How many of these Sarawakian slang words did you already know beforehand?


By Marissa Chin

How many of these Sarawakian slang words did you already know beforehand?
September is all about embracing the beautiful diversity of our wonderful tanah air (homeland). As the melting pot of Asia, Malaysia’s ethnic fabric is one that is colourful and manifold. East Malaysia alone has approximately 59 ethnic groups, all with their own set of beliefs and traditions. To celebrate Malaysia Day 2020 that’s just around the corner, we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on the land of the Hornbill, Sarawak.

There is still a lot we don’t know about the vast diversity of East Malaysia but one way we can start is by learning the local language. More specifically, everyday conversational slang words that you can use for your next Sarawak holiday getaway. In today’s video, we put our KL-native Editorial Assistant to the test to see if she can guess some of the Sarawakian slang Miri-born Hafreez Amminudin throws at her (while enjoying some delicious Laksa Sarawak!).

Watch the video above and play along to see how many you can guess right too (don’t hantam, okay?).

Once you’re done, read on for the full list of the slang words we learned to expand your Bahasa Sarawak vocabulary.

Nyaman sik?

Definition of nyaman: delicious / sedap

Definition of sik: no / tak

Example sentence: Nyaman sik? / Is it delicious?


Definition: used to express curiosity or confusion

Example sentence: Apa ku mok polah aritok? Itok ku weh. / What am I doing today? I’m so curious.


Definition: pink colour

Example sentence: Baju saya warna kalas. / My shirt is pink.


Definition: used to express annoyance at something or someone (especially when their sass game is a little too strong)

Example sentence: Eh, nyegeh la kau! / You’re so annoying!


Definition: another phrase for “main masak masak”

Example sentence: Penatku berdango eh. / I’m so tired of cooking.


Definition: funny (used by Mirians)

Example sentence: Eh, cali la kau! / You’re so funny!


Definition: missing someone or something

Example sentence: Kamek rindok kitak. / I miss you.


Definition: today

Example sentence: Kacak na kitak aritok. / You look nice today.


Videography: Zakwan Taufiq

Producer: Marissa Chin

Personality: Hafreez Amminudin 

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