99+ Indonesian Bad Words and Meaning

Welcome back to Mastering Bahasa Indonesia!

After learning and exploring several Indonesian Language Basics, such as Forming Indonesian Words & Using Indonesian Affixes and Indonesian Grammar Rules, we are moving to more daily-life-related Bahasa Indonesian. It is very decent to know about Indonesian “proper” language like How to Say Hello in Indonesian or Indonesian Part of Speech, but it is also critical to know and understand vernacular language, like Indonesian Bad Words and Meaning. Trust me, it is in other way very interesting to learn. Therefore, this time we will jump to the “bad side”, including, of course, the swear words.

Because Indonesia consists a very diverse society, the “bad words” usually sensed and accepted differently in different society, depends on the socio-cultural aspects. Instead, sometimes, it is used to show friendliness or closeness between people, beside to express anger. However, you must understand the context or you may be considered as very rude and impolite by people because it is against Communication Etiquette in Indonesia, especially to much older people/elderly. Moreover, some of it is very racist, sexist, and discriminative.

Notes: It should be remembered that because of the different external aspects, some words may not have equivalent translate, while some of it have quite/almost similar sense/meaning. Consequently, typical Indonesian.

General Bad Words (English-related)

Here are the Indonesian bad words and meaning :

  • F*ck = sial [si’ɑl] / sialan [ʃɑlɑn]
  • F*ck you! = sialan, lu! [ʃɑlɑn lu]
    *the pronoun ‘you’ could be translated into several Indonesian second-person pronoun, such as “kau [kɑw]”, “kamu” [kɑ’mu], “Anda” [ɑndɑ] depends on the context (especially geography-related background). “Lu” is a vernacular language for ‘you’ that usually used in big city like Jakarta.
  • hell = sial [si’ɑl] / sialan [ʃɑlɑn]
  • Sh*t (poop) = tai [tɑ’i]
  • Sh*t (trash) = sampah [sɑmpɑh]
  • Sh*t (damn) = sial [si’ɑl]
  • A*s = bokong [bokﬤŋ] (more polite), pantat [pɑntɑt]
  • A*shole = bajingan [bɑ’ji’ŋɑn]/ bangsat [bɑŋ’sɑt]
  • D*ck (man) = bajingan [bɑ’ji’ŋɑn]
  • Moron = bego [be’go]
  • bastard = bajingan [bɑ’ji’ŋɑn]/ bangsat [bɑŋ’sɑt]
  • bastard (child-related) = anak haram [ɑnɑk hɑ’rɑm]

Notes: Actually almost all of the meaning above have similar sense as ‘sial’ or ‘sialan’ expression. In Javanese-speaking society it could also be translated to ‘asem’ [a’səm], which is less impolite that literally translated as ‘sour’. In addition, it is also translated as ‘jancuk’ [jɑn’cuʔ], which usually used in East Java and considered very rude in Central Java or Yogyakarta.

Animals-related Words

Moreover, Indonesian Bad Words are usually related to animals. The most popular one is ‘anjing’ (dog). It is often linked to certain characteristic of the animal, even sometimes it related to socio-cultural aspects, such as religious belief. Here are some popular bad words.

  • Anjing [ɑnjiŋ] = dog/dog-ish person
    *Sometimes it is soften to ‘anjir’ [ɑnjir]
  • Asu [ɑ’su] = dog/dog-ish person (Javanese)

Both ‘anjing’ and ‘asu’ are swear words that translated as dog/dog-ish person. However, the rudeness of it are highly different. ‘Anjing’ is an Indonesian word, while ‘asu’ mostly used by Javanese-speaking society.

While the latter are considered very inappropriate in Javanese-speaking area, especially Yogyakarta and Center Java, ‘anjing’ is considered more rude than ‘asu’ for non-Javanese speaker in Indonesia.

  • Monyet [moñet] = monkey/monkey-ish person
    *could be translated as sh*t/damn or to call someone that has “different” face
  • Jangkrik [jɑŋkrɪʔ] = cricket
    *it is less impolite swear word/expression and popularized by Indonesian Comedic Group: Warkop. The sound of cricket [krik-krik-krik] is usually expressed for jokes that not funny at all.
  • Burung [buruŋ] = bird
    *a replace word for pen*s
  • Babi [bɑbi] = pig/ pig-ish person

The word ‘babi’ may used in different terms. First, it is an expression for someone a person that always/often be late because they overslept or wake up late. Secondly, it also has similar meaning to moron. Third, it also means sh*t/damn.

  • kampret [kɑm’pret] = microbats (a species of bat)
    *it is an expression similar to sh*t/damn.
  • bangsat [bɑŋ’sɑt] = bedbug (a species of bug that has stinky smell)
    *It is usually used to call someone that disappointing or irresponsible, as well as an expression similar to sh*t/damn.
  • cumi [cu’mi] = squid
    Similar with monkey, it could be translated as sh*t/damn or to call someone that has “different” face 

In addition, because the majority of Indonesian people are Muslims indirectly caused the sense of ‘anjing’ and ‘babi’  sometimes becomes more harsh. It is because both animals are considered najis [nɑ’jis] (dirty/unclean) and haram [hɑrɑm] (prohibited, especially to consume/touch it). Therefore, it is very recommended to know about Indonesian diverse society and culture.

Other Bad Words in Indonesian Language

Moreover, there are more Indonesian bad words and meaning. It is also very harsh to call someone with their race/ethnic/religious/gender identity. If the American has n*gga to call African or black people, in Indonesian we use the word ‘hitam’ [hi’tɑm] to someone less-white and it is very demeaning as well as the race/ethnic/religious/gender identity.

Furthermore, there are very sexist word related to female because it does not have equivalent word related to man. Here are the Indonesian bad words and meaning.

  • pelakor [pə’lɑ’kor] = a woman that date another woman’s husband
    *it is a new Indonesian word that formed by abbreviation perebut laki orang (literal transalation: taker of someone’s husband). However, there is not a word for reverse situation in Bahasa Indonesia.
  • jalang [jɑlɑŋ] = b*tch/wh*re
  • jablay [jɑ’blɑy] = woman prostitute/hooker
    *It is also means b*tch, a woman that date another woman’s husband, a woman that considered has murahan [murɑ’hɑn] (cheap) ‘attitude’
  • ayam kampus [ɑ’yɑm kɑmpus] = immoral female college student

In addition, there are also other gender-related words

  • banci [bɑnci] = man-woman/drag/not gentle or coward man/shemale
  • maho [mɑ’ho] = gay-ish man
  • gigolo [gi’go’lo] = male prostitue
  • buaya darat [bu’ɑ’yɑ dɑ’rɑt] = womanizer

Now you know about Indonesian Bad Words or swear words in Indonesian language. I hope you use this knowledge wisely, properly and intelligently. Please understand the context of using it. Moreover, you could also check: