Freshie Guide: ‘Insti’ Lingo!


You pass by some senior students and hear them talking. You recognize it as English. But a few sentences into the conversation and you realize they don’t make much sense. Don’t worry, they are only talking in the IIT-M Lingo, a highly evolved melting pot of a language with some Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and God-knows-what-else thrown in. Most institute students speak it with relish and for a good reason: it is unique to the institute and can well double as a code language understood only by IITM students and alumni.

        The list is practically never-ending. But here is a crash course – ah, but, you must know all about crash courses – to keep you going and help you get past seniors who love insti lingo much too dearly (which is almost all of us).

Freshies: Yes, that’s you.

Insti : That is the institute. No, not because we can’t be bothered to go all the way. We just like the sound of it.

Insti name: You will have the closest thing to a re-christening in insti, a nickname will usually be given to you by seniors which (they think) defines you and which curiously seems to almost always stick better than your actual name. Insti names can be anything and everything.

Junta: That is people- any people.

Factory: The institution where you got your JEE coaching from. (apt, surely?)

Intro: The act of introducing yourself.

Enthu: Lots of enthusiasm

‘I have enthu for coding.’

Dude : The same old dude

Da/Dei : This means dude, too!

Machaan/Machi : This means dude. Again!

RG: This stands for Relative Grading. Many courses are graded based on the overall performance of the class. But RG is used for a good many other things.

One of them is the act of distracting others from studying.

‘I swear, he RG-ed the whole class and became the only person to get an S.’

Cup: It is the act of failing. Originated from the fact that the fail grade for any course is given by ‘U’, which resembles a cup.

‘He cupped in MA1100.’

Crash: To sleep

‘I am crashing after three night-outs straight.’

Gen: General, random

‘I don’t want to do some gen course.’

Thulp: To ace a test or hog on food.

‘She thulped the Physics quiz.’

Infi: Infinite; because infi sounds way cooler and less nerdy than infinite.

‘I had infi fun yesterday at GC.’

Put: It means to do something. It is one of our favorite verbs and you will be surprised by the things it is used for. Put intro, put peace, put treat, put fight… can ‘put’ much about anything in insti.

Pack: It means to not do something.

‘I am packing the cricket match.’

Put fight: Putting in some effort

‘Put fight for the grade you want.’

Peace, Put Peace: Get this right. It does not refer to an elusive state of balance in your insti life where you are not too sad or too happy, though it is certainly a healthy goal to have. Peace is mostly used for saying you need not worry about something.

‘Put peace, tomorrow is a weekend.’

Lite: Stop taking things too seriously.

‘Take lite and sleep, da.’

Stud: A person who, seemingly impossibly, manages many things in the insti.

‘That stud is a nine pointer and a four times gold in swimming.’

Maggu: A person who spends most of his/her time studying. They are also identified by dazzling CGPAs.

‘He reads all the time, a perfect maggu.’

Gult, Mallu, Gujju, Tam: Because naming states is too mainstream.  Gult is a Telugu speaking person or anything related to Telugu. Similarly Mallu is for Kerala, Gujju for Gujarat, Tam for Tamil Nadu etc.

There are a lot more words that you would come across like bog, arbit, crack…. the meanings and natures of which you would surely learn within the semester. Insti lingo is a defining and constantly maturing feature of the institute, a language developed by several generations of alumni. So remarkable that an exchange student even wrote her MA thesis on it! Feel free to experiment with speaking insti lingo, you would love it.


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