Luli: Lukam (Idioms) - Part 1

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Normoda Doley JNU, New Delhi

ABSTRACT: Idioms play a vital role in everyday conversation. It can make a sentence, paragraph, poem, anything literal - fascinating. These are a combination of witty words or phrases that are well-known and acknowledged by all. It should be kept in mind that one cannot go according to the literal translation of the idiom since that would be nonsensical. I have briefed ten of the most noticeable and used idioms of my mother tongue, Mising . Adding these idioms to your vocabulary would make your sentences stand out. KEY WORDS: aspiration, agglutination, Sino-Tibetan Mising is an intriguing language. It has no aspiration and is full of agglutination. Branching out of the huge tree of the Sino-Tibetan language family, Mising is full of amusing idioms. One must know the right usage of such idioms to make one’s impression last long. The idioms in Mising are classic and passed down by our ancestors since ages. The regular usage of the Mising idioms are less commonly seen among the youngsters. I have listed a few – try enhancing your sentences with these bells and whistles. 1. Okum kumdo /ɔkum kumdɔ/ Sentence: Ménggabné okum kumdo. This idiom revolves around ‘one’s attentiveness’. If a person pays regular attention towards his/her family and work, he/she will have balanced life. If the attention is given more towards family and less towards work, one will lose the latter. The translation of the given example is Success comes to those who pay attention. 2. Okum yogdo /ɔkum jɔgdɔ/ Sentence: Lo:bagmílo okum yogdo. The literal translation of okum yogdo is disappearance of house. This idiom is used to denote people who could lose their job, family, property, etc. because of their laziness. The Mising people use this idiom to create awareness among their children about life. 3. Akun kundo /akun kundɔ/ Sentence: Angélo:pé akun kundo. Akun kundo refers to well-wishers, someone who loves his/her family and friends will never say no if needed. They always support and pray for their health and wealth. The given sentence is used in this context. 4. Assé tédo /assဒ tဒdɔ/ Sentence: Podong oyém assé tédo. This idiom is used in two contexts: First - In Monsoon, we see heavy pours in Assam. An ample amount of rain will bring fortune to the farmers working in the region. On the other hand, excessive rain will affect the farmland, livestock, etc. all in all the fate of the farmers dangle around the sharp knife i.e. the weather. 5. Amig kado /amig kadc/ Sentence: Kinsunélokké amig kado. The literal implication of amig kado is ‘to have eye’. It is one of the most frequently used idioms. The one who can foresee things will make decisions wisely. For example, if you want to have soup, you will opt for a spoon. Only the ignorant will switch to fork. 6. I:yod do /i:jɔd dɔ/ Sentence: Ayana:m ojíngém i:yoddo. This is a famous one. I:yod is used to represent something which you want to possess so much that you want to consume it (especially among kids). It may happen because you are jealous or greedy of something. This idiom can be heard in everyday conversation among the Mising people. 7. Urom baddo /urɔm baddɔ/ Sentence: Lékoném gíté:lo urom baddo. The friends that you adore and share feelings with might betray you in the unforeseen future. This idiom can be used in this context. The betrayer whom you trusted and opened up might use your words against you. The above example means Sometimes you may fall prey to someone. 8. Étor tordo

/ဒtɔr tɔrdɔ/

Sentence: Appuném lege:la étor tordo. Planting a tree requires a lot of attention and patience. When it grows, you nurture and try to preserve it. Étor tordo is used to refer to someone or something which you want to protect/ are safeguarding. 9. Íbumna du:do /ɨbumna du:dɔ/ Sentence: Ge:yémílo íbumna du:do. ‘Chagrin’ is the word which describes this idiom. When you are humiliated or become the subject of the mockery - you feel frustrated, you feel ashamed. The literal translation of íbumna du:do is to look down with your head facing downwards. 10. Kulongkang gído /kulɔŋkaŋ gɨdɔ/ Sentence: Aima:yém kulongkang gído. Suppose, a person has brought bad name to himself or his family, this idiom can be used in such condition. If someone is being defamed for something, then kulongkang gído can be used. The usage of this particular idiom cannot be seen nowadays but it is still known to the community.


CONCLUSION: We can see that Mising has a range of interesting idioms. These idioms can be used in different contexts. The younger generation is less aware of these amusing words. Our ancestors and the older generation is more keen towards injecting these words into their sentences. The youngsters should have an eye amig kado, give consistent attention okum kumdo or the future of the Misings will face the situation of kulongkang gído. REFERENCES: T.R. Taid (2017). Mising Gomlap- Potin, Mising Agom Kébang. D.K.Doley (2019, January). Mising Bhasha, Volume I, 180-182.

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