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Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer

A ROUGH GUIDE TO TERENGGANU-SPEAK: Part 2

Thursday, October 07, 2004


As promised, I will explain the expressions: (Terengganu-speak, Standard Bahasa and the English approximation)

gelap guguk (gelap gugup) It is so dark that you are speechless.
beso jalo (besar menjalar) Big that you spread
lapo belepeng (lapar berlempeng) Hungry until your stomach is flat as a pancake.
manih letting (terlalu manis) It is so sweet that you jump.
kerah kerjong (keras kekejangan) Hard as rigor mortis
panah ketik ketik (panas seperti digigit) The heat bites like it has teeth.
leloh bedoho'r (penat sehingga berdengus dengus) Tired until you pant noisily.

Like in Kelantan, some standard words have different meanings. Do not say "Saya suka bela kambing" in Kelantanese- speaking communities. You might get dirty looks or worse hauled up to the courts for cruelty to animals and charged with bestiality. Bela here is not the standard "keep" or "rear". In the Kelantanese context, it means "rear-end" the goat. In Terengganu, there are also words that have different meanings:

Selalu does not mean "always". It means now or instantly. For "always" there is sokmo.
Mu ni tangguh sokmo. Jangan tangguh, buat selalu.
(You always like to put things off. Do not postpone, do it now.)

In the spirit of interactivity, I will now invite you to give other Terengganu words that have different meaning like the above example. In case you get stuck, I will give you 4 more words to get you going but you have to highlight them to see:

> kopek, kerabat, gertak, patat

Of course there are foreign words that became Terengganunized. Stewong for example comes from the steel wound winches on timber lorries. Now stewong is a timber lorry with a winch. Rokok sgeret is the factory produced cigarette to differentiate it from rokok daun the hand rolled leaf cigarette. Even brand names sometimes get Terengganunized. Pot Rere is actually a noisy Ford car and Jip Goba Goba is a Land Rover.

Do you know why matches are called colok in Terengganu? They are not named after the joss sticks (colok in standard Malay) but from the action of striking the match (choh) and letting (lok) it burn. Matches are mancis in standard Malay but macheh in Terengganu means lighters. Cheh is lighting up as in the story of an old Terengganu man who, for the first time in his life saw blinking lights decorating the Istana Maziah:

"Kaye nye raje kite. Ada lapu molek, nye cheh nye mbuh, nye cheh nye mbuh"
(Our king is rich. He has nice lamps. One moment lighted, the other moment blown out."

| 12:29 AM :: ::
23 CommentsOldStyle:
  • Heh hehhh... "nye cheh nye mbuh, nye cheh nye mbuh" - cute way to describe "lapu lik-lak" !

    btw uncle, i thot "mecheh" is from "matches". ;-)

    By Blogger Jane Johan, at 2:25 AM  
  • LOL reading the last part of your posting.(nye cheh nye mbuh).That is the beauty of local dialect:-)

    By Blogger Mohd Adib Noh, at 8:32 AM  
  • Hahaha *lion3ss wipes tears from her eyes* This is hillarious! I know the first 2 words (err..kerabat tu panjat dok?) and the last one, but I don't think I've ever come across gertak.

    Anyway, last year I was called during a DI verbatim writing to explain what a certain word was. Apparently the witness was from Kerteh and he said he heard 'seruh sereh' belakang plant. Poor Kak Ros couldn't even make out the whole sentence because of this!

    By Blogger lion3ss, at 8:47 AM  
  • I LOVE your entries! I've always lurked about but never got around to commenting yet. But this is hilarious! I know where your daughters (I read mokciknab regularly too) Can I link you at my blog, pwetty pwease? :-)

    Leen Ashburn @ http://www.xanga.com/ashburn :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:30 AM  
  • lol :)

    i remember that lapu molek story! It was told by an aunt on my wedding night ... ahahhaha wat an intro to Terengganu-tongue. Good thing is.. it doesnt sound rude/harsh like the southern (malacca-speak)which I'm so used to.
    :) D-i-L

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:48 AM  
  • Lion3ss: gertak (threaten in standard BM) means bridge in Trengganuspeak.

    Leen: Permission granted. Thank you.

    Honeytar: Yes macheh is from mancis/matches but in my time it means a cigarette lighter.

    Huggers all.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 11:45 AM  
  • Guno gamuk mung?
    Please explain the wording in the song by Saleng on Ganu Kite.e.g kepok gete, guana gamuk,busuk kohon etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:26 PM  
  • Pok Ku... as a non-Trengganu speaker, I am feeling alienated and isolated!

    Hehehe... just kidding. Found the post to be quite informative. Now, if only I can remember these things so that I can understand people in Terengganu the next time I end up there!

    By Blogger DaisyBoo Blacksheep, at 2:14 PM  
  • In Perak, kerabat means panjat.

    By Blogger Nectar, at 2:24 PM  
  • wah, very informative lah. Thanks! Will practice some of them the next time i vacation at awana kijal. ;)

    By Blogger Buaya69, at 3:29 PM  
  • My contact with TG guys was when I got to work with the prince architect for the Istana Melawati project in Putrajaya. I guess my vocab took a major jump this past few days.. heh heh heh

    By Blogger rewang, at 4:25 PM  
  • kopek= payudara
    gertak = jambatan kecil ( culvert)
    Kerabat =panjat
    patat = in Dutch it means potatoes " Ik spreken holland mijnheer ( patat frits = fried potatoes) but therwe is no potatoes in ganu kite

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:00 PM  
  • Patat = pantat, might be a crude or vulgar word in standard Malay but in Terengganu-speak it means the bottom (not of human beings though).

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:09 PM  
  • what about "tak emboh"
    sokmo = seumur hidup ( forever and ever....
    the names of cakes e.g pak abas demam, ubi stella ( remind us of Stella Artois??)
    The linguistic theory for the addition of NG in ganuspeak is due to the people living on the coast ( fisherman) . It is so windy and during the monsoon season when one talks , it is difficult to hear. For example , when the husband came back from fishing at sea , the wife will shout abanggggg.....balikkk makanngggggg .If it is said "balik makan" the wording will be drown in the wind . So , you have to enlongate the end nggggg..which can transmit the sound further.
    On the other hand, two syllable words may not be practicle . The first syllable may be lost in the winds leaving only the second syllable. Per-gi ma-kan with the elongated last sellable will result in GIIIII ma KANNNGGGGG . It is not to economise words but for practical reason. Why do the Araabs talk very shraply and like people quarelling. Well, it is hot in the desert. You dont spend long time talking to each other- you do it fast and loud. and finish it.
    On the other hand those in the ulu regions ( jerongok batu) the talk in short syllable. The ulu trngganu can converse comfortable with those in Ulu Perak. It is short and and deep as the language of the "original people"
    Any comments on this.

    By Blogger Derumo, at 5:14 PM  
  • patat- similar to Indonesia. Once an Indoensian lady said to me " oh tidak pak ...kalau pantat nya di belakang - bukan nya di depan dong "

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:20 PM  
  • well face it, you indeed are `feymes`..words spread around you know, even to this part of the world, christchurch..i can get sued plagiarism, but what to do i just cant resist cool, hillarious stuffs like this..keep up blogging, its worth to read..=)
    .: najwa ab patah :.

    By Blogger najwa ab patah, at 5:25 PM  
  • Wow! Thanks for the enlightenment Deruwo and Anonymous. You dont have to be anyonymous if you are not blogspot-registered. If you noticed, there are commentators who typed in their nick even when they are not registered.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:26 PM  
  • Najwah, it is not plagiarism when the source is available, so worry not. Heheh.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:29 PM  
  • kopek = kupas durian
    It reminds me of a story a Perak guy who went to Kijal to buy a durian.The lady seller put the price at "tiga hamas" but the guy managed to bargain it for RM 1.50 . He was very happy and paid the sum and of course the lady was also very happy ( tiga hamas = RM 1.50) . The he asked " mek ..kopek ...mek )The lady got angry and commented" doh lah beri harga muroh ...nok kopek pulok..???"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:30 PM  
  • It reminds me of a Kl guy who buys nasi dagang. When the mak cik ask " nok uboh ikang ke ? nok daging?. He replied" Auntie, saya tak makan ikan tongkol mak cik . saya bukan orang East Coast.lah " His friend ( from Trengganu) next to him asked him " yesterday I saw you at Mc Donald having the tuna sandwich. " Oh , I love Tuna sandwich " . Well , I dont eat this ikan tongkol but I love tuna .....(ikang aya = ikan tongkol /ikan kayu = tuna in English).
    I dont like budu but I love pizza with salted anchovies topping. I detest budu but I love anchovy sauce
    ( Anchovy sauce = liquid budu ; salted anchovy topping on pizza = budu not fully liquidize)

    By Blogger Derumo, at 5:57 PM  
  • jerongok = pop ups
    We should delete all the pop up advertisement in our computer.
    Kita sepatut nya dapat membuang iklan jerongok dalam komputer kita .
    The stock market price moves sideways.
    harga sham di pasaran melempeng
    There is no good news that can ignite the market.
    Tidak terdapat berita baik yang boleh mengeceh ( ceh ) pasaran saham.

    By Blogger Derumo, at 6:11 PM  
  • Why is most of the things about Terengganu only? How about life in KL? And your daughters like me?

    TG Sh3r!L

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:22 PM  
  • LOL, this is fun! Reminds me of the story about a teacher's futile attempt at coaching Kelantanese kids to pronounce Awam, Awan and Awang the proper 'baku' way. In the end she gave up and asked for a transfer. She was sent to Trengganu...

    By Blogger Kri, at 8:00 PM  
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