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Idioms & Phrases

Mum & Ki na?

Interrogative Endings In daily parlance, when we talk to people, we invariably ask and answer questions pertaining to daily life. Sometimes we add different nuances to questions by the intonation we put into them. Such is undoubtedly the case with Konkani as well. But in Konkani, as in many other languages, we can add certain … Continue reading »

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Disachea disa

Day after day Disachea disa, ratichê rati, sumanachea sumana or satolleachea satollea, mhoineachea mhoinea, and vorsachea vorsaare similarly constructed phrases respectively meaning day after day, night after night, week after week, month after month and year after year. To examine the peculiar type of construction, let’s just take the first phrase: day after day. The word … Continue reading »

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Borem mhunn borem

“Thank God” — An expression of relief about what has or has not happened or what has or has not been done Borem mhunn borem literally means “good, therefore good” or, in slightly better English, “It’s good, so it’s good”. Borem is neuter singular of boro (masc), bori (fem), and both the occurrences of the word in … Continue reading »

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Hispa bhair

Beyond reckoning Languages have their peculiarities, and it may not always be easy or even possible to translate a phrase or sentence from one language to another with complete accuracy. At times it is a question of economy of words. We have earlier mentioned the present habitual tense which is embedded so seamlessly in Konkani grammar (Please … Continue reading »

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A man who resides in, and inherits, the wife’s house and property Ghor-zanvuy is the lucky man who for whatever reason inherits his parents-in-law’s house and property and parks himself therein. It’s quite a common practice in Goa, particularly when the wife has no brother who can be an heir to the family assets. Most often … Continue reading »

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Kalchi Koddi

Yesterday’s curry Kalchi koddi  used to be a very common phrase in the days gone by. Today it may not only sound stale but it may even be considered to represent something stale. Who would opt for yesterdays curry, after all? But such wasn’t the case in those days. Kalchi koddi owes its origin to … Continue reading »

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Hat pãy zhorounk

to slog and slave for a cause Hat-pãy zhorounk literally means to rub away or wear out one’s  hands and feet. The phrase is used to portray the dedicated hard work and intense labour one may have to go through for a relatively long period of time in order to further a particular cause like bringing up children or building … Continue reading »

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Mhojea patkacho khuris

The cross of my life “Mhojea patkacho khuris”   literally means, “The cross of my sin (singular)”, i.e., “the punishment for my sins”. It is generally used to describe a person, and usually a close family member, who is a source of one’s suffering. As you can see, it is generally and most appropriately (and sometimes even … Continue reading »

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Bhitorlê budicho

sly, crafty Bhitorlê budicho  strictly means: of inner mind. The word bud  has several meanings: it can stand for mind, advice, wisdom, and even lesson. It is equivalent to sly and hence is a pejorative phrase. The word bhitorlê takes a feminine ending because the word bud is feminine, but it is an adjectival phrase, … Continue reading »

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Fetyêk mharog

Costly by design This phrase has its origin in jewellery. Gold, for example, is expensive enough. But the quality of the design adds to the cost, mainly due to the goldsmith’s labour involved. The phrase is used when the material is relatively cheap but the cost of the finished product grows out of proportion to the cost … Continue reading »

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