Friday, March 03, 2006

Brother-in-Law!

If there were Gaali-Oscars, the "humble and ubiquitous" "saala" would the "Titanic". If there were Gaali-Grammys, "saala" would dominate like Michael Jackson in '83. If there were Gaali-Nobel Pri...ok, I'll stop.

According to Pareshaan, "saala" is a "classic", a "real masterpiece" and he begs us not to "abuse the abuse" by combining it with "other overpowering oaths".

You have my word, comrade!

But why is "saala" considered a profanity? Does anyone in the frickin' sub-continent know? It's the most goddamn important word in our language and not ONE website or blog has even a half-assed explanation of how (and when) this word became a swear word? Just what are Indian linguists, etymologists and word-collectors doing?

14 comments:

Pareshaan said...

Hahahaha...dude thanks for spreading the word. I hope to see a lot of work done on the etymology of Saala in the century ahead!

chandni said...

Hi KM....

I think the swear word comes form the literal "saala" i.e brother in law. U call some one ur saala when you're married to their sister.

May be it began to be used as a slang...coz one is trying to imply that one's sleeping with their sister...kind of op of BC...

but then its just a guess and logic...May be the reality is diff..

km said...

Chandni,

If and when I put together my thesis on "saala", you will receive just credits, I assure you :))

I think you make a very astute guess about that "implied" meaning there. (By that logic, I wonder why people don't call one another "beta" in a pejorative or derogatory sense?!)

Alok said...

Guess what the implied meaning of "mamu" is? specially when used by precocious kids ;)

Tabula Rasa said...

Maybe it's a corruption of some other similar-sounding word? In Bombay your ears constantly get assailed with something that sounds like "zhala", which I believe means "come on" or "let's go"...

GhostOfTomJoad said...

The literal translation, as we know, is brother-in-law. I guess it became a profanity b'cos of what that implies...intimacy with the sister. OR, in a real roundabout way, it could also mean that being close to one's in-laws is a bad thing :-) Who knows!

Thanks for visiting. And, since you're a tech person, would you know if I can uplink videos to my blog? If so, could you please let me know? Need to put up two AIDS awareness films.

km said...

The Tom Joad I know fought people in bars and went to prison for killing a man - but you make AIDS awareness films :)) Cool!

The easiest way to upload videos to your blog would be via either Google Video or YouTube (youtube.com).

You upload the video on their servers (as easy as attaching a file to an email) and then add a link to those videos on your blog. Voila!

Here's an example from Youtube (an AIDS awareness film):

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ybYpi2luz3k

If you scroll down a video-page, you will see that Youtube provides handy links to a URL as well as the option of embedding the video-player in the browser.

It is really that simple to use. Same with Google video.

If you still need help, let me know. I will be more than happy to help you out with the process.

GhostOfTomJoad said...

Thanks a ton, km! Shall try on Monday morn and let you know the result of our efforts.

That was Tom Joad. Me? I'm just his ghost and hardly as dynamic as the real thing :-)

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Too much to hope that I'd be the first to come up with that explanation, but I agree with it. Of course saala means "I rode your sister".

I see you've linked me. Huge compliment, bud. Thanks.
When I get around to editing my template, you will be right up there (and this is not a quid pro quo, you're just damn good)

GhostOfTomJoad said...

Hey km! Followed your instructions and have managed to upload one video. The link, if you're interested, is: http://youtube.com/watch?v=QOqpJ2JU2sw

This was just meant to be a test. Will be uploading this and the other two films some time during the week...with the end message and the NGO's name etc. Will write about this in a small post on my blog soon so that others can also watch the films, if they're interested. Thanks a ton for the help, pal! :-)

J said...

i swear, i jus cant do without 'saala'

km said...

Ghost: Mind if I link to the films on my blog?

Couch: Thanks, man. Those words mean a lot to me (and I don't mean the "you will be right up there" part...)

J: can anyone?

GhostOfTomJoad said...

Link it, by all means...except the end is a bit scratchy. We still need to insert the credits at the end, acknowledging the NGO. But, no problem, go ahead...do watch it first and link it if you think it's okay :-)

Once we insert the end messages and credits, I'll let you know about the other two fims as well. Thanks again.

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