Friday, May 04, 2007

Meaning Of Words

One of my cousins visited us recently and we went to one of his friend's place. The guy had a cute one and half year old daughter called Shoma. She always had a smile on her face and you could see in her eyes that she was a mischievous kid. Since I didn't know anyone there, and my cousin and his friend were mostly reminiscing about their (now long past) school days, it was Shoma and me. And her grandma, who never got tired of telling me exactly what Shoma's latest word was since this morning. Shoma brought along ALL of her toys to me (according to her grandma, she never does this).

I have noticed kids either love me or hate me. Much like girls.

So the father comes into the room to see me pretending to listen to grandma, feigning interest in Shoma's dolls and trying to watch the Raptors game. So he decides he has to make a remark, and goes, "Wow, Shoma's taken quite a shine to you!"

"Yes," I replied without thinking, "she's very cute. I think she'll be one impish girl when she grows up."

"Impish?" The father raised an eyebrow. "Never heard that word before. What does it mean?"

"Oh," I paused to reflect.

Now all of you who are brought up in the British school system or in an English speaking country know what "impish" means, right? In this context it means "naughty in a cute way", "playful", or "teasingly mischievous". I told him so.

It's a nice meaning, right?

"Oh, ok." He smiled and left. I thought that was that, and went back to watching the Raptors blow an 85-71 lead.

"Wait," the father had suddenly returned. He had in his hand a dictionary.

Can you imagine that? Who takes something a guest says and then goes to check it in a dictionary? Hello? Didn't I just tell you what it meant? No, you had to go bring a dictionary and then find the word again in front of me. And it wasn't your Oxford Junior English dictionary either. It was - get this - Samsad English-Bengali dictionary. Written by some Bengali guy, with probably no knowledge of context, common usage or common sense for that manner.

This is what the father read aloud.

Imp. In common folklore, evil fairy or devil child. Adjective: Impish. ...

I guess this is one child whose birthday party I won't be invited to in the future.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

hahaha...oh my gawd...hilarous!!! You better watch your words...otherwise u would be in a fit one of these days..

-Behbood

The Bengali Fob said...

Oh man, did he like kick you out of the house? lol

Ahmed said...

haha thats funny, I can imagine trying to explain the context in which you used it.

And man, that was a great raptors game but it should never have got so close. Hopefully they pull out another win tonight though.

Athena said...

hahaha

you're screwed. tsk tsk what language you use to describe cute little kiddies.

mousehunter said...

Hahaha...that's too funny. You should have said..hooold on...don't be lookin up english words in a desi dictionary. Where's your computer....and gone to a REAL site to show him...haha.

If you do end up going back there....remember to take you own dictionary...haha.

Ruby said...

"cute" is usually the best word to describe children...

Baraka said...

How embarrassing but how very hilarious too! :)

'liya said...

Hehe.. you should have stopped at 'cute' :D

Anonymous said...

You should have told him to *google* it instead. Next time, just say she is very cute MASHALLAH. Sometimes your well meaning words just puts you in *hot water*,literally!!!Have to go now,watching nacho libre! sf

Anonymous said...

link
:)

singlemuslimah said...

OMG. That's insane and I agree with Ruby; it's best to stick with cute.

Rawi said...

LOL. freakin hilarious, dude!!

Suroor said...

Haha! You little devil!

Rosashe said...

Hahaha, thats too funny :D We do have some very strange people in Bangladesh, dont we.. or may be they exist in all countries, we just dont get a chance to meet their special sides. Hihihi..

Shoaib Muhammad said...

Ouch, that must've hurt!

Em said...

Salaam.
Ouch! I third Ruby, maybe adding the Ma sha Allah like sf...

But don't hate on Samsad, bro -- it's not too bad actually. At least in comparison to Bangladesh's toast: the Joy English-Bengali Dictionary :).

Something tells me you won't feel left out of the birthday party...

Moonal said...

haha mezba this is one of the best anecdotes i've read in some time ;)

mezba said...

Behbood: words, man, are like arrows. Once launched, they are tough to take back.

Bengali fob: He secretly want to, I think. I had to use all my *charm* to get him to google the freakin word.

Ahmed: too bad about those Raptors now, eh?

Athena: I know. Then again, I have a habit of ticking off fathers of girls who like me lol.

Mousehunter: Exactly. I can't believe I actually did that to him. Got him to go to google and type 'define:imp' I am such a geek lol.

Ruby: Agreed. Safe too.

Baraka: Totally, ma'am. I was so petrified when he started to read from that dictionary.

Liya: Now I know!

Sf: I should just use lots of Arabic words. She is so yaa3ni cute, mA she is the ja3milah! And then go on some wierd dua...

Anon: thank you!

Singlemuslimah: Now I know now I know!

Rawi: yes, now. Not then. hehe.

Suroor: :-) I prefer sneaky...

Rosashe: B'desh has lots of strange people no doubt.

Shoaib: Well it was his fault too. But then he now has an English lesson to remember.

Em: Joy was no joy that was a pain.

I love birthday parties I love cake yaar. Mmm... vanilla icing *licks lips*

Moonal: hehe you should have heard what happened in our dressing room for Ujjibon when someone lost the drawstring for the pajama!

sonia said...

Aw... parents are such silly people sometimes! instead of saying, hey you look like you'll make a good dad ..looking for the nitpicky side of things!