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Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer

TERENGGANU PLACE NAMES

Wednesday, October 06, 2004
This post is requested by reader Karina as a response to today's earlier post. I don't know if I can do much justice at such a short notice. I checked the Internet to see if any researchers published anything on the subject. I found none. Tadok setarang mek weeeh. The closest I got was a reference to a book Place Names in Peninsular Malaysia by a certain Duraisingam. So I have to write without the benefit of research. I have to wing it.

Mostly, Terengganu place names come from nature. Bukit Beso, Bukit Kechik, Bukit Payong are descriptions of the geographical feature found in the places. Batu Rakit got its name from the raft-like rock formation in the sea off the beach. The same for Batu Buruk the popular beach where you can get fried ice cream and the venue for main pantai (a subject for an upcoming post, InsyaAllah). The rocks at Batu Buruk must have been terribly oxidized to warrant that name. Let me reassure you that it has nothing to do with rotting testicles.

Still on nature, we have Kerandang ( purportedly where the best durian and mangosteen in Besut comes from) named after a tree, just like Gong Kapas, Kampong Buloh, Kalang Berangan, Rhu Rendang, Rhu Renggeh, Alor Temesu and others that you can think of.

Places in Terengganu were also named after the ubiquitous wakaf built along roads in the state. This would be a rich subject for further studies. It would be interesting to know how Wakaf Tapai got the monicker. Were memorable tapais (fermented tapioca or glutinous rice wrapped in leaves) sold on the wakaf? And how did Wakaf Bruas got the name? What is the story behind the history?

Places with history behind them are plenty in Terengganu. Kampong Raja in Besut was named thus because viceroys of the sultans lived there. Simpang Tok Ku was named after Tok Ku Syed Saggaf, a highly respected religious scholar and teacher. Kampong Daik was probably named after the original settlers who were from Daik, Indonesia.

Recent history gave us Jambang Ija (in Tanjung). The town council of Kuala Terengganu wanted to stop some people of Tanjung from using the beach as their toilet. You don't see them now - those squatting people wrapped up to their head in their sarong pelekat (pulicat?) grunting away at the sunrise. Anyway, the town council built a public toilet with zinc walls and painted it green and the area is forever known as Jambang Ija (Hijau).

I am just scratching the surface here. I am sure if we dig deeper and wider, we can unearth some interesting stories. If you have any, beratang (share) please.

| 2:05 PM :: ::
18 CommentsOldStyle:
  • That was fast! cool.

    I've been told that Gong refers to tanah tinggi/highland - hence it's dual use to refer to people who are stuck-up "mung ni gong sungguh", whereas "darat gong" means sort of bodoh sombong - coming from rural inland, and yet acting stuck up.

    there seems to be a social class tendency for darat = lower class vs pantai/kuala = upper class in the old days.

    Another one my mum told me: Cerung Lanjut (cerun lanjut) = a steady incline (err.. what's the opposite of steep?)

    oh dear i can go on forever.

    btw, i used to go to kampung raja as a child - have cousins there.

    By Blogger karina, at 3:30 PM  
  • Karina: Read CUCU CONCERNS in September's archives. I think "Gong" was defined by a few people.
    I used to work in Cerung Lanjut or rather up the hill where the road leads down to one end of Cherung Lanjut. The opposite of a steep slope would be a gentle slope I think.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 3:55 PM  
  • Pak Ku,
    Have you heard a village by the name of:

    Kampung Darat Beris Pak Chang!

    This Saturday,insyaAllah I will be having tea with a friend at Pulau Duyung- an 'island' not at sea.Something similar to Pulau Kambing:-)

    By Blogger Mohd Adib Noh, at 9:14 PM  
  • Pak Ku, I think Wakaf Bruas got its name from buah beruas - a mangosteen-like fruit. There are still a few at my place in Pasir Panjang, where the old-folks love to play 'dam-aji' under its tree.

    Pak Adib, Pulau Duyung is an island, it's in the middle of kuala Sg Terengganu. Still remember using the 'perahu penambang' for 30 sen to get to my grandma's house. If you have time Pak Adib, visit the boat-makers there. You'll be amazed to find how they built a boat without a written plan!

    And I still remember how hard it was to run around in the sandy compound of my primary school. My mom said Pasir Panjang was once part of the sea, and I guess that's how it got its name- 'pasir sepanjang-panjang mata memandang'!

    Pak Ku, keep on writing about Terengganu please. It makes me feel closer to home...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 PM  
  • "Wakaf Tengah, Batu Rakit" is the address of my school. When we can't catch the bus fr college straight to 'bandor, we took alternative route which is a short drive to Seberang Takir then a boat ride to the jetty near Istana Maziah.

    Before we get to Seberang Takir for the first time, our senior told us that the boat ride would be a journey on a "rakit", that's why the place called 'Batu Rakit'. heh hehh... we, the innocent juniors, believe them word for word.

    By Blogger Jane Johan, at 11:24 PM  
  • I was asked the same question when had my scholarship interview! Since I obviously live in Wakah Beruah, my last question was how did it get its name. Well, I think Anonymous's explanation was exactly what answered. Something about people building wakafs under the beruas tree and spend hours playing dam aji!

    My friend E was asked about Terengganu as well in her interview since she stated that went to school in Kuala Berang. But wen asked what was Losong famous for, she totally forgot. Worse of all, she agreed with the panel (who were clearly jesting) that it was the site for the next Proton Mega plant!!

    By Blogger lion3ss, at 8:40 AM  
  • and is it true that 'Merang' got its name from the many otters that use to live in the river?
    So how did 'Marang' get its name?

    By Blogger elisataufik, at 10:48 AM  
  • And I was told that Trengganu's main airport is at Tenaga Batin?

    By Blogger Kri, at 4:04 AM  
  • Kri, it is Telaga Batin. Hehe, can't imagine if it was the one you heard *grin*

    By Blogger lion3ss, at 8:39 AM  
  • Now explain to me abour TELIPOT? This must be interesting I'd say...

    By Blogger rewang, at 11:15 AM  
  • Pok Ku, thanks for all Tganu related posts. You're making me kampung-sick y'know. I especially loved 'Acu cuba try test' because I've heard my friends said it so many times and in earnest.. as if saying it four times as much would make whatever it is that they're testing work LOL. I've learned so much about my mum's hometown from your posts. Tq. Now on to my q, we used to stay at Gong Badak. Did that name come from seeing badak around that place? And yes, what's Telipot? I'm curious too.

    Putri @ http://www.livejournal.com/users/putri

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:04 AM  
  • Pok ku , how bout Dungun where the name came from? Kg. Sura may came from this as-syura (meeting) words kot? Hehehe, paling dok tahang sapa pecoh peruk is Mujo words, didn't realize b4, that word can be elaborate that much.
    Sometime when speaking to old buddy, this all so called classic words appeared and we laughing "berguling bating, golek arghek and pecoh peruk."
    This coming hariraya pok ku balik kkapung ke dok? Anyway Pok ku asal dari mana.

    Strike"kepok getel" Eagle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:21 AM  
  • Pokku, just eager to add here... 'KEMAMAN' is being named after a kind of monkey easily found in those old days nearby the bushes of 'maman' trees at muara of Sg Kemaman. Maman leaves are edible, but I can't remember wheter in the form of rojak or jeruk... anyhow, the 'root words' for KEMAMAN is KERA MAMAN.

    By Blogger adlish ghazali, at 3:20 PM  
  • "Telipot" nama pokok...(there is a kampung call Mengabang Telipot..ada Kustem, MRSM kat situ)..then Mengabang is a small kuala...the right pronoun. for Mengabang is N'garbang

    By Blogger awangchehing, at 11:22 PM  
  • i'm searching about gong badak here..can someone of you all tell me about it????please,,,if you do,,please e-mail me at ena 1129alice@yahoo.com

    By Anonymous raja, at 9:00 PM  
  • Assalamualaikum

    Can any one, please assist me to find the makam for Tok Selehon in Trengganu, jertih or Kelantan,gaal hilir,pasir putih.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:11 PM  
  • Mu nok tahu pasal negeri Terengganu mu baca buku Sejarah Darul Iman hingga 1337H = 1918M, oleh Dato' Haji Muhammad Saleh Bin Haji Awang (Misbaha) terbitan Utusan Publications & Distributors Sdn Bhd.

    By Anonymous Yosri, at 10:38 AM  
  • there is a kampung(kg) in area K.berang call Kg nasik hangit....& next to this kg is kg tok imam lapar...hahaha...maybe cause nasik hangit & tok imam lapar due to no nasi to eat

    By Anonymous pok ming, at 1:29 AM  
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