Punjabi: کُٹھیالڑیاں / kuThiiaaLRiiaaN ?


Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina

I am intrigued by this wonderful word in the title.
I found it, again, in the song "Jugni Ji" or "Aalif Allah Chambe di Booti"

The context is, a series of admonitions about how fleeting youth is. Some motherly advice about not wasting your life in minutiae, because life is precious.
The general idea is that lifetime is like gold, melting away in goldsmiths' crucibles.

Again, the Gurmukhi rendition is mine (so don't trust it) and the rest is verbatim from the Coke Studio captions:

دن دن ٹلی جوانی جاندیਦਿਨ ਦਿਨ ਟਲ਼ੀ ਜਵਾਨੀ ਜਾਂਦੀwith each day, the bloom of youth is waining
جیوں سونا کٹھیالڑیاںਜਿਓਂ ਸੋਨਾ [kuThiiaaLRiiaaN]as gold in a goldsmith's crucible

Now, I know that ਕੁਠਾਲ਼ੀ / کُٹھالؕی / kuThaaLRii (with a retroflex L) means "goldsmith's crucible".

So my guess is that "لڑ" is the way Coke Studio chooses to represent the retroflex RLAM, and that کٹھیالڑیاں is in fact کُٹھیالؕیاں (Gurmukhi ਕੁਠੀਆਲ਼ਿਆਂ)

If that is what the transcribers meant, there is still the matter of what the word is, grammatically. My guess is that it is either:

1) a diminutive/endearing ( ... as gold in a little crucible)
2) an oblique plural (as gold in crucibles)

(both somewhat irregular because of the "iaa" sound after "kuTh")

Is my reasoning correct, regarding the retroflex L?
And is it an irregular diminutive?

Thanks in advance.
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  • MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    The next verses, unfortunately, disprove my theory.
    The poet goes on saying "man and women are precious, like pearls, like rubies".

    عورت مرد شہزادے سوہنےਔਰਤ ਮਰਦ ਸ਼ਹਿਜ਼ਾਦੇ ਸੋਹਣੇWomen and men are beautiful and precious
    اوہ موتی اوہ لعلڑیاںਉਹ, ਮੋਤੀ ਉਹ ਲਾਲੜੀਆਂThey are pearls, they are rubies

    لعلڑیاں / ਲਾਲੜੀਆਂ / lālṛīāṁ (rubies) is supposed to rhyme with kuThiiaaLRiiaaN (crucibles).
    But the final L of لعل /ਲਾਲ /lāl (ruby) is clearly not retroflex.
    There is a retroflex laLR, but it means "saliva, spittle".

    So I don't know what is going on. :confused:

    Maybe -لڑیاں / -ਲੜੀਆਂ / - LRiiaaN is some sort of fixed diminutive ending, valid both for singular and plural?


    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Actually, it seems that these words are all just poetic licenses.
    For the rest of the poem, the singer just enlarges words ending in "L" (or with L as the last consonant), pronouncing them in a way that (to my untrained ears) sounds retroflex, regardless of that particular L being actually retroflex, just to obtain a rhyme and an extra syllable.

    I want to reproduce the whole stanza because it is very beautiful (despite the headache it caused me :rolleyes: )

    نا کر دھییا کھیڈ پیاری​
    My dear daughter, don’t just revel in fun and play ਓ, ਨਾ ਕਰ ਧੀਆਂ ਖੇਡ, ਪਿਆਰੀ
    ماں دیندی آ گالڑیاں
    Mother gives adviceਮਾਂ ਦਿੰਦੀ ਏ ਗਾਲੜੀਆਂ
    دن دن ٹلی جوانی جاندی​
    With each day, the bloom of youth is waning ਦਿਨ ਦਿਨ ਟਲ਼ੀ ਜਵਾਨੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ
    جیوں سونا کٹھیالڑیاں
    As gold in a goldsmith’s crucibleਜਿਓਂ ਸੋਨਾ ਕੁਠਿਆਲੜੀਆਂ
    عورت مرد شہزادے سوہنے​
    Women and men are beautiful and preciousਔਰਤ ਮਰਦ ਸ਼ਹਿਜ਼ਾਦੇ ਸੋਹਣੇ
    اوہ موتی اوہ لعلڑیاں
    They are pearls, they are rubiesਉਹ, ਮੋਤੀ ਉਹ ਲਾਲੜੀਆਂ
    سر دا صرفہ کرن نا جیڑہے​
    Those who are willing to sacrifice their lives ਸਿਰ ਦਾ ਸਰਫ਼ਾ ਕਰਨ ਨਾ ਜਿਹੜੇ
    پین پریم پیالڑیاں
    Drink from the cup of loveਪੀਣ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਿਆਲੜੀਆਂ
    داتا دے دربار چ آکھو​
    In the court of the great giver, come and state your desire ਓ, ਦਾਤਾ ਦੇ ਦਰਬਾਰ ‘ਚ ਆਖੋ
    پاون خیر سوالڑیاں
    He will grant prosperity to the petitionersਪਾਵਾਂ ਖੈਰ ਸਵਾਲੜੀਆਂ

    Where the real, dictionary words are:



    Senior Member
    ڑی = لاحقۂ تصغیر

    - پنکھ ← واحد: پنکھڑی | جمع: پنکھڑیاں


    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    ڑی = لاحقۂ تصغیر

    - پنکھ ← واحد: پنکھڑی | جمع: پنکھڑیاں

    (For my benefit)
    ڑی : diminutive suffix

    پنکھ (feather, wing):
    singular: پنکھڑی
    plural: پنکھڑیاں

    Thanks, @Alfaaz!
    So they are all plural diminutives! (some of them a tad irregular)


    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Would be fun to see some Spanish translation. Such a great language, which I don't know, but I think it can do extremely well in illustrating these Punjabi diminutives. Let's call it, diminutives of 2nd or 3rd grade.


    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    The least I can do.

    Niña querida, no te dediques sólo a pasatiempos
    mamá está charlatana y te da estos consejitos:
    Cada día que pasa, la juventud se derrite
    como oro en el crisolitos de orfebre.

    Los hombres y las mujeres son preciosos,
    como perlas, como pequeños rubíes.
    Los que no quieran salvar la cabeza,
    ¡que beban en las ansiadas copas del amor!

    Implora en la corte del Benefactor;
    él proveerá bienestar a sus queridos suplicantes.