Unbranded and home on the range.

Oh you think you’re funny huh?

A while back, in an effort to get my baby brother [now 15 years of age] to build some thicker skin, I told him to take any insult someone threw at him and roll it right back with a lighthearted add-on intended to show the insulter that he wasn’t hurt or fazed by the insult, and rather, was having fun with the insult. So for example if someone called him a “LOSER!”, he should just crack a smile, make a goofy face and correct the person by saying “Loser with a Life, yo!” or if someone called him a “RETARD!”, he might reply back saying “Retard keepin’ it Real, baybeh!” and perhaps accentuate the retort with a snap of the fingers, or pointing at himself, or shrugging his shoulders, etc. The idea was to not only show complete indifference to the insult, but to even toss it back with his own spin on it.

So tonight at the dinner table as I was scooping my rice and meat out onto my plate, my sister made some stale sarcastic joke, and I forced a stunted, artificial stream of laughter and followed up with “WHAT A FUNNY!” while keeping a poker face. And then that reminded me of the odd time I’ve heard my parents toss the term “mutafunnee” about when one or both of them were angry at us. Its a term in both Arabiy and Hindi that loosely translated, means “troublemaker”.

Well, you can guess what happened next.

My face lit up like I had just discovered the cure for cancer as I looked over at my baby brother who was sitting on the computer in the breakfast area. “OMG! Next time Mom calls you mutafunnee, you can just laugh and say “VAT-A-FUNNY!” … I found this proposal to be so hilarious I nearly collapsed from laughing so hard. I had to first cover my face with my hands because I couldn’t stop laughing, and then I slapped my hands on the countertop and then buried my face in my arms, still laughing my head off. My mom, standing behind me was slightly amused at the proposal, but moreso at my uncontrollable laughter. She couldn’t resist slapping my back while laughing herself. My sister and my baby brother were snickering either with me or at me, I didn’t care.

What’s even more funny was that I had no clue what “mutafunnee” means. My mom said she had never seen it actually written in literature, but only heard people saying it. She vaguely recalled it meaning something like troublemaker or rascal. We had a brief discussion at the dinner table about what the root word was. My sister suggested fitnah or fitan, but I said no because the root didn’t seem to be F T N.

A little while later I was asking an associate  – Basboosa  – what the word meant. Here’s our brief exchange:

Salmaan says:
I have a question
Salmaan says:
do you know what the urdu term “mutafunni” means?
Basboosa says:
I have a answer
Salmaan says:
i know its like, an insult or something
Basboosa says:
someone is fat and funny
Salmaan says:
but i’m not sure what it means
Basboosa says:
Basboosa says:

… lawlz.

Get it? MOTA + FUNNY …. fat and funny?

That was good.

Gosh I love turning my brain off and becoming an airhead. The laughs come so easily at anything and everything.

Anyways. Later I asked Dr. Saima if she had the answer and here’s what she said:

Mari  – says:
mutafannin : crafty [fanna] Hin mutafanni
Mari  – says:
mutafanni itself is arabic
Salmaan says:
mutafanneen is from arabiy?
Mari  – says:
Salmaan says:
and in hindi it became mutafannee?
Salmaan says:
meaning? crafty? troublemaker?
Salmaan says:
Mari  – says:
fanna=thats hindi, but i dont know what exactly that means
Mari  – says:
Mari  – says:
is arabic


Filed under: Ghetto, Laced, Miscellany, MSN Ejecta

One Response

  1. sukkar&filfil says:

    i got the joke… long, but i got it, hehe 🙂

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