Ullu ka patha

Son of an owl

Someone who does not understand anything properly


The collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, first heard this insult around middle school but only remembered it being used in high school.   Since it is an insult, it is not appropriate to use it all the time, mainly just around one’s peers and age group.  The insult can roughly translate as a “fool”; someone who doesn’t understand anything properly or thought to be dumb. Other uses of this slur include “a good for nothing person” or as an insult to your father.  It is more commonly found in northern India where Hindi is spoken. “Ullu ka patha” is also seen in movies a lot.

On the first literal translations of this item, I found the meaning to be somewhat ironic.  In most scenarios, owls are associated with wisdom and are considered to be very knowledgeable.  In this case, however, it has quite the opposite meaning.  I am not sure why this is, maybe it has something to do with Indian culture that is unknown to foreigners.  R.C.D. has heard this insult used in many different forms.  He/She mentioned that in same causes, people use it as the equivalent of “Son of a bitch” in Western culture.  He/She said this interpretation is not as common and is not sure of the validity behind that meaning.