Slang of Tamil language spoken in the city of Chennai
Madras Bashai evolved largely during the past three centuries. When the city of Madras was founded in 1640 by the British East India Company, it had sizable populations of both Tamil and Telugu speakers. As the city gradually expanded to include the predominantly Tamil-speaking areas to its south, a cosmopolitan culture evolved. The Tamil spoken by Telugu settlers was heavily-laced with Telugu words. Gradually, with the emergence of Madras as an important city in the British Empire and as the capital of Madras Presidency, contact with the western world increased and a number of English words crept into the idiom. Due to the presence of a considerable population of Hindustani-speakers, especially, the Gujaratis, Marwaris and some Muslim communities, some Hindi words, too, became a part of Madras Bashai. It is a surprise that Madras Bashai uses two corrupt forms of Sanskrit words, which are not available in any Tamil dialects. They are ‘madha kolam’ (மாதாகோலம்) and ‘kasamalam'(கசமாலம்). First words are from Sanskrit’ maatha kavala’ which means ‘mother, a mouthful of food’. This phrase is used by alms seeker in the sense ‘oh Mother give me a mouthful of food’ in late nights. Second word is from Sanskrit ‘kashmalam’ which means impurity, used to scold a person in the sense of filthy/dirty.