Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 6 June 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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The Use of Catchy Words
A Case Study from Pakistan

Rabiah Rustam, M.A., M.S., Ph.D. Candidate


The aim of this research is to investigate the use of catchy words in communication which do not have any standardized meaning. People who use such words associate multiple meanings with them. The most frequent users of these words are young, educated people. Such words grab the attention of the user as well as the audience.

Because of attractive nature the use of catchy words is increasing day by day. The youth prefers to use such words in place of old and worn; out expressions. The research was conducted on the college as well as university level students to find out the reasons of using such words. The results demonstrate that such words are mostly used by the youth who are Intermediate and Bachelors level students. Moreover, the use of such words varies with respect to gender, medium, qualification, the meaning associated with the words, status and the relationships of the people using these words.


The purpose of this research is to find out the causes of using certain words in communication which are catchy and do not have any standardized meaning. The rate of using such words is increasing to such an extent that soon they will be part of standard communication. Young people use these words while communicating with friends and peers.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines catchword or catchphrase (we call it catchy phrase in South Asia) as "A well-known word or phrase, especially one that exemplifies a notion, class, or quality." The examples given for this concept of catchword or catchphrase are rather different from the catchy phrases under discussion in this paper. In the coinage of catchy phrases in South Asia, reduplication plays a dominant role, as seen below.

These words are a mixture of Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, English and other languages. Such words have been devised by the people themselves in such a way that if one part of the word has certain meaning, the other part is mostly without any sense. The origins of such words are arbitrary and their meanings are arbitrary to such an extent that the people use them in different ways. One of the interesting aspects is that these words are mostly used by the educated people. Most of the times these words are used in such a way that it is hard for the target audience to get the meaning associated with them.

Research Questions

Major research questions are the following

  1. How do people come to know such catchy words?
  2. What kinds of meaning are commonly associated with such words?
  3. How do gender, qualification and medium cause difference in the frequency of using catchy words?
  4. Why do people use catchy words?

What are catchy words?

These are the words which grab the attention of the audience. They have attractive nature and most of the times create pleasant effect on listening.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Patterns of Indian Multilingualism | The Use of Catchy Words: A Case Study from Pakistan | Conquering Psychological Alienation - How Amy Tan Looks at It | I`gbo` Verbs of Communication | Honorifics and Speech Levels in Meiteiron | Social Functions of Metaphor - A Case Study Applying Tamil and Telugu Examples | Pragmatic Approaches and Models of Linguistic Politeness | Emerging Paradigms in Language Communication in India and Their Impact on the Corporate Competencies | Role of Encoding Temporal Fine Structure Cues in Time Compressed Word Recognition | Negotiating Boundaries: Arab-American Poetry and the Dilemmas of Dual Identity | The Role of Self-Directed Learning Strategy in Higher Education | Attitudes toward Women Expressed in the Speech of Male College Students | Teachers' Professional Development in ELT at Tertiary Level: ELTR Project of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan - A Case Study | The Changing Image of Women in Indian Writing in English - A Study of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things | The Administration of the East India Company: A History of Indian Progress: Native Education | Teaching English Language and Literature in Non-Native Context | Improving Chemmozhi Learning and Teaching - Descriptive Studies in Classical-Modern Tamil Grammar | Global Perspective of Teaching English Literature in Higher Education in Pakistan | Two Trends That Would Deface Classical-Modern Tamil - How to Reverse These Trends? | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JUNE 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of June 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Rabiah Rustam, M.A., M.S., Ph.D Candidate
Department of English
University of Management and Technology
Lahore, Pakistan

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