Hyderabadi Urdu

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Hyderabadi Dakhani
حیدرآبادی اردو‬‎
Native to Telangana, Marathwada region of Maharashtra and Hyderabad-Karnatak region of Karnataka
Region Deccan
Urdu alphabet
Official status
Official language in
Erstwhile former Hyderabad Nation
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog dakh1244[1]
Hyderabad state from the Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909.jpg

Hyderabadi (Urdu: حیدرآبادی اردو‎ ) is a dialect of Dakhani, often mistaken as Urdu, it is actually a variant of Dakhini spoken in areas of the erstwhile Hyderabad State, which corresponds to the Indian state of Telangana, and the Marathwada region of Maharashtra and Hyderabad-Karnatak region of Karnataka. It is the native language of the Hyderabadi Muslims and their diaspora.[2] It contains loan words from Indian languages like Marathi, Telugu, Kannada and foreign languages like Arabic, Turkish and Persian.[3] Hyderabadi is considered to be the northern dialect of the Dakhini language.


The Hyderabadi dialect derives from Dakhini, that took root in the Deccan when Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb invaded and occupied the region and his armies introduced the "Camp" or "Lashkari" language to the area. Lashkari was the lingua franca born in Delhi and northern India as a necessity for the armies of a succession of Muslim invaders from Muslim lands in Central Asia to communicate with the native population. The language acquired more and more Persian and Arabic words in the Mughal court of Bahadur Shah Zafar, and was used by the intelligentsia of Delhi and Lucknow. In the Deccan, however, it retained its original form, referred to now as Dakhani (of, or pertaining to, Dakhan (South), Anglosized as Deccan).

Distinctive features

Hyderabadi is mutually intelligible with most Hindi/Urdu speakers but has distinctive features from interaction with local Indian Languages such as Marathi, Telugu, Kannada.


The letter ق (qāf) is pronounced as an unvoiced velar fricative /x/ with the same pronunciation as خ (khe) whereas in Standard Hindustani dialects the ق is pronounced as a velar plosive /k/ with the same pronunciation as ک (kāf). For example, the word 'qabar' (grave) is pronounced as 'khabar' (news).

Lexical features

Distinct vocabulary unique to Hyderabadis:[4]

  • Mout daldiyon- did very nicely
  • Anjaan maarrain - ignoring
  • آرین "ārain" - (is) coming; "آرہے ہیں" "ārahai hain" in standard Urdu
  • Baigan - (derogatory) literally means "eggplant" or "brinjal", but is a single word to express; failure, anxiety, anger, curiosity, love, pride, victory, sorrow, jealousy and humour. A variation of the word is "pinda" which has almost the same usage.
  • Bhairi - slap; in standard Urdu, slap would be "tamaacha".
  • Biscuit - (biscuit hai, biscuit hua) gone wrong, not good, worst, failure, not trustworthy, lousy, forewarn
  • Chambu - mug; also used as slang to express Exhaustion ( i.e. "Haalat chambu hogayee")→ "( um-dum -Tired")
  • Mereyku - my, instead of mujhey or mujhko in standard Urdu
  • Chupke to be - No reason
  • Hona - to want, instead of chahiye in Orthodox Urdu (instead of "mujhey woh chahiye" in Orthodox Urdu, Hyderabadi Urdu would use "mereyku woh hona.")
  • Hao - for yes, instead of "Haan".
  • Hallu - Slow
  • Haula - foolish, crazy person
  • Jaaraun - I am leaving
  • جارین "jārain" - (is) going; جارہے ہیں "jārahai hain" in standard Urdu
  • کائکوں "kaikūn" - why; کیوں "kyon" is standard Urdu.
  • Kaiku ki - wonder why, who knows why
  • کچا "kacha(i)" - wet; in standard Urdu, wet would be گیلا "gīla(i)". کچا "kacha(i)" in standard Urdu means "raw".
  • Katey - it is often used when a person mentions something told by someone else. It could be translated as "it seems". Usage: "Kal unay bahar jaara katey" means "It seems he is going outside tomorrow".
  • Kunjee - keys; in standard Urdu, keys would be "chaabee."
  • MiyaN - fellow (i.e. "Chalao miya." means "Let's go, man.")
  • Mallesh - very foolish
  • نکو "nakko" - an alternate (and informal) negative generally indicating "no", "no thanks" or "don't". Can be (and is often) used in place of مت "mat". نہیں "nahīn", نہ "nā" and مت "mat" (from traditional Urdu) are used where نکو "nakko" is inappropriate for the context or in polite situations.
  • پوٹٹی "poṭṭī" - derogatory term for girl
  • پوٹٹا "poṭṭā" - derogatory term for boy
  • Phukhat mein - free, pro bono
  • Patthey - buddy, follower
  • Peytabe - socks; in standard Urdu it would be "mauzey."
  • Pungi baji - got beaten, thrashed
  • Pitgaya - got or get beaten
  • Uney - he/she, instead of who in standard Urdu.
  • Tumaareku - you, instead of tumhey or tumko in standard Urdu
  • Tereyku (informal slang) - you, instead of tujhey or tujhko in standard Urdu
  • Londi - A female maid
  • Londa - A male maid

The word اِچ "ich" is often added after a noun or verb to express the confidence of the action. In standard Urdu, ہی "hi" would be used. For example: "Biryanich laaraun myn." In standard Urdu this would be "Biryani hi laa raha hun main".

The Urdu word ہے "hai" is often dropped. For example, Urdu "Mujhey maaloom hai" would be "Mereyku maaloom"

Peculiar features

The suffix "an" is often used to mark plurality. The letter 'n' is an almost silent nasal stop. For example, Log (people) would become Logaan, Baat (talk) would become Baataan, Aadmi (men) would become Aadmiyaan, etc. in the Hyderabadi dialect.

While talking, many long a's (as in "father") are pronounced "uh" as in "hut." For example, instead of "aadmi" (man) or "raasta" (path) in Orthodox Urdu, Hyderabadi would use "admi" and "rasta." Similarly "bhool" (to forget), "toot" (to break) and "chooriyan" (bangles) is "bhul", "tut" and "Churyan" in Hyderabadi.

Popularity and usage

Osmania University had adopted Dakhani as the medium of instruction as early as 1923 which was discontinued after the fall of Hyderabad in 1948, during Indian independence. In the early sixties, film star Mehmood popularized the another dialect, the Dakhni slang in Indian films, which originates from former Mysore State. Both Dakhani and Dakhni are different dialects, but they are born from a single language called Dakhini, where Dakani is used in Andhra/Telangana, and Dakhni is used in Karnataka.

A very famous Guinness record holder drama /stage comedy written in Dakhani is Adrak Ke Punjey. Many Urdu poets also write in the Hyderabadi dialect of Dakhani, including Pagal Adilabadi, Khwamakhwa and Nukko Hyderabadi (of Chicago, Illinois).

  • kaiku ki kya nae ki (I don't know why)
  • chodo miya (ignore)
  • light lo (take it easy)
  • aba pheka marra (making things up)
  • makki-kirkiri (what the hell)
  • zada nakko kar (don't act over smart)
  • kya toh bhi hora (what the hell is happening)
  • kahan mara rey (where the hell are you?)

Hyderabadi gained sudden prominence and recognition in 2006 after the success of the comedy film The Angrez that adopted the dialect. The film's success sparked several other Hyderabadi dialect films including: Kal ka nawaab, Hyderabad Nawaabs, Aadab Hyderabad, Gullu Dada, Gullu Dada returns, Berozgaar, Hungama In Dubai, Daawat-e-Ishq


Administratively, Hyderabad State was made up of sixteen districts, grouped into four divisions:

See also


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dakhini (Hyderabadi)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ "Common Expressions: Hyderabadi Urdu". 2011. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Kulkarni, M A Naeem and de Souza (1996). Mediaeval Deccan History. Popular Prakashan, Bombay. p. 63. ISBN 9788171545797. 
  4. ^ Varma, Vinay (10 September 2015). "My Hyderabad, how I Miss You". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 19 May 2018. 
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