Me Thinks

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The derogatory "di"

When you complete a very important task and wait for the result and when you have a lot of time, you think about weird things and wonder how and why certain things are the way they are. I am in one such mood.
When I call a guy using the "da" word, I implicitly give him the right to use "di" with me. Thats my view. I don't use "da" with every guy I meet. Some couples use "da" to refer to each other when they are kuchi-kooing. Some girls use "da" amongst themselves and think its very endearing. But guys use "di" amongst themselves only when they want to insult. In movies, you always find the bad guy telling the good guy "Nee va di, unna gavanicchikkaren". And if a guy calls a girl di, he is a branded MCP. Does di sound worse than da? Or is da cooler than di? I think this descrimination perpetrated mostly by women upon their very own "di" is very bad.
I know of a couple where the wife calls the hubby "da" publicly (she doesn't mean any disrespect for sure) and is very proud about her "cool" husband. He is not just cool because he allows her to use da with him but because he doesn't use di in turn. Somehow that just doesn't sound right to me.

18 Comments:

Blogger Hawkeye said...

i neither like 'da' nor 'di'. never call my wife 'di' and wud totally hate it if she calls me 'da' - dunno why?

11:49 AM  
Blogger Ginkgo said...

:-)
I cud have a diff view..but then..had u knwn me, Ive never been normal :-)

anyway, to me calling my friends Di or da (depending on what gender) only signifies closeness..

The other extreme, like calling someone respectfully..u always maintain a distance with him..
like using Neenga, vanga ponga as compared to nee vaa po...etc..

Same goes for calling someone with their names..

Again, as I said earlier..I dont think 'normally' as others do :-)

3:08 PM  
Blogger tilotamma said...

Call me old but I don't like these new songs where the heroine goes edhu da, adhu da. Narasama errukku !

My dad and mom never call me di . They know my views on that. Only my brother has the privilege but then I call him da also.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Nilu said...

All my friends who are women and Tamil call me "da". I don't know, it seems kinda cool when women do that.

I never ever use "di" because of the same reasons I don't swear often in Tamil - it sounds gross. No idea why.

Seriously, try calling someone a bastard and then try translating it into Tamil - you will see what I mean. Your explanations of Tarantino induced tolerance will not be accepted.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Deepa said...

Hawkeye, thats fair.:-)
Ginkgo, I see what you are saying. We chennai-ites prefer va to vaanga coz thats more personal. You are not alone on this. Try not to call a person from Coimbatore like that. And dont worry you are "normal".:-)
Tilo, ditto. My bro is the only one to use di (in abundance) with me in my house. Well, I use da liberally with him. Somehow with siblings it just doesn't sound gross, does it? Or is it my biased thinking at play here?
Nilu, da is tamil too.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Nilu said...

I know. Thats my freakin point.

"da" ain't gross. "di" is. No idea why. Fuck ain't gross. Its Tamil equivalent is. Same is the case with most expletives.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

di is uncool
da is cool

so many things when utterred by women are cool - this is one among them :)

Hari

8:33 AM  
Blogger Deepa said...

lol...Hari. Sustained and no questions.:-)

9:27 AM  
Blogger thennavan said...

(Imagine this joke in Thamizh letters :-)) Oru appa paiyan kitte sonnaar "nee periyavangalai ellaam da illai di pottu kooppidakkoodaadhunnu"; paiyan udane sonnaan "sari daadi (daddy)"

:-)

12:51 AM  
Blogger Deepa said...

Thennavan, what a ka'di'!!:-)

3:09 PM  
Blogger narayanan said...

Thats the way we've been brought up, my mom gives a 'look' even if I were to call a girl 10 years younger than me. But that girl can progress from -nga to nee-va-po to 'da'.

cant even call my close friend by 'di' even rarely. Thats unfair, but I've lived with being called 'da'.

(Shall I start a salai mariyal in Times Square for this :D)

-narayanan

11:38 PM  
Blogger Deepa said...

Narayanan, porutthadhu podhum pongi ezhu (nga):-) Mariyal on Times Square? There is already a strike going on over there right now. Try just getting there.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Me too said...

I am of that category who use 'da' occasionally but hate someone call me 'di' even once!! My brother used it as his last 'asthram'!! LOL!

5:52 PM  
Blogger Rajesh said...

the irony is you chose to spell discrimination with "de" instead of "di".


I know it was a typo. But caught my eye. :-)

2:01 PM  
Blogger Kamal Aanand (Kamz) said...

Before marriage when we spent numerous hours on phone, my wife used to call me 'nenga, vanga, ponga'. Once marriage was over, she quickly got onto use the word 'da'. I have never found it derogatory. But it did take some time for me to call her 'di' in public. Now both of us are used to it. But when my mom's there, she tends to hold her tounge. :)

3:32 AM  
Blogger orkutbot said...

Pardon me for jumping in but what does da and di mean? I was googling for the meaning of the word "da" and I found this site. But I haven't been able to find the meaning of da yet obviously :(

7:31 AM  
Blogger Archu said...

I like it when my guy friend calls me 'di' !!! When i actually started to talk to him at the beginning he'll only use one word replies like 'oh,hm,nm...etc' but now suddenly he started to call me as 'di' !!! Is it means that he became closer to me !!! *confused* P.S. He is my crush too :P

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some decades ago in most Tamil speaking areas, villages, towns even cities calling sisters, cousins, wives "di" was common. Suddenly those who migrated from villages to cities like Bombay, Calcautta, Delhi and Madras, when called "di" the girls took offence and parents looked upon the caller as uncivilized. Frankly speaking "di" showed some kind of closeness. No wife would call her husband "da". That was disrespecting. But today and last 10-15 years it has become some kind of fashion for girls/wives calling male friends/husbands "da" while male friends/husbands never use "di". Da is ok with brothers and cousins but not to husbands/male friends. In all TV Tamil serials "da" is so liberally used while "di" is not. Parents using "da" on their daughters and girls/sisters among themselves has become very common. Is it a cultural revolution?

2:41 AM  

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