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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

What's With Animal Names?

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This is a bed bug. Have you ever seen it?

This animal is called 'bangsat' in Indonesian, and this word has a special place in Indonesian register. Not only is it used in biological term, Indonesian young people use this word as a swearing word, similar to what 'F**k you' means in English. Thus, bed bug has a negative connotation outside the discourse of Biology or Natural Sciences, too often it is regarded very harsh to call someone a 'bangsat'.




Quiz
Can you guess other common swearing words in colloquial Indonesian registers? Pick three animals from the images below. Then scroll down to read the answers.




LINTAH = LEECH
MONYET = MONKEY
KEONG = SNAIL


BABI = PIG
KUPU-KUPU = BUTTERFLY


Answer.
Dog, monkey and pig are referred to as swearing words. So be careful when you say these words 'Anjing!', 'Monyet!', 'Babi!' with a high pitch. Other people may think that you are angry with them or someone else.

In Indonesia, snail is a symbolization of a person that moves/acts slowly. Leech is a symbolization of a man who lends money with an incredilby high interest (sucks 'blood' out of another person). Kupu-kupu malam (lit. meaning night butterfly) refers to a prostitute, a hooker.
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Hening is a laid-back ENTP (by upbringing) and a solar-Scorpio-and-lunar-Sagittarius (by birth). She believes that thrifting is an art form that helps rewire our brain circuits for the better.

 

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