Essential Bollywood Vocabulary

Even if you don’t speak Hindi, if you watch enough Bollywood movies you’ll start hearing certain words over and over. Here I will be regularly updating my list of essential Hindi vocabulary with an informal definition and some context. You may notice a pattern, but trust me these are the most important ones!

Disclaimer: If you are a Hindi speaker please excuse some of these spellings! If you have ideas or suggestions please email 🙂

pyaar (प्यार)– love. It’s in every title, song, dialogue, even exclamations. (pyaar! pyaar! pyaar!) It fortunately rhymes with many English words like far and star. You don’t know Bollywood if you don’t know pyaar. See also (ishq, mohabat)

Ladki (लड़की)– Girl (also, ladkiyaan-girls)

Ladka (लड़का)– boy/guy. Ladki and Ladka are important because these are the people who are in pyaar.

Shaadi (शादी) – Wedding! (Also means marriage) Everything leads to this. First there was pyaar, then there was shaadi.

Dushmann (दुश्मन) enemy. You do not want to be the male lead’s dushmann.

Yaar (यार)– it’s kind of like “dude” or “bro” but everyone uses it, not just guys. It’s informal so it’s always between friends or young lovers. “Come on, yaar!” “I love you, yaar”

Chalo (चलो)- “Come on let’s go.” Usually needs a hand gesture to indicate the direction of the going.

Kuch Kuch (कुछ कुछ)- Kuch means “thing”, kuch kuch means “anything” or “something.”

Dost (दोस्त) – friend! 

Kya (क्या)- what or which. “Kya?!” 

Dil (दिल)- heart ❤️ 

Zindagi (ज़िंदगी)- life; this word is very important. Right up there with pyaar

More to come! Stay tuned, yaar.

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