Common Malaysian Slangs

100 Common Malaysian Slangs You Should Know

Malaysia, a melting pot of cultures, languages, and traditions, boasts a rich tapestry of linguistic expressions. Among these are numerous slangs that capture the essence of Malaysian life, reflecting its multicultural society.

Whether you’re a visitor, an expatriate, or simply curious about Malaysian culture, understanding these slangs can offer valuable insights and help you navigate social interactions more smoothly.

Here’s an extensive look at 100 common Malaysian slangs, their meanings, and their cultural significance.

1. Lah

A ubiquitous suffix used to emphasize a point or soften a statement. It’s versatile and can be attached to almost any sentence. Example: “Okay lah” (Alright).

2. Wei

A casual way to call someone’s attention, similar to “hey” in English. Example: “Wei, come here!”

3. Lepak

Means to hang out or relax. Example: “Let’s lepak at the mamak.”

4. Mamak

Refers to Indian-Muslim eateries popular for late-night meals and social gatherings.

5. Syok

Means to feel good or enjoyable. Example: “This food is so syok!”

6. Kopi

Short for coffee. Example: “Let’s get a kopi.”

7. Aiyah

An expression of exasperation or frustration. Example: “Aiyah, why so slow one?”

8. Tapau

Means to take away food. Example: “Can I tapau this?”

9. Alamak

An expression of surprise or shock. Example: “Alamak, I forgot my keys!”

10. Cincai

Means to do something without much care or effort. Example: “Just cincai do it.”

11. Fuyoh

An expression of amazement. Example: “Fuyoh, that car is fast!”

12. Kantoi

Means to get caught doing something wrong. Example: “He kantoi cheating in the exam.”

13. Kautim

Means to settle or take care of something. Example: “Don’t worry, I’ll kautim it.”

14. Susah

Means difficult or troublesome. Example: “This project is so susah.”

15. Jaga

Means to take care of. Example: “Please jaga my bag.”

16. Gila

Means crazy. Example: “That guy is gila.”

17. Kepo

Means to be nosy or curious. Example: “Why you so kepo?”

18. Abuden

A sarcastic way of saying “of course.” Example: “You didn’t study? Abuden you fail lah.”

19. Pakat

Means to plan or scheme together. Example: “They pakat to surprise her.”

20. Bungkus

Means to wrap or pack up. Example: “Bungkus the leftover food.”

21. Cham

Means in a bad situation. Example: “I’m cham, forgot to do my homework.”

22. Teruk

Means terrible or severe. Example: “The traffic is teruk today.”

23. Boh liao

Means finished or out of something. Example: “The shop boh liao stock.”

24. Gostan

Means to reverse a vehicle. Example: “Gostan the car a bit.”

25. Kopi O

Refers to black coffee. Example: “I’ll have a kopi O.”

26. Kepochi

A more intense version of kepo. Example: “She’s such a kepochi.”

27. Koyak

Means torn or emotionally broken. Example: “After the breakup, he was koyak.”

28. Langgar

Means to collide or crash. Example: “He langgar the wall.”

29. Pak Tor

Means to date or go out with someone. Example: “They pak tor every weekend.”

30. Kiasu

A Hokkien term meaning a fear of losing out. Example: “He’s so kiasu, bought all the tickets.”

31. Hantu

Means ghost or spirit. Example: “This place is haunted by hantu.”

32. Shiok

Similar to syok, means enjoyable or satisfying. Example: “This durian is shiok!”

33. Mou liu

Means nonsensical or pointless. Example: “That movie was mou liu.”

34. Kapchai

Refers to a small motorcycle. Example: “He rides a kapchai to work.”

35. Sapu

Means to sweep or to take everything. Example: “They sapu all the discounts.”

36. Onz

Means to agree or be on board with something. Example: “You want to go? Onz!”

37. Panas

Means hot, both in temperature and spiciness. Example: “This curry is panas!”

38. Teh tarik

A popular Malaysian tea, meaning “pulled tea.” Example: “I’ll have a teh tarik.”

39. Yam cha

Means to drink tea or hang out. Example: “Let’s yam cha later.”

40. Muka tembok

Literally means “thick-faced,” describing someone who is shameless. Example: “He’s muka tembok, never apologizes.”

41. Potong stim

Means to kill the mood. Example: “That joke really potong stim.”

42. Gatal

Means itchy or flirtatious. Example: “He’s so gatal with all the girls.”

43. Chiak

Means to eat. Example: “Let’s chiak dinner.”

44. Layan

Means to entertain or accompany. Example: “Can you layan him while I cook?”

45. Mangkuk

Literally means bowl, used to describe someone foolish. Example: “Don’t be such a mangkuk.”

46. Hafal

Means to memorize. Example: “You need to hafal the script.”

47. Kaki

Means leg but can also refer to someone who loves a specific activity. Example: “He’s a kaki bola.”

48. Pasar malam

Means night market. Example: “Let’s go to the pasar malam.”

49. Syok sendiri

Means self-indulgent or self-pleased. Example: “He’s so syok sendiri, talking about himself.”

50. Minum

Means to drink. Example: “Let’s minum at the bar.”

51. Kiam siap

Means stingy. Example: “He’s so kiam siap, never shares anything.”

52. Kaput

Means broken or spoiled. Example: “The TV is kaput.”

53. Blurr

Means confused or clueless. Example: “Why you so blurr today?”

54. Geng

Means gang or group of friends. Example: “Let’s call the geng for dinner.”

55. Kena

Means to get hit or scolded. Example: “He kena from his boss.”

56. Paiseh

Means embarrassed or shy. Example: “Don’t be paiseh, join us!”

57. Perasan

Means to be conceited or imagine things. Example: “He perasan that everyone likes him.”

58. Kowtim

Alternative spelling of kautim, means to settle. Example: “All problems kowtim already.”

59. Malu

Means shy or embarrassed. Example: “She felt malu during her speech.”

60. Ah Beng

Stereotypical term for a Chinese gangster or hooligan. Example: “He dresses like an Ah Beng.”

61. Ah Lian

Stereotypical term for a Chinese female with loud fashion. Example: “She’s an Ah Lian with her neon clothes.”

62. Balik kampung

Means to return to one’s hometown. Example: “We’re going to balik kampung for Hari Raya.”

63. Chop

Means to stamp or reserve something. Example: “Chop the seats for us.”

64. Da pau

Alternative spelling of tapau, means to take away food. Example: “Can we da pau these noodles?”

65. Eh

A call for attention or agreement. Example: “Eh, are you coming?”

66. Faham

Means to understand. Example: “You faham what I said?”

67. Gila babi

Means extremely crazy. Example: “That party was gila babi!”

68. Habis

Means finished or over. Example: “The show is habis.”

69. Ikan bilis

Refers to anchovies, also used metaphorically for someone insignificant. Example: “He’s just an ikan bilis in the company.”

70. Jalan jalan

Means to go for a walk or stroll. Example: “Let’s jalan jalan in the park.”

71. Kacau

Means to disturb or bother. Example: “Don’t kacau me, I’m working.”

72. Lao sai

Means to have diarrhea. Example: “I ate something bad and now I lao sai.”

73. Malu-malu kucing

Means to be shy like a cat. Example: “Don’t be malu-malu kucing, join us!”

74. Nasi lemak

A traditional Malaysian dish. Example: “Nasi lemak is my favorite breakfast.”

75. Otak

Means brain, used to describe someone smart or dumb. Example: “Use your otak!”

76. Pisang

Means banana, also used to refer to something bent or crooked. Example: “The wire is pisang.”

77. Qiqi

Means to shake or shiver. Example: “He was so cold he qiqi.”

78. Rojak

A mix of different things, often used to describe a mix of languages or cultures. Example: “His speech was rojak, a mix of English and Malay.”

79. Sayang

Means love or dear, also used to express pity. Example: “Sayang, you missed the show.”

80. Tap

Means to tap or touch lightly. Example: “Just tap the screen.”

81. Ubat

Means medicine. Example: “I need some ubat for my headache.”

82. Vroom

The sound of a car revving, used to describe someone leaving quickly. Example: “He vroom out of the parking lot.”

83. Walao

An expression of surprise or amazement. Example: “Walao, that’s amazing!”

84. Xcuse

Short for excuse. Example: “Xcuse me, can I get through?”

85. Yoyo

An expression of greeting or excitement. Example: “Yoyo, what’s up?”

86. Zaman

Means era or period. Example: “In the old zaman, things were different.”

87. Zzz

Used to indicate sleep or boredom. Example: “That lecture was so boring, zzz.”

88. Ada

Means to have or possess. Example: “You ada time?”

89. Baik

Means good or well. Example: “He’s a baik person.”

90. Cepat

Means quick or fast. Example: “Hurry up, cepat!”

91. Duit

Means money. Example: “I need more duit.”

92. Enak

Means delicious. Example: “The food here is enak.”

93. Fikir

Means to think. Example: “Let me fikir about it.”

94. Gigit

Means to bite. Example: “Don’t gigit your nails.”

95. Hebat

Means great or fantastic. Example: “You did a hebat job!”

96. Indah

Means beautiful. Example: “The view is indah.”

97. Jangan

Means do not. Example: “Jangan touch that.”

98. Kecil

Means small. Example: “I prefer kecil portions.”

99. Lurus

Means straight. Example: “Keep going lurus.”

100. Makan

Means to eat. Example: “Let’s makan now.”


Learning and using Malaysian slangs can be a fun and effective way to connect with locals and immerse yourself in the culture. These expressions not only enrich the language but also reflect the diverse and vibrant essence of Malaysian society. Whether you’re chatting with friends at a mamak stall or navigating daily life, these slangs will surely enhance your experience and understanding of Malaysia.

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