M & M (of Machan’s and Mokkai’s)

M & M sounds like the chocolate. (from which Cadbury Gems was inspired.), but I decided to write a post on Machan’s (Chennai lingo) and Mokkai’s (again Chennai lingo) (Some people tend to say slang!! But that’s crap. Go refer a dictionary.)

Tamil Nadu

Why am I writing this article ?

a) Because as a college student in Tamil Nadu,(Chennai) I only get to here these words like a thousand times everyday!!

b) Because I am going to start a campaign to nominate these two words into the Oxford English Dictionary!!


Machan in Tamil actually means a relation (your wife’s brother ?? If you are male 😉 . For girls I dont know how the relationship works) But it’s not used in that sense in everyday usage. (One guess is that you tend to call the brother of some good looking girl machan in the hope that you will get to marry her …ultimately ??. But then you’ll get beaten up!! So don’t try it)

Machan is used as the term “Yaar” is used in Hindi. Or say the way Australians use “Mate” or as Vivek says “Buddy” in Sivaji. (Buddy is a common usage and quite trivial. However we are discussing Tamil here and hence Vivek. )

Machan is even used as a greeting!! 😉 When guys meet up they don’t say hi any longer. They cry out “Machaaaan” together!! Calling someone Machan tends to give a feeling of closeness I guess. That’s why the often rude “Da” is replaced by Machan

North Indians using Machan:

    One thing I have noticed is that North Indians in Chennai tend to use Machan too!! I guess they think it’s cool or something !! If you plotted a histogram of the Tamil words used by North Indians in Chennai, it will prove what I am saying without any doubt.

I personally hate using the word because of my stern dislike of herd behavior or to put it simply doing things everyone else seems to do. (Read my “A nerd’s take on herd behavior” later. )


     Mokkai is even more multi-faceted than Machan in usage. Mokkai is not definied in Tamil dictionaries. (or atleast I hope). Mokkai generally means “PJ“. But from observation I have learnt that Mokkai can mean a lot of other things. Here’s proof:

Q:   Machan, exam eppudi da irundhudhu ? (Machan, how was the exam ?) [I tend to use Machan in the translated sentences since I am hoping it will find its wasy to the Oxford soon.]

A:   Mokkai paper da. Kandippa nalla mark varum. (Damn Easy paper. Surely I’ll score good marks.)

Q:   Machan, nethikku partha padam eppudi da irundhudhu ? (Machan, how was the movie that you saw yesterday ?)

A:   Mokkai padam da. Soorai Mokkai aa irundhudhu. (Crappy ? Boring ? movie man. It was really crappy.)

Q:   Enna da eppudi irukkai ? (Hey man, how are you ?)

A:  Uyiroda irukken (I am alive!!)

Reply: Dei, Indha mokkai ellam podadhey!! (Roughly translated: Don’t start with your PJ’s )

So in conclusion Mokkai can mean: PJ’s , Easy, Boring, Crappy …and I am sure a lot of other things. I am something of an expert on Mokkai’s!! I am sure Marc will comment on it 😛


Nominate these words today!! more on Tamil lingo later…..



8 thoughts on “M & M (of Machan’s and Mokkai’s)

  1. Completely unnecessary chocolately map of Tamilnadu.

    Histogram of Tamil words?! Dai! Don’t bring all that engineering bullshit into real life.

    When I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘machan’. By the way, you didn’t mention that the N at the end is half silent. We don’t want people going around saying ‘match-an’ after reading your blog. (Nevermind that we’re safe cause you have about two readers :D.)

    You are indeed one of the leading experts in the field of ‘unbearable mokka’. Your puns (which don’t make sense most of the time) take listeners to the point of death and back. Good thing you don’t post it in your blog.

  2. The map of TN was unnecessary yes, for people who live in Chennai.

    Engineering is not bullshit. Without it you would not be using net right now!!

    As for the readers part, agreed 😀 very few at the moment!!

    As for my “Mokkais” , don’t worry I shall not post them on my blog (not until i get desperate atleast.)

  3. What are people from other parts of the world going to do with the map? Especially when you make no references to the places in the map.

    You know when I refer to engineering I mean the B.E. engineering course here under Anna University. Not engineering in general.

    You’ll sneak in some mokkas somehow or the other in your posts. Just a matter of time.

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