Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (2023)

LanguageIndonesiaIt is a beautiful language that represents the vibrant culture of the nation. However, the words you hear in everyday interactions may not be those listed in the dictionary.

loved byover 40 years

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (1)

See all tours

Indonesians are famous for constantly changing their daily speech. Abbreviated sentences, words read backwards, distorted syllables, attached prefixes and even completely invented words add to the already long list of everyday slang. From phrases coined by the country's cool youth to street slang, here are 15 popular Indonesian slang words that will help you speak like a local.

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (2)

Take a trip and find the perfect place for a small group trip

Passports ready?

Your next objective is...

see the trip








South Africa


(Video) Random Things Indonesians Say 🇮🇩 #shorts






Once you have memorized these expressions, try them on our immersive 12-day trip to Bali? Reserve your spot and take part in cooking classes, blessing ceremonies and many, many more events.

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (3)

Lebay (bye) / exaggerated, exaggerated

Your ice cream is melting underneathBaliheat up. If you start to cry or complain, some people may call your reactionprejulgar. You see a group of friends dressed up.sparkly prom dresses for beach bar. Don't say it out loud, but see howprejulgarWas it that suit? The word lebay itself is an exaggerated way of saying its root “lebih” (le-bee), which means more or, as millennials say, extra.

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (4)

Become a cultural traveler!

Subscribe to our newsletter to
save up to 40%during our unique trips.

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (5)

Baper (bä-pər) / very emotional

Baper is an abbreviation of this phrase.bring feelings, which means taking things too personally or getting carried away by emotions. It can be used to describe any emotion, but lately the narrative around this word has revolved around romantic feelings. When someone pays attention to you, don't get too grumpy and don't take it as a sign of attraction; Maybe he's just a warm and friendly person.

Woles (wō-ləs) / slow down

If you read this word backwards you getto be, which is another slang term derived from the English word relaxIt's an interjection you say to someone to calm them down. Think about all the times you would normally say “calm down, brother”; is your window to show off your knowledge of this young and modern Indonesian slang.

Alay (äl-aye) / hortera

Alay is the abbreviation forkite child, which literally means "kite boy". Broadly speaking, the word is used to describe or label anything that is considered unpleasant or common. The hairstyle might be wrong because the cut or color isn't right or you're trying too hard. The way someone sends text messages is considered wrong if they mix the alphabet with symbols and numbers.m4k3 z w0rd5. Alay is also a noun that means person who does this.regimentthings. Among good friends, calling someone “peace” can be considered a joke or a harmless and fun insult, but it's best not to say that word to people you've just met.


Kepo (ke-po) / intrometido

When a colleague asks you a lot of personal questions, you can jokingly dismiss them by saying:curious, followed by a polite and friendly laugh. This means that this person is a bit nosy and should mind their own business. It's rude to say this to people older than you, but among friends the word is common and completely acceptable. The word comes from Hokkien Chinese, but some say it is an abbreviation for “Knowing any specific subject”.

Jomblo (jom-blo) / a single man or woman

Jombo does not simply mean a single person. This has the connotation of not being able to find a suitable partner, rather than being single by choice. The slang comes from the Sundanese word meaning "maiden", but appears in everyday conversations.singleit is rarely considered offensive.

Mager (mä-ger) / too lazy to move

Delgadois hired fromlazy, which means "too lazy to move." A friend asks if you want to meet for drinks later that night. You really want this, but the prospect of leaving the comfort of your room seems too daunting. We all have days like this. Instead of wasting your brain energy painstakingly inventing lies and excuses, just say it.delgado; they will understand this.

Bokap, nyokap (bō-kap, nyō-kap) / ojciec, matka

In everyday interactions, we can often hear Indonesians calling their father ""tataand mother likeTrip. These two words have their roots in bandit language, although they are now widely used and understood by virtually everyone.tataEUTripcan also be combined'Injured', which simply means both parents.

Cewek, cowok (che-wek, cho-wok) / samica, samiec

Chicais commonly used to identify a female person, andfacetif he is a man. There are no different third-person pronouns for masculine and feminine in Indonesian, so in some cases it may be necessary to clarify the gender of the person mentioned in the conversation. This is the reason why,“a girl or (or) a boy?”It's a common question when we talk about someone in the third person.

Nongkrong (nong-krong) / spending time with friends without a plan

Spend timeBasically it means going out, relaxing, getting together, not necessarily with a specific plan in mind. The goal is to be surrounded by friends; It doesn't matter if they talk about random things or don't do anything together. You can invite your Indonesian friends.spend timeanywhere inhip beltto random places on a random street.

Sotoy (yes-toy)/know-it-all

when someone is thereask for help, that means he's acting like a terrible know-it-all. This word can also be used as an exclamation when someone conveys inexplicable knowledge or assumptions. This word is light enough to be said jokingly without implying contempt. When someone says, “I bet this or that politician will do this or that for this or that reason,” you can dismiss it lightly by saying:"¡Soto!"and let's move on to another topic.

BT or Bete (bae-te) / generally bad mood

Some say this Indonesian slang is an abbreviation of the English phrase “bad trip,” an unpleasant drug-induced experience. Although the origin cannot be confirmed with certainty,BTIt is now used to describe almost any negative mood or emotion. From anger over something specific to a general unpleasant mood, you can distinguish"BT"when you don't feel well, especially when you don't feel like explaining or talking about it.

Curhat (côr-haat) / open your heart to someone you trust

In summary ofa shoulder to cry on, this word can be roughly translated as rant or diatribe. Although,stakeIt presupposes trust and intimacy between the parties involved. It's like opening your heart and confiding in someone you trust about something specific you're going through.

Curcol (cor-col) / branch

CurcolIt's a specific typestakeor rant.Curcol(commissioned bytrust Colongánor "stolen speech") occurs when someone uses even the smallest window to raise a seemingly neutral topic about their unhappiness. For example, a group of friends are talking about coffee and one of them suddenly changes the conversation to the way it was before in a coffee shop. When this happens, your friends might call you and say, "rice!” and return to the original topic or continue exploring the incident if it seems interesting enough to the group.

Wkwkwk / texting

As much as it is considered tacky,'Hahahaha'or any number of repetitions"week"This remains a notorious way for Indonesians to mock people through text messages or other forms of digital communication. Nobody knows what it sounds like in real life and nobody cares. It is usually understood as the way someone responds to something really funny, like “hahaha”.

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (7)
(Video) Stop Saying “Suka banyak!” | Learn Indonesian | How to speak like a native

Did you know that Culture Trip now offers the option to book tours for small groups? Choose between authentic and immersive experiencesepic trips, compact and action-packedMini toursand bright, expansiveboat trips.

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (8)

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (9)

Epic trip to volcanic Iceland

Meet our local expert


Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (10)

How long have you been a guide?

2 cans.


It's personal contact, personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like meeting everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have a lot of places on my list, but I would really like to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventurous girl” and Africa is the BEST adventure!

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (11)

(Video) Don’t say “Anda” | Learn Indonesian | How to speak Indonesian like a native

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (12)
Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (13)

Each small-group CULTURAL TOUR is led by a local expert like Hanna.

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (14)

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (15)

Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (16)

See our cultural tours
Indonesian slang that will help you speak like... (17)


Connect with like-minded people on our premium tours, organized by local experts and caring people.

While you're here, we'd like to share our vision for the future of travel and where Culture Trip is headed.

Culture Trip was launched in 2011 with a simple but passionate mission: to inspire people to push their limits and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture unique and meaningful, and which is still in our DNA. We're proud that for more than a decade, millions of people like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations from people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

We increasingly believe that the world needs real and more meaningful connections between curious travelers who want to experience the world in a more responsible way.That's why we've intensively developed a collection of luxury small-group tours as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for unique experiences in three categories:cultural trips, train rideEUPrivate tours.Our tours are suitable for solo travelers, couples and friends who want to discover the world together.

Cultural TravelThese are immersive itineraries lasting 5 to 16 days that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and the 4 to 5* accommodation that we look forward to at the end of each day. Ourtrain rideThese are our most ecological routes that invite you to take a panoramic route, relax and experience your destination. OurPrivate toursThese are completely personalized itineraries, created by our travel experts especially for you, your friends or family.

We know that many of you are concerned about the impact of travel on the environment and are looking for ways to broaden your horizons in a way that causes minimal harm and may even bring benefits. We do everything we can to organize our trips and at the same time take care of the planet. That's why all of our destination travel is flight-free and fully carbon offset, and we have ambitious plans to reach net-zero emissions in the near future.

Keep reading

Places to stay, best beach hotels in Nusa Dua Best Spa Hotels in Medan, Indonesia Places to stay The best hotels to book in Belitung, Indonesia Places to Stay Best Resorts in Indonesia for Every Traveler Best Hotels: Places to Stay in Palembang, Indonesia Best hotels in Flores, Indonesia Best hotels in Java, Indonesia Best Hotels: Places to Stay in Tangerang, Indonesia Places to stay The best hotels to book in Bogor, Indonesia Best Hotels: Places to Stay in Banyuwangi, Indonesia Places to stay The best hotels to book in Semarang, Indonesia Best hotels to book in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
(Video) 5 Hardest Indonesian Words to Say ( Pronounce ) | Learn Indonesian | Speak Like a Native


1. Word of the Day: Indonesian "Iya" #shorts
2. Don’t say “Apa kabar?” | Learn Indonesian | How to speak Indonesian Like a Native
(Learn Indonesian Online)
3. Indonesian Texting Language: "gpp" and "wkwkwk" #shorts
4. Learn Indonesian Easily
(Mondly by Pearson)
5. 12 Indonesian Slang Words | Learn Bahasa Indonesia
(Selly Gouw)
6. Indonesian Slang Words | Bahasa Gaul| Learn Indonesian
(Wondercool Indonesia)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Errol Quitzon

Last Updated: 10/18/2023

Views: 6045

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Errol Quitzon

Birthday: 1993-04-02

Address: 70604 Haley Lane, Port Weldonside, TN 99233-0942

Phone: +9665282866296

Job: Product Retail Agent

Hobby: Computer programming, Horseback riding, Hooping, Dance, Ice skating, Backpacking, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Errol Quitzon, I am a fair, cute, fancy, clean, attractive, sparkling, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.