How to Say “Older Sister” in Punjabi: Formal and Informal Ways

Punjabi, one of the many vibrant languages spoken in the Indian subcontinent, holds a rich cultural history and a variety of linguistic expressions. If you’re looking to express the term “older sister” in Punjabi, you’re in the right place! In this guide, we’ll explore both formal and informal ways of addressing an older sister, providing you with helpful tips and examples along the way.

Formal Ways:

When it comes to formal terms, Punjabi language allows for respectful variations. Here are a few phrases that you can use to refer to your older sister in a formal setting:

1. “Waddi Behen” – (ਵੱਡੀ ਬਹਣ)

This phrase translates to “older sister” literally. “Waddi” means older, and “behen” means sister. Using this term demonstrates respect and acknowledges the age-based relationship.

2. “Pejli Behen” – (ਪੇਜਲੀ ਬਹਣ)

Another formal term you can use is “Pejli Behen.” In Punjabi, “pejli” signifies the eldest sister, and “behen” means sister. This phrase is commonly used to address the eldest sister with reverence.

Informal Ways:

In informal settings, Punjabi offers several endearing ways to address an older sister. These terms are often used among family members and close friends, reflecting the warmth and affection shared between siblings.

1. “Didi” – (ਦਿਦੀ)

The term “Didi” is commonly used to refer to an older sister in an informal context. It expresses familiarity, love, and a sense of camaraderie. It is widely used among siblings and close friends.

2. “Pari” – (ਪਰੀ)

“Pari” is an affectionate term similar to “sister” in English. It can be used to address an older sister in an informal setting while emphasizing endearment and closeness.

Regional Variations:

It’s important to note that Punjabi is spoken across various regions, and regional variations can exist. While the aforementioned terms are widely understood throughout Punjab, there might be minor linguistic differences across specific areas. However, the terms described above are universally recognized by Punjabi speakers.

Tips for Usage:

Here are a few tips to ensure you use these terms correctly:

1. Context Matters:

In formal situations, it’s best to use the formal terms like “Waddi Behen” or “Pejli Behen.” However, when communicating with your older sister casually or within the family, the informal terms “Didi” or “Pari” are more appropriate.

2. Non-Verbal Communication:

Non-verbal cues, such as tone of voice and body language, play a significant role in expressing respect and warmth. Ensure that you convey your intentions through these cues, even when using the correct terms.

Example: “Didi, can you please pass me the book?” – Said with a gentle tone and a warm smile, this conversation exudes affection and respect.

3. Personalization:

Remember, language is dynamic, and relationships are personal. Feel free to adapt the terms mentioned to suit your comfort level and personal dynamics with your older sister. Adding nicknames or affectionate terms specific to your family can further deepen the bond.


Congratulations! You have successfully explored how to say “older sister” in Punjabi, both formally and informally. You’ve learned that “Waddi Behen” and “Pejli Behen” are the formal terms, while “Didi” and “Pari” are common informal expressions. Remember to consider the context, use non-verbal cues effectively, and personalize your language based on your relationship with your sister. Enjoy strengthening your connection and cultural understanding through the special bond with your older sister!

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