Content warning: This article will deal with swear words in Malay. The nature of its contents may be offensive to some. The author intends not to offend but to educate.
Okay, anjings. We know you’re here to learn some Malay words, but today we’d like to do something different. We’ve combed the internet for some of the most Malay swear words ever – those that carry significant cultural meaning but may not make sense to English speakers.
Nevertheless, we’ll do our best to explain them to you! With a bit of context, you’ll find that Bahasa Melayu is a very colorful language in more ways than one. So join us as we explore the wonderful world of Malay swear words…
Malay Swear Words – Curse Words To Remember (Not To Say)
Hold up — before we go any further, there are some things we’d like for you to know first. Like with all languages, swearing is heavily dependent on context. Here are some cultural notes for you to help you remember that if you want to cuss someone out in Malay, remember to do it in the spirit of fun!
Cursing Can Be Offensive
As with every cuss in every language, curse words express emotions that are typically hard for people to articulate. And while some may be open to cursing, not everyone may be, especially in conservative Malaysia.
You might hear a nasty comment or two and even have to deal with a negative response resulting from cursing. But as long as you don’t do anything dumb and cuss only with trusted people, you should be fine adding these to your Malay vocabulary.
Some Curse Words Don’t Translate Well Into English
Malay and English are two very different languages, given that both languages grew up in vastly different cultures. There may be some curses that English speakers might not understand intuitively, but that’s okay! At least you can be heard swearing in another language!
Keep It Fun
That said, among friends, cursing can be stupid fun. Remember to consider your relationship with the other party before you bust out this list of swear words! If you’re using these words on friends or family, people you’re comfortable with, it would be okay. But mind that you don’t say these to strangers, especially if the cuss word involves their mother! People take great offense to those kinds of jokes.
Best Malay Curses – A Swear Word For Any Occasion
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s start with the fun stuff! The language is just going to get more colorful moving on.
Mak Kau Hijau
This swear word literally means, “your mother is green.” Mak kau hijau can be loosely translated to “your mother is a bitch.” This insult was taken from this old viral video of two kids hurling rather creative expletives at each other.
This phrase expresses frustration, just like the kid did in that video! It can also be used as typical trash talk, as you do when playing games with your Malay friends.
Translated into English, this means “my ass.” Use it as punctuation when questioning a friend’s intentions, like “You’re going to wake up early tomorrow… pantat ko.” It’s a way to tell someone that you don’t 100% buy their excuse.
An equivalent phrase in English would be “bullshit,” as in calling out someone’s bluff.
Simply put, anjing translates to “dog.” It is generally regarded as a light insult, so expect to inflict a little pain with this word. In many countries, being called or compared to an animal is foul!
Some people use it as a substitute for calling someone “stupid”, which we think is unfair because dogs are actually brilliant, terima kasih!
Another animal-based insult, babi translates to “pig.” And suppose you consider the fact that Malaysia is primarily Islamic. In that case, you’ll start to understand just how serious of an idea this is. When you speak and call someone a babi, you’re really out to hurt them.
Use babi in situations related to when someone is being rowdy or an annoyance – generally when they’re being a little bitch.
Mak Hang Belen
“Your mother is a prostitute” is what this curse translates to in English. In Malaysia – and in most countries – insults directed towards mothers are usually uttered in anger, and it’s mostly guys who do that.
We want to express that we do not recommend using this insult willy-nilly because many people might take offense. Jokes about your father, on the other hand…
Eh Butoh Uh Babi
Loosely translated, this is a straight-up “fuck you” in Malay. However, Malaysians also use the word “fuck” when they want to say it, so what gives? When we translate this phrase directly, it means “pig testicles.”
Look, we did say at the beginning of this article that some curse words won’t make too much sense in English, and we stand by that point…
List Of Malay Swear Words – What This Swear Word Means In English
Now for your easy reference, we’re listing down all the swear words we talked about today! Certain words, a gain, do not translate well in English, and will only be truly understood by a native.
|Your mother is green||Mak kau hijau|
|My ass||Pantat ko|
|Your mother is a prostitute||Mak hang belen|
|Fuck you (pig testicles)||Eh butoh uh babi|
Always remember: cursing will subject you to some form of criticism. Please ensure that when you swear, you do it with people you are comfortable with, those you can trust with your life. We do not condone foul language in Malay or other languages, as it may offend some people.
But between friends? Go ahead and make all the dick jokes you want!
Learn Malay With The Ling App
Now that you know the definition of a swear word in Malay, maybe you’d like to take your education to the next level! This time, with words that won’t send you directly to hell…
Welcome the Ling app, a language learning app with lessons in Malay and 60+ other languages! We’ve worked with educators and native speakers to create classes for people at all stages of learning, from beginners to experts.