslim last name in India & Pakistan} + Congress)

Khujliwaal (खुजलीवाल) = a nickname of Aam Aadmi Patry leader Arvind Kejriwal ( from Hindi khujli {खुजली} = itch + waal (वाल) i.e. a person who constantly rants against anybody who doesn’t agree with him.)

Kummanadi (കുമ്മനടി) = a reference to BJP Kerala State President Kummanam Rajasekharan in Malayalam {state language of Kerala, India} (coined from Kummanadi = a gate-crasher, or an unsolicited guest.  

Liberandu (लिबरेन्डु) = a reference to a person propagating liberal / left ideologies (coined from Liberal + Gaandu (गांडु) {a sodomite / male homosexual in Hindi}

Love Jihad (लव जिहाद) = Love + Jihad (Arabic ‘ a struggle or fight against the enemies of Islam’). The compound word means when one causes the other to convert to Islam through a false hope of love and marriage. Widely used to describe the process in which Muslim men pretend to be in love with non-Muslim women with an intention of converting them. Several compound with Jihad were later described by Zee news anchor Sudhir Chaudhary in his report on 11th March 2020. The news report carried terms like Media Jihad, Land Jihad, Education Jihad, History Jihad, Population Jihad etc.  

Modi Bhakt (मोदी भक्त) =  a person who idolizes Narendra Modi (current prime minister of India).

Modiyaapaa (मोदीयापा) = propaganda by Hindu nationalist supporters of Narendra Modi. ( derived from chutiyapa {चुतियापा}= Silliness, blunder, commit a faux pas; to goof up up; derived from the Hindi slang chut {चूत) for vagina.)

Mr. Tadipaar (मिस्टर तड़ीपार) = a reference to current BJP president Amit Shah (coined from Hindi word tadipaar { तड़ीपार } an externed person i.e. a person banished from a region or an area by court of law.)

Musanghi (मुसंघी) = Muslim zealots believing in Taliban style society (coined on the pattern of sanghi)

Pappu (पप्पू) = a nickname of Indian political leader Rahul Gandhi of Indian National congress ( Pappu is a common nickname used for children in Hindi and has the connotation of a ‘naive and an inept male’)

Pidi Media ( पिडी मीडिया)  =  a reference to pro-congress media houses (coined after the name of Rahul Gandhi’s pet dog  pidi  + media = media sitting acting like a pet)

Pheku / feku  (फेकू) = a nickname for Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (coined from Hindi verb phenknā (फेंकना) = to brag & boast lies)

Presstitute (प्रेस्टिट्यूट) = A term coined by Gerald Celente and often used by independent journalists and writers in the alternative media in reference to journalists and talking heads in the mainstream media who give biased and predetermined views in favor of the government and corporations, thus neglecting their fundamental duty of reporting news impartially. It is a portmanteau of press + prostitute.

Sanghi (संघी) = a supporter of Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha {RSS} (sangha = shortened version of RSS + ī = sanghi (one who belongs to RSS)

Sickular (सिकुलर) = a portmanteau of Sick + Secular = Sickular. It refers to a particular kind of Indian liberal who spouts secularism, but is really resorting to tokenism.

Tukde Tukde Gang (टुकड़े – टुकड़े गैंग) = a reference to protesting students from Jawaharlal Nehru university , New Delhi and their supporters in the country demanding a referendum on Kashmir (coined from the slogan ‘bharat tere tukde honge’ = India you will break into pieces) [synonymous with Aazaadi Gang {आज़ादी गैंग} ]

Urban Maoist (अरबन माओइस्ट) = a Maoist living in urban areas (as against to the notion that Maoism is primarily based on the peasantry as the vehicle of revolution.)

Yogi nahin Bhogi (योगी नहीं भोगी) = a reference to the current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath (this phrase translates as ‘Not a Yogi { ascetic } but a Bhogi {a materialist})

Urduwood उर्दूवुड =  a pejorative reference to Bollywood’s Hindi film industry based in Mumbai by Hindu nationalists favoring FAT (Farsi-Arabic-Turkish) vocabulary free style of language in the films.

Wokia वोकिया =  a pejorative reference to American slang term ‘woke‘  used in India & Pakistan

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