Tunafoto, Kuki, And 18 More New Malay Words We're Still Trying To Get Used To

It's Bahasa Melayu for millennials, y'all.

  • Cover image via SAYS
  • Language is ever-evolving, and the Malay language is no exception. In keeping up with 21st century lingo, Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka (DBP) has introduced some new words to add to our vocabulary.

    • DBP has been pretty busy on Twitter lately, revealing several "Istilah Semasa" (Current Terms) that have been adapted from contemporary English words like "selfie", "photobomb", "pick-up lines", and many more. Check out the latest Malay words in the lexicon:

  • 1. Photobomb = "Tunafoto"

    • What does tuna fish have to do with photography or pranks, you ask?

      In Malay, the word "tuna" has two meanings. According to the Kamus Dewan (4th Edition), the word "tuna" can also mean "hurt, imperfect, or damaged/spoiled". Hence, tunafoto can be described as someone or something "spoiling" the photo when they unexpectedly appear just as a picture is taken.

  • 2. Selfie = swafoto

  • 3. Killfie = Swafoto maut

    • Yep, this is the first time we've heard of the term "killfie" too!

      Apparently, a "killfie" is a selfie that's taken at a dangerous location (e.g. the edge of a clifff or skyscraper) which may cause the death of the photographer. It sounds even more morbid when you consider that the direct translation of the Malay phrase means "death selfie".

  • 4. Groufie = Swafoto berkumpulan

  • 5. Wefie = Swafoto bersama

  • 6. Pick-up line = Kata pikat

  • 7. Flashmob = Aksi rasa kilas

  • 8. Viral = tular

  • 9. Trending = Sohor kini

  • 10. Hashtag = Tanda pagar

  • 11. E-hailing = E-panggilan

  • 12. Teaser = Iklan acah

  • 13. Posting = Hantaran

  • 14. Cookie = Kuki

    • Not to be confused with the cookie that you put in your mouth, "kuki" in this context most likely refers to web cookies i.e. small pieces of data sent from a website that's stored on a computer by a web browser while you're browsing

  • 15. Debug = Nyahpepijat

  • 16. Crowdsourcing = Sumber khalayak

  • 17. Romance scam = Penipuan cinta

  • 18. Nap = Meridap

  • 19. Finger food = Makanan cekut

  • 20. Reengineering = Rekayasa semula

  • Now go forth and practice your Bahasa Melayu with these new words! :D

    • You should also follow DBP on Twitter to get the latest updates on new words or changes to the Malay language.

  • The spelling of some Malay words has also changed over time. Have you been spelling these common words wrong lately?

  • However, some spelling mistakes could end up making history:

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