Samosapedia: The Desi Dictionary

New Delhi: Facebook now recognises Hinglish in its language inserts. Over the years for all the South-Asian facebook users it’s become cool to be desi and make desi international.

But samosa is going to steal South Asian thunder. South Asians will now have our own urban dictionary to boast of.

You will not have to explain what ‘tubelight’, ‘bhai’, ‘izzat ka falooda’, ‘jugaad’ means to others. All you need is just direct them to Samosapedia.com.

Conceptualised on the lines of Urban Dictionary that started way back in 1999, and defines slang, ethnic culture words, phrases and phenomenon not found in standard dictionaries, Samosapedia attempts to give South Asian lingo its own space.

Founded by Arun Ranganathan, Vik Bhaskaran, Braxton Robaason, and Arvind Thyagarajan, the site claims it wants to catalog and celebrate the rich, diverse and ever-evolving landscape of shared South Asian vernacular.

Initially, the project was pegged as ‘wonly.in’ or ‘we are like this only’. But as the idea of starting the site, and curating dialects and the words across the sub continent became bigger, it was important to find a stronger, more unifying name. Since the idea was to incorporate the unique lexicon that defined Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and even Sri Lankans, they needed a name that transcended regional boundaries, yet celebrated localised and cultural jargon.

Samosapedia worked for this gang of boys for all the right reasons. Not only did all of them have a special fondness for ‘samosas’, especially during monsoons with a hot cup of chai, but nothing seemed more attractive than ‘samosa’, an Indian snack, which is found in some form or the other everywhere.

A major USP of the name: In Tamil, ‘samosapedia’ could translate to ‘hold the samosa‘, which sealed it as a community responsibility to contribute.

Though the amazing website is in its inception, it has a range of words that have caught on popularly over the years, but have never been really explained. It’s interactive and has already added 2,500 words and phrases since its launch.

Indians have always been great at mixing things with thousands of dialects and 22 official languages. Add to that the difference in slangs from one region to another, and additions and subtractions made along the way. It becomes routine for a Delhi to turn ‘bhaiya’ into Boss when he/she moves to Mumbai.

Language critics may laugh at the concept but young India is happy to give their thumbs up regardless.