Khadi Boli, also known as Khāri Boli and Kauravi, is the local dialect spoken in Western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and some parts of Haryana.
Khadi Boli (Khadi Bhasha, Khadi Language, or Khadi Boli Language) uses strong sounds that may hammer some ears. Though the authentic pronunciation is Khadi Bolli (खड़ी बोल्ली), I shall address it as Khadi Boli only to keep things simple. Since it happens to be my native language, let me give you some Khadi Boli examples (Khadi Boli ke Shabd):
- We use ‘ण’ and not न in most of the words. For instance, while referring to water, I’ll say ‘पाणी’ and not पानी.
- While asking who’s there in a room, I’ll say, “अरै, कौण है इस कमरे मैं?” or “अरै, कूण है इस कमरे मैं?”, and not “अरे, कौन है इस कमरे में?”
- We address uncles as ‘चाच्चा,’ and not चाचा as we do in standard Hindi.
Here’s an interesting thing about Khadi Boli (खड़ी बोली,खड़ी बोल्ली): Khadi means standing.
And so Khadi Boli or Khadi Bhasha means Standing Dialect or Standing Language because one needs to put in extra effort to utter the words, which produces rustic, harsher sounds.
Khadi Boli aka Khāri Boli or Khāri Boli Dialect (खारी बोली/खरी बोल्ली)
The phrase Khāri Boli is also commonplace because this dialect sounds Salty (which it’s supposed to). And since Khār means salt, we can say Khāri Boli makes one’s mouth taste salty.
Now, this saltiness makes it stand out from other dialects such as Brij Bhasha and Awadhi—the languages of the holy cities of Mathura and Ayodhya (also known as ‘पड़ी बोली,’ Lying Dialects or Lying Languages) because these dialects sound ‘sweeter’ compared to Khāri Boli.
Also, another term खरी बोल्ली (pure dialect) is used because Khadi Boli is the purest, unadulterated form of Hindi, from which standard Hindi has originated.
(Here’s a Khadi Boli video clip)
Kauravas, the sons of King Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari, spoke this language in Mahabharata times, hence the name Kauravi (also known as Kauravi Dialect or Kauravi Boli).
Most of the places related to Mahabharata—Hastinapur, ParikshitGarh, ShukraTal, Barnava Indraprastha (Delhi)—are situated in or close to Western Uttar Pradesh.
(By the way, did you know there was a native Khadi Boli speaker in B.R. Chopra’s epic, Mahabharata?—Gajendra Chauhan—the actor who played Yudhishthir.)
The Kauravas conspired to burn Pandavas alive in a structure made of Lākh, known as Lākshagrih (the locals address it as Lākhagraha) when the Pandavas were in exile. This structure is still standing tall in Barnava in Baraut, Baghpat. (Baghpat happens to be my Nanihal).
Lakshagrih now houses a Sanskrit Vidyapeeth/Mahavidyalaya.
Link〉 खड़ी बोली शब्दकोश
Are Khadi Boli and Haryanvi the Same Languages?
Many people assume that Khadi Boli and Haryanvi are two different names for one language.
Yes, it’s true that people in some parts of Haryana also speak Khadi Boli, but that’s because those regions overlap or are just a stone’s throw away from Western Uttar Pradesh. Let me give you an example:
Bahalgarh, a locality in Sonipat, Haryana, shares its border with the Baghpat (Vyaghraprastha: व्याघ्रप्रस्थ) district of Western Uttar Pradesh. Here, you’ll find people speaking a ‘fusion’ of both languages in this region.
Certain words are common in Khadi Boli and Haryanvi, but they are two distinct languages.
In other words, Khadi Boli is not Haryanvi.
Khadi Boli is Spoken Across These Areas
In Western Uttar Pradesh or Western UP—as we lovingly address our state—Khadi Boli is spoken in many regions. Some significant places are:
- Lakshminagar/Saraswatinagar (some people refer to it as Muzaffarnagar)
- Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida)
- Bulandshahar and surrounding areas.
And now, here’s a fact every Hindi-speaking person (and also Urdu speakers) must know.
Khadi Boli is the mother of standard Hindi, and Urdu.
Today’s modern or standard Hindi and Urdu are the children of the rich dialect we’re talking about.
Why I Started This Online Shabdkosh?
In 2010, I conducted personality development classes at Subharti University, Meerut. I noticed many students were uncomfortable, almost ashamed, with their own language—Khadi Boli.
Because some so-called high-society folks consider Khadi Boli uncivilized and rude, and arrogant.
(Can you imagine?)
If you also feel ashamed of your mother tongue, then here’s a little advice for you:
Progress in your personal and professional life depends on your self-image. And your self-image cannot be positive unless you are comfortable with your mother tongue.
What does it matter if you sound arrogant to some over-sensitive ears? Why should you insult your own language to please certain people? What’s the use of learning English or any other language for that matter if you’re unable to embrace your mother tongue?
Let me remind you how Shri Bhartendu Harishchandra had stated this universal truth.
“निज भाषा उन्नति अहै, सब भाषा को मूल ।
बिन निज भाषा ज्ञान के मिटे न हिय को शूल ।।”
(The progress of one’s language is the key to all development. Without the proper knowledge of one’s mother tongue, one cannot feel expressed.)
Respect Your Language
If you can’t respect your own language—which you’ve inherited from your forefathers, what’s the point?
You see, it’s not about appearing civilized and Padha-Likha (educated). It is a question of honoring the very blood running through your veins.
Now, don’t even think of learning Khadi Boli by watching movies, especially Omkara—the film by Vishal Bhardwaj—unless you want to end up learning some idiotic, imaginary, and fake language.
I have watched that movie, and boy oh boy! That movie is a freaking insult to the people and culture of Western Uttar Pradesh.
But it’s just a movie; what harm could it possibly bring upon the language, right?
Movies shape narratives.
When people watch such movies, they are likely to believe that the imaginary language used in the film was authentic.
That movie is a disgrace!
And that is just one incident. There’s so much misinformation regarding Khadi Boli. It’s unimaginable.
So basically, I was fed up. And when I tried finding authentic Khadi Boli documentation online, there was none.
Isn’t that unfortunate?
I mean, the mother of today’s modern Hindi is so goddamn unknown that people can’t differentiate it from some made-up language?
Now, it may be a little difficult to swallow, but here’s the truth.
It’s the fault of native speakers of Khadi Boli. Many native Khadi Boli speakers hide the fact that Khadi Boli is their mother tongue. And believe me, my blood boils when one of the richest and most colorful languages in the world gets insulted like this.
But then, complaining was not the solution. So, I took matters into my own hands.
Khadi Boli Shabdkosh (खड़ी बोली शब्दकोश): The First-Ever Online Khadi Boli Resource
When nobody dared to write a story you wanted to read, you write it yourself, right?
That’s what I did.
There was no Khadi Boli Shabdkosh or Khadi Boli reference resource available on the internet, not that I am aware of.
So, I started an article on my personal development blog—AvdheshTondak.com—a collection of day-to-day Khadi Boli words, on 15th September 2011. Here’s how it looked:
Years went by, and what had started as a collection of a few words grew so large it needed its own separate space. And so…
On 5th November 2019, I founded ‘KhadiBoliShabdkosh.com.’
Khadi Boli Shabdkosh is the first and only collection of original Khadi Boli words online. I’ve kept this reference source free of charge and in the public domain to benefit the masses. I’ll keep on adding more words and examples to this collection.
And I am glad to tell you that my hard work has started bearing fruit.
Khadi Boli Shabdkosh Is Making An Impact
Just the other day, a user posted a comment:
“Thank you so much. Aap bhot accha kaam kar rahe ho hamari sanskriti ko badhane k liye. Though I belong to Hapur. But I was raised in different parts of mp and chattisgarh because of my father’s job and my parents did not teach me khadi boli because they thought it’s uncivilised (I am very proud of my culture and mother tongue and would like to teach my kids). And I did not speak my mother tongue (and it hurt me alot that I don’t speak my mother tongue) until I start to learn online. Your blog and channel helped me a lot. Thanks alot please upload some other videos too, and keep the good work on.”
Well, thank you for your kind words, dear.
How to Use this Shabdkosh
Click on the links to go directly to the corresponding pages. I’ve included the meaning of Khadi Boli words in Hindi and English wherever possible.
And I’ve also uploaded some audio examples to help you understand what Khadi Boli sound like.
Khadi Boli is a fun language. So enjoy the journey, and whenever you need a reference, come back.
You’re always welcome here. 🙂