Friday, June 11, 2010

The buck stops here

This post is for Sue of the fame. Sue is organizing the Red Marker Blogathon. The idea behind it is to blog about amusing or annoying misuse of the English Language (hence the name Red Marker).

Now I'm far from perfect in my use of the English language (And italicizing. Why this compulsive need to italicize? Why?). So this post is not to criticize those who are not perfect. In fact, this post is not even about a proper English word, but slang.

Around the time when I was entering my teens, I started noticing that things no longer cost 10 Rupees in India. Inflation? Wrong guess. They were 10 bucks instead. Remember the days when 'sup and buck and hanging out were just starting to catch on in India (or at least in the much happening town of Vishakhapatnam)? Well, anyone who watched someone cool in a Hollywood movie say "buck", just assumed that it was a unit of currency; that it didn't matter if it was Rupee or Dollar or whatever. Well, in any case, it was fashionable to say buck and not wanting to be left behind, I started talking bucks as well.

It wasn't until recently, that I discovered that the slang for buck was originally intended for a dollar bill. Specifically a dollar. (See wiki, urban dictionary, for sources). Kinda like 'quid' for the British Pound. Some sites say that it doesn't have to be US dollar, but any dollar, like say an Australian dollar (who made these rules anyway?).

Well, that means, to confirm with the rules of the English slang, one shouldn't be using buck in India. Maybe we should popularize our own term like ... Rupiya or Rupayya?


  1. Rupaiyya for buck ? Now now Padma , would our americanised clones stand for it ? Buck sounds kinda cool doesnt it ?!

  2. Buck might sound cool, but using buck for rupee is not that cool if one's smart enough to understand the difference!

  3. I have to agree with you Pp, we used to use bucks in Hyderabad too, rmr ? Well, I learnt this early on, thanks to the American husband who explained buck is almost always used for American dollar. Though to this date, sometimes I still unthinkingly say oh its just 100 bucks in India until I see the wide eyed surprise in my husband's eyes and quickly correct myself.

  4. Half of the fun in slumdog millionaire was Anil Kapoor saying "rupeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees". Imagine if he said "bucks".

    They're are some things over their in India that could stand to retain there purity (see what I did there?!)

  5. Sheesh... I find myself using buck now and then although I try not to. You're linked!

  6. You have to admit that "buck" not all that bad...because people I know say "It costs ten bugs."

    I wasn't aware we were using insects as currency *rolls eyes*

  7. @Eve, and, @Anonymous - Perhaps since a significant number of a significant population use buck instead of rupee, the english dictionary should evolve and make it all official.
    @Tanz - Tell Paul we are like that only
    @Uday - Brutal.
    @Sue - Thanks!
    @Chinkurli - Haha, "bugs"!