Tibetan: la ma ma ma ma


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

May I ask what does "la ma ma ma ma" here mean? Is it a word of surprise?

I shall explain that here the Judge has lost his dearest thing in the world; his dog, Mutt, so he came to people, asking for her. Now, he came to Mrs Thondup to ask about Mutt.

"Mrs. Thondup: "Was she expensive?"
The judge never thought of her that way, but yes, she had been expensive,....
"La ma ma ma ma, must have been stolen, Justice," Mrs Thondup said. "Our dogs, Ping and Ting-we brought them all the way from Lhasa, and when we got here, Ping vanished."

It's part of Inheritance of Loss, a novel by Kiran Desai.
Best Regards and lots of thanks.
  • AquisM

    Senior Member
    I have no knowledge of Tibetan whatsoever, but it sounds like it's just an onomatopoeia, something with the function of a sigh or similar to 'ayayayaya' to show despair and certainty that the dog must have been stolen.
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