Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysia!

Because #Merdeka60 is today, what better time is there than now to take closer look at the most delightful colloquial phrases that we can’t live without. It’s a wicked concoction of the Melayu, Mandarin and Tamil/Hindi languages all blended into one, but that’s what makes us uniquely Malaysia. Live on, Bahasa Rojak!

In alphabetical order:

#1 Abuden:

Sarcastic expression of ‘duh’, often used in response to someone who just stated the obvious
Brother: You just bought this phone?
Sister: Abuden? You think it fell from the sky? 

#2 Ah, no lah:

Literal expression of “no”
Friend 1: Dei! You just cut your hair? So short now!
Friend 2: Ah, no lah. My hair grew inwards back into my scalp.  

#3 Aiseh:

To express being impressed
Friend 1: Ey, how much you got for the test?
Friend 2: 60/100.
Friend 1: Aiseh! 55 marks higher than mine!

#4 Alamak:

Horrified expression of ‘oh my goodness!’
Mother: Boy, I didn’t bring my house key. Did you bring yours?
Son: Alamak! I forgot also! Tonight sleep corridor liao!

#5 Ayat:

To hit on someone
Friend 1: Bro, bro, look at that leng lui. She’s so cute wor!
Friend 2: Bro, go ayat her lah.

Ayat GIF
Image credit: GIPHY

#6 Belanja:

To give a treat
Friend 1: Bro, my bonus just came in. Meet for lunch lei, I belanja you!
Friend 2: Wah, steady bro!  

#7 Best giler:

Superlatively good
Guy: The roti john from that stall, best giler!  

#8 Boleh tahan:

‘Not too shabby’
Mother: Bang, how’s your new job?
Son: Boleh tahan, mak. Don’t worry.  

#9 Bojio:

Expressing your non-invitation to an event or activity
Friend 1: Sup man. What did you do today?
Friend 2: Oh I went to sing K with Stacy, William and Jacob.
Friend 1: Wei! Bojio! 

#10 Bos:

The name you give to a CEO, kopitiam waiter, or someone you need a favor from
Customer: Bos, milo satu! 

Image credit: GIPHY


#11 Bosan:

The feeling of boredom
Friend 1: Dei, wanna go watch movie today?
Friend 2: Bosan lah. Let’s do something else.

#12 Buat taik:

To screw up, or someone who is screwed up
Wife: Sayang, how’s your new colleague?
Husband: Buat taik la, dia. I keep having to clean up his mess. Tak boleh tahan.

#13 Bungkus:

The wrapping up of a business
Friend 1: Babe, let’s go to the new crepe shop near KSL Mall!
Friend 2: You living in your own world, ah? That crepe shop buangkus already!

#14 Cable:

To describe having connections in high places
Girl: I was offering a higher price for the shop space, but he got it instead! Confirm have cable!

Image credit: GIPHY

#15 Cabut:

To take off first
Guy: Dei, I cabut first. Girlfriend duty at 6pm.

#16 Can meh:

Skeptical expression of uncertainty
Brother: I’m taking dad’s car out for a drive. Don’t tell him ah.
Sister: Daddy’s car leh. Can meh?

#17 Caras:

To covet
Guy: That bugger caras my bike, my girlfriend and now my cat!

#18 Cincai lah:

‘I’m not fussy, anything goes’
Boyfriend: Dear, what do you feel like having for dinner?
Girlfriend: Cincai lah.  

#19 Chup:

To ask someone to repeat what they said because they spoke too quickly
Girl: Ey, chup! Too fast!

Image credit: GIPHY 

#20 Diam lah:

‘Shut up’
Neighbor: Ey, diam lah! Midnight already still playing drums! 

#21 Eksyen:

To describe a show-off and/or someone who boasts
Guy 1: Did you hear about his upcoming trip to the moon?
Guy 2: Eksyen siol. He’s been telling everyone about it.   

#22 Fong fei kei:

To cancel an appointment at the last minute
Friend 1: Ey, where’s Eric?
Friend 2: Fong fei kei again lor. Said he had something else to do.  

#23 Fuyoh:

An expression of astonishment
Guy: Fuyoh! This burger damn nice! 

#24 Gila babi:

To intensify your speech with the ruder equivalent of ‘super duper’
Girl: What’s with the weather today?! Panas gila babi!  

Image credit: GIPHY

#25 Gempak:

To express ‘wow’ in an impressed manner
Girl: Ey, gempak! I didn’t know you can sing so well!

#26 Geram:

An expression of frustration
Neighbor: What time already, the caterer still not here! Geram siol!

#27 Gostan:

To reverse a vehicle
Son: Still have space, can gostan a bit more! 


#28 Half-past six:

‘‘Below average’
Daughter: How’s the party, mommy?
Mom: Aiyah, half-past six. The food not atas enough.

Half-Past Six
Image credit: GIPHY

#29 Jangan perasan:

‘Don’t flatter yourself’
Friend 1: Don’t you love having me as a friend? I’m so awesome!
Friend 2: Ey, jangan perasan ya. Make me wanna vomit.  

#30 Jom:

‘Let’s go’
Girlfriend: Hawaii is so beautiful…
Rich-Ass Boyfriend: Jom! Let’s go there now.  

#31 Kantoi:

A get-caught-red-handed situation
Teacher: Adam! You’re supposed to be in class now, what are you doing at the mall?
Student: Kantoi… 

#32 Kautim:

‘Completed’, ‘settled’
Mother: Boy, have you ironed the clothes?
Son: Ya, kautim liao.  

#33 Kencing:

To fool someone
Guy: This business deal for real? Don’t kencing ah!

Image credit: GIPHY

#34 Kongsi:

To share
Guy: Bro, we all kongsi Ahmad’s gift. Pay up.  

#35 Kot:

Friend 1: Are you going to Anisah’s party?
Friend 2: Kot… I let you know again. 

#36 Koyak:

‘Complete failure’
Friend 1: Macha! How’s your business?
Friend 2: Aiyah, my business koyak already. I’m looking for a job now, any lobang? 

#37 Lalang:

To be fickle-minded
Girl: It’s been an hour and you still can’t decide what to eat? Don’t lalang lah, quick decide! 

#38 Macha/Dei:

Guy: Macha! Long time no see! 

#39 Masyuk:

To possess a lot of money
Friend 1: Did you hear? Hafiz bought a new house lately! Big like palace!
Friend 2: Wah, masyuk ah he.

Image credit: GIPHY

 #40 Mat salleh/Guai lou:

Husband: Sayang, how’s your new French colleague?
Wife: I can’t understand his English. Mat salleh always like that! 

#41 Meletup:

To describe something explosive. It can be used in different situations, be it congratulatory or in anger.
Girl: Babe! Your ice-cream shop meletup ah! Everyone loves the satay flavor!   

#42 On:

To agree on an activity
Friend 1: Bro, beer on Friday night?
Friend 2: On! 

#43 Payung:

To help someone financially
Friend 1: Oh no, I think I left my wallet at home!
Friend 2: It’s ok. I payung your lunch.  

#44 Pokai:

To have no money
Friend 1: Bro, wanna go clubbing tonight?
Friend 2: Mai lah, I pokai already.

Image credit: GIPHY

#45 Potong stim:

‘Party pooper’
Friend 1: I can’t join you guys tonight.
Friend 2: Huh, why!? Potong stim lah you! 

#46 Poyo:

Friend 1: Did you hear what he did to his girlfriend?
Friend 2: Ya! Poyo siol.  

#47 Roger:

To phone someone
Guy: I caput first. Anything you need, just roger me.  

#48 Rilek lah:

Relax, it’s not a big deal
Son: Mak, rilek lah. We can always go back to buy more food.  

#49 Sado:

To describe a buff, muscular man
Girl: Aiyoh, ah bang sado!

Image credit: GIPHY

#50 Settle:

I’ll look after this. (something like kautim)
Friend #1: Eh settle for me the bill please.
Friend #2: Everyday settle for you, my life also settle la.

#51 Siam:

To ask someone to move, or to say you’ll make a move first
Guy: Ey, you think you made of glass? Siam lah! 

#52 Slumber / Selamba:

Relaxed, laidback
Friend 1: Eh, isn’t your deadline for the project tonight?
Friend 2: I selamba je, nothing to worry about lah.

#52 Swee:

Friend 1: Don’t worry about missing class. I’ll send you my lecture notes.
Friend 2: Swee! Thanks bro! 

#53 Syok-nyer:

To express satisfaction
Guy: Wah, eat ice-cream in this panas gila babi weather. Syok-nyer!  

#54 Syok sendiri:

A self-absorbed narcissist
Girl: Wahlao, every picture on her Instagram is a selfie. Syok sendiri siol.  

#55 Wahlao:

An expression of disbelief or disappointment
Waiter: Total RM300, bos.
Customer: Wahlao eh! So expensive!

Image credit: GIPHY

#56 Where got:

To indicate denial or a response to a false accusation
Girlfriend: My friend said she saw you with another girl at the mall yesterday. Who is that?!
Boyfriend: Huh, where got!

#57 Ya hor:

A moment of realization
Friend 1: Dei, what you getting your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day?
Friend 2: Ya hor! I forgot!  

#58 Ya kah?:

To seek confirmation, as in ‘are you sure?’
Friend 1: Babe, have you completed the assignment? It’s due today.
Friend 2: Ya kah? I thought it’s due next week? 

#59 Ya kua:

To express uncertainty, as in ‘I’m not sure about that’
Girlfriend: Dear, when is your baby cousin coming to KL again?
Boyfriend: Ya kua… Maybe end of this year?  

#60 Yum cha:

To hang out with friends
Friend 1: Let’s yum cha when you’re free?
Friend 2: Sure! How ‘bout this Sunday?

Yum Cha
Image credit: GIPHY

Happy Merdeka Day, Malaysia! We hope you enjoyed our very own #Merdeka60-inspired dictionary of Bahasa Rojak. Tell us about more words and slangs you use!

*Featured Image Credit: Engin_Akyurt | Pixabay

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