Hindi: masti, mazaa

albondiga

Senior Member
English/USA
Hi all,

I've been told that the word masti basically means "fun"; however, when I looked in one dictionary that I have, the word masti didn't appear, but the word mast was actually defined as "1. intoxicated, 2. carefree"...

So I'm interested to know whether there are things that would be described as "fun" which you wouldn't describe as "masti" (and vice versa)... Also, I've seen the word mazaa; what's the difference?

Basically, what words would be used in what contexts to convey the meanings of the English word "fun" (both as an adjective, e.g., a fun game, and as a noun, e.g., to have fun)?

Thanks!
 
  • linguist786

    Senior Member
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    It's hard to find English equivalents to both words.

    "mazaa" generally means "fun" or "having a good time".
    "masti" (noun) means "messing around" (eg, kids messing around)
    "masti karnaa" (verb) = "to mess around"

    I guess the best way to show their meaning is by examples:

    masti mat kar! - Don't mess around
    ham masti kar rahé thé - We were messing around

    bahut mazaa aayaa - (We) had a lot of fun/(We) enjoyed ourselves a lot
    ice-cream khaané mé mazaa aataa hai - It's fun to eat ice-cream/Eating ice-cream is fun/enjoyable

    edit:
    There is also the phrase with both words: masti mazaa which means something "(the act of) messing around and having fun" (not in a bad sense). A colloquial translation could be "chill out" :D

    edit2:
    I just remembered a phrase from a Hindi movie (a song actually) which is: aakhoN me masti. Now at first, this may seem strange because literally it means "messing around, in the eyes" but it actually means (something like) "a sparkle of naughtiness in the eyes" - that twinkle you see in someone's eyes when you're in love.

    I'd be interested to see what others have to say :)
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    That was a great explanation, I think I understand the difference now :) ...

    So for just plain "having fun" (no messing around!), would it always be "mazaa aanaa" as in your example, or are constructions with other verbs possible? (e.g., "mazaa karnaa"?)
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    I'm going out on a limb here, but could that mast be the same mast famously sung by the late Nusrat Fateh?
    Tu chiz bari hai, mast, mast...? :)

    Yes, it is! I am not great at translating this song (although I just saw the music video again yesterday;)) but I think over here, mast is like "enjoyable," perhaps.
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    Albondiga, the other day my Grandmother said to me /dadii potha mastii kare.nge/ which means that "grandma and grandson will have a great time." Just another example of its usage.
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    It's hard to find English equivalents to both words.

    "mazaa" generally means "fun" or "having a good time".
    "masti" (noun) means "messing around" (eg, kids messing around)
    "masti karnaa" (verb) = "to mess around"

    I guess the best way to show their meaning is by examples:

    masti mat kar! - Don't mess around
    ham masti kar rahé thé - We were messing around

    bahut mazaa aayaa - (We) had a lot of fun/(We) enjoyed ourselves a lot
    ice-cream khaané mé mazaa aataa hai - It's fun to eat ice-cream/Eating ice-cream is fun/enjoyable

    edit:
    There is also the phrase with both words: masti mazaa which means something "(the act of) messing around and having fun" (not in a bad sense). A colloquial translation could be "chill out" :D

    edit2:
    I just remembered a phrase from a Hindi movie (a song actually) which is: aakhoN me masti. Now at first, this may seem strange because literally it means "messing around, in the eyes" but it actually means (something like) "a sparkle of naughtiness in the eyes" - that twinkle you see in someone's eyes when you're in love.

    I'd be interested to see what others have to say :)

    How about in that Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan song "dam mast qalandar." What does it mean there?
     

    linguist786

    Senior Member
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    masti can mean drunk, come to think of it.
    It's not the first word that comes to mind when thinking of how to say "drunk" but it can mean it.

    In Gujarati we can say "ene masti chayrii Che" (he's got drunk)
     

    linguist786

    Senior Member
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    What is the infinitive of "chayrii" here?
    charvuN (ચડવું) (It's actually "chadvuN", but I tend to pronounce the letter ડ like a "r" rather than "d") It literally means "to climb". So literally the expression means "masti has climbed (on) him".

    Note that the phrase doesn't have to mean he's drunk - "masti" can be meant in the other sense - (messing around). So it can also mean "He's messing around" ("he's got into the mood of messing around", so to speak)
     

    tonyspeed

    Senior Member
    English & Creole - Jamaica
    On Hindi Spoken Thesaurus, the native speaker claims the word mastii is often used for types of fun that are taboo. Do the Urdu/Hindi speakers on this board make such a distinction?
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    On Hindi Spoken Thesaurus, the native speaker claims the word mastii is often used for types of fun that are taboo. Do the Urdu/Hindi speakers on this board make such a distinction?


    Let us look at mast/mastii etc in a logical and chronological manner. As other friends have suggested, the word has the basic meaning of being intoxicated and it is of Persian origins making its way into Urdu. Here is a famous couplet from Maulana Rumi.

    man mast-o-tu diivaanah maa-raa kih barad xaanah
    sad baar turaa guftam kam xvor do sih paimaanah

    I am drunk and you are crazy, who will now take us home
    A hundred times I said to you, drink one or two fewer cups

    So, one can take the meaning of this to be physically drunk, although with Maulana Rumi, one can never be sure. In Persian and Urdu poetry, the eye is described as "mast", as a result of intoxication.

    Poets in Persian and Urdu have used the word "mast" for being "drunk with divine love". I would suggest that our qavvaalis are suggesting exactly this, e.g "dam mast qalandar, mast mast" (Every moment in time, this (free-thinking) saint is drunk with divine love".

    Tony SaaHib has spoken about "taboo" subjects. I suppose, he means "sexual love". Well, "mast" has this connotation of "lust" and "frenzied love" too. One could perhaps read this sense in the following couplet from an Urdu poem entitled "basant" (Spring) by Jigar Barelvii.

    hai havaa meN kaif-i-sahbaa-i-kuhan
    phir rahe haiN mast taa'uus-o-hiran

    The air has a touch of mature red wine
    Peacocks and deer are wandering in lust

    mastii aanaa/chaRnaa (have sexual frenzy)
    mast-mahiinah (the month of lust, excitement or passion/February)

    One then moves onto the more colloquial use of "mast/mastii" as in "mauj-mastii" (enjoyment/fun) and misbehaviour. But, I suppose even this is connected with being drunk. Ones under the influence will sometimes have fun and enjoy themselves whilst others will resort to misbehaviour and even violence!

    In Urdu, the following terms are in existence.

    mast-i-alast/azalii (mad saint..i.e mad with divine love)

    siyah-mast/bad-mast (dead drunk)

    Haal-mast (intoxicated with divine love)

    khaal-mast (happy despite poverty)

    maal-mast (purse-proud)

    mastaanah (like an intoxicated person/charming, staggering (motion)

    mast-maulaa/naath (A drunken, careless fellow)

    I hope I have covered all that you had in mind.
     
    Last edited:

    greatbear

    Banned
    India - Hindi & English
    On Hindi Spoken Thesaurus, the native speaker claims the word mastii is often used for types of fun that are taboo. Do the Urdu/Hindi speakers on this board make such a distinction?

    The younger generation usually doesn't mind the use of words "mast" and "mastii" for everything related to fun of all shades, but there are many, especially those belonging to the older generation, who frown upon the usage of "masti", since to them the word is always loaded with the meaning of sexual enjoyment.

    The superhit Hindi song of the nineties "Tu cheez baRii hai mast mast" (Mohra) was thus objectionable on several counts (and that is why it worked!): first calling a girl as a "cheez" (thing) and then calling her as a "mast" thing (so, not just a great thing, but a thing that could yield sexual pleasure, the undertone intended very much).
     
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