Most Commonly Used Indonesian Words – Formal and Informal and Slang Words

Indonesia is the famous country by its many provinces. With more than 17.000 islands, Indonesia also has different languages from its different provinces. The amount of languages of Indonesia’s provinces makes Indonesia needs to decide one language to unite those languages. The language is named Indonesian language or people sometimes say it as Bahasa.

The Indonesian language is divided into formal and informal language. The slang of Indonesia also exist and usually used among the people who have known each other well. Because of the amount of formal and informal language to be used among Indonesian people, what are the most commonly used Indonesian words?


Here are the examples:

  • Formal Language
Indonesian Meaning (in English) Types
Aku/Saya I Pronoun
Kamu/Anda You Pronoun
Bapak Father/Dad Pronoun
Ibu Mother/Mommy Pronoun
Dia She/He Pronoun
Mereka They Pronoun
Kita/Kami We/Us Pronoun
Iya Yes Interjection
Tidak No Interjection
Terus Then/Next Conjunction
Makan Eat Verb
Minum Drink Verb
Bangun Wake up Verb
Tidur Sleep Verb
dan and Conjunction
atau or Conjunction
tapi but Conjunction
Ini This Pronoun
Itu That Pronoun
Beli Buy Verb
Bayar Pay Verb
Masak Cook Verb
Kerja/bekerja Work Verb
Sekolah/bersekolah School/ go to school Noun/Verb
yang Which/That Conjunction
di at Preposition
Beri Give Verb
Terima Accept Verb
dengan with Conjunction
Apa What Question
Bagaimana How Question
Kenapa Why Question
Dimana Where Question
Kapan When Question
Kalau/jika If Conjunction
Jangan Don’t Interjection

Informal language and slang

Indonesian Meaning (in English) Types
Gue/gw (Saya) I Pronoun
Elo/lu/lo/Situ (Kamu) You Pronoun
Yoi (Iya) Yes Interjection
Ama (Sama/dengan) with Conjunction
Bokap (Bapak), Nyokap (Ibu) Father/Daddy, Mother/Mommy Pronoun
Woles (Santai) Calm down Adjective
Lebay (Berlebihan) Too much Adjective
Baper (Bawa Perasaan) Sensitive Adjective
Kagak/Enggak (Tidak) No/Nay Interjection
Ngomong (Bicara) Talk Verb
Anjir (sial) Shit/Damn Interjection
Gokil/Anjay (Apik) Cool/Great Interjection
Doang/Aja (Saja) Just/only Adjective
Pengen/mau (Ingin) want (I want) Verb
Duit (uang) Money Noun
Dikit (Sedikit) A little/just little Adjective
Agan/Sis (Mas/Mbak) Brother/Sister Pronoun
Jayus (tidak jelas/tidak lucu) Weird/unclear Adjective
Caper (Cari perhatian) Apple polishing Adjective
Bomat (Bodoh amat) indifferent Interjection
Banget Very Adverb

Example of Usage:

  1. Gue enggak tidur = I don’t sleep
  2. Ibu sedang memasak = Mom is cooking
  3. Caper lo! = You are such an apple polisher!
  4. Dia ngomong apa? = What did she say?
  5. Bapak sedang bekerja = Daddy is working
  6. Anjir, segini doang duitnya! = Damn, this is only my money!
  7. Jayus banget! = So weird/unclear!
  8. Jangan tidur di Sekolah! = Don’t sleep at school!
  9. Ibu memasak dengan Ayah = Mom is cooking with Dad
  10. Jangan terima uangnya! = Don’t accept the money!

Because the world has entered 21st century era, Indonesian people sometimes speak or use English as if it is their language. Many people mix their language both in Bahasa or English. However, Indonesian people are often to speak with their slang than speak with their formal language.

Those are the examples of the words and how to use the most commonly used Indonesian words. There’re still some words, however they depend on the people who use or speak those words.

Despite of different language to be used, what are the most commonly used Indonesian words you have found and spoken in daily life?