Kannada’s “Goobe” notebooks, folders, earrings and crochet products !!!

Goobe's Book Republic, Bengaluru

What prompted this post?.. my friend who doesn’t know a word of Kannada cursing her slow internet connection thus –“ hey this goobe gmail is troubling me so much” 😀

This WORD deserved a post completely dedicated to it.. the word is GOOBE, which in Kannada means owl.
In our day to day life we don’t really talk much about owl’s do we? But goobe is quite often used as swear word, to express your displeasure at someone or something . Similar to calling somebody a monkey or a donkey but goobe is easier and much cuter than those words.

One of the Kannada’s  popular slang terms has even made its way to Chennai, where it is used with other Kannada words like bejaar. The usage of the word seems to be increasing with the advent of text messages and Facebook. Several bloggers dedicate entire posts to the word goobe.

In fact, the word is so popular that it even sells as a brand name. Gurpreet Kaur, who has just finished her II PU from Christ Junior College and her best friend, Varsha Ramesh, who graduated from Kumarans, (both in Banglaore)  used the word to poke fun at each other and they grew so fond of it that they decided to name their business enterprise after it. “We just love the word,” says Gurpreet, “And we love owls. “Since October 2011, the girls have been selling Goobe notebooks, folders, earrings and crochet products through the social media network.

Goobe’s Book Republic, Banglaore:  Goobe’s book republic sounds funny if kannadigas read it. For non Kannadigas, it means owl its right there very obvious in the logo. But i really like the name and the style of it.This is a small library with vast collection of books on Churchstreet, MG Road, Bangalore.

It’s interesting to note that while the English language regards the owl as a symbol of wisdom (He is as wise as an owl, we often read in English texts) probably because of its association with Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, its usage in Kannada and Hindi is quite derogatory. In Finnish culture, the owl is regarded as stupid for its dumb stare, while owls in medieval Europe were thought to be evil, stupid helpers of witches.

What’s the good word?

» ‘Goobe in Kannada actually means ‘owl’.
But in Bangalore it means:

» A fool

» A boring person

» An introvert

» An irritating guy

» A useless person

‘Goobe is casually used when:

» A friend makes everyone wait by turning up late at any place outside college

» Someone is not paying attention to what you are saying

» You are angry with someone who has failed to complete the task assigned to him/her

» A friend keeps his phone busy by chatting with his girlfriend/ boyfriend

» You bump into the lecturer you wanted to avoid

» You have to curse the traffic cop who steps forward to stop you.

» You have to curse the lappy (laptop) when it conks

In traditional Kannadiga homes, mothers warn their children against disobedience by telling them, “Goobe barathe!” (The owl will come!) Owls are looked upon as a bad omen because they haunt lonely places and are only seen at night.

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