This acronym is a popular slang among the youth to denote something (a person, song, dress style, hair style etc) that is passé, (BC = Before Christ). “A kawr hak chu a BC e” (Her clothes are so BC [out of fashion]), “i hla ngaihthlak kha a BC lutuk” (The song you’re listening to is very BC [old]) etc. Another slang sometimes used instead of BC is UT. UT refers to Union Territory, and Mizoram used to be a UT a long time ago before it became a State, hence the reference to something that happened a long time ago. “i hairstyle kha a UT lutuk” (Your hairstyle is very UT [out dated]). Even though old may be gold, the usage here is more about mocking somebody for not keeping up with the current fashion and style.
Another funny slang that I really love. You gotta give the Mizo youth credit for coming out with such ingenuity! We all know what the word coach means in English right? “To train somebody”. Well, the word “coach” in the Mizo context means “to flirt”. When somebody says “Michael an Mary a coach”, apart from just the meaning that “Michael flirted with Mary” it also means “Michael is training Rose”! LoLz. Because you know, one becomes smooth in “the game” only after a “personal experience” right?
|Contri / in con|
Mizos aren’t the only community over-using this much-hyped word. South Indians too have the habit of predominantly uttering the word “cool” (such as “cool drinks” instead of cold drinks). In Mizo, the word “cool” is used in contexts such as the ones used in English to describe somebody or something awesome or somebody with extraordinary composure. “A cool khawp mai” (He/she is extremely cool).
|Cow / cowboy|
Similar to the word “si” which is mentioned way below, people use the word “expi” to talk about the amount of experience the person has (which is obviously derived from the word “experience”). It can have both a negative and a positive insinuation.
- Positive: “Science lamah chuan expi a neih ngah” (He has a lot of experience in the field of science)
- Negative: “Kha nu kha chu a expi tawh khawp mai” (That girl has a lot of experience) where the experience mentioned here is about seduction, hence labeling the person as a flirt or somebody extremely loose.
“A va hot ve” (which means “[He/she/it] is very hot”) – The “hot” mentioned here does not translate into the English meaning for somebody sexy or the temperature “hot”, but instead refers to somebody who is full of activity, vigor, enthusiasm and exuberance. Even though it can indeed be used to describe somebody who is sexy, people very rarely use it, as there are other slang to describe such a person.
- Highly spirited/energetic/peppy: “a lam hot” (Literally it means “she danced hotly”). Again this does not refer to somebody dancing only in a sexy way. Suppose in a Church, some of the older folks are dancing slowly to the devotional song, and then somebody suddenly starts dancing vigorously consumed by the Holy Spirit. The youth who are sitting in the balcony may comment that the person is dancing “very hotly”.
- Exuberance: During a football match, the term “hot” will apply to the energetic vivified spectators cheering for the players. “mipui chu an hot” (Literally it means “The crowd is very hot”, where the “hot” is not in reference to the way the crowd is dressing up, but rather to their enthusiasm) or “boruak chu a hot” (The air is hot, where the “hot” is again not about the atmospheric temperature, but the tension and the wild cheers) which can even refer to incidences where the raving football fans come to blow with each other.
- Enthusiasm: “Hot” is used to describe somebody with great enthusiasm. Eg: “Johna pa chu a hot khawp mai” (John’s father is very hot) or “Ka ni chu a la hot lutuk” (My aunt is still very hot at this age), where the “hot” here is not about them actually being sexy but rather about how enthusiastic they still are at this age to party or dress up like teenagers. Such people are also disparagingly defined by the youth as “tar hot” where “tar” means old.
- The last meaning is the word “chhe hot”. “Chhe” is derived from “chhia”, which means “somebody who is not good looking”. Hence “chhe hot” literally means “ugly hot” :-) It is used on a girl who puts on a lot of makeup, well groomed hair style (usually colored), wears the latest designer labels and branded shoes etc. But all those extra accessories are not enough to hide the fact that she is not attractive at all. This term is also applicable to men. The youth call such a person “chhe hot”. Also see “chhe confi”.
This is used in the exact same context as “introduction”. “Min lo intro la” means “Introduce me to…”
The word “nice” is usually used in a negation with the word “not”. “A nice lo khawp mai” means “[it/he/she] is not nice (not a nice person)”. Apart from people and things, it can even be used for situations, especially uncomfortable situations. Suppose a teacher scolds a student harshly, the student would later say “a nice lo khawp mai”, which in this case means “it was not a very nice incident (to be scolded like that)” where the word nice in this case is similar to “pleasant”. Another popular usage of the above sentence is when it comes to manners. Suppose a man eats paan and spits it out openly on the side walk, people would comment “a nice lo khawp mai” which means “That’s not nice”. In this case it is similar to being “impolite” and “disgusting”.
- “i over lutuk” (Literally: you are over). The English sentence that would come closest to it would be “you are too much”. It is in reference to somebody who does things extremely or exaggerates stuff.
- “a tha over” or “a chhe over” (It/he/she is too good, or too bad) Here the word “over” is used as an intensifier, laying more stress on the adjective.
- “Ti over suh” (Don’t over do it)
Similar to the word “cow” and “man”, when we use the word “raw”, it usually means something macho or hardcore, like drinking hard alcohol without adding anything else (“a raw in in rawh”), a macho action figure like Rambo (“Rambo chu a raw khawp mai”), and doing something without using something that will make the job easier, like digging the ground with bare hands instead of a shovel (“a raw in a lai tawp”), pulling out a tooth without using anesthetics (“a raw in ha a pawt tir”), frying eggs without oil (“a raw in artui a kang”) and connecting a PC directly without using a UPS or a stabilizer (“a raw in ka connect tawp mai”). Sometimes, some men actually consider it Manly and a matter of pride to do things “rawly”, probably because of our head-hunting background
A cute slang that is quite useful if you don’t want others to know what you’re doing! It is used in the context of buying clothes that are sold in the second-hand market. “Vawin chu va shake lawk i la” (Let’s go and “shake” today). The “shake” mentioned here is used instead of “thing”. In Mizo, the verb “Thing” means “to shake”. Because when one is buying items from the second-hand market, one must carefully examine the goods everywhere to make sure it is not defected. That motion of such examination is similar to shaking (try picturing it in your head). Hence the slang “shake”. Some people might even tell you “Shake well” as a way of wishing you all the best so that you may get lucky and find some really good clothes in the second-hand market. Didn’t I tell you this was a cute slang?
The slang “si” is taken from the English word “senior”. The youth use it to describe somebody older than them, and is usually considered derogatory, because it is used mainly to describe a woman, and describing somebody old in this case is more about becoming senile, useless and loss of beauty rather than maturity (wisdom). Eg: “Kha nu chu a si ve tawh khawp mai” (That girl is really old) or “Ka si ve tep tawh alawm” (I am nearly becoming old now). It is usually in the negative. Only on rare occasions does it sound positive. Eg: “kan tum te chu an si hlawm khawp mai” (Literally it means “our opponents were old” but it translates into “our opponents had much more experience (and hence played better) than us”). See “Expi”.
|Tri / Zo|
This is another popular youth slang that many older folks fervently object to. “Tri” is from the English word “Tribal”, and “Zo” is from the word “Mizo”. When a youth says “khapa kha chu a tri khawp mai” or “a zo lutuk”, he or she is basically calling the person an uncouth, somebody who comes from a very low class background with no manners and refinement. The usage of this word is concentrated mainly within the urban jurisdiction, where some of the city youth greatly influenced by western culture look down upon the common man for not adhering to western culture. That is why most of us greatly disapprove of its usage, because instead of being proud of our own culture, it’s as if these kids are ashamed of being a Mizo.
The Mizo “a” is pronounced like the “a” in calm, balm, farm.
The Mizo “e” is pronounced like the English “a”.
The Mizo “i” is pronounced like the English “e”.