Team Buro Answers: Our favourite Malaysian slang words


By Rachel Au

Team Buro Answers: Our favourite Malaysian slang words

Slang words. Every country has them and Malaysia is no different. It’s one of the things that make our culture so endearing. While many are impressed by how multi-lingual and multi-cultural we are, for us, it’s just every day life and how we all grew up. While classic Malaysian slang words include “yum cha”, “kepoh”, “bojio” and “perasan”, Team Buro Malaysia had to painstakingly pick just one for this month’s Team Buro Answers. Watch the video below and let us know what is your favourite Malaysian slang word.


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Also, for a good laugh, check out how these Malaysian comedians use Malaysian slang words to insult and compliment each other.

1. On the way

Generally, it’s used when someone is at least halfway to the destination. Not in Malaysia…usually. — Rachel Au, editor

Example: Just leaving the house = “I’m on the way!”

2. Har?

It’s used to express reluctance. — Joan Kong, fashion editor

Example:Harr… why do I have to do this?”

3. Yerr

It’s used to express disgust. — Loh Wei Yeen, beauty editor

Example:Yerrrr, you’re so smelly!”

4. Tapau

It means to pack food or “takeaway”. Alternative: bungkus. — Joanna Pinto, special projects editor

Example: “Can you tapau food for me?”

5. Alamak

Basically, it means “Oh my God!” or “Oh no!” — Gwen Ong, associate editor

Example:Alamak! I forgot to pay my saman (summons).”

6. Chup!

It can either be used to tell people to pause during a middle of a conversation to talk about something more urgent or to “book” something. — Stephanie Boey, fashion writer


1.Chup! Where are we going to eat ah?”

2. “I chup those free Beyonce tickets!”


7. Atas

In Malay, it can literally mean “up” or “above” but Malaysians also use it to say “very bougie” or “high class”. — Ronn Tan, editorial assistant

Example: “Wah, you don’t want chap fan (economy rice) for lunch ah? You so atas!”


8. Walau eh

It means “what the hell” but is used for any kind of emotions or situations. — Calleigh Yap, senior web designer

Example:Walau eh! I just won free tickets to Taylor Swift’s concert.”

What’s your favourite Malaysian slang word?


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