18 November 2011


My UBD colleague, Salbrina Sharbawi, tells me that the Brunei Malay word gigiran means 'to blurt out random words when startled'. (The Standard Malay equivalent might be melatah; but it is maybe not quite the same, as Adrian Clynes tells me that melatah usually refers to blurting out crudities.)

For gigiran, Salbrina says that the words she blurts out usually involve chickens, such as ayam melatup 'exploding chicken'.

Now, why doesn't English have a word like gigiran? It seems such a splendid word. Mind you, I can't imagine myself saying something like 'exploding chicken' when I am startled, so maybe we don't actually need a word like gigiran in English.