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20 Indonesian Slang Words You Definitely Need to Know

20 Indonesian Slang Words You Definitely Need to Know

An informal speech that used by the people is called slang, and it can not be accepted in formal writing, such as business correspondence, academic tasks, and essays. However, Indonesian slang words are used in daily conversation, used mostly in the speech by people who know each other.

Slang word is defined as a casual type of language in popular culture, that is playful and trendy. Every region has many slang words to communicate and express something.

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The number of slang words makes reference to violence, and the use of slang was often seen by many people as an indicator of the speaker’s lower social status. But, I think the use of slang has no correlation to the speaker’s intelligence, it is just a fun vocabulary. In Indonesia, if you are using slang in your speech you would be called “gaul”, which means “cool” in English.

20 Indonesian slang words you definitely need to know, Here we go!

Indonesian slang words
Photo: Muficasilda’s Illustration

1. Anjay/anjir – the word to cuss something

At first, Anjay has modified the word “anjing” which means “dog” in English. Indonesian people use that word (anjing) to curse something. Nowadays, they modify it to “anjir” then “anjay” in order to be polite.

After that, the meaning of anjir is similar to “damn” in English-cursing in a polite way.

You’re so rude! Damn you!
You’re so rude! Anjir you!

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Sometimes, anjay is currently use to an exclamation interchangeable with “Wow”

Damn, you’re so gorgeous tonight!
Anjay, you’re so gorgeous tonight!

2. Baper – being touched by something rude

Baper uses for someone who seems irritated, sad, angry, upset, and also feels bitter or sweet. It was an abbreviation for “Bawa Perasaan”, and “brittle/tempered” in English. The meaning of Baper similar to the word “do not take it personally”.

Since it, people being easily hurt others and then just say “jangan baper!” / “don’t take it persoally”.

That was a joke, don’t take it personally!
That was a joke, jangan baper!

3. Gece – an announcement to go in a hurry

The slang of gece meant to be “Gerak cepat”, and means to “hustle” in English.

The meeting is about to start, hurry up!
The meeting is about to start, gece!

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4. Suwer – speaking honestly and truthfully

Suwer is used when someone make a promise, and pinky!

I really love you baby, honestly!
I really love you baby, suwer!

5. Kicep – an expression of speechless

Kicep can be about an unexpected or astonishing event, such as to take unawares or to affect with wonder. So, you don’t know what words to say.

I was caught cheating by the teacher, I’m speechless!
I was caught cheating by the teacher, I’m kicep!

6. Alay – people who love things that are tacky

The slang of alay is an abbreviation from “Anak Layangan” and “Kite boy’s” in English. Honestly, I do not really know why people make an “alay” word for tacky people.

You are dressing like this, are you serious? OMG, you are so tacky!
You are dressing like this, are you serious? OMG, you are so alay!

7. Nongkrong – sit around and doing nothing

In Indonesian slang words, “nongkrong” means a condition that you want to be enjoying your time with your friends. In English, it is called “hangout”.

Are you free to have some coffee with me? Let’s go hangout!
Are you free to have some coffee with me? Nongkrong yuk!

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8. Bonyok – an abbreviation of parents

Slang of “Bonyok” is an abbreviation from “Bokap Nyokap”, and “Mom and Dad” in English. Bokap; Dad, Nyokap; Mom.

My Mom and Dad are not at home for three days, I want to make a party tonight!
My Bonyok are not at home for three days, I want to make a party tonight!

9. Mager – a condition that you’re too lazy to do something

Mager is derived from “Malas gerak”, it is literally means “lazy to move” in English.

I am lazy to go to shower on Sunday.
I am mager to go to shower on Sunday.

10. Sotoy – felt like knew about something

The meaning of “sotoy” slang is an abbreviation for “sok tahu”, which means “act like you know everything”. When someone being sotoy, it means she or he is pretending like an obnoxious know-it-well.

You don’t know about anything at all!
Sok tau lo!

11. Rempong – over reacting about something

Rempong is slang from “repot”, it is meant to be “busy or troublesome” in English. If someone acts busy with overreacting through something.

You can just wear sneakers and a t-shirt for hangout, don’t be over!
You can just wear sneakers and a t-shirt for hangout, don’t be rempong!

12. Cuy – the word to mention a person

Hey dude, what’s up?
Hey cuy, what’s up?

13. Sans – sans means like do not worry about something

Let me do the dishes in the kitchen, it’s okay!
Let me do the dishes in the kitchen, sans!

14. Kepo – really want to know every particular things

Why are you curious about that? Mind your own business!
Why are you kepo about that? Mind your own business!

15. Ngegas – speaking with high pitch

The term of “Ngegas” is for a condition when someone speak in high pitch.

Can you speak in a calming pitch?
Bisa apa tidak bicaranya tidak ngegas?

16. Unyu – something cute and pretty

Wow, your necklace is so cute!
Wow, your necklace is so unyu!

17. Kece – a word for swag things

Kece could be mean to something cool, pretty, beautiful, or etc.

I thought she was pretty
I thought she was kece

18. Jayus

In this slang, Jayus is mentioned to awkward humor behind a joke delivered so badly that you can’t help.

OMG, She’s really awkward at a joke
OMG, She’s really jayus at a joke

19. Rebek/Jember – dirty muddy things

Why you are eating like this? You made the table so dirty son.
Why you are eating like this? You made the table so jember son.

20. Julid – gossiping

The meaning of Julid is envious or jealous about something, and you gave their gossip. It will be hard to make an example about this slang of julid. But, people are usually julid while writing comments or status to hate someone on social media.

You don’t have to necessarily use Indonesian slang words in your speech when you come to Indonesia, because Indonesian people are friendly. They would come to you and say, “Hello Mr/Mrs, may I take a picture with you?”.

Indonesian people have many epithets for foreigners. If you are a white person, you will be in term of “Bule”, and if you are black you will be called “Bule negro”. Certainly, we are going to treat you like a queen and king, because we are Indonesian. Indonesian people believe that we have to treat a visitor like a queen/king.

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