Top 50 Best Malay Slang Words You Must Know Today

Malay Slang Words

Like any other language, such as English, Arabic, and Spanish, Bahasa Malaysia also has its own local slang. These Malay slangs are socially constructed by the native speakers, forming another unique lingo to the speech community, which in this case, refers to the Malaysians. Today, let’s take a look at some
of the famous and latest Malay slang words in 2022.

Malaysian Slang Words – The Basics

Before I introduce you to my local linguistic culture, bear in mind a few
things. In the long list of these Malaysian slang words, some are adopted in
the formal setting. Simply put, we use these slangs even in the professional
industry. Why? Because it’s quicker, shorter, and easier. Most importantly,
the meaning retains and the slang is universally accepted by Malay speakers,
so, why not?

But then, some others aren’t quite appropriate to be spoken or used in the
professional ambiance. They’re more on the colloquial part of
spoken Malay. We use this particular group of slang a lot with our close friends, family,
and on the Internet. Though it’s widely accepted and utilized by the locals,
some slang is not meant to be casually used in formal contexts. Don’t worry,
I’ll include a remark for which one can be used in the formal setting.

With that being said, I also want to highlight one thing when it comes to my
local Malay slang words. To start, you may find a lot of examples of words and
vocabulary that list some of the most famous Malaysian slang on the Internet.
However, most of them do not actually belong to the Malay language. Yup, they
belong to other local tongues used in Malaysia, such as
Cantonese, and
Hokkien, which are predominantly used by the Malaysian Chinese community.

So, since this topic clearly directs towards Malay slang, which means the
slang words in Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu, I’ll extensively explain and
elaborate to you some of the frequently used words in this Malay informal
register. OK? You’re good to go? Let’s start!

Malay Slang Vocabulary – Words Beginners Should Know

Without further ado, let’s straight away dive into some of the most commonly
used slangs among Malay speakers and how each of them works in a sentence.

1) Kitorang

This word comes from Malay pronouns. It’s a pronoun used by Malay speakers to
refer to the first-person collective group, “we“. It is a fusion of
kita (we/us) and
orang (people). This word does not exist in the
Malay dictionary – it’s made up and universally used by everyone, even in the
workplace. It’s safe to use among colleagues but let me stop you there. Yup,
feel free to use kitorang with your colleagues in
the workplace, but not the boss. It’s better to use “kami“, the formal Malay word which translates to “we” in English.


Kitorang nak pergi makan. Kau nak ikut?

We want to go eat. Do you want to come along?

2) Korang

Similar to before, this one was mentioned in the
Malay pronouns blog
too! It’s a pronoun combined from kau (you) and orang (people). This word carries the same condition as
kitorang – it’s ok for you to use it with your
colleagues at work, but it’s best to stick to the formal pronouns with your
higher officers.


Korang ada nampak Amin tak harini?

Have you guys seen Amin today?

3) Member

This is one of the most typically used slang in the Malay spoken culture! It
was initially adopted decades ago, during the ’90s, and lasted up until today.
In the Malay-speaking culture, member is used to
referring to a friend. Yup, we Malaysians normally use the word
member to refer to our friends.


Dia tu member ayah aku.

That guy is my dad’s friend.

4) Mak ayah

This term literally means mom and dad or parents. Mak in the Malay language
means mother while ayah means father. It’s synonymous with
ibu and bapa. The only difference between the two is the formality. In the Malay
language, the formal word for parents is ibubapa. But in spoken context, the Malay speakers would just say
mak ayah. It’s casually used everywhere, even at work. But an intensely formal
occasion wouldn’t opt for this phrase. The prime minister would definitely use
ibubapa instead of
mak ayah when conveying an important related issue
through the TV.


Mak ayah saya bekerja di Kuala Lumpur.

My parents work in Kuala Lumpur.

5) Kawan baik

The literal translation of kawan baik is bestfriend. In Malaysian
culture, people either call their best, closest friends kawan baik or
member baik. Yup, that one slang I’ve mentioned before in number 3. This one
is universally accepted by anyone, and it’s generally used everywhere. If you
want to describe that someone is your close friend with your superior, you can
use kawan baik. If you’re talking to people you’re close with, feel free to say
member baik.


Hamidah tu member baik/kawan baik saya.

Hamidah is my best friend.

6) Pakwe Makwe / Awek

What do you call your boyfriend or girlfriend in Malay? It’s
pakwe or makwe. The former is for male (boyfriend) and the latter is for female
(girlfriend). These words are definitely informal – you only used them on a
casual basis. How about the Malay slang awek? In Malaysia, awek generally refers to a
girlfriend or a pretty girl.


Siapa lelaki tu? Oh, dia tu pakwe baru Aina.

Who is that guy? Oh, he is Aina’s new boyfriend.

Malay Slang words Jom

7) Jom

This one is definitely a common slang in Malaysia. You’ll absolutely hear this
one being used by the locals every single day. If you haven’t had the chance
to visit Malaysia and see its linguistic culture, you can just go to Youtube –
a lot of foreign travelers have visited Malaysia, and they did various content
in their vlogs, including the language used in this country. This one is
equivalent to the English “let’s.” It’s the word you utter to invite someone
to do something together, as simple as going out eating together or hitting
the cinema.


Jom tengok Kong VS Gorilla hari ini!

Let’s watch Kong VS Gorilla today!

8) Tapau

Tapau is the Malaysian slang people use to address
that they want to pack food and bring it home. It’s equivalent to take-out and
take-away. Simply put, tapau means to take away


Boleh saya tapau makanan lebih ni?

Can I take away all this extra food?

9) Best gila

This one is my personal favorite – it is certainly widely used among Malay
speakers. Best is an English word – it’s directly borrowed along with
its original meaning. Yup, everyone knows that best is an adjective that is
used to describe the finest, greatest, and most excellent quality of
something. And that same definition is entirely adopted in Malay.
Gila, just so you know, means crazy. Simply put, this one means something is just
crazy good or crazy fine! In English, we usually use amazing, incredible, or
sick (in a good way). It’s an expression Malaysians always say to describe any
type of experience fully.


Konsert semalam best gila!

Yesterday’s concert was truly amazing!

10) Turun padang

Turun padang is a term used when someone (usually
with a high position or rank) visits or makes trips to a particular place to
do a check-up or to be involved in any sort of event or project.


Menteri Selangor akan turun padang minggu depan untuk
periksa kawasan kampung itu.

The Minister of Selangor will come next week to
inspect the village area.

11) Mantap

Mantap in Bahasa Melayu is an adjective – in the
spoken context, it’s used to describe and express something good, great,
amazing, and all other synonymous traits. The locals would say and use this
one a lot, especially among the youth.


Mantap lah persembahan kau tadi!

Your performance just now was incredible!

12) Aduh

Aduh is an interjection – it’s the word the locals
utter to express their physical pain. However, today, we use it to also convey
the agony, annoyance, and mental pain that someone is giving us. The usage
could also be similar to alamak, expressing one’s dismay, shock, disapproval, or annoyance.


Aduh kau ni, aku tunggu kau dua jam tadi.

Geez, bro, I waited for you for two hours.

13) Kantoi

Kantoi is the exact equivalent of busted, in Bahasa
Melayu. It’s a colloquial term, so you can only use it in a conversation with
your friend.


Habislah kau kantoi. Cikgu Mamat tahu kau ponteng sekolah semalam.

You’re busted bro. Cikgu Mamat knows you skipped
school yesterday.

14) Pergh

This is a type of exclamation used by Malay native speakers and it is very
popular currently. A lot of native speakers use it, especially the younger
generation. Pergh is often used to portray one’s
excitement, thrill, and interest in something or someone. It’s equivalent to
wow“. People often use it when they’re amazed by a hot girl, a
jaw-dropping sports car, or a breathtaking view of nature.


Pergh, cantik gila kereta Ferrari tu!

Wow, that Ferrari car is so beautiful!

15) Fuyoh

Fuyoh is exactly like the example before. It’s an
exaggerated version of WOW or OMG or wah or wowee. We say it whenever we’re
tremendously excited or hype over something.


Fuyoh, ada orang tu beli iPhone baru lah!

Wow, someone bought a new iPhone!

16) Alamak

As mentioned before, alamak is an exclamation used
to symbolize one’s dismay, shock, disapproval, or annoyance. Most of the time,
the Malaysians use alamak to convey shock or alarm.
We use it on both formal and informal occasions.


Alamak! Saya tertinggal minit mesyuarat di kedai tadi!

Oh no! I left the meeting minute at the store just now!

17) Bapak ah

This one is an exclamation too (yes, the Malay speakers love exclamations
haha). This one is rather colloquial and very informal. It is typically used
with a friend you’re close to and comfortable with. This term, unlike the
others, has two tones to it. It can bear a positive tone as well as a negative
one. For the positive side, bapak ah serves the same
meaning as “Wow“, “Oh My God” and “no way“. Yup,
this phrase is used by the locals when we are extremely delighted or impressed
about something.


Bapak ah! Pandainya kau sunting video ni!

Wow! You’re so good at editing this video!

In comparison, we also say bapak ah to express
dismay, disapproval, and disbelief


Bapak ah! Kau sepak kucing tu?

No way! Did you kick that cat?

18) Gempak

Gempak is an adjective in Malay. It’s similar to
best gila and mantap. Like these two adjectives, gempak is extremely
casual (and cool) too. I don’t recommend using it in a professional
environment. It’s equivalent to awesome, amazing, and other
synonymous words you can think of.


Pertunjukan tadi gempak gila!

That show was awesome!

19) Boleh tahan

Boleh tahan means not bad. Yup, as simple as that. Can be casually used in
both formal and informal conversations.


Macam mana temu duga tadi? Boleh tahan.

How was the interview? Not bad.

20) Buat bodoh

This is a term the locals utter to mean “doing nothing“. It’s a very
casual term and not appropriate to be used on any formal occasion due to the
second word of the phrase. In literal terms,
buat means make or do, while
bodoh means stupid or foolish. But, when put
together, it created a new meaning; doing nothing. Still, due to the
existent of the negative word in this phrase, it’s highly advisable for you to
never use it in a professional setting.

The native speakers use this term either to say “I am doing nothing
or to point the fact that a friend or someone else is ignoring them.


Aku panggil dia tadi tapi dia buat bodoh je!

I called her just now but she just ignored me!

21) Buat taik

Like the one before, this is not suitable for any formal occasions. Since
you’ve known the meaning of the first word in this term, allow me to explain
the second one. Taik is a slang, originated from the
word tahi – which literally means feces. However,
the term buat taik means to do wrong or evil towards

Interestingly enough, according to the older generations of Malay speakers,
this slang has a deeper meaning. I’ve heard someone of my parents’ age use
this term and it means totally different from what I just explained. From
there, I discovered that buat taik also refers to
people who do drugs.


Awak ada dengar pasal anak Halim? Dia kena tangkap sebab
buat taik.

Have you heard about Halim’s child? He was arrested for being
on drugs.

22) Cincai

Cincai is one of Malaysia’s favorite terms. Those
from Singapore or the Chinese Malaysian may tell you it means
whatever, which is true according to their cultural usage. However,
according to Malay native speakers, cincai is an
adjective used to portray a messy or sloppy work or outcome of something. When
something is done carelessly and not thorough enough, we call it cincai. This one is a legitimate term – it exists in the Malay dictionary, so feel
free to use it anywhere.


Disebabkan kerja dia cincai, dia dapat gred C.

Due to his sloppy work, he was graded a C.

23) Blur

Blur in the local spoken context is used when
someone is at a loss, clueless or confused.


Faham tak apa yang saya cakap ni? Kenapa muka awak nampak

Do you understand what I am saying? Why do you seem

24) Buat dek

This one was very famous back in early 2000. I still freshly remember – it was
2009 and I heard my sister saying this phrase. By then, I know it’s a common
slang among Malay speakers. It’s a better way of saying
doing nothing or ignoring someone. It’s a cool, decent
alternative to the other slang we’ve discussed before. Still, it’s typically
used within casual settings only. I always use it with a friend I’m close


Aku lalu depan Amin tadi tapi dia buat dek je.

I passed by Amin just now but he just ignored me.

25) Koyak

Koyak is a colloquial term that acts as an adjective
and used to indicate mental fatigue or exhaustion.


Aku koyak lah kerja dekat syarikat ni. Aku buat
keputusan untuk berhenti kerja.

I am so worn out working in this company. I decide to
quit my job.

Malay Slang words Masyuk

26) Masyuk

Masyuk is the term we Malaysians use when describing
someone loaded. We also typically use it when we know a friend just had his


Wah, masyuk lah orang tu harini! Nak belanja saya
makan piza tak?

Wow, someone just had his payday today! Can you treat
me a pizza?

27) Cun

Cun, according to the local spoken context, has many
meanings. Most of the time, it literally means hot, pretty, or beautiful. Yes,
like a hot lady or a pretty girl. It’s also equivalent to OK, alright, or can;
a form of agreement.


Boleh tak jumpa saya pukul 2 nanti? Boleh? Okey cun.

Can you meet me later at 2 o’clock? Can you? Alright.

28) Cucuk duit

This phrase is a universally used term – everyone says it, especially when
they want to withdraw money from the bank or any automated teller machine.


Boleh ke singgah bank sekejap lagi? Saya nak cucuk duit.

Can we stop by the bank after this? I want to
withdraw some money.

29) Pokai

In Malaysia, we use pokai to indicate that you’re
broke at the moment.


Maaf kawan-kawan, saya tak boleh ikut tengok wayang malam ini. Saya tengah

Sorry friends, I cannot go to the movies tonight. I’m currently

30) Syok sendiri

Syok sendiri literally refers to the condition where
a person is full of himself.


Nora tu memang syok sendiri. Dia ingat semua orang sukakan dia.

Nora is so full of herself. She thinks that everyone likes her.

31) Mat Salleh

If you’ve known the Malaysian culture, I’m certain you’ve heard this one
before. Mat salleh or
mat saleh is a colloquial expression used to define
a white person.


Jom ajak mat saleh tu minum dekat mamak.

Let’s invite the white guy to drink at the mamak

32) Padan Muka

Padan muka is the expression we use to say
serves you right.


Mia kena marah dengan Cikgu Malek sebab meniru.
Padan muka dia!

Mia was scolded by Cikgu Malek because she cheated.
Serves her right!

Internet Slang In Malay

Se7 Malay setuju agree
On9 English online
Retis Malay artis artiste/celebrity
Seres ah? Malay serius lah? seriously/are you serious?
Sila meninggal Malay sila meninggal a polite way of saying go to hell
Oki Malay okey Okay
Tung ah Malay untung lah lucky you
Amenda? Malay apa benda what is it?
Katne? Malay dekat mana? where you at?
Acane? Malay macam mana? how?
Takleh Malay tidak boleh nope/cannot
Kenot English cannot
2r2 Malay itulah tu I know right
Apecer? Malay apa cerita? what’s up?
Takleh brain Malay + English tidak boleh brain I don’t get it/understand
Orait English alright
On tak on? Malay + English on tak on? you up?
Gerak lu, pape roger Malay + English gerak dahulu, apa-apa bagitahu (roger) see ya, call/hit me up if there’s anything

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