Friday, March 10, 2006As I was sitting down on my sofa waiting for Joe, the Astro guy to finish recabling my dish, a few Terengganu words flitted across my mind. They were not swear words even though the cable thief/thieves made many people spent more than RM200 to get back Astro signals. The thief/thieves hit several floors of the apartment. At least I knew it wasn't personal.
The words that teased my memory were cokkoh, cokeh, cekoh and cekok. For the life of me, I could not find the definition of cokkoh. I have heard of sentences like
Mok Wang dudok cokkoh tepi pata tunggu Pok Wang balik.
(Mok Wang sits on the beach waiting for Pok Wang to come home)
Sema orang kata Pok Wang mati bahang ribut tengoh laut tapi bila Mok Wang buka pitu esoknye, dia tengok Pok Wang cokkoh muka pitu.
(Everybody thought Pok Wang drowned in a storm at sea but when Mok Wang opened the door the following day, there was Pok Wang.)
So cokkoh might not be just how you sit like duduk congok or congok angok. Cattok is pretty clear though. Cattok is sitting on your haunches. A baby's progress is measured when the proud mother announced that "Semek boleh duduk cattok doh!" (She can sit up already!). If you reboh cattok, you fall down on your bum. Cattok is also used to describe a lady's perky breasts. Derumo will elaborate. This is something he can sink his teeth into.
Cokkoh somehow brought me to cokeh. Cokeh is to pry something like a loose floorboard although you can cokeh gigi (pick your teeth) too. If you ever play Terengganu Scrabble (there isn't one yet) you can transpose the tiles so that cokeh becomes cekoh. Cekoh is also prying but prying open this time. So you cekoh deriang (durian) or some other tough fruits. Silat (Malay art of self-defence) exponents would learn how to cekoh a lock or kilah by prying open the opponent's fingers or his jaw, whichever is more convenient. Of course everyone must know not to fight out of one's league or class. If you do, Terengganu speakers will say "dok makang cekok", literally not within your grasp.
If you do not grasp today's lesson, fret not. You might not need all those words whenever you are in Terengganu. If you are a durian aficionado and buying durian from a lady vendor, do remember the word cekoh if you want her to open the durian. Never under any circumstances ask for kopek, the standard word for opening or peeling fruits. However cattok her kopeks are, please restrain yourself.