Al Ngullie


Readers from Nagaland and Northeast India may already be aware about my obsession for 'preserving' funny English words – those colorful, weird and funny words and phrases and expressions Naga persons write to their State's newspapers in Nagaland, India. And the editors publish them without a second thought. We don't do even 'first thought' anyway.


Here are some sufficiently potty things most Naga citizens 'create', aside from basketry and pottery (the following instances are all scoured from press releases in my “private funny newspaper reading" collection).   


Do not ask of me what the following polio-stricken cases mean:


  • False Propaganda – Truthfully, I’ve never ever come across truthful propaganda. Have you?

  • Honorable, acceptable and beneficial – I’m uncertain what is honorable yet unacceptable and detrimental. Conversely, what is dishonorable, yet it is acceptable and beneficial to anyone? Such synonymic excesses are still integral to our much-loved 'Naga English.'  

  • General Public – My favorite. We Nagas (including most of the State's Journalists) love declaring “general public” this and "general public" that, all the time to denote the greater society. If there is anything such as "general public" I assume every individual is a public. Do inform our students unions, “educated” and “college” leaders and the underground groups as well, that there is no “general public.” Just public. ‘Public,’ in itself, means ‘general’ or 'all the people.'

  • Recensus – A creative village council member from Zunheboto district came up with this word circa 2008. The poor man was merely suggesting a review of the census data for his district. He never meant to modernize (or cross-breed) the word.

  • Expeditely – I believe the NGO meant to say ‘joldi joldi koribi ho.’ (For foreign visitors reading this article, "expeditely" is a word 'we' use to mean something similar to "Go! Go! Go!"  

  • Overaged – What the Nagaland government calls wrinkle-friendly job candidates. Or what Nagaland's learned students' leaders call you when you are beyond 30 years of age.

  • Fastly – You already know what it means.  This one was from a Mokokchung Village Development Board secretary, if I recall correctly.

  • Presentee – Hazard a guess. I'm assuming that a “Presentee” must be someone who holds out something to you – or, as opposed to 'presenter.' Or is it the receiver? Now, I'm a bit confusee...  

  • Cosonscious – I believe the computer was unconscious when the author was typing in the word ‘Consensus.’ You are right, the word looks a bit dazed. 

  • Rudiperlous – The printer was drunk when the word was being led to the guillotine. I believe that the Naga organization which mentioned the word 'Rudiperlous' meant to say 'Ridiculous’.

  • Former ex-MLA (or former ex-minister) – this one was from somewhere Wokha I think. You get exceptionally vigorous ones from us Kyongs tribesmen, you know.

  • 'Befoxing the public’ – I don’t know if the government of Nagaland is…er...bewolfing the public but I believe the Press Release writer raked up the howler while searching for the term ‘baffling.’

  • Incompromisical – I honestly, sincerely and admittedly don’t know what the creative author of that word thought it meant. Honest.

  • Redressal – You'll agree that the term "redressal" definitely looks all dressed for the carnival. The exact and correct term is ‘redress.’ There is no derivative for it.

  • Non-transparency / Untransparent – The ‘educated unemployed’ organizations of Nagaland have monopolized that specimen. But so have the NSF, Naga Hoho, ENPO and their like. The correct 'word is 'Nontransparent.'   

  • Encadrement / Encadred – Tell your dear daddies and uncles and aunties in working in the state government that the exact word they are looking for is ‘commissioned.’ ‘Encadrement’ is the French term to mean ‘Supervise’ or ‘frame’ and has no English connotative usage other than ‘commission.’

  • Press Rewind – It was given as the description for ‘Subject’ in a press release we received from a Naga tribal union. Let us simply assume that that polio-stricken 'new' word is an antonym for Press Forward!

  • Conscentizing /Concentinzing – This is one word regularly used by the Naga mothers,  women commission and women ‘hoho’ leaders.  The word they are looking for is “Conscientization.” Yet again, “Conscientization” itself has no formal projection (even entry) in the English glossary and is used simply as a slangy term to illustrate the semantic weight of ‘Critical Consciousness.’ I believe the exact word our organizations should be using is ‘critical consciousness’ or ‘awareness.’

  • Unauthorisedly – The word is self-explanatory.  

  • Non-biased – Well, I might as well go find myself a non-wrong word, what do you say?

  • Safetiness – Such words are the result of dangerous bostiness (Note for foreign readers: 'Bostiness' is a local slang in Nagaland; the English equivalent is 'boorish')

  • Un-satisfaction – If you…er…un-want to go to the dance party, just say you are dis-go!

  • Uncivilized rape / Uncivilized killing – I shudder at the thought of civilized rape spreading in Nagaland. Dear ladies, watch out for penises that wear tuxedos!

There are many more to come and I'll be listing them out soon. If you search on Google any of the funny English words listed here, you'll notice that all the results the search throws up, are from either Nagaland (mostly) or mainland India (some)! 

Example: Google search the word "Rudiperlous" - only one result. That too, would from my September 2011 newspaper column in the English daily, The Morung Express, India.

Happy reading!