Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu: chalaakomaasii

desi4life

Senior Member
English
I’ve heard the expression “chalaakomaasii”, often used for young kids who act clever or naughty in an endearing way. I’m curious about the formation of this term. It may be of Punjabi origin but I have heard it used by non-Punjabis as well.

How would you analyze the term “chalaakomaasii”? Does it consist of the word “chaalaak” [Punjabi form is “chalaak”] (clever) and “maasii” (maternal aunt)? I wasn’t aware of maternal aunts having a reputation for being “clever”. Or would you analyze this term differently?

Thank you.
 
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  • Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    desi4life said:
    I’ve heard the expression “chalaakomaasii”, often used for young kids who act clever or naughty in an endearing way.
    Its use doesn't necessarily have to be limited to kids/in an endearing manner. It can be used for adults as well and with negative connotations.
    desi4life said:
    Does it consist of the word “chaalaak” [Punjabi form is “chalaak”] (clever) and “maasii” (maternal aunt)?
    That seems to be correct. Let's see what others suggest.
    desi4life said:
    I wasn’t aware of maternal aunts having a reputation for being “clever”.
    Potentially relevant: بلّی شیر کی خالہ ہوتی ہے
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    Haha lovely wasn't expecting Chaalaakuu-maasii to be discussed in this forum but you are correct it's very often used in Punjabi households. Both Chalaakuu/Chaalaakuu-maasii are correct, most people elide the initial long aa sound but that doesn't make it necessary. It can be spelt as either چالاکوماسی or چلاکوماسی based on personal preference.

    Personally I pronounce Chaalaakuu as it should be others may not. ماسی here has nothing to do with خالہ as per my understanding. We also refer to domestic maids respectfully as Maasii ماسی : Maasi meaning in English since they are known to have a close relationship with the mothers of a household. Thence its more to do with a scheming housemaid than an aunt. It's not necessarily negative, it can be used satirically or humorously. It's a very light-hearted term. No one will take offense by it.

    Chaalaakuu alone is also used to refer to someone who is devilishly good in their craft. I've never come across Chaalako, always Chaalaakuu/chalaakuu-maasii.

    I'd like to make a correction to the above. It appears there's even a Punjabi song on this term on the other side of the border where he clearly says Chalaako in lieu of chalaakuu. Thence it appears both are used. You can use whichever of the above caters to your taste but the definition remains the same. It's seldom used in a derogatory fashion, moreso a means to remark on one's mischievousnesss.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I’ve heard the expression “chalaakomaasii”, often used for young kids who act clever or naughty in an endearing way. I’m curious about the formation of this term. It may be of Punjabi origin but I have heard it used by non-Punjabis as well.
    Yes, I believe it is linked to Punjabi but I don't think it is an old Punjabi saying, but a relatively newer formation.

    How would you analyze the term “chalaakomaasii”? Does it consist of the word “chaalaak” [Punjabi form is “chalaak”] (clever) and “maasii” (maternal aunt)? I wasn’t aware of maternal aunts having a reputation for being “clever”. Or would you analyze this term differently?

    The -o suffix implies a feminine noun as in "chalaako" (shrewd) and "maasii" of course is one's mother's sister. The placing of the two words together implies that the person is not only shrewd but is also pretending to be close and intimate as one would be to one's maasii.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Yes, it is used for females only. The masculine version would be "chalaakuu maamaa"! :)
     

    desi4life

    Senior Member
    English
    Thank you everyone for your input! 😃

    ^ Yes, it is used for females only. The masculine version would be "chalaakuu maamaa"! :)

    I agree that grammatically it is proper for females only. However, I have heard “chalaako maasii” used for males as well. I suppose this is probably casual usage. But I don’t believe I have heard “chalaakuu maasii” that @Sheikh_14 jii mentioned.
     
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