A-Z Unique Indonesian Words – Meaning

Learning bahasa Indonesia is incomplete without learning the unique words. Some unique words may have no similar English translation. The unique Indonesian words are also mostly used for informal and everyday conversation among friends. Here are some unique Indonesian words with corresponding English definition. Also learn Indonesian words with no English equivalent.

A

  • Amis – the smell of raw fish which lingers on the hands.
  • Alay – refers to a person who acts beyond her/his age.
  • Alim – religious people
  • Agar –agar – similar to gelatin but made of certain seaweed.
  • Asem – the expression when you are annoyed but cannot get mad

B

  • Baper – stands for ‘bawa perasaan’, a condition when you get easily emotional.
  • Bawel – a person who annoyingly talks too much
  • Bengong – a condition when you are speechless for certain condition, also means a condition when you are daydreaming.
  • Bête – bad mood
  • Birahi – literary translates as lust or lechery
  • Bokek – a condition when you have no money left and you literary go broke.
  • Boker – pooping or doing your ‘business.’

C

  • Cabe-cabean – an expression for flirtatious kids, usually those who are dressed and behave inappropriately.
  • Caper – an expression used when someone seeks others’ attention.
  • Cebok – the process of cleaning anus after pooping with water, usually used for toddlers who cannot do it on their own.
  • Cendol – a kind of beverage made of rice flour, coconut milk, and palm sugar.
  • Colek, mencolek – silly trick such as tap someone’s shoulder but you pretend you did not do it.
  • Contek, menyontek – is an act of peeking someone’s work especially during exam.
  • Centil – flirtatious girls
  • Cuci mata – is similar to English ‘out for fresh air’.
  • Culun – a naming for nerd.

Also learn list of Indonesian words similar to English.

D

  • Dekil – a person who appears clumsy and dirty like when you have not been take a bath for a week.
  • Demen – (slang) an expression used when you fond of something, mostly something bad.
  • Dodol – an Indonesian sweet snack, also an expression used to say someone is stupid.

E

  • Eneg – the feeling when fully fed up, also used to show disgust.

G

  • Gemes – the feeling when you see a cute baby or when you have the urge to hug someone you love.
  • Galau – the feeling of unexplainable angst after a relationship ends or getting dumped.
  • Ganjen – flirtatious act
  • Girang – overly happy
  • Gengsi – having too much pride
  • Gebetan – refers to a person that you have been eyeing, but never become your date.
  • Gaul – is an act of following trend, mostly in negative way. 

Also learn Indonesian words for family member.

H

  • Haru – touching moment

I

  • Ilfeel – derived from English illfeel, an expression to show disgust or dislike of something.
  • Imut – cute
  • Iseng – the feeling when you just want to do something without clear reason. Similar to English ‘fad’.  

J

  • Jaim – stands for ‘jaga image’ when you excessively care about your reputation or image.
  • Jayus – when a joke is not quite funny.
  • Jijik – an expression of disgust or something nasty.
  • Jomblo – is a single person incapable of getting a date or partner.
  • Jutek – is an unfriendly person.

Learn also Indonesian words for tourists.

K

  • Kampret – an expression for annoying condition.
  • Kawin lari – elope with someone.
  • Kebelet – is the urge or crave for doing something, usually used for something bad.
  • Kecup – smooch
  • Kepo – is an act when someone wants to know something in detail especially for private matters.
  • Khilaf – refers to involuntary mistakes.
  • Kumpul kebo – refers to unmarried couple who live together.

L

  • Latah – a habit for copying others especially when in shock.
  • Lancang – cheeky act
  • Lebay – when someone overly reaction over something.
  • Lesehan – sitting on the floor.

M

  • Mabuk – literary translate as drunk, but also refers to a condition when you are get sick during a trip such as motion sickness, car sick, and such.
  • Mager – stands for ‘males gerak’, a condition when someone is too lazy to get up from bed.
  • Manyun – when you pression your lips together, usually when annoyed.
  • Matre – refers to a person who only values other people from wealth.
  • Masuk angin – catching cold due to bad weather and tiredness
  • Menor – refers to a person who put on excessive makeup.
  • Mesum – immoral acts
  • Mojok – refers to an act of sitting in one corners, usually doing something improper.

N

  • Naksir – keen on someone, usually refers to puppy love.
  • Necis – dress sharply.
  • Ngambek – refers the feeling of anger or annoyed.
  • Ngeles – sly trick to avoid something.
  • Ngemil – refers to snacking especially when you are not supposed to be.
  • Ngesot – refers to an act of moving with your hips.
  • Ngaret – refers to an act when someone is not on time.
  • Nginep – refers to an act when someone sleeps over at your hous.
  • Ngompol – the art of wetting your bed especially during sleep.
  • Ngupil – the art of pick your nose.
  • Norak – an expression for someone who has weird behavior.
  • Nyolot – refers to an act of igniting someone’s emotion or anger.

P

  • Pamer – showing off, especially wealth.
  • Pesing – the pungent smell of piss, mostly in public toilet. 

S

  • Sumringah – when you are overly happy and cannot hide the expression, so you smile happily.
  • Salah bantal – a condition when you wake with random aches in back, shoulder, and back but then you blame it is because of ‘wrong pillo.’
  • Selow – derived from English, slow which means take it easy.
  • Sensi – an abbreviation of being overly sensitive.

T

  • Tajir – refers to someone who is extremely rich.

U

  • Ulek, ngulek – refers to the art of crushing seasoning into a paste.
  • Urut – refers to the art of massage especially for pain reliever.

W

  • Woles – it is the backwards of ‘selow.

You may find some unique Indonesian words funny because the condition only present in Indonesia. However, learning unique words will help you communicate better and speak like a local.  Also learn about Indonesian root words.